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Old 09-05-2008, 03:03 PM
Jizay Jizay is offline
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Default UFC 88 analysis

UFC 88 analysis

Lots of big questions surround the heavy favorites on the main card at this UFC. My confidence pick is Nate Marquardt, who is going for -150 or less on most sites right now. In the other fights, it would probably be best not to go in big, and maybe even to short all of the favorites and hope to catch two. Here is my fight-by-fight breakdown of the main card:

Nate Marquardt vs. Martin Kampmann: Marquardt is coming off of a tought split-decision loss to Thales Leites in which he was penalized two points for separate infractions, each of which was questionable. Kampmann has won all 4 of his fights in the UFC, and could be headed toward a middleweight title shot with a win in this one, but his ride will end here. 3 out of Kampmannís 4 wins have come by submission, but submitting Marquardt -- a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Ė is almost unthinkable. Kampmann, who is also on the small side for middleweights, will be hard-pressed to keep Marquardt from muscling him around the cage. Although Kampmann has a good record, Marquardt is much more experienced and well-rounded than any opponent he has ever faced.

Most likely scenario: Marquardt by whatever he wants.

Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans: These two light heavyweights will square off in the main event with the winner likely to get a title shot in the near future. Liddellís impressive resume and experience as champion will have him coming in as a heavy favorite. As in all of his fights, Liddell will look to keep the action on the feet with his excellent take down defense and utilize his power to knock his opponent out with either hand. Evans is known more for taking his opponents down, but has under-rated boxing skills. His footwork and defense make him a difficult opponent to strike, though he is not known his stand-up offense.

The big question mark: Liddellís age. At almost 39 years of age, one wonders how many good fights he has left in him. Itís hard to know when a fighterís about to jump the shark.

Most likely scenario: Liddell by unanimous decision in essentially a boxing match. Evans will probably fail to take him down, and though game, will be out-pointed while trying to avoid eating Liddellís power shots.

Dan Henderson vs. Rousimar Polhares: This fight showcases two of the middleweight divisionís finest grapplers, albeit grapplers with much different styles. Henderson, a former UFC and Pride champion, is also an Olympic medalist in wrestling who can control an opponent and ground-and-pound to victory. Polhares is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu wizard who will look to apply submission holds on the ground. On paper, Henderson has the advantage, not only in his wealth of experience against the worldís best fighters, but in his more well-rounded game that includes crisp punching.

The big question mark: Hendersonís desire. At 38 years of age, he is in the twilight of his career, and with the seemingly unstoppable Anderson Silva sitting on the middleweight title, it is unlikely Henderson will be a champion again. Further, Henderson has a habit of coming out flat in fights he is supposed to win. Of note: he has stopped training at his camp in Big Bear to train closer to home.

Most likely scenario: ďDecision DanĒ controls where the fight goes and wins a decision using his superior striking. But I have a hunch that Henderson comes out flat and possibly walks away from the game with a disappointing loss here. Might be worth going with the underdog, the hungrier Palhares.

Karo Parysian vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida: Parysian is coming off a tough TKO loss to Thiago Alves that once again derailed his quest for a welterweight title shot. Perhaps no one in the UFC has adapted Judo for MMA as well as Parysian, but in Yoshida he gets his first real test against a skilled Judoka.

The big question mark: Parysianís training. His physique belies a possible lack of top-level training intensity, and as with Henderson, you have to wonder if Parysian is losing some of the fire.

Most likely scenario: Parysian wonít be pulling off any of his fancy judo throws against Yoshida, but that wonít necessarily stop him from finding a way to eke out a decision against the more inexperienced Yoshida. Again, though, Iím getting this feeling that Parysian may have jumped the shark, and that maybe throwing a little on the underdog is a wise move.

Rich Franklin vs. Matt Hamill: Even more so than the Liddell-Evans fight, this is a classic matchup of striker vs. wrestler. Franklin, the former middleweight champion, is now trying his hand in the light heavyweight division. Hamill is an accomplished amateur wrestler with good takedowns, but his striking is awkward. If he can manage to get it to the ground, though, Franklin will be hard pressed to escape Hamillís top control.

The big question mark: How will Franklin fare in his first test at light heavyweight? At middleweight, fighters must make weight at 185 pounds, while at light heavyweight the limit is 205. Thatís a big jump.

Most likely scenario: Hamillís lack of a standup game will lead to trouble setting up his takedowns, and Franklin will sprawl them and pick him apart with superior striking, leading to a TKO victory for Franklin.
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Old 09-05-2008, 07:15 PM
Jizay Jizay is offline
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Default Parysian vs. Yoshida off

Karo hurt his back in training. Or did he hurt himself backing out of this fight?
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:16 AM
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Backslider Backslider is offline
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I went with Nate M, solely based on your write up. Good job. You're 1-0 in my book.. just pick one winner every time, and everyone will still happy.
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