I have no idea why they didn’t name this UFC “Clash of the Titans.” Seriously, these guys are frickin’ huge.
The Main Event: Heavyweight Title Bout
Brock Lesnar (4-1) vs. Shane Carwin (12-0)
The Breakdown: Originally slated for November of last year, Brock Lesnar’s diet of raw deer meat and the tears of heretics developed into a nasty case of diverticulitis that forced him to tap from competition. But now Lesnar’s back and is getting ready to step into the cage with the one guy he can’t bully: Shane Carwin, a man that looks like he stepped from an Eli Roth movie. The interesting thing about both guys is that, despite Lesnar being Heavyweight champ and Carwin having twelve fights under his belt, they’re both partly unknown quantities. Lesnar still hasn’t picked on someone his own size and Carwin has yet to be tested. They both beat up Frank Mir, though. So there’s that.
My Pick: Carwin has never seen the second round. Why? Because he knocks people unconscious before they get there. We’ve never seen Lesnar’s chin in action and if Carwin lays a hand on it, Brock will be sucking canvas. Carwin by KO in the first, with an assist from diverticulitis.
Gore Factor: If Carwin has his way, low. If Lesnar has his, high.
Chris “The Crippler” Leben (20-6) vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1, 2 NC)
The Breakdown: Two weeks ago, Chris Leben stepped into the Octagon and upset the undefeated Aaron Simpsion. Now, with the injured Axe Murderer scratching from this fight, Leben volunteered to step in. Fighting twice in two weeks is pure insanity, especially against a judoka as slippery as Sexyama. Leben’s brawling style doesn’t mesh well with elusive opponents, and though he always has a puncher’s chance, he’s not going to be in any shape to fight.
My Pick: Sadly, MMA doesn’t care how big your testicles are. Akiyama takes this one by TKO in the third.
Gore Factor: Low.
Chris “Lights Out” Lytle (38-17-4) vs. Matt “The Immortal” Brown (13-8)
The Breakdown: The last time these two tangled, Brown tapped from a guillotine choke. This time, don’t expect submissions. Expect two guys standing in the center of the Octagon and pounding the holy living fuck out of one another. In terms of boxing, Brown shows several stylistic errors that Lytle is too much of a berserker to capitalize on. We’re basically looking at a bar brawl that was somehow sanctioned by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
My Pick: I like Lytle in the fight, but he doesn’t have the power to KO a guy with the brass jumblies to call himself “the Immortal.” Lytle by decision.
Gore Factor: Low to medium. This is a kickboxing match, so we should be spared the truly bloody injuries.
Light Heavyweight Bout
Krzysztof “The Polish Experiment” Soszynski (20-10-1) vs. Stephan “The American Psycho” Bonnar (14-7)
The Breakdown: I have a friend that loves Stephan Bonnar the way I love The Room. Bonnar is one of the toughest guys in the sport and has been on the receiving end of so many highlight reel level beatings, it’s a wonder he can remember his own name. In 2005, the fight between Bonnar and fellow TUF 1 contestant Forrest Griffin ushered in the modern age of MMA. We’re a long way from that, with Bonnar riding a three fight losing streak. Keith Jardine was recently cut from the UFC for losing one more fight, so it’s fair to say Bonnar is on the bubble. This fight is a rematch of a dark match (if you wondered how far Bonnar’s star has fallen, look no further), that Soszynski “won” by doctor stoppage after an illegal elbow. It’s a lot of drama for a fight between two well-rounded brawlers.
My Pick: Bonnar is going to come out on a mission. I go with him by decision.
Gore Factor: High. Bonnar’s a bleeder.
George “The Wizard of Oz” Sotiropoulos (12-2) vs. Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino (21-4)
The Breakdown: Welcome to fight of the night. I’m a big fan of both guys: there’s no busier guard in the sport than Sotiropoulos’s and Pellegrino is a submission machine. The question is can Sotiropoulos use his savvy jiu-jitsu to counter Batman’s wrestling? I’m going with yes. The Wizard of Oz (seriously, love that nickname, especially for an Aussie), loves to reverse takedowns on wrestlers. This should be a replay of the Stevenson/Sotiropoulos fight, only with a better ending.
My Pick: Sotiropoulis by submission in round two.
Gore Factor: Very, very low. Pellegrino isn’t going to be able to land any ground and pound against the tarpit that is George Sotiropoulos.
I’ve been looking through the undercard, desperately looking for an interesting fight. It’s just not there this time. I’m interested in seeing Brendan Schaub and Jon Madsen fight, mostly because I watched their season of The Ultimate Fighter, but their opponents aren’t grabbing me.
With Fedor Emelianenko’s loss, the title of best heavyweight in the world is up for grabs. That alone makes this a worthy buy, but add that to the Pellegrino/Sotiropoulos tilt, and we have something good.