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Tag: Thiago Silva

Ben vs. Ben: UFC 94 Edition

Georges St. Pierre MMA UFC
(And his tailor’s better, too. Photo courtesy of GSPFightClub.com.)

Hello, and welcome to another installment of "Ben vs. Ben." With the OMFG GREATEST FIGHT IN HISTORY just two days away, we decided to sling some bullshit about the deciding factors in St. Pierre vs. Penn, the likely bonus-earners at UFC 94, and the legitimacy of Machida vs. Silva as a #1 contender match. And now we offer our humble thoughts…to you. Enjoy, and holla back in the comments section, ‘kay?

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How and when will the B.J. Penn-Georges St. Pierre fight end?

BF: Whether you think Penn has been slacking during his training or not, the fact is that he doesn’t have the kind of talent around him that GSP does. Guys like Nate Marquardt, Donald Cerrone, Keith Jardine, etc. Name one training partner Penn has who is as good as any one of those guys. Like his brother said, Penn is the president of his own camp. That’s not a good place for a fighter in training, especially if the fighter in question has had some conditioning and motivation issues. He ought to be more like a Congressional aide, getting bossed around and possibly sexually harassed every single day.

This being a welterweight fight only hurts Penn more. Not because of the strength and size he’ll be giving up – he’s talented enough to compensate for that – but because it doesn’t absolutely force him to be in excellent shape like he was against Sean Sherk, and so he won’t be. He may be in very good shape, but that’s not enough to go five rounds with GSP.

Penn will start off winning this fight with his striking and takedown defense. But by the third round he’ll begin to slow down. St. Pierre will stay right on top of him, wearing him down mentally and physically, and by the fifth round he’ll be looking for a way out. GSP will grant it to him by holding him down and punching him in the face until the ref stops it at around the three-minute mark. Penn has never gone five rounds in a winning effort. He won’t start against St. Pierre.

BG: In a perfect world, BJ Penn would have a tune-up fight at welterweight before taking on Georges St. Pierre. After all, Penn hasn’t won a match as a 170-pounder since May 2004, and it would be helpful to test out the new weight at least once before putting his legacy on the line. I think your observation that the welterweight division doesn’t force BJ to show up in optimal shape is a good one. I also think GSP is two days away from the greatest performance of his life.

St. Pierre’s game-plan is a closely guarded secret, but you have to assume that he knows Penn is great with his hands, and he’ll be looking to avoid them early. I don’t think Penn wins the first round, or the next two. The fight will end late in the fourth — around the 4:24 mark, let’s say — with Penn fading and GSP turning on his reserve boosters. Yes, it’ll be a TKO due to strikes. St. Pierre has done the work in the gym and the hype hasn’t affected his emotions. There’s only one way this can end.

How worthy of a title shot is the winner of Machida/Silva?

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Video: Lyoto Machida’s Spirit Is Ready (And He Will Not Be Touched)


(Courtesy of BadBoy.com)

Does anybody else feel sorry for Thiago Silva after watching this video of Lyoto Machida preparing for their fight at UFC 94? Machida really is one of the most focused, technically sound fighters in the world, and if he can score the mount on Silva as easily as he does with his training partner at the video’s 0:42 mark, forget about it. Plus, he has that "spirit" thing going for him, which is nice.

As Machida’s brother Chinzo points out, Lyoto "will only attack an opponent when he knows that the strike will hit its mark." And of course there’s the matter of his confounding defense. FightMetric put together this comparison of Lyoto Machida and some of MMA’s current champions, based on the number of strikes they absorb per minute of fighting ("SApM"):

Fedor Emelianenko: 0.59 SApM
Lyoto Machida: 0.64 SApM
Anderson Silva: 0.71 SApM
Georges St. Pierre: 1.01 SApM
BJ Penn: 1.23 SApM
Rashad Evans: 1.39 SApM
Frank Mir: 2.7 SApM

It’s a very telling statistic, when you consider that many MMA fans would name Fedor/Anderson/Georges/BJ as the top four pound-for-pound fighters in the world, in that order. Does Machida deserve to be ranked among them? He certainly has the talent; maybe by the end of the year he’ll have the accomplishments as well.

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Friday Link Dump

(It was going fine until the 1:57 mark. Then things get really uncomfortable.)

- Affliction can’t stop talking about how awesome they are. (Yahoo!)

