UFC 113: "Machida vs. Shogun 2"
The Bell Centre
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio Rua
Luke Thomas:I do believe those who say this fight will involve more direct clashing than the last. In order to not let it go to the judges, both will have to fight with a greater sense of urgency and not try to appear as though they're content to win the round. I ultimately believe that will put more pressure on Shogun than Machida. Both will look noticeably more for the finish than before, but the game of patience and precision is Machida's (especially when the judging is suspect). Shogun will fight with a greater tempo and will look to put more combinations together. I also expect Machida to use the clinch to take Shogun down more consistently to disrupt his rhythm a la Edgar vs. Penn. Shogun's takedown defense is porous and his willingness to enter the clinch in his fights allows him to get Gable Gripped under the waist quite often. I suppose I ultimately see Shogun being less risk averse, which would work against most opposition. That seems like too risky of a strategy. The truth is his gameplanning was correct the first time, but not judge friendly. Swinging with more abandon is more finish-friendly, but not against the counter fighting precision of Machida. Talk about a rock and a hard place. Machida by TKO.
Kid Nate: I think Machida will have a tactical edge and could win it in the clinch if he changes his game plan. But I also believe that Shogun is the superior athlete and I think if both men followed the same game plan that Shogun would finish in the later rounds. That makes this a very hard call. I'm going with Machida as the one who'll adjust. Lyoto Machida by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: Who makes what adjustments? If it turns out that Machida is incapable of making any adjustments to avoid leg kicks and the like his reign was due for an end sooner than later anyway. If Shogun deviates too much from a successful gameplan that'd be strange, but he has to be able to adjust to the adjustments Machida makes. It's the height of the MMA chessmatch. A win by either guy would not shock, but I just think Machida has the better tools to adjust, frustrate and win. Lyoto Machida by (controversial) decision.
Michael Rome: My inclination since the first fight hasn't changed: I really think Shogun will take this. By the fourth round or so of their first fight Shogun had Machida's timing down, and he will be the first guy to now start a fight against Machida having already figured the puzzle out. I think he will go after the legs and body for much of the first 2 rounds, and then finish this off later. I am unconvinced that Machida can adapt his style, and I'm also curious about his mental state now that someone has figured out his style. Joe Rogan made the observation that muay thai is a more efficient style than shotokan karate, and Shogun was the first fighter Machida faced that was as proficient in muay Thai as he is in karate. If he's right, and Machida's real advantage is the element of surprise, the Machida era is truly over. We shall see. Shogun via TKO, round 4.
Mike Fagan: I'll probably still be going back-and-forth on this fight right up until they step into the cage. On one hand, it's hard to throw away Shogun's first performance. On the other, it's hard to ignore Machida's run of dominance in the UFC. Shogun seems like he's going to stick with his gameplan that worked for 25 minutes the first go around, and that seems like a bad idea. I like Machida to make the necessary adjustments. Lyoto Mahcida by decision.
Chris Nelson: Machida should have an answer to Shogun's leg kicks this time out. Granted, I have no idea what that'll be, but I think he'll have one. My highly technical analysis is that this fight will look a lot like the first one, except with Machida absorbing less damage. Machida via decision.
Leland Roling: I think we're in for another highly strategic and technical battle. From the sounds of the lead-up to this event, Rua is focusing a lot on his kicks while Machida hasn't really hinted at a change in his gameplan. I think Rua will probably want to use his kicks to set up for later round takedowns, but Machida will more than likely be quicker as I didn't think he was as speedy as we've seen in past fights in their first encounter. I think we'll see more lateral movement, and it'll cause Rua to have to kick and miss and open himself up to counters. It's a tough fight to gauge though, and the fight could go down completely differently than I see it. I think Machida edges him out on points though. Lyoto Machida via decision.
Paul Daley vs. Josh Koscheck
Luke Thomas: I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see Koscheck make a foolish decision and stand with Daley for far too long. That being said, his preservation skills are better than they once were. And I don't think Daley's takedown defense is ultimately as good as Thiago Alves. This is a close fight and I expect some tense moments, but Koscheck should not lose this if he fights intelligently. Koscheck by decision.
Kid Nate: Koscheck is surely smart enough to take Daley down and beat him on the ground. Even Koscheck isn't dumb enough to stand with Semtex. Is he? Is he really? Koscheck by submission.
Brent Brookhouse: I'm a huge Paul Daley fan but lets not pretend this isn't the exact kind of guy that he comes up short against every single try. I've heard really good things about Daley's camp and the strides he has made in stuffing takedowns. People are far too willing to buy into the idea that Koscheck is bad with gameplans, he is not. He will go for the takedown, get it, land a few punches, and lock in a choke. Josh Koscheck by submission, round 1.
