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Talk Radio: Did anything you see in the UFC 114 main event influence your opinion on what the result of Rashad Evans vs. Mauricio Shogun will be?

By Zach Arnold | May 31, 2010

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A two-parter here from Jordan Breen’s conversation on Saturday night with Marc Laimon. First, a discussion about the level of wrestling we saw from Rashad Evans against Rampage Jackson in the UFC 114 main event. The second part deals with the contrasting styles of Rashad Evans and Mauricio Shogun and whose flaws will get exposed more in that upcoming UFC Light Heavyweight title fight.

First, the passage on the wrestling skill displayed in the UFC 114 main event:

JORDAN BREEN: “I thought the most impressive thing to me was the wrestling thing because in the past, like we saw in the Michael Bisping fight and the Thiago Silva fight, even the Tito Ortiz fight though he came on late, Rashad Evans pushes these guys into the fence and it seems he always tires himself out more than his opponent. This time around, it actually seemed to have the intended consequence that he always hope that it will have. He actually tired out Quinton Jackson more than himself. And then on top of that, Rashad frankly because he’s a good wrestler, because he has hand speed, he always you know it’s this assumption ‘oh he’s athletic, he’s explosive’ and this time around, this was the first time we saw Rashad Evans you know finish power double-legs away from the fence. He just changed levels and exploded a couple of times. I thought this was the most impressive implementation of his wrestling that we have ever seen from Rashad Evans. Do you think that’s a fair statement to make?

MARC LAIMON: “I agree, yeah. He put on a you know very good display and Rampage is not an easy guy to take down and he did it, I don’t have the exact stats, but he did it a few times and he played it well against the cage. I thought it was very impressive wrestling by Rashad against a guy who a lot of good wrestlers have looked bad against, you know Matt Lindland, Dan Henderson, Kevin Randleman have all… you know lost to Rampage and those are some high-caliber wrestlers there.”

Now, the passage about the upcoming UFC Light Heavyweight title fight and what kind of a chance Rashad Evans has in beating Mauricio Shogun.

JORDAN BREEN: “We’re going to get a title fight now. Rashad Evans is all but locked up as #1 contender for Mauricio Shogun Rua later this year. What do you make of an Evans/Shogun fight? Because we’ve seen a lot of cross-over now at Light Heavyweight, but this is a new, fresh match-up. What do you forecast for when Evans get into the cage with Shogun later this year?”

MARC LAIMON: “I can’t wait to see it. It’s going to be a good fight. You know it’s going to be real interesting to see how Rashad’s striking and Shogun’s striking compare but I think the real interesting battle is going to be if Rashad decides to take him down how Rashad’s wrestling and his jiu-jitsu black belt will go against Mauricio Shogun Rua and his jiu-jitsu black belt because they have very different games and you know Shogun has very, very, very good half-guard. He’s got some good leg locks that he’s gotten off that in the past, but I’m really… I was really impressed with his ability to get back up to his feet against (Lyoto) Machida because Machida took him down rather easily and if I’m Rashad looking at that I’d probably say, “Man, it’s pretty easy to take that guy down,’ he thinks he might be able to score some points that way to get a five-round decision. But, you know, Shogun, is he going to be able to get back to his feet? And then it’s going to be after he gets back to his feet how much energy will he have to try to polish off Rashad standing if he can, you know, it’s a nice contrast of styles. It’s kind of the natural evolution from a striker/grappler into striker/grapplers with a more well-rounded skill set, which should be rather entertaining.”

