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Tag: Neil Wain

Ben vs. Ben: UFC 89 Edition

With one day to go before UFC 89 (which we’ll be liveblogging, naturally), it’s time for everyone’s favorite self-indulgent exercise: Ben versus Ben. This time around we argue bonuses, the UK-centric undercard, and the mysterious/as-of-yet fictional Millerplata, among other stuff.

How exactly will Bisping/Leben end?

Fowlkes: As much as we’ve heard about Leben’s transformation from immature brawler to well-rounded tactician, a part of me (the part located in the brain region) isn’t totally buying it. Leben may be a more seasoned fighter, but he still knows one way to win a fight when things get hectic and it’s throwing big, looping bombs and hoping one catches his opponent on the chin.

This has worked at times. He hits hard and he can take enough punishment to make that strategy effective. But as strategies go, it’s relatively easy to prepare for, especially for a more cerebral fighter like Bisping. “The Count” is smart enough to avoid a street fight with Leben. He’ll accumulate points and damage but won’t dive in for the illusion of a quick finish, and this will frustrate Leben.

Leben knows he doesn’t want to go to a decision against a Brit in Britain, so the closer to the final horn he gets the more desperate he will become. This is where Bisping will find an opening, drop him with a straight shot, then pour on some ground-and-pound that looks worse than it is, causing the referee to stop it at 4:02 of round three. And Leben is going to be pissed.

Goldstein: I concur. Bisping is a more talented, complete fighter than Leben, and this business about the Crippler maturing is more manufactured narrative than reality. But I don’t think it’ll take Bisping until the third frame to get the stoppage win. As a middleweight, his kickboxing has looked razor-sharp — his last two opponents didn’t make it to the second bell — and his ground capabilities are underrated in general.

The headliners will give the crowd what they paid for in round one, slugging it out like a couple of drunken soccer hooligans, and Bisping will go about finishing the fight in round two, engaging the killer instinct that we’ve seen from him lately. If Leben starts to land more shots in that second round, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bisping clinch with Leben, bully him to the ground and finish him from the top. Either way, it’ll be a stoppage due to strikes at exactly the 4:15 mark of round two.

Who will win the Vera/Jardine and Sokoudjou/Cane fights?


Videos: PRIDE’s Greatest Knockouts, Shane Carwin on UFC 89 + More

(Props: MMA Scraps)

This 18-minute compilation is the only PRIDE highlight reel you’ll ever need, featuring the most brain-rattling finishes by Aleksander and Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Mirko Cro Cop, Dan Henderson, Quinton Jackson, Wanderlei Silva, Sergei Kharitonov, Joachim Hansen and many more. Listen closely at the 8:27-8:30, 8:47-8:50, and 17:47-17:50 marks to hear early versions of Frank Trigg’s “Oh! Oh no! Oh no!” catchphrase that he perfected during the Fedor/Sylvia fight.

(Props: BloodyElbow)

Speaking of dudes who knock people dead, here’s heavyweight rising star Shane Carwin discussing his fight against the noticeably smaller Neil Wain at UFC 89 this Saturday. Carwin is currently 9-0, with all wins coming via first-round stoppage, and all but one of those stoppages happening within the first two minutes.

Something short, simple, and hilarious awaits you after the jump…


UFC 89 Gets Sokoudjou vs. Cane, Carwin vs. Wain

(Props: JarryPark)

I was worried that UFC 89 (October 18th; Birmingham, England) was going to be one of those off-brand cards that are hastily thrown together for the British market — but it may have potential after all. Besides the requisite matchups of Bisping vs. Leben and (possibly) Davis vs. Kelly, and a reported welterweight feature of Thiago Alves vs. Diego Sanchez, the UFC has just added three more compelling bouts to the lineup.

First up is a light-heavyweight bout between Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou — who’s coming off a first-round TKO of Kazuhiro Nakamura at UFC 84 — and Luiz Cane, who recently knocked out Jason “Flapjacks” Lambert at UFC 85. Sokoudjou was already regarded as one of the top ten 205′ers in the world when he entered the UFC, and is probably still trying to shake off the humiliation of being the only guy that Lyoto Machida has finished in the last two years. Both him and Cane have a lot of hype behind them, and both like to throw bombs; could be a wild one.

Next is a heavyweight bout between Denver-based destroyer Shane Carwin (9-0) and British brawler Neil Wain (4-0). Like Carwin, Wain has won all of his fights by first-round stoppage — though I don’t think that little fun fact will matter much once the bell rings and Carwin starts charging across the cage. Like his 44-second mouthpiece-ejecting knockout of Christian Wellisch at UFC 84, this match might turn into another stunning KO win for the up-and-coming Carwin.

Finally, British welterweight star Dan Hardy (19-6) is set to make his Octagon debut against Akihiro Gono. Hardy is the reigning Cage Warriors welterweight champion, and has only suffered one loss (via disqualification) in his last nine fights. Gono (28-12-7) is a veteran of Shooto, Pancrase, and PRIDE who won his UFC debut last November by tapping Tamdan McCrory with an armbar at UFC 78; injury has prevented him from competing since.