It’s been the most hyped show of the year by non-hardcore MMA fans. The UFC is getting press from places that they don’t usually receive press, including CNN’s website. That doesn’t mean it will be the biggest show of the year. And it probably won’t be one of the top 3 biggest money making PPV shows of the year. But because of the story of women’s MMA, or more accurately, Ronda Rousey, people who don’t usually watch the UFC regularly have their eyes open for this one.
The UFC Primetime series was one of the best ones yet, but not at hyping the actual fight. What it did best was humanize Rousey and her challenger Liz Carmouche. You know both of these women better than maybe you know any MMA fighters out there. It was compelling television.
Robbie Lawler Vs. Josh Koscheck
Duan says: Koscheck by 2nd round submission
I’m a huge Robbie Lawler fan, but even at his peak, this would have been a nightmare match up for him. Lawler’s strength is in his striking; when that’s stripped away from him, he struggles. And there are few in UFC capable of shutting down a stand up game like Koscheck. If he decides he doesn’t want to trade, he doesn’t have to. We’ve seen him do it with knockout artists like Leben and Daley; he will do it again here.
Lawler still has the power to shatter, especially now down at welter. He may also feel that his extra physicality at 170 gives him a better shot of fending off takedowns, but that probably comes with a price. I don’t usually like to see fighters moving down the scales late in their career, and while Robbie is by no means old in years, he is in terms of cage time. I would be concerned about what that cut will take out of him.
Lawler only wins a shootout, and I don’t think Koscheck is dumb enough to oblige him in one. He takes him down, wears him out, and submits him in the second.
Heidi: Koscheck by decision
Steve: Koscheck by 1st round TKO
GG: Koscheck by decision
Ivan Menjivar Vs. Urijah Faber
GG says: Faber by decision
If you take into account each fighter’s history, it looks like a bit of a stalemate. In most of Menjivar’s recent fights, the story goes that if he doesn’t stop his opponent, he loses by decision. And while I’m sure it’s possible that he can stop Faber, I just don’t see it happening. I see Faber controlling the fight. But I don’t see him stopping Menjivar either. Menjivar hasn’t been stopped in over 10 years. So, this fight looks like it’s going to end up in a decision, and just based on who I see as the better fighter, I have Faber picking up the win.
Duan: Faber by decision
Heidi: Faber by decision
Steve: Faber by decision
Lyoto Machida Vs. Dan Henderson
Steve says: Machida by way of 2nd round TKO
Wrestling fans like to call PAC “The Man Who Gravity Forgot.” I call Dan Henderson “The Man Who Age Forgot.” Every time somebody says age is going to catch up to him, he wins another fight, he knocks out Michael Bisping, Fedor Emelianenko or Wanderlei Silva, and so on. Perhaps his therapeutic use exemption helps him defy age – perhaps not – we’ll never know for sure. What we do know though is that Machida is the fighter who makes men look old overnight. One day Randy Couture was a contender, the next day he was missing some teeth off a front foot face kick. Now there’s every chance in the world of a one punch knockout by Hendo, but it’s the unorthodox striking that gives Machida the edge. He even had Jon Jones confused for a round – perhaps one of only two rounds Jones has lost in a fight in 3+ years. Henderson is a legend and worthy of praise, but Machida will move past him, likely via R2 TKO.
Duan: Machida by decision
Heidi: Henderson by decision
GG: Machida by decision
Liz Carmouche vs. Ronda Rousey
Heidi says: Rousey by 1st round submission
We’ve all seen Ronda finish by an armbar before and that’s not to say anything negative about Liz. I’m merely praising the high level athleticism that Rousey has strived to possess her entire life. It’s the precise nature of which she’s able to close in the distance, toss you, move to side control and finish that leads me to predict that Ronda submits Liz with a minute remaining on the clock in the first round.
Duan: Rousey by 1st round submission
Steve: Rousey by 1st round submission
GG: Rousey by 1st round submission