Saturday, October 23, 2010

FIGHT BLOG: UFC 121 Preview - Lesnar/Velasquez

Welcome to my special preview of UFC 121: Lesnar vs Velasquez! There's no real preliminary rant for this one, just really good fights, so let's get this going.

A poster or logo for UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez.
I'll get the unaired preliminary card out of the way quickly:

Heavyweights: Jon Madsen v. Gilbert Yvel -  Yvel has lost two straight and is facing the "3 and you're out" situation, so I give Yvel the upset by decision.

Middleweights: Chris Camozzi v. Dongi Yang - I actually haven't seen either fighter, but Yang is undefeated and apparently has an attacking style. I pick him by TKO in Rd. 1.

Lightweights: Sam Stout v. Paul Taylor - Taylor has a little more to prove. I pick Taylor's endurance to win out via decision.

Welterweights: Mike Guymon v. Daniel Roberts - Guymon's had a long wait since his last fight and is statistically more complete. I see a decision win on the card for him.

I'll also blow through the Spike TV matches:

Middleweights: Patrick Cote v. Tom Lawlor - I enjoyed Lawlor's performances on The Ultimate Fighter, and he's lost two straight. I'll go emotional on this one and pick him by decision in a striking fest that is a FOTN contender.

Middleweights: Court McGee v. Ryan Jensen - McGee enters the UFC on a six-fight win streak and has excellent submission defense. That's good enough for me. I see another decision here.

And now, on to the main card:

Heavyweights: Brendan Schaub v. Gabriel Gonzaga - To me, Gonzaga may be one of the greatest disappointments in UFC history. After ruining a sure-fire moneymaker match by beating Cro Cop, the man has been exposed repeatedly. Schaub knows what he has to do to beat the division's gatekeeper, and that's put the pressure on. I pick Schaub by 2nd round KO.

Light Heavyweights: Tito Ortiz v. Matt Hamill - Is anyone else tired of Tito Ortiz? Because I am. The man continues to act entitled when he hasn't won since his fights with KEN FREAKING SHAMROCK four years ago and hasn't fought in nearly a year. His wrestling will keep him around, but Hamill may be his equal on the ground, has better conditioning and better striking. I see the fight going the distance and Hamill winning.

Welterweights: Diego Sanchez v. Paulo Thiago - Finally, a fight I want to see that will be competitive! I became a fan of "Nightmare" Sanchez when he was consistently headlining Fight Night cards and put on FOTN candidates each time. I hope to see a slugfest, though Thiago will seek to take the fight to the ground. My pick is Sanchez to show his skills with a 3rd round TKO.

Let's get to the co-main event:

Welterweight #1 Contender's Bout: Jake Shields (25-4-1, UFC Debut) v. Martin Kampmann (17-3, 8-2 UFC) - If the prospect of Jake Shields winning a shot at GSP doesn't get you hyped, check your pulse. Granted, there is no guarantee he wins here. Kampmann has only lost once at 170 (should be twice, but oh well) and has an incredible submission game. Ultimately, I can't pick against a guy who humiliated Dan Henderson in his last fight. I have Shields by 2nd round submission.

Ten fights down, and now it's time for the Main Event:

UFC Heavyweight Championship Bout (5 Rd.): Brock Lesnar (c) (5-1, 4-1 UFC) vs. Cain Velasquez (8-0, 7-0 UFC) - This fight should live up to the hype in my view. In striking, Velasquez has a slight edge to me, as he has knockout power, good technique and more crisp stand-up. Lesnar's power doesn't match with that well.

On the ground, it's a matter of who winds up on top. Lesnar is much better at all wrestling elements, though, so I give him the wrestling edge. But since Cain has a better grappling and submission game, Lesnar can't make any mistakes.

Lesnar's size could be the X-factor here, as he will have at least 25 pounds on Cain, which means his power is always a problem and his size will allow him to dictate the location and pace of the fight. Meanwhile, Cain's advantage is his cardio, as he is unlikely to tire until late if at all, which means Lesnar can't let up at all.

Ultimately, I feel that the longer this fight goes, the more chances Lesnar has to slip up against his BJJ black belt challenger, and because of Cain's knockout potential, he doesn't have that as a backup. My official pick is Cain Velasquez by submission in Round 4.

No comments: