Sup folks. Happy New Year. Hope you have washed that smell off your penis, and brushed your teeth. What better way to spend a day recovering and regret, then by watching kickass MMA! We got a above average card with a bunch of fun fights that should make for a fun night of scraps. As always, I got Pasty But Powerful AKA Cruelty with me, we got picks and Year End Awards? SHHHIT, let’s double dip! You know the rules. I’m italics, Cruelty isnt, let’s go.
Antonio McKee over Jacob Volkmann – Round 1 KO (jk) Round 3 JD
Antonio McKee intends to do his thing. He’s going to outwrestle Volkmann, hold him down, and win a boring decision. He likes to do this thing where he controls the farside wrist under his opponents body so he can land undefended punches. MMA has a silly name for it but I can’t remember right now… but it’s cool. If he doesn’t get that though, this is going to be a slow one. If Zuffa was smart they would plant some escorts in the crowd to flash their tits during this fight so the audience is distracted. Later, Antonio McKee will fight a better wrestler and be immediately cut.
Antonio McKee over Jacob Volkmann – JD
I have seen very few Mckee fights, but know he has made a name for himself by talking mad shit on the internet. The usual “I’m soo much better than everyone” type shit. Looking over his record, he’s done a decent job on the lower circuit, so let’s see what this cat really has. Volkmann must be upset that he was not able to get his “Christmas” gimmick over before Christmas, and must be fueled to kill after this. I think McKee stuffs Volkmann’s great takedowns and does enough to grab a JD.
Greg Soto over Daniel Roberts – Round 3 JD
I thought pretty highly of Slick Nick Osipczak coming out of TUF, and Soto completely manhandled him. His wrestling and defensive jiu-jitsu will be tested again by Daniel Roberts, who is supposed to be the next big thing out of Cesar Gracie’s camp. Roberts has a bunch of top-position submission wins but I think he’ll be in guard most of this fight, and I can’t see him catching Soto. If this is a close decision, I hope the fucking Diaz brothers don’t start a riot in the cage because Soto trains in Jersey and we don’t really need to see stoner Mexicans fight guidos in skin-tight dragon t-shirts. Race wars should not break out near the holidays, they’re such a buzzkill.
Daniel Roberts over Greg Soto – TKO Rd 2
Roberts is a black guy with the nickname “Ninja.” I refuse to laugh at this because he trains with the Cesar Gracie camp, so he probably earned this nickname by getting his ass handed to him by the Diaz Bros. daily. Soto trains with Pellegrino MMA, so I wonder if this ends up being a technical mat war. I take Roberts, who has some pretty heavy hands, G & P’ing Soto out late in round two.
Ginger Mike Brown over Diego Nunes – Round 3 JD
This is the first featherweight fight on a UFC PPV and it’s not on the main card? Well, I don’t think it’s going to be the dynamic fast-paced fight that you hope to present for the lighter weight-classes anyway, so maybe they should bury it a little bit just in case. Both guys are heavy-handed wrestlers who are willing to work really hard in the clinch to get a takedown, and I could see a majority of this fight looking like a short guy hug session against the cage wall. Whoever is on top longer will win, and I’m picking Brown because I question Nunes’ cadio. What I don’t question, however, is his crazy 1990s tribal tattoos. Someone should bring THAT style back because that shit was awesome.
Mike Brown over Diego Nunes – JD
WOO HOO SOME 145ERS!! Remember when everyone was on Brown’s nuts because he beat Faber twice? Then Jose Aldo happened. Brown is still a great 145er, but he’s going to have to string together a nice win streak if he wants another crack at that title. Nunes is also a WEC alum, but I’m not really impressed with any of the wins on his record, and unless he catches Brown with some BJJ, he’s going to get outworked.
Brad Tavares over Phil “The MMA Situation” Baroni – Round 3 JD
Baroni is here because Zuffa didn’t want him to fight for Strikeforce, and/or because they’re hoping to cash in on the popularity of Jersey Shore just about a year too late. He’s not good anymore. He was never very good in the first place. In this fight he will be facing someone who is also not very good. Brad is a little too willing to brawl for his own good, but he’s a decent grappler and Baroni really never bothered to learn anything beyond his mediocre wrestling from college. So long as Brad is smart enough to take this to the ground, he’ll threaten with subs and pitter-patter punch a decision win.
