Travis Browne knocking out Stefan Struve

Here an amazing “Superman Punch” video, with Travis Browne knocking out Stefan Struve.

UFC 135 Picks and Predictions

nullUFC 135 kicks off an amazing two-month span for the premiere MMA organization.

The card features a light heavyweight championship bout and a number of exciting fights.

Here are my picks for the main card bouts.

UFC Light Heavyweight Championship – Jon Jones (13-1) vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (32-8) – Jones faces his biggest challenge to date in his young MMA career while Rampage is looking to stay in the spotlight of the UFC. There are some big questions here as Jones has yet to face any adversity in the octagon or really have his chin tested. Jackson has big power in both his hand, and if he can get inside the reach of Jones, he can knock him out. However, Rampage is somewhat one dimensional, using just boxing to win fights. I have no doubt that Jones has the ability to get Jackson to the ground if he so chooses. I think he will use his kicks and jabs to keep Jackson uncomfortable in the beginning and then eventually get the fight to the ground where I see him finishing Jackson with ground-and-pound strikes. Look for Jones to win this one in the third round.

UFC Welterweight Bout – Matt Hughes (46-8) vs. Josh Koscheck (17-5) – Hughes was originally scheduled to face Diego Sanchez, but an injury forced Koscheck into the mix. Hughes had a better chance of beating Sanchez in my opinion as I don’t see him being able to wrestle Koscheck to the ground. Koscheck seems to be the better wrestler and the better striker in this fight. Koscheck’s only issue is that he is a wild striker, so he could leave himself open to a counter by Hughes. Hughes doesn’t have great power, but Koscheck doesn’t have a great chin. Still, I see Koscheck doing enough to earn a decision win over the UFC Hall of Famer.

UFC Heavyweight Bout – Travis Browne (11-0-1) vs. Rob Broughton (15-5-1) – Browne appears to be a rising star in the heavyweight division. He has some great striking as he uses his powerful fists and mixes in nice leg kicks. Broughton is tough, but I think he is the sacrificial lamb in this fight to push Travis Browne into the MMA spotlight. Look for Browne to win by TKO in the first round.

UFC Lightweight Bout – Nate Diaz (13-7) vs. Takanori Gomi (32-7) – Gomi fought Nick Diaz years ago in an amazing fight and I see this bought being just as exciting. The big issue with Gomi is that he tires easily and that will allow Diaz to get him to the ground and secure a choke. I like Nate Diaz to win by rear-naked choke in the third round of this one.

UFC Heavyweight Bout – Ben Rothwell (31-7) vs. Mark Hunt (6-7) – Hunt was promising back in the day, but he just doesn’t have the skills to compete with most in the UFC. I see Rothwell overwhelming him early in the fight and getting a TKO finish with a flurry of punches in the first round.

UFC 135 Weigh-In Results – All Fighters Make Weight

nullThe fight card for UFC 135 is official as all 20 fighters came in on weight on Friday for Saturday’s card.

The main event of Jon Jones vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson had a little intensity added to the anticipation of the fight as the two had an intense stare down after each weighing in at 204 pounds for their UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout.

Jones, who typically looks off to the side during a stare down, looked right in the eyes of Jackson, which led Rampage to look back and tell him “I’m going to end your hype.” Jones kept yelling “Let’s Go” back, but nothing physical took place. Both men looked in good shape and ready for a war on Saturday night.

Matt Hughes weighed in at 170 pounds for his welterweight showdown with Josh Koscheck, who came in at 170.5 pounds. There wasn’t much added by their stare down, as they stayed pretty distant from each other. Koscheck had a very intense and focused mindset, as he looked like he was ready to get into the cage as soon as possible.

For the full weigh-in results for Saturday’s UFC 135 card, check out the jump.

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UFC 135 taking shape with Jones vs. Rampage as main event

nullUFC 135 is set to take place from the Pepsi Center on Sept. 24 and the card has really begun to take shape over the past few days.

MMAMania.com is reporting that UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones has verbally agreed to make his first title defense against former champ, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the main event.

Along with that, four other bouts have been announced around the MMA world with Matt Hughes and Diego Sanchez expected to square off in a welterweight showdown as the co-main event.

Bantamweights Damacio Page and Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto are also expected to square off in a battle to two guys trying to get into the top 10 picture.

There will also be a pair of big heavyweight contests as Ben Rothwell has signed on to face Mark Hunt and recent knockout of the night winner, Travis Browne, will face relative UFC newcomer, Rob Broughton.

