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UFC 48


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Card at the moment looks like this :


Ken Shamrock vs. Kimo Leopaldo

Matt Hughes vs. Renato (Charuto) Verissimo

Phil Baroni vs. Evan Tanner

Tim Sylvia vs. Frank Mir

Frank Trigg vs. Dennis Hallman

Matt Serra vs. Ivan Menjivar

Jason Miller vs. Georges St Pierre

Lee Murray vs. TBA


Looks not a bad show - Baroni vs. Tanner is the stand out for me.

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Looks like a great show.


I am looking forward to the main event between Ken Shamrock and Kimo, but it's definitley not the fight I'm anticipating most. I'm having trouble deciding which fight I'm looking forward too most.


I can't wait to see all the fights, but Tim Sylvia vs. Frank Mir and Matt Hughes vs. Renato 'Charuto' Verissimo are the two in particular that I can't wait for.


It will be interesting to see who Lee Murray ends up facing. I think Jeremy Horn or David Terrell deserves to be in there, but it may be more likely that Joe 'Diesel' Riggs gets the spot. I haven't seen Riggs fight yet, so I'm unsure of what to expect, but I don't think the UFC will put Murray in with Horn or Terrell just yet, as I think both of those guys are too much for Murray. I could be wrong, but I think thay are riskier bouts for Murray and the last thing the UFC wants is Murray getting beat as early as his second bout.


Trigg and Hallman should be a really great fight, as it's a grudge match. Both these guys fought before with Trigg winning by Hallman pulling out after being caught with 'accidental' groin strikes. A lot of shit has been talked since that fight by both fighters. Hallman's best shot at winning is by submisssion in the first round.


Trigg is the better wrestler with the better striking. If I was Trigg, I'd use my better wrestling ability to keep the fight standing and try to outstrike Hallman. If this fight goes pass the first round I see Trigg taking it, as I believe he has much better cardio than Hallman.


When it comes down to Tim Sylvia and Frnak Mir. I'm a big fan of both guys. I think on the feet Sylvia has a big advantage, while Mir has got the better subbmission skills. However, I don't think Mir has the wrestling skills or the cardio to beat Sylvia. Yes, Mir took down the giant Wes Sims, but Sylvia has much better takedown defence and he possesses knockout power.


The Evan Tanner/Phil Baroni bout should be very interesting. A real grudge match. Tanner's striking has a lot to be desired. However, he is excellent in the clinch with the elbows and knees in particular. Also, Tanner's has great and ever improving wrestling skills training with Team Quest. On the ground, I feel Tanner has a real solid combination of wrestling and Jiu Jitsu to dictate what happens on the ground against most guys out there at his weight. Tanner's also got very good conditioning.


On the other hand, Phil Baroni has got devasting boxing skills. The guy is an excellent striker. Baroni is also a really good wrestler. Although, don't look for Baroni to go for the takedown in this fight, but if Baroni ends up in top position in any ground fight situation, he has both the wrestling and devasting punching skills to control his opponent and reallly rain down the strikes at the same time. Baroni has also showed some real good submission skills by being very hard to finish.


The guy is so tough to submit, so I think the only way for Tanner to win is get the top position on the ground like the last fight and make Baroni eat elbows until he can't defend himself. Also, Baoni's best shot at winning is by KO on the feet. Giving the history and all elements of this fight some consideration, I believe Tanner has the psychological advantage over the emotional Baroni from their last fight. Also Tanner's got much better cardio than Baroni.


However, I don't think Tanner should play with striking with Baroni and wait for him to gas out this time round like last time, as he could easily get knocked out. On the other hand, Tanner also is in the perfect camp to beat Baroni considering he beat Baroni already and Matt Lindland beat Baroni twice. All things, considered I would favour Tanner to take the fight to the ground as early as possible and win by TKO.


Matt Hughes vs. Renato Verissimo could be a classic. Matt Hughes is a well rounded Mixed Martial Artist as he keeps constantly evolving, but his greatest strenght is his excellent wrestling skills in both the takedown department and working from top position with the dominating ground and pound, but Hughes is not afraid to dabble in striking or Jiu Jitsu exchanges. Hughes as also got unparalleled conditioning at his weight.


However, his opponent, the ever impressing Renato Verissimo. Verissimo is also a very well rounded MMA competitor. Verissimo's main strenght is his unbelievable Jiu Jitsu skills being BJ Penn's instructor. Also, Verissimo has showed intense striking skills and a dominating top game. I remember Joe Rogan said when Verissimo beat Carlos Newton back at UFC 46 that Verissimo showed a skill level vastly superior than his MMA record of 4 - 0 - 0 suggested. Well, that's because Verissimo has been training dilligently in Vale Tudo for years prior to his pro MMA debut.


When I compare both fighters, Hughes has definitley got the better wrestling skills with his unbelievable takedown ability and top game dominance. Which works well for Hughes in this fight, as the only possible chink in Verissimo's armour may be the level of his takedown defence when compared to the level of Hughes' takedown ability. However, I believe this area of Verissimo's game shall be vastly improved by the time this fight rolls round.


Out of both fighters, Verissimo has definitley got the better striking skills and vastly superior Jiu Jitsu skills. Verissimo showed not only dominance against both Carlos Newton and Gil Castillo, but he also how calm he is while he fights. My explanation of his calmness is that Verissimo is so slick on the ground whether he ends up on top or bottom, that he comes at you with such aggressive striking.


It is rare that you even see an expert in striking being as aggressive as Verissimo, but that is because the typical expert striker is afraid of being taken down. Verissimo, even though he can be taken down, is not afraid of being taken down, as he is really comfortable on the ground, so he'll come at his opponent with raw aggressiveness on the feet.


Hughes' best strategy is too exploit Verissimo's takedown defence and get the takedown and estabnlish top position as early as possible. A lot of questions will be answered here, as Hughes is clearly the most dominant guy from this position in the the entire Welterweight division, while Verissimo may be possibly the most relaxed guy even from the bottom that you are likely to see in this division. All things considered, I see Verissimo exploiting Hughes' main weakness and that is submission defence.


Don't get me wrong, Hughes has evolved this part of his game better and better after each fight, but I still think Verissimo is years ahead of Hughes when it comes to submission skills. Considering Verissimo's calmness and deadly submission skills from every position, I am leaning towards a submission victory over Hughes for Verissimo.


When it comes down to the main event between Ken Shamrock and Kimo Leopoldo, I think we can expect a very competitive bout. Although Shamrock beat Kimo with relative ease in their first bout, both fighters are very different today compared to 1996.


I see Kimo with the better stand up skills than Ken Shamrock. Kimo has good wrestling skills and showed he has really foucused on Jiu Jitsu in recent years by easily disposing of Tank Abbott last June at UFC 43. However, I still think Shamrock is overall better on the ground. Shamrock has very good wrestling skills and should have no problem going for the shot (takedown) now that his ACL has been surgically repaired and rehabilitated. I still believe that Shamrock has the better submission skills than Kimo.


If Shamrock acquires top position, expect him to work the ground and pound on Kimo or possibly take a submission if an opening presents itself. On the other hand, if Shamrock ends up on the bottom, I think he has good enough defense and submission skills combined to possibly get a submission from here too.


Overall, I expect Shamrock to edge this one by a Judge's decision or a submission maybe.

Edited by Joe Reilly
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