Overall thoughts on card
Funny thing about this one is the Russian has come back off a 2-2 record, and the American started 0-2-1 before launching into the great winning streaks.
But lets be honest. The only reason I’m picking the Russian is know Timmy lost to Dodson, so there is a ceiling to his talent. The Russian? No Idea.
Josh Koscheck vs. Tyron Woodley
Collin:This is the most competitive of the three big 170 pound bouts on this card in my opinion. Both fighters are skillful wrestlers with big punching power and great athleticism. I believe that Josh is the better wrestler, but Tyron is possibly the better striker at this point. This is as close to a pick ’em fight as I can get, but in a fight this close I tend to shade toward tge better wrestler with more experience. Could be a firefight, could be a snoozer, but expect Kos to walk away with his hand raised after a decision that many will probably disagree with.
Josh Koscheck, unanimous decision.
Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler
David: I like Lawler, this resurgence is really showcasing what he is made of. The problem here is Rory is just on another level. He’s gonna pop his jab to slow Robbie down, and stay away from that power until Lawler begins to tire- I’m not sure he has the goods to stop Lawler, but he is good enough to dictate where the fight goes and work it as far as he needs to.
Rory via DEC
Collin: This is a headscratcher to me. Whenever the cries for this matchup first rang out following Rory beating Jake Ellenberger on the same night Robbie beat Bobbie Volker I never liked this fight. I see the value of giving Rory an opponent who will force him to be more aggressive but is relatively shop work and should be an easy victim, but really Rory should be fighting a top 3 guy, not an aging vet in a weightclass he doesn’t belong in. Robbie could be able to land a big left hand and put Rory away, but look for Rory to feed him a steady diet of jabs before Robbie tires, gets taken down and finished with ground and pound.
Rory MacDonald, knockout in round 2.
Sonnen vs Evans
David: Explain to me where Sonnen is better than Rashad. He’s not a better wrestler, he’s not a better striker, he doesn’t have better cardio, and I’m not sure he’s got better Ju-Ju. Sonnen easily has the lesser chin, and the worst submission defense of any three time title contender since Tank Abbott. What he does have over Rashad is drive. Sonnen is not a hall-of-fame talent, but he does have the gift of gab and a simple gameplan that will beat most men at his level or below. The chance he has is Rashad has a tendency to play well below his level at times during a fight, and during those times, Sonnen can not only be competitive, but dominant. Problem is, he can’t really stop anyone at the highest level. Rashad can stop him however, but I’m not sure he will. The best Rashad beats the best Sonnen, so I’ll take that.
Rashad via DEC
Collin: This is a really interesting fight to me. Rashad has shown at various times in his career that he can be a great fighter. He has lighting hand speed when he can get knto position to fire off combinations, and a solid enough wrestling base that he cannot be taken down by most wrestlers. His biggest frustrations have come when opponents who can maintain distance just outside of his punching range and either jab him to death, ala Nogueira, or dart in and out of range the way Machida did. I’m not really sure how he will cope with the unrelenting pressure of a fighter like Sonnen though. Chael will be in his face from bell to bell, and I can forsee an outcome where staying in Rashad’s comfort zone can be disastrous for him and he could eat that snappy right cross that effecively ended the career of Chuck Liddell. Or I can see Chael frustrating him immensely, grinding him up againt the cage, scoring a few greco tamedowns and winning a decision. I don’t forsee a Sonnen submission like we saw him pull out againt Shogun, but I can easily see him using superior body positioning and a smothering top game to overpower Rashad.
Sonnen via unanimous decison.
UFC Welterweight Championship
Johnny Hendricks vs Georges St Pierre
David:Here is the problem with Hendricks.
Collin: The UFC has done a really good job of making a lot of people think Johnny Hendricks is the stiffest test out there for Georges St. Pierre. They have done a good job convincing everyone that he is a better wrestler than Koscheck, hits harder than Dan Hardy, ect. The reality is that he is a plodding, albeit immensely powerful striker, who arguably lost to both Carlos Condit and Josh Koscheck while climbing his way to a title shot. I just don’t see anthi g in his skillset that makes me believe Georges won’t be able to just jab him at will until he is tired, take him down at least once a round qnd cruise to a unanimous decision. I like Hendricks but he is facing one of the best welterweight fighters ever, and I can only envision Georges walking away from this fight with the UFC belt still firmly fixed around his waist.
Georges St. Pierre, unanimous decision.
What Happens if GSP Loses?
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