Sunday, June 25, 2006

Power Rankings 9/24

Okay here are the Following the Flow Power Rankings. The fighters in each class are listed in a rough ranking with comments on the side. This isn't a pure talent level ranking system as that is not the only factor in determining who gets a title shot. Drawing ability is an important part of the decision making process on who fights who.

I have added the TUF guys to the lists.


Tim Sylvia - Sylvia's next bout would be against Jeff Monson it looks like and Big Tim has already said he won't get taken down. We'll see. He's gone if he does get taken down though. Monson is monster on the canvas.

Jeff Monson - I'd love to see Monson take the belt from Sylvia. The grapplers get second son status sometimes but Monson is an Abu-Dhabi vet and can hang with or beat anyone on the floor. It would be one hell of a reach advantage for Sylvia though.

Brandon Vera - Vera beat Ass. Silva quickly, which is nice but proves very little other than a half step up in competition. Rumor has it that Vera fights Mir next which will be a stern test and one that would most likely, if he wins, get him a title shot. Hell if either man wins he'll get a title shot i'd guess.....there's just no one else.

Arlovski - What now for Arlovski? I bet we see him in K1 for a bit until he can get a good streak going or until we get a new champ.

Paul Buentello - I think we'll see the Headhunter against Sylvia or Mir pretty soon. Personally I think Sylvia would be the better fight. Lots of hands but that reach would be hard to deal with. Ass. Silva would be another nice fight. Or maybe Vera.

Marcio Cruz - Cruz looked alright despite losing to Monson. Who next for Cruz? Mir?

Frank Mir - Can Vera make a name off the former champ? Can Mir actually make some sort of comeback?

Assuerio Silva - Is his contract up yet?

Seth Petruzzelli - Man I hope this is true that he'll be fighting in August. Seth needs a ground game but if he gets it he could be a contender in this weakest of UFC divisions. His striking is superb and he has a strong feel for it but rumor is he's going against Matt Hamill, ouch. If Seth can get one or two good shots to the head on Hamill and ring his bell, which looks to be very susceptible to it, then he can steal this match and maybe get something going in the UFC.

Tom Murphy - With the dearth of contenders here Murphy might just have an opportunity at some big time names.

Brad Imes - Lost to Cristison

Dan Cristison - Lost to Mir but looked okay doing it, maybe gets another shot in the UFC.

Light heavyweight

Chuck Liddell - Liddel destroyed Sobral easily but man I can't wait for the Liddell Ortiz rematch. My god that could be a war. Can Liddell stuff an Ortiz takedown? I'm thinking maybe some, but not all.

Tito Ortiz - Beatdown and owned Shamrock but then that was kind of expected wasn't it. Who next for Tito? Liddell's dance card seems full with Babalu and then Wanderlai Silva so Ortiz needs someone. Bisping would be interesting but probably counterproductive for the UFC.

Renato Sobral - At some point I want to see Sobral vs Ortiz but that wouldn't be until next year at the earliest....and will it be a title fight? Until then there are a few nice options for Babalu to fight. Griffin.....Rashad Evans...and Bisping would be interesting choices.

Michael Bisping - I'm surprised Bisping hasn't had a fight yet sine the TUF finale. I'm sure one day we'll see a Bisping/Hamill match which would be compelling indeed, i'd also like to see Bisping against the young guy Gouveia. You know, a warm up before he takes on some of the heavies.

Rashad Evans - Evans hasn't shown much improvement at all since TUF. His style is basically lay and pray and avoiding submissions. Still shows potential with his boxing but like I said, no improvement. He beatdown Lambert nicely but still it seems his only ground weapon is to get a mount and then do the deed, he showed nothing from any other position. He can control anyone but do we want another, more athletic, Matt Lindland? NO.

Forrest Griffin - Who next for Forrest? Did someone say Babalu?

Ken Shamrock - Look for Shammy to retire after Tito puts it on him.....again.

Matt Hamill - Tito's love child will get some action in the UFC and while wrestling/ground and pound is not my favorite style Hamill can do it very effectively. Future champion though........? Eh. Looks like he gets a crack at the Silverback, Seth Petruzelli. It will go to the ground but will Matt be able to finish?

