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wandshogun09


MAIN CARD (PPV/ESPN UK)
Frankie Edgar vs Benson Henderson - UFC Lightweight Title
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson vs Ryan Bader
Mark Hunt vs Cheick Kongo
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs Jake Shields
Yushin Okami vs Tim Boetsch
Hatsu Hioki vs Bart Palaszewski
Joe Lauzon vs Anthony Pettis


PRELIMS (FX in the US/ufc.tv in the UK)
Takanori Gomi vs Eiji Mitsuoka
Norifumi 'KID' Yamamoto vs Vaughan Lee
Riki Fukuda vs Steve Cantwell
Takeya Mizugaki vs Chris Cariaso
Tiequan Zhang vs Issei Tamura


The UFC's first event in Japan since all the way back in Dec 2000 for UFC 29. And they're in Pride's old main venue, Saitama Super Arena.

Excellent line up on paper again with this one. The main event should be brilliant, I think Henderson might be the toughest challenger out there for Edgar at the moment. I think this is the kind of fight the Japanese will love, 2 technical smaller fighters, well rounded, both have a relentless pace and both show a ton of heart. Haven't decided who I think wins this one yet.

Rest of the card is filled with mostly either Japanese fighters or old Pride guys so the crowd should be into this. Speaking of which, I'm not too sure what to expect from the crowd. Most likely they will be quiet like in Pride mainly giving polite applause and only reacting loud when something big happens. Saying that Japanese pro wrestling crowds are like that but when WWE came there they were more like the American crowds.
The Natural
Out of the two UFC February PPV's, I always thought this looked the better of two for the main event and the main card from top to bottom. I've looked forward to Edgar/Henderson since it was first announced in November. Tough fight to call, I go back and forth on who I think shall win it. I'm sure this fight will deliver.
Silky Kisser
On the subject of crowd noise, have the Japanese fans become 'westernised' over the years like they have with WWE? Aren't the crowds these days more lively and vocal? I certainly hope so. With this event being a few years in the making and such a Japan friendly lineup, it would be a nice.

Sweet looking fight card, Edgar/Bendo and Lauzon/Pettis are gonna be at frantic paces.


wandshogun09
QUOTE (Silky Kisser @ Feb 6 2012, 18:47) *
On the subject of crowd noise, have the Japanese fans become 'westernised' over the years like they have with WWE? Aren't the crowds these days more lively and vocal? I certainly hope so. With this event being a few years in the making and such a Japan friendly lineup, it would be a nice.


Yeah that's what I was trying to get at in the first post but you worded it better. It will be interesting. Lauzon vs Pettis should be a crazy opener. Hunt vs Kongo could be fun aswell.
CurryAngel
Wonder the kind of reaction Akiyama will receive? Will the Japanese fans have forgiven and forgotten about the Sakuraba incident?
Ebb
i was thinking about the audience reaction the other day, it's gonna be interesting to see how it goes. This card is f'n loaded, it almost feels like 2 cards. You've got the main card, then you got a 'Japan vs. The World' kinda theme going on on the undercard, it's gonna be a great show.
Dead Mike
Really excited about this card. Edgar's one of my favourite fighters to watch so I'll be loudly rooting for him! Think Rampage will get upset by Bader, Shields will continue his losing streak & Pettis will finish Lauzon.
Zebra Kid Mark
What are the chances of the loser of Shields/Sexyama being cut? Be sad to see either go, they've both had very tough fights.
Ebb
i think it'll be the end of Akiyama if he loses. If Shields performs well but loses he might get a pass on the whole Ellenberger thing because of his dad's passing. Akiyama has to be on his last legs though.
hbk4life
That card really is crazily stacked.

I really hope Henderson wins the title, I've nothing against Edgar but Henderson is my favourite fighter in that division. I can't see the fight being a bore at all, I'm hoping it goes all 5 rounds.
Dead Mike
It'd be brutal if they cut Shields considering his last fight & his dad. He's one of those guys that's still recogniseable, same with Dan Hardy. If the rumors of some people going over to Strikeforce are true he'd be a good shout.
wandshogun09
Yeah I think Shields might get another shot even if he loses. I actually think Akiyama might have been released after the Belfort fight had they not got this Japan show lined up. They probably just thought 'fuck it' and let him fight on the Japan card as a last chance type thing. Every fight he's had in the UFC has been entertaining so they probably did it as a bit of a favour to him.

I don't think they should hold the Ellenberger loss against Shields if he loses to Sexyama. Given the circumstances he could easily have pulled out of that fight and no-one would have blamed him. And that was a pretty weak card on paper so he helped them out by not withdrawing imo.
jimufctna24
I really think Rampage vs Bader is going to resemble Rampage vs Hamill, just a bit more competative with Rampage taking a clear points win but not really impressing.

