Thomas’ UFC 191 Breakdowns

Main Event – Johnson vs Dodson

This UFC main event has FIRE written all over it. I want the UFC to play that Van Halen “Fire in the Hole” track to introduce this dandy of a matchup. I’m telling you folks this has that potential to be a fight of the year candidate. Plus it has that fantastic rematch component to it where you know Dodson has been trying to earn his shot back into this position so that he can beat up Johnson because frankly, he can.

What to expect.

On Johnson’s End

The dude is a masterful tactician and has won 8 fights in row. He’s currently (arguably of course) THE BEST and most well rounded tactician in MMA. He has an incredibly diverse and lucrative skill set REGARDLESS of where this fight goes. Since Dodson has fantastic power, expect Johnson to utilize boxing circling, strong defence strategies (similar to that fading away/elusive style you see from Mayweather, except MMA oriented in nature) and to go for the takedown if Dodson overexerts his forward balance trying to land the knock out shot.

On Dodson’s End

Dodson hits like a heavyweight. For a guy in this weight class to throw as hard and land as often as Dodson does is just mesmerizing. Expect Dodson to land huge shots at a decent rate and possibly even drop Johnson at times, because those punches pack C4 in them. I wouldn’t expect him to slow down either throughout the fight as he knows how strong Johnson is in the cardio department, so expect Dodson to not wear out early and instead conserve his energy as his best chance to win is via the KO.

Prediction

I see Johnson winning by submission. I would assume sometime surrounding the later portions of the fight (round 3, 4 or 5). Mighty Mouse could tire Dodson out on the ground and work a rear naked.

Co-Main Event – Mir vs Arlovski

Admittedly, this is an odd one to consider because just 4 years back Arlovski was journeying around in different promotions, trying to re-establish himself as a heavyweight contender. Meanwhile, Frank Mir didn’t win for nearly two years between summer 2012 and February 2014, seemingly drifting towards the  “retire or get cut” list. Now both are back and it’s time to see which veteran is better suited for a last crack at a title run.

What to expect

On Arlovski’s End

This guy never shies away from a fight and absolutely won’t against Frank Mir. This is the guy that KO’d by Fedor because he leapt in for a flying knee and got caught. He will engage Mir in boxing and will throw leg kicks and try to force Mir into a brawl, where Arlovski excels and can unleash his relentless power. In some ways, whenever I watch an Arlovski fight I say, expect punches and kicks thrown, however from that point on just expect the unexpected.

On Frank Mir’s End

He continues to impress even though he’s getting older and doesn’t show the quickness he used to have, but he has adapted, continued to improve in striking and engaging techniques. His ground game has also consistently broken people too… literally, like more than once. Don’t be surprised if he takes it to the ground and/or has some top-notch exchanges with the “Pitbull.”

Prediction

Expect Mir to win via old faithful in this one and continue his journey into the UFC records books. Good ol’ submission (Round 2ish, before it gets too sweaty in there) and because it might get “scrambly” in nature, I’m going with a heel hook or kemura.

3 things to look out for at UFC 191!

A streak is due

Jessica Andrade is known to lose a fight and then proceeds to go on a solid winning streak of at least 2 or 3 or even more. I expect her to keep her momentum going after her win from UFC Fight Night in July (where Mir also fought) and take home a win.

Warzone

Johnson vs Manuwa probably will not last long and your screen might get cracked due to the incidental earthquake that will happen when these 2 decide to launch the fist-version of tomahawk missiles at each other. Godzilla vs Mothra infrastructure damage may occur, so plan accordingly!

“A New Player Has Entered the Game”

Watch for the emergence of the pretty, yet lethal “12 Gauge”. She is still a developmental project and has some holes in her game, mostly due to inexperience, every fight she improves in each MMA department in terms of timing and technique. I wouldn’t be surprised if she pulls out some new weapons that are now available in her arsenal. Win or lose, she’ll be entertaining and might even win in spectacular fashion.

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UFC 189 McGregor vs Mendes Championship Fight Predictions

It’s a beautiful Saturday. I am about to eat some meat, sit outside and enjoy a great BBQ with friends, but before I do I must post my UFC 189 Prediction for the title fights.

McGregor vs Mendes

Both men are phenomenal athletes in their respective discipline/styles and either one has a chance to win regardless of my take. The classic striker vs grappler shows up again.

That said, I have Mendes by decision. Simply gonna put it that Conor has a punchers chance (albeit a great one at that considering his pedigree) but Mendes is just extremely strong, ridiculously fast and I believe he has the speed advantage. It is REALLY hard to punch and kick when your forced back and grinded ‘DC style’ against the cage. I believe that to be the Faber/Mendes perspective on how to counter McGregor and win. Why stand with an elite striker? Do like Chael did to Anderson and force McGregor to reach into his bag of tricks early and often. That said, the Irishman is one talented young man with undeniable spirit and technique. Just because we don’t know how good McGregor’s ground is doesn’t mean its not awesome or clutch.

My ONLY worry (more for fairweather fans than me because I don’t care) is that its “boring” because McGregor’s guard is great, but that Mendes doesn’t have much to beat it, so he resorts to lazy ground and pound/half guard type position control to eak out a decision.

McGregor, prove me wrong man, I’d love to see it. Both men have what it takes to be the interim champ. Beating Aldo….well we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

In general, one phrase sums this fight up in a nutshell. “Range control.” Whoever wins that, wins the fight in the grand scheme of things.

Lawler vs MacDonald

I could totally see this fight going either way.

The way I see it, no one can question how hard Lawler hits. On the same token, no one can question how truly well rounded MacDonald is as a fighter. So there lies the conundrum.

But there is one difference. Explosiveness. I see this being in the favour of the Champion Lawler. Rory MacDonald is so technical, experienced and composed inside the cage, but I don’t see that being enough to stop one of Lawlers classic leap in and hooks.

3rd round TKO in favour of Robbie as I believe he has that Championship experience to wait for his time and unload the cannon.

Man this was not easy to pick and I hate going against my fellow Canadian, but experience tells me Lawler is very, very, very hungry for this defense too. He’s proven alot to any doubters, but he still wants to be one of the best Welterweights ever.

Anyway, enjoy your Saturday everyone and wear sunscreen!!