Brad Tavares over Phil Baroni – KO Rd 3
I fucking LOVE this fight, but man I really dont like the idea of seeing Baroni get his ass kicked AGAIN. Baroni really reminds me of The Ram from that flick The Wrestler. C’mon, HES THE NEW YORK BAD ASS ROLLING OUT IN FLAIR ROBES!! He’s been fighting for so long, and been on top in two different orgs in two different countries, and you see YouTube videos of the guy driving to the gym in a raggedy ass Jetta. It’s fucking scary and pathetic and I worry for the guy. I think Dana brought him in as a favor just to give the guy some solid pay days before he bows out. And Tavares is a fucking blue chip stud, he showed this on TUF. I think Tavares picks him apart, Baroni gasses (again) and Tavares knocks him out. I won’t be surprised if there’s a moment where Baroni gives the Tavares the FINISH ME look. *Tears*
Grispi over Dustin Poirier – Round 1 Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
Poirier reminds me of Mike Swick before he became a grappler. Dustin comes with volume of punches that are straight-ish and powerful-ish. Grispi, however, has faced some good strikers and finished them. Grispi is the real deal and I expect him to impress here. He has just as much power as Poirier and he’s a grappler with a great squeeze. Grispi will get this fight to the ground and catch a choke when Dustin tries to scramble away from strikes.
Josh Grispi over Dustin Poirier – Sub Rd 1
Grispi was supposed to fight Aldo, and it would of made for a interesting fight because Grispi has crazy subs. Poirier will spend majority of the fight defending submission attempts. Grispi catches him late in the first.
Jeremy Stevens over Marcus Davis – Round 1 TKO
Speaking of the 1990s, Marcus Davis uses “Jump Around” as his entrance music. Will Jeremy Steven’s come out to Onyx to complete the time travel warp experience? I’m going to hit you with a fight cliché: This is a sport where athletes get old overnight. Marcus Davis seems to have hit that wall, and it’s a shame because his grappling game was really coming along and complimenting his boxing. Stevens is still raw, but he is younger and still has a decent enough chin to survive in some exchanges. He has a bunch of wild power and I see him catching Davis with something that finishes the fight.
Marcus Davis over Jeremy Stephens – KO Rd 1
Crossroads fight for Davis right here. He’s clearly gatekeeper level, and after Diaz crushed him, I wonder if he needs this to stick around the UFC. Stephens likes to engage, and Davis should be able to land that big right hand eventually. If this hits the mat it favors Stephens, but I don’t think it does.
Clay Guida over Takanori Gomi – Round 3 JD
This is an awesome fight, and a tough one to pick because it’s hard to know what Gomi’s gameplan will be. He’s actually a good wrestler, and dominated Shooto with ground and pound. Since he developed his boxing he has completely forgotten that, and his defensive wrestling hasn’t been great. Gomi has the ability to win this fight, but I think he’ll blow it. Guida will make this a typical Clay Guida fight and win with takedowns, some damage, and general hairy aggressiveness. Until Gomi starts training with some people who will push him and gameplan for him, he will lose to every decent grappler he faces.
Takanori Gomi over Clay Guida – KO Rd 1
I know this fight has THE INTERNET GOIN NUTZ and rightfully so. Guida brings it and is always fun to watch, and Gomi gives all JMMA Pride nut huggers (like me) a chance to get our nostalgia on. This IMO is a perfect match up for Gomi. Guida fights with his hands low, and comes straight forward. Gomi is going to be able to let his power punches go, and if Guida uses that aggressive shoot Gomi will knee him to sleep. I’m interested in seeing if Guida’s new camp makes any difference, but it may be too soon to tell.
Dong Hyun Kim over Nate Diaz – Round 3 JD
I’m still not convinced that Nate Diaz is big enough to fight at 170. Kim is a huge 170 and I think he’s going to smother Nate and pound him. Nate has a dangerous guard, but he won’t be able to sneak his legs up to attack this time.
Nate Diaz over Dong Hyun Kim – Sub Rd 3
This is a really awesome fight as well. I almost want to go with Stun Gun here, but then my MEXICAN POWER complete and total fanboy Diaz love kicks in, and I think “Diaz aint never scared homie.” This fight could be really fun standing because Kim throws great straight punches, and that could really offset Diaz looping hooks southpaw stance. Stun Gun Kim is really under the radar and if he can get a win here he’s in the mix at 170. I think he tries to use wrestling to just grind out a JD, and gets caught eventually by Diaz, probably a triangle since that’s one of his best finishers. Bet he calls out GSP if he wins. NEVER SCARED HOMIE.
Brandon Vera over Thiago Silva – Round 3 TKO
While we’re talking about guys with potential and early accomplishment and later disappoint, hey it’s Brandon Vera! With the skills he has, Vera should be a top fighter at 205 and instead he’s probably in danger of getting cut from the roster. Maybe this is finally the fight where Vera gets it together, because this is a good match-up in terms of being a fairly high profile but winnable fight. Silva will be the inferior striker, and he won’t be able to take Vera down. A couple rounds of leg-kicks and short combinations will pile up, and Silva will gas trying to get takedowns from the clinch with an elite Greco-Roman wrestler.
