Locked in the Guillotine MMA News Report 11.9.12 When Franklin met Le Edition
Greetings and salutations to everyone! I am your humble host, and the one who will be choking you in a few moments, Robert Winfree and I for one am very happy to have a show to preview this time around. The UFC will be making its first ever foray into China with a card broadcast on Fuel TV. Shame they couldn’t get it on F/X instead, but hey, work with what you’ve got. There’s also some news, and thankfully some of it’s actually worth talking about. So there’s news, a card to preview, zombies, and another reader question. Hope you guys can hold your breath, because you’re going to be Locked in this Guillotine for quite some time.
I felt absolutely floored by last week’s episode of The Walking Dead. This was the type of episode that got me hooked on the show in the first place, well after the awesomeness of zombies to begin with. This was high octane intensity from start to finish, and the interludes with Michonne and the Governor actually helped the entire episode. Losing T-Dog was bad, he’s quietly been a very fun and engaging character, he always seemed like the everyman of the group. That said, he went out like a champion protecting Carol even after he’d been bitten. Carol’s fate is currently unknown. Losing Lori was, quite possibly, worse in many ways. Naturally she goes into labor as the zombies have been released into the previously safe zones of the prison. Her saying goodbye to Carl was heartbreaking, but she also told him things that he needed to hear, things that a child should hear from their mother.
I also need to praise the acting of Andrew Lincoln in this episode. Rick has been pretty stoic for the season so far, so much so that when Lori opened up to him previously he seemed relatively unaffected. Hearing him cry out for his wife when he sees the walkers in the yard showed that he still loved her, and was quite reminiscent of the first episode when he returned to his home and called for her and Carl. His breakdown at hearing of Lori’s death was as real as any I’ve seen. The acting is almost universally good in the show, but Andrew Lincolns’ work in this episode was exemplary.
Alright, enough of zombies and well done television, of which there is incredibly little, time for MMA.
That’s right boys and girls, the UFC is finally breaking into the Chinese market. With China’s large population it’s long been sought after by the sports and entertainment industry, but with the current government it’s difficult to get in. The WWE only recently was given permission to run a couple of shows in China, and wrestling is a much more established commodity than MMA at this point. This will be a very important event in the history of the UFC, and really this one show will help determine how successful the promotion is in that country. So let’s take a look at the card they’re bringing to Macao.
Mac Danzig vs. Takanori Gomi: Well, I’ve got to be honest, I’m not really excited for this fight. Gomi has been a bust in the UFC, and Danzig has never been all that impressive. Gomi is here for his name value, but he’s really unlikely to win. Gomi is there to throw bombs, but his overall game is lacking. Danzig, while hardly an elite fighter, is a good one and one who knows how to fight to his strengths if he has an advantage. Normally he doesn’t, but here his grappling is better than Gomi’s. While there is a chance, however slim, that Gomi returns to form for one night and knocks Danzig out cold, Danzig is a much smarter pick.
Alex Caceres vs. Motonobu Tezuka: I hate picking Alex Caceres to win. I really do. I’ve done it in the past, in fact I perfectly called his second round submission win over Damacio Page, but I never feel good when I do it. I just don’t like the guy, and I don’t think he’s a really good fighter. That said he is better than his opponent. Tezuka is a journeyman fighter, but he’s taking this fight on short notice and doesn’t really have the skills to trouble Caceres. Caceres likely submits Tezuka, probably in the second.
Jon Tuck vs. Tiequan Zhang: When the UFC signed Zhang they had high hopes for him being their big Chinese name to help them get into the country and get the sport going there. Sadly, Zhang doesn’t have the tools to really stand out in the UFC. He’s got some decent striking and an above average guillotine choke, but at the end of the day he isn’t that special. So the UFC got a TUF reject to fight him here and hopefully give Zhang a notable win in his home country. Jon Tuck was beaten by Al Iaquinta when both were fighting to get into the house on TUF, dislocating a toe in the process. If Zhang can’t get a win here, he’s done with the promotion. It’s that simple. That said, I’m picking Zhang here, though I can’t give a legitimate reason.
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Paulo Thiago: Just last year this would have been a killer fight, but both guys have kind of dropped off of the top tier of fighters. Kim was KO’d in highlight reel fashion by current interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit, and dislocated a rib when Demian Maia slammed him in his last outing resulting in an injury loss. Thiago had some momentum when he scored an upset and KO’d Josh Koscheck, and actually followed that up with some good wins over Mike Swick and Jacob Volkmann. Since then, he’s had some rough luck as Martin Kampmann schooled him for three rounds, he fell apart under pressure from Diego Sanchez, and in his last fight was knocked out cold with one punch from Siyar Bahadurzada. Thiago has some good counter striking, and has some power, but he’s too reckless on the ground and gives up position too easily. Kim is a top oriented grappler, and will want to erase the memory of his last fight with Demian Maia. I think Kim takes this one, likely by decision.