Alessio Sakara - He lost to Dean Lister but Sakara is still fighting at a higher level than the guys below him so he sits here still. I'd like to see him against Bonnar in a nice little boxing match. At least until Bonnar takes him down and submits him.

Stephan Bonnar - Things are getting ugly for Bonnar, he's not improving, he's losing and now tested positive for banned substances. AND HE STILL LOST?!? Get it together man.

Keith Jardine - I kind of think Jardine got robbed in that fight with Bonnar, I think we'll see more of him. Jardine looked slow, stiff and awkward against Wilson Gouveia but he should that he's tough and has good cardio which was enough. There really hasn't been much improvement though and my enthusiasm for Jardine is waning.

Wilson Gouveia - This guy looked really good. He dominated the first round and despite collapsing in the final two I believe he was the better fighter. If he works on his cardio he could go bigtime. He was comfortable and light on his feet and his kick boxing was better than Jardine's and Gouveia is a BJJ guy, we didn't even see that part of his game.

Sam Hoger - He looked pretty good in his loss to Evans. He really hasn't lived up to the potential I saw in him when he was on TUF, he just hasn't improved any.


Rich Franklin - The fight with Anderson Silva is going to be dangerous. The only knocks on Ace are his chin and lack of wins against credentialed fighters. This fight will test both of those things. I'd look for Rich, despite what he says, to take it to the floor and GnP. The middleweights are pretty deep and there is a lot of intriguing fights that could happen and any number of guys who could put a run together for a title shot. Rich is going to stay busy.

Spider Silva - Wow that was one hell of a victory over Leben. Silva made a huge splash in his first UFC bout. I don't know how good the groundgame is but you can see his standup is worldclass. What will happen when he lands flush on Rich's jaw?

Mike Swick - He looked like the better fighter against the Crow. Too bad Loiseau forgot to show up. Swick is making a run for a title shot but first you have Spider, then the winner of TUF 4, so it could be a while.

Nate Marquardt - It's rumored that Marquardt will be facing David Terrell next which would be a nice little jiu-jitsu match. I'll take Nate.

David Loiseau - I want Loiseau vs Spider Silva so bad I can taste it. Loiseau looked like he was seeing ghosts agains Mike Swick and he was afraid to throw hands.......and feet. He needs a good bounceback fight. Leben would be a stiff test but I would like to see it.

Evan Tanner - What next for the former champ? I'd like to see him go against Leben at some point that would be a war!

Dave Terrell - Needs a fight, Marquardt would be a good one.

Chris Leben - It looked like Leben got knocked out twice in that fight and at any rate he was thoroughly dominated in a 49 second fight. OUCH. Still I wonder what would have happened once the fight went to the floor.

Dean Lister - Bring on Dave Terrell, what a grappling exhibition that would be.

Joe Riggs - Riggs is over-rated. He didn't deserve a shot at Hughes and he lost. I think he should be on TUF 4 myself. Can you say Riggs vs Leben??? Mmmmmm.

Kalib Starnes - Kalib looked great on the show despite injuries, he's got a lot of skills. I'd like to see him fight Ed Herman.

Ed Herman - He really deserved that contract and I look forward to seeing him fight again. Not talking though.

Kendall Grove - The kid has heart...and vicious knees. He still needs polishing but he's intriguing with that crazy length he has, if he learns to use it to maximum effect he could be really good and having that crazy cardio certainly helps.

Chael Sonnen - Lost to Jeremy Horn, yet again. I'd be surprised to see Sonnen in the Octagon anytime soon but then again I was surprised to see him get another shot this last time.

Trevor Prangley - Lost to Chael Sonnen, ouch. Too bad because I think he was on the fastrack to contendership by UFC.

Luigi Fioravanti - The kid is tough and pretty god all around. I'd like to see him against Starnes or Herman.

Rory Singer - Rory really choked on TUF so i'm not terribly impressed with him but he has some skills. I think he'll get beaten once or twice more and be out of the UFC.

Scott Smith - I wonder if he signed a three fight deal? He's on TUF 4 so we'll get to see a bit more of Hands of Steel.


Matt Hughes - Matt beat Penn because of patience and cardio but for those two rounds Penn looked like the better fighter. Truth be told Hughes didn't win so much as Penn lost when he gassed out big time. Next up, St. Pierre. The welterweights are deep and have some really spectacular fighters.

