Thursday, November 30, 2006

Fighter Analysis : David Loiseau

David seems like a great guy and class act. He's still pretty young so he has time to improve and as a guy who has already had a title shot that sounds dangerous. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately depending on your perpective, he also has room to improve. Loiseau is a guy you just can't help but cheer for, at least I can't. The only significant names he has beaten are Joe Doerksen and Evan Tanner. In terms of worlwide MMA Loiseau really doesn't rank in the top ten.

Striking : Loiseau is a pretty good striker who is more unorthodox than fearsome. If he works hard on his Muay Thai he could be damn good, he has a ton of potential in that regard.

Grappling : On the ground his back defense and his elbow from guard are what he is known for and for good reason. This skillset gives him a pretty good all around ability but he is not overwhelming anywhere.

Control : The Crow hasn't shown much ability or lack thereof in the areas of taking his opponent down or sprawling (keeping from being taken down).

Chin : Going five rounds with then champion Rich Franklin showed a solid chin and tons of determination as David was thoroughly roughed up. Combine that with his grappling defense and you have a guy that can go the distance with a lot of guys.

How to attack : Still a striker the best thing to do would be to take him down and mount him. His ground defense is damn good so just pound on his ribs and keep top position and worse case scenario eke out a decision or break a rib. I know, not very exciting.

What to work on : I think David would be best suited to keep working the muay thai and sprawl. With an improved standup game that would relegate his groundgame to secondary weapon status he looks much more dangerous.

Mike Swick recently beat the ghost of David Loiseau, not the real thing. It was horrible to look at and I think it even left a bad taste in Swick's mouth. I really hope the young Canadian can get it together and get back into contention.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Power Rankings 11/20/06

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.


Tim Sylvia - Big Tim finally showed something in his game beside the old 1, 2 and a good sprawl. He had a couple submission attempts and showed good positioning on the ground. Heck, maybe the guy deserves to be champ. Good thing because he seems dead set on keeping it.

Brandon Vera - Vera put it on Frank Mir hard and looked good doing it. He continues to show a lot of heart and great all around skills. He really doesn't have any high level wins to deserve a title shot but yet here he is, it'll happen. No this Frank Mir does not count, sorry.

Arlovski - Andrei fights on December 30th, Merry Christmas everybody. If he avoids the takedowns this will be a messy fight for Cruz. If it hits the ground we'll get to see more of Andrei's groundgame. Maybe there is a reason he doesn't take things to the ground very often. I'm just sayin'...

Jeff Monson - At one point during the fight I was railing at Monson, giving him the business on how to get Sylvia down. Shove his butt into the fence and use that to your advantage, it's damn hard to sprawl when your backed up against a wall. It later became obvious that this advice was irrelevant. I truly thought the fight would be over if Monson got the takedown. Not only was I wrong in that, it looked like Tim was the better groundfighter too! I am hoping for a strong comeback from the bulldoggish grappler. You have to love a guy who is an unapologetic individual.

Cheick Kongo - Despite losing his last fight Kongo is still in the hunt for a title berth. Yeah the heavyweights are that thin. I'd love to see Kongo vs Arlovski, who's with me?

Marcio Cruz - His only hope is to get Andrei down but I don't see it happening.

Antoni Hardonk - Looked decent in his win. I was like how the hell did he knock that guy out with a leg kick!?! In replay it was obvious that he actually got him with a punch then landed another punch then the kick. Nice combo.

Frank Mir - Well, he looked better than last fight.

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

Brad Imes - When will we see the big man again? Imes vs Sylvia would be fun to watch. If the Octagon doesn't collapse.

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

Light heavyweight

Chuck Liddell - My god I can't wait for December 30th.

Tito Ortiz - The longer the fight with Liddell lasts the more danger Tito will be in. Don't think he won't be hearing an invisible clock counting down to the moment Chuck's right hand connects. That being said I think Tito will be able to get the champ on the ground. I won't even waste space talking about what would happen then, we all know.

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. Hamill possibly too.

Forrest Griffin - Keith Jardine huh? Well it is a surprise. Two fan favorites who will most likely stand and bang like the top brass likes. When will Forrest go back to his strongsuits?

Michael Bisping - It's a shame Bisping got cancelled because of visa issues. Damn I want to see him fighting. He's amazing on the standup and the groundgame.

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.

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. He beat a game Silverback Seth but Seth looked better than last time I saw him on the ground.

Seth Petruzzelli - Seth did alright for a guy who at last glance had hardly any groundgame going against an Olympic caliber wrestler. He was way to quick to slide into guard. C'mon work for top position and fall back to guard if need be. Too many guys take up jiu-jitsu and then become too complacent to jump to guard. Seth also needs to work on his hands but the potential is there because he is a pretty good striker already. Good at judging distances and moving away from danger.

Drew McFedries - Billed as a bigger Robbie Lawler he really showed that to be the best comparison of fighters ever. Talk about making a splash. Says he wants to drop to 185 and I think he'll be able to make hay at both but then it is still pretty early. Then again he is Miletich.

