In this edition of Gym Wars we’re going to take a closer look at a few of the select soldiers out of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil as we match them up with the manglers from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Black House was founded in November of 2007 by Carlos Barreto, Jorge Guimaraes and Rogerio Camoes and is managed by Ed Soares. Some of the fighters out of Black House that will no be competing on this card are Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Paulo Filho, Junior Dos Santos and Andre Galvao.
Greg Jackson’s MMA was founded by, and is headed up by none other than, you guessed it, Greg Jackson. Other fighters that call Jackson’s MMA home that will not be appearing at this event are Donald Cerrone, Leonard Garcia and Joey Villasenor.
So without further ado, let’s take a closer look at this evening’s main event.
Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre (180 lb. catchweight bout)
I’m doing things the way they should be done in the headliner of my event between these two killing machine engulfed camps by creating one of the most highly anticipated match ups in the history of mixed martial arts. I’m not playing games. I believe in giving the fans what they want so here you guys go, enjoy.
This fight’s going down at 180 pounds. Sorry Georges, you’re coming up, but who are we kidding, your frame can handle that, don’t sweat it. Anderson recently weighed in for his middleweight championship “fight” with Thales Leites at the 182 pound mark. Shedding a couple more pounds shouldn’t be asking too much of “The Spider”. Easy for me to say, and that’s exactly why I wouldn’t ask for Silva to come down any lower than 180. Let’s face it, the guy looks trim when he fights at 205, any lower than 180 may end up killing him. So 180 pounds it is.
I think this weight limit may give GSP a slight edge in the power department believe it or not. I know, I know, Silva is the naturally bigger man, but considering the fact that he will be cutting drastic amounts of weight for this fight he would be better served relying on his speed and timing than on overpowering a human steamroller like St. Pierre. Does anyone feel like an athlete such as GSP will really lose anything in the strength department coming up ten pounds? If anything we’re all but guaranteed to see the most powerful GSP we have ever seen, and quite honestly, that’s a scary thought.
With that being said I think that Silva is more than likely the better Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and he is without a doubt the better striker of the two. St. Pierre will be stronger, and whether Silva likes it or not, this is something he’s going to have to deal with. Anderson will be technically superior in more areas of the game, GSP will have to deal with that. When it’s all said and done, believe it or not, I feel like given the pair’s distinct advantages in different areas of the sport, this will end up being as even a match up between two top of the food chain fighters that could possibly be made at this date and time.
Unfortunately for GSP fans, I feel as if the powerful Canadian’s style plays right into the spider web of the lethal Brazilian. I feel like the odds of St. Pierre managing to out-point Silva in a stand up fight are slim to none. His key to victory against Silva would have to be to get the middleweight champ to the mat where he could brutalize his face with short elbows while avoiding Silva’s lanky, hard to defend submission attempts…..for five rounds. GSP’s aggression that would be necessary for him to win this fight would play against him in the worst of ways, enabling Silva to pick apart St. Pierre time and time again in his attempts to drag “The Spider” to the Octagon canvas, resulting in a TKO for the middleweight champion sometime in the second or third round.
Winner: Anderson Silva – Third Round TKO
Lyoto Machida vs. Keith Jardine
You know what, as flamed as I may end up getting for saying it, I feel like Jardine may have the best chance of defeating Machida out of all of the light heavyweights currently in the business. Do I feel like Jardine is the best light heavyweight in the game right now? Absolutely not. However, I do feel like he is consistently one of the best, and his style of fighting makes it possible for him to beat or be competitive with any 205’er in the world on the right night.
Styles make fights. You’ve heard the expression a thousand times before and there’s a really good reason for that, it’s true. “Styles make fights” is the polar opposite of MMAth. That single phrase is the exact reason that MMAth has never, and never will consistently work.
Jardine is an odd-cookie, there’s no denying that. Of course I’m referring to his fighting style, outside of the Octagon Jardine is one of the nicest and most intellectual fighters you will ever strike up a conversation with. Inside of the Ocatgon, yeah, Jardine’s an odd-cookie. Much like Machida, Jardine’s riddle has proven be an extremely difficult one to solve. Some of the best fighters in the game have come up empty in their attempts to add a win to their records at the Dean of Mean’s expense. Fighters such as Wilson Gouveia, Chuck Liddell, Brandon Vera and Forrest Griffin have all come up bruised and frustrated after colliding with Jardine.