While more fights will be added in the upcoming months, UFC 135 already has some solid name power and rising stars.

Jones vs. Rampage should be a big draw as it will be a little bit of the old vs. the new as those two collide. You also have a Hall of Famer taking on an always exciting competitor as Hughes meets Sanchez.

I for one will be excited to see Travis Browne in action again. I think he has the potential to be a real contender in the heavyweight division.

A few thoughts from UFC 130

nullWell, UFC 130 is in the books.

The PPV was a little uneventful but still had plenty of intriguing storylines emerge. Here are some thoughts I took away from Saturday’s event.

- Rampage had a solid performance despite what the fans thought – The main event might have had a number of boos surround it, but I thought that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson had a solid performance against Matt Hamill. You have to consider a few things. First, Rampage had a fractured hand coming into the bout and still peppered Hamill with some big punches that didn’t manage to send him down. Second, Rampage stuffed each and every takedown attempt Hamill had with ease. To me, Rampage looked about as good as I have ever seen him and I think a healthy Rampage that shows that kind of takedown defense could pose a real threat to Jon Jones, if he is indeed the next in line for a title fight.

- Roy Nelson really needs to do something with himself – In the co-main event, Frank Mir had little difficulty winning a decision over Roy Nelson. Mir simply had to survive the opening five minutes and then Nelson could barely breathe for the final two rounds. Nelson has the talent to be a real impressive fighter. He has the ground skills and the punching power to contend with anyone, but his lack of conditioning and his desire to stick with his obese physique is hampering his career. I would like to see Nelson commit to losing weight and see where that takes him. Maybe he fights as a smaller heavyweight, or maybe he can even cut down to light heavyweight. The window for him to succeed is closing, and the blueprint for beating him is out there. It is only a matter of time before his UFC run ends because he fails to commit to change.

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UFC 130 Results & Recap

nullUFC 130 took place on Saturday night with a card that lacked a marquee fight, but provided plenty of entertainment.

- In the main event, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (32-8) def. Matt Hamill (10-3) by unanimous decision in a light heavyweight contest. Hamill came into the fight expecting to be able to score takedowns, but Jackson showed impressive defense by stuffing every shot Hamill had. Jackson landed some big punches and knees, but never could do enough to put Hamill down. Jackson’s defense and superior striking were enough to earn him a unanimous decision after 15 minutes of fighting.

- Frank Mir (15-5) made his case to still be considered a top 5 heavyweight with a decision win over Roy Nelson (15-6). Neither fighter was that impressive, but Mir showed more conditioning and better grappling against a fatigued Nelson. Joe Rogan often pointed out how Nelson’s fat shape is affecting his MMA career. Will “Big Country” make any changes, or will he stick with his gimmick?

- Travis Browne (11-0-1) made a big statement in the heavyweight division with his brutal KO of Stefan Struve (21-5) in the first round. The two traded heavy kicks early in the bout but Struve attempted a kick late in the first round and Browne land a big straight punch that sent Struve crashing. Browne added two hammer fists, but Struve was already out. The fight ended at 4:11 of the first round.

- Rick Story (13-3) showed that he is a legit title contender in the welterweight division by beating Thiago Alves (18-8) by unanimous decision. Story was able to get Alves to the ground often in the opening two rounds and then took a number of big punches in the third round but was never knocked to the ground. Story did enough to win the bout 29-28 on all three scorecards.

-“The All American” Brian Stann (11-3) picked up another big KO victory, as he disposed of Jorge Santiago (23-9) in the second round of their middleweight contest. Stann flattened Santiago with a big left hook in the first round and then continued to land big shots before closing out the fight in the second round with another big punch and a furious follow up. The fight concluded at 4:29 in the second round. Stann is now 3-0 since moving down to the middleweight division.

Check out the quick results after the jump.

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UFC 130 Picks & Predictions

nullI have been breaking down UFC 130 all week with my takes on each contest.

Here are my full picks for the five bouts on the main card for Saturday night’s event, which airs live on PPV at 9PM ET. Check back tonight for complete results from the show.

UFC Light Heavyweight Bout – Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (31-8) vs. Matt Hamill (10-2) – I think this will be a very tough fight for Jackson if Hamill is in the right mindset. Hamill has the ability to get Jackson on his back, and that has been Jackson’s weakness as of late. Still, I think Hamill will get caught up in the moment of his first PPV main event and show Jackson too much respect, which will allow Rampage to win by decision by being the more aggressive fighter.

