Luke Thomas has an article over at BE entitled, “Keith Jardine Will Defeat Wanderlei Silva.”
Obviously the first thing to note is how seemingly incorrect the title of the piece appears to be. Let me start by saying I pride myself on predictions. I figure I hit about 86% on MMA fights and it’s something I hang my hat on. Ask Sam Caplan how surprised I was when Schultz beat Taurosevicius on the recent IFL show. When someone I pick to win loses I almost take it personally. Even with a few of the PRIDE veterans struggling in the UFC I saw all of those coming outside of Cro Cop. There are people out there that are more knowledgeable than I am about certain aspects but across the board in sports I pride myself on predicting who will win a vast majority of the time.
First of all, Luke is correct that the UFC won’t cut Wanderlei Silva following a decent loss. If they want to renegotiate his contract they know full well he could head back over to DREAM, get six figures, and pick up a couple of easy wins to continue his star. But Wanderlei won’t lose to Keith Jardine. I can perhaps see a Liddell/Wandy-like decision where it’s a slugfest and Jardine’s leg kicks end up wooing the judges. This is fairly plausible. But Jardine’s chin is more than questionable and with another unorthodox guy like Wanderlei in there with him I can’t help but think something hard is going to connect. The Houston Alexander fight was not a fluke for Keith Jardine. He fought a more powerful guy and got caught with a single punch. This doesn’t mean Houston is better than Jardine (my old college football comparison of Michigan > Notre Dame > Michigan State > Michigan applies). Rankings should be made based on how many guys below you you’re capable of beating. Matchups will always mess that up as someone worse than you can sometimes have an advantage. Keith Jardine is a better fighter than Houston Alexander, though if they fought again I’d take Alexander, again, by first round knockout. That’s just the way the game is played.
Jardine won’t be able to take all of Silva’s onslaught and he will get dropped. I see that fight about 85% for Wanderlei and life will go on.
Secondly, an excellent note over at AOL about Roy Nelson.
I told Sam prior to the fight that Nelson would “rape” Brad Imes. Not literally of course, I wouldn’t choose to watch that. Nelson is very much in the same league as Ben Rothwell, a top 10-15 heavyweight in every sense.
While on the surface this article seems smart, stating that if Nelson took everything seriously and was more cut he’d be a better fighter, I just don’t think so. Seeing him in Bodog and the IFL I just don’t ever see him as a top five fighter. I don’t care if he had washboard abs and buns you could fry an egg on. Roy Nelson is what he is, a very solid fighter. If he lost 30 pounds I really don’t think he’d be any better than he is now. In fact he uses his size and weight to his advantage better than almost anyone in the sport. I respect Roy Nelson and I assume, depending on his competition, that he’ll hold that IFL title for a long while. I just don’t see losing weight being some big career changer for him.
People talking about this sport seem to think weight is such an important thing. Oh my God, Bisping dropped to 185lbs, he’s going to be huge and dominate! Not necessarily. Oh my God, this welterweight is dropping to lightweight! Doesn’t mean he has a chance in hell against BJ Penn or Sean Sherk. Weight and shape can be a key but just because Mike Swick goes from middleweight to welterweight doesn’t mean he’s cleaning out a division. In fact he’s less powerful and less entertaining at a smaller weight and he doesn’t have the wrestling skills to deal with the elite in the division. As with all MMA do not judge on simple theories, matchups are matchups and they mean everything. When you lose weight you lose something else along with it.
Finally, Junkie has an article up about my man crush Shane Carwin.
Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez are for real. We hear alot about prospects but these guys could both be making huge advancements in our sport for years to come. I can see Carwin as a modern day Coleman or Kerr, a guy bringing something new to the sport and taking it over. It’s modern wrestling. It’s wrestling with big strikes and a ground game with dominating control. Make no mistake, Shane Carwin is a beast.
The UFC is either doing him no favors or doing him a big one in giving him Christian Wellisch at UFC 84. Wellisch is no joke and poses a big threat to the mechanical engineer. Wait, I think I’m getting Wellisch and Carmelo Marrero confused again. It’s a recurring problem.
I digress, Velasquez made his statement and now it’s on Carwin with a much more difficult opponent. When it comes to predictions and ideas where fights are going I always look at Joe Silva. He’s a very underlooked source as to fight outcomes. Nate Diaz, a TUF winner, was given Kurt Pellegrino. I figured this to be far too much of a test but Diaz won and won convincingly in the end. Joe Silva knows more than we do and he makes fights for a reason. If he’s giving a young stud and superstar in training like Shane Carwin a guy like Christian Wellisch I have to think there is a reason and it will work out in the end.
Do as I do and live by a simple saying before you pick your fights. Who would Joe Silva like to see win?