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Who Can Beat Anderson Silva?

Anderson Silva is undefeated in the UFC.  Not all of his fights have been as exciting as MMA fans, the UFC and Dana White might have liked, but he's undefeated nonetheless.  With his demolishing of Yushin Okami at UFC Rio (UFC 134), the question "Who can beat Anderson Silva?" is boggling MMA experts. 

Who can beat Anderson Silva?  I've been thinking about this myself an I've looked at some of Silva's fights in order to come up with a good answer. In studying some of Silva's fights, I've come up with the strategy that a fighter would need to employ in a winning effort. 

First of all, let's look at what a fighter shouldn't do against Silva.  He should most definitely not try to stand and trade chingasos.  That's a sure way to a quick loss. Just ask Vitor Belfort (UFC 126). Silva is the premiere striker in MMA right now.  His strikes are accurate and powerful.  That's a bad combination for willing opponents.

So standing with Silva is out of the question.  The problem then lies in getting the fight to the ground.  At UFC Rio (UFC 134) Yushin Okami did a good job in the first round of closing the distance and making it a stand up grappling match.  Unfortunately for Okami, in the second round, he seemed to have abandoned that strategy and stayed in Silva's striking range.  If you saw the fight, you know it went down hill for Okami from there.

At UFC 112, Anderson Silva made it very clear he did not want to grapple and or go to the ground with a submission and BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) specialist.  Demian Maia made the correct decision in not engaging in a stand up striking battle.  Unfortunately for Maia and MMA fans, he couldn't get the fight to the ground, Silva would not be bated into a grappling match and it produced a five round snoozer.

The fight with Demian Maia did set somewhat of a blue print for a possible win against Silva.  Basically, getting the fight to the ground would be a main ingredient.  At UFC 117, Chael Sonnen employed that strategy to perfection.  He took the fight into the fifth round by outwrestling Silva.  Sonnen was winning the fight at that point. Unfortunately for Sonnen, he made a mistake in the fifth round. After taking Silva down again, he made a mistake with his ground and pound attack, Silva took advantage and slapped on a triangle/armbar from the guard that ended Sonnens hopes for beating Silva.

When looking back at these fights, the strategy to beat Silva becomes evident. A fighter needs to be a strong wrestler to be able to get the fight out of Silva's strength.  A fighter with wrestling abilities like Chael Sonnen. But this fighter needs an excellent ground game or at least a stronger submission defense than Sonnen. Once the fight gets to the ground this, fighter needs to have a ground game like Damian Maia, or a stronger ground and pound than Sonnen so he can finish the fight on the ground. 

The only fighter on the horizon with the abilities to beat Anderson Silva in the Middleweight division is Mark Munoz. Mark Munoz has comparable wrestling abilities to Chael Sonnen.  Munoz though, has more punching power.  Munoz also has never been submitted.  Munoz is on a a three fight winning streak and I see him posing a strong threat to Anderson Silva.  UFC, make this fight happen!

UFC 134 Silva vs Okami Rio Brazil

This Saturday August 27, the UFC returns to Brazil for UFC 134.  The UFC isn't holding back on this card as it's nicely stacked with intriguing fights.  As a bonus and a gift to Brazilian MMA fans, the card is also stacked with Brazilian fighters.

UFC 134 is featuring a title fight between Anderson Silva and Yushin Okami.  This fight is a rematch and Silva is attempting to avenge a loss to Okami.  While the UFC is trying to sell it as Silva trying to avenge a big loss, Silva really lost via a disqualification due to an illegal kick.  Silva was actually dominating the fight until the illegal kick that stopped the fight.  Nonetheless, it should be a test for Silva as Okami did take him down in their first meeting and has only improved since. 

Check out the free fight video of their first meeting:

Besides the title fight, another good fight on the UFC 134 card is Mauricio Rua vs Forrest Griffin.  This one is truly a rematch as Rua will be trying to avenge the loss to Griffin.  Griffin has shown a suspect chin and if Rua can get back to fighting the way he did in Pride, look for Griffin to go to sleep early in this one. 

Minotauro Nogueira vs Brendan Schaub should be interesting as it's another Brazilian and Pride veteran going up against a young hungry fighter in Schaub that is still trying to make a name for himself in the UFC.  Nogueira might just have too much experience and I see him taking this one in a tough fight.  

Here's the complete fight card for UFC 134

   Main Card
      Anderson Silva vs Yushin Okami
      Mauricio Rua vs Forrest Griffin
      Minotauro Nogueira vs Brendan Schaub
      Ross Pearson vs Edson Barboza
      Luiz Cane vs Stanislav Nedkov
On Spike
      Thiago Tavares vs Spencer Fisher
      Rousimar Palhares vs Dan Miller
On Facebook
      Paulo Thiago vs David Mitchell

       Raphael Assuncao vs Johnny Eduardo
      Erick Silva vs Luis Ramos
      Yuri Alcantara vs Felipe Arantes

Check out the UFC 134 preview video:

MMA in Los Angeles September 10

As the Summer comes to a close, MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) competition is still hot and only getting hotter! If you've missed out on some of the MMA events in Los Angeles this Summer, you get another chance to catch some live MMA action September 10 as Knock Out Promotions puts on Fight Night II at the Normandie Casino.

Fight Night II  will feature two title fights. Christian Aguilera will be facing Fernando Vargas for the Welterweight Championship and Terrion Ware will be facing Carlos Alaniz for the Bantamwieght Championship.

Fight Night II takes place at the Normandie Casino located at 1045 West Rosecrans Avenue Gardena, CA 90247.  Doors will open at 7 p.m. and the event gets started at 8 p.m. There will be a  full bar, live DJ, and a ring girl contest!  If you're in the Los Angeles area, and you want to catch an MMA show, this will be the place to be September 10. 

