Well, NYE is coming up. For some of us that means massive drinking, for others it means massive drinking while watching half-naked men punch each other. Hey, to each his own. I can’t really say I’m blown away by what’s coming up. The UFC is giving us really the only competitive fight at 205 that can still be made until they build up Rampage, too bad it’s a somewhat undeserving rematch.
Pride gives us a singular title defense against a plan C backup, but both are entertaining fighters and upsets can happen. So here’s what we have:
Saturday Dec 30 10pm (EST) PPV
Light Heavyweight Championship bout: Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz
Heavyweight bout: Andrei Arlovski vs. Marcio Cruz
Light Heavyweight bout: Forrest Griffin vs. Keith Jardine
Light Heavyweight bout: Michael Bisping vs. Eric Schafer
Middleweight bout: Chris Leben vs. Jason MacDonald
Preliminary card bouts
Middleweight bout: Yushin Okami vs. Rory Singer
Welterweight bout: Tony DeSouza vs. Thiago Alves
Heavyweight bout: Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Carmelo Marrero
Heavyweight bout: Anthony Perosh vs. Christian Wellisch
Well, nothing earth shattering. It will be nice to see Bisping back in the ring. AA too, hopefully he gets his head screwed on straight and once again becomes a force in the division. I fully expect Tito-Chuck to go the same way it did last time.
The last competitive fight we saw with Tito was against Forrest, and he spent most of the fight standing in front of him and missing takedowns. Granted, he supposedly had a knee injury which might account for his lack of explosiveness and hesitation, but any performance that is similar will get him KTFO by Chuck. I’ll pick history repeating itself with an Iceman KO round 2.
Some good hype may come in the form in the announcement of the aquisition of Mirko Cro Cop and Sylvia shitting his pants, and/or Rampage coming into the ring and getting the mic if Chuck wins and calls him out.
Dec 31 Pride Shockwave 2006 9pm (EST) PPV
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Mark Hunt (HW title)
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Josh Barnett(HW)
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Gilbert Melendez(LW)
Shinya Aoki vs. Joachim Hansen(LW)
Takanori Gomi vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida(LW non-title gayness)
Mauricio Rua vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura(LHW)
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Ikuhisa Minowa(MW)
Akihiro Gono vs. Yuki Kondo(MW)
Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Eldar Kurtanidze(HW)
Hidehiko Yoshida vs James Thompson (HW)
A fairly good card. Fedor vs Hunt is not nearly as compelling as Fedor vs Cro Cop II or Fedor vs Barnett, but given that both fighters were ruled out of the fight Hunt is the best remaining option and Pride did good to not pick a freak show like Zulu. Fedor SHOULD take this fight down rather quickly and get the sub, mid-round 1. But, for some reason I have a really, really funny feeling about this fight. He might not lose, but I see Fedor having some trouble with Mark.
Hunt is very, very dangerous to close the distance on, and supposedly has been training hard since his embarassing loss to Barnett. So it might be more interesting than some people give credit for. In other picks, I see a Nog UD. Barnett was too burnt out to face Fedor, but he’s facing Nog? Nog is a dangerous and highly motivated fighter right now, despite his age I see him getting the better of JB this go around.
I also see a Shogun first round victory via strikes. Nak is good and getting better but Shogun is just too much to handle for almost anyone at 205 in the world. And I hope Ishida wins just to make Pride look even more like retards for protecting their paper champion.