George St. Pierre - You can bet GSP's cardio will be where it needs to be and the fact that Penn made Hughes look thoroughly human only helps. Would Hughes have been as upset with GSP saying he was unimpressed by his (Hughes') performance against Penn if it weren't true?

Diego Sanchez - Diego looked his strongest against Karo at the end which speaks volumes for his cardio. He's a legit contender and will get the call after the Hughes/GSP bout.

BJ Penn - What now for the former champ? Does Penn drop down to lightweight now with losses to the champ and the number one contender? That would make a dynamite division just full to bursting. If so I want to see Penn/Sanchez first. Oh yeah. It would be after Diego gets a title shot of course, UFC won't risk a prime contender getting a loss before he gets the title shot.

Karo Parisyan - I was disappointed at the Karo that showed up against Diego. The standup looked to be a step backward from Karo's last fight.

Nick Diaz - That fight with Sherk was great, maybe a fight of the year contender. It may not have been as explosive as many but the technique in it was fabulous. Diaz always impresses me with his technique, whether boxing or grappling. The kid's game is just beautiful to watch. If only he'd keep his mouth shut and do the thing. He seemed to show class with Sherk at the end of the fight but no telling what happened after the decision was announced. Diaz has lost several tough, close decisions. Maybe you can fault him for not finishing them but that just seems picky when you see a young guy with the all around skills that Diaz has. He'll be champ one day mark my words. He could stand to be a little less defensive and go for some sub attempts.

Josh Koscheck - Josh's standup looked very good and very crisp, very light on his feet. He looks ready to make some serious noise.

Josh Burkman - What next for Burk? I'd like to see him against Kos.

Josh Neer - Neer looks like he can give just about anyone a good fight. I'd like to see a Fickett rematch with Neer rearranging his grill but that's just me.

Jon Fitch - Beat Thiago Alves who looks like he has some talent of his own. We'll see more Fitch.

Drew Fickett - I flat out don't like this guy. He's a jiujitsu guy and thats about it.

Josh Haynes - Rumor has him fighting Rory Singer. Who cares?

Thiago Alves - Alves has ability he's just not using it.

Kit Cope - Work on that ground game man. If he gets another shot I think Diaz (if he isn't kicked from the UFC) would be interesting. Wait wait wait....Joe Riggs in a standup war! Yeah baby!


Sean Sherk - Sherk looked pretty damn good against Diaz. His handspeed was excellent on the standup and he looked pretty comfortable. At 155 he will be devastating. MMAWeekly says that Sherk fights KenFlo for the title. There's a few guys that seem to get left out of that picture but I guess there will be time to sort that out after a champion is This is the deepest division to say the least.

Kenny Florian - This guy is a genius on the ground and his standup is coming along too. Throw in smarts and heart and you have the making of a potential champion. Sherk is not a walk in the park though he's a great wrestler and has quick hands what a battle that will be and possibly for the belt! I'm not sure Florian can deal with Sherk's power but then again look at what Penn was doing to Hughes. KenFlo isn't nearly as quick though.

Spencer Fisher - Fisher has it all. Great boxing, great takedowns, great submissions. I would be surprised if Fisher doesn't win the belt at some point, he's a monster. I'd like to see him fight, well, anyone really. Fisher is as exciting a fighter as there is in the UFC.

Jens Pulver - A very suprising upset at the hands of Joe Lauzon. I was wondering why the UFC didn't just hand him his belt back since he was the champ and there hasn't been one since. Now I know.

Mark Hominick - Hominick executed his gameplan perfectly against Jorge Gurgel, though I am sure many people give him grief for literally running from the Brazilian on a couple occasions. I say if you can suck up that pride and execute your gameplan like that, good job. Just don't expect to improve your fan base. He fights Joe Stevenson next so we'll see more of the same i'd imagine.

Joe Stevenson - Can he take down Hominick?

Yves Edwards - Got a beatdown from the very strong Stevenson. What next for Edwards who's 0-2 in recent UFC bouts? Sam Stout would be a good start.

Sam Stout - Right about here I would think. I think he would lose to Stevenson so Edwards would be a better matchup.

