Wednesday, January 27, 2010

StrikeForce Miami Preview

30.1.2010 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida.

Bit of a lackluster StrikeForce card after the last one, which was stacked with great talent. Here's the card:
Main Card:
Nick Diaz (20-7) vs. Marius Zaromskis (13-3)
Cris "Cyborg" Santos (8-1) vs. Marloes Coenen (17-3)
Robbie Lawler (16-5) vs. Melvin Manhoef (24-6-1)
Herschel Walker (0-0) vs. Greg Nagy (1-1)
Bobby Lashley (4-0) vs. Wes Sims (22-12-1)
Jay Hieron (18-4) vs. Joe Riggs (32-10)
Sabah Homasi (2-0) vs. John Kelly (3-0)
Pablo Alfonso (5-1) vs. Marcos Da Matta (7-0)

To be honest, besides the couple of fights that may have some value for the sport of MMA, this card has also fights that I believe will have scripted choreographies and thus predetermined results. But we'll see. Anyways, here's few thoughts on the fights that I'm looking forward to.

Nick Diaz (20-7) vs. Marius Zaromskis (13-3): Stockton bad boy Nick Diaz and Lithuanian striker Marius Zaromskis meet in a title bout that will almost certainly not go full five rounds.
Diaz makes a comeback to the welterweight division in this fight. Nick had several great fights at 170 in the UFC where he fought guys like Parisyan, Sanchez and Sherk. Diaz has pretty good boxing, but he rarely uses any other strikes like knees or kicks. On the grappling department he excels on the ground, but his wrestling is not as good, which is the main reason he lost many close fights in the UFC. Diaz uses his long limbs and reach advantage well on the feet peppering his foes with punches in bunches.
Zaromskis is currently based in London, where he trains and represents London Shootfighters. Before the Dream welterweight GP not many people knew him outside of Europe. Zaromskis had been a regular on the british event CageRage, where he beat guys like Ross Mason and Ross Pointon, but also lost twice to Che Mills (who tried out for TUF UK vs US, but didn't make it). So obviously he wasn't given much chance in the tough GP of Dream. Well the rest is history as they say. Zaromskis surprised everyone when he KO'ed Mach Sakurai with a headkick and did the same to Jason High at the final. Zaromskis is a wild man with explosive kickboxing skills.
Prediction: Diaz is going to take advantage of his reach advantage in this fight and apply constant pressure to Zaromskis by moving forward and punching all the time. This, with a looming threat of being taken down, will make hard for Zaromskis to fight the right spot for his effective kicks. Zaromskis isn't the best boxer and because of this he needs unnecessary shots, which means he's in for a rough night. Diaz will bloody him up with his trademark chain-punch style and finish the fight on the ground with GnP. Diaz by TKO strikes R2

Robbie Lawler (16-5) vs. Melvin Manhoef (24-6-1): Another fight that has a very slim chance of going to judges decision. Both guys are primarily strikes, but there's also much differences between the two. On the feet Lawler is much more of a brawler who batters his opponents with brute force. Melvin on the other hand has solid Dutch kickboxing technique and much more explosive style. But the main difference between the two is that Lawler has been training with excellent grapplers like Matt Hughes for something like a decade now. If he doesn't try to take this fight to the ground immediately I am stunned. Manhoef basically gives up if you take him down and he hasn't shown any real interest to fix his weak ground game.
Prediction: Lawler will try to toe the company line and stand with Manhoef in order to please fans. This will not end well for him as Manhoef proves that he's probably the second deadliest striker at 185. Manhoef by KO R1.

