Check out my latest article for the UFC!
It’s called Grand Slams and highlights ten of the most epic, impressive feats of strength displayed in the Octagon. Surprisingly, when compiling the list we found that 4 of the 10 are fighting on this weekend’s card (UFC 123, Saturday November 20th @ 10:00pm).
In addition to highlights and videos of slams from four of this weekend’s participants – Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Matt Hughes, Gerald Harris, and Tim Boetsch – we also highlight slams that were not impressive so much as important and literally changed the landscape of MMA.
From the article:
American wrestlers have dominated the MMA landscape in almost every weight class, but in the early days it was Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that ruled the day and was thought to be the predominant form for the sport.That changed when Dan Severn made his debut.
To read more, check out Grand Slams: The Greatest Slams in UFC History by yours truly.
You can also purchase a lot of the classic fights mentioned for only $2 each, many of which are classics going out of your way to see. And the classic Maynard/Emerson double-knockout is actually a FREE download (courtesy TheUltimateFighter.com) that’s worth going out of your way to see.
After the jump: my picks for UFC 123, broadcast live on pay-per-view from the Palace of Auburn Hills and showing at various locations throughout the area (including Jillian’s on North Pearl St. in Albany).
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Lyoto Machida
Prediction: Jackson via TKO (R2)
It’s amazing to me that anybody’s able to hazard a guess as to the result of this fight. There’s so many questions: is Rampage 100% mentally into the fight game, and has Machida recovered psychologically from the first loss of his career, a quick and decisive TKO stoppage courtesy Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (really two straight losses since Rua/Machida II should have gone to his opponent)? I’m not sure in either case. I do know this, though: the mystique of Machida was much of what kept fighters either sloppy or tentative around him, which played right into his style. Somebody going at him full strength with the experience and strong chin of Jackson is going to give him a lot of trouble, and I’m surprised that’s not reflected in the odds. Sure, he didn’t look great against Evans, but Machida looked much worse against a fighter people thought was washed up over a year ago.
Matt Hughes vs. BJ Penn
Prediction: Hughes via Unanimous Decision
BJ Penn will go down in history as one of – if not the – greatest lightweights in MMA history. He’s determined to cement his status as both a Lightweight and Welterweight, and a win here will go a long way towards the latter. It’s a weight class he’s no stranger to as a former champion, but in recent years he’s found a lot of trouble overcoming the size differential that comes with the move up in weight. The fact that he’s going into the fight at 165 (note: Welterweight in MMA is 156-170) and is facing a fighter who specializes in Penn’s primary weakness (wrestling) has me doubting he’ll come out of this on top.
Gerald Harris vs. Miquael Falcao
Prediction: Harris via TKO, R2
As a Brazilian fighter that’s a relative unknown stateside, Falcao is tough to judge. Harris, on the other hand, has been on an absolute tear since getting his shot at redemption in the UFC, dominating everyone matchmaker Joe Silva has thrown at him. I don’t expect this to be much different.
Phil Davis vs. Tim Boetsch
Prediction: Phil Davis via Unanimous Decision
Davis, an undefeated prospect, is moving up in competition by facing Boetsch. I have no doubt he’ll succeed, but he should be careful: Boetsch is a bigger and more dangerous fighter than he’s accustomed to facing.
George Sotiropoulos vs. Joe Lauzon
Prediction: Sotiropoulos via Unanimous Decision
Two years ago Lauzon was where Sotiropoulos is now in the UFC Lightweight food chain, but he got derailed by an injury that shelved him for almost a full calendar year. Sotiropoulos, meanwhile, has looked impressive in his recent victories and there’s talk of a title shot in the near future should he defeat Lauzon. I expect Sotiropoulos’s superior grappling to overwhelm Lauzon.