MMA World Rankings

MMA World Rankings

UFC 88 Preview

205 lbs. – Chuck Liddell [4] vs. Rashad Evans [15]

Chuck Liddell (21-5) should win this fight because he is the more skilled fighter. The 2 ways in which Evans (11-0-1)  can overcome that are by using his intelligence and/or his KO power. He can either execute the perfect gamelan for 3 rounds like his training partner Keith Jardine [8] did last year or he can catch Chuck with a well-placed strike for the KO. I think Liddell will pick apart Evans until he eventually gets the TKO or KO victory.

205 lbs. – Rich Franklin [NR] vs. Matt Hamill [23]

In Franklin’s (23-3) return bout at Light-Heavyweight, he must keep Matt Hamill (4-1) from grounding and pounding him. Franklin is the better striker and is the quicker fighter. He is also one of the smartest fighters in the sport. Hamill, on the other hand, has one of the best ground and pound games in the sport. He doens’t have the KO power or the technique to catch Franklin when they’re on their feet, so he must get the fight to the ground to have any shot at winning. I just think there are too many ways for Franklin to win this fight. He is hungry to reclaim his spot as one of the elite fighters in MMA. Franklin by TKO in round 2 or 3.

170 lbs. – Karo Parisyan [8] vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida [17] [Cancelled due to an Injury to Karo]

Yoshida (10-2) needs a breakthrough win in order to make a name for himself. Karo (18-5) needs a win to bounce back from a devastating KO loss at the hands of Thiago Alves [2]. Both guys are world class in Judo. Both guys are extremely tough and both are hungry for victory. This has the potential to be one of the better fights of the year. It’s a toss up. My guess is that Yoshida will get a hard fought decision victory.

185 lbs. – Dan Henderson [3] vs. Rousimar Palhares [46]

This is a nightmare matchup for Rousimar (8-1). I don’t know why the UFC would sacrifice one of their bright prospects to what looks like a sure loss. Palhares has world-class submission ability and has the skills to be a top 20 fighter. The only problem is, he’s going to have to get Henderson (22-7) to the mat to execute those skills. I don’t see that happening. Henderson is a world-class wrestler and has beaten some of the legends of the sport like Wanderlei Silva and Rodrigo Nogueira. This looks like a mismatch to me. Hendo by 1st round TKO.

185 lbs. – Nathan Marquardt [7] vs. Martin Kampmann [16]

This is an excellent matchup. Both guys are skilled in all areas and both have the heart of a champion. The one thing that may seperate them is Marquardt’s (26-8-2) strength. I think he is stronger than Kampmann (16-2). Neither fighter has KO power but Kampmann is the more technically sound striker. Marquardt may have a slight edge in wrestling and submissions. The fight will most likely go to a decision. I give the very slight edge to Marquardt. I wouldn’t be money on it though.

155 lbs. – Kurt Pellegrino [36] vs. Thiago Tavares [42]

This should be a very competitive fight. Both fighters have elite level skills but they differ in one area. Kurt (11-4) has shown a lot more toughness and determination. Thiago (13-2) has all the skills to be a great fighter but he may lack a champion’s heart. He reminds me of Vitor Belfort. He underacheives. If he does come out blazing, we could have a fight of the night. I would put my money on Kurt though. He always brings his A-game and I think he will out-tough Thiago.

170 lbs. – Dong Hyun Kim [47] vs. Matt Brown

Matt Brown (7-6) is a tough-as-nails brawler. Dong Hyun Kim (10-0-1) is a giant Welterweight with a tremendous ground-and-pound game. Kim appears to have the talent to be a legit contender but he has not beaten an elite fighter yet. Beating Matt Brown would put him one step closer to a fight on the main-card. I just think Kim has too much talent for Matt Brown (despite his toughness) to handle. It will probably end in the 2nd round by TKO from Kim’s ground and pound.

170 lbs. – Ryo Chonan [19] vs. Roan Carneiro [23]

Ryo Chonan [14-8] is the last person to defeat the great Anderson Silva. He is skilled both on the ground and on his feet. Roan Carneiro (12-7) is a blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but that didn’t help him in his last fight when he lost by submission to Kevin Burns [20]. I would bet he comes out with renewed aggression to erase that loss from memory. This is another toss-up fight. Chonan is coming off a bit of a layoff so I think ring-rust may be a factor. I would give the slight edge to Carneiro.

185 lbs. – Jason MacDonald [31] vs. Jason Lambert [NR]

In his loss to Demian Maia [17], Jason MacDonald (20-10) impressed me more in defeat than he had in all his previous victories. He withstood the submission attempts of arguably the best submission fighter in the world (Maia). Jason Lambert [23-8] is moving down from 205 lbs. for his first fight at Middleweight. He is known for his word-class ground and pound. The x-factor in this fight will be how Lambert deals with the 20 lbs. weight cut. If he handles it well, I can see him pounding out MacDonald on the mat. If he struggles, he could lose stamina quickly and MacDonald would go for the finish. I actually think Lambert will struggle with the cut. I’m picking MacDonald to win by TKO in the 2nd or 3rd round.

205 lbs. – Tim Boetsch [30] vs. Mike Patt

Tim Boetsch (7-2) Mike Patt (12-2)


August 31, 2008 - Posted by | MMA Analysis | , ,


  1. I was a bit surprised to see someone saying Hamill “has one of the best ground and pound games in the sport.”
    But that might be quibbling. He didn’t really manage any damage on Bisping, only scoring a couple of takedowns and the only hits that were landed were from a bulldog headlock as Bisping got up (I think the same happened with Seth).

    If Hamill wins, I think the fight would look like Hamill/Bisping, but I think the fight will most likely look like Franklin/Okami (but if we’re lucky it’ll look more like Franklin/MacDonald).

    I hope Yoshida wins, but I think Karo is the superior mmartist.

    I can only imagine that Rousimar either has crazy hubris, or UFC promised him big things if he takes this fight. Or maybe his people think they know something. Either way, should be fun.

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | September 2, 2008 | Reply

  2. Gutu,

    I think at the highest level, it’s hard to ground and pound the best fighters. Most would agree that Tito has a good ground and pound game but he couldn’t do it against Lyoto. Even Fedor in the 3rd Nogueira fight didn’t G&P him that badly…and he’s the best at doing it by far.

    I think what happens is that the elite ground and pound fighters win most of their fights because their opponents are spending so much time trying to prevent it. There’s no way Hamill is going to pound out Franklin but he may be able to win a decision because of the time Franklin spends defending himself.

    Either way, I think Franklin is similar to Bisping but slightly better in all areas.

    Also, Karo seems to be a gatekeeper these days so it will be a good measuring stick for Yoshida.

    Comment by Kevin | September 2, 2008 | Reply

  3. I suppose worded that way it seems perfectly reasonable.
    I think Sherk and Okami are also guys with great GnP that can’t really finish elite guys with it.

    Hughes had one of the better GnP finish rates against top level guys, but he had many threats down there, and perhaps times have changed and no one will get to finish on the ground with such regularity.

    Poor Karo, he really was on the cusp of being a top guy, but it really just looks like it won’t happen.

    Comment by Aas Gutú Adéli | September 3, 2008 | Reply

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