Stanislov Nedkov vs. Thiago Silva: This fight will be two guys throwing punches and kicks trying to stop the other one. That’s a good thing. Thiago Silva had a lot of potential, but chronic back problems and his drug use to cover it have killed his momentum. Nedkov has had a long lay off since his stoppage of Luiz Cane, and that makes me nervous. Silva was last seen losing a decision to Alexander Gustafsson in Sweden, and after his domination of Brandon Vera was overturned he hasn’t had a real win since he stopped Keith Jardine. If Silva is smart he’ll try and get this fight to the ground, because while he has good striking his ground and pound and top control are what made him a threat to begin with. That said, I think Nedkov catches him standing and puts him away. Either way this is the fight I’m most looking forward too.
Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le: I’m not a big Rich Franklin fan, never have been and in all likelihood never will be. He’s been very successful in the UFC, there’s no denying his record, but I’ve just never been all that impressed with him. Still, that’s me and not everyone else. Cung Le is taking this fight at the behest of Dana White and company, because his movie career has made him a name in China. Franklin is taking this fight because he does whatever the UFC tells him to do. This will be a five round fight, which means unless Le catches Franklin in the first round he’ll gas out. Franklin is a very scientific fighter, and it’s really unlikely he’ll get sucked into Le’s kicking game and get caught with anything. Le will gas in the second round and it will take Franklin until the third or fourth to finish him.
All in all it should be a fun, if incredibly irrelevant show and I’m looking forward to
watching reading the coverage because it’s on Fuel and no one really gets that channel.
Drugs are bad: Two fighters tested positive for banned substances after UFC 153. Dave Herman, who was forced to submit to an armbar courtsey of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, tested positive for marijuana metabolites. This is Herman’s second positive test for marijuana, and I don’t care if Colorado has “legalized” it, the athletic commissions say you can’t have it in your system. I was personally expecting Herman to be dumped after a second positive test and his recent losing streak, but the UFC has just suspended him and required him to go through drug treatment before they’ll get him another fight. Personally I say just let the guy go, he’s not a great fighter and you don’t need him around.
The second positive test came from Stephan Bonnar. Bonnar was in the main event of the night was stopped near the end of the first round with a brutal knee to the body from Anderson Silva. Bonnar tested positive for anabolic steroids after the fight, and while I don’t fault anyone for trying to get an advantage over Anderson Silva, this is bad for Bonnar. Bonnar had previously tested positive for steroids in 2006 after his rematch with Forrest Griffin. After this one he’s been suspended for one year, though after the fight he announced his retirement so it could well be a moot point. I don’t condone cheating, and I view the use of steroids as cheating. Steroids have plenty of legitimate medical uses, some of them very important, but Bonnar wasn’t injured and had no reason to have those in his system.
UFC on FOX 6: The UFC’s sixth even on FOX got some fights announced this week, including the final fight in Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s UFC contract. Jackson will take on Glover Teixeira, the fight that was supposed to happen at UFC 153, in the co-main event of the evening. The main event will feature the flyweight title up for grabs in a fight between champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and number one contender Jon Dodson. That’s a good way to give the flyweights some exposure, especially since Rampage still has a bit of name value. Further down on the card we’ll get the much anticipated fight between Anthony “Showtime” Pettis and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. That fight alone has me all kinds of hyped up for this show. If the fights hold together it will be a great way to kick off the new year for the UFC.
Sensei and the Spider: Apparently pound for pound and the greatest fighter of all time Anderson Silva is looking into filming a cop movie with Steven Segal. It might end up being just a B quality movie, but the notion of that is just all kinds of awesome in many ways.
Some good responses to my question last week, most of you seem to think I’m selling Sonnen short. I freely admit that my general dislike of him and his gimmick might color my view of his fighting abilities. That said, I think he lost his fight with Michael Bisping, and I don’t think anyone who loses to Bisping is really all that elite. Plus Sonnen doesn’t evolve, doesn’t grow as a fighter. He’s the same fighter he’s always been, and that wont work forever, and arguably has already stopped working for him.
Sadly no one gave some fights they’d like me to look at in the future, so I’ll ask again that you all provide some suggestions. I know you all have fights you like so list some of them for me please. In fact, let’s make that this weeks question.
WHAT ARE YOU’RE TOP FIVE MMA FIGHTS?
Next week I’ll give you my list, hey I need some kind of hook to get you guys to come back. If you could list them and give a reason why you like it, I’ll be happy to give feedback in the comments section as well as a general thought next week. I hope to hear from all of you, and if you don’t have five, feel free to just list one or two, or more if you’ve got that many you really enjoy. So with that question, I think we’re done for now. Rest assured I will be back next week with a review of the UFC’s Fuel TV offering, and as mentioned above I’ll list some of my personal favorite MMA fights. So until next Friday, my arms are gassed, and you’ve all survived to escape the Guillotine.