Rabey Recommends - June 2012I'll admit, this months edition of Rabey Recommends has a main event feel to it. It's not that i'm being lazy, it's just that these fights are either very important, or really do seem like they could be f*cking great fights. These are the five must-see fights of June !!
THE FIGHT: Jake "The Juggernaut" Ellenberger vs. Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann
THE EVENT: The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale
THE TIME AND PLACE: June 1st. Palms Casino Resort, Paradise, Nevada.
WHY YOU NEED TO SEE THIS FIGHT: Because the winner of this fight will add yet another top fighter to the "mix" that UFC president Dana White will often refer too. Because it features two of the more exciting 170lb fighters in the division. Because both of these guys hit damn hard, so you can expect either a knockout, or another brutal 15 minutes of hard hitting action.
27 year old Jake "The Juggernaut" Ellenberger (27-5) is currently on a tear through the 170lb welterweight division. The guy has smashed his way through his last six opponents, including being the first man to ever finish Jake Shields, not to mention outworking Diego Sanchez for 15 minutes. It's bad luck for Ellenberger that his rise to the top has coincided with the current log-jam at the top of the division, otherwise you'd have to assume his current run would have earned him his shot by now. An impressive win here may be enough to jump him above Johny Hendricks in the pecking order for the first shot at the Condit vs. GSP winner.
Whilt his opponent has been unfortunate, 30 year old Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann (19-5) has suffered plenty of bad fortune himself. His bouts with Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez both courted controversy when judges awarded both bouts in favour of his opponent. Whilst an argument could be made for the Shields bout, one look at the face of Diego Sanchez after their bout tells you exactly who won that fight. With a little better luck, Kampmann would now be on a six fight win streak. As it is, Kampmann has just beaten Rick Story, and most impressively, finished Thiago Alves, which nobody has done in six years.
WINNER- This is a real close fight. Both men are very well rounded, with nothing i could actually call a weakness. Ellenberger has an edge with one punch knockout power, whilst Kampmann probably has the cleaner and crisper striking. I expect it to stay standing, despite both men being more than capable on the ground. Kampmann has been getting tagged alot in recent fights against Story and Sanchez....which is why i feel Ellenberger will win this one. Expect him to land something big late in the second round.
THE FIGHT: Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson vs. Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall II
THE EVENT: UFC on FX 3
THE TIME AND PLACE: June 8th. Bank Atlantic Center, Sunrise, Florida.
WHY YOU NEED TO SEE THIS FIGHT: Because it's a semi-final rematch in the first real tournament UFC have had in years. Because these men will be fighting there way to becoming the first UFC Flyweight champion ever. Because the first fight showcased exactly how exciting these little 125lb guys can be.
27 year old Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall (11-2-1) earned himself alot of fans with his performance in his UFC debut. He went toe to toe with one of the fastest fighters the UFC had, and didn't back up an inch. The man with the awesome facial hair now gets another chance at glory, and you can be sure he will turn down the theatrics and focus solely on victory. Title shots in UFC are not easy to come by, so expect a balls out showing from McCall.
25 year old Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson (14-2-1) may have made his name as a Bantamweight, but the fact is that he was always punching above his weight, his speed and stamina making up for his lack of size and power. Johnson has had one shot at UFC gold already, falling just short against Dominick Cruz. The new Flyweight division is perfect for Johnson, so you can expect him to be in the mix for years to come. Johnson fell off in the third round against McCall, expect him to be more focused in the rematch.
WINNER - First off is the fans. A rematch of an awesome first fight has the fans excited about this rematch. Now, as for who progresses to the finals? Good god it's tough to call. Both have stamina and speed, both are aggressive and well rounded. Whilst Johnson took two rounds in the last fight, it seems McCall finished stronger, and could well have a mental edge based off that. I don't expect a finish in this one, but i'm going to go for a Johnson decision.
THE FIGHT: Erick "Indio" Silva vs. Charlie "The Spaniard" Brenneman
THE EVENT: UFC on FX 3
THE TIME AND PLACE: June 8th. Bank Atlantic Center, Sunrise, Florida.
WHY YOU NEED TO SEE THIS FIGHT: Well, although it is an interesting bout between two of the brighter prospects in the welterweight division, the main reason i put this one on the list was because i have a sneaky feeling that Erick Silva may just be the next big Brazilian breakout star in the UFC....And hell, who doesn't love it when we get one of those.
