This coming Saturday – October 23, reigning UFC Heavyweight Champ Brock Lesnar once again defends his title. Stepping up to the plate will be Mexican fan favourite Cain Velasquez.
Like Shane Carwin before him, Cain is a worthy contender for Lesnar. The Mexican has all the tools to beat the ‘Vanilla Gorilla’. Cain’s got the size, wrestling and boxing ability to get the job done.
My pick is Lesnar, Brock just gets better and better. He showed that versus Carwin, not only does he boast the best wrestling skills, size, strength and speed, now he possesses submissions.
No doubt Cain will be a tough challenge but the dedication of Lesnar plus having the right people around him he can overcome whatever’s put in front of him.
Jake Shields vs. Martin Kampmann: New comer to the UFC Shields, finally arrives in the octagon this Saturday at UFC 121. The former Strikeforce Middleweight champion enters as a top welterweight contender for St Pierre’s thrown. His relentless ground game could be the undoing of GSP a little further down the line.
Despite Shields being a huge name in MMA, thanks to his exposure on CBS in the States and Bravo in the UK via Strikeforce, he’s still relatively unknown to a lot of UFC fanatics who don’t follow other leagues. Leading up to the bout with Kampmann, the UFC are treating us to a video blog (see UFC youtube channel), following the welterweight contender prepare for the fight on Saturday. A great opportunity to delve into the world of the Zuffa brand signee.
Despite being an unbeaten champion, Shields wasn’t on great terms with Scott Coker’s Strikeforce. Following a win over UFC cast-off Dan Henderson, a brawl ensued, when Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller made an unscheduled appearance in the cage. He was a shoved by Jake’s team mate Gilbert Melendez, then hell broke loose as fellow members of the Caesar Gracie camp including Nick and Nate Diaz waded in.
Aside from the controversy Shields boasts some fantastic grappling skills. He’s a great BJJ guy, who is a threat in all positions not just with guard work, he can dominate just as well on top.
Kampmann is going to want to keep the fight standing, where he has the advantage. Jake is sure to drag the fight to the deck and keep it there, where his BJJ will be too much for Kampmann.
Another interesting match-up booked for UFC 121 is the original Huntington Beach Badboy himself – Tito Ortiz facing Matt ‘The Hammer’ Hammill. These guys were friends on Season 3 of The Ulitmate Fighter. Fellow wrestler Ortiz gave Hammill preferential treatment in training, riling up Brit Mike Bisping.
Ortiz admits Hammill is the better wrestling, whereas Ortiz the former Light-Heavyweight division king enters the octagon with clear experience edge. I’m picking Hammill by decision. I feel Ortiz is on his way out of MMA, being past his prime, however this is his opportunity to prove the pundits wrong, can he do it?
Complete advertised card:
Heavyweight Championship bout: Brock Lesnar vs Cain Velasquez
Welterweight bout: Jake Shields vs. Martin Kampmann
Welterweight bout: Diego Sanchez vs. Paulo Thiago
Light Heavyweight bout: Tito Ortiz vs. Matt Hamill
Heavyweight bout: Brendan Schaub vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
Middleweight bout: Court McGee vs. Ryan Jensen
Middleweight bout: Patrick Côté vs. Tom Lawlor
Welterweight bout: Mike Guymon vs. Daniel Roberts
Lightweight bout: Sam Stout vs. Paul Taylor
Middleweight bout: Chris Camozzi vs. Dong Yi Yang
If you are betting on any of the fights, I recommend Paddy Power, offering a good choice of outcomes. Click the link on bluraymma.com to join Quidco cashback website, where can then click through for Paddy Power. Do this to earn cashback for placing your bet, plus you’ll be supporting bluraymma.com in the process.
Watch UFC 121 live on ESPN, 3am Sunday morning.
UFC & MMA blog by Duane Farr