Jay Hieron (18-4) vs. Joe Riggs (32-10): It's a real shame that this quality welterweight fight is dropped down to non-televised prelims, when there are total horseshit "fights" on the main card. Hieron has been waiting for his shot against bigger fish and possibly the StrikeForce title fight, but again he has to settle for much less publicity. Hieron is riding a nice six fight win streak and considering the latest happening in his career I bet he's hungry for more. Hieron, who trains at the Xtreme Couture, is a well rounded and athletic fighter, who's best quality is that he can fight competitively wherever the fight ends up.
Riggs, who actually started his fighting career in the heavyweight division, made a pretty sweet career at 170 in the UFC fighting guys like Hughes, Diaz, Swick and Sanchez. Back in those days Riggs was known as a heavyhanded brawler who was very strong for the weight class and also cut huge amounts of weight. After getting cut from the UFC, Riggs dealt with back injuries and different personal problems. But now it seems that Riggs has his stuff together again and that his in great shape. Riggs showed improved striking skills in his recent fight with Phil Baroni. Riggs punished Baroni with sharp kicks and flying knees and kept his own distance with great footwork.
Prediction: Riggs is game for sure, but I think Hieron is much more hungrier for the win. This will probably be a very exciting fight to watch, but I still think it might go to the judges. Hieron by UD.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Q&A with Demian Maia

There's a great new interview of Demian Maia at
On this article Demian talks about his training with the Nog brothers and work that he put in his boxing with Junior Dos Santos. Demian is fighting at the UFC 109 against a tough kid from New Jersey, Dan Miller.
I'm eager to see how the boxing training at Bahia with Dos Santos and with coaches like Dorea has improved Demian's boxing. I've done some padwork with Demian here in Finland when he has been holding seminars. I always felt like he has a pretty solid striking technique-wise, but he just needs to find his own rhythm and add looseness to his striking. You know, the same relax and unforced movements that he displays on the grappling department. Easier said than done, but I think Dos Santos maybe just the right guy for this, since he has both effective and technically valid boxing.
Anyways, I can't wait for the fight. Miller is an excellent grappler of his own and just received his BJJ black belt from Jamie Cruz, who's a Renzo black belt himself.

Look for Demian to grab another Submission of the Night from his fight against Miller at UFC 109.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Euro Prospects vol. 1

I decided to write a piece on up-n-coming European MMA fighters, so that Joe Silva knows who to sign to the UFC. No, really Joe, you need to get these guys.
Seriously, this is by no means a complete list of promising euro fighters and it wasn't meant to be one. I should also point out that this list might a little biased to my home country Finland, but it's just because I know these guys and believe in their abilities. And my second editorial note is that I left out guys like Gunnar Nelson and Paul Sass from the list, because they have gained attention already in the MMA media.
Please leave your comments and hint other interesting prospects if you know some.

Karlos "The Terminator" Vemola 6-0. UK/Czech.
Vemola was born in the Czech, but lives, trains and fights now in the UK. This young man is undefeated. He has a very aggressive style in the cage: he swings for the fences, bullrushes his opponents, takes them down and pounds them out. Vemola is big enough for the HW division, but the athletic abilities are his biggest asset. He is quick and agile for a guy that weights 240 pounds. His longest fight lasted little over three minutes, which gives you some idea of his style, but also about the level of competition he’s fought. He did beat Stav Economou, who was 8-0, in his last fight and that raised Vemola on the UK rankings quite a bit. Vemola was scheduled to fight Neil Grove for the undisputed UK HW championship on Dec 5th, but he had to pull out due to an injury.
Vemola is a bit rough around the edges and still needs work on his skill set, but he’s got natural gameness, brute force and great athletic qualities for a heavyweight.
Interview (video)

Damian "Polish Pitbull" Grabowski 10-0. Poland.
Polish Damian Grabowski is without a doubt the hottest HW prospect in Europe. Grabowski’s base is BJJ and Submission wrestling, which is quite rare in the HW division. Grabowski’s technically solid grappling is the main reason he’s undefeated. Athletic Damian isn’t the biggest HW and he could probably also fight at 205. He has finished every one of his fights and most of them in a minute or so. Grabowski was scheduled to fight Valentin Overeem in November, but his shoulder got busted and needed surgery.

Maro "Mean Machine" Perak 15-1. Croatia.
Croatian judoka Perak has a great record against moderate competition. His only loss is to Jan Blachowicz (hasn't fought since 2008, anyone know what's up?), who RNC’ed Perak back in 2008. Perak needs to fight stiffer competition so we can really see what he’s made of, but he’s already shown in his past fights that he has great takedowns from the clinch, effective GnP and a good physique.

