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UFC 85: Monday Morning Post-Mortem

Thiago Alves Matt Hughes UFC MMA
(“Boom! Another hit is landed…” The Pitbull mauls old-ass Matt Hughes. Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

Now that the adrenaline has subsided, we can have a normal conversation. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about since Saturday afternoon…

— Matt Hughes carved out a legendary career without ever being a particularly dangerous striker. And good for him, but the young fighters coming up these days will not stand for that shit. There’s no way you can compete at an elite level anymore without a complete game. Hughes never had one, and it’s now been fully exposed. After Alves stuffed Hughes’s takedown attempts during their fight, the former champ had no more weapons left, and it was only a countdown until the inevitable. I’m interested in seeing Hughes settle his grudge match with Matt Serra; I’m not really interested in seeing Hughes continue to be tooled by other athletic and well-rounded members of the UFC’s welterweight division.

— Michael Bisping looked deadly once again. Obviously he’d be wrecked by Silva, Franklin, or Henderson (or Marquardt on a good day), but he’d have to be the favorite against any other middleweight in the UFC. I’d guess he’s two wins away from a title shot, and luckily for him, Anderson Silva might not be around by the time he gets there. (The chatter is that Silva may move up to light-heavyweight for a marquee fight, but it’s totally unsubstantiated at this point, so don’t get your hopes up.)

— I don’t care what Jason Lambert needs to do to get down to 185 — stomach stapling, breast reduction surgery, whatever — he just needs to get there. He also needs to understand that his boxing sucks; just like in his fight with Wilson Gouveia, Lambert’s wild and sloppy haymakers led to his own damn self getting knocked out against Luis Cane. I think the biggest lesson I learned from “Bedlam” was that if there’s a noticeably out-of-shape guy fighting a guy in great physical condition, don’t bet on the fatty. (See also: Eddie Sanchez.)

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UFC 85: “Bedlam” — Live Results

Bisping Day UFC MMA
(Bisping and Day: The love that dare not speak its name. Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

The UFC is having an event in London right now, so I guess we pretty much have to cover it, huh. Anyway, spoiler alert: Round-by-round results from the live broadcast are after the jump. So raise a pint with us — we’re drinking on UK time today — and holla back in the comments.

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UFC 85 Ipecac Bet: Head-to-Head

UFC 85 picks
(Image courtesy of some homo.)

Ryan “Fightlinker” Harkness has cast his final picks in our UFC 85 ipecac bet rematch; you can check out his take on the Bedlam matchups here. I was a little nervous picking Hughes and Werdum to win because both matches could definitely go either way, but Ryan has set my mind at ease by picking Hughes and Werdum as well (though he picked them to end by stoppage, rather than my decision calls). Of course, there are some notable points of dispute. Such as…

Michael Bisping vs. Jason Day
I said: Bisping by storm.
Ryan said: “I’m all over Jason Day’s nuts. After watching him destroy Alan Belcher, I’m convinced that there’s no way Michael Bisping is gonna be able to take him out. Bisping nearly got taken out by Elvis Sinosic for god’s sake. So I anticipate one round of tenderization and then Bisping getting subbed out on top in the second.”

Marcus Davis vs. Mike Swick
I said: Davis in a wild one.
Ryan said: “Davis has been on an upswing and Swick has been on a downswing. But Marcus hasn’t faced the kind of opponents Swick has, and has turned into a cocky motherfucker to boot. I’m expecting Swick to come in with a smart plan: put him on his back and don’t give Davis a chance to use his hands. This fight is simply too important for Swick to try and trade.”

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UFC 85: Bedlam — Ipecac Rematch Picks

UFC 85 Bedlam MMA Matt Hughes Thiago Alves

Hey, you want to hear something crazy? There’s another UFC event in like three days. And though it’s not the most thrilling card in recent memory, I’ll definitely be paying close attention, because Saturday marks the rematch of my vomit-video bet with Ryan Harkness of Fightlinker. (Read all the details/backstory here.) So these are the picks I’m going with, God help me. Let me know what you think in the comments section, and remember to come back here this Saturday at noon PT / 3 p.m. ET for our live results coverage.

MAIN CARD

Matt Hughes def. Thiago Alves via decision
Matt Hughes may be on the decline, and Thiago Alves is definitely on the come-up, but they haven’t passed each other yet, so to speak. Though Alves caught Karo Parisyan at UFC Fight Night 13, he’s failed in previous big tests against Spencer Fisher and Jon Fitch. Hughes may have trouble with Alves’s striking and youthful energy, and a submission victory is unlikely, but I can see the future Hall of Famer dominating the young challenger with his wrestling and grinding out a decision.

Michael Bisping def. Jason Day via KO/TKO, round 1
Michael Bisping only runs into problems when he’s matched up against big wrestlers; Jason Day is not a big wrestler. “Dooms” schooled Alan Belcher in his Octagon debut, but he has nothing on the Count, who looked impressively dangerous in his first middleweight match in April. Fun fact: All five of Day’s losses have come by first-round stoppage; why bet against the trend?

Marcus Davis def. Mike Swick via KO/TKO, round 2
The Irish Hand Grenade has said he’s not judging Mike Swick by his last performance, but I can’t get over the fact that Swick looked emaciated during the Burkman fight and fought like a pussy. Meanwhile, Davis is far more well-rounded than people give him credit for, and gets overlooked because he hasn’t been presented with a tough challenge yet. I expect Davis to rise to the occasion, big time, and extend his impressive win streak to 12. WAR HAND-GRENADE!!!

