So this former WWE Superstar is making his MMA debut….and other stuff.
The moment has finally arrived people! You may be asking, what moment Kenzie? Well, I must be referencing the massive Heavyweight Title Fight between the newly crowned champ (and part-time Fireman/Paramedic), Stipe Miocic, and fresh-off-the-steroids, Alistar Overeem?
Well, what about the former Heavyweight Champ and greatest BJJ practitioner in MMA, Fabricio Werdum, and
Ronda Rousey’s boyfriend Heavyweight, Travis Browne? The embedded link says all I need to say about this guy
Guess again folks.
Well….what about the “California
meathead Kid” Urijah Faber matched up against promising Karate prospect Jimmie Rivera? Or the very scary Jessica Andrade vs Joanne Calderwood???
No no no no no no no.
CM PUNK’s DEBUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, and the other matches I mentioned too. Should be a fun night.
Strawweight (115lbs): Joanne Calderwood vs Jessica Andrade
Joanne Calderwood is coming off an impressive TKO victory against Valerie Letourneau back in June, while Jessica Andrade looked like a straight killer in her debut in the lower weight class against Jessica Penne a week prior to Calderwood. With all that said, I don’t have much faith picking this fight.
Joanne has definitely turned herself into a sympathetic, fan favorite with her comments about her pay after her last fight. With everything squared away, she should come into this fight with a clear head. She has the striking advantage (albeit a small one) with her wide arsenal of attacks. Variety and volume are what she excells at.
Conversely, Andrade comes out like a bat out of hell….as soon as the bell rings, she is in your face swinging. She likes to force you to the cage and unleash bombs, although she completely disregards defense and doesn’t really look for a takedown from that position, as it should be much easier from against the cage. I’m picking Calderwood by decision in a very exciting fight…this will be fun!
Men’s Bantamweight (135lbs): Urijah Faber vs Jimmie Rivera
In an another exciting fight, Urijah Faber will face-off against an exciting prospect in Jimmie Rivera. A legend of the lighter weight classes for some time now, Urijah Faber recently faced heated rival Dominick Cruz, and he got destroyed, and while that just shows the mastery of Dominick Cruz, it showed that Faber has lost a step…or 7. He definitely is not as fast as he once was, which will likely be spotlighted in this fight against the faster, more athletic, and younger Rivera. Young upstart, Jimmie Rivera, has not lost an official match in about 8 years. In obviously his toughest matchup, Rivera is looking to send Faber into retirement.
I can confidently say this matchup easily favors Jimmie Rivera. In studying Faber’s career, he has traditionally struggled with fighters that are relatively competent wrestling and better strikers. Rivera is a 3rd-degree karate black belt (check), wrestled since high school (check), younger (check), more explosive (check), and hungrier (check…when you start debating retirement as Faber has…).
Even though a win for Faber is well within grasp, I see his lack of striking volume and the deterioration of his trademark speed being his downfall. I will pick Jimmie Rivera via decision in Faber’s swan song. *insert fake tears*.
Welterweight (170lbs): CM Punk (Phil Brooks) vs Mickey Gall
I seriously do not know. I really don’t.
Mickey Gall has had 2 pro fights in his career. His first fight lasted just over 2min (outside the UFC) against a janitor, and Gall looked…okay?? His second fight (in the UFC) lasted just 45 seconds against another Janitor (okay, both guys weren’t actually Janitors…but they may as well have been). Both wins were via submission (rear-naked Choke). So there is not much match time for me to study. And then there is Punk.
When I present a highlight video of a UFC fighter and it shows nothing from the UFC…or anything from the same friggin sport, we have a problem. The dude is making his MMA debut at 38 years old. 20 of those years he spent traveling the world “pro wrestling”, which is insane on your body.
The guy has no MMA experience whatsoever. None. However, he has spent the last 2 years training under one of the best coaches out there in Duke Roufus in Milwaukee. So yeah…there’s that.
Mad respect to Punk for following his dreams in fighting in the UFC. This really comes down to Gall. Will his head get too big and want to keep this a stand-up battle just to show how good he is even though he has the clear ground advantage? Possibly. Logic should tell me that Punk will get straight murked. Completely savaged. Borderline attempted murder. But, this is MMA and anything can happen. He has the 2 years of ruthless training going for him. The first 30 seconds will tell me everything I need to know. For sh*ts and giggles (and against good judgment), I will pick Punk via 1st round submission.
Heavyweight (265lbs): Fabricio Werdum vs Travis Browne
The co-main event in Cleveland is another heavyweight encounter as Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum meets Travis “Hapa” Browne for the second time. The former champ, Werdum, is coming off an embarrassing knockout loss to Stipe Miocic back at UFC 198, while Travis Browne was violently savaged by Cain Velasquez at UFC 200.
When Vai Cavalo and Hapa first fought two years ago, Werdum surprised a lot of people with his vastly improved Muay Thai offense. He will have the slight striking advantage with is deceptively quick hands and new-found violent aggression. He (like most Brazilian fighters) excels at using his aggressive striking to back you up against the cage where he can use his vicious clinch game and possibly the takedown. And if the fight gets to the ground, Werdum is deadly as he is, at worse, the second best Jiu-Jitsu practitioner in all of the UFC. And Travis Brown knows this. Expect this to be stand up battle.
Rousey’s boyfriend Travis Browne, for some reason, he just seems to not show up in the biggest battles. Against the mid-tier opponents like Brendan Schaub, Stephan Struve, Matt Mitrione…this one is debatable since he nearly poked the dude’s eye out, he wins and wins impressively.
But against the top tier opponents or on the biggest stage, he just sucks. That is the best way I can put it…he just sucks (in big fights that is). His biggest weapon is his eye pokes. Werdum via unanimous decision.
Heavyweight Championship: Stipe Miocic (C) vs Alistar Overeem
After leaving an entire country in mourning by KOing Fabricio Werdum, Stipe Miocic will fight in his hometown against Alistar Overeem. And as per usual with heavyweight fights, this can go either way.
Although Overeem will have the striking advantage, he is facing an adequate boxer in the champ. Since starting his training in Albuquerque with Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejon, Overeem has become a very patient counter fighter. This will likely turn the champ into a pressure fighter. Stipe has the clear wrestling advantage, but Overeem likes to throw the step-in knee as an the opponent shoots for the takedown, or while in the clinch. Both fighters can end the fight with one punch and that makes any heavyweight fight so hard to predict. With that said, I feel the challenger has more weapons in his arsenal and the experience to shrug off anything the champ can throw at him. I will pick Overeem to become the new champ via 3rd round TKO, albeit with no confidence in this pick whatsoever.
Featured image via Fox Sports