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WFA ‘King of the Streets’ – Preview and Analysis

By Al Yu | July 19, 2006

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By Al Yu


Event Date: 07.22.06
Location: The Forum (Los Angeles, California)

Fight Card:

Antonio McKee (16-3-2) vs Adam Arredondo (4-6)

Antonio McKee is a wrestler who trains with Quinton Jackson. He has fought in many MMA organizations and participated in the very first WFA event. McKee is coming off a win over Ronald Jhun at Extreme Wars. Texas native Adam Arredondo is looking to rebound from a TKO loss to newcomer Angelo Antuna. Arredondo will be making his WFA debut.

Known for his wrestling skills, McKee has been working to improve his striking. In his last fight, McKee did well standing against Ronald Jhun. He still floats his jab a little and tends to drop his right hand but his improvement is apparent. Adam Arredondo is a journeyman at best. He does possess some submission skills but his wins have come mostly over fighters making their MMA debut or have sub par records. McKee should have no problem getting past Arredondo.

Prediction: Antonio McKee decisions Adam Arredondo

Jorge Oliveira (2-1) vs Marvin Eastman (13-6)

New to the sport of MMA, Jorge Oliveira is a Brazilian light heavyweight with a lot of potential. Benefiting from the teachings of Carlson Gracie, this Chute Boxe fighter holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Oliveira holds wins over Shonie Carter and Mike Van Arsdale. Marvin “The Beastman” Eastman is a veteran of many MMA organizations including WEF, UFC, and WFA. Eastman holds wins over Quinton Jackson, Antony Rea, Vernon White (2x) and Travis Wiuff. Oliveira will be making his WFA debut.

Eastman is a dangerous striker with solid kickboxing technique and power behind his punches. The problem he has encountered many times in his career is his lack of reach. Coming into this fight, Oliveira will have a longer reach as well as the edge on the ground. Though Jorge will have reach advantage, his lack in proficient striking technique may neutralize that advantage. Eastman was recently submitted by unheralded Jason Guida. Marvin got revenge in an immediate rematch but his loss may be foreshadowing mediocrity. I expect Oliveira to take the fight to Eastman. Jorge will use his striking to setup his ground game. In the second round, Eastman will succumb to a triangle choke.

Prediction: Jorge Oliveira submits Marvin Eastman RD2

Rob McCullough (12-3) vs Harris Sarmiento (18-14)

“Razor” Rob McCullough is a veteran of the WEC, King of the Cage and the WFA. He is a founding member of Team Punishment and is coming off of a win over Ryan Healy at WEC 21. Harris Sarmiento is a native of Hawaii and the last man to hold a victory over Rob McCullough. Sarmiento is currently on a four fight losing streak and was recently submitted by Josh Thompson at Strike Force – Revenge.

For “Razor” Rob fans, this is a highly anticipated rematch. Since his loss, Rob has put together a winning streak of six fights including a brutal knock out of WEC fan favorite Olaf Alfonso. McCullough comes from a Muay Thai background and likes to wear his opponents down with strong leg kicks. Since his controversial loss to Sarmiento, Rob has been working on his grappling and refining his striking. McCullough is seeking revenge and I feel he is going to get it. Sarmiento is on the downward slide of his career and won’t be able to handle Rob’s aggression this time around. Look for McCullough to finish Sarmiento with strikes in the first round. The WFA may have a new star in the making.

Prediction: Rob McCullough TKO Harris Sarmiento RD1

Jason Miller (15-4) vs Lodune Sincaid (9-2)

Jason “Mayhem” Miller is one of the most entertaining fighters today. As one of Icon Sport’s biggest stars, Miller brings an exciting style where ever he fights. Since his loss to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 52, Jason has won his last three fights. Miller is coming off of a submission victory over heavyweight fighter Stefan Gamlin. “Mayhem” holds wins over Denis Kang, Ronald Jhun, and Falaniko Vitale. Lodune Sincaid was a contestant on the Ultimate Fighter season one. At the Ultimate Fighter finale, Sincaid was defeated by Nate Quarry via strikes. Lodune also comes into this match with a three fight winning streak that includes a decision over James Irvin, his biggest victory to date.

