I’ve never watched or cared too much about MMA to consider even tracking for stats and analysis beyond the norm. Still, I like the novelty of answering the big question with these fights: What style wins? Or, what combo of styles are better to win a fight?
I won’t attempt to answer the questions in this post. Maybe at some point I’ll examine lineage of champions and see what their specific paths are. Note to self: do this pronto.
Tonight is UFC 167: Georges St. Pierre vs Johny Hendricks for St. Pierre’s UFC welterweight title.
St. Pierre has defended this title 8 times, second most of any of the league titles. 7 of his last 8 fights have been wins via decision, 24-2 in the octagon, with that last loss coming in 2007. 11th fight in Vegas. Fightmatrix.com ranks him the #2 Absolute all-time fighter and #1 , behind Anderson Silva. Also is the top welterweight and #2 pound-for-pound (from www.sherdog.com )
Styles: Boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Also holds black belts in Gaidojutsu (recent combo of wrestling, kickbocking and judo) and Shidokan (derivative of Okinawan karate).
Mixed bag of cycles for an athlete..a surge in physical power, feeling more sure of himself tonight,motivation is returning, and he must run with that pure physicality tonight, as his decision-making is at a nadir.
Yves Lavigne is the 3rd man in the ring…who has seen 3 decisions and awarded one TKO with St. Pierre fighting
Johny Hendricks, 15-1, is the top contender for the title
This is his 4th fight in Vegas, along with it is first shot at a UFC belt.
Alternating KOs (mainly from punches) & wins via decision in last 6, following first career loss.
Styles: wrestling (prime strength) boxing, kickboxing
Johny is already at his physical peak but the passion isn’t quite there. His decision making is good and improving strongly. He’ll be able to take care of his opponent but he might be more sensitive to his environs tonight.
This fight is very close to call, but I will give it to the champion, St. Pierre, in a 5-round decision.
ESPN with a special edition of boxing on Saturday, tonight at Glow, Greenhithe, UK, with the main event being James DeGale and Dyah Davis, a pair of super middleweights going 12 rounds for DeGale’s WBC Silver super middleweight title.
DeGale is based in London, fighting with a 16-1-0 record (11 KOs). This is his 2nd defense of the title. 8 12-rounder of his career, going 7-1 (3 decisions, 3 KOs, 1 retirement, and the one blemish a decision loss 21 months ago). When he does end with a KO win, it’s often early in the fight. DeGale is ranked by boxrec.com as the #9 super middleweight worldwide, and #3 in the UK. Tonight is his 3rd match at Glow, where Stjepan Bozic retired in round 4 of 12. That fight was done on short rest for DeGale, coming 25 days after an early KO of Sebastien Demers. Prior to that, at Glow, he outpointed Hadillah Mohoumade for the EBU supermiddleweight title (European)
Coming out of a 4-day triple high, he’s going to be quite fuzzy mentally, wanting to think ahead in the fight but he’s going to have such confusion over what to punch, and might get caught with his hands down. But he still has a true boxer’s chance, as his physical and mental cycles remain high to contend.
Davis is 22-3-1, 10 wins and 1 loss by KO.
#23 super middleweight in the world, #4 in the US. Tonight is his first fight outside the US. He has a record of 5-1 against opponents who were undefeated or with 1 loss coming in. Tonight is also his first scheduled 12-round contest. Last 2 fights were KOs, ending a run of 5 decisions. Most of his own KOs have also come early in fights.
Triple-high cycles can only suggest he’s very sure of himself, has prime power and skills to master the ring tonight.
Predicting an 8th-round TKO win (or at least the middle rounds) for Dyah Davis.
Largest attention of the boxing world (who are not watching UFC, that is) will be watching HBO and Andre Ward vs Edwin Rodriguez. These 2 middleweights, battle for Ward’s WBA “super” super middleweight title in Ontario CA.
Ward is 26-0-0, 14 by KOs. As a 38-year-old he fought once last year, and this is his one fight for 2013 as well. It’s his 10th fight scheduled for 12 rounds. In those fights he has gone 7-0, 6 decisions and one late TKO, breaking a string of 5 decisions. This fight is his first at Citizens Business Bank Arena, but the latest in a long line of fights in his home state. Further, it’s his 5th fight vs an undefeated opponent. As for the title itself, he’s held it since 2009, tho his inactive status took the title away twice, giving it to the top challenger, Carl Froch.
S.O.G. has good tactical skills tonight. All three cycles are in the up direction, but emotionally there’s a big hill to climb. He’s got to get over himself and whatever inner demons are lurking. Even if his psyche is a bit troubled, his athletic ability is strong.
Edwin Rodriguez reported over the weight limit, so he’s not eligible to win the title in the ring. “La Bomba” is the world #4 super middleweight per boxrec.com and #1 from the Dominican Republic. Undefeated in 24 fights, 14 by KO. Had a run of 5 KOs in 2009-10, then 2 KOs, 4 decisions, 1 retirement followed. This is his first fight on the West Coast. It’s also his first 12-round fight. Last pure KO win came in 2010.
Cycles for Edwin are very good here..just what a boxer needs, power and passion. Tactical skills are lacking tonight; he’ll miss his share of power punches and he’s willing to see the fight through, slugging it out instead of biding time.
Third man is Jack Reiss, who officiated the Ward/Kessler fight in 2009 (Ward winning in 11 of 12), and was a judge in Ward/Pudwill (Ward KO win in round 3 of 10). Judge Steve Morrow scored the Ward/Kessler fight, and also Ward/ Henry Buchanan, 2009 (Ward decision in 12), and Ward/Rubin Williams in 2008 (Ward, TKO/doctor stoppage, round 7 of 10)
It’s a very close fight, and it leans toward La Bomba getting this fight to 12 rounds and having the power to do so.
Rodriguez by decision.