Michal "Sztanga" Fijalka 6-0. Poland
Fijalka, like many polish fighters, is a great grappler, but he can hold his own on the feet too. Still undefeated after 6 bouts, Fijalka raised his stock in his last fight where he choked out Dave Dalgliesh (30-19-2). I think it’s time to step up the competition for this promising up-n-comer and give him a shot at the big leagues.

Dragon Tesanovic 5-0. Serbia.
Tesanovic has only five pro fights along with his few amateur fights. Still he has already shown that he’s a well-rounded fighter with a great ground game. Long limbed Tesanovic really launched himself on the top prospects list last year when he choked out Antoni Chmielewski, a polish judoka with a 18-5 MMA record.

Diego Gonzalez 13-3.Sweden
Gonzales, a member of Hilti NHB, has awesome ground game and takedowns along with solid boxing. He tooled and RNCed Dan Hardy back in 2006, but the win later turned to no contest (was it because of the cheap shot Gonzalez made during touching gloves? I dunno). Hardy avenged the loss by KOing Gonzalez in the third. Anyways Gonzalez is a tough cookie, especially if he cuts down to 155 for the fights in the big league. Now that Gonzalez is 8-0 since losing to Hardy and Hardy has been so successful in the UFC, I think it would be a great time to bring him to the UFC and give him a shot at some UFC’s euro event.

Simeon "The Grin" Thoresen 11-1-1. Norway
Hellboy Hansen’s top pupil Simeon Thoresen is an allround fighter. Thoresen has been into sports his whole life: first he did gymnastics, then kickboxing and finally started training grappling and MMA.  He has heavy GnP with strong top control and a slick guard game where he uses his long limbs very well.

Anton Kuivanen 11-4. Finland
Kuivanen is 7-1 in his last eight fights with the lone loss to top european ranked Bendy Casimir. Kuivanen had Casimir in big trouble on the feet, but Bendy managed to pull a kneebar out of his ass and won the fight. If Kuivanen had won that bout, I think we would’ve seen him on the bigger stages already. Anyways I feel like he has improved a ton since losing to Casimir. Kuivanen has very good striking and rapidly improving grappling skills. This explosive young man has a flashy style with flying knees etc, which have made him a fan favourite here in Finland. In his last fight Kuivanen beat tough Lithuanian Erikas Petraitis (19-9) by decision. Kuivanen pretty much dominated the whole fight, but couldn’t finish experienced and slick Petraitis on the ground. He is fighting Mairbek Taisumov (8-2) on the feb 5th at the M1 Selection in Hilversum, Netherlands. (fight vids etc)

Jerry "AD/HD" Kvarnström 7-0. Finland.
Kvarnström, a former member of Finnish national wrestling team, has obviously world class wrestling skills (2005 he lost by points 1-2 to Greco-roman world champ). He’s also extremely athletic: strong as hell, agile, explosive and durable. He has won every single one of his fights by choking out his opponent. It has always been the same story: takedown, ground and pound and choke. For last two years Kvarnström has been dealing with overtraining and mysterious infections. These problems have forced him to take some time off from training and fighting, but lately he has been sharpening his skills by fighting in muay thai. If Kvarnström can get past the health issues, I expect him to wreck people, at least in the European circuit. There’s no official fight scheduled to him at the moment, but there are rumours (source: Jerry himself) that he’s fighting in April. Let’s hope that everything works out and we get to see this beast in the cage again.

Mathias Klockars 5-0. Finland.
There are not many 135ers in the world that would like to stand and bang with this guy. Klockars is a former kickboxing world champion and also holds a pro boxing record of 5-1. His wrestling and ground game has improved nicely over the years. If he was ten years younger, I would be hyping the hell out of him, but since he’s mid-thirties already, I just hope he makes a good one last run in MMA before retiring from combat sports. Klockars is scheduled to fight spanish David Aranda at the Cage 12 event 27th of February in Vantaa, Finland. Don’t blink if you get to watch this guy fight.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

UFN 20 Betting picks

Bodog and Expekt offer odds to all the fights on the UFN 20 card. Bodog offers slightly better odds.