Despite a little trouble with the law, “Mayhem” seems to be back on track. He’s re-scheduled to fight Robbie Lawler in September. Though he’s not known as a big puncher, Miller is not afraid to exchange with anyone. One of the strongest parts of Miller’s game is his submissions. With his long legs and flexibility, Jason is a big threat on the ground. From side control, Miller likes to throw big knees and hammer strikes.

Lodune Sincaid has shown improvement since suffering back to back losses. He’s versed in submissions and has improved his striking. However, he’s not ready for a fighter of Miller’s talents. “Mayhem” will enjoy a reach advantage and the edge on the ground. Sincaid may have to rely on his physical strength to take Miller down but that might not be the best position for him to be. Look for Miller to secure a triangle choke in the second round and move onto an anticipated fight with “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler.

Prediction: Jason Miller submits Lodune Sincaid RD2

Ivan Salaverry (11-4) vs Art Santore (14-4)

Ivan Salaverry is a member of AMC Pankration and a UFC veteran. At the inaugural Ultimate Fight Night, Salaverry faced Nathan Marquardt in the main event. Both fighters were reluctant to engage and Ivan lost a decision. The lackluster fight led to the termination of his UFC contract. Salaverry holds notable wins over Andrei Semenov and Joe Riggs. Art Santore is an instructor at Team Quest and a veteran of King of the Cage, SportFight, and Gladiator Challenge. He is coming off of win over Jay Martinez at California Xtreme Challenge 1.

Salaverry is a very classy fighter with good striking and submissions. Having not fought in almost a year, Ivan may have a little ring rust. Art Santore has a strong wrestling base and is on a three-fight winning streak. Art stated in a recent interview that he wants to stand trade with Ivan. Three consecutive wins by knock out may be making Santore a bit overconfident. I feel that Ivan is the better striker but he doesn’t have the punching power to stop Santore. On the ground, Salaverry is very good with submissions. Santore has never been submitted in his professional career and I think he’s competent enough on the mat to keep it that way. When Santore fought Joe Doerksen, he was outclassed on the ground. Ivan has the ability to take the fight to the ground and control Santore like Doerksen did. After three rounds, Salaverry will earn the decision.

Prediction: Ivan Salaverry decisions Art Santore

Ricco Rodriguez (22-6) vs Ron Waterman (13-3-2)

Ricco Rodriguez is a former UFC heavyweight champion. He is coming off of a win against Taylor Brooks at MMA Xtreme 1. Rodriguez holds wins over Randy Couture, Jeff Monson, Andrei Arlovski, and Tsuyoshi Kohsaka. Ron “H20” Waterman is a veteran of PRIDE, UFC and Pancrase. He spent two years wrestling in the WWE and holds a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu. The Team Impact Minister is coming off of decision victory over Ricco Rodriguez. This will be the WFA debut for both fighters.

This is a rematch of their less than stellar first encounter at WEC 16. Waterman hasn’t fought since that fight while Ricco has gone 5-1, beating sub par fighters and experiencing the most embarrassing loss of his career to Robert Beraun. Which Ricco Rodriguez will show up to fight? Will it be the in-shape Ricco who defeated UFC legend Randy Couture? Or will it be the Ricco who had a few too many sandwiches and lost to Robert Beraun?

Neither fighter is known as a remarkable striker. Ricco can throw a lazy jab at times and loops his right hooks. He does fancy the occasional flying knee. Waterman has some power behind his punches but can be reluctant to exchange at times. On the ground, both fighters are well versed in submissions. Neither fighter has been submitted in their professional career but I would have to give the edge to Ricco. Very good with armbars, Rodriguez may be the most difficult submission fighter Ron has yet to face. With that said, I still believe Waterman is competent enough to not get submitted.

