MMA World Rankings

MMA World Rankings

UFC 92 (December, 2008)

205 lbs. Title – Forrest Griffin [1] vs. Rashad Evans [4]

  • MMA Records: Griffin (16-4); Evans (12-0-1)
  • Preview: Forrest Griffin is not your average fighter. He’s not an elite grappler, he’s not an elite striker, he’s not an elite wrestler and he’s not an elite athlete. Forrest Griffin is an elite warrior. He’ll out-work you in the gym and he’ll out-tough you in the cage. He’s a grinder. He’s also incredibly smart. He knows what it takes to be a champion. Rashad Evans is an elite athlete. He’s an elite wrestler. With his knockout of Chuck Liddell, he has become a feared striker. Rashad is also very intelligent. He knows how to win fights. It will be very interesting to see what strategies these two savvy fighters employ. Forrest needs to drag this fight the whole 5 rounds. Rashad needs to get a knockout. Both are equally likely. I’m leaning towards Evans though. He has 25 minutes to land one of his devastating kicks or punches. I think he’ll succeed in that task.
  • Result: Evans winner by 3rd round submission (Strikes)
  • Rashad’s power is what made the difference here. Forrest controlled the first 2 rounds but as soon as Rashad connected, Forrest fell and that was it. Rashad’s style has yet to be solved. His speed, power, footwork and wrestling present a formidable obstacle for anyone in the division. Forrest is an overacheiver. He has a ton of heart but he was physically out-classed against Rashad. Rashad rises to 1. Forrest drops to 2.

Heavyweight Interim Title – Rodrigo Nogueira [2] vs. Frank Mir [15]

  • MMA Records: Nogueira (31-4-1); Mir (11-3)
  • Preview: When someone asks you to define toughness, point your finger at Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. The guy can’t be knocked out,  he can’t be submitted and he doesn’t wear down. He’s fought all over the world against the best of the best since the mid-90’s. He’s defeated everyone he’s stepped into the ring with except the almost mythical Fedor Emelianeko. I don’t see any possible way for Frank Mir to beat him. Nogueira by 2nd round TKO.
  • Result: Mir winner by 2nd round TKO
  • This was Frank Mir’s finest hour. You could almost see the smoke emanating from him. He was on fire. Never in my craziest dreams could I have seen this one. He dominated the boxing game and did what noone had ever done before, finish Rodrigo Noguiera.I will say that Nogueira appeared slow and worn down by the beatings he has endured over the years. He has aged seemingly overnight. I doubt we’ll ever see him near his prime again. Frank Mir, however, is riding incredibly high right now. Count me in as his newest fan. Mir rises to 2. Nogueira drops to 7.

205 lbs. – Quinton Jackson [2] vs. Wanderlei Silva [7]

  • MMA Records: Jackson (29-7); Silva (32-8-1)
  • Preview: Wanderlei Silva is a savage. There’s no other word that defines him so succinctly. It’s as if he just got done fighting ancient Greeks in the Trojan War and happened upon the 21st century. His style is timeless. He comes forward with windmill haymakers and doesn’t retreat untill somebody is knocked out. He’s done it twice already to “Rampage” Jackson in the past. I see it happening again in the short future. Rampage is as tough as they come but his style is tailor-maid for Silva. They are both brawlers but Silva throws the faster punches. Whether or not Silva gets the KO, this is guaranteed to be a knockdown, dragout slugfest.
  • Result: Jackson winner by 1st round KO.
  • Wanderlei’s game is very simple. Either he catches his opponent or they catch him. This time, he got caught. I think he would have been better served to go right at Rampage instead of taking time to feel him out. It gave Rampage time to pick his shots. Rampage drops to 3 (Because of Rashad’s rise). Wanderlei drops to 11.

HVY – Cheick Kongo [9] vs. Mustapha Al-Turk

  • MMA Records: Kongo (12-4-1); Al-Turk (6-3)
  • Preview: This is Mustapha Al-Turk’s UFC debut. He is an unknown. Cheick Kongo is possibly the best heavyweight striker in the world right now. He is also physically strong with improved wrestling and grappling. If he wins a couple more fights (including this one), he will likely get a title shot later this year.
  • Result: Kongo winner by 1st round TKO. Kongo rises to 6.

185 lbs. – Mike Massenzio [42] vs. C.B. Dollaway

  • MMA Records: Massenzio (11-2); Dollaway (7-1)
  • Preview: Massenzio and Dollaway are young wrestlers relatively new to the game. Who knows what skills they’ve developed since their last fights. What I do know is that whoever wins will officially become a contender.
  • Result: Dolloway winner by 1st round TKO. Dolloway debuts at 54. Massenzio drops to 55.