- Thiago Silva is expecting a track meet against Lyoto Machida. (Tatame)

- Is the UFC phoning it in for UFC 93? (Fightlinker)

- Neil Grove to make UFC debut against Justin McCully. (Fighters Only)

- Tim Kennedy talks war and MMA. (Five Ounces of Pain)

- HIT Squad Dodgeball.  (Matt-Hughes.com)

- Rich Franklin trains for Dan Henderson. (MMA Mania)

- Gina Carano says she doesn’t get paid what you think. (AskMen.com)

- This is why you don’t run from the cops. (Break.com)

- 7 TV shows that really need to exist. (Screen Junkies)

- 10 things Tim Tebow should have put on his eye black. (Holy Taco)

- Skater owns bully. (Nothing Toxic)

- This is too adorable to ignore. (Hip to Code)

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Videos: Bas Rutten Highlight Reel, UFC 94 In-Depth Preview + More

The best reason to tune in to HDNet’s Inside MMA has always been to watch Bas Rutten act like a spastic, free-associative maniac. The above clip from the show’s "Best of 2008" episode collects Bas’s craziest moments, from his heroin-addict pantomimes to his beloved Tony Montana impression. If him and Robin Williams ever met, the world might explode. Check out the latest episode this Friday at 9 p.m., as Renato Sobral, Vitor Belfort and Carlos Condit join Bas and Kenny in the studio.

Here’s the extended trailer for UFC 94: St. Pierre vs. Penn 2 (January 31st, Las Vegas). BJ Penn delivers the money line in their segment: "If Jon Fitch reminds [St. Pierre] of the Terminator, he’s gonna think I’m God." Later, in the Lyoto vs. Thiago segment, Dana White cackles about how Tito Ortiz couldn’t land anything on Machida in his last fight, while Rogan gets enthusiastic about Machida’s karate skills. We also get to hear Machida pronounce "with Tito" as "wiffa Cheeto," which is always good for a laugh.

After the jump: Mark Coleman says he’ll have a strength advantage against Mauricio Rua at UFC 93, while Rua looks forward to showing the Hammer what a healthy Shogun is capable of.

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Lyoto/Thiago Rescheduled for UFC 93; Rampage/Wandy @ UFC 92?

Houston Alexander Thiago Silva MMA UFC
(Thiago Silva, back when beating Houston Alexander meant something. Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

Tatame.com is reporting that the planned fight between top UFC light-heavyweight contenders Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva will go down at UFC 93 (January 31st, Las Vegas). The undefeated Brazilians were scheduled to meet at next month’s UFC 89, but Silva’s back injury nixed the match. Though Machida recently expressed interest in facing Rashad Evans in a #1 contender bout, the UFC already had other plans for Evans, and The Dragon will simply have to wait three months and fight his original opponent.

Related: We know the rumor changes every week, but Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is now saying he’ll return to the Octagon at UFC 92 (December 27th, Las Vegas), and will fight Wanderlei Silva as long as Silva agrees to the bout. Regarding his two previous losses to Silva in PRIDE, Jackson told The Sun:

On those two days he was the better man. Hopefully I can change things this time around and it can be my night — if he takes the fight…[T]he UFC have approached a few people to take the fight and a couple of them have turned it down

I think Jackson avenging those past losses would be the feel-good MMA story of the holiday season. So Wolfslair, it’s on you: Make sure the guy doesn’t fast before the fight, and please don’t steal his money. And if you do steal his money, could you at least hide the keys to his truck?

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Karo Parisyan Out of UFC 88 With Back Injury; Thiago Silva Also Injured

Karo Parisyan UFC MMA
(Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

Well, this blows:

A last-minute back injury has forced welterweight contender Karo Parisyan to withdraw from his UFC 88 bout with Yoshiyuki Yoshida. Saturday’s UFC 88 card will continue with nine bouts.

Who knows what Karo was doing last night or this morning to screw up his back, but he showed no sign of injury at yesterday’s press conference. We certainly hope it wasn’t panic attack-related. More info as we get it…

And the hits keep coming: It seems the back injury fairy has also visited light-heavyweight contender Thiago Silva, who will no longer be facing fellow undefeated Brazilian Lyoto Machida at UFC 89 (October 18th; Birmingham, England). Silva is expected to be able to compete again in December. No replacement opponent for Machida has been announced at this time; hopefully the UFC will just postpone the match until Silva is fully recovered.

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Quick Hits: Dana White to Get Mindfreaked, Machida Predicts a Finish, & More

- Because he loves him some publicity, Dana White will appear on A&E’s “Mindfreak” with magician Criss Angel tonight. You say you’re not going to watch, but let’s not kid ourselves. You’re going to pretend to watch the Democratic National Convention, then get bored when there are no crazy MMA riots breaking out, and suddenly you’re thinking, ‘Man, my mind could really use a good freaking right about now.’ Boom! A&E’s got you covered. If you want a taste of Criss Angel’s particularly cloying brand of magic, I recommend this little gem.