Michael Rome: This is kind of like an updated version of Koscheck's last fight. Daley is a better striker than Johnson, but he's a weaker wrestler. Daley's left hook is perfect for countering Koscheck's wild right, but I think Koscheck is tough enough to take one and survive before shooting in. Koscheck via TKO, round 2.
Mike Fagan: We just saw this fight a few months ago. North American wrestler trumps British striker. Josh Koscheck by submission, round 2.
Chris Nelson: I actually don't think that Koscheck will take Daley down straight away, and as we've seen, a small window of opportunity is all "Semtex" needs. Gimme the upset. Daley via TKO, round one.
Leland Roling: Absolutely love Paul Daley's style and knockout power, but Koscheck can be an absolute nightmare. While Koscheck has said he'd probably strike in the early days after the fight announcement, I think he's smartly realized that powering through Daley and taking him down will be the way to win quickly. Koscheck's wrestling is solid, and his ground and pound is absolutely brutal. Josh Koscheck via TKO, Round 2.
Luke Thomas: I suspect Kimbo will play conservatively and try to pick Mitrione apart at a distance. He can still be bludgeoned at a distance, but Mitrione needs a brawl to win. Provided Kimbo denies him that, Slice should be fine. "Should" being the operative word. Slice by decision.
Kid Nate: Mitrione hits harder than Kimbo I'm guessing. But I think Kimbo has more heart. Kimbo by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Mitrione hits hard with his power shots. Kimbo comes from a better camp and is probably better all-around. Still, Mitrione is bigger and likely won't fall victim to any ragdolling ala Houston Alexander. The real deciding factor for me is that, even going back to his street fighting days, Kimbo's knees buckle every time he gets hit flush. Matt hits a lot harder than some scrub in the street. Assuming Mitrione isn't hesitant to engage I think he's going to hurt and finish Slice early. Matt Mitrione by KO, round 1.
Michael Rome: Yawn. The constant harping on Kimbo on the WEC show and the countdown was a waste of time. I think he is going to win here, I've never been too impressed with Mitrione and I think Kimbo will win a war of attrition. Slice via decision.
Mike Fagan: I think the UFC might have found someone that Kimbo is better at in MMA. Unfortunately, Mitrione has the right skill set that might end Slice's night. Still, I think Kimbo + ATT trumps Mitrione and wherever he's at now (is he still with Lytle?). Kimbo Slice by submission, round 2.
Chris Nelson: I'm not mad at having to watch this, but I'm bummed that it's taking up PPV space. This should be free on Spike or something. While I think most everyone would like to see Kimbo put a beating on the headcase Mitrione, I just can't see it happening. Mitrione hits hard and Kimbo looks shopworn every time out. Mitrione via TKO, round two
Leland Roling: I would probably pick Slice in this fight most times, but I think Mitrione's size and hands will ultimately end Slice's run. It's going to be rather tough for Kimbo to throw him around, and while I'm not a fan of Mitrione's half-ass jabbing -- he has a chance. I'll go with the upset. Matt Mitrione via TKO.
Luke Thomas: Stephens is a thrilling fighter with clubbing power, but Stout's beard and more technical kickboxing is just too much. And sense he lacks the speed of Spencer Fisher, he's not looking at a lot of good options. Stout by decision.
Kid Nate: Stout doesn't thrill me but he's technically sound enough as a striker to outpoint most who can't beat him on the ground. Stephens has the proverbial puncher's chance. But I'm taking Stout by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Stout is very good technically. He moves well, uses good angles, and puts together complex combinations. That's much more than can be said for Stephens who is a pure headhunter. Stout is going to pick him apart and bust him up for 3 rounds. Sam Stout by decision.
Michael Rome: This should be a good fight. Stephens has a lot of liabilities standing, and Stout looked great on his feet in his last outing. Stephens can take a decision through wrestling, but I think Stout's standing game will be too much. Stout via decision.
Mike Fagan: This will be close, but I think Stout's technique will be the decider. Sam Stout by decision.
Chris Nelson: Stout's looked fine against Matt Wiman and a rusty Joe Lauzon, but this will be a solid test for him. Could really see this going either way, but I'll pick Stout via decision on home soil.
Leland Roling: Stout's footwork and technical striking should overcome Stephen's "SHROOOYUKEN" uppercuts. Sam Stout via decision.
Luke Thomas: Belcher's just too passive and lacks tactical gameplanning that includes urgency or adaptation. Against someone with the decent defense/solid firepower of Cote, that just spells trouble. Cote by TKO.
