UFC 158 Main Card Breakdown

UFC 158

MikeRicci_HeadshotColinFletcher_Headshot

Colin Fletcher vs. Mike Ricci

The main card kicks off with two young lightweights coming off losses in there last bouts. This fight could very well be a “loser leaves town bout” in which the loser gets cut by the UFC. The UFC has setup this fight so it’s the classic matchup of striker vs grappler and could very well produce fireworks.

 

Striking: Mike Ricci is a gifted striker with more than half of his wins coming by way of knockout. He uses his strong wrestling base to avoid takedowns and pick apart his opponent on the feet. Colin Fletcher has yet to have a knockout in his career and often uses striking only to setup his takedowns.  When it comes to the striking department it is clear who has the advantage.

Advantage: Mike Ricci

 

Wrestling: This category is extremely tough to call. The two fighters both have good wrestling but use it for different reasons. Fletcher often looks for takedowns early and tries to work his world-class jiu-jitsu game where Ricci use it to avoid takedowns or setup his top-notch ground and pound. Whoever wins the wrestling battle could very well win this fight.

 Advantage: Push

 

Grappling/submissions:  Colin Fletcher is an absolute stud on the ground. 7 of his 8 career wins have come by submission and always depends on his jiu-jtsu to get his hand raised. Mike Ricci is no where close to the level of Fletcher when it comes to submissions and could very well be his downfall in this fight. Another clear advantage in this category.

 Advantage: Colin Fletcher

 

Conclusion: This fight could on paper have all the ingredients to be an exciting bout that kicks off the main event. With their jobs on the line these guy will be doing everything in their power to stand in the octagon victorious. Colin Fletchers ground game will be too good in the end and it will be the reason he is still a UFC employee Saturday night.

Prediction: Colin Fletcher by darce choke 3:14 in the second round

 

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Nick Ring vs. Chris Camozzi 

This bout puts together two middle tier middleweights looking to advance up the ladder. Camozzi has put together a solid three fight-winning streak and could be looking at a high profile opponent with a win. Nick Ring has quietly put together a 3 and 1 record in the UFC and could be looking at a new contract if he comes out on top.  Both fighters have momentum coming into the bout and can show viewers they are main card worthy with an impressive performance.

 

Striking: Nick Ring is a Muay Tai specialist and holds a black belt in his craft. Ring is known to dominate the center of the ring and pick apart his opponent with knees, punches, and will also try to land strikes in the clinch. Chris Camozzio is a gifted striker who throughout his career can hold his own with anyone on his feet. He is known for his granite chin and has never been knocked out in his career. However, Nick Ring is a much more experienced striker and will likely get the better of the exchanges on the feet.

Advantage: Nick Ring

 

Wrestling: Even though Nick Ring does not come from a wrestling background he has managed to secure five takedowns in his UFC career. Camozzi has struggled in his UFC career in the takedown department and currently does not have a takedown to his name. If Nick Ring starts to get beat up on his feet he will likely look for a takedown especially because Camozzi has only been able to defend 57 percent of the takedown thrown his way.

Advantage: Nick Ring

 

Grappling/Submissions: Chris Camozzi has had great success in his career finishing fights with submissions. Nick Ring has also shown to be well versed in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has six submission wins to his name. Both fighters will be looking for submissions if the fight goes to the ground. However Camozzi has shown a more all around jiu-jitsu game with two submission wins off of his back.

Advantage: Chris Camozzi

 

Conclusion: Both fighters game plan will be to outpoint each other on their feat. It is very unlikely that a takedown will occur in this bout due to both fighters wanting to get the better of the in tight exchanges. In the end I see Nick Ring being able to successfully control the center of the Octagon and get the win.

Prediction: Nick Ring by decision (29-28,29-28, 30-27)

 

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Jake Ellenberger vs Nate Marquardt

Jake Ellenberger vs Nate Marquardt is the first high profile fight of the night and is guaranteed to have fireworks. After a brief stint in Strikeforce, Nate Marquardt will be rejoining the UFC but this time he will have dropped to welterweight. Jake Ellenberger is an absolute stud and has moved his way into the title picture by winning 6 of his last 7 fights. This bout is not to disappoint.

 

Striking: Jake Ellenberger has had great success when he has chosen to stand and bang. Four of his six wins have come by knockout including a 53 second knockout of former number 1 contender Jake Shields. Nate Marquardt also posses knockout power and has 4 knockout wins in the UFC as a middleweight. However, Jake Ellenberger is too dynamic and athletic on his feet to get beat in this category.