JORDAN BREEN: “I’m definitely interested in seeing if Evans can do anything if he gets takedowns because to me in my head I think Evans gets a takedown, I can’t help but imagine Shogun sweeping him within 30 seconds. I think his guard is so underrated, from Omaplata’ng Ricardo Arona effortlessly to how nicely he locked up that kneebar on Kevin Randleman. The fact it was Kevin Randleman, notwithstanding. You know, he swept Machida instantly and Machida’s a very good grappler on the ground. I just find it hard to imagine a guy that really couldn’t hold down Thiago Silva on the floor that he’s going to be able to do a lot to Shogun. And then on the feet, I see Shogun, yeah, you know maybe… I think a lot of people go too far in saying that the cardio issues are done because in the last couple of fights he’s got to fight at kind of his own pace and control the tempo of the fight. But even then, his ability to take shots to the face and the body is enormous. I mean, Machida hit him square in the face in the first place. He hit square in the body in both the first and second fights and couldn’t really seem to put a dent in him. I think some of the wide-open deficiencies that Shogun has are kind of going to be masked by his toughness. I think it’s a tough fight to imagine Evans getting in control enough in the stand-up, getting in control enough on the ground for him to win. If you had to go with a gut-instinct and make a pick at this point in time, do you side with Shogun or do you think Evans can synthesize a good-enough game plan where he can eek out that decision victory or control Shogun and take his offense away?”

MARC LAIMON: “Man, you know, I don’t know. That’s… it’s going to be really interesting and I’d really like to put in some tape study before I give a good analysis, but… Man, my gut instinct you know just tells me like you know Rashad you know his most recent fight with Thiago Silva, he just really, did he throw three punches on the ground? He never tried for a submission. Didn’t really advance position. If you’re going to try to do that to a guy like Shogun I think it’s going to be hard because he’s going to be moving, disrupting your base, and then attacking submissions. I mean, you talked about that Omaplata he hit on Arona which was unbelievable you know what I mean, that was beautiful. And then the way he can use that half-guard to either attack a leg lock or attack getting back up to his feet is going to be issues for Rashad and then if he can go to the next step and as he’s getting up in those transitions where he knows those things leading into integrating the striking in there, that could be a difficult match-up for Rashad but you know Rashad can also make it a difficult match-up for Shogun but man Shogun got taken down so easy by Machida, you know I mean he took him down really, really easy and I’d probably… Man, I don’t know. I don’t know, but I really want to see the fight because that’s a nice, nice match-up there you know. We could have had a re-match with Rampage but now you got you know a fresh new fight with Rashad and Shogun and I really want to see it and I hope we don’t have to wait too long.”

After the UFC 114 main event, I pegged Shogun at about a -300 favorite. Probably on the high side, so let’s think about % wise. I’ll give Shogun a 65% chance of winning.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 27 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

27 Responses to “Talk Radio: Did anything you see in the UFC 114 main event influence your opinion on what the result of Rashad Evans vs. Mauricio Shogun will be?”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    Rashad Evans should beat Mauricio Rua. Of course Rua is always capable of getting a KO or submission…. But I think Evans is tailor made to beat Shogun.

    I also think Evans beats Machida in a rematch.

    Speaking of odds…. Did anybody see the line that is out there for Fedor/Werdum. Fedor is at -1000 and Werdum is at +500.

    • john says:

      You´re crazy. Evans will NOT beat Rua.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        I’m 7-0 on UFC Title Fight predictions in 2010. 4-1 in Strikeforce Title Fights. That’s a whopping 11-1. That includes predicting correctly the upset wins of Edgar/Penn, Shields/Henderson, & Cruz/Bowles. The only one I got wrong so far is Overeem/Rogers. I knew I was wrong on that about 10 seconds into the fight when Rogers started looking scared and backtracking….

        And I’m pretty strong on my Evans prediction.

        People said I was crazy on predicting that Edgar, Shields, and Cruz were going to win. So I consider your comment as a compliment.

        • edub says:

          Yea…

          No matter what u say about 45 he has been killing it predicting all year. Cruz was i think the easiest pick out of all those. That was my big starter at bodog earlier this year.

          Picking all the others, and having a better percentage thatn pretty mouch all other lists I’ve seen for this event make the guy damn good at predicting events.

        • spacedog says:

          Well, as they say “pride goes before the fall.” You have been on fire but now you’re bragging about it so that spells trouble.