Chris Leben vs Jay Silva: this is a favorable match up for Silva, who is a legit striker. Leben looked way off against Rosholt and I don't see any reason why his performance would suddenly improve. 2.40 at Bodog.

Nick Catone vs Jesse Forbes: Forbes takes this fight on a 10 days notice. Catone is a durable guy with awesome wrestling and a solid ground game. I believe Forbes, who's had cardio problems in the past, gasses after the first round and Catone takes over. 1.53 at Bodog is enough for me.

Mike Guymon vs Rory MacDonald: MacDonald is a very talented young man and I have a feeling that Joe Silva put together this match up to kickstart his career in the UFC with a dominant victory. Bodog offers 1.50 for Rory's victory and I'm willing to bet on it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

UFC Fight Night 20 Preview

January 11, 2010 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia
Fight Night 20 offers a solid card that doesn’t have any really big names, but a lot of fights that should be exciting and versatile MMA bouts.

Gray Maynard (8-0) vs. Nate Diaz (11-4): even though there’s no mark on the guys’ professional mma record of them fighting before, this is actually a rematch.  Maynard and Diaz fought against each other on the Ultimate Fighter season 5. In their first encounter Diaz choked Maynard out with a tight guillotine.
The Bully Maynard is a powerful wrestler with rapidly improving boxing skills.  Gray has faced quality fighters in his last five fights. First three (Siver, Edgar, Clementi) of those were pretty boring decision wins, where Maynard controlled the fight with his excellent wrestling and brute force. In his last two fights however Maynard has showed that his striking is dramatically improving and especially his footwork in on another level now.  First Gray dominated very tough Jim Miller with crisp boxing. In his last fight he did the same to Roger Huerta, who didn’t have the answer for Maynard’s boxing and takedowns.
Nate Diaz is one of the very good fighters out of Cesar Gracie’s camp. The long limbed young man has very dangerous guard game and like his big brother,  a chin that can take a shot or two. While Nate is a very good submission artist, he doesn’t have great positional grappling, which is the main reason he has lost to guys like Guida and Stevenson.  Nate has decent boxing, but his striking is one dimensional , predictable and doesn’t have much power  behind the punches.
Prediction: Maynard has been sprawling and boxing his last two fights against quality opponents in Jim Miller and Roger Huerta. I don't see any reason why he should change a game plan for this fight.  Nate was in trouble on the feet in his last fight with Melvin Guillard until Melvin made another moronic mistake and decided to shoot. Gray's boxing and especially footwork is lightyears ahead of Nate's, who isn't as effective striker as his big brother. Because Maynard seems to lack the killer instinct, my pick is Maynard by dominant decision victory.

Efrain Escudero (12-0) vs. Evan Dunham (9-0): I was impressed with Dunham when he managed to beat Maximus Aurelio at UFC 102. Dunham showed very good takedown defense and ground game in that fight. I still think Efrain, who is one incredible wrestler, will be able to take him down repeatedly, punish him with GnP and eventually choke him out. Escudero by RNC R2

Aaron Simpson (6-0) vs. Tom Lawlor (6-1): Simpson is one of those freakishly athletic guys, that can do just about any sport in the world and success in it. Even though Simpson is already 35 years old, he is one the most explosive, durable and strongest guys in the 185 division. Lawlor, a ADCC competitor, is a solid wrestler and grappler, who showcased his submission skills in his last fight. At UFC 100 Lawlor snatched CB Dollaway’s head from a takedown attempt and applied a fight ending guillotine, which earned him a 100k usd submission of the night bonus.  I believe Simpson is well aware of Lawlor’s submission skills and keep this one on the feet. Look for Simpson to revenge for his team mate Dollaway and put Lawlor to sleep in the second round. Simpson by KO R2.