Kid Nate: Another one I'm not that excited about. Cote has been out for a long time. Knee injuries are no joke. Cote at his best would smoke Belcher. I'll bet he's still got it. Cote by KO.
Brent Brookhouse: Belcher's style would get him slept with quickness against a healthy, non-rusty Cote. As of my typing this Belcher is actually a slight favorite to take the win. I assume this is due to the fact that guys don't often return from 18 months of inactivity after major knee injuries without some pretty negative effects. Still, Belcher stays far too open to be hit for me to not take Patrick. Patrick Cote by KO, round 2.
Michael Rome: This is a hard fight to call because I don't know what Patrick Cote to expect. He's had quite a long layoff and I fully expect him to be a bit rusty. Belcher is a very talented striker, but he leaves himself wide open. He's the kind of guy that takes 2 to give 1, and I think that is a problem against someone like Cote. Cote via KO, round 2.
Mike Fagan: If I knew Cote would perform as if he hadn't been off for 18 months without a knee injury, I'd take him in a heartbeat. But because of the injury, I'm taking Alan Belcher by decision.
Chris Nelson: While Cote is clearly the superior fighter, I just can't bring myself to pick a guy who's been out for a year-and-a-half with a serious knee injury. Belcher via decision.
Leland Roling: I'm not a huge fan of Belcher's openness in the stand-up game. He eats way too many punches, and his strikes aren't exactly blazing fast. He seems to always have a problem with his conditioning as well, and I think Cote can move in and out and find a home for his power. Patrick Cote via KO, Round 2.
Marcus Davis vs. Jonathan Goulet
Luke Thomas: I give Goulet 30 seconds. Davis by KO.
Kid Nate: Ah Marcus Davis, once you were a contender. Now you're fighting Goulet. Could be a good scrap but I expect Davis by KO.
Brent Brookhouse: This isn't a real fight. Marcus Davis by KO, round 1.
Michael Rome: This reads to me like a gift to Marcus Davis. He's a favorite of the UFC brass and they want to get him another win. Nothing better than a guy with a suspect chin. I think the loser may be out of a job, unfortunately. Marcus Davis via KO, round 1.
Mike Fagan: Marcus Davis can throw. Jon Goulet has no chin. 2+2=4, Marcus Davis by TKO, round 1.
Chris Nelson: I briefly considered picking Goulet just to be a contrarian, until I realized that "The Road Warrior" hasn't fought in almost 18 months. This seems like a foregone conclusion. Davis via TKO, round one.
Leland Roling: Glass Joe is going down quickly against Davis' power. Unless Goulet has been progressively improving his defense, Davis should win via KO. Marcus Davis via KO, Round 1.
Joey Beltran vs. Tim Hague
Luke Thomas: Provided Hague doesn't gas, he should be fine. Hague by submission.
Kid Nate: Hard to care about this one too much. Will pick Hague since I was slightly more impressed with him against Pat Barry than anything I've seen from Beltran. Hague by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: People seem a bit quick to write off Beltran here, but even saying that. Tim Hague by decision.
Mike Fagan: Beltran may have a better UFC record, but his opposition hasn't been that great either. Tim Hague by decision.
Chris Nelson: Call me crazy for picking a man who twice lost to Tony Lopez, but I've got a feeling. Joey Beltran via TKO, round one.
Leland Roling: Hague will be significantly bigger and stronger, in my opinion. Sure, Beltran is a solid puncher with some good wrestling, but in such a low-tier match-up -- I gotta go with the bigger man. I think it's a pretty even fight, but I'll take Hague. Tim Hague via decision.
T.J. Grant vs. Johny Hendricks
Luke Thomas: Grant's not half the wrestler or athlete Hendricks is. Hendricks is going to have his way with the Canadian until he leaves an opening in a positional scramble. Hendricks by submission.
Kid Nate: Very fun fight. Hendricks is a blue chipper but kind of small for a welterweight. T.J. Grant is very well rounded and will have a jiu jitsu edge. But Hendricks will keep it on the feet and win it with his hands. Johny Hendricks by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: I really like Grant as a potential upset pick and at +350 I think he's a great bet. Still, Hendricks hits harder, has better positioning and can work from the top quite effectively. Johny Hendricks by decision.
Michael Rome: This is a fight I hope makes the main broadcast. I'm very interested in both guys, though I think they both should probably try to make the cut to 155. Hendricks in particular has a very bright future if he keeps developing his dirty boxing game. I think Hendricks' wrestling is just going to be too much. Hendricks via decision.