          I think Rua can defend the take down enough, and if he ends up on his back will be able to work some sweeps and get back up or sub shard. I also think he is jsut as guick as shard and will be moving forward more than page. I think he can hunt him down and punish him before lighting him up.

          I predict a round 2 KO for shogun or a round 5 tko.

        • john says:

          Well, you´re going to be 11-2 after Shogun/Evans. Seriously, your little rant about your “prediction record” doesn´t mean squat. I´ve correctly predicted so many fights in my 15-year MMA following and I´ve also been wrong on many fights. Nothing to brag about. If you really want to impress me, show me some receits of actual earning, putting your money where your mouth is. Or break down the fight accordingly on WHY you think Evans will beat Shogun, because Penns upset loss wasn´t because Edgar was actually better, it was a judges decision that was wrong, IMO. Luck is nothing to brag about dude.

        • john says:

          and before I forget 45, being 7-0 in UFC title fight predictions isn´t that hard. Lesnar hasn´t fought in ages, so I don´t know what title you are talking about, or the interim title, like anybody gave Mir a chance over Carwing. Did you correctly predict Lyoto over Shogun? Well, he shouldn´t have won the first fight, or did you predict Shogun would beat Lyoto, well he didn´t (thank to the judges again). Wait, let me guess, you also predicted Shogun over Machida II, well it doesn´t take a brainiac to predict that after the first fight and cosidering Rua seems to have healed up again and is back to his old form.

          Did you correctly predict Silva´s wins or GSP´s?? BIG DEAL. Like anybody picked Maia over Silva or Hardy over GSP and like I mentioned previously, the Edgar over Penn upset is up for debate. You´re predictions aren´t really that “impressive” when you think about it. I give you credit for Shields over Henderson and anything can happen in the WEC (Bowles/Cruz).

        • edub says:

          John: Just gonna randomly pick apart your message. Because it did serve much purpose.
          “Or break down the fight accordingly on WHY you think Evans will beat Shogun,”
          – He’s done that. He did that for the Penn/Edgar and Shields Hendo fight.
          “because Penns upset loss wasn´t because Edgar was actually better, it was a judges decision that was wrong,”
          – Penn had an upset loss because refused to change his strategy, and he gassed somewhat in a fight that was becoming very close at the end. I do also feel that Penn deswerved the Judges decision, but there are many that feel he did enough to win.
          “like anybody gave Mir a chance over Carwing.”
          -Really? You mean the actual betting favorite? Are we talking about the same guy?
          “Did you correctly predict Silva´s wins or GSP´s?? BIG DEAL. Like anybody picked Maia over Silva or Hardy over GSP and like I mentioned previously, the Edgar over Penn upset is up for debate. You´re predictions aren´t really that “impressive” when you think about it. I give you credit for Shields over Henderson and anything can happen in the WEC (Bowles/Cruz).”
          -So much Haterade dude. If you’ve been watching MMA for 15 years you’re probably pretty old. This looks like a rant from a 20 year old.

        • john says:

          Edub, I simply don´t like people bragging about their “prediction knowledge”. Call me a hater for calling out somebody who arrogantly speaks of his predictions. Maybe you should get off his nuts and realize that if you are not humble in life, you don´t get any respect. Now, to your actual reply… did you actually refute anything I said? So you admit that Penn should have won. Ok, thus any prediction on Edgar´s behalf is simply luck. He or anybody else that said Edgar would win, got lucky. Betting lines on Mir/Carwin? No, I´m not talking about betting lines. I´m speakng of actual fans that know the sport. I for one KNOW for a fact that Mir was, is and always will be somewhat overrated and if Lesnar didn´t prove that a big HW can take him out, I don´t know what to say to people who think Mir could have beaten Carwin.

          Basically you are accusing me now ranting like a 20-year old, but “picking apart” my post didn´t do anything but confirm one thing and then close it out with an immature name calling. Maybe you belong to 45´s flock, but he doesn´t impress me and your silly attempt to break down my reply just didn´t work. Now you can take this as a man or you can reply back with another 50 lines of refuation, setting up a hypothesis on why I am immature or whatever. It´s a waste of time dude. I´m not impressed with 45´s predictions and that all there is to say.