Amir Sadollah (2-1) vs. Brad Blackburn (15-9-1):  This looks like a stand up war between a muay thai fighter in Sadollah and a boxer in Blackburn. Blackburn has very good boxing and solid wrestling, which he showed in his fight against Edgar Garcia. He’s got heavy hands and especially his jab is effective. Amir's muay thai looked much improved and technically really nice in the Baroni fight. Knees, low kicks, roundhouse kicks, elbows from the clinch - Amir showed them all.  This fight stays on the feet. Blackburn tries to hurt Amir with boxing while Amir probably looks to keep his distance and attack with kicks. I think it's either Blackburn by early KO or Amir by UD. Amir has had some trouble early in the fights with heavyhanded guys like Hendricks and Baroni, so I'm going with Blackburn by KO R1


Chris Leben (18-7) vs. Jay Silva (5-2):  Someone is getting blasted to pieces in this fight between two strikers. There’s no way around it: Leben looked absolutely horrible in his last fight. The fight against Rosholt was the first one after a long layoff due to Leben getting caught from roids in his fight with Bisping. Jay Silva is an excellent striker, who was blanketed in his last fight by Dollaway. Now this is a much favorable match up for Silva, who gets a chance to show his slick striking skills. I have hard time believing Leben, with all personal problems he’s had, will return to his old form any time soon. Which is why Jay Silva is a obvious pick here. Silva by TKO strikes R2.

Jesse Lennox (11-1) vs. Rick Story (8-3):  Very good match up and one of the fights that I'm most looking forward to. Both guys are among the best prospects in the UFC WW division. Young, strong, athletic guys with complete skill sets. Story has beaten very tough guys like Brian Foster and Jake Ellenberger. Lennox has earned his stripes by beating guys like Ryan Thomas and Danillo Villefort, who Lennox beat by UD in his UFC debut. I feel that Story is the better wrestler of the two, which is why my pick is Story by UD

Nik Lentz (17-3-1) vs. Thiago Tavares (14-3): Looks to be a grappling fest between Minnesota MAA’s Lentz and the brazilian Tavares.  Lentz, who is a high quality wrestler, has a good chance to ride out a decision here. Tavares got an UD win from undersized Gamburyan in his last fight, but he has been mostly a disappointment in the UFC. His high point was when he subbed Jason Black, who was really hurt from the weight cut. Lentz by UD.

Mike Guymon (10-2-1) vs. Rory MacDonald (9-0):  Mike the Joker Guymon is a tough vet, but I don't think he can deal with the sheer talent of the young Canadian. This MacDonald kid is for real. Don’t blink. MacDonald by KO R2.

Kyle Bradley (14-6) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (12-4): Bradley has dynamite in his hands, but he doesn’t  have the grappling skills to deal with Dos Anjos. Dos Anjos is a very legit BJJ black belt, who has put excellent grapplers like Tyson Griffin in dangerous situations. Joe Lauzon dominated Bradley on the ground and so will Dos Anjos. Dos Anjos by RNC R1.

Gerald Harris (13-2) vs. John Salter (4-0): Massenzio, who was the original opponent for Harris, is out due some mysterious reason, so John Salter gets a last minute chance to show skills at the Fight Night. Harris is another wrestler from Arizona and a former TUF season 7 competitor.  He was eliminated from the show by Sadollah, who eventually won the whole thing.  Since TUF Harris has improved a ton and his most recent win over Nissen Osterneck serves as a proof of his improvement. There isn’t much footage on Salter around, so it’s a bit difficult to form an opinion about his chances in this fight. Based on the fights that I’ve seen,  it’s safe to say that Salter is an athletic guy with legit wrestling and GnP. Salter, who comes from a wrestling background, beat Jeremiah Riggs, another TUF s7 competitor, in his last fight by TKO. Salter has potential, but he’s going to get smashed here by Harris. Harris by TKO strikes R1.

Nick Catone (6-2) vs. Jesse Forbes (11-3): This is a bout between two wrestlers that will end up on the ground for sure. Both are great wrestlers, but I think Catone, a Almeida brown belt, has the advantage on the submission department.  In his last fight Catone lost a close split decision to Munoz, who is an outstanding wrestler. Forbes makes a comeback  to the UFC after winning some fights in the local circuit. Forbes has had cardio problems in some of his fight and now that he’s taking this fight on short notice, I believe he can’t hang with Catone for three rounds. I’m thinking Catone by TKO strikes R2.

WEC 46 Betting picks offers odds to all the fights on the WEC 46 card. Here are my picks.