- The ever-elusive Lyoto Machida says his fight against Thiago Silva at UFC 89 isn’t going to be another snoozefest. As he told Tatame: “I believe this fight won’t go to decision… Thiago likes to fight aggressively, me too, he has good MMA techniques, so I believe this fight might finish before the third round.” Seems like he stops just short of actually committing to finishing, or saying that he’ll be the one to finish it. Even this guy’s interviews are, um, tactical.

- Chuck Liddell’s nutritional supplement company, Iceman Rx, is anticipating a Liddell victory over Rashad Evans at UFC 88. They’re even running a sweepstakes to coincide with UFC 92, where Liddell might conceivably challenge Forrest Griffin for the UFC light heavyweight title if he is victorious next weekend. And what does the winner of that sweepstakes get? An Iceman Rx Hummer H2. Even has a picture of Liddell on the side. Rumor has it he only decided to give it away after seeing what happened to Rampage. I started that rumor.

- You thought our jokes about the Tito Ortiz/Jenna Jameson baby news were in poor taste? Just check out The Sun. They pull no punches over in the UK press, and their photoshops are meaner. Kudos to them for referring to Jenna’s porn flicks as “blue movies.” That mixture of cruelty and decorum is why I love the Brits.

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Machida On Thiago Silva, LHW Title Contenders

Lyoto Machida Sokoudjou MMA UFC

From a new interview on Tatame.com.br, translated by CagePotato’s Luiz De Souza.

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How does it feel to go against another Brazilian fighter?
I wouldn’t want to go against another Brazilian, but we are all professionals and that’s how it goes. There are fights amongst people of the same nation; it’s inevitable. Only one will come out champion from this group of Brazilians, and it will become our job to go against friends. The most important thing is to deal with this as professionals. The Americans already have this in their culture, they understand it, they are friends, but when the fight comes…This happens a lot in K-1, they fight against each other and still have good relationships…I obviously would rather not go against another Brazilian, we are together representing the same country, but then again everyone is defending their own flags. I know [Silva] hasn’t had a loss yet either, he comes from great victories in the events, but I am doing my homework so that I can win this fight.

Have you started studying your opponent?
I’ve seen a couple of his fights, but it is still early to start training specifically for him. What I am doing now is my basic training, physical preparation, and in August I will train to go against him. He is tough, like all others, there has to be a built-up strategy and some good studying of his game for me to win.

Do you think that the next fighter to get a chance at the belt is the winner of your fight against Thiago, Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans, or do you think Wanderlei can be the one too?
I think anything can happen, but I think that Liddell, since he is an ex-champion, has great chances of getting the shot at it if he wins. Wanderlei also has a chance, but he was a Pride champion instead, so his chances are maybe lower than Chuck’s. Wanderlei is good enough to fight for the belt, for everything he has already done and for everything he still does, but the UFC is the one who decides.

Are you going to train with Anderson Silva for this fight?
Yes I will. In August I should be going to Rio to train with Anderson.

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Rumor of the Day: Wanderlei vs. Thiago?

Wanderlei Thiago Silva Lyoto Machida MMA UFC
(Silva, Machida, & Silva: Attorneys at Brawl)

Via FiveOunces:

According to the June 23 print edition of the Wrestling Observer, [Wanderlei] Silva’s likely next opponent is undefeated light heavyweight prospect Thiago Silva. The bout could take place in October despite the fact that Wanderlei Silva has reportedly asked not to be scheduled to fight again until December.

The Observer indicated that Wanderlei Silva was given a choice of facing either Thiago Silva or Lyoto Machida. A specific reason for why Thiago Silva is considered the more likely option than Machida was not given, although Dave Meltzer indicated that the UFC is having trouble finding willing opponents for Machida.

Damn son, this Machida got everyone shook! But I ain’t mad: With their similarly aggressive styles, Wandy vs. Thiago has the potential to be a fantastic fight. Still, the UFC will eventually have to throw one of the Silvas at Machida, because it seems that only a hyper-aggro fighter who’d be willing to literally chase Machida around the cage (and absorb some damage in the process) would stand a chance of beating him. In the meantime, the UFC needs to go to their hungry/struggling 205-pounders and demand that they fight Machida; preferably, their LHWs who are sloppy enough for Machida to submit or knock out (lookin’ at you, Lambert). The Dragon will almost surely be fighting for UFC’s light-heavyweight title one day — it’s time to start getting him over with fans, and he’ll need to finish some fights before that happens.

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UFC 84 Fight Videos

Get ‘em while they last…

BJ Penn vs. Sean Sherk

Wanderlei Silva vs. Keith Jardine (Knockout of the Night)

Rousimar Palhares vs. Ivan Salaverry (Submission of the Night)

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