Thursday, May 3, 2012

UFC on FOX 3: Looking for a Fight

Alan Belcher (R-Johnny Cash tattoo) looks to charge up the middleweight ranks.
The UFC's third card on FOX is by far the least compelling on paper compared to the first two cards. Encompassed in those two cards there was the heavyweight title on the line, and the second had three potential top contender matches. While Dana White tried to add some zest to this card proclaiming should Nate Diaz win, he'll get the next title shot of the winner of Ben Henderson/Frankie Edgar II. Diaz is a 2-1 underdog to Jim Miller, and while that's a bit much, it goes to show this offer is probably more to hype the card than anything (much to Anthony Pettis' content).

Why is this card so questionable? Good question. Not to say moving forward this is more of the level of card we should expect on free TV, but more so the UFC put on one of their bigger pay per views of the year a couple of weeks back when Jon Jones successfully defended his title against friend-villain-victim Rashad Evans. Or it can be said this is on a mildly celebrated holiday here in the states, Cinco de Mayo. Or of course Floyd Mayweather is fighting Miguel Cotto later in the evening as Cinco de Mayo becomes Seis de Mayo.

What the UFC does extremely well is put together fights from their extensive catalog of fighters that are intriguing to the more die hard fight fan. Sure both Miller/Diaz and Kos/Hendricks could be complete bores, but they are high energy fighters so the UFC will hedge their bets and their wallets that these guys will put on an exciting set of fights so Dana can rub it in all the reporters faces afterwards about how everyone was knocking this card.

Kos photoshops are awesome.
The first two fights offer guys with similar styles. Miller and Diaz will be best suited to keep thing standing since each has a different proficiency on the mat (wrestling and BJJ respectively) and Kos/Hendricks cancel each other out quite nicely with the scale teetering on Kos' experience against Hendricks power. One even has excessive hair on his head compared to hair on his face.

Thankfully for the o-zone neither requires hair spray.

The fight that has two dramatically differing styles is Alan Belcher v Rousimar Palhares. Which goes to show how interested I am in this fight since I took the time to spell out Rousimar Palhares. Although in fairness to me my first attempt was Rhousimar Palares.

Belcher is nicknamed The Talent for a reason. He picked it.

But he picked it because he has a lot of it. Belcher is one of those fighters that are able to do everything well and put it together in spectacular fashion in the ring. Outside of his last loss at UFC 100, a split decision to Yoshihiro Akiyama (pictured above) Belcher was gaining steam with finishes in his next three fights before a career threatening eye injury took away almost a year of his fight life. He's healthy and back and ready to bring out some of his highlight reel Muay Thai against Palhares.

Former Intercontinental Champ Jeff Jarrett.
Palhares is another case of promising talent. What makes Palhares intriguing is that at 5'8, basically a light heavyweight's height, he's a stocky 185 lbs. What he brings to the cage is not the fierce striking many of his fellow countrymen do, but rather an astute ability to grab onto his opponents leg and bend it into submission. In four of Palhares' last 6 fights he's finished by sub. And one of those non-sub finishes was after he peculiarly let go of a leg lock against banished former middle weight Nate Marquardt.

While I'm not sure exactly who taught Palhares such a devastating leg lock...I have my hunches.

With striking with an opponent a tough pill to swallow due to Palhares' stocky build and limited reach (he'll give up 4 inches to Belcher) it'll be interesting to see how one man tries to stay standing while the other grabs for limbs like an order of wings at Baggataway's.

This fight will be a high wire act going back and forth. Both guys will be out to prove their value in a fairly open division if Anderson Silva can dispose of Chael Sonnen over the Summer.

That's the fight I'll be tuning in for. The UFC successfully drags in another happy customer.

Um, pretty sure he's tapping, Rousimar.

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