UFC Heavyweight Bout – Frank Mir (14-5) vs. Roy Nelson (15-5) – This should be a good scrap, but Mir’s desire to trade strikes in recent bouts will be his downfall tonight. I see Nelson getting an opportunity to land a clean punch, and that will lead to the end of the fight. Look for it in the second round.

UFC Middleweight Bout – Brian Stann (10-3) vs. Jorge Santiago (23-8) – In this clash of strikers, I see Stann coming out on top. He has crisper boxing and is the stronger fighter. Santiago has the ability to land a big kick or a big knee, but I see him trying for something flashy and leaving himself open to a big counter punch from Stann that will lead to a second round TKO.

UFC Welterweight Bout – Thiago Alves (18-7) vs. Rick Story (12-3) – There should be some fireworks here as Story will bring the fight to Alves. Story has the right style to pull off the upset, but I think he lacks that explosion in his takedowns to really get Alves on his back. I see “The Pitbull” using his punches and kicks to slowly tire Story before getting a TKO finish in the third round.

UFC Heavyweight Bout – Travis Browne (10-0-1) vs. Stefan Struve (21-4) – This is a classic grappler vs. striker contest and I see the striker winning. Struve has struggled with powerful strikers in the past and I look for Browne to come out quickly and win by first round TKO.

UFC 130 Preview: Travis Browne vs. Stefan Struve

nullIn a recent article, I called Travis Browne the dark horse in the UFC heavyweight division.

On Saturday, at UFC 130, we will see if that was correct, or if I cursed him forever as the unbeaten heavyweight collides with Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve on the main card.

Here is a look at both fighters heading into this contest.

Travis Browne (10-0-1) – Browne is a big powerful striker that has eight of his 10 victories by knockout, with five of those coming in under 60 seconds. Browne mixes up punches and kicks and he has been taken to deep waters in recent fights. He is coming off a draw with Cheick Kongo, which was a disappointment for him, but he still was able to put forth a good effort against a veteran fighter in just his second UFC bout. Browne hasn’t been tested on the ground by a real submission fighter like Struve, but Struve has struggled against powerful strikers like Browne.

Stefan Struve (21-4) – Struve stands 6-foot-11 and has very long legs with a good reach. His striking isn’t awful, but it’s not at the level of fighters like Browne. Due to his size, Struve doesn’t have a lot of explosion for takedowns, and that is ultimately where he would like the fight to be. Struve is very solid on the ground with his submissions, especially on his back where he can work in some very tight triangle chokes. The key to this fight will be for Struve to take things to the ground when the opportunity arises and out-class Browne with his jiu-jitsu.

Who Will Win: Struve struggled with the likes of Roy Nelson and Junior dos Santos, losing to both early in the first round by KO. I see a similar end in this contest. Browne is very solid with his strikes and I see him catching Struve early and finishing the fight with a KO in the first round.

The UFC Dark Horses

nullEveryone knows who the champions are in the UFC.

But, to really know MMA is to know which fighters are the future of the sport.

I don’t pretend to be a psychic, but I do think I know a talented fighter when I see them. So, here is a list of one fighter in each division that is somewhat under the radar. Each of these guys has the raw ability to someday get to the UFC title, if they continue to evolve and strengthen their weaknesses.

Heavyweight – Travis Browne (10-0-1) – Browne is coming off a draw with Cheick Kongo at UFC 120, but that isn’t a terrible showing for just his second fight in the UFC. It was the first time Browne hadn’t won and he has knockout wins over Abe Wagner and James McSweeney to his credit. He also has five knockout wins that have come in under 60 seconds. If Browne can develop his grappling skills to match his punching power, he will become a very dangerous opponent in the heavyweight division. Browne will be showcased on UFC 130 as he takes on Stefan Struve.

Light Heavyweight – Matt Hamill (10-2) – In a stacked light heavyweight division, many are forgetting about Matt Hamill. Winner of five straight, Hamill has wins over Tito Ortiz and Keith Jardine, and technically is the lone black mark on Jon Jones’ career, though it was by disqualification. Still, Hamill has some of the best wrestling in the division and his boxing is getting better. He has also shown the ability to take a punch, which will come in handy at UFC 130, when he takes on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. A win for Hamill has to put him in the top five for title contenders.

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