        • edub says:

          John:

          I would like to continue this conversation , but sadly I am moderated so this probably won’t get on til later tonight.

          I am not, nor have I ever been part of 45’s flock. I simply refuted every claim that you made. I won’t go back over it again. If your so against people broadcasting their success predicting fights why did you put “I’ve predicted so many fights in my 15 blah blah…”. You just made two posts to hate the fact that he had a good record predicting fights lately. That makes a HATER. I mean c’mon you didn’t even put why you think there is no way Rashad beats Shogun. Everybody expected Penn to kill Edgar, Everybody expected Shields to get smashed. 45 predicted them differently. It seems you and Spacedog had similar thoughts and he made a post about a quarter long as yours, which made his point and presented an explanation for it.

          BTW who makes the betting lines for the sport, casual fans or geniuses like you. The line for Mir stayed around the same for the entire betting period.

          I don’t think you’ve been watching mma for 15 years. I think your all BS.

      • john says:

        Edub:

        Do you actually believe I´m going to let you bait me into a debate on a blog? I know how these things go, back and forth all day and night, people trying to boost their egos. Listen, some sincere advice for you my friend. If you want to discuss something or if you are in disagreement with something somebody says, try it in a mature way first. Even if you feel that I was hating or made immature comments, you´re basically just blowing hot air by calling me out on it, since you aren´t really doing anything different with some of your comments. In you first post you call me a 20-year old and in your second post I´m “all BS”. I don´t see any merit in going back and forth with you. If I was really that 20-year old kid, I probably would, but I´m not. Sorry, you´re going to have to entertain yourself elsewhere.

        • edub says:

          No more comeback.

          I stopped reading after the initial sentence. Remember, no matter how you want to look at how this conversation started the immature garbage by calling out 45 with no information supporting it. Take some of your own advice.

          However, you are right I should’ve just let the initial comments go.

  2. Fluyid says:

    I certainly don’t have any stats to back up my forecasting ability, but you can put me down as predicting Evans over Shogun.

    I’ve been wrong plenty of times before, and I’ll be wrong many times in the future, but I see Evans as having a good matchup style.

    My opinion is virtually worthless, though. Although it pains me to admit it, I picked Hatton over Pacquiao (which is just about the worst fight prediction I’ve ever heard of).

  3. EJ says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that Evans takes this, his style is made to give Shogun fits all night long. His speed, takedowns and more importantly gameplanning will lead him to the title, losing to Machida was the best thing to happen to Evans. He learned that he can’t just trade punches with the best strikers in the division, he needs to use all of his talents and that’s what he’s focused on since then and now he’s 1 win away from being a 2x LHW champ.

  4. Mr. Roadblock says:

    I think Rua is a level above Evans.

    I think they’ll start off very boring for about two minutes dancing around. The Rua will catch Rashad coming in and Goldy-bot will be yelling, “AND IT’S ALLLLLLLLLLLLL OVER”.

  5. spacedog says:

    So I did not see this anywhere on the site:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1282647/American-cage-fighter-rips-beating-heart-training-partner-fearing-possessed-devil.html

    Apparently a “cage fighter” went bat shit crazy and ripped his friends heart out. Not good.

  6. Michaelthebox says:

    I simply don’t see Evans finishing Rua, and I also don’t see the takedown/wait it out formula lasting him for five rounds. Rua by TKO in the third or fourth.

  7. Grafdog says:

    Nice jab at strikeforce….
    “a guy who a lot of good wrestlers have looked bad against, you know Matt Lindland, Dan Henderson, Kevin Randleman”

    As I remember it…

    Randleman came out and fought toe to toe with Rampage and got ko’d in one of the better fights you’ll see. No shame in that.

    I thought both Matt and Dan made Rampage look bad, considering they were outweighed by 20+ lbs and fought to close decisions against him.