Thiago Silva over Brandon Vera – KO Rd 1
So this is 3 really fun fights in a row, at least on paper. This should be a stand up brawl. Silva has problems with superior grapplers, and Vera does have a chance to smother Silva and grab a JD, but I think Vera wants to trade and prove he’s still a factor at 205. That’s not going to end well for him. Silva hits too hard. Vera gets put down with heavy punches from Silva, and Vera goes away for a while.
Chris Leben over Brian Stann – Round 1 KO
Leben has been on a roll, so I think he’ll rise to the occasion and finish Stann early. Stann is certainly the more athletic and slick striker, but Leben has killer power in his left hand and he won’t need to land too many. Greg Jackson has been working with Stann but you can’t train a guy to eat big punches.
Chris Leben over Brian Stann – KO Rd 1
I honestly think this fight is a total mismatch. Stann is going to trade with Leben, and I want to give him a solid chance there because he’s a giant 185er, but we’ve seen guys try time and time again to trade with Chris, and he smashes them all, well sans the one named Anderson. We’ve seen Stann overmatched before and it never ends well for him. Give Stann a solid year with Greg Jackson and I think we can really see what type of fighter he can be. But yeah, Leben rolls him.
Frankie Edgar over Gray Maynard – Round 5 JD
This is a great culmination of a night that is truly Jerseylicious. If they brought family, friends, and fans the arena probably smells like salami and Cool Water. This fight is a rematch that gives Frankie a chance to avenge his only loss. In their first fight, Maynard was able to close the distance and dominate Edgar with his size and strength. Since then, Edgar’s footwork has improved significantly. I expect Edgar to move in and out, just like he did with Penn, and avoid Maynards power. Maynard has to know that will be his plan, and I’m curious to see what he thinks he can do about it. Penn couldn’t figure it out and don’t believe Gray will either.
Frankie Edgar over Gray Maynard – JD
So let’s be honest with ourselves here folks. This is probably going to be a boring fight. If Gray wins, it will be him smothering Frankie for 5 rounds, and if Frankie wins, it will probably be because he uses slick footwork and peppering punches and avoids takedowns for 5 rounds. Either way people will litter up MMA forums with either “OMG GRAY WINS VIA BORING BLANKET” or “EDGAR FIGHTS ARE BORING BECAUSE HE RUNS” threads. Well guess what? Showtime Pettis fights the winner. And he’s going to be throwing ninja kicks. So calm the fuck down. I think Edgar has evolved more since the last time they fought, and that will be the difference. That and his crazy footwork and striking.
~YEAR END MMA AWARDS THAT MATTER MORE BECAUSE WE WROTE THEM~
Fight of the Year (and Finish of the Year): Silva-Sonnen — Anderson Silva catches Chael Sonnen with a choke after 4 rounds of domination
Watching a pound-for-pound great get his ass kicked for 4 rounds felt crazy. On some level I knew that a good wrestler could blanket ASilva and possibly decision him, but that didn’t really prepare me to watch it happen for 22 minutes. Anderson is just a winner and we saw his greatness in that fight. He stayed calm and took his beating until he spotted the opening he needed. There were fights that were more back and forth, but the build up and the magnitude of this one did it for me.
Fight of the Year – Showtime Pettis over Ben Henderson – WEC Finale
I almost leaned Misaki-Santiago because it was so brutal, but Pettis-Henderson was off the fucking chains. Back and forth fight with amazing sub attempts and escapes, great stand up exchanges, and the greatest kick you may possibly ever see land in a fight, which was the deciding factor in a fight that you needed 25 full minutes of before you could declare a clear winner. Cap it off with it being the last fight of one of my personal favorite orgs of all time, and it’s impossible for me to pick against.
Fighter of the Year: Cain Valasquez
I’ll grant you that Minotauro is old and semi-busted these days, but he’s a former champion and Cain ran him over. Following a marketing campaign that built on his popularity, Cain then went on to destroy Brock Lesnar. There are other fighters with 3 quality wins, but I think these 2 wins trump them because of the gravity of the moment when these fights ended. He skyrocketed to stardom, and he deserves it.
Fighter of the Year – Cain Velasquez
He beat one of the best ever, and the next big thing, with EASE. He crushed Big Nog in a manner we had never seen, and he beat Brock so badly that dude is considering never fighting again. He Fedor’d them, and Fedor isn’t even Fedor’ing anyone anymore. It’s going to be a tough 2011 for Cain with him missing majority of it while great HW’s like JdS, Werdum, Fedor and Overheem fight, but 2010 was his year no doubt.
