Locked in the Guillotine MMA News Report 12.6.13: TUF Fallout Edition
Posted by Robert Winfree on 12.06.2013
Thoughts on Julianna Pena becoming the first female Ultimate Fighter and the rest of TUF 18 Finale, a preview of the main card of UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Bigfoot and more!
Hello ladies and gentlemen, glad to see you back here and Locked in the Guillotine once again. We've got a lot to talk about this week, and most of it is good. Before getting into the MMA goodness, if you're reading this and have time to kill, give a gander at the list of shows on the Radulich in Broadcasting Network. There's plenty of awesome stuff there to listen to while you're reading this, or driving, or working out, or whatever else occupies your time. Pick one and give it a listen, you wont be disappointed.
Sampo wins: Josh Sampo choked out Ryan Benoit in the second round with a rear naked choke to get the night going. This was a good fight, it wound up taking Fight of the Night honors, but I couldn't help but feel like I was watching a man fight a teenager. Whether that's Benoit's baby face or what I couldn't tell you, but that was the impression I got. This is Sampo's fifth win in a row, and considering this fight was made on ten days notice both guys performed well. The shadow over this fight was that Sampo missed weight, he officially weighed in at 127.5 pounds which made him ineligible for the post fight bonus. So, what happened when the fight took Fight of the Night? The entire amount, $100,000 in fact, went to Ryan Benoit. Getting paid a hundred grand to get choked out? I could do that.
Spencer wins: Sean Spencer defeated Drew Dober by unanimous decision after spending the fifteen minutes punching Dober in the face and defending takedowns against the fence. Dober usually competes at lightweight, so if he gets another fight it'll likely be down a weight class. Spencer hit some nice combinations and kicks, but nothing too memorable about this one.
Rosholt arrives: Jared Rosholt defeated Walt Harris by unanimous decision to win his UFC debut. Rosholt got rocked and dropped in the first round, but his chin held up and Harris wasn't able to finish him. Rosholt remembered he could wrestle in the third round and spent most of it in half guard landing punches to Harris's head. Rosholt had a great collegiate wrestling career, which may or may not translate into MMA but winning his debut was good. Harris looked like a one round wonder, after the first round he looked tired and didn't have the same power in his punches. Curious to see what's next for Rosholt.
Niinimaki arrives: Tom Niinimaki defeated Rani Yahya by split decision in what I felt was the fight of the night. Niinimaki showed no fear when it came to grappling with Yahya, a former jiujitsu world champion, and even got the better of the grappling in the first two rounds. Yahya was knocking on the door of a title shot had he won here, but Niinimaki looked impressive in his victory. Credit to Pat Mullen who, on the preview show for this event, told us all that Niinimaki was a live pick and had been doing good things. I'd like to see more of him. As for Yahya, back to square one in the featherweight division.
Blanco DQ's himself: Akira Corassani defeated Maximo Blanco by disqualification when Blanco kneed him in the head while Corassani was on the mat. Occasionally people get kneed in the head during transitions, when going up or down from the ground, but in this case I feel Blanco threw a deliberately illegal knee strike. Corassani had a full knee and hand down on the mat when Blanco launched the attack, you can't be that unaware of your opponents positioning. Blanco has a history of wild, bordering on dirty, fighting and this was just another example. Shame we only got forty seconds or so of action but them's the breaks.
Pennington bests Modaferri: Raquel Pennington defeated Roxanne Modaferri by unanimous decision to begin the main card. The fight wasn't very good for my money, Modaferri moved forward a lot and threw combinations but looked like she was shadow boxing and Pennington seemed to not want to really engage. Pennington landed enough quality shots to win rounds, and had some decent ground and pound from top position, but I feel like she could have had a great performance and instead we got something forgettable.
Well that was sloppy: Jessamyn Duke defeated Peggy Morgan by unanimous decision in a fight that I found really sloppy. Duke was able to land punches at will, Morgan looked more like a sparring partner than anything, but the whole thing just felt borderline amateurish to me. I'd like to see if Duke can shore up the issues she has because she's got a good muy thai background and with her height and reach could turn into a top flight fighter.
Holdsworth wins TUF: Chris Holdsworth submitted David Grant in the second round with a rear naked choke to win this season of TUF at bantamweight. The fight went about as everyone thought it would, Holdsworth got a takedown and submitted Grant. I was surprised it took until the second round, but Grant showed some decent defensive grappling and some decent punching. I don't think Holdsworth will get that far in the division, but I could be wrong.
Pena makes history: Julianna Pena defeated Jessica Rakoczy by TKO in the first round. Pena fought hard for a takedown, eventually got it, got full mount and landed blows until the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. Pena becomes the first ever female TUF champion. I'm not sure of her impact on the division, but the division is still forming in many ways so it's as good a time as any to have a more limited skill set. Only time will tell what's going to happen with Pena. As for Rakoczy, she got into MMA late, came from boxing, and by her own admission isn't exactly a spring chicken. I wouldn't be shocked to see her fight only one more time for the UFC.
Diaz beats Maynard: Nate Diaz stopped Gray Maynard with strikes in the first round to finish off the event. Maynard got a takedown early, but Diaz scrambled back to his feet and landed a short left hand that rocked Maynard. From there Diaz just unloaded, he landed a bunch of punches until the ref stepped in. Maynard didn't fall down until after the fight was stopped, but it was the correct call because Diaz was teeing off on him. Maynard is likely done as a top level competitor, especially in the lightweight division while Diaz brought himself back into relevance with a great performance.
Jones and Teixeira will fight: And they've got a date. The light heavyweight title fight between champion Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira has got a date finally. The two will be the main event of UFC 171, which is scheduled for March 15 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The fight between these two had been talked about for a couple of other dates, including the Superbowl weekend show, but for various reasons it never came bout. Now we've got a solid date for Jones' next title defense and we can all start looking forward to breaking down how he'll beat Glover Teixeira.