Nate Marquardt def. Thales Leites via submission, round 3
There are many who think Nate Marquardt is one of the top ten middleweights in the world. I’m not one of those people, but there’s no denying his submission prowess or his resume, which includes wins over Shonie Carter, Kazuo Misaki, Dean Lister, and most recently Jeremy Horn. Leites has good credentials and a great record, but Marquardt represents a large step up in competition for him. I think a jiu-jitsu showdown is inevitable, and Marquardt will eventually come out on top.

Fabricio Werdum def. Brandon Vera via decision
This might be the toughest fight to pick on the card. Brandon Vera is a dangerous striker, and who knows what would have happened if he didn’t break his hand during the Tim Sylvia fight (his first career loss). On the other hand, Werdum has gone toe-to-toe with much scarier strikers than Vera (Kharitonov, A. Emelianenko, and Arlovski among them) and avoided being knocked out. Werdum’s a little bigger than Vera, and better on the ground. I’m leaning towards the Brazilian because he has more ways to win, but it’s very hard to predict how, especially because neither fighter has ever been stopped. Could be a battle.

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Hughes/Alves to Headline UFC 85

MH

Matt Hughes and Thiago Alves have confirmed that they will fight in a headlining match at UFC 85. As Hughes posted today on his website:

June 7th, in England, I fight Thiago Alves. The fight is confirmed, it will be the main event for the card. Dana just called me with the news. Chuck got hurt and couldn’t fight, so he needed a replacement and called me and I said yes. More news as I get it. No matter what happens in this fight, I’ve got Serra next.

Alves (14-3, 7-2 UFC) is coming off an upset victory of Karo Parisyan at Ultimate Fight Night 13, after which he was told by UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, rather prematurely, that he was second in line to get a shot at the welterweight title after Jon Fitch. According to MMAWeekly, Alves previously offered to fight Hughes at UFC 79 when Matt Serra dropped out due to back injury, but Georges St. Pierre got the nod instead.

The chance of UFC 85 being shown for free on SpikeTV is slipping away, but with this match headlining — and Bisping/Leben, Swick/Davis, Vera/Werdum, and Evans/Irvin already booked — it’s definitely a card worth paying for.

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Karo Parisyan Owns Up to Failure

TSKP
(And boom goes the dynamite. Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

According to UFC welterweight Thiago Alves on Monday’s edition of TAGG Radio, Karo Parisyan has come to terms with his sort-of controversial TKO loss at UFC Fight Night 13, which Parisyan immediately protested as soon as he regained his faculties:

“You can look at the replay,” Alves said. “Even I looked at it after the fight. He was out. He fell. He had no reaction at all. I kept punching and punching, and sometimes when you’re out, when you get punched again you wake up. You don’t know what just happened.

“That was [Parisyan's] concern. He thought that nothing happened. ‘Why’d you stop the fight?’ you know? When he saw the replay, even (Parisyan’s coach Randy) Couture was like, ‘You got knocked out.’ After a while, [Parisyan] texted my coach and apologized and everything. Karo’s a great guy.”

Sadly, Karo is probably still trying to wrap his head around the fact that he just lost his highly cherished title shot — which, to hear the guy talk in previous interviews, seemed to be his sole reason for fighting. To add insult to injury, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva all but promised Alves a future crack at the 170-pound belt:

“Right now I heard I’m right behind Jon Fitch,” Alves said. “That’s what Joe Silva told me.”

And I guess that makes sense, except for two things:

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Fight Night 13 Weigh-ins


(Ken-Flo and J-Lau will face off in tomorrow’s main event.)

Here are the quick weigh-in results for tomorrow’s UFC Fight Night 13. For video of the scale tippers and Joe Rogan’s screaming, go here.

Main Card:
Kenny Florian (155.5) vs Joe Lauzon (156)
Karo Parisyan (171) vs Thiago Alves (171)
Nate Diaz (156) vs Kurt Pellegrino (155)
James Irvin (205) vs Houston Alexander (205)
Gray Maynard (155) vs Frankie Edgar (155.5)
Tim Boetsch (206) vs Matt Hamill (204)

Under Card:
Josh Neer (156) vs Din Thomas (155)
Roman Mitichyan (170.5) vs George Sotiropoulos (169.5)
Marcus Aurelio (154.5) vs Ryan Roberts (155.5)
Clay Guida (156) vs Samy Schiavo (155)
Manvel Gamburyan (155.5) vs Jeff Cox (155)
Tommy Speer (170) vs Anthony Johnson (169.5)

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Parisyan Wants “An Easier Fight”

Parisyan

On the card of the first event in Canada for the UFC, it looks like we could be seeing Karo “The Heat” Parisyan and Thiago Alves battling in a welterweight match. MMA Junkie is reporting that the fight is in talks and will very likely take place at the April 19th show in Montreal. The report claims sources close to both fighters have said signed agreements are forthcoming. It’d be another welterweight bout to go with the headlining fight between Matt Serra and Georges St. Pierre.

Karo is in the mix within the division and has stated he wants a shot at the title, something he lost out on when an injury caused him to drop out of a fight with Matt Hughes a couple of years ago. He is currently 18-4 – and will be when he fights Alves, unless he loses a sanctioned street fight between now and then – and has won eight of his last nine fights (seven by decision). He was on “Inside MMA” back in December and said that instead of fighting Jon Fitch, he wanted something else:

A “more-guaranteed win” and he said he needs “an easier fight than Jon Fitch so I can basically have a high percentage of beating (the opponent) and getting a title shot.” 

Thanks, pussy.

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