MMA World Rankings

MMA World Rankings

UFC 91 (November, 2008)

UFC 91 – November 15 

Heavyweight Title – Randy Couture [3] vs. Brock Lesnar [15]


MMA Records: Couture (16-8]; Lesnar (2-1)


Preview: At long last…the return of “Captain America”, Randy Couture. This fight has been covered from all angles. Couture is getting absurdly old (45!) and Lesnar is coming in to blow out his remaining candles. Couture is the old wizard who knows every move and countermove in the game. Lesnar is the young cat with otherwordly power and strength. Instinct tells me that Couture must take this into the deep waters of the 4th and 5th rounds. Lesnar seemingly will outmuscle him and perhaps even put Randy on his back where he can administer his wicked groud and pound game. If Randy survives the initial attack, he will look for Lesnar to wear down. From there, Randy can work his unparralelled clinch-game, perhaps put Brock on his back and maybe get the TKO. Honestly though, my gut tells me that Brock is going to run through Randy like a hot knife through warm butter. Age has to catch up to him at some point, doesn’t it? I think it will but then again I was certain Vitor Belfort would beat Randy…I was certain Chuck Liddell would beat Randy…that Tim Sylvia would beat Randy…and that Gabriel Gonzaga would beat Randy. Every time, Randy amazed me. After watching all his those incredible feat, I should know better but I have to be honest and I honestly think Brock is going to come out, put Randy down and pound him out in the 1st or 2nd round.


Result: Randy’s age and experience only bought him 1 round against his goliath of an opponent. Lesnar was just too big and athletic for him to deal with. In round 2, he landed a sledgehammer below Couture’s ear and then pounded him out for the stoppage. There has been a lot of discussion about the weight disparity in this match. Lesnar outweighed Randy by 55 lbs. To put that in perspective, it would be the same difference if Kenny Florian fought Rampage Jackson. Some are calling for a Super-Heavyweight division but I highly doubt that will happen. There is a new era in the Heavyweight division and his name is Brock Lesnar….that is until Rodrigo Nogueira beats Frank Mir and then submits Lesnar in the 4th round of their looming superfight. Lesnar rises to 3. Couture drops to 6.

155 lbs. – Kenny Florian [7] vs. Joe Stevenson [9]

MMA Records: Florian (10-3); Stevenson (29-8]

Preview: This is the #1 contender fight in the Lightweight division. Kenny Florian is the submission fighter with good muay thai skills and Joe Stevenson is the wrestler with a nasty guillotine choke. Both guys have good jabs and use them well. Both are smart and savvy.  Both have top shelf gas tanks. Stevenson will look for the takedown, Florian will look for the clinch. Stevenson could end the fight by ground and pound, Florian by sharp knees and elbows.  I just think that “KenFlo” is the more versatile fighter with more ways to win. I predict him winning by rocking Stevenson with some strikes from the clinch and then submitting him on the ground.

Result: Florian was at his very best in landing a 1st round rear-naked choke on Joe Stevenson. Prior to that, “KenFlo” was jabbing circles around Stevenson. Kenny will now get a chance to defeat the legendary B.J. Penn in a lightweight title fight. Kenny is at the peak of his career, so now is his best shot to cement his legacy. This is a major setback for Joe “Daddy.” He got dominated like he’s never been dominated before. In a super-stacked division, his last best shot may have gone by the wayside. Kenny rises to 4. Stevenson drops to 21.

HVY – Gabriel Gonzaga [7] vs. Josh Hendricks

MMA Records: Gonzaga (9-3); Hendricks (15-4)

Preview: I don’t know enough about Josh Hendricks to analyze him right now. I can say a few things about Gabriel Gonzaga. He has world-class jiu-jitsu skills and possesses KO power in every limb. There are some question’s about his toughness and his cardio. I don’t see a champion’s hunger in his eyes. He also doesn’t seem to have the cage-presence of top tier guys like Randy Couture and Rodrigo Nogueira. That might come with more experience but I haven’t seen it yet. Gonzaga will surely be a stiff test for Hendricks. We will see if Josh can survive Gonzaga’s power and submissions.

Result: Gonzaga takes one step closer to the title with another huge KO. This one came just over 1 minute into the fight. Gabriel is a powerhouse but his stamina remains suspect. Gonzaga drops to 8 (Because of Lesnar’s rise).

185 lbs. – Demian Maia [15] vs. Nate Quarry [54]

MMA Records: Maia (8-0); Quarry (10-2)

Preview: Maia needs to get this fight to the ground quick. He has arguably the best submission game in the world. Quarry cannot win this fight on the mat. His takedown defense is the most important factor. I’m also eager to see how improved Maia’s striking is. He’s relatively new to MMA, so he should be developing stronger and stronger striking skills. Who knows, maybe he’ll suprise us with a head kick or two. But i’m going with Maia by submission in the 2nd round.