Alessio Sakara - I really liked the fight with Drew McFedries. It's a shame it ended as soon as it did. I like Sakara and hope to keep seeing him in the UFC but his groundgame is still a liability, unless he's on top.

Keith Jardine - I think the loser of Jardine/Griffin should be happy to stay in the UFC, if they do.

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. If Gouveia gets his act together he could be a damn good fighter.

Stephan Bonnar - Stephan is going to be out of the UFC for a while if not forever. He'll disappear from this list too but just for those wondering I saw him about two weeks ago at a RFC event in Tampa doing commentary. Yeah.


Anderson Silva - 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? Okay so it was a knee that caught Ace flush either way it's a win. "And new UFC middleweight champion...." Who gets the first title defense? Swick? That could be a hell of a good fight.

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. So now Ace has to fight his way back to contention. Unless Dana White hands him a shot now which honestly would be just silly. I want to see Rich on the comeback trail, see him get fired up. Franlkin vs Marquardt still seems like a good fight.

Mike Swick - He looked like the better fighter against the Crow. Too bad Loiseau forgot to show up. Swick is pushing hard for a title shot and may well get it soon. I'm not sure what Silva winning the belt does to change things as far as whoever wins TUF 4 but Swick figures in there somehow. The standup fight in a Silva/Swick fight would be explosive, hell don't blink! For that reason and because Swick's stock is on the rise I expect him to get either the next title shot or the one after it.

Nate Marquardt - Nate has been waiting in the wings for a while since being tested positive for a banned substance. He's got legit credentials to make a title shot run and may deserve it more than Swick but I doubt it will happen just yet. Unless the UFC is just letting him work out his contract and then cut him loose i'd say he'll get a title shot next year or early next year. Be patient Nate, it's coming.

David Loiseau - I want Loiseau vs Spider Silva so bad I can taste it. Loiseau looked like he was seeing ghosts against Mike Swick and he was afraid to throw hands.......and feet. Loiseau/Leben would be fun. A rematch with Evan Tanner would be nice too.

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! C'mon Evan Tanner, we need you.

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

Chris Leben - I'm sure Leben is going to try his damnedest to destroy his next opponent and word is it will be Jason McDonald who looked amazing in his UFC debut and could be an up and comer.

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

Travis Lutter - As the winner of TUF he gets a title shot. I'm looking for an early KO by Silva who won't let Lutter close in and use his tepid takedowns.

Kendall Grove - The kid has heart, he's a taller Kenny Florian. Determination seems to be his great, and only, weapon at this point. I'd like to see a Grove/Terrell matchup.

Jason McDonald - What an impressive with over Herman. He's going to fight Chris Leben soon it looks like and that could be interesting. I don't want to hazard a guess on the winner of this this fight having not seen enough of McDonald. In looking at his record I see two things of note. The first is that he has not been knocked out. The second is that in 17 wins he's finished all but one, 15 by submission. Nice. Still I wonder how likely Leben, coming from Team Quest, is to fall to a submission.

Scott Smith - I don't know about all the hype that Dana White put on the Smith/Sell fight afterward but the ending was truly amazing. One hell of a great finish.

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. Starnes lost his last match but his opponent was solid. Kalib has real talent, watch out for him.

Ed Herman - Tough loss to the newcomer Jason McDonald but nothing to be ashamed of, his post-fights comments are a different story altogether.

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.


George St. Pierre - Wow what an asskicking! Can I say that? Guess so, my blog ain't it, but anyway GSP looked like a monster out there. Like BJ his quickness allowed him to sting Hughes on several opportunities without taking a beating himself. Stuffing the takedowns, all two of them, was key as much a key as anything though. I had almost hoped that GSP would lose and move up to middleweight but hey the guy deserves this title like few others do.

Matt Hughes - Folk its time to come clean, I have a sickness. Underdogaphilia. I know, I know. My mom didn't warn me either. All the signs were there, a lifelong love of my Detroit Lions...okay that was the only sign but c'mon it's unmistake-able. About the time that Matt Hughes loses is the time I start gaining some respect for the guy. He'll be back but I think it might be some time. Personally I think all this he's aging, he's talking about calling it quits stuff is because he wants a break. Can you blame the guy he's what...32 and has 45 fights? Yeah man take a break and comeback in a year or two and be an absolute beast and really just be hitting your prime as a fighter.

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. If he beats Riggs expect him to get a title shot. Truth is i'm surprised he's got to earn it again. Can you imagine the hype of him in a title fight with his undefeated record?

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.

Karo Parisyan - I was disappointed at the Karo that showed up against Diego. The standup looked to be a step backward from his last fight. I am so looking forward to Karo destroying Drew Fickett. Hahahahaha.

Joe Riggs - Riggs is over-rated. The winner of his fight with Diego will most likely get to fight the new welterweight champion. Please don't ask me what he did to deserve it, i'm clueless.