He moves like no other man in the cage. It’s not that Jardine has the most polished footwork, or even that he’s particularly graceful on his toes, it’s just that…well…Jardine moves like no other man in the cage. He has his own rhythm of fighting that has left me wondering if he has any idea what he is going to do from second to second. That type of unpredictability is nearly impossible to counter and time, something Machida knows all about. Not only does the elusive Brazilian count on his own unpredictability to keep his opponents guessing, timing is everything to the Karate master. But how do you time a guy that has no idea what he’s going to do?
With that said, it doesn’t matter. Machida smashes Keith early in the first round because the man is simply a genius. He does exactly what he did to Rashad in the second round of their UFC 98 bout in the first round against Jardine. Overwhelming his tricky opponent with a track record of being violently swarmed early on.
I obviously think fairly highly of Jardine, and I do feel like he could give Machida some real problems on a good night, it’s just that someone is going to have to beat Machida for me to choose against him from here on out. I don’t care who they match him up against. I’m sold on “The Dragon”.
Winner: Lyoto Machida – First Round Knockout
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Shane Carwin
Anyone else get the sense that this fight would end up resembling the absolute war between Bob Sapp and Nogueira back in the days at PRIDE? Well if it even has a remote chance of resembling that battle then I’m all for it.
Nogueira has been notoriously hard to finish throughout his career before his last bout with Frank Mir when he was stopped with a series of hard punches in the second round. The question is, is Big Nog the guy to take Carwin out of the first round, and if so, what then. Carwin has been training at a mile above sea level for his entire life and I don’t feel cardio is ever going to be a big hurdle for this giant of a man.
Gonzaga is a dangerous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt that may have been capable of overwhelming Carwin on the ground, unfortunately Shane apparently isn’t a big fan of staying on his back for long so we didn’t have a chance to see how that may have played out. Undoubtedly, Nogueira’s number one chance of winning this fight would be to lock the much stronger and larger Carwin in some form of choke or joint lock. I just think that all of the legendary Brazilian’s wars in the cage and ring have finally caught up with him.
Carwin would catch Nogueira with a big bomb early in the first and manage to do what Heath Herring was unable to do at UFC 73 when he pulverizes Big Nog with a series of sledgehammer Hulk fists in the opening round.
Winner: Shane Carwin – First Round TKO
Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante vs. Rashad Evans
The war wagon. Isn’t that the phrase I’m hearing all the kids using now-a-days? Well if there is a war wagon for Feijao I’d like to hop on board if there’s room for one more. Pulverizing punches, devastating knees and a hunger to finish, what’s not to love? Combine that with the fact that he trains alongside the likes of Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida and I don’t know what else you need to know.
None of that will change the fact that I firmly believe that Rashad is the second best light heavyweight in the world. “But he got his *** handed to him by Machida” you say? I’m fully aware of that. I just feel like Lyoto is currently that good. Any room left on the Machida wagon? That one’s getting awfully crowded as of late.
Rashad actually chooses to exercise his major advantage over Cavalcante in this fight and dominates the fight on the mat with punishing ground and pound.
Winner: Rashad Evans – Unanimous Decision
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Nathan Marquardt
I know that Jacare trains out of Xtreme Couture and some other places, but the fact that he helped to prepare Anderson Silva for his bout with Thales Leites at the Black House makes him fair game in my eyes.
Jacare is a monster on the canvas, or an alligator I should say. His best chance at pulling this win out of his hat would be to take the fight to the mat and pull off something Nate the Great has never seen before. However, pulling off something that Marquardt has never seen before is not going to prove to be an easy task. He hasn’t been submitted since 2003 when he was trapped in a guillotine choke courtesy of the “Big Dog” Ricardo Almeida. If Jacare plans on getting Marquardt to the floor he better plan on pulling guard because it’s not even close in the wrestling department.
I just feel like compared to Jacare’s one way of obtaining victory in this bout, there has got to be at least four or five for Marquardt. He’s just the bigger, better, more well rounded mixed martial artist, bottom line. He would use his superior wrestling to keep this fight on the feet where he pounds the consciousness out of Jacare midway through the first. Marquardt’s a beast.
Winner: Nathan Marquardt – First Round TKO
Greg Jackson’s MMA defeats Black House by a score of 3-2