Advantage: Jake Ellenberger

 

Wrestling: Ellenberger has a phenomenal wrestling background due to being a Division 2 national champ in college. He rarely has to rely on his wrestling simply because his striking is that good. Nate Marquardt has been successful in the past securing takedowns but has been shown to being susceptible to takedowns especially when he faced Chael Sonnen. Ellenberger holds a clear advantage in this category.

Advantage: Jake Ellenberger

 

Grappling/Submissions: Jake Ellenberger in the past has shown the ability to force an opponent into submission and has 5 victories to his name. Nate Marquardt has a huge amount of experience when it comes to submissions and is a second-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. With almost half of his wins by submission, it is clear that Marquardt’s best chance of winning this fight is to force Ellenberger to tap out.

Advantage: Nate Marquardt

 

Conclusion: To quote the great Chael Sonnen “This fight is going to be a on sided pounding and I’m swinging the hammer”. Ellenberger is too fast and too strong to lose to a man who is over the hill such as Nate Marquardt. This is going to be a brutal knockout where you hope the guy receiving the punishment does not get hurt too bad.

Prediction: Jake Ellenberger by first round knockout at 1:46

 

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Johny Hendricks vs. Carlos Condit

Everyone watching this fight will be shocked if this fight goes to the judges’ scorecards. This bout puts together arguably the top two dynamic strikers in the welterweight division. The winner of this fight is likely to get the winner of the main event. You will defiantly not want to blink during this fight because both men are capable of finishing a fight in seconds.

 

Striking: Whoever wins this category will likely be victorious Saturday night. Johny Hendricks has finished two of his last 3 fights in the first minute with his brutal left hook. Carlos Condit has one of the most complete and diverse striking games in the UFC. He has been able to finish fights with punches, kicks, elbows, and knees. Due to experience and wide repertoire of strikes Condit has a slight advantage here.

Advantage: Carlos Condit

 

Wrestling: It is pretty clear-cut who has the advantage here. Johny Hendricks was a 4 time All-American and National Champion at Oklahoma State. Like Jake Ellenberger, his striking is so good that he rarely has to depend on his wrestling chops. Carlos Condit has been susceptible to being taken down and it showed in his title fight vs Georges St. Pierre. If Hendricks is losing the exchanges on his feet he will likely take the fight to the ground.

Advantage: Johny Hendricks

 

Grappling/Submissions: Carlos Condit has shown the abilty to finish fights by submission not only when he’s on top, but also on his back. His phenomenal dexterity allows him to trap opponents in his guard and look for submissions when his back is on the canvas. If Condit can get Hendricks on the ground it could be trouble for the All-American wrestler.

Advantage: Carlos Condit

 

Conclusion: Carlos Condit is the favorite in this fight and many people believe he will win this fight but I think Hendricks is the second best welterweight in the world. His left hand just might be the most dangerous weapon in MMA right now. At the end of the night expect Hendricks to have another highlight reel knockout.

 Prediction: Johny Hendricks by first round knockout at 2:14

 

GeorgesStPierre_Headshot2012 NickDiaz_Headshot

 

Georges St.Pierre vs. Nick Diaz for the Welterweight title

Many MMA fans have been salivating over this matchup for years. Nick Diaz has called out St. Pierre on numerous occasions and has finally received his wish. Due to Diaz’s disrespect St. Pierre told Dana White he wanted to put Diaz in his place as soon as possible even though he was not the number 1 contender. This fight will not disappoint and will likely be a fight of the year candidate.

 

Striking: George St. Pierre has proven he can out strike anyone the UFC has put in front of him. His perfectly executed jab and technically sound striking game are the main reason he feels completely comfortable striking with anyone. Nick Diaz throughout his career has been a dynamic striker and has finished numerous opponents on his feet. What’s unique about Diaz’s striking is not the power he puts behind his punches but the volume of strikes he lands in a small period of time, which breaks down his opponents. This category is a toss up.

Advantage: Push

 

Wrestling: Georges St. Pierre has the best wrestling MMA has ever seen. Period. He has the most takedowns in UFC history and his takedown defense statistics are just as impressive. No one that has stepped in the Octagon with St-Pierre has been able to stop his takedowns. Nick Diaz will not be looking to take this fight to the ground. He almost never looks for takedowns because he is so dependent on his striking game. St.Pierre holds a huge advantage in this category.