Camp of the Year: Jackon-Winkeljohn MMA
GSP is the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Rashad Evans had a great year, and prodigal retard son Diego Sanchez went back to training with Greg and looked really good against Paulo Thiago. He continues to develop prospects like Jon Jones and Cowboy Cerrone. Remember too that Grudge Training Center is affiliated with this camp, and Grudge burst onto the scene in 2010. There’s no better gameplanner than Greg Jackson, and now he’s got two camps full of badasses for his fighters to roll and spar with.
Camp of the Year – Cesar Gracie JJ
If you look at his four top students, Melendez, Shields, and the Diaz Bros., he has put together a incredible stable of young guys that will dominate two different orgs. Between those four I think the only one who lost in 2010 was Nate. If Shields beats GSP folks will have to recognize Cesar Gracie as one of the top teams in all of MMA.
Weight Class of the Year: Heavyweight
For all but the last few years of his career, Michael Jordan was the best player in the NBA, and won numerous games for the Bulls almost singlehandedly. However, he did not win the MVP every year. Why? Fuck I think the voters just started taking him for granted. The weight class of the year should probably be lightweight or welterweight every year. Maybe in the future featherweight will move into that territory, too. We know that guys in these three weight-classes are awesome athletes competing in a deep talent pool. LHW probably had the most main-events and biggest stars, but in terms of quality of fights… LW and WW carry MMA cards. For YEARS the Heavyweight division was a fucking embarassment to the sport and it was tough to come up with insight and analysis for the readers here when I knew the fighters had limited skill and even more limited cardio. Watching two fat guys huff and puff is only interesting to gay dudes looking at bear porn. In 2010, the weightclass came on and actually produced big fights. Big fights with interesting questions to be answered. Guys like Brock Lesnar, Cain Valasquez, Alistair Overeem are actually exciting to watch. There are actual prospects now. Guys like Matt Mitrione, Brendan Schaub, and Roy Nelson came off TUF last year, and this year we’ve watched their stars rise.
Weight Class of the Year – Lightweight
The fights, the P4P rankings, and three different orgs were off the chain at 155 this year. We had the emergence of Frankie Edgar who beat the unbeatable BJ Penn TWICE. We had (on paper at least) a mega fight between two different orgs champs in Melendez vs. Aoki. We had two of the “Breakout Fighters of the Year” ballot guys with Pettis and Edgar. We had numerous “Aoki/BJ/Edgar/Henderson/Pettis is the top 155er P4P” arguments. And now with the merger we will see a huge shift in great fighters in the UFC in the next year.
Comeback Fighter of the Year: Chris Leben
Maybe he’s just top of mind because he’s on this card and I’m picking him to win, but Leben has really turned his career around in 2010. I honestly believed that the sport had passed him by, and his weightclass had improved to the point where they didn’t need a fighter like him anymore. He matured, improved his grappling game, and found his confidence again. I don’t think he’ll make a title run exactly but one year ago I thought he was a joke. Now I just hope that this asshole doesn’t lose to Stann and shit on this award.
Comeback Fighter of the Year – Fabricio Werdum
We left this kid for dead after his KO loss to JdS. Banished to StrikeForce, his fight was a snoozefest with Bigfoot Silva. And when he was matched up with the mighty untouchable unfuckwithable Fedor, we all laughed and placed bets on how many minutes it would take for Fedor to dispose of him, and we complained that he had no business being in the same cage with Fedor. NOBODY PICKED WERDUM TO WIN. NOT ONE PERSON. And he fucked around and tapped out the greatest Heavyweight of all time, with fucking EASE. We all spent that night floored wither staring at your bros or your computer screen for the next few hours with NOTHING to do but shake your head. For this reason, he deserves the Comeback Fighter of the Year.
Writer of the Year: JAV
This year in MMA was dominated by light brown men, so its obvious that the JAV’s mexcellence must be recognized. What other MMA writer has been able to deliver humor and analysis at such a high level while so high? I don’t think there’s a more unpredictable sport, and JAV has been solid this year making his picks. Throw in some dick jokes and ALL CAPS silliness, and you have a guy who is a pleasure to read when you’re gearing up for a night of fights.
Writer of the Year – Cruelty
Every year I thank a lucky shooting star that some major website hasn’t taken Cruelty from me yet. This man has wrecked shit with me now for over 5 years, and without a doubt this was his best year ever. His ability to mix great fight break downs with LOLZ killed me all year. I can’t think of another MMA writer that made me honest to god laugh out loud in front of my computer screen. There were so many times after posting I would go back and read Cruelty’s portion and say to myself, next post I need to step my game up. I want to take this moment to thank him for rolling with me for yet another year, and will HAXOR any website who tries to steal him from us.
There it is. Enjoy the fights, and Happy New Year. Bitches.