Often times I get asked by my readers who I might like in a particular fight, and I never know if I should answer with who I want to win, or with who I think will actually win. After all, they’re not always the same person.
As many mixed martial arts fans will attest, one of the best aspects to following the sport of MMA, is that we as fans, all have the benefit of being able to get caught up in the daily, on-going soap opera of useless debates and information, better known as the UFC.
All hail social media!
Whether you hate a fighter or you love him, chances are that you will tune in each and every month just to watch your favourite fighters win, or better yet, to watch your least favourite fighters lose, and get punched repeatedly in the face for their failing efforts.
There is this strong connection to the personalities and moral character of the athletic celebrities that we all enjoy watching. Human nature usually dictates that we will more often than not allow our emotions to cloud our better judgement when it comes down to predicting the outcomes of MMA fights correctly.
Therefore, I recently decided that I would stop wasting your time (but mostly my own) by trying to accurately predict who I think will actually win a selected fight.
Frankly, I could care less about who has the best chance of winning—I’m still going to root for (or against) my favourite (or least favourite) fighters, by flaunting my tremendous bias when it comes to rooting for the fighters that I would love to see win.
For example, given my recent relationship with former WEC fighter, Will Ribeiro, I decided that I would NEVER cheer for ANY fighter who was ever connected with Black House ever again. That included Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida (one of my past favourites), Jose Aldo, and of course, the Egg Nog’s.
And until yesterday, that also included Junior dos Santos, but don’t worry, he is now officially “all good” in my books.
So forget about the WHO...and please enjoy the WHY.
UFC 132 Fight Card Premonitions and Wishful Thinking
Brian Bowles vs. Takeya Mizugaki: The last person that Will Ribeiro lost to in his promising career as a professional fighter in the WEC was none other than Brian Bowles, who later went on to defeat Miguel Torres to become the new WEC Bantamweight Champion. Bowles then immediately lost his title to Dominic Cruz as a result of a doctor stoppage, and then went on to win his next UFC debut by way of guillotine submission choke in the first round against Damacio Page. By all rights, Bowles should probably be the one fighting Urijah Faber in the main event of UFC 132, not Cruz...but he isn’t.
Takeya Mizugaki’s career on the other hand, most closely resembles that of a yo-yo. Win, lose, win, lose, win, lose...but at least he’s lost to some pretty notable opponents over the years, such as; Miguel Torres, Scott Jorgensen, and Urijah Faber. Come to think of it...it makes no sense at all that Mizugaki would be able to win this fight against Bowles.
Bowles...the same guy who promised me an interview for my Will Ribeiro book but then chickened out at the last minute. Needless to say, I’ll be cheering heavily for Mizugaki in this one. Go Japan!!!
George Sotiropoulos vs. Rafael dos Anjos: This fight is not an easy one to predict. I really enjoy watching Sotiropoulos fight, and the last time that I watched dos Anjos fight, it was against my favourite “dude” in the entire UFC, Clay “the Carpenter” Guida (who broke dos Anjos’ jaw with a shoulder strike up against the fence). Nothing against dos Anjos, but he needs to stop fighting crowd favourites if he ever expects North American fans to stand behind him. Still though, despite being from Brazil, he’s not affiliated with Black House, so even if he wins, I’ll still be happy about it. Just because I despise Black House and all that they represent, doesn’t mean that I don’t support Brazilian fighters in general. Quite the opposite in fact.
Melvin Guillard vs. Shane Roller: Shane Roller is a strong American wrestler who is coming off of a couple of very impressive wins against Jamie Varner and Thiago Tavares. Melvin Guillard on the other hand is a Jackson’s prodigy, and a very good friend and student of another close friend of mine, Coach DJ Jones. Nothing personal against Roller, but Guillard was an absolute beast in his last fight and I predict that he will be a UFC champion in the very near future...and that’s not just my biased talking. Okay...maybe a little.
Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader: Tito Ortiz hasn’t won a fight since 2006. Ryan Bader is coming off of his first loss to the now UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Jonny “Bones” Jones. I have never been a Tito fan, in fact, quite the opposite. I despise his whole attitude and seemingly unethical behaviour as a professional athlete, and despite his popularity with most MMA fans, I don’t see that he does anything good for the sport. And yet, in this match-up, I strangely find myself pulling for him to win.
I guess I’m starting to enjoy the fact that Tito has become this enormous thorn in Dana White’s side, who just simply refuses to go away. I hope Tito sticks around for another 10 years actually, just to drive White and the rest of the Zuffa clan insane. Sure he’s a douche, but it’s not like he hides it well. With Tito, you always know what to expect—excuses and all.
Wanderlei Silva vs. Chris Leben: Both of these men come to fight each and every time that they step into the Octagon and it’s always with very bad intentions. The hope, undoubtedly, is to knock their opponent’s head clean off into the fifth row of the stands. Both of these men fight in a way that excites the fans and sells pay-per-views. So how is it possible to predict a fight that lends itself to the best punch landed by the luckiest of the two? That’s easy.
Chris Leben might be a jerk whose past behaviour includes acting like a total embarrassment for the sport on national television (the TUF show), testing positive for steroid use, and more recently, getting busted for a DUI, but at least with Leben, you know exactly what you’re getting.
With Wanderlei on the other hand, the fans adore him because he has a sick-ass nickname and the personality of what appears to be a kind, gentle man...the same man who posted a video on YouTube over a year ago talking about how he was going to help Will Ribeiro by auctioning off a pair of his fight shorts, in order to donate the proceeds to Ribeiro in his desperate time of need. How spectacular of him.
Too bad the shorts were never actually put up for auction, and as such, Silva received a tonne of praise and fan worship for something that he never actually did—or likely intended to do.
I’ll take an irresponsible jerk over a guy who doesn’t stay true to his word any day of the week.
Dominic Cruz vs. Urijah Faber: This main event championship title fight should be highly entertaining. Assuming of course that Cruz can stop running backwards long enough to actually engage Faber. Best way to decide who’s going to win this fight—flip a coin. I doubt that the occasional fan really cares (or knows who they are) anyhow.
Personally, I’d probably pull for Faber in this one, if only because of this video, which I found to be quite hilarious.
Because that’s all that really matters in this sport, right? Being entertained?
I don’t know...I’m starting to think maybe it is.
These are my opinions. If you don’t like them...I have others. Check them out at www.mmehfighter.com
Follow JR on Twitter at www.twitter.com/coachjamesryan