Saturday, January 22, 2011

UFC Fight Night Review/Strikeforce Preview

While there is no way any of us could ever repay those who serve this country and protect our freedom on a daily basis, the UFC did their small part. For the second time, the UFC held a live fight card on a military base to honor our soldiers and to raise money for the 'Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund'. This organization supports our troops who are injured in battle, especially traumatic brain injuries, and the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Fighting at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, the UFC put on a nice show headlined by lightweights (155 lbs.) Evan Dunham (11-2, 2 KO's, 6 subs) and Melvin 'The Young Assassin' Guillard (27-8-2, 17 KO's 2 subs). In the main event, Guillard, a replacement for injured Kenny Florian, who was Dunham's original opponent, made the most of his opportunity as he devastatingly pummeled Dunham for a first round referee stoppage.

Always possessing all the tools and God given gifts, the 27 year old Guillard appears to finally be putting it all together under the tutelage of MMA trainer extraordinaire Greg Jackson. A package of superior hand speed, power and athleticism are the reason why Guillard has won his last four in a row and seven out of his last eight. In his post-fight interview he said, "You keep lining them up and I'll keep knocking them down on my way to a title shot by the end of the year or early 2012; I promise you that."

The co-main event didn't last very long as former NFL player and heavyweight up and comer Matt 'Meathead' Mitrione upped his record to (4-0, 3 KO's) as he smashed, or should I say thrashed, Tim 'The Thrashing Machine' Hague (12-5, 7 KO's 3 subs) with a TKO in the first round. Using a stiff left jab, while extremely light on his feet, and finishing with a powerful right hand, Mitrione is starting to make some noise in the big boy division of the UFC.

The main card featured a fight in the featherweight (145 lbs.) division between Mark 'The Machine' Hominick (20-8, 9 KO's 7 subs) and George Roop (11-7-1, 2 KO's 4 subs). Hominick lived up to his nickname as he was a machine in knocking out Roop in a little over a minute via ref stoppage. The win, Hominick's fifth in a row, guarantees him a title shot against champion Jose Aldo in what should be a dynamite fight. Also, in another heavyweight tilt, tough Joey 'The Mexecutioner' Beltran (12-5, 10 KO's, 1 sub) was chopped down, literally, by kickboxer Pat 'HD' Barry (6-2, 5 KO's). Barry won a unanimous decision using a nice combination of precision punches and vicious round kicks to Beltran's left leg.

In the first fight on the main card, lightweight Cole Miller (17-5, 3 KO's 12 subs) underestimated 'Handsome' Matt Wiman (13-5, 4 KO's 4 subs) as he got beat ugly and was completely dominated for three rounds. Thanks to the troops for their unwavering service and thanks to the UFC for an entertaining free night of fights.

Looking ahead to next Saturday, the Strikeforce promotion returns with not just one, but two championship fights in San Jose, CA. The main event of the evening features welterweight (170 lbs.) champion Nick Diaz (23-7, 12 KO's 7 subs) defending his title against number one challenger Evangelista 'Cyborg' Santos (18-13, 11 KO's 5 subs). Also, the middleweight (185 lbs.) championship is at stake when Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza (13-2, 10 subs) defends against heavy hitting 'Ruthless' Robbie Lawler (18-6, 15 KO's, 1 sub).

While Santos may be best be known for being the husband of the number one female fighter in the world, Cristiana 'Cyborg' Santos, he is a dangerous fighter in his own right. However, of his 13 losses, 8 have been via KO, which may prove to be a problem against the slick punching Diaz who possesses underrated knockout power. A Cesar Gracie black belt in jiu-jitsu as well, the champion has no weaknesses, is just stepping into his prime and should have no problem retaining his title.

The other bout is a classic grappler vs. striker match-up that will be a battle of which fighter can impose their will on the other. Souza, very slick on the ground, has fought some good fighters, but no one with the punching power that Lawler possesses. A former 'ICON Sport' middleweight champion, Lawler, the former UFC veteran, is (7-2-1) in his last 10 fights and coming off a 50 second knockout of Matt Lindland. Only 28 years old with a wealth of world class experience, I think this is Robbie Lawler's time and he will make the most of it with a KO victory over 'Jacare'.

If you are interested in donating to the 'Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund', you can call 1-877-747-HERO (4376) or go to FIGHTFORTHETROOPS.COM

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