27 year old Erick Silva (13-2-1) seems to be creeping just under alot of fans radar right now. It's understandable, he doesn't have the charisma of Chael Sonnen, or the decorated background of Roger Gracie. He doesn't have a star studded record, nor does he have an Anderson Silva style highlight reel. What he does have, is a vicious streak a mile wide, and an intent to use it the moment he steps into the cage. Silva's combined time in the Octagon over two fights totals just 70 seconds. He blasted through Luis Ramos in his UFC debut at UFC 134. And whilst he "lost" against Carlos Prater at UFC 142, he done so with a bullshit disqualification for hitting the back of the head whilst going berserker on his opponent. Silva is packing a black belt in both Judo and Jiu-Jitsu, and i am backing this guy to be a VERY big deal at 170lbs.
31 year old Charlie "The Spaniard" Brenneman (15-3) has had an up and down time since joining the UFC back in early 2010. A debut win against Jason High got him off to a solid start, before the hands of Johny Hendricks put him back to square one. Brenneman then got himself some traction by beating Amilcar Alves, and then scoring the biggest win of his career to date, by taking on a rampaging Rick Story on ridiculously short notice, and earning a hard fought decision. The gigantic 170lb heavyweight that is Anthony Johnson then cleaned his clock with a big head kick to stop "The Spaniard" from gaining any more momentum. The former Spanish teacher is most recently coming off a decision win over Daniel Roberts at UFC on FX.
WINNER- I think you already know who i am choosing here. Brenneman has never finished a fight in the UFC, and whilst i expect this fight to finish within the distance, i expect Silva to be the one to end it. I don't see it leaving the first round. Silva via TKO.
THE FIGHT: Gray "The Bully" Maynard vs. Clay "The Carpenter" Guida
THE EVENT: UFC on FX 4
THE TIME AND PLACE: June 22nd. Revel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
WHY YOU NEED TO SEE THIS FIGHT: Because this could actually be an important fight with regards to the UFC lightweight title, with a win putting either man right back "in the mix", as Dana White loves to say. Not to mention, there is every chance that this could be one hell of a scrap between two guys who leave it all in the cage everytime they fight.
33 year old Gray Maynard (10-1-1) spent the whole of 2011 dealing with Frankie Edgar, spending 9 rounds over the period of two fights desperately trying to finish the champion. Despite battering Edgar all over the cage, but never finding THE strike to end the fight. The loss at UFC 136 meant that Maynard would be kept out of the title picture until his nemesis dropped the belt. Which means should Ben Henderson repeat his victory over Edgar, Maynard is once again a viable contender at 155lbs. His recent record shows wins over Jim Miller, Frankie Edgar, Dennis Siver, Nate Diaz and Kenny Florian, proving he has enough ability to hang with anyone at lightweight. Expect Maynard to want to make a big statement
30 year old Clay Guida (29-12) can be one of the most frustrating fighters in MMA. The reason being, this guy can compete in amazingly high paced and exciting fights (vs. Diego Sanchez, vs. Ben Henderson), or he can lay and pray enough to make Jon Fitch look exciting (vs. Nate Diaz, vs. Anthony Pettis). Guida recently had the best spell of his career, rattling off four straight wins, including wins over Takanori Gomi and Anthony Pettis. On his day, Guida is trouble for any lightweight in the division, he has solid wrestling, he hits hard, and he sets a pace in a fight that very few can compete with.
WINNER - This is a tricy fight to call. Both these men can wrestle very well and turn it into a 15 minute grappling match, simply fighting for dominant position on the way to a decision win. But on the flip side, both men could choose to stay standing and showcase their ever improving striking. I'm gonna have to side with Gray Maynard, he has the better wrestling and packs slightly more power in his strikes. I expect him to take the first two rounds, before Guida's ridiculous cardio earns him the last round.
THE FIGHT: Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva vs. TBA
THE EVENT: UFC 147
THE TIME AND PLACE: June 23rd. Estadio Jornalista Felipe Drumond, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
WHY YOU NEED TO SEE THIS FIGHT: Well, i had this one all written out for Silva vs. Belfort II. We know now that that rematch will not be happening, as Belfort suffered a nasty hand break during training, and had to withdraw from the UFC 147 main event. Here's the thing, whilst their is technically no fight in place, i'm gonna keep this here, simply for the fact that, for me at least, a Wanderlei Silva fight has become a mini event in itself. The 35 year old former PRIDE champion is such a legend, and one of the few fighters i actually get nervous about when watching, such is my hope that he does well.
We have no idea who Wandi will be up against next, but current rumours are either Alan Belcher, Rousimar Palhares and Jacare Souza. For me, it doesn't really matter who it is...once i hear "sandstorm" fill the arena, spot that tattoo on the back of his head and see that wrist roll which always comes before blood and violence, i'm 100% sold!!
Published by Lee Rabey - Wed, 30 May 2012 17:41