    • edub says:

      Jab at Strikeforce?

      They’re all known for their wrestling and Rampage nullifed pretty much everything they did except for a couple guillotine attempts by Lindland, and some back and forth with Hendo.

      Get your game up.

  8. kutti says:

    rua fights, evans moves. i think it´ll be hard to land strikes on evans..not just for rua. stylewise i think rampage vs evans didnt fit well..it was kinda boring for me to watch. against rua will be the same. avoiding punches, constant head-movment, keeping the distance, unorthodox fluent movement is clever and effective, for sure..but boring. i´d prefer rampage vs rua II. (sorry for my english 🙂

  9. Oh Yeah says:

    Rua will not be able to march Rashad down like he did Lyoto.

    Rashad will dictate where this fight goes as Rua’s wrestling is atrocious. Offensively, he only has one takedown (bodylock+trip). Defensively, Machida gained top position multiple times including one time when Shogun went for the takedown and Machida landed on top of him.

    Rashad will be in tough during exchanges because Shogun is taller, more polished and durable. But I can definitely see him spending alot of time on the mat – either grinding it out or managing to land a clean shot and finishing Shogun. Also not to be ignored is Rashad doing his best Randy Couture impression. Controlling the pace and location of the fight will go a long way towards winning.

    However, I wonder if Rua will be in markedly better condition for this fight assuming he won’t be undergoing invasive surgery 2 months out.

  10. The Gaijin says:

    While I think many of the arguments for Rashad are very valid and compelling, there’s something that keeps ringing with me…Rashad having the propensity to get tired and get hurt.

    We’ve seen in the last two fights that he’s done well with wrestling and controlling positionally, albeit while doing little damage, and then getting himself into some pretty precarious situations. In the case of Thiago and Rampage, both fighters seemed to lack the conditioning or urgency to finish the fight off when they had the opportunity. But watching countless Rua fights (and a perfect example was his last fight with Machida) you’ll see that Rua is pretty lethal at going in for the kill and quickly finishing guys off when he has the chance to do so. Where Thiago and Rampage failed to seize the opportunity to finish him off, I think Rua gets Rashad in the same type of trouble that he’s been in the last couple of fights and he will not give him the chance to recover.

  11. EJ says:

    That would be true if Shogun didn’t have just as many if not more questions about his cardio. The fact is Rashad wore down both Rampage and Thiago by the time the finally landed a shot they had nothing left. Shogun’s cardio is even more suspect and if Rashad puts on a wrestling clinic on him, there is a better chance of him gassing before he’s able to land anything to hurt Rashad in their fight.

  12. Mark says:

    On paper since Shogun hasn’t had strong performances against wrestlers it certainly looks like Evans would basically do what he did to Rampage to win.

    But, Breen raises an interesting point: people are celebrating that Rashad didn’t gas before a guy with a history of lousy conditioning gassed in 3 rounds. What does he do if the fight goes 5 rounds and he’s left gassed out against a guy who can easily put him to sleep since he’s far more dangerous than Machida? Having a fight strategy to depend on your opponent to tire out in later rounds is incredibly risky (ask Mousasi), but if Shogun can come into the fight in great shape, let Rashad tire himself out by cage humping for points, then turn it on in rounds 4 and 5 until he gets KOed could realistically happen.

  13. IceMuncher says:

    I’m as worried, if not more so, about Shogun’s conditioning. Yes, he went 5 rounds with Machida the first time, but wrestling takes a lot more energy out of you than striking does. Will Shogun be able to handle 3+ rounds at the pace Evans will press? Because we know Evans will be able to handle at least 3. Plus, Evans won’t have to work as hard for the takedowns as he did against Rampage, so he’ll wear out even slower.

    • Mark says:

      I hope they both gas out and just stand there hunched over gasping for oxygen without the energy to even lift up an arm for a weak jab to shut up these “EVERY FIGHT SHOULD BE FIVE ROUNDS~!” nincompoops.

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