Though he isn’t known to be an aggressive fighter, it’ll be just a matter of time before Ron takes Rodriguez down. After many failed attempts at securing a keylock, Waterman will stay content by controlling the top position and keeping busy enough to keep the ref from standing the fight back up. After three potentially boring rounds, Waterman will come out victorious again.

Prediction: Ron Waterman decisions Ricco Rodriguez

Lyoto Carvalho Machida (7-0) vs Vernon White (24-27-2)

Lyoto Machida may be the best kept MMA secret the US has yet to see. Having only fought in Japan, Machida will finally make his American debut. Machida is the only fighter to defeat current UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin. In his short career, Machida has also defeated Stephan Bonnar and BJ Penn. Vernon “Tiger” White is an experienced veteran and a member of the Lion’s Den. He is coming off of a win over Jason Guida at WEC 18.

Call it hype. Call it anticipation. One thing’s for sure; Lyoto Machida has talent. Expectations for Machida’s American debut are high. Recently training with Chute Boxe and American Top Team, Lyoto brings his undefeated record stateside against the tough veteran Vernon White. A quick look at Vernon’s record and many would label him as a journeyman. A lot of White’s losses occurred early in his career when he fought in Pancrase. Even though White will be a big underdog, he should not be overlooked as he is well-rounded and capable of pulling off an upset.

Machida has a Karate background and is one of the most well-rounded fighters I have ever seen. Lyoto has a strong straight left and likes to throw a variety of kicks. In his fight against Rich Franklin, Machida used good head movement to evade Rich’s strikes and countered effectively. On the ground, Lyoto has a solid guard and likes to stay active. Whatever Vernon White may bring, Machida will be ready. Look for Lyoto to use effective counter punches and leg kicks. After wearing the veteran down, Lyoto will finish White with a flurry of strikes in the second round.

Prediction: Lyoto Machida TKO Vernon White RD2

Bas Rutten (27-4-1) vs Kimo Leopoldo (9-5-1)

Bas “El Guapo” Rutten is one of the most respected figures in MMA today. The former UFC heavyweight champion and three-time King of Pancrase retired from the sport seven years ago. Bas recently parted ways with Pride Fighting Championships as color commentator and became one of the first four coaches in the newly formed International Fight League. Rutten’s last fight was a much debated decision victory over Kevin Randleman at UFC 20. Kimo Leopoldo made his MMA debut against UFC pioneer Royce Gracie. Though he was submitted by Royce, the seemingly unstoppable Gracie was unable to continue in the tournament after the damage sustained from the larger tattooed fighter. Kimo is coming off of a submission loss to Ikuhisa Minowa at Pride Bushido 8. The Hawaiian native holds wins over Kazushi Sakuraba and Tank Abbott.

Bas Rutten is one of the most dominate fighters in Pancrase history and is undefeated in the UFC. His professional career includes wins over fighters like Frank Shamrock (2x), Maurice Smith (2x), Masakatsu Funaki, Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, and Kevin Randleman. It’s great to see Bas make a return to MMA but one has to question how much ring rust will show. Rutten stated that he has been training twice a day and looks to be in good shape. Kimo also had a period of inactivity but returned to the sport back in 2002 and has gone 3-2.

Coming from a Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and Muay Thai background, Bas will have the advantage in striking. “El Guapo” has not lost a fight since ’95 and is on a streak of 20 wins. Kimo really has nothing to offer against Rutten other than his size and a puncher’s chance. Bas’ takedown defense could be better but he’s very comfortable fighting from his back. Rutten’s ground game is very good and Kimo will have his hands full. Kimo stated that he will do everything in his power to defeat Bas. Aside from hitting Rutten with a chair, I don’t see Kimo winning. Watch for “El Guapo” to make quick work of Kimo and finish him in exciting fashion. Will we be graced with the patented jump splits afterwards? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Prediction: Bas Rutten KO Kimo Leopoldo RD1

