Hello MMA fans and fighters! It is so good to be back and welcome to another addition of "MMA ALL THE WAY!!". Without further ado, lets dive into the top fights that will be held on Saturday, March 27th live at The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
UFC 111 will have, not one, but two fights that will have titles on the line. It will also have a rematch that is four years in the making between two of the top contenders in the Welterweight Division.
UFC Welterweight Champion Georges "Rush" St-Pierre will put his title on the line against top contender and charasmatic British fighter Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy. Both fighters are on a role and are hungry to prove who is the better fighter. Hardy's striking, combined with his knockout power, makes him a dangerous opponent for anyone in the Welterweight Division. St-Pierre loves to beat opponents at their own game.
Hardy has one of those brawling styles that he does show accuracy when he throws those haymakers, but he has the ability to either rock his opponents or put them to sleep with just one punch. Either way, that style has garnered wins over top fighters such as Mike Swick and Marcus Davis. Hardy is entering the Prudential Center with a four fight win streak and an unblemished record of in the octagon and his hunger to win only fuels himself to shock the world. GSP wants to be the first to make him feel defeat for the first time.
St-Pierre is, undoubtedly, one of the most pound-for-pound, greatest fighters in the world. What really is scary is that he has yet to reach his peak. Every GSP that fights is an improved version of the GSP from the previous fight. He is constantly driving for perfection at each style of the sport.
What is more amazing is that St-Pierre has an overall style that makes him great at all aspects of Mixed Martial Arts. His style of Kyokushin karate combined with ground game that is second to none makes GSP almost impossible to prepare for. The guy trains with the National Olympic Wrestling team of Canada and the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu team with Nova Uniao. He simply is the best because he trains with the best. That is evident with a six fight win streak, with the last three title defenses over the likes of BJ Penn, Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves.
Hardy has a hairline edge if the fight stays on the feet. GSP has a huge edge if the fight goes to the ground. We have yet to see Hardy's ground game, but it will be tested when you face an animal like GSP. With that being said, in GSP's last fight with Thiago Alves, it was Alves who was the better striker and St-Pierre outstruck him as well as taking him to the ground at will.
Both fighters have made it very clear that they will be very upset with themselves if the fight goes to a decision. Both are coming into the fight to finish the other fighter in spectacular fashion. I give the slight edge to GSP because he is well-rounded overall and will take Hardy down and win with his ground game, if, and that is a big "IF", he thinks that the striking game goes south.
True, Hardy is a very hungry fighter and wants to prove that he is worthy to fight the champion. St-Pierre, however, is more prepared. Winner Georges St-Pierre by TKO.
The Frank Mir vs. Shane Carwin fight for the Interim Heavyweight Champion will decide who faces the juggernaut in Brock Lesnar later this year. Carwin is going into this fight with a perfect 11-0 record and was suppose to fight Lesnar for the title before it was postponed due to Lesnar's illness. Mir is going into the fight in the best shape of his career both mentally and physically.
Losing to Brock Lesnar back in July at UFC 100 was the best thing to ever happen to Frank Mir. The loss literally lit a fire under his ass and made him realize that if he wants to be a champion, he has to train like one and not rely on his raw talent alone. Mir was rededicated to his training and to the sport. He hired a strength and conditioning coach and it showed when a chisled Frank Mir appeared against heavy striker Cheick Kongo in December at UFC 107.
Not only did Mir choke out the french native, he set up up the choke with superb striking against Kongo. After that fight, it was evident that Mir is now poses a threat on the feet to go along with his already sick ground game and that is just scary.
For Shane Carwin, a more dangerous Frank Mir is just another challenge for the Colorado Native. An accomplished NCAA II wrestling champion. The man that goes by the name of "Monster" has been blazing a path through the UFC since his debut in May at UFC 84.
Carwin can be compared with current heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in many ways, which could very well test Mir's improvements to the extreme. Carwin, like Brock, has to cut weight to reach the heavyweight limit at 265 lbs. Even more astonishing is that Carwin fights with 4XL gloves which is a size bigger than Lesnars. And the guy is freakishly strong, just like Brock.
With cinder blocks like that, when Carwin hits you, you will either feel it really bad or will be put to sleep. Just look at former No. 1 contender, Gabriel Gonzaga. Gonzaga rocked Carwin with two menacing rights and that just seemed to piss the "Monster" off. Moments later, Carwin dropped Gonzaga with one punch and that was it. Even blocking a punch from that man can injure you. His ground game is always evolving and since it already has a strong wrestling-based background, Carwin can rely on his brute force to just bulldoze through his opponents. All of his UFC fights have never gone past the first round. That man is truly a "Monster."
This fight is hard to call. I would give the edge to Mir cause he has the experience, but Carwin is just a new breed of animal. This fight could either be really good, but it could also be very bad since both fighters' abilities could neutralize each other. Winner will go to Frank Mir by submission.
The rematch between Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves is going to be exciting. Both guys are trying to get back into the title hunt and both want to show the world that they deserve to be in the hunt.
Fellow Hoosier Jon Fitch is definately someone you do not want to take lightly. He kind of reminds me of a welterweight version of Randy Couture. Fitch loves to grind at his opponents and tire them out. Alves loves to blast through opponents with his superb striking.
Going into UFC 111 will be the 13th fight in the octagon for Fitch. His lone loss came in August at UFC 87 to current champion Georges St-Pierre. But that match showed that Fitch is not a quitter and has yet to be finished. Ironically, out of all 12 UFC fights, Fitch has beaten only one fighter by TKO and that was Thiago Alves in June 2006 at UFC Fight Night 5. That was four years ago.
Both fighters have knows what it feels like to face GSP and lose. Both fighters know that they have to step up their game to another level if they are to be champion. Alves is a dangerous striker and has put away people like former champion Matt Hughes, Josh Koshcheck and Chris Lytle just to name a few. Alves is a completely different fighter when he first met Fitch. Alves also has a very sick ground game as well, but he does like to put on a show by knocking his opponents out in incredible fashion. It will be interesting to see how Alves bounces back from his GSP loss.
Then again Fitch has been one of the most consistent fighters in the UFC today. His work ethic is unparalleled. All the guy does is train and train and train. He really does not do anything else. The former captain of the Purdue wrestling team does not know how to quit until he gets what he wants. Whether it is win or starting another streak back to another title fight.
This fight is another hard one to call. The only reason that I am going for Fitch because he is one of my boys and I have to support that. Winner goes to Fitch by Decision.
Well those are my thoughts on the upcoming Pay-Per-View fights that will happen March 27. Now, it is your turn. Who do you think will come out on top? Will Dan Hardy shock the world and become Britains first UFC champion? Or will GSP reign supreme? Will Mir stop the Carwin onslaught and set his sights on a rubber match with Lesnar? Or will Carwin run through Mir and get the match he was suppose to have with Lesnar? Will Fitch dominate Alves like he did before? Or will Alves show that he is the better fighter?
Until then this is Balistik signing out.
"MMA ALL THE WAY!!"