UFC on Versus 6: Cruz vs. Johnson - Matt Wiman vs. Mac Danzig Dissection

On the main card of UFC on Versus 6: Cruz vs. Johnson, Matt Wiman and Mac Danzig will rematch after their initial UFC 115 bout was embroiled in controversy.

Latching a guillotine from guard with no arm in, Wiman used the hold to sweep Danzig and persist adamantly with the choke from on top. After torquing the neck and burying his face underneath him, Wiman persuaded referee Yves Lavigne that Danzig had gone unconscious to elicit the stoppage.

Danzig turned out to be completely coherent and immediately protested the unnecessary intervention in obvious dismay, but maintained his composure and didn't make a huge production out of it.

I have the utmost respect for both of these fighters and feel they epitomize what mixed martial arts is all about. After the unfortunate outcome, Wiman embraced Danzig and expressed his regret, explaining in his post-fight interview that he honestly thought Danzig went limp and apologized for the awkward mishap. Danzig was just as classy in reminding the fans that the referees have the toughest job in the sport and took the unfortunate loss like a man.

Beyond character, their combat skills are just as admirable. They are fiercely aggressive yet expansively technical, highly emotional yet consistently respectful, they've demonstrated unshakable resolve by rebounding after consecutive losses, they're as well rounded as they come and true fighters to the core.

Gifs and analysis in the full entry.

SBN coverage of UFC on Versus 6: Cruz vs. Johnson

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With a Don Frye-ish christening, Wiman defeated three opponents to win a tournament in his very first night of pro MMA.

Starting off with the legendary Lions Den at Mikey Burnette's Tulsa branch, Wiman's core competency was freestyle wrestling while soaking in submission grappling knowledge.

His boxing game has drastically improved and I particularly enjoy the strides he's made with defensive shelling and head movement (right).

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In a dogfight with a rugged lightweight known for devastating striking and a rock-solid sprawl, Wiman jousted with Dennis Siver on the feet and held his own.

He once again displayed a good chin, recovered well from the big shots he did take and threatened with takedowns to keep Siver on his bike and hesitant to fully commit to combinations.

Wiman also put the feisty German on his back, slashing him open with short, twisting elbows from his ruthless top game.

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I'd go so far as to say Wiman has one of the most methodical and machine-like top assaults in the weight class.

His perfect mesh of technique, control, sweeps, scrambling, frenetic guard passing and ruthless striking has been a handful for everyone unfortunate enough to find themselves underneath it.

The lone stoppage loss on Wiman's record was a moment of overconfidence against Spencer Fisher, who clipped him with a flying knee. However, as a late replacement, Wiman also took him down, carved through his guard and held back-control before the highlight reel finish. 

7_mediumHis wrath from the top was on full display against Cole Miller, a skilled grappler himself, in what might have been Wiman's best performance to date.

If he can still maintain a strong position, Wiman will posture up and drill punches, hammerfists and sharp elbows down with overwhelming tenacity.

Repping the "Skrap Pack", Wiman surrounds himself with good company in the likes of Gilbert Melendez, Jake Shields and the Diaz brothers, all of whom certainly play a role in his continual improvement.

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Many don't realize what a sly old fox Mac Danzig is.

Celebrating a full decade in the sport, the TUF 6 welterweight winner and former King of the Cage lightweight champion became a legitimate prospect after blazing a twelve-fight win streak in 2004-2006.

With old school associations to the RAW Wrestling team with Rico Chiapparelli and Milennia with Javi Vazquez way back in the NHB days, Danzig was always a cut above the rest despite fighting outside the UFC for most of his career.

In perhaps his most uncharacteristic loss, Danzig was quite shockingly triangled by Josh Neer.

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The outcome was ironic because Neer is known for his striking and Danzig for his ground prowess, and Danzig out-struck him in the first before succumbing to the choke in the second.

He's similar to Wiman in many ways: he has excellent sweeps and a vast library of submissions, his striking is fundamental and sharp, and his standing defense and chin is solid.

While Wiman has the slight edge in pure wrestling, Danzig is probably even more technical on the mat, which is really saying a lot.

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He nails a beautiful sweep (above) on Justin Buchholz before having a slight lapse on the 12-6 elbow rule.

I'm sure I wasn't the only one astounded by his punching power when he vanquished Joe Stevenson with a ripping left hook (right).

Danzig shows uncanny timing and precision to anticipate the incoming shovel punch.

Notice how he turns the punch over hard at the shoulder and keep in mind that, in over forty fights, Stevenson's only other KO loss was Jens Pulver in 1999.

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And finally we arrive at the ill-fated stoppage from Wiman vs. Danzig 1 (left).

In that bout it was Danzig who hit the early takedown after a brief striking exchange. Wiman immediately opted for his trusty butterfly guard to latch the guillotine and use it to sweep.

The minute disparities between the two are striking power, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique and experience (Danzig); wrestling, striking defense, footwork and size (Wiman).

I think this is a razor-thin match up that could go either way and will likely be decided by split-second instincts. Wiman has a tiny edge in the skill vs. skill comparison on paper, but it's his surging momentum and cultivating confidence that steer me his way.

My Prediction: Matt Wiman by decision

 

 

 

Gifs via Zombie Prophet of IronForgesIron.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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