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Talk Radio (UFC 114): Which main eventer is hurt more by a loss and who’s a better match-up for Shogun?

By Zach Arnold | May 29, 2010

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From Friday’s Sherdog radio show, two interesting questions with two different answers.

As for which fighter would get hurt more by a loss, it’s clearly Rashad Evans. I would guess that he would contemplate a move down to Middleweight (185 pounds) if Rampage Jackson overpowers him and blows him out of the water tonight.

As for which fighter is a better match for Mauricio Shogun, it’s clearly Rampage. Better chance in the stand-up game and more powerful on the ground, which would result in making Shogun work harder and expend more energy.

Go to full-page mode to view quotes and opinions on these two questions.

Who would get hurt more like a loss in the UFC 114 main event – Rashad Evans or Quinton Jackson?

JORDAN BREEN: “My initial reaction was Quinton Jackson given the fact that he got motivated for this because of a feud and we kind of know that his eye’s a wandering one… Or is it more destructive to Rashad Evans, who all of a sudden seem like maybe he’s not this elite 205’er that we thought when he beat (Chuck) Liddell and Forrest Griffin.”

LOFTI SARIAHMED: “You know what? I think it’s more of a problem for Rashad because, to be honest with you, Rampage wins, Rampage loses, I get the idea that he’s going to want to do more movies regardless. I get this idea that all of a sudden Dana White’s going to have to deal with Rampage the movie personality just as much as he’s going to have to deal with Rampage the fighter. Rashad, on the other hand, here’s a guy that 100% devoted to just fighting and now here’s a guy who didn’t even look remotely competitive against Lyoto (Machida), now loses to Rampage, now what exactly do you do with this guy and just how exactly do you rebuild him? I think a loss here would hurt Rashad a lot more than it hurts Rampage.”

Which UFC 114 main eventer wuold match up better in a title fight against Mauricio Shogun?

JORDAN BREEN: “We picked Rampage to win, but to me the real interesting question is yeah, who is sort of a better match-up for Shogun? We saw Shogun tear apart Rampage way back in the April of 2005. I mean, do you think that would be replicated? Does Rashad have a better chance or in beating Evans as you forecast, is Rampage the better man for the job of challenging for the UFC Light Heavyweight title?”

LUKE THOMAS: “I believe that neither guy is necessarily a really good match-up for Shogun. I think in both cases there are some real fatal flaws, different ones that hold them back in terms of any future predictions. For Evans, it’s a couple of things. One, I think, you know you have to have a lot of durability to go with Shogun. He’s hard to put away early and unless you can dislocate his elbow and he has an ability to absorb punishment himself, so he’s going to be in the fight for a while. I mean you really got to do your homework and put it on him to make him stop. So, I think partly that always gives Shogun who has great power and Rashad Evans who doesn’t have a good chin, that almost makes it kind of dicey. What is also great about Shogun is that as explosive as Evans is on his wrestling, Shogun is really good as is Anderson Silva at catching guys. His wrestling is not very good, but his distance closing… are pretty sharp. He has a lot of different ways to attack if he likes. He does a lot of different scrambles from the positions that he finds himself when shots miss and hit. A lot of experience landing them and so I just feel like that one’s bad for [Rashad]. For Rampage, it’s obviously you know getting chewed up on the feet from the outside, he wouldn’t check any leg kicks, Rampage doesn’t go for a lot of takedowns whereas Evans probably would at least disrupt Shogun with a takedown offensive. But the difference is that Rampage’s durability, his ability to take a shot, is rather remarkable and if nothing else with his power and his durability provided his heart is there, provided he’s not too injured, I think he has at least a better chance of finding a home for the right hand but in either case, not particularly great.”

TOMAS RIOS: “To continue off of what Luke was saying, I think Rashad would be as far as out of depth as he could possibly be against Shogun. This is a absolutely top-to-bottom terrible style match-up for him. Standing, if he wants to try to play that game where he’s going to like try to bob in-and-out, Shogun is going to kick his guts in for the entire fight. And if he tries to over commit to an exchange on the feet, Shogun can take a much bigger shot than Rashad can and if it turns into a game of you know who’s going to catch who with the big shot first and who’s chin is going to hold out longer, Shogun’s going to win that just about every time. And on the mat, Shogun’s probably one of the few Light Heavyweights that Rashad would be able to take down on a pretty consistent basis without significant trouble, but that’s mainly because Shogun’s not afraid of working off his back one bit. And if Rashad were to try to work a sort of ground ‘n pound game on Shogun, it would take Shogun less than 30 seconds to sweep him or tap him. The second Rashad tried anything offensive he would quickly realize just the technical disadvantage that he is at. The most underrated aspect of Shogun’s game is undoubtedly his acumen with Brazilian jiu-jitsu. he does really high-level stuff — beautiful framing of submissions. Any time he goes for a submission it’s always framed beautifully. Guys aren’t getting out of them as soon as he sets them up. You really have to work to get out of a submission he catches you in and on top of that, he’s very good at using that you know little omaplata sweep where you know he’ll get in a deep omaplata on you and if you defend it he’s going to sweep to top control much in the same fashion as he was doing with Ricardo Arona. So, absolutely, I would pick Shogun to blast Rashad out of the water in pretty short order. As for a match with Rampage, that’s a far more fascinating style clash because of the fact Rampage is a very good boxer when he is fully motivated. I don’t believe that there’s much to be said about the first fight between them. That was a period in Rampage’s life where you know let’s face it, the guy was entering into (Mike) Tyson zone at that point in his career. No one knew, like, he could have done anything. He’s had two points in his career where he could have done anything. Like, he could have announced that he was going to become the third member of Sigfried & Roy and go on a world tour sponsored by M-1 and no one would have batted an eyelash because he was that far off the rails at that point in his life. I think a fully-motivated Rampage does present some compelling style problems. He’s got a serious chin, people forget that Rampage can take a monster shot. It takes a whole lot of punishment to get him down. And on top of that, he’s a very good boxer especially when a guy is going to come at him and you know with like you know loopy punches and give him opportunities to set up you know that really nice short left hook counter that he has, work his jab, you know, keep the telephone pole in his opponent’s face, kind of you know let the guy come to him and you know he can work a beautiful game plan — when he’s motivated.

With that said, I think that the recent improvements in Shogun’s kicking game where he’s kind of embraced the fact that he is a very gifted kicker, that he can throw those kicks at different ranges, different parts of the body with a great deal of success, and on top of that biggest change in Shogun’s game — he has embraced the strategic aspect of the sport. He did it in his best two fights and to beautiful effect. I think as long as his knees are healthy and as long as Franklin McNeil isn’t running around talking about how Shogun has exploded knees which everyone has known for several years, I think that there’s no reason to believe that he wouldn’t beat either of those guys.”

How would you answer both questions raised here?

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 2 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

2 Responses to “Talk Radio (UFC 114): Which main eventer is hurt more by a loss and who’s a better match-up for Shogun?”

  1. Fluyid says:

    Which main eventer is hurt more by a loss?

    Remember what happened to Rampage when he lost to Forrest Griffin? That’s all I’m saying.

  2. Jeremy (Not that Jeremy) says:

    Evans is hurt more. Rampage doesn’t even consider fighting his career, it’s a sideline to whatever else it is he feels like doing at the time.

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