MMA World Rankings

MMA World Rankings

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HVY – Fedor Emelianenko [1] vs. Tim Sylvia [5]

Fedor Emelianenko (27-1) is the best fighter, pound for pound, in MMA. He fights out of Red Devil Sports Club in Russia. He is extremely quick for a heavyweight, his balance is extraordinary and he has the best ground-and-pound game in MMA, by far. His only loss was due to a cut that occurred 17 seconds into his match against Tsuyoshi Kohsaka. Other than that, he has been flawless. Tim Sylvia (24-4) is a world-class striker fighting out of the Miletich Fighting System. His only losses have come to top level competition: Rodrigo Nogueira [2], Randy Couture [3], Andrei Arlovski [6] and Frank Mir [18]. His biggest tools are his height and reach. As good as Sylvia is, Fedor is in a class by himself. I think he can beat Tim standing or can take him down with judo throws. The only chance Sylvia has is to wear Fedor down by preventing the takedowns and then catch him late in the fight with a right cross or a head kick. That is a very slim chance.

HVY – Josh Barnett [4] vs. Pedro Rizzo [15]

This fight is a rematch of a fight that Rizzo won by KO in 2001. Josh Barnett (22-5) is one of the best grapplers in the heavyweight division and has some of the best leg-locks in all of MMA. He is extremely strong and usually comes up with intelligent gameplans. Pedro Rizzo (16-7) is a striker with some of the best leg kicks in the history of MMA. The problem is, he was at his best around 7 years ago. He is now fighting to show that he hasn’t past his prime. I think Barnett will smother Rizzo and get the clinch-takedown. He may attempt a footlock or do some ground and pound. If Rizzo wears him down, he has a good puncher’s chance of winning. Barnett is too smart to let Rizzo fight the same fight he did 7 years ago. He will most likely win a decision.

HVY – Andre Arlovski [6] vs. Ben Rothwell [23]

Andrei Arlovski (12-5) is lighting quick for a heavyweight and has great speed and power in his strikes. He also possesses great foot-lock submissions. He has only lost to one man in the last 6 years: Tim Sylvia…twice. He was too tall for Andrei and he prevented the takedown attempts. Ben Rothwell (29-5) fights out of the Miletich Fighting Systems. He is an aggressive striker riding a 13-fight winning streak. He hasn’t beaten an elite fighter yet (Ricco Rodriguez was past his prime.) I think he will be overwhelmed by Andrei’s speed and accuracy. This fight should end early and brutally from Andrei’s strikes. There is a wild card, however. Miletich trained Sylvia for Arlovski and knows him better than anyone. He may come up with a gameplan for Ben to neutralize Arlovski. We will see.

205 lbs. – Renato Sobral [15] vs. Mike Whitehead [26]

Renato Sobral (29-7) is one of the most well-rounded fighters in MMA. He is a very good wrestler, has good submissions and can strike. He has been in the cage with the best in the sport and knows what it takes to win. Mike Whitehead (20-5) is a strong wrestler on a 12-fight win streak. He has yet to beat an elite fighter (Mark Kerr was far past his prime.) Sobral is way more experienced than Mike and will show him stuff he hasn’t seen in the ring yet. He should be able to lock in a submission or finish Mike with strikes.

185 lbs. – Matt Lindland [5] vs. Fabio Negao

Matt Lindland (20-5) is an Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestiling. He is one of the most talented fighters in the sport, but he has had a hard time finding quality opponents since being unofficially blacklisted by the UFC. Fabio Negao (8-3) is coming off a 1st round submission loss to the hot UFC-prospect Rousimar Palhares [45] in December. Lindland will impose his will and get a relatively easy victory. He has underrated striking and submission skills that he may utilize to get the stoppage.

HVY – Aleksander Emelianenko [13] vs. Paul Buentello [25]

Aleksander Emelianenko (13-3) is tremendously quick for his size and has very quick hands. He has great balance and grappling control. Paul Buentello (25-10) also has very quick hands and great takedown defense. This is a great matchup. Of the 51 fights between them, only 3 have gone the distance. The difference will be Aleksander’s quickness. He can control the punching range better. He will pepper Paul standing and if it gets to hot for him, he will get the takedown.

185 lbs. – Vitor Belfort [NR] vs. Terry Martin [42]

Vitor Belfort (16-8] has all the physical tools to be champion but he has always lacked the mental focus that is also needed. When he is on, he can strike with the best of them and grapple with the best of them. When he is off, he just sits back and let’s his opponent dictate the fight. Terry Martin (17-4) has some of the heaviest hands in the division. He can KO anyone at anytime if given the opportunity. Vitor won’t give him that opportunity. If he is mentally prepared, he will overwhelm him with punching speed. If he is cautious, Martin can land a bomb that will end things. There are just too many ways for Belfort to win, however. He will get the KO standing.

145 lbs. – Savant Young [17] vs. Mark Hominick [25]

Savant Young (9-7) is coming off the biggest win of his career–a unanimous decision over Takeshi Inoue [18] in May. That was his first fight at Featherweight. He had been fighting bigger fighters his whole career up to that point (he holds a victory over 185 lb. contender Kenall Grove!) Mark Hominick (15-8] is a world-class striker from Canada. He is susceptible to the choke though (4 of his losses have come by it.) Both guys are primarily strikers and Hominick is the better striker. I think he will catch Savant standing and end the fight by TKO.

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July 15, 2008 - Posted by | MMA Analysis | , ,

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