What's up everybody? This will be my fourth blog here on the MMAforum and as always it's cool to share with the MMA fans my thoughts about the sport. This time I will be discussing and predicting the winners for UFC 89:Bisping v.s. Leben, which will air live and FREE this Saturday on Spike. That being said, this event overall seems to be built on the fact that some of the lesser known or fighters trying to climb the ranks can make a statement being on a fight card where they are showcased as the main fights so the results of the fights could go a long way in shaping the future challengers for titles in specific divisions or shaping the rankings in the divisions themselves. Now that the introduction for the event is done, let's get to what could be a surprisingly better card then it looks on paper because while this card doesn't have any major type of star power on it, it does have a list of fighters that can put on a great show for the fans.
First up in the Welter weight, we have the undefeated and the UK's own, Paul Kelly v.s. a very tough boxer, Marcus Davis. I really expect this fight to be a brawl and it could quite possibly steal the show in my opinion. Maybe it's because one is English and one is Irish? Ha Ha Seriously though, this should be a good fight but it's tough to pick a winner here because there's many factors to consider for both fighters. Kelly is known to have some brutal ground and pound skills and with those skills he's been able to go 8-0 so far in his MMA career but he's only had one other fight in the UFC against Paul Taylor at UFC 80, which he won. You can't argue with the success that Kelly has achieved being undefeated, which obviously is a great accomplishment but fighting on the big stage with the bright lights of the UFC can sometimes effect a fighter so it will be interesting to see how Kelly reacts when he is inside the octagon. Kelly's opponent, Marcus Davis however is a very experienced fighter with a record of 19-5 and has eight fights in the octagon,six of which he won. As I said, Marcus Davis is known to have very solid boxing skills and will try to use this fight to bounce back from a loss in his last fight against Mike Swick. For the winner here, I have to pick Marcus Davis simply because he is the more experienced fighter and since I expect this to fight to stay standing, I would think Davis would have the advantage to win the fight.
Another Englishman, Paul Taylor will fight MMA veteran, Chris Lytle in the Welter weight division. Lytle is sometime called the "gate keeper" of the welter weight division and when you look at his record in the UFC only the upper level fighters in the division have beat him, while the lesser skilled fighters have not so if Taylor wants to have any chance of making an impact in the current welter weight scene he will have to get a win against Lytle. It will be no easy task though because Lytle is one of the most seasoned fighters in the game today with a record of 35-16-4 and he's also a very well rounded fighter with both striking and submission skills. Paul Taylor has a decent MMA record of 9-3-1 but is 2-2 in the UFC so I'm not too impressed with Taylor because he hasn't shown any real consistency in the UFC. As for a winner, I have to predict that Chris Lytle gets the victory here because as I said only the upper level fights of the welter weight division such as Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughs, and Thiago Alves have beat him. I don't see Taylor at that level nor do I think he could get to that level so that's why I think Lytle gets the victory in this fight.
Rameau Sokoudjou (5-2) Vs. Luiz Cane (9-1-1) is an interesting match up in the 205 division and this is an example of some of the lesser known fighters getting a chance to make a name for themselves. This should be a really competitive fight and a new star could be born in the 205 division after this fight. Cane is known for his striking and being a very aggressive fighter that presses the action in his fights as well as being a muy thai and ju jit su champion. While Cane's record shows one loss, he is technically still unbeaten because the one loss was from a DQ as a result of an illegal knee during his UFC debut against James Irvin. Cane showed in his next fight that he is capable of winning in the UFC when he defeated James Lambert by TKO at UFC 85. It also should be mentioned that Cane is also a well rounded fighter with both TKO and submission victories on his record. His opponet, Sokoudjou is a very skilled fighter as well and if I had to pick one of the newest fighters in the 205 division that I think will make a name for himself, I would have to pick Sokoudjou because he is a judo champion as well as having a blue blue in ju jit su. Not to mention that he has knocked out Pride legend and current UFC interim UFC heavy weight champion Antonio Nogueria at Pride 33, which has to be considered an accomplishment. I'll predict Luiz Cane to get the victory here but that's more of a guess then a solid prediction because Sokoudjou is just as capable of winning and even if he loses the fight, I still think Sokoudjou could become a star. The main reason I pick Cane to win is because as I said, he technically hasn't been beaten yet and you have to give him credit for that.
Next up we have Keith Jardine (13-5-1) v.s. Brandon "The Truth" Vera (9-2) in the light heavy weight division. Kieth Jardine shocked the MMA world last year when he dominated UFC legend, Chuck Liddel but in his last fight he was knocked out in just 36 seconds by Wanderli Silva. This wasn't the only time Jardine has shown inconsistency in his career as he knocked out Forrest Griffin in 2006 but in his next fight was knocked out himself by Houston Alexander. Jardine is a well rounded fighter will no real obvious weak spots in his game but even though he has some major victories in his career, he is still searching for consistency in his career because he hasn't had more then two wins in a row in the UFC, which could be what is holding him back from being considered one of the top fighters in the stacked 205 division. "The Truth" recently made the move to 205 from the heavyweight division and was successful against Reese Andy in July. During that fight it seemed like Vera didn't have the best fight of his career but seems to be much better suited for 205 because he wasn't overpowered or push up against the cage the way he was in the heavy weight division. Vera is known as a great grappler and is an eight time grappler champion as well as having some good striking so it will be interesting to see if Vera gets a win against one of the stars of the 205 division. I'll pick Jardine to get the victory because Vera wasn't overly impressive in his last fight and I would expect Jardine to be aggressive in the fight to try to bounce back from his last fight against Wanderli.
The main event will showcase the middle weights when Chris Leben will fight Micheal Bisping. Both of these fighters have won each of their last two fights so they have some momentum going into Saturday's bout. This seems to be a very evenly matched fight as well because you have Bisping with a record of 17-1 and Leben with a record of 18-4 so it would definitely seems like this will be a very competitive fight and not an easy win for either fighter. Really, when you think about it a win over Leben or Bisping is never an easy task so I wouldn't be surprised if this one went to the judges simply because this are two top fighters. Bisping is known for his striking and also for his conditioning as well as being a ju jit su champion in his home country of England. Leben is known for his knock out power and his ability to survive amounts of punishment that would have the fight stopped for most other fighters so with those attributes in the octagon at once you can see why this is a tough fight. That being said, I have to give the advantage to Bisping going into the fight because of his ju jit su skills. If Leben is known to have a weakness in his game, it's the lack of any real solid ground skills so I would expect Bisping to try to take Leben down to exploit that. It's because of being a more well rounded fighter that I will predict that Bisping gets the win but I'm hoping that Leben knocks out "The Count." I say this because in my opinion Bisping is a very arrogant fighter and after the completely ridiculous decision in the fight with Hamil, Bisping spoke in the post fight interview as if he has definitively won the fight, which wasn't the case at all. Don't get me wrong here, I will give credit where credit is due, Bisping is a great fighter with a 17-1 record, which is a major accomplishment in MMA but he is very arrogant, which is something the sport doesn't need or won't need in the future. That being said, if Bisping does win and he gets a shot at the middle weight title it will be cool to see him get destroyed by Anderson Silva, who is without a doubt the best pound for pound fighter in the world today.
That's it for this blog here on MMAforum.com and thank you very much for taking the time to read it. If you have comments or questions feel free to post it in this thread or you can e mail me firstname.lastname@example.org