Spiars' Quick Picks: UFC 105
As a fan of the UFC, is there anything better than a night of live fights for free?
Well, yes, yes there is. How about a UFC Hall of Fame fighter headlining this event in his return to the light-heavyweight division, as well as a welterweight contest to determine the next number one contender?
As the UFC's popularity continues to grow all across the world, these events that are to be aired live on cable t.v. will continue to get better and better, as evident with UFC 105.
A melting-pot of U.K. talent will be on display this coming Saturday, as well as a group of established veterans from across the globe.
So come November 14th, 2009, a lot is going to be at stake for a select amount of those participating. The question is, who is going to rise to the occasion and take advantage of the opportunities placed in front of them?
Randy Couture vs. Brandon Vera— Randy Couture
It has got to be tough to step inside the cage with your childhood idol staring directly into your soul, the same idol who is planning on crushing your dreams in the pursuit of his own. Such is the case for Brandon "The Truth" Vera.
At one point, many people thought that Vera was on the fast track of not only dominating the heavyweight division, but the light-heavyweight division as well. Needless to say, things didn't work out the way they seemed. After some poor performances, Vera was forced to move down to the 205 pound division prematurely.
Once here, Vera showed flashes of brilliance, but he was quickly shot back down to earth after a crushing defeat to Keith Jardine. He has bounced back since then with two straight victories, effectively utilizing his deadly muay thai in picking apart Mike Patt and Krzysztof Soszynski.
Can he continue to prove the doubters wrong against his childhood idol?
Randy "The Natural" Couture is considered one of the best fighters in the history of MMA, and if you were to look at his professional record (16-10), you would say that the Couture supporters are crazy. But it's not his record that the people are looking at to determine this statement, it is his history.
Couture is a five-time UFC champion, and one of two fighters to hold belts in two separate weight classes. He has all the experience needed to come out the victor every time, always coming through with a solid, well-executed game plan.
His boxing is often underestimated as his opponents tend to strictly watch out for his superior wrestling attributes. The way Couture can dominate in the clinch with any fighter of any weight class should be sending chills down the spine of Brandon Vera.
Would it be a safe bet to call Couture one of the greatest fighters of all time, probably not. However, you better believe that Couture will continue to bring it all in every waking minute of his life.
Dan Hardy vs. Mike Swick— Mike Swick
Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy has a chance to shoot his way past some well-deserving contenders this weekend. While many would consider Hardy's path heading into this number one contenders match a short, easy path, no one can discredit his performances.
Since joining the UFC, Hardy has compiled an impressive 3-0 record, knocking two great opponents down to the bottom of the barrel in the welterweight division.
He showed that he has some devastating power, with his quick, clean striking. Hardy has shown that he can recover from bad situations with his nerves of steel composure. The one thing he hasn't shown is the ability to capitalize on a mistake.
This may ultimately spell disaster for Hardy, as Mike "Quick" Swick has proved that he is one of the front-runners to fight Georges St. Pierre for the championship. Swick has an impressive record of 9-1 inside the UFC, 4-0 at his current welterweight status.
As his nickname alludes towards, Swick has some ridiculous speed with his hands and feet. Like a vintage Vitor Belfort, Swick has the ability to unleash a massive amount of strikes with amazing accuracy, and not only is Swick fast, he matches his quickness with some brute strength, earning seven k.o.'s in 14 victories.
Swick is also a solid wrestler, easily controlling his opponents with some intense core strength. If Hardy tries to take this one down, Swick's sprawl should be able to nullify any attempt.
On paper, it appears that Swick might out-perform Hardy in every aspect of this fight.
Michael Bisping vs. Denis Kang— Denis Kang
Manchester's unsung hero, Michael "The Count" Bisping looks to rebound from his devastating knock out at the hands of Dan Henderson. He will undoubtedly be looking for an impressive victory to propel himself back in contender status.
Bisping has been known to be a technical boxer that is very effective with his footwork, moving in to land a shot and back out again before the counter strike is launched. This worked very well up until his last fight, so expect Bisping to clean up some of his messy flaws leading into this match.
Another thing that will be on the side of Bisping, is his remarkable ability to avoid the ground game. Strong, dominant wrestlers have all tried to keep Bisping down, and all have failed in doing so, which has boasted his ego tremendously.
This ego is something that Denis "The Super Korean" Kang should attack from the get go. Kang is still relatively unknown in the MMA community, despite having over 40 fights to his name, against some top competitors.
While he is not spectacular at any one area of the sport, Kang is under-rated and great in all of them.
His striking is a beautiful array of clean, technical strikes and powerful, street-brawling tactics. His take-downs are quick and very difficult to defend against, due to his ability to find his opponent's rhythm, and he is also a black belt in jiu jitsu.
There is a great chance that the U.K. crowd watches their homeland hero taste his third defeat.
Matt Brown vs. James Wilks— Matt Brown
James "Lightning" Wilks tore his way through The Ultimate Fighter during the ninth season, with impressive victories over Che Mills, Frank Lester (twice), and Damarques Johnson, earning him the prestigious six-figure contract with the UFC.
Unlike most of the TUF winners of the past, Wilks has been thrown in with the sharks in his first official fight with the company.
Wilks will likely stay afloat for a moment with his strong build, mixed with his taekwondo black belt. Even on the ground, Wilks has a great opportunity to pull of the victory with a brown belt in jiu jitsu. The anchor that appears to be weighing Wilks down is his small gas tank.
A fighter that doesn't have a weak gas tank, a guy that will bring 110 percent no matter where the chips are placed, is Matt "The Immortal" Brown.
Despite having a sub-par record of 9-7, Brown quickly became a fan-favorite because of his never-let-die attitude and all-around attack.
Brown possesses some deadly hands that continue to improve with each outing, most recently with his destruction of Pete Sell. His muay thai is effective, although he tends to find himself on his back, but that's alright, because Brown is no slouch in the jiu jitsu department either.
Both fighters better come in 100% prepared and ready for a war, because this one has the chance to be an all-around, back and forth barn-burner.
Ross Pearson vs. Aaron Riley— Ross Pearson
At the age of 28, Aaron Riley already has 40 fights under his belt, against some very stiff competition as well.
Riley has shown that he can aggressively dominate any fighter placed across from him with strong wrestling and jiu jitsu. A former welterweight fighter, Riley brings down a considerable amount of strength into the lightweight division.
Additionally, he is training out of a solid camp, with Jackson's MMA, so you better believe that he already has a solid game-plan worked out down to every detail.
Let's just hope that Riley doesn't take Ross "The Real Deal" Pearson too lightly. Although he hasn't been in the ring with the best, Pearson has shown at times that he may be a destructive force in the UFC.
Like Riley, Pearson is a huge lightweight that use to fight at welterweight. He has the strength and build of a human pitbull, and if he isn't dehydrated from the weight cut, he also has the speed to match.
Pearson bolsters a black belt in taekwondo, and a brown belt in judo. Add in to the fray that Pearson has had considerably more time to train for his first UFC fight, whereas Riley will be stepping into the cage for the second time in just over a month.
Terry Etim vs. Shannon Gugerty— Terry Etim
John Hathaway vs. Paul Taylor— John Hathaway
Nick Osipczak vs. Matthew Riddle— Matthew Riddle
Paul Kelly vs. Dennis Siver— Paul Kelly
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jared Hamman— Alexander Gustafsson
Roli Delgado vs. Andre Winner— Andre Winner
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