Joe Lauzon - Bursting onto the UFC with a win against a former champ is a big deal. Lauzon might have been the beneficiary of a bad matchup for Pulver though. Pulver's a striker and wanted to keep things standing but Lauzon had a huge reach advantage. The next fight will tell us if Lauzon is for real or not. Oh, and get a decent nickhame man. J-Lo? Ughhhh. (shivers)

Jorge Gurgel - I was surprised that Jorge couldn't get a takedown on Hominick. Not one and by the 3rd he had a couple shots that he just couldn't take advantage of because of his wind. Surprising.

Duane Ludwig - Ludwig against Edwards would be a nice fight. Or Cummo.

Luke Cummo - Luke is rumored to be fighting Ross Pointon. Luke will have the advantage on the standup for sure and should be able to win this if he doesn't get caught with a haymaker. I'm still waiting for Cummo to get someone he can stand and trade with, maybe this will be it.

Melvin Guillard - In this the deepest weight class Melvin seems to have the ability to give just about anyone a run for their money on 'any given Sunday'. Raw power, explosive quickness, very good striking, uncanny's just not fair. Melvin is drawing very close to the point where he can't be taken down. When someone tries he is superb at reversing it and taking them down and getting on top. Which is good but then again he's better off not being on the ground at all at this point in his career. Anyway he could give anyone a run for their money it seems. Will he be champ one day? I couldn't say for sure but he could make just about any champ lose some sleep. Guillard vs Fisher needs to happen.

Post Ultimate Finale 3

Things pretty much shook out the way I expected though I cannot say I called Grove to win, just hoped. Both he and Ed deserved contracts, it was the right way to go for sure. I procrastinated my way out of putting my picks down for posterity prior to the fights so no need to humble yourselves before me.

I did have every intention of taking KenFlo though, ya know. Okay bady rhyming but I couldn't resist. The guy has heart and he's tough on the ground and weathered a few storms on his feet and looks like a real fighter for sure. Not that Stout couldn't beat him just that Florian has that all around game. Rumor has it that Florian will be fighting Sean Sherk for the belt later this year. While that will be a nice fight, watchout for Sherk's quick hands, it seems a bit odd. Edwards, Hominick and now Pulver get left out fo the mix? Okay I could see Edwards not playing a factor since Hominick beat him but why not have Pulver in there fighting for the belt? Maybe that is why it's just a rumor.

The Gouveia/Jardine fight was decent. Jardine is just slow, stiff and awkward looking but his cardio is good and he's tough and that is how he pulled out the win. That and a nice leg kick jab. Gouveia was pretty impressive in that first round, if he gets his back sorted out and gets on a better cardio regimine he could be someone to watch out for. We didn't get to see his groundwork but he's a BJJ guy from American Top Team so you know he's got skills there. His standup looked very fluid and he was in a comfort zone. Truly he beat himself in this fight more than anything else. Not that Jardine doesn't deserve credit for hanging tough but Gouveia looked like the better fighter.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Starnes vs Grove TUF4

This was a decent fight, best of the show i'd say but then that's not saying much this year. Anyway Kalib showed some really sharp skills in there and may not have been ahead on points but defintely was the better fighter out there. It will be interesting in the future to see if this rib injury is real or not, as well as the leg injure that has been rumored. Is he a strong fighter who can be beaten phyically into losing his cool or has he just been plagued by injuries and been stoic about the pain? Honestly this is a guy with less to lose than the other guys because he clearly belongs in the UFC and I wonder if that played a factor.

Nothing against Kendall but yes he looked to be the second best man in there. Give him credit for cardio because he was still fresh at the end of the fight. His strikes lacked pop and I don't think they did much bad toward Kalib but scoring points is important too. Grove's knees loooked to be about his best weapon. I also wonder if there was a typo in the tale of the tape because despite being 6'6 Kendall only had a half inch reach advantage on the Canadian. Kendall looks raw and in need of polishing but he also looked very coachable in there so he could have a nice future.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

TUF 4 Seminfinals

Well finally we get down to the nitty gritty. Here's our analysis of the fighters and what could happen.

