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« | Home | »

Friday fight notes: The day before UFC 73

By Zach Arnold | July 5, 2007

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Pawel Nastula says PRIDE is coming back in September.

The Oregonian is reporting that the Oregon State Boxing & Wrestling commission will now be named the Oregon State Athletic Commission.

Mauro Ranallo previews the upcoming UFC 73 card (audio). Also on the show, Armando Garcia stated that people would be alarmed by the amount of MMA fighter suspensions due to failed drug tests.

Mr. Garcia also said that he is offering WWE free drug testing for all of their events in the state of California. Speaking of wrestling, Jason Whitlock has a column today saying pro-wrestlers deserve sympathy. Bruno Sammartino was also interviewed in the Philadelphia Daily News. Eddie Goldman chimes in on what the Chris Benoit story means for MMA.

Turi Altavilla is heading to Pro Elite. Good for him. Zuffa should have hired him.

ShootBoxing (SB) announced two SB army vs. North American MMA fights for their July 28th Korakuen Hall event. Ken’ichi Ogata vs. Sam Stout and Koichi Kikuchi vs. Mark Hominick are two of the fights announced. Goji Ishikawa is also scheduled for the three-fight one-night series.

Luke Thomas at Bloody Elbow previews the top two matches on the upcoming UFC 73 card. Enjoy.

Anderson Silva vs. Nate Marquardt

With a grappler and wrestler the caliber of Nate Marquardt, Silva should avoid going to the ground at all costs. The Brazilian is certainly competent from the ground, but he’s not going to submit Marquardt unless he’s dramatically hurt. Dana White’s insistence that Silva’s “submission” over Travis Lutter is proof that he’s good everywhere is nonsense. Silva’s wrestling is nothing compared to Marquardt’s and while Silva holds a black belt under the Nogueira bros., he doesn’t have the acumen to handle or finish an Abu Dhabi-level grappler.

It sounds cliche to say Silva needs to keep the fight standing, but it’s also true. Whether he can handle Nate in the clinch, or rather, whether Nate will allow himself to be handled inside the clinch is something we’ll only know for sure on Saturday. But what we do know for sure is Nate’s stand-up – as good as it may be – is not on par with Silva’s. Many a foe of Silva’s has thought otherwise and paid for it: Alex Steibling, Rich Franklin, Carlos Newton, and Chris Leben to name a few.

Nate said on the radio show that his plan was to beat him everywhere, including the feet. That could simply be a diversionary tactic to get Silva to relax on the feet, thereby making him vulnerable for the takedown. Nate believes his stand-up is as good as Silva’s, something I find dubious. Nate’s chin is decent, but Joe Doerkson rocked him badly in their fight, something Silva could easily replicate. If Silva hurts Nate early, it will be imperative for him to establish the superiority of his takedown early.

If Nate can keep the pressure of the takedown constant, then he does stand a chance on the feet. The key is to disrupt Silva and make him open for mistakes. It’s not strictly a matter of beating Silva on the ground. If Nate can confuse Silva with effective wrestling and good ring generalship, then Silva losses points on the takedown and has his stand up rythm disrupted. That leaves him open to all sorts of openings and gives Nate a chance to minimize Silva’s strengths while simultaneously going on the offense.

Nate needs to use a diverse arsenal and looking for openings and errors. Silva needs to force Nate to be one-dimensional and pick him apart from there.

Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz

Rashad needs to set the pace early. Period. If he acts passive – and he’s got a tendency to do that – then Tito will run all over him. Allowing Tito to control where the fight takes place on the ground (I mean, specifically, as in one side of the octagon versus another), allowing Tito to set the rhythm, allowing Tito to strike first and put Rashad on the defensive end of the fight will cause Rashad to lose.

Rashad needs to immediately be off first and take the center of the octagon. When Tito controls the fight, he gets the win. Rashad cannot allow Tito to do that. He needs to pressure Tito constantly. He needs to force Tito into desperation shots from the outside. When Tito is forced to work under some one else’s rhythm, his offense is incredibly neutralized.

Tito needs to own the wrestling in this fight to win. He needs to take Rashad down often and with authority. He needs to win in the scrambles and needs to keep Rashad on his back. It’s not that the KO threat from Rashad is so strong that Tito has to keep the fight on the ground. Rather, Tito needs to make a statement about who’s bullying who.

Rashad wins this fight by hurting Tito in the stand up, getting back up when he’s taken down (NO GUARD PLAY), and landing some solid ground and pound of his own. Tito wins how he always wins: on top and with authority.

Onto today’s headlines.

