Rabey Recommends - August 2012it's that time of the month again, Addicts. With August fast approaching, i took a look at some of the bouts taking place that damned well NEED to be seen by you guys. This list includes title bouts, womens MMA, two top prospects and the third fight in what i'm assured is the most unappreciated trilogies ever in MMA.
THE FIGHT: "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufmann - Strikeforce Womens Title
THE EVENT: Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufmann
THE TIME AND PLACE: Saturday, August 18th. San Diego, California.
WHY YOU NEED TO SEE THIS FIGHT: Well, because to many fans, the blonde badass that is Ronda Rousey has almost single handedly sparked interest in the once stale womens MMA scene. Whether it's due to her stunning looks, her line in trash talk, her association with the controversial Diaz brothers, or her now signature armbar finishing move. Fans are intigued by her, and are paying to see her whenever she fights.
Not since Gina Carano has a female caused so much interest in MMA. 25 year old Ronda Rousey (5-0) has been at this for little more than a year, but five straight first round armbar finishes coupled with killer looks and a great line in trash talk has the MMA world buzzing around this former Olympian. She may not have deserved the title shot she got against Meisha Tate, but she proved she was good enough, and now faces the woman who she stole that title shot from. I'm a huge fan of Rousey, and i'm looking forward to seeing her up against a top striker like Kaufmann.
26 year old Sarah Kaufmann (15-1) may not be the looker that Rousey is. She may not talk the trash that Rousey does. And she may not work the press circuit the way that her opponent does either. But Kaufmann is without a doubt one of the most dangerous females in MMA. Kaufmann has defeated the likes of Liz Carmouche, Alexis Davis and Meisha Tate, and will be the most dangerous opponent Rousey has faced yet. Kaufmann brings a dangerous line of striking to the cage, finishing ten opponents by way of (T)KO.
WINNER- I love Ronda Rosuey, god help me i do. Everything about her interests me and i really do hope she takes this one. That being said, Kaufmann is arguably the most dangerous female in MMA not named "Cyborg". The only was Rousey will win this is to get it to the ground, and whilst she is capable of doing just that, she has shown a tendency to eat some strikes whilst attempting those Judo throws. I think Kaufmann will catch Rousey enough to back her up, before swarming on her for the TKO finish. Let's hope i'm wrong. Kaufmann via TKO.
THE FIGHT: Justin "The American Kid" Lawrence vs. Max "Blessed" Holloway
THE EVENT: UFC 150
THE TIME AND PLACE: Saturday, August 11th. Pepsi Center, Denver Colorado.
WHY YOU NEED TO SEE THIS FIGHT: Because it features two very exciting featherweight prospects. Both these men are very young, and entered very impressive performances at The Ultimate Fighter 15 finale. One of them is only 20 years of age, the other is lucky enough to train with the almighty Blackhouse. These two definitely have enough potetnial to cause ripples in the somewhat thin 145lb division.
It's impressive just how young these fighters are getting nowadays. Guys starting out at age 20 used to be an exception, but now they are flooding through, and Holloway joins the likes of Rory MacDonald, Michael McDonald and Jon Jones in making a splash at an early age. Holloway entered the UFC on short notice, facing the highly rated Dustin Poirer at UFC 143. It was a huge step up in quality for Holloway, and one that was taken far too soon in my opinion. It was his bout with Pat Schilling at the TUF 15 Finale that really caught my eye, as Holloway showed a great variety of striking, completely outclassing his opponent on the way to a decision. The performance immediately put him on my "watch list" for the foreseeable future.
22 year old Justin Lawrence may have not quite lived up to expectation during TUF 15, but he certainly made a huge name for himself with his spectacular headkick knockout over John Cofer at the TUF 15 finale. What makes Lawrence such an interesting prospect is that he trains with the likes of Anderson Silva, Junior dos Santos, Lyoto Machida and the Nogueira brothers at the champion factory that is Blackhouse. Soaking up the knowledge and techniques these legends have to offer must be an amazing learning experience for such a young fighter. It remains to be seen whether he can mould himself into that kind of fighter, but if he can, the 145lb division is on notice!