Jon Fitch - Fitch is coming on strong. I'd like to see him and Diaz go at it. Maybe even Karo.

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.

Kuniyoshi Hironaka - He lost to Jon Fitch but looked composed, patient and skilled doing it. At least the groundwork. He might even deserve to be ranked higher here but his lack of notoriety in the states hurts him. I'd like to see more of Hironaka myself and am glad the UFC is bringing in more talent from outside the U.S.

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.

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


Sean Sherk - The new lightweight champ! He performed about as expected i'd say. He took every round but could not finish off Florian and probably looks worse today than Florian does. I'm sorry to say it looked more like lay and pray, as opposed to ground and pound.

BJ Penn - If Penn drops down expect him to get a title shot rather quickly and I expect him to take it home to Hawaii. I think Fisher is his biggest threat.

Spencer Fisher - Fisher beat a decent looking Dan Lauzon. Fisher looks to be next in line for a title fight and with his impressive all around game that would be fun to watch.

Kenny Florian - Florian is still progressing nicely on his standup. He consistently scored with kicks to Sherk's midsection but could not defend the takedown and despite several game sub attempts never was much of a threat. Great heart staying in there the whole fight though.

Joe Stevenson - Joe still needs some big wins to make a run at a title shot and Dokonjonosuke Mishima doesn't really count but still is a nice win. Mishima's got fights against some really good guys on his record.

Jens Pulver - Jens needs at least one win against a top contender before getting a title shot.

Mark Hominick - C'mon UFC let's see Hominick vs Cummo or Pulver.

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)

Dokonjonosuke Mishima - I look forward to seeing more of the guy myself but I do have a soft spot for judoka. Check his record he's got some strong experience. I am a bit surprised that someone with so many decisions on his record caught the eye of Dana White but then again catching people's attention is what Mishima does so well. He's a true entertainer.

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.

Dan Lauzon - Got some work to do but could see some fights.

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 vs Sherk would be worth watching, as would a fight against Fisher.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Bad Intentions

Another double title bout PPV, sweet. Okay let's get to the nitty gritty.

Hughes versus St. Pierre
A rematch of a shocker of a fight. St. Pierre looked better against the champ than anyone else not named BJ Penn has done. GSP seems to be as strong Hughes and much quicker. Add in his wrestling skill and you have a recipe to make things hard on the champ. Look for GSP to keep things standing as long as possible while the champ might oblige him for a while until deciding to take him down and do the usual nasty bit of business on him. Despite BJ's making Matt look very, very human I don't see GSP winning this one. Not that he doesn't have a chance, just that I think Hughes will win.......again.

Sylvia versus Monson
Monson has some pro boxing experience but the longer this fight is on the feet the worse chance he has of winning. Oddly enough the opposite is also true. Sylvia on the ground will be in just as much trouble as Monson is on his feet. This is going to come down to takedowns and takedown defense. Period. If I were Monson i'd be practicing all those wrestling takedowns, judo takedowns and even some World Cup soccer style tripping of necessary. I am going to go out on a limb and say it, I bet Sylvia gets Monsoned.

Mir vesus Vera
Wow this looks to be a nice little non title bout. Talk about a grappling exhibition! Vera has the advantage in the striking so expect him to keep it there as much as possible but if the opportunity presents itself to get on top of Mir he'll take it quick-like. I hope Mir has himself in better shape and has shaken the rust off his game from his long layoff. The old Mir is a grappling wizard but Vera is very talented in that regard as well. Anyone who competes at the ADCC is going to be. I'm taking Vera.

Fighter Analysis : Rich Franklin

Ace might be the best 'all around' fighter in the game. His striking his considered his bread and butter and he's got punching power enough to flatten his opponents, as evidenced by his superb finishing record. His kicking gives him a varied arsenal to work with even if it's not truly fear inducing. His footwork is possibly the best in the game and is beautiful to watch.

His ground and pound is very good, his knees become a factor when he has his man down and of course the hands don't get any less heavy. Add to this a slick submission game and you have a nice all around game and Franklin is known for using his smarts in the octagon. The only question mark on the groundgame is his wrestling/control. We just haven't seen enough to know how good, or bad, it is. From the little i've seen it looks decent. Enough to not be a glaring weakness I suppose.

I think after this loss we will see a more focussed and determined Rich Franklin. Not that he was not those two thins beforehand just that I think he will be even more dedicated to attacking his opponents weakness. As we all saw he stood with Anderson Silva and we all know that was the Spider's strongsuit. Of course we also need to take into account that the fight was still very young when it ended, it might be that he was working up to a shoot. We won't know now, will we?

Regardless, who wants a piece of a more determined Rich Franklin? Well let's face it they all do, but who can handle it? I for one am looking forward to finding out.

How to beat him: With Rich I think it starts with his chin. Attack him hard and fast and do not let him be the aggressor and just try to land one flush. I think that is truly the key to beating the former champion. Oh and I would put him on his back whenever possible, like a turtle I think he's probably weakest there. Hold him down, beat on him and stay away from any submissions.