UFC 91: Lesnar vs. Couture Predictions

UFC Heavyweight Title Fight: Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar

Lesnar’s third fight in the big-time and he’s in the title fight.  I’ve always been impressed with Lesnar’s athletic ability.  The man is just a freak of nature even back in his pro-wrestling days, when he flew around like 100-pound lucha wrestler.  But Couture is the champ who’s beaten lots of guys that I didn’t think he could beat.  He’s cagey, crafty and strategic.  Couture will come in with a gameplan and he will try to execute.  But Brock Lesnar is just so much bigger, faster, stronger and he’s a very quick study.  I pick him to win this fight, probably by ground and pound stoppage.  Couture’s best shot is probably to try to extend the fight, take Lesnar into the later rounds and make Lesnar gas.  Once gassed, any man, is easy pickings, especially to someone like Couture

Kenny Florian vs. Joe Stephenson

I know he’s on a roll but I’ve never been overly impressed with Kenny Florian.  He’s coming off a big win over Roger Huerta but I wasn’t sold on that guy either.  On the same token, I think Joe Stephenson is a little limited in his repertoire as well.  That fight against BJ Penn really exposed his limitations and I can’t see how he gets to that top level.  Nevertheless, MMA is all about styles and Stephenson’s grappling style is a good match against Florian’s striking.  If Stephenson tries to prove his stand-up skills, he’ll lose.  If he sticks to his strengths, he should win, probably by decision.

The rest of the card has some good fighters like Gabriel Gonzaga and Amir Sadollah but I don’t know enough about their opponents to make an educated prediction.

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So 1 out of 2 picks but I did get the big fight right. The Lesnar/Couture fight went pretty much as I expected.  The punch that floored Randy didn’t look especially powerful but Lesnar is so strong, even his looping punches pack enough power to put anybody down.  Three fights in the UFC and three world-class fighters have been floored by Lesnar’s punches.  Keep in mind his background is as a NCAA division I heavyweight champion and pro wrestling.  He still lacks stellar technique with his strikes and I have yet to see a submission attempt.  Despite that, he’s UFC heavyweight champ with the sky as the limit.

Kenny Florian made Joe Stephenson look like a third-tier fighter.  Despite the impressive showing, I don’t think KenFlo is in BJ Penn’s league but he’ll have the chance to prove me wrong as his next fight is with Penn for the title.  KenFlo’s last loss was against Sean Sherk in a title fight.  Sherk is a semi-one-dimensional fighter who was easily bested by BJ.

Now back to your regularly scheduled show: the neverending market meltdown.

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