Advantage: St. Pierre

 

Grappling/Submissions: Nick Diaz has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu under the tutelage of the legend Cesar Gracie. Diaz has been known to be extremely dangerous with submissions off of his back and will likely look to secure a submission when St. Pierre takes him down. St. Pierre does possess a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu  but has not submitted an opponent in over 5 years. It is extremely unlikely St. Pierre will lock in a submission especially on a grappler of Diaz’s caliber. Due to being more of a threat, Diaz holds the advantage.

Advantage: Nick Diaz

 

Conclusion. Georges St.Pierre is one of the top two greatest fighters that has ever stepped in the Octagon. He is head and shoulders better than any Welterweight the UFC can throw at him. Even though Diaz is a game opponent he will not put St. Pierre in any danger. Expect St. Pierre to take Diaz down at ease and cruise to a decision victory.

Prediction: Georges St. Pierre by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)

 

 

 

 

 

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Top 10 UFC Pound for Pound

renan barao

10. Renan Barao- Renan Barao might be the best fighter that no one besides hard-core fans know about. After losing his first pro fight he has gone on to win 28 consecutive fights including the Bantamweight interim title. Barao has one of the most diverse striking arsenals on the UFC roster to go along with outstanding takedown defense. His only weakness is he tends to fade in the later rounds and often settles for a decision victory. He is currently waiting for Bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz to recover from a torn ACL.

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9. Demetrious Johnson- Demetrious Johnson made history last year by becoming the inaugural UFC champion at flyweight and has continued to impress since winning the title. He is by far the fastest and most agile fighter on the UFC roster. His hand speed allows him to land strikes in bunches and often gets his opponents off balance. Being only 5’3 gives him a low center of gravity, which helps him use his wrestling background to help secure takedowns. His only weakness is he lacks a decent jiu-jitsu game and has not been able to finish an opponent in the UFC. He is currently waiting to fight the winner of Ian McCall and Joseph Benavidez, both whom he has already defeated.

dominick cruz

8. Dominick Cruz- Dominick Cruz hands down has the best footwork in MMA. This along with having the longest reach of any bantamweight on the UFC roster allows him to move inside the pocket and deliver a wide variety of strikes and taking little to no punishment in the process. His improved wrestling has helped him defeat every opponent he has faced at his current weight class which lead to him becoming the Bantamweight champion of the world. Cruz’s only noticeable weakness is he has pillows for hands. Even though he lands a great quantity of strikes they do little to no damage. This has lead to him winning all his fights by decision. He is currently recovering form a torn ACL.

frankie edgar

7. Frankie Edgar- Frankie Edgar by far has the most heart of any fighter I have ever seen. Period. He won the lightweight championship by defeating the greatest lightweight of all time in B.J Penn and went along to retain the title twice to Gray Maynard after getting knockdown 3 times in both fights. No one can take the amount of punishment Frankie Edgar has received in the Octagon and still get up and fight. Frankie has come on hard times of late though by losing to Benson Henderson twice in razor thin decisions and by losing a close fight at featherweight to Jose Aldo. His main weakness is the main contributor to why he keeps losing close fights. He simply does not do as much damage when he strikes as opposed to when these bigger fighters hit him. Even with these recent loses it does not take away from his skill set. He prides himself on great technical boxing and his outstanding wrestling chops. He currently is waiting for a fight at featherweight to get him back in the title picture.

cain

6. Cain Velasquez- Cain Velasquez is an absolute monster. The amount of cardio Cain possesses is absolutely absurd. After getting caught in his first fight with Junior Dos Santos, Cain came back and got revenge in one of the most one sided fights the UFC has ever seen. For five rounds he absolutely brutalized Dos Santos to the point where he couldn’t walk and his face was almost unrecognizable. His wrestling and kickboxing are top notch which helps set up his world class ground and pound. He has destroyed every opponent in his way and looks to be short on competition. His only weaknesses are his chin is a tad suspect and his jiu-jitsu game is sub-par. Cain also is undersized and often weighs in 30 pounds lighter than the heavyweight max. Velasquez is scheduled to fight Antonio Silva which is going to be a brutal first round knockout.

