Which Tyron should we expect to show up? The Koscheck one or the Shields one?
Woodley has settled into a rhythm that's halfway between both. He's still a quality WW, and the kind of guy who could crack an elephant skull with that right hand.
Speaking of Koscheck, why is he doing post fight analysis again?
Good question. He's very very not good. He talks the same way he did when we first met him on TUF 1: a fratboy with a Dungeons and Dragons mouth. Brian Stann and Kenny Florian do a pretty good job of breaking down the fights whereas Koscheck just breaks down. He just can't articulate fighter efficiencies, which is nothing to be ashamed of, but also not something he should be doing if that is part of the job description. Dana White loves his first season TUFers though, so expect Jason Thacker to be the key grip for Fox Deportes soon.
Kim is on a roll, but is still +155. Thoughts?
John Hathaway hadn't fought in so long that I'm just not sure that win really speaks to Kim's strengths. The fact that he's suddenly finishing fights with authority has left fans with the impression that he's improving in a major way, and for what it's worth-
...my personal opinion is that he hasn't. Good thing for him, he's always been just a very solid WW, who can be a nightmare matchup for the majority of the division. Woodley is a major step up in competition, but it's also an intriguing matchup. At +155, Kim has to be attractive bet. Why? Because Woodley is just so damn frustrating to watch at times.
I hate to wade into some racially charged nonsense...where black fighters are all so explosive, athletic, and collectively talented that the problem with not finding success is that they can't think and calculate the game the way non-black fighters do...as if fast twitch muscle fibers are the sole reason for their success.
Settle down Al Franken.
But he really does get frustrated easily. When he gets pressured, or put in a corner he doesn't seem to know how to maintain his posture, and he stops throwing strikes completely. Kim is a tall rangy fighter who can potentially stay out of the way of Woodley's right hand. This is where Woodley needs to chamber some kicks, but once again, Woodley can't seem to avoid general inertia. This fight will likely be an all stand up affair. Both guys are hard to take down. I am picking Woodley because for all of his faults, Tyron is usually able to land his punches early. Even when he doesn't settle into a rhythm, he's dangerous, and Kim is not as refined defensively even though he doesn't overcommit.
Tyron Woodley by Decision.
Wow. A 7-7 pro record for Lipeng? TUF winners are not what they used to be huh?
TUF China winner, Zhang Lipeng...true...isn't some kind of diamond in the rough. He's every bit what you expect out of a .500 fighter. But he does represent a necessary shift in the international mixed martial arts scene. Maybe this is just pie in the sky optimism, but should the sport grow in other areas of the world, it's gonna begin on the backs of fighters like Lipeng. My personal opinion on MMA is this: a major component of MMA success is access to a good gym, and thus good resources. MMA is a sport that includes so many disciplines that you need not just athleticism, but a specific education. A good gym will entail a good education of the sport. And a good education will provide the foundation for efficiency inside the cage. Other countries just don't have those gyms. Exposure will hopefully create a network in time.
That's the best I could say about Lipeng. He seems to enjoy top control, but could use lots and lots of seasoning on the feet.
So who the heck is his opponent?
A TUF Nations product. O'Reilly is a pretty tough kid who should be able to land his fair share of strikes. He's got a quick release in both of his fists, but Zhang showed he could take a punch, so it's hard to say. O'Reilly is the favorite, likely because a lot of people saw how he got hit a lot by Wang Sai on the Finale. And also because he seems to be more well rounded.
I suspect this bout will be as close to a mud wrestling fight as we're gonna get. Both guys like to strike to set up takedowns, but aren't good enough wrestlers to make it look sportsy, so we should get something that looks like two guys trying to hammer each other with their fists that happen to suffer from vertigo. O'Reilly strikes with much better accuracy than Lipeng while otherwise being an Australian facsimile. The prediction seems obvious.
Brendan O'Reilly by TKO, round 2.
Instead of writing words I won't read, just show me in youtube form why Ning is the +165 underdog.
Probably because Yang did this on TUF China.
Whoa. That was actually pretty cool.
Far be it from me to criticize anything like that, but when I saw those highlights, all I could think of was a guy I knew in high school who played for our Nolan Catholic baseball team. An opponent threw a pitch that hit one of our batters, so naturally, this triggered a huge bench clearning brawl. No headlocks, or accidentally violent acts of ageism, but one of our players managed to score the old sandbox scissor leg takedown.
Oh. Well I can't find one, but anyway a scissor leg takedown in the heat of battle is incredibly impressive. Until you reflect on it for a few seconds. Nice looking...but a little extraneous.
Body slams are never extraneous.
Still, Yang is an entertaining fighter out of the Fight Emperor camp. Sure a 6-3 record is not all that impressive for a 28 year old, but he's opening the main card for a reason: the dude doesn't stop throwing punches, and has finished all of his professional fights in victory.
He's got a solid one two that he hooks together, and possess reasonable power. This is on contrast to Ning, who throws a lot less punches from his southpaw stance and lunges forward unpredictable. In fact, in the limited footage I've seen of him, he likes to lead with his head actually. He doesn't seem to have much power, although he throws fast, but he's purely a one punch at a time kind of fighter.
With that said, he does know that when a guy has your arm locked, if you slam him, at least make sure he lands on his temporal lobe (4:10 mark).
Yang Jianping by TKO, round 3.