Charlie Valencia vs Akitoshi Tamura: Valencia is a legit fighter, but he's going to get outgrappled by the better, bigger and stronger Tamura. Tamura is my top pick for this event. 1.75 at Expekt and 1.80 at Bodog.

Jamie Varner vs Benson Henderson: I'm pretty confident that Varner will take this. He has the wrestling to stuff most of Henderson's takedowns and the boxing to crush him on the feet. You can get 1.70 from Jamie's win at

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

WEC 46 Preview: Main Card

WEC has again put together a very good card, that has champs and former champs all over the place.

Jamie Varner (16-2) vs. Ben Henderson (10-1): Awesome lightweight title fight between the champ Varner, who is making a comeback after multiple injuries and the interim champ Henderson, who showed unbelievable relentlessness in his last fight, where he beat Cowboy Cerrone.
Henderson is an excellent wrestler with good GnP, tight chokes and amazing sub defense. Bendo also has very good cardio that allows him to push the pace all the time, tire his opponents down and then sub them. His striking isn’t anything to brag about yet, but he has a solid chin that helps him a lot.
Varner has been out almost a full year since his fight with Cerrone, where he got hit with an illegal knee. Knee barely touched Varner head, but it managed to cause serious injury to Varner’s eye. Varner also suffered a broken hand and a broken foot in that fight.  His whole fighting career was in jeopardy, but now everything’s healed and he’s ready to scrap.  Varner is a complete modern MMA fighter, who can do it all: strike, wrestle and grapple on the ground. Varner’s best quality is his boxing which he mixes very well with effective takedowns.
Prediction: Henderson beat Cerrone with takedowns and some GnP, but I don’t think he’ll manage to repeat that performance in this fight. Varner is much better wrestler than Cerrone and good enough on the ground not to get subbed. Sprawl and Brawl is Varner’s gameplan for this fight. Varner will dominate Henderson on the feet with crisp boxing and stuff most of his takedown attempts. Varner by TKO strikes R2.

Urijah Faber (22-3) vs. Raphael Assuncao (14-1): this should be a fun featherweight fight.  Former champ Faber is coming off a six month layoff. He broke both of his hands in his last fight, which was a title fight against Mike Brown. Faber is a cardio freak, so I trust that he will come in shape to this fight.  Assuncao has a good record and he’s on a six fight winning streak.  He has solid hands on the feet, but his main weapon is his high quality ground game. Assuncao hasn’t lost in years, but on the other hand he hasn’t ever faced a guy like Faber. Assuncao is good, but I believe his a bit overmatched here. Faber is too quick and versatile on the feet for him. Faber by UD.

Mike Brown (22-5) vs. Anthony Morrison (10-7): Another former featherweight champ tries to bounce back after losing his title. Brown did well against the monstrous Jose Aldo, who managed to hurt Brown with strikes and then choke him out. Anthony Morrison makes his WEC debut and I must admit that I don’t know much about him. What I know is that in his last fight he’s beaten UFC vet Alvin Robinson in a little over minute, which is pretty impressive.  Last year he was submitted by Micah Miller and Fabio Mello, who are both very good grapplers.  Brown is a grappling powerhouse and that will be the deciding factor in this fight. Brown by arm triangle R1.

Dave Jansen (14-0) vs. Kamal Shalorus (5-0-1): Jansen is undefeated for a reason: the dude is an amazing grappler. Last time he managed to outgrapple Rich Crunkilton, who is a very good grappler himself. Shalorus is a tough guy with heavy hands, but he’s going to get outgrappled here. Jansen by anaconda choke R1.

Mackens Semerzier (5-0) vs. Deividas Taurosevicius (11-3): Semerzier shocked the world and especially BJJ fan boys in his last fight where he choked out BJJ ace Wagnney Fabiano with a triangle choke just one minute into the fight.  Now he’s matched up again with an outstanding grappler in Taurosevicius, who is one of the biggest and strongest 145 pounders we have ever seen.  the Lithuanian can strike too and has mean GnP on the ground. While Semenzier is undoubtedly a high quality prospect, I believe Taurosevicius’ experience will win this fight for him. Taurosevicius by UD.

