Thursday, December 17, 2009

WEC 45 Previews

Awesome fights again on the upcoming WEC card.

Donald Cerrone (10-2) vs. Ed 9mm Ratcliff (7-1): Two flashy strikers meet in a bout that has EXPLOSIVES warning signs all over it.

Cowboy Cerrone’s last fight was simply amazing. Not just because Cerrone threw every single offensive move he possibly could, but also because his opponent Benson Henderson took everything Cerrone threw at him and kept coming on. Both guys showed a ton of heart in this the LW title fight. While the fight displayed most of Cerrone’s strengths (skull cracking striking and a very dangerous guard), it also showed that Cerrone still has some weaknesses (wrestling and head movement on the feet). For the LW division Cerrone has long, flexible limbs, which he uses to his advantage both on the feet and on the ground.

Cerrone’s opponent, 9mm Ratcliff, is also primarily a striker. However unlike his foe, Ratcliff also has competed in wrestling. Ratcliff’s biggest strengths are his overall athletic abilities, aggressiveness and unpredictable striking, which includes capoiera style spinning back kicks and heavy knee strikes.

Prediction: While Ratcliff is definitely capable of hurting Cerrone on the feet, I have a hard time believing he’s going to win this fight. Cerrone usually eats more strikes than he should, but he has the chin to take them. In this fight he is the superior striker and he's also much better on the ground than Ratcliff. So where ever this fight ends up, I think Cerrone should have the advantage. Cerrone by TKO strikes from the mount R1.

Chris Horodecki (13-1) vs. Anthony Njokuani (11-2): Another high quality striker versus striker fight on this WEC card

The Polish Hammer Horodecki is a pupil of the famous striking coach Shawn Tompkins. After a successful kickboxing career Tompkins has made a living coaching guys like Horodecki, Stout and Hominick. Hominick’s students all have good basics and a admirable work ethic. You rarely see these guys in a boring fight. Horodecki made a good run at the IFL, excluding the horrible beatdown Ryan Schultz laid on him on the ground in their fight. Horodecki’s strategy is usually to overwhelm his opponents by constantly moving forward and throwing combos. Horodecki’s technical boxing, head movement and footwork aren’t anything special, but he has a solid chin and a relentless mindset that allows him to push the pace.

The Assassin Njokuani is a very big lightweight with devastating striking skills. Njokuani’s coach also rivals with Horodecki’s as Njokuani is coached by the six time world champ and Lumpinee champ Saekson Janjira, who is probably one of the best striking coaches in the world. Athletic Njokuani is a terrifying monster on the feet: tall, long limbs, good boxing and heavy hands, lethal knees and lowkicks. Njokuani has few holes in his MMA game, mostly on his defensive wrestling and ground game, but I don’t think these weaknesses will play a critical role in this fight.

Prediction: Horrible, horrible things will happen to Horodecki’s face. Horodecki will try impose his will, like he always does, on Njokuani by pushing forward. Njokuani has a good reach advantage over Horodecki, so he will move backwards, circle, counterstrike with straight punches and throw knees to the body if Horodecki gets close. Watch for Njokuani to pick Horodecki a part with sharp counterstriking before a highlight reel finish. Njokuani by KO knee R2.

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