Result: Demian Maia is white-hot right now. The submission-machine picked up another rear-naked choke in the 1st round. Quarry couldn’t keep Maia on the feet and he paid for it. Quarry is getting up there in age and it looks as if he’ll never get to strap on the title belt. Maia rises to 12. Quarry stays at 54.

185 lbs. – Amir Sadolloh [74] vs. Nick Catone — FIGHT CANCELLED (Injury to Amir)

MMA Records: Sadolloh (1-0); Catone (5-0)

Preview: Like Josh Hendricks, I don’t know enough about Nick Catone to give an honest assessment. Amir Sadolloh has some very valuable intangibles like toughness and intelligence. As far as skills go, he is well-rounded but not dominant in any area. We must wait until he fights an elite grappler or striker to see whether or not his skills are elite. Right now, he is in the developing stages. He reminds me of Forrest Griffin. I’m not sure how Amir’s work ethic in the gym is, but if it’s anywhere near Griffin’s, then he has a good shot at becoming great. Let’s not forget Nick Catone, however. This is a big chance for him to make a huge splash in the division. Win or lose, hopefully the fight will last long enough for us to get a glimpse of what he brings to the table.

170 lbs.- Dustin Hazelett [12] vs. Tamdan McCrory [43]

MMA Records: Hazelett (11-4); McCrory (9-1)

Preview: Dustin Hazelett is quietly becoming one of the best fighters in the world. His submission game is on the verge of greatness. At just 22-years-old, he will be a fixture at this weight class for years to come. Tamden McCrory is also a talented young fighter. He’s a 6 foot 4 inch, 21-year-old with deceptive strength. Too bad for him he’s running into a young Lion. Hazelett is very dangerous right now for anyone. I can’t see him losing this fight anywhere. Hazelett by 1st round submission.

Result; Dustin Hazelett is right there with Demian Maia and Rodrigo Nogueira in terms of submission prowess. He sustained a 1st round barrage of strikes from McCrory and eventually got the fight to the mat. When he did it was only a matter of time befor he employed a textbook rubber guard and got the armbar submission just 2 minutes into the fight. Hazelett has a championship waiting for him in the future. Right now, he continues his ascent. McCrory also appears to have a bright future ahead of him. His height and striking skills will pose a challenge for anyone. Hazelett rises to 11. McCrory rises to 39.

170 lbs. – Matt Brown vs. Ryan Thomas

MMA Records: Brown (7-7); Thomas (9-2)

Result: This is the 2nd straight fight in which I’ve been impressed by Matt Brown. He appears focused and hungry to prove his worth. He picks up a 2nd round armbar to put on his resume. Brown debuts at 61.

155 lbs. – Jeremy Stephens [64] vs. Rafael dos Anjos

MMA Records: Stephens (13-3); dos Anjos (11-2)

Result: Jeremy Stephens has some vicious power! He landed a highlight reel uppercut en route to a devastating 3rd round KO. Up to that point, I was impressed with dos Anjos’s skills. But that was erased by an uppercut from hell. Stephens rises to 59.

Mark Bocek [73] vs. Alvin Robinson

MMA Records: Bocek (5-2); Robinson (9-3)

Result: Bocek winner by 3rd round submission (Rear-naked choke). Bocek rises to 66.

155 lbs. – Jorge Gurgel vs. Aaron Riley

MMA Records: Gurgel (12-4); Riley (26-10-1)

Result: These two guys are just plain warriors. They have massive hearts and an abundance of grit. It was no surpise that it won Fight of the Night. Riley picked up the unanimous decision but noone lost any honor.

Future Fights That Make Sense:


Brock Lesnar [3] vs. winner of Rodrigo Nogueira [2] vs. Frank Mir [15]

Gabriel Gonzaga [8] vs. winner of Cheick Kongo [9] vs. Mustapha Al-Turk

Josh Hendricks vs. Loser of Justin McCully [30] vs. Eddie Sanchez [33]


Randy Couture [NR] vs. loser of Quinton Jackson [2] vs. Wanderlei Silva [7]


Demian Maia [12] vs. Michael Bisping [14]

Nate Quarry [54] vs. Jake Rosholt [79]


Dustin Hazelett [11] vs. winner of Mike Swick [12] vs. Jonathan Goulet [29]

Tamdan McCrory [39] vs. loser of Kevin Burns [17] vs. Anthony Johnson [18]

Matt Brown [61] vs. winner of Ben Saunders vs. Brandon Wolff

Ryan Thomas vs. loser of Ben Saunders vs. Brandon Wolff


Kenny Florian [4] vs. BJ Penn [1]

Joe Stevenson [21] vs. Tyson Griffin [20]

Jeremy Stephens [59] vs. Per Eklund [79]

Mark Bocek [66] vs. David Bielkheden [74]

Aaron Riley vs. winner of Steve Bruno vs. Johnny Rees

Jorge Gurgel vs. Rafael dos Anjos

Alvin Robinson vs. loser of Corey Hill vs. Dale Hartt

November 9, 2008 Posted by | MMA Analysis | , , | 7 Comments