Light Heavyweights

Michael Bisping
I think it will be quite an upset if 'the Count' doesn't bring in that contract. His Muay Thai looked very sharp in his only fight and he's been in JJ for something like fifteen years so that should be a strength as well. His biggest weakness is his wrestling and one worry is that the rest of the LHW's all have wrestling background, so he'll have to watch for that. His biggest threat seems to be his training partner, Matt Hamill. In what little I have seen of Bisping I would say the best way to attack him would be to work the clinch, keep him close and try to pound on him. He doesn't have a very muscular frame so a good wrestler could probably keep him close and control him as long as they don't get caught with a sub attempt. I see a good future for Bisping in the UFC and him being a contender in the mid term future.

Matt Hamill
This guy's wrestling is superb and his boxing was okay. Keep in mind he beat Nichels who's standup looked almost as good as my four year olds, so lets not get too high on his boxing. I think his biggest threat is Bisping or maybe Josh Haynes. Hamill doesn't take shots to the head too well so i'd ring his bell and then go all out on him. He doesn't seem to have much of a sub game and isn't a knockout artist so he cannot win a fight suddenly so at worst you're looking at most if not all of his fights being by lay n pray. I don't see much of a future for Hamill in the UFC unless he shows he can take a beating and keep coming.

Josh Haynes
He looks like a big puncher and has some wrestling so expect a sprawl and brawl gameplan from Haynes. I wasn't terribly impressed over all but I bet if he connects flush things would get interesting in a hurry. His biggest threat would be Bisping. The way to attack Haynes would be to stay back and use length against his short arms. His hands have decent speed but he seems to react slow so I think a Bisping could slip in and land something then back off and evade the berserker like response from Haynes. Haynes could see some fights in the UFC but I don't expect much of a splash from him. Sorry man.

Jesse Forbes
Well what can I say he doesn't deserve to be here but he is so lets get down to it. Jesse is a wildcard and seems to have a nice ground game but maybe susceptible to a submission, ala Noah. His biggest threat would be Bisping for that very reason. To beat Jesse i'd keep it on the feet as much as possible and look for the knee when he shoots. If that doesn't connect try for a quick sub as you tumble to the ground. Jesse could have a future in UFC mainly because he's young and has time to improve.


Rory Singer
I'm not sure about this guy. Is he a well rounded fighter with some experience or is he a journeyman who has peaked? Yes his kick to the head on Soloman was a bit of a fluke but he finished it nicely and took advantage which is what you want. Singer could be a sleeper. His biggest threat would probably be Ed because of the raw power disparity between the two. Despite his wrestling experience I think I would keep it standing against Rory, I don't see him taking down his opponent consistently, and beat on him. Unfortunately none of the remaining guys are strikers so that could play into his favor. Singer could have something of a future in the UFC but probably never be a contender.

Kendall Grove
Probably the biggest x-factor in the group. His length makes him dangerous whether on the ground or standing up. If his standup is decent he could use that to his advantage whomever he fights. His biggest threat would be Ed most likely because, again, of the strength disparity. I would attack Grove, take him down and try to isolate one of those long limbs. Grove could have a future in the UFC but how much of one remains to be seen, I just haven't seen enough of his game yet.

Ed Herman
Ed looked good in his win over Danny but then again Danny has no groundgame. Ed and Kalib have to be the favorites to with this weightclass in my estimation. His groundgame looked good, the pounding aspect okay and yes he won by sub but Danny was pretty much begging for an arm bar at that point so there are still some question marks. Ed's biggest threat is most likely Kalib. It plays to Ed's favor that there are no true strikers left as that is his big weakness. Ed could have a bright future in the UFC as he is young and has a solid looking game right now. His big mouth could be one thing that helps him out even if he is seen as a heel.

Kalib Starnes
Kalib seems cool and calm under pressure and he made such quick work of his first opponent that I would pick Starnes to win if it were not for his broken leg. His biggest threat would probably be Ed and his power. To beat Kalib i'd try to work standup and just generally frustrate his game plan. Kalib is older than a lot of TUF guys which means he has probably less upside but he's already good and could be a solid UFC fighter tomorrow.

How the fights will play out.....well who knows other than Dana White. It would be a shame to not have Matt and Mike in the finals facing off so expect that to happen. The middleweight class is more wide open but look for Ed against Kalib or maybe Kendall.