Monday, January 4, 2010

UFC 108 Post-fight analysis

Evans vs Silva: Rashad came out with a new and old game plan: use strikes to set up takedowns. A bit boring, but nevertheless effective strategy. Also very nice control on the ground by Rashad. He passed Thiago's guard and had a mount on him too. Like I thought beforehand Thiago's weak point is still his wresting. He gassed pretty badly too in the third and that could've cost him the fight. Next for Rashad: obviously Rampage. Next for Thiago: someone like Matyshenko, Cane, Schafer, Stann.

Yvel vs Dos Santos: Yvel made a mistake when he decided to brawl with heavyhanded Dos Santos. I thought maybe Yvel would like to try use a kick-based technical muay thai strategy to take Dos Santos' legs out. I guess he got caught up in the moment and just went balls out. Dos  Santos has amazing hand speed for a heavyweight and also packs mean power behind those punches. Next for Yvel: Barry or rematch with Kongo would be very cool fights. Next for Dos Santos: Gonzaga or a title shot against the winner of Mir vs Carwin

Daley vs Hazelett: Damn, Daley has the meanest left hook in the business. He said that he was going to KO Dustin with that left hook and so he did. Hazelett looked a bit scared on the feet and I don't blame him for that. He knew he was facing a superior striker. I wonder if Hazelett's knee is not 100 percent healed yet since he didn't try a single takedown. Next for Daley: please don't feed him to superior wrestlers like Fitch, yet. A brawl with Alves or Anthony Johnson would be guaranteed fireworks. Next for Hazelett: a tune-up fight would be probably best idea for Hazelett's career. Match him up some up-n-comer: Story, Foster, Lennox

Kampmann vs Volkmann: Kampmann dominated the striking like we all thought he would. Volkmann is a good prospect, but he's not ready for the UFC level yet. I'd like to see him take a year off, work on his striking, few fights in the smaller orgs and then try again in the big league. Next for Kampmann: time to step up the level of competition again. A tough up-n-comer like Hendricks, Ellenberger or Hathaway would serve a purpose for both fighters.

Stout vs Joe Lauzon: Lauzon gassed and looked rusty, but that's no wonder since he was coming off a serious injury, surgery and a long lay off. Stout displayed some of his finer qualities in this fight. He didn't panic on the ground and defended most of Lauzon's takedown attempts. Stout striking is really versatile and technically sound. I really liked his liver shots, that he inherited from Bas Rutten via Tompkins. Next for Lauzon: maybe a grappler like Tibau? Next for Stout: a Euro striker like Winner, Siver or Ross Pearson, please!

Ludwig vs Jim Miller: Bang took this fight on two weeks notice and had to cut over 30 pounds to make weight and you have to take these facts into consideration. But the truth is that he still has the same old weaknesses: mediocre takedown defense and a feeble ground game. I don't think we get to see Bang in the UFC anymore. Miller looked awesome again: clipped Bang on the feet and finished him quickly on the ground. Next for Miller: Stevenson, Siver or Tibau. Next for Ludwig: maybe he should stick to being a striking coach, since he clearly doesn't want to learn grappling...

Ellenberger vs Pyle: a very promising performance once again by Ellenberger. I knew he would destroy Pyle, but I was very surprised when Ellenberger decided to play with fire and took Pyle down twice. Pyle has a great ground game, but that doesn't cut it in the UFC anymore. Next for Ellenberger: a welterweight with some name value like Kampmann or Hazelett. Next for Pyle: something outside of the UFC.

Cole Miller vs Dan Lauzon: Exciting fight, but I wasn't that impressed with either. Miller got rocked badly again and Lauzon looked nervous on the feet. Awesome sub by Miller though. Next for both guys: Winner, Oliviera, Stephens.

Jensen vs Munoz: Munoz's striking looked improved now that he has been training with the Nog bros and Anderson Silva. Dude hits like a truck on the ground. Jensen managed to hurt Munoz on the feet, but had a brain fart and decided to try to take Munoz, a highly decorated wrestler, down. Next for Munoz: a good BJJ guy would be a good test. Linhares and Gouveia come to my mind first. Next for Jensen: something that is not happening in the UFC.