  1. UFC HP: Tito Ortiz – last stand or a rebirth?
  2. MMA Weekly: Introducing two of South Korea’s best fighters
  3. UFC Junkie: Picks for UFC 73 event
  4. MMA HQ: UFC 73 event preview
  5. Sherdog: Jordan Breen show w/ Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
  6. China Combat: Interview with Gracie China instructor Chet Quint (Part 1)
  7. Boxing Scene: Roy Jones’ take on Floyd Mayweather vs. UFC
  8. The Philadelphia Inquirer: Frankie Edgar taking talent to the big cage
  9. The East London Advertiser: Cage Rage contender Luke Smith is ready to rumble
  10. Jordan Breen: Sakakibara continues plans to stay around long-term
  11. The Long Beach Press-Telegram: Tito Ortiz is ‘going for blood’
  12. The Philadelphia Inquirer: All talk? Hardly, but fighter excels as analyst
  13. Sprawl ‘n Brawl: UFC All Access – Sean Sherk
  14. The Minneapolis City Pages: Muscle Shark title bout set for Saturday
  15. The Canadian Press: Crazy UFC debut for Nogueira
  16. Kevin Iole: Nate Marquardt is no pushover
  17. The Canadian Press: Mark Bocek prepares for UFC debut at UFC 73
  18. CBS Sportsline: UFC 73 preview – Ortiz meets match in trash-talking Evans
  19. UFC Mania: UFC 73 quick preview, analysis, and predictions
  20. MMA on Tap: Two sides of UFC 73
  21. The Houston Chronicle (Steve Sievert): The beat down rolls on for Baroni
  22. The Denver Post: Denver becomes fight club hub
  23. The Oregonian: Preview of UFC 73
  24. The Shreveport Times: UFC champion Sean Sherk has local following
  25. The Memphis Commercial Appeal: For Quinton Jackson, life is good
  26. The Vail Sun (Arizona): Peter Newsheller learning the art of battle in a cage
  27. The Trenton Times: Eddie Alvarez to fight at Sovereign Bank Arena on July 14th
  28. The Terra Haute Tribune-Star: Shane Meehan makes noise in cage fighting
  29. The Denver Post: He’s laid-back, but Aurora fighter Nate Marquardt fighter always gets his mean on
  30. The Santa Clarita Valley Signal: Oh My, Black Belt grapples with success

Topics: BoDog, Boxing, Canada, Japan, MMA, Media, PRIDE, Pro Elite, StrikeForce, UFC, UK, Zach Arnold | 17 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

17 Responses to “Friday fight notes: The day before UFC 73”

  1. Thomas says:

    Always enjoy articles by Jordan Breen. Great way to get caught up on Japanese MMA.

  2. John says:

    Hermes will win by spectacular knockout and Anderson Silva by Triangle choke.

    Vote the ESPYS, best fighter, vote for rampage.
    http://espn.go.com/espy2007/index.html#/vote/

  3. Randy Rowles says:

    I can’t wait for tomorrow night’s PPV. My UFC 73 betting column is up at the MMATorch for anyone looking for some gambling analysis.

    http://www.mmatorch.com/artman/publish/article_629.shtml

  4. Jonathan says:

    Few thoughts here:

    1. Pawel seems pretty sure that he is going to be fighting in September, though I have to admit that the article that he was in was a little sketchy…it seemed “doctored” or “fake” We’ll see what happens.

    2. The Shootbox card is shaping up with the addition of two exciting Canadien strikers. It is hard to imagine that Shootbox has been around as a sport and an organization for over 20 years.

    3. Armando Garcia is the new Gerry Millen

    4. Sean Sherk has been getting alot of press what from I have seen…much more press then anyone else on that card, including Rashad and Tito. Again, this is just what I have noticed.

    5. The Jordan Breen Show rocks.

  5. Euthyphro says:

    I’ve posted a few classic fights featuring UFC 73 competitors over at my new site. Sadly, I couldn’t find a “Classic Nate Marquardt Interviews” HL video. I wonder why…

    http://www.mmaspectator.com

  6. Royal B. says:

    Any truth to the rumor going round that Brother YASSHI is making a debut in MMA?

  7. Grape Knee High says:

    I’m curious to know who is this mysterious “PRIDE federation” of which Nastula speaks. I am skeptical that it has anything at all to do with Zuffa, though I’d be pleasantly surprised if it was.

  8. Zurich says:

    I actually think this card has th emakings to be quite the boring/lay ‘n pray/decision-type card…. e.g. Nate over Silva by LnP, Rashad or Tito over the other by LnP, and Sherk over Franca by LnP. Hopefully Silva or Franca can pull something out from the bottom though… Maybe this is why the card isn’t getting as much promotion as UFC 71?

  9. Euthyphro says:

    I know half of you couldn’t care less, but Kevin Nash made one of the better appearance on a TV talking heads show regarding the steroids media craze:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7Nfr3KrMlM

  10. Strolling through a few of those articles, it’s interesting to see how journalism on MMA has evolved – if just a little.

  11. 45 Huddle says:

    Everybody made weight.

    Nogueira looked a tad bit larger then normal, but nothing alarming. Marquardt weighed in at 182.5 which is light for him. Sherk looked absolutely ripped.

  12. Tomer Chen says:

    Nogueira looked a tad bit larger then normal, but nothing alarming.

    I think he mentioned that he’d be coming in a few pounds heavier due to his training regiment (forget if it was muscle building or conditioning as his reason) when he was on the Jordan Breen show yesterday.

  13. Jordan Breen says:

    Is there a fighter who would kick more ass at American Gladiators than Sean Sherk? I submit not.

  14. chairibofjustice says:

    “Is there a fighter who would kick more ass at American Gladiators than Sean Sherk? I submit not.”

    Jeff Monson

  15. D. Capitated says:

    Is there a fighter who would kick more ass at American Gladiators than Sean Sherk? I submit not.

    Considering that Sherk is a muscled up midget, probably the usual wash out college football players that were 6′1”, 220, and could run 4.9 40s that competed on the shows, much less, you know, a real heavyweight. He’d be good in the Conquer ring though.

  16. Jonathan says:

    When does Sherk ever look NOT ripped?

  17. [...] at Fightlinker, they are discussing Sam Stout leaving UFC. In our Friday news update, we covered the fact that Stout along with Mark Hominick are now fighting on the Shootboxing show [...]

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