Tickets for Fight Night II are $100 for VIP, $60 ringside, and $40 general admission. Contact Tracy Hess at 562-841-8354 or Antonio McKee 562-234-7950 for more info. 

Lytle vs Hardy, Fight of the Year?

Sunday night's UFC on Versus showcased Chris Lytle vs Dan Hardy, and a showcase of hard chingasos with a nice submission (Chingajitsu) finish it was! This UFC fight is definitely going to be an MMA (Mixed Martia Arts) fight of the year candidate for 2011.

The fight featured Chris Lytle throwing some of the hardest body shots I've seen in MMA.  Those hard punches seemed to have stifled Dan Hardy. While Hardy was able to counter with hard punches of his own, a few that almost put Lytle out, it turned the fight into a boxing match for most of the fight. This definitely benefited Lytle and the trading back and forth excited MMA fans.

The fight was a rock em' sock robot fight up until late in the third round when Hardy went for a takedown and Lytle locked up vicious guillotine choke that he didn't let go until after Hardy tapped.  The back and forth trading of chingasos with the submission finish definitely makes this one of the most exciting fights of 2011, especially because it was fought at the highest levels of MMA.

Unfortunately for fight fans, this fight marked the end of Lytle's career.  He's 36 years old and planned this fight as his last.  He's retiring to focus on his family.

As far as Dan Hardy, while this fight wasn't planned as his last, it will most likely be, at least in the UFC.  He's lost four in a row and that usually means you're out of the UFC. 

It's sad that Chris Lytle is retiring, he's put on great fights and in doing so earned 10 fight night bonuses in his UFC career (UFC record).  

Do you think this was fight of the year for 2011?   Check out some fight of the year candidates from 2010: Fight of the Year Candidates 2010

Will Tito Ortiz Fight Again?

Almost a week has gone by since Tito Ortiz lost to Rashad Evans at UFC 133.  As I wrote before, Tito was fighting for his career.  So, will Tito Ortiz fight again? That question seems to be on MMA and UFC fan's minds. 

Tito's loss at UFC 133 at first glance seemed like a career ender.  But, in retrospect, he was doing well until a top of the food chain MMA and UFC fighter in Rashad Evans got the best of him in the second round.  The fight puts Rashad Evans in line for a Light Heavyweight title shot soon. So, while Tito Ortiz lost, he lost to a former champion that is now up next for a Light Heavyweight title shot. 

When the loss in analyzed in that way, Tito's loss begins to look a lot less career ending than at first glance.  If Tito can rack up some wins, he will be right back in the hunt for a Light Heavyweight title. Unfortunately for Tito and any other MMA fighter, Jon Jones has that title and I don't believe he's going to give it up any time soon. Even worse, the gatekeepers to the title are going to be bad match ups for Tito.

So while it looks like Tito Ortiz will fight again, it doesn't look like he will be able to return to being a champion, at least not in the UFC.  With that being said, he's still a good fighter and a big draw for the UFC, so it's going to be interesting to see how they match him up on future UFC fight cards. 

Evans vs Ortiz UFC 133 Preview & Fight Card

On Saturday Tito Ortiz gets a chance to continue his comeback.  UFC 133 Evans vs. Ortiz is going down in Philidelphia at the Wells Fargo Center and it's due or die for Tito's UFC career.  A win against Rashad Evans puts him in the running for the light heavyweight title, while a loss puts him back at the bottom of the heap with time running out for his MMA fighting career. 

UFC 133 will also feature Vitor Belfort vs Yoshihiro Akiyama.  Vitor Belfort, like Tito Ortiz is fighting for his UFC career and one last run at the title.  Akiyama is standing in his way and presents a formidable challenge. 

While there are not titles on the line at UFC 133, the UFC did and excellent job in making up for that by headlining UFC 133 with two former champions and UFC vets.  Both Tito Ortiz and Vitor Belfort are former UFC champions fighting for more than just a win, they're fighting for their careers, their legacy and for an opportunity to stay in the biggest show in MMA, the UFC. 

Check out the preview video for UFC 133:

UFC 133 Evans vs. Ortiz fight card:

Main Card
Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz
Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Dennis Hallman vs. Brian Ebersole
Jorge Rivera vs. Constantinos Philippou
Rory MacDonald vs Mike Pyle

Matt Hamill vs  Alexander Gustafsson
Chad Mendes vs Rani Yahya
Ivan Menjivar vs Nick Pace
Johny Hendricks vs Mike Pierce
Mike Brown vs Nam Phan
Rafael Natal vs Paul Bradley

What Happened to Fedor Emelianenko?

If you saw Dan Henderson vs Fedor Emelianenko on Saturday, you witness the continued downward spiral of one of the best MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighters ever.  The questions are now arising as this is his third loss in a row.  What happened to Fedor?  What will he do next?  Does he still want to be an MMA fighter.

Only a year or so ago Fedor Emelianenko was still considered the best MMA fighter ever.  Most fans of MMA didn't even attribute the "best pound for pound" statement to him, he was just simple the best MMA fighter period.  But what happened to Fedor? 

Saturday night, an older and undersized fighter past his prime finished off Fedor in the first round. That was a surprise to many except possibly for Dan "Hendo" Henderson fans.  Fedor just didn't look the same.  He didn't look like the aggressive dangerous fighter that would step inside the Pride ring and dominate. 

Maybe Fedor just doesn't have it anymore.  Maybe he's lost the love for competing in MMA.  Maybe the competition has just gotten much better, while his skills have remained unchanged. 

I can't really say what has happened to Fedor, but, I would like to see him fight again.  He looks extremely pudgy fighting at Heavyweight and maybe the best thing for him is to re-invent himself at Light Heavyweight (205 lbs).