benson henderson

5. Benson Henderson- Benson Henderson has taken the MMA world by storm since joining the UFC. He is simply an athletic freak that is bigger stronger and faster than any other lightweight Mixed Martial Arts has ever seen. Besides two close fights to Frankie Edgar, Henderson has dominated every opponent he has faced leaving them bloody and putting them through hell every minute they were in the cage. His gymnastic like flexibility, wide variety of striking, top notch jiu-jitsu game. and amazing wrestling have made him one of the best fighter in the world. The only small negative about Benson Henderson is he has not finished any of his opponents since joining the UFC. He is currently scheduled to put his lightweight title on the line vs. Gilbert Melendez.

jose aldo

4. Jose Aldo- Jose Aldo is easily one of the most talented fighters in the world and the scariest thing is he is only getting better. The only way to describe his leg kicks is to say they are absolutely brutal. The amount of torque he uses when he kicks have left multiple opponents unable to walk for days. His overall striking game is arguably the best in the world. He has finished opponents with kicks, punches, knees, and elbows since becoming a professional. The power he has is unheard of for a featherweight. This along with being the most physically imposing featherweight, have lead to him becoming the UFC inaugural featherweight champion and simply outclassing former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar. Due to the huge weight cut he has to go through he will likely be moving to lightweight in a year or so. The only read flag that comes up with Jose Aldo is his cardio. But when you can finish fights in the first round like he can he rarely needs to use his full gas tank. He is will be defending his title against Anthony Pettis later in the year.

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3. Jon Jones- Jon Jones is quickly becoming the most marketable fighter the UFC has. He has completely demolished everyone the UFC has thrown his way. He has changed traditional striking by incorporating spinning elbows and unorthodox kicks into his arsenal. Jon Jones when it is all said and done may go down as the greatest Mixed Martial Artist to ever live. His striking and wrestling are world class to go along with his Jiu-Jitsu game that seems to improve every fight. Jones has showed the abilty to finish the fight anywhere whether its standing or if the fight goes to the ground. Due to his freakishly long each and his massive frame it is only a matter of time until he moves to heavyweight because being the light heavyweight champ literally seems too easy for him. The only small negatives about Jones are he lacks one punch knockout power and lack of competition. Almost all the fighters he has defended his title against were well passed their prime but they were the best that the UFC could offer Jones. He is scheduled to defend his title in April against Chael Sonnen.

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2. Georges St-Pierre- George St-Pierre like Benson Henderson, is simply the biggest strongest, fastest man in his weight class. The kind of dominance that St-Pierre has experienced while being the Welterweight champion is unbelievable. To put it in persepective, St. Pierre has only lost 1 out of the 35 rounds he has fought in since winning the belt. His wrestling is best in the world and he has some of the best technical striking the MMA world has ever seen. He holds black belts in Karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under the best trainer in the world Greg Jackson. I simply don’t see him losing in the next five years unless he fights the man that tops this list. The amazing thing about St-Pierre is he doesn’t have any weaknesses. The only thing that critics hound him for is his lack of finishing fights in recent years and has been pegged as a “safe fighter”. Some people consider dominance as finishing people but in reality isn’t it also dominating to completely pick apart an opponent and dominate him every second of a 25 minute fight? He is scheduled to fight Nick Diaz this month.

anderson silva

1.Anderson Silva- Anderson is on anther level from every other fighter on the planet. Unless a loss to St-Pierre, he will go down as the greatest fighter to step in the Octagon by the time he retires. His timing and power on all of his strikes is second to none. He is the greatest striker MMA has ever seen by a long shot. The only man that came close to beating him was Chael Sonnen, but Silva over came adversity and finshed him in the 5th round. And if that wasn’t enough he came back and knocked out Sonnen in their rematch. The way he breaks down opponents and completely humiliates them in unbelievable to watch. His chin is the best in the world and has never even received a cut or bled in the Octagon. Whether you love him or hate him you will spend the 45 bucks to watch this guy whenever he steps in the Octagon. People do not understand how good this guy is. He is better at fighting than Jordan was at basketball. He is better at fighting then Wayne Gretsky was at Hockey. It is not a reach to say he is the most dominate athlete of all time. His numerous records such as most title defenses, most UFC wins, and his countless other records don’t even begin to describe what this guy has done for the sport. His only minor weakness is his wrestling but even that continues to improve. He is currently waiting for his next fight to be announced. All hail the king.