185 lbs. – Yushin Okami [10] vs. Dean Lister [27]

  • MMA Records: Okami (22-4); Lister (11-5)
  • Preview: You’re not going to find a Middleweight with more physical strength than Yushin Okami. He steps into the cage and imposes his will. He’ll take you 3 rounds and flat out wear you down. Dean Lister is arguably the best grappler in the world. Unfortunately, that is all he is. The term one-dimensional was made for Lister. Okami would be a fool to take him down. To be honest, this may be an ugly fight. It’s on the undercard for a reason. Okami is no doubt a top 10 Middleweight, but he needs more intriguing matchups to gain a fan-following.
  • Result: The fight went exactly as I thought it would. Dean wanted no part of the striking and it turned into a boring fight. Okami couldn’t do anything because Lister was being so defensive. I think it’s too late in Lister’s career to acquire a solid standup game. Okami took care of business and should be in line for a title later this year. Okami rises to 8. Lister drops to 30.

205 lbs. – Matt Hamill [23] vs. Reese Andy [41]

  • MMA Records: Hamill (4-2); Andy (7-2)
  • Preview: Matt Hamill is a very strong wrestler with decent boxing skills. Reese Andy is a very strong wrestler with hardly any boxing skills. This is a horrible matchup for Andy. Matt Hamill should cruise to a 1st or 2nd round TKO via punches.
  • Result: Hamill winner by 2nd round TKO. Hamill rises to 22. Andy stays at 41.

170 lbs. – Brad Blackburn [17] vs. Ryo Chonan [18]

  • MMA Records: Blackburn (13-9-1); Chonan (15-8]
  • Preview: This is a very interesting fight with two very interesting fighters. Blackburn has been incredibly inconsistent throughout his career. He holds big wins over Delson Heleno [32], Jay Hieron [19] and Chris Wilson [26] but at the same time, he’s lost 9 times. That being said, he seems to be entering his prime. He’s on a 3-fight win streak that includes wins over Heleno and Hieron. Ryo Chonan’s list of vicitms is eye-opening, considering he’s not well known to the public. He’s beaten top Middleweights Anderson Silva [1] and Joey Villasenor [21]; solid welterweight Roan Carneiro [30] (twice); and legends Carlos Newton and Hayato Sakurai [36]. I wish this fight was on the main card but it’s not. The fight itself is a toss-up. Blackburn is a highly explosive striker with solid wrestling and Chonan is a well-rounded striker with submission capability. An interesting fact is 3 of Chonan’s wins have come by stoppage due to a cut. My gut tells me, however, that Blackburn will get the 1st or 2nd round TKO with strikes.
  • Result: Blackburn winner by Unanimous Decision
  • If this fight would have gone 4 rounds, Chonan would have gotten the KO. Instead, Blackburn put the first 2 rounds in the bank before gassing in the 3rd and surviving until the decision. Chonan was sturdy and relentless throughout but Blackburn’s quicker punches scored him rounds 1 and 2. Blackburn rises to 16. Chonan drops to 27. 

HVY – Antoni Hardonk [32] vs. Mike Wessel

  • MMA Records: Hardonk (7-4); Wessel (6-0)
  • Result: Hardonk winner by 2nd round TKO. Hardonk rises to 27.

HVY – Dan Evensen vs. Pat Barry

  • MMA Records: Evensen (10-3); Barry (3-0)
  • Result: Barry winner by 1st round TKO. Barry debuts at 38

Future Fights That Make Sense

HVY

Frank Mir [2] vs. Brock Lesnar [3]

Cheick Kongo [6] vs. Antoni Hardonk [27]

Rodrigo Nogueira [7] vs. Randy Couture [8]

Pat Barry [38] vs. Eddie Sanchez [37]

Mike Wessel vs. Mark Burch

Mustapha Al-Turk vs. loser of Tom Egan vs. John Hathaway

205

Rashad Evans [1] vs. Rampage Jackson [3]

Forrest Griffin [2] vs. winner of Dan Henderson [10] vs. Rich Franklin [19]

Wanderlei Silva [11] vs. Matt Hamill [22]

Reese Andy [41] vs. Vinny Magalhaes

185

Yushin Okami [8] vs. Demain Maia [12]

Dean Lister [30] should get released

CB Dolloway [54] vs. Jason MacDonald [30]

Mike Massezio [55] vs. Nate Laughran

170

Brad Blackburn [16] vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida [19]

Ryo Chonan [27] vs. Paul Taylor [46]

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December 16, 2008 Posted by | MMA Analysis | , , | 10 Comments