Winner - It's tough to call this fight after seeing so little of both men in action. Lawrence seems to be the finisher of the two. Yet whilst Holloway doesn't seem to have the power, his striking so far has looked crisp and clean. I don't think he'll end the fight, but i'll take Holloway via entertaining decision.
THE FIGHT: Pat Curran vs. Patricio "Pitbull" Friere
THE EVENT: Bellator 73
THE TIME AND PLACE: Saturday, August 24th, 2012. Harrah's Tunica Hotel and Casino, Tunica Mississippi.
WHY YOU NEED TO SEE THIS FIGHT: Because this fight features two of the most promising young fighters around...and neither of them belongs to the UFC or Strikeforce. In one corner we have a hungry, vicious little Brazilian in the same mould as Jose Aldo/Renan Barao. In the other corner is one of the most unappreciated and under-rated fighters in the lower weight classes. Not to mention there is the small matter of the Bellator featherweight title being on the line.
For any football (real football, not that American stuff) fans reading this, 24 year old Pat Curran (17-4) is pretty much like the Dennis Irwin of the MMA world. Curran won't be setting the world alight with his performances, when people look at Bellator, Curran is not the guy put forward as the face of the promotion. But what Curran does do, is move along, putting on great performances, is versatile, and goes about his business whilst staying out the lime light and with minimum fuss. The man has won both the Bellator Lightweight and Featherweight tournaments, and in his last bout, relieved Joe Warren of the Bellator 145lb title. Curran will be looking to continue a run of fights that has seen him defeat the likes of Marlon Sandro and Ronnie Mann.
Like i stated earlier. Patricio Friere (17-1) is one of "those" fighters. Brazil seems to have a conveyor belt of talent that rolls out year after year, with Jose Aldo and Renan Barao being two notable standouts. The 25 year old brings high energy, plenty of aggression, vicious striking and a dangerous submission game. The only loss of Friere's career was a highly debated split decision to Joe Warren in the last Bellator featherweight tournament final. The Team Nogueira standout is a spectacular fighter, and will be looking to really put himself on the map with a big showing and a title around his waist come the end of the fight.
WINNER- Damned tough fight to call here, Addicts. Both men possess knockout power and slick grappling. Both men have similar experience, and are used to fighting in front of the Bellator crowd. I think Curran will bring a slight advantage, having fought slightly better competition, and having gone the five championship rounds in the past. That being said, i'm taking "Pitbull" for the win with a TKO victory in either the second or third round.
THE FIGHT: Benson "Smooth" Henderson vs. Frankie "The Answer" Edgar II - UFC Lightweight Title Match
THE EVENT: UFC 150
THE TIME AND PLACE: Saturday, August 11th, 2012. Pepsi Center, Denver Colorado.
WHY YOU NEED TO SEE THIS FIGHT: Originally i was not going to include this fight. But with UFC 149 being such a stinking PPV, this bout seems to be the perfect fight to remind us all why we love the sport of MMA so much. This is a rematch of what was a great back and forth title fight which headlined UFC 144 in Japan. The fight was closer than the judges scores suggested, which is half the reason we get to see Henderson and Edgar do it again.
28 year old Benson "Smooth" Henderson (16-2) is one of the former WEC fighters who has come over to UFC and flourished. He wasted no time in his rise up the rankings, taking out extremely tough veterans Jim Miller and Clay Guida in order to secure his title shot. Bendo is one of the new breed of all rounders currently making waves in MMA, strong in pretty much all areas of the sport....a tough chin and excellent submission defence being notable attributes. The man with the "Razor Ramon" toothpick (man that's getting old fast) has a host of challengers lining up, and a second win over Frankie Edgar would secure his place at the top of the rankings, and increase the size of the target on his back.