Askren not bound for the UFC: Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren is apparently not heading to the UFC. Reports this week indicate he's been in serious talks with One FC. Askren, undefeated in MMA, apparently isn't going to come to terms with the UFC and join them. Askren has a grinding style of wrestling that the UFC isn't too happy with right now, and while we have no idea of the specific negotiations that took place, it's entirely possible that the UFC just low balled him because they don't want another grinding wrestler on their roster. One FC has no real welterweight division, so Askren could easily add another belt to his collection if he does wind up there.
Dodson out: Flyweight Jon Dodson had to pull out of his fight with Scott Jorgensen this week. The fight was set for next week's UFC on FOX 9 event, and is set to be Jorgensen's flyweight debut after going 1-3 in his last four fights, the lone win a submission over John Albert. Fortunately a replacement was found, former Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky will make his UFC debut taking on Jorgensen. UFC on FOX 9 is headlined by a flyweight title fight between champion Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez.
Palhares has a new home: Former UFC welterweight fighter Rousimar Palhares, who was cut from the promotion following a submission win over Mike Pierce, has found a new home with the World Series of Fighting. Palhares was cut for holding a heel hook submission after Pierce tapped out, his second incident in the UFC of that nature and at least his third documented offense if you count grappling tournaments, but it seems that WSOF President Ray Sefo has agreed to give the guy a chance. It took some work, both Renzo Gracie and Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira vouched for Palhares and have said Palhares plans on seeking help for the behavior that cost him his job with the UFC. Sefo has publicly stated that there will be no tolerance if Palhares holds another submission longer than necessary, he'll be cut immediately. Here's hoping Palhares can get his mental game sorted out, because he's a fun fighter to watch if he can avoid possibly seriously injuring his opponent.
When I call this card a potential Card of the Year, I'm half joking and half serious. There's some serious star power here, and some potentially awesome fights. Let's take a look at the main card.
Julie Kedzie vs. Beth Correia: Julie Kedzie is fighting for her job here. She's lost her last three fights, though I disagree with the decision in her last fight against Germaine de Randamie, and if she drops another one that's a bad spot to be in. It's possible Kedzie will only be heard on Invicta broadcasts after another loss here. Fortunately Correia seems to be a gimme fight for Kedzie, though Correia could just be waiting to be discovered. I feel comfortable picking Kedzie though.
Dylan Andrews vs. Clint Hester: I didn't see the season of TUF that featured these two, but I do recall that Dylan Andrews had a great comeback knockout win over Papy Abedi in his last fight. Maybe it's pointless sentimentality on my part, but if you come back in the third round after being dominated in the previous two that means something to me. Andrews is also fighting on his home turf, more or less as he's a native of New Zealand, so I'm picking him to land the big power shot on Hester.
Pat Barry vs. Soa Palelei: I really want to pick Pat Barry here, as I do in most of his fights. Barry is a fun guy, he's got a great personality and I almost invariably find myself rooting for him to win. That said, Barry has shown vulnerability to the blitz attack. Shawn Jordan successfully blitzed Barry, a formula that Palelei would do well to follow. If Barry circles, lands leg kicks, and basically waits out the first three minutes he should KO Palelei. I just feel more comfortable picking Palelei to blitz Barry in the opening minutes.
Ryan Bader vs. Anthony Perosh: I really don't care about this fight. Ryan Bader lost any amount of support I might have lent him when he got choked out by Tito Ortiz in 2011. Perosh is a good grappler, but he relies on getting top position and I don't think he'll get that against Bader. Neither man is good with striking defense, so whoever lands the first hard shot could win the fight and I think Bader will land before Perosh. Though I wouldn't be shocked if Bader just shoots and holds Perosh down for the entire fight either.
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. James Te Huna: I went back and forth on this one, which makes the Shogun fan in me very very sad. This is the type of fight that the Shogun of old would have used as a highlight reel, but Rua isn't the same fighter he used to be. I wouldn't be shocked to see Te Huna land some hard shots from the pocket and rock Rua. The problem is Te Huna isn't known for his body work, and if you're going to put Shogun down with strikes you have to go through the body. If Rua is smart, he'll get the clinch, use a trip takedown to get Te Huna down, and work ground and pound from the top. I'm picking Rua here, but it's more from my heart than my head at this point and Te Huna is a very live pick if you want to lay down some money.
Mark Hunt vs. Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva: Now this is a main event. Give me this over any of the first three headliners for 2014. Go ahead and look them up if you think I'm joking. Both men are coming off of losses, to the two best heavyweights in the world. Silva was smashed in the first round, again, by Cain Velasquez in his last fight while Hunt was wheel kicked in the head by Junior dos Santos. If Silva is smart he'll run across the cage and tackle Hunt to the ground. For all the improvements Hunt has made in the grappling department, and they are legitimate, it's still by far his weakest area. Bigfoot Silva has a very good grappling game, whether he's going for a submission or just pounding you with his giant hands, if he's on top you're in serious trouble. I'm not sure that's what will happen, I think Silva will try the striking game first and will pay for it. Mark Hunt will land a trademark leaping left hook to the oversized jaw of Silva, drop him, and then decide the fight's over because we all know that Mark Hunt decides when his fights are over.
Alright guys and gals, you've survived another Guillotine. The 411 Ground and Pound radio show is Live this Sunday at 9pm eastern time and will be breaking down all the action from UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Bigfoot. If you want to call in, and I'd personally encourage you to do so, the number is (323) 657-0901. I'll be back here next week, until then keep your heads up and your necks protected.