Quinton Jackson (24-6) vs Matt Lindland (18-3)

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is a Pride and King of the Cage veteran. Always outspoken and very entertaining, Jackson finally makes his return to the US after spending over half of his career in Japan. Quinton gets the distinction of being the last fighter to defeat UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell. In addition to Liddell, Jackson holds wins over Igor Vovchanchyn, Kevin Randleman, Murilo Bustamante and Ricardo Arona. Matt “The Law” Lindland is a former UFC middleweight contender and an Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling. Lindland is a member of Team Quest and has trained with Randy Couture and Dan Henderson.

On his feet, Jackson will have a clear advantage over Lindland. He has a strong right hand, a good jab and solid boxing defense. Jackson has been stunned by right hooks in the past but I don’t think Lindland possesses the power to hurt Quinton. Matt has improved his striking over the years but he excels at dealing punishment from the guard. It’s been a long time since “Rampage” was hit in the face by an elbow and it will interesting to see how his game plan will change if he’s on his back.

Both fighters come from a wrestling background but Lindland’s skills are miles ahead of Jackson’s. What he lacks in striking, he gains in excellent wrestling technique and great stamina. Lindland’s methodical pace of stalking his opponents and tying them up in clinches could wear Jackson down. Moving up to light heavyweight to face Quinton may have an effect on Matt’s conditioning. In his most recent fight, Matt submitted Mike Van Arsdale and seemed to have adapted well to the new weight class. At 205, Jackson should be the physically bigger and stronger fighter.

Does raw power overcome technique? It has worked for Quinton so far. On a few occasions in his career, he was in danger of being submitted and was able to muscle his way out. How strong is Quinton Jackson? Ask Ricardo Arona. He was the recipient of the most devastating power slam to ever grace a highlight reel. “Rampage” defended well against the clinches of Kevin Randleman, an NCAA wrestling champion and arguably a physically stronger wrestler than Lindland. Also, Quinton has enlisted the help of two good wrestlers in Tito Ortiz and Josh Barnett to aid in his preparation.

On the ground, I’d have to give the edge to Matt. He is more offensive-minded with his submissions than Jackson. Lindland is versed in submissions but he can be submitted as well. At UFC 37, Murilo Bustamante submitted Lindland not once, but twice. In round one, Murilo secured an armbar that made Lindland tap. However, referee Jon McCarthy didn’t see Matt tap and Bustamante let go of the hold too soon. Later in the fight, Murilo sealed the deal with a guillotine choke in the third round.

Although we haven’t seen a lot submission wins from Quinton, he is capable of securing an armbar or a kimura. In my opinion, Quinton’s submission defense is underrated and I feel he can hold his own from the guard. He may not be very active but his defense and positioning is solid. When he fought Kazushi Sakuraba in his Pride debut, he defended well against all of Sakuraba’s attempts. In the end, Quinton lost the fight due to a rear naked choke but it was clear that exhaustion played a part. To this day, Jackson has yet to lose by submission again.

For Jackson to be victorious, he needs to keep the fight standing and utilize his size and strength against Matt’s superior wrestling. “Rampage” can also take the fight to ground and use elbows, something he couldn’t do in Pride. For Lindland to win, he needs to take Jackson down and control him to a decision or possibly win by cut due to an elbow. Quinton said he wanted to break “The Law”. I think he might just do that. After a couple of competitive rounds, Jackson will catch Lindland with a right hook in the third round and finish him off on the ground.

Prediction: Quinton Jackson TKO Matt Lindland RD3

Topics: Al Yu, All Topics, MMA, WFA | 2 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

2 Responses to “WFA ‘King of the Streets’ – Preview and Analysis”

  1. Stephan says:

    Great review! I’m really looking forward to this event, odds are it will be more enjoyable than “Boring Rivals” was!

  2. […] Doc J and Al Yu have written excellent previews of the show. […]


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