This could well be the last time we see Frankie "The Answer" Edgar (14-2-1) compete in the UFC's 155lb division. The little scrapper from New Jersey has been a reliable and entertaining force in the light heavyweight division. The guy has had close fights with BJ Penn, Gray Maynard and Benson Henderson. Fact is, the guy has never really been overwhelmed in a fight, and his tenacity and heart have been wonderful to see. But a loss to Henderson would see him out of the title mix as long as the belt stays in the same hands. Not to mention a drop 145lbs has been called for by UFC president Dana White, and a title fight with Jose Aldo is a mouth watering prospect. I'm not usually a fan of rematches, but if anyone in the UFC deserves one for there own benefit, then it's Edgar.
WINNER - On first viewing, i felt Edgar had done enough to earn the decision over Bendo. Watched again, i can see how Bendo got the win. Either way, i expect a similar closely contested bout between the two. I don't think we will see a finish, but i will go for the upset here, and take Edgar to earn the decision.
**Since i am a generous and giving kind of Addict, i have allowed fellow AddictedMMA owner Steve Wickett to include a fight that he has been salivating about for a long time. Enjoy this contribution from the face of Cornish MMA**
THE FIGHT: Lee Caers vs. Ben Constantine III
THE EVENT: Ultimate Impact Cage Fighting 8: Caers vs. Constantine "Unfinished Business"
THE TIME AND PLACE: August 4th 2012, Cheltenham, United Kingdom
WHY YOU NEED TO SEE THIS FIGHT: If you've seen the first two fights between these two then I really don't have to tell you why you need to be in Cheltenham this Saturday. If you haven't then get yourself down to this one as it promises to be yet another fight of the year contender.
Last October Ben Constantine took the first fight via a close decision, it was unanimous but boy was it razor thin. It was without doubt the most exciting fight I have ever seen, it was my first ever UIC event and I'm forever grateful to the UIC team for inviting along to the event that evening. Given how close the first fight was, not to mention how exciting it was, a rematch was set for February this year, this time it was Caers who came out on top in another thriller. After a back and forth battle Caers got Tino's back in the third and sunk in a fight ending rear-naked choke. This time the inaugural UIC Welterweight Title is on the line, so if the first two were exciting I can honestly say this one will be off the hook. This might (and probably will be) the last time these two men share a cage together so don't deprive yourself of something I believe every MMA fan needs to see and that's a tear up between Lee Caers and Ben Constantine.
Lee Caers (7-2) has won four of his last five bouts since December 2011, stopping all four of his opponent's en-route to victory. His knockout of Milan Tomes in May was one of the most brutal I've ever seen, a swift kick to the head and it was goodnight Vienna for the unconscious Tomes. Two weeks later Lee invaded Kent to appear on Killacam's card where he stopped local favourite Matt Robinson via another savage beatdown to have his hand raised at 4:40 of the first round. Without a doubt one of the most exciting fighters that I have ever seen Caers is a reason to watch any card that he appears on. If he can capture the belt on Saturday then the Cornish lads in Cheltenham will raise the roof.
Ben Constantine (5-2) is a hulk of a man with freakish power, so much so Ben's head coach at Trojan Free Fighters, Paul Sutherland told me that Ben is probably "pound for pound" the strongest man in the gym! When I watch Constantine in action it's like a mix of a young Matt Hughes and a heavy hitting Ryan Bader, he mixes up incredible takedowns with one punch KO power that can instantly change the course of a fight. I know for a fact that Ben has been training harder than ever before for this one so this weekend we could, and probably will, see the best Ben Constantine ever!
Winner: Well how the hell do you expect me to call this one? I see this going all the way, it's got "five round war" written all over it with the fight going up and down and both men standing and trading in unbelievable exchanges. I'm calling this a split decision for one or the other, I'm sitting on the fence here so flip a coin, tails it's "Caersy", heads it's "Tino" it really is that close. The real winner will be the fans in attendance at Cheltenham's Recreation Centre this weekend.
Published by Lee Rabey - Sun, 29 Jul 2012 21:14