UFC 132 Recap & Review – Too Much To Cover

nullWell, where do I begin?

UFC 132 took place last night and was one of the most entertaining PPV’s I have seen in quite some time.

There were so many storylines that emerged from the event, but I guess I will have to start with the main event.

Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber put on quite a show, proving that bantamweights can headline a PPV. In the end, Cruz won a close unanimous decision that had Faber crushed and Cruz looking very joyous and relieved (AP Photograph).

I personally felt Cruz won 48-47 based on scoring rounds, but I don’t feel like the fight had a true winner or loser. I didn’t think Faber did enough to warrant winning the title, but I think he should be considered for an immediate rematch.

Faber’s quickness did nullify some of Cruz’ movement, but Cruz still seemed to dictate the pace and style of the fight. The ground scrambles were really impressive from both men and that essentially made the fight a standup battle, where Cruz landed a lot more strikes.

In the co-main event, Chris Leben defeated Wanderlei Silva by KO in just 27 seconds. Coming in, many thought Tito Ortiz would be fighting his last fight, but it may have been Silva that did, as he suffers another big time KO and is just 2-6 in his last eight fights.

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UFC 132 Picks & Predictions

nullUFC 132 takes place Saturday night from Las Vegas with a stacked card.

The main card features five exciting bouts and here are my picks for the contest.

UFC Bantamweight Championship – Dominick Cruz (17-1) vs. Urijah Faber (25-4) – In this rematch I see Cruz winning by unanimous decision. His movement and wrestling will be too much for Faber to deal with. Cruz is a much different fighter than the one that met Faber before and I expect his footwork to pose problems for Faber and his explosive takedowns will be too much for Faber to stuff.

Middleweight Bout – Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1) vs. Chris Leben (21-7) – In this battle of strikers, I like Silva as I think his striking is a little more diverse. I think Silva’s chin is a little weaker, but I expect Silva to land the big punch first. Leben has a big heart, but he has struggled against strikers in the past. Look for Silva to win by second round TKO.

Light Heavyweight Bout – Tito Ortiz (16-8-1) vs. Ryan Bader (12-1) – This should be Ortiz’ final bout with the UFC as I see Bader winning by decision. I think the fight should be competitive, but Bader’s athleticism and combination of wrestling and striking should be too much for Ortiz, who will have to score takedowns in order to win.

Welterweight Bout – Carlos Condit (26-5) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (14-0-1) – This should be a very close fight, but I like Kim to remain unbeaten. His size and strength should be too much for Condit. I see Kim putting his weight on Condit against the fence and then scoring some judo throws and takedowns to control Condit. Look for Kim to win by decision.

Lightweight Bout – Dennis Siver (18-7) vs. Matt Wiman (13-5) – Siver is a short, compact striker that is hard to get to the ground because of his low center of gravity. I see Wiman struggling to get the fight to the ground, and that will allow Siver to out-point Wiman with his striking. My pick is Siver by decision.

  

UFC 132 Preview: Carlos Condit vs. Dong Hyun Kim

nullUFC 132 will let us know who the next great contender in the UFC welterweight division may be.

Carlos Condit and Dong Hyun Kim are both knocking on the door of top-5 contender status, so their clash this Saturday night will show us which one is ready for the next step.

Here is a breakdown of both fighters heading into this contest.

Carlos Condit (26-5) – Condit is a solid all-around fighter. He is known mostly for his grappling, but has since really shown some improved striking, both in terms of power and technique. His KO of Dan Hardy sent a big message to the division and put him in line to contend for the title with another big one. While Kim isn’t known much around the country, he is unbeaten, and would be a big win for Condit.

Dong Hyun Kim (14-0-1) – Kim is a judo grappler that is very big for a 170-pound fighter. He has really been a tough opponent for people to figure out due to his strength and grappling ability. He has won his last three fights, including victories over Nate Diaz and Amir Sadollah. Though he hasn’t finishing most opponents, he has done enough to clearly win fights.

Who Will Win: Kim has the ability to take a punch and keep moving forward, so I see this being a bad matchup for Condit. I don’t think Condit will be able to win the grappling battle with Kim. With Kim being the bigger fighter, I see Condit struggling to get off his back when the fight hits the ground and that will allow Kim to get another decision victory.

  

Early UFC 132 Betting Odds: Cruz Favored over Faber

nullUFC 132 takes place this Saturday night from Las Vegas and our friends at BetOnFighting.com have released their odds for six of the bouts on the card.

In the main event, UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz is a slight favorite to beat challenger Urijah Faber. Cruz has odds of -130 while Faber has a money line of +100.

Faber is the only blemish on Cruz’ record, but Cruz is a much different fighter now and Faber has somewhat underwhelmed in his short time at bantamweight.

In the co-main event, Wanderlei Silva (-185) is favored to beat Chris Leben (+155) in what should be a slugfest in the middleweight division. Both men are standup fighters that like to trade punches. You would expect someone to get KO’d in this one.

Silva has the more impressive wins list, but his chin is not nearly as strong as it once was. Leben isn’t a great technical striker, but when he hits you, it does a lot of damage.

In what could be Tito Ortiz’ final bout with the UFC, he is a heavy underdog (+365) in his contest with wrestling standout Ryan Bader (-465).

Bader has just one loss in his career, to current champion Jon Jones. Ortiz hasn’t won a fight since beating Ken Shamrock in October of 2006. He hasn’t beaten anyone currently relevant since he beat Forrest Griffin in a close decision in April of 2006.

Check out all the current odds for UFC 132 after the jump.

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Top 10 Welterweight Rankings

nullThis week’s rankings turn to the welterweight division.

It has been a busy couple of months in this division as two of the top 10 suffered losses since my last 170-pound rankings came out.

So, without further ado, here are my top 10 in this division.

1. Georges St. Pierre (22-2) – St. Pierre successfully defeated Jake Shields, but did so by decision. His performance wasn’t great, but it was still enough to end a lengthy win streak by Shields. Instead of moving up to middleweight, St. Pierre will now take on Nick Diaz at UFC 137 in October.

2. Jon Fitch (23-3-1) – Fitch is coming off shoulder surgery and is targeting a return in late 2011. He was originally pushing for a title fight, but is now looking toward a rematch with B.J. Penn. With the UFC implementing five-round main events for non-title fights, Fitch would seem to have the edge there as he got stronger as the first fight with Penn went on.

3. Josh Koscheck (15-5) – Koscheck has been on the shelf for a few months now as he recovers from a broken orbital bone. Koscheck should return in late 2011, and hopefully he can continue to show some solid skills when he gets back. A powerful striker and wrestler, Koscheck has the skills to win it all if he can do the little things to put together the whole package.

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