...OH, ONE MORE THING - PLEASE BOOKMARK US & VISIT DAILY!
By Marc Patching, MMA Torch Contributor:
If you're not already pumped for UFC 126, then shame on you. The UFC Fan Bar Without the Grill this week looks ahead to Saturday's action, as I attempt to predict the main card of the evening.
THE SAMPLER - UFC 126 PREDICTIONS.
UFC 126 is one heck of a stacked card, from top to bottom this should be a highly entertaining night of action. As well as the main card, which my predictions follow, you have the UFC debuts of 'Kid' Yamamoto, and Donald Cerrone. I've not been this pumped for a UFC card for a while now.
Miguel Torres vs. Antonio Banuelos
If you ever wondered what the fuss about WEC was all about, then you need not look any further then Miguel Torres. Torres is without doubt one of the most exciting fighters currently contracted to the UFC. He was able to successfully bounce back from two back-to-back defeats when he defeated Charles Valencia back in September. Banuelos is a mixed-bag, with a 9-5 record in WEC. He will prove some stiff competition for Torres, but Torres defiantly has what it takes to make this an impressive UFC debut and set-up and a potential fight against Urijah Faber. Winner: Miguel Torres
Jake Ellenberger vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha
This fight simply comes down to whether or not Ellenberger can keep this fight standing. Ellenberger is the better striker out of the two and will want to tap into his wrestling abilities to ensure Rocha doesn't take this to the ground, where he is most dangerous. Rocha has eight submission wins from nine fights, which tells you were his strength lies. A sensible fight plan from Ellenberger should be just enough to see his hand raised in victory, however if he goes out swinging then expect Rocha to catch him and tap him out. Winner: Jake Ellenberger
Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader
For me, this is without doubt the second biggest fight of the evening behind the Silva. Belfort fight. Forget the match between two fighters trying to reclaim old glories, instead watch this in anticipation as two of the UFC's brightest prospects go toe-to-toe. This is such a tough fight to call, and it's not just because these are two of my favorite UFC fighters right now. Bader has a big advantage in the way that he can use his raw power and aggression to overpower a fellow fighter, as he has been able to do in his UFC career so far. Yet, Jones has great striking and his overall athleticism is outstanding. Bader is going to have to work the takedowns, and at the same time avoid Jones's reach and strikes, which is easier said than done. None the less, this should be the fight of the night, and will elevate one of them to the next level. Winner: Jon Jones (but won't be disappointed if Bader wins)
Ritchie Franklin vs. Forrest Griffin
Probably the one fight on the card that sadly has no appeal to me. I'm glad that Franklin is fighting in the light heavyweight division, his losses to Anderson Silva were brutal and really put some dents into his legacy in the middleweight division, which is a shame. Griffin also has the ghost of Silva overshadowing him, after that debacle of a defeat back at UFC 101 (run Forrest, run!!). Apart from 'that' fight, Griffin is generally a tough competitor and normally fights to the very end. With that in consideration, I don't think Franklin has the striking ability to finish Griffin and therefore I can see Griffin scrapping it out and holding out for a decision victory. Winner: Forrest Griffin
Anderson Silva (c) vs. Vitor Belfort
The most successful fighter/champion in UFC history, puts his title on the line against the formidable striker, Vitor Belfort. The question is; What Anderson Silva is going to show up? Will it be the Anderson Silva who destroyed the likes of Chris Leben, Ritchie Franklin, James Irvine, and Forrest Griffin? Will it be the Anderson Silva who bored us to a deep sleep in fights against Thales Leites, Damian Maia, and Patrick Cote? Or will it be the Anderson Silva who barely survived against Chael Sonnen? I'm hoping we get to see the Anderson Silva who looks unstoppable and puts on an MMA clinic for all to witness. I just can't see how Belfort is going to out strike him. The Chael Sonnen fight, just like the first round against Dan Henderson, showed that Silva has some vulnerability when taken down, but Belfort is just not that type of fighter. As much as I would like to see a shake-up in the division, I'm thinking that this is another victory for Silva and a another step to the eventual Silva vs. St Pierre fight that it is being touted. Winner: Anderson Silva
AN EXTRA SIDE OF POTATO WEDGES - TITAN FC 16 - ABE WAGNER TKO'S FORMER UFC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION TIM SYLVIA IN 32 SECONDS.
I know I normally tend to speak on all things UFC, but as this does involve a former UFC champion, I couldn't resist a little dig. Firstly, Sylvia looked horribly overweight going into this fight, which is one reason Dana White won't be signing him. Secondly, Abe who? No offense to Wagner, but I'm sorry I don't remember you at all from The Ultimate Fighter: The Heavyweights. No wonder, apparently he lost the first fight of the show against Jon Madsen. If the shocking defeat to Ray Mercer didn't open Sylvia eyes, then hopefully this defeat will and show Sylvia that any return to the UFC is a long way off.
A SLICE OF CHOCLATE CHESSECAKE - ALDO vs. HOMINICK ADDED TO UFC 129.
Finally a fight to truly get excited about has been added to the card. Forget the boredom that will be St. Pierre vs. Shields, forget Randy Couture putting off retirement once again. Aldo vs. Hominick should be one of the most anticipated fights of the year, plain and simple. All joking aside, this should be a great evening of action at the Rogers Centre. I for one am hoping that the St. Pierre vs. Shields fight lives up to all the billing. Anyways, this is a stacked card and once again shows the real value behind the WEC merger, I mean Nate Diaz is having to fight on the undercard!
That's it for this week, until next week when I will take a look back at UFC 126 in hopeful fondness.
DON'T GO YET... WE SUGGEST THESE MMATORCH ARTICLES, TOO!
Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
STAFF COLUMNISTS: Shawn Ennis - Jason Amadi
Frank Hyden - Rich Hansen
Chris Park - Matt Pelkey
Interested in joining MMATorch's writing team? Send idea for a theme to your column (for Specialist section) or area of interest (i.e. TV Reporter) along with a sample of writing to email@example.com.