Mike Fagan: Hendricks should take this with some of the better wrestling in the UFC. Johny Hendricks by decision.
Chris Nelson: Hendricks either ends this quickly or takes a dominant decision. Being that Grant has a sturdy chin, I'll go with Hendricks via decision.
Leland Roling: Grant definitely has upset potential, but Hendricks has become somewhat of powerful puncher. Great clinch punching and his wrestling is top notch. Look for him to pick up another win here. Johny Hendricks via TKO.
Joe Doerksen vs. Tom Lawlor
Luke Thomas: I was impressed with Lawlor's stand-up against Aaron Simpson. It's way more precise than I ever gave him credit. Worse, Doerksen's chin just isn't what it once was. Lawlor by TKO, round 2.
Kid Nate: I'm a Doerksen fan, but he's got a lot of miles on that body. Lawlor by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: I just don't find anything that cute or entertaining about Lawlor's entrances. It's the height of cheesy and honestly pretty obnoxious. In the cage is a different story as Lawlor is a hell of a developing talent and a lot of fun to watch. Doerksen is a talented guy on the regional level and a not-so-great fighter at the major league level. Tom Lawlor by TKO, round 3.
Michael Rome: Tom Lawlor is mainly known for entertaining fans with his entrances, but he's a very tough fighter underneath all the flash. Doerksen is the epitome of a journeyman, and I think Lawlor will win on athleticism alone. Lawlor via decision.
Mike Fagan: Whatever the outcome, we all win after we see Lawlor's entrance. Tom Lawlor by decision.
Chris Nelson: The last fights I saw of Doerksen's were his Sengoku bouts. While he looked fairly impressive there, it's also easy to look impressive against unremarkable Pancrase middleweights. I'll take the younger, quicker and stronger Lawlor via TKO, round two.
Leland Roling: Doerksen's jab will be the key to keeping Lawlor away, but Lawlor has a decent chin and probably won't be bothered by Joe's strikes. I think Lawlor will be much more aggressive and powerful, and he'll land more than Doerksen and wear him out. Tom Lawlor via TKO.
Mike Guymon vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida
Luke Thomas: Yoshida should never lose this fight. Yoshida by submission.
Kid Nate: Yoshida should dominate here. Yoshida by submission.
Brent Brookhouse: Assuming he can close distance effectively it's Yoshida's fight to lose. If he does end up on the end of a few punches he could be in a lot of trouble given his chin issues. Still, let's be safe here. Yoshiyuki Yoshida by TKO, round 2.
Michael Rome: Guymon lost his first UFC bout at the hands of Rory Macdonald, but he did drop Macdonald once. We haven't seen enough of MacDonald to determine whether this is a gigantic leap in competition, but we do know Yoshida has a questionable chin. I think that despite his tendency to get knocked out in brutal fashion, Yoshida will win here using judo to get Guymon down and then following up with a submission. Yoshida via submission.
Mike Fagan: I think Yoshida wins, but I won't be surprised to see Guymon drop him from the UFC either. Yoshiyuki Yoshida by decision.
Chris Nelson: Yoshida takes this to the mat early and puts a beating on Guymon. Yoshida via TKO, round one.
Leland Roling: I gotta go with Yoshida's top control striking in this fight. While Guymon is a great jiu-jitsu fighter, Yoshida is definitely good enough to avoid those submissions and put a world of hurt on Guymon. Yoshiyuki Yoshida via TKO.
Jason MacDonald vs. John Salter
Luke Thomas: Jason MacDonald is a tough bastard and I am happy for a guy who is willing to fight very tough competition that he'll get a chance to triangle someone in a UFC show in his home country. Good for him. MacDonald by submission.
Kid Nate: Nice to see MacDonald back. Too bad David Loiseau didn't make it. Although I think Jason would tap out the Crow too. MacDonald by submission.
Brent Brookhouse: Salter is going to have trouble with MacDonald's game and experience. Jason MacDonald by submission, round 2.
Michael Rome: Jason Macdonald via submission.
Mike Fagan: Bad luck for David Loiseau is Jason MacDonald's fortune. I think he takes this and wins himself another fight or two in the UFC. Jason MacDonald via submission, round 1.
Chris Nelson: I watched MacDonald take a drawn-out and fairly uninspired decision over Matt Horwich just a few weeks ago. "The Athlete" has a lot of miles on him, but he also only loses to upper-level guys. From all indications, John Salter is not that. MacDonald via decision.
Leland Roling: MacDonald hasn't looked great outside the UFC, and I'm going to stand by my word and go with the upset. John Salter via decision.