I also think Kongo is going to make Hunt look old, the Pride fan in me wants Hunt to put on a show in his old stomping ground, but I think Kongo may outstrike him in addition to taking him down and ground and pounding him for a stoppage.

It is Edgar all the way for me in the main event, I can see Bendo making it interesting and taking a round off Edgar, but I think Edgar's slick boxing and decent wrestling will stop Bendo from being a winner. If Bendo can consistantly takedown Edgar I think Edgar would be in serious trouble, but I do not think he can.
wandshogun09
QUOTE (jimufctna24 @ Feb 6 2012, 22:45) *
I also think Kongo is going to make Hunt look old, the Pride fan in me wants Hunt to put on a show in his old stomping ground, but I think Kongo may outstrike him in addition to taking him down and ground and pounding him for a stoppage.


Kongo's a good striker but I'd be a little surprised if he outstruck Hunt. That's the one area where Hunt has an advantage I think.

I don't think Kongo will even try to stand in this one. But I agree with how it probably ends. I see him going for a takedown, getting it and winning on ground and pound. Kongo's got some nasty elbows and that's something Hunt may not be used to. I don't think he'll risk the standup when Hunt's weakness is the ground. Then again, we all thought that with Kongo vs Barry and look how that turned out.
jimufctna24
QUOTE (wandshogun09 @ Feb 7 2012, 1:58) *
QUOTE (jimufctna24 @ Feb 6 2012, 22:45) *
I also think Kongo is going to make Hunt look old, the Pride fan in me wants Hunt to put on a show in his old stomping ground, but I think Kongo may outstrike him in addition to taking him down and ground and pounding him for a stoppage.


Kongo's a good striker but I'd be a little surprised if he outstruck Hunt. That's the one area where Hunt has an advantage I think.

I don't think Kongo will even try to stand in this one. But I agree with how it probably ends. I see him going for a takedown, getting it and winning on ground and pound. Kongo's got some nasty elbows and that's something Hunt may not be used to. I don't think he'll risk the standup when Hunt's weakness is the ground. Then again, we all thought that with Kongo vs Barry and look how that turned out.

See if Hunt was on 2006 form I would say he could outstrike Kongo, but not the Hunt of today.

I do not think Kongo will knock him out, instead the striking will mainly favor Kongo who will use leg kicks and his reach to win the majority of the exchanges, Hunt may land a few decent shots but eventually Kongo will take him down.

Hunt still has a chin on him though and if he can land somthing big early he can still pull it of, Mir and Barry showed that you can catch Kongo and hurt him with decent boxing.
Zebra Kid Mark
Just looking at Hunt's record for the first time, can anyone tell me how he got a UFC call up after a 5 fight losing streak outside the organisation.
Magnum Milano
QUOTE (Zebra Kid Mark @ Feb 7 2012, 19:28) *
Just looking at Hunt's record for the first time, can anyone tell me how he got a UFC call up after a 5 fight losing streak outside the organisation.

It was something to do with his old Pride contract which rolled over and was un-cuttable. The UFC did try to just pay him off, but fair play to him, he didn't want that and wanted to fight to earn his pay.
Zebra Kid Mark
QUOTE (Magnum Milano @ Feb 7 2012, 18:42) *
QUOTE (Zebra Kid Mark @ Feb 7 2012, 19:28) *
Just looking at Hunt's record for the first time, can anyone tell me how he got a UFC call up after a 5 fight losing streak outside the organisation.

It was something to do with his old Pride contract which rolled over and was un-cuttable. The UFC did try to just pay him off, but fair play to him, he didn't want that and wanted to fight to earn his pay.

Thanks for answering.

I've voted Edgar by Decision and Rampage by Decision. Never count out Frankie, he's my favourite fighter in the UFC in and out the cage.
hbk4life
I'd rather of seen Hunt face Struve or Nelson. I think they'd be more entertaining and there would've been a higher chance of those two standing with Hunt. I see Kongo taking it to the ground early and winning with ground and pound in the first round. Hope I'm wrong though.
TildeGuy~!
I can see Kongo doing the same as what he did to Mitrione in his last fight hold Hunt up against the cage for 3 rounds.
Ebb
can't see anything other than Kongo taking Hunt down and pounding him out. Cheick Kongo is a guy that has taken the safest path to victory in the past and you can't knock him for that, i don't think he has any reason to even attempt to stand with Hunt. Kongo via 2nd round TKO. As a Hunt fan-boy i'd hate to see it, but that how i think it's gonna go.

and does anyone else think this could be it for Rampage Jackson? there's been rumblings for years that he's ready to hang them up, and then there's always the talk that of him only getting motivated by certain fights. I don't think Bader's an opponent that motivates Rampage but he's stated that fighting in Japan does, so does anyone else feel that Rampage is looking to go out with one last hurrah in the country that pretty much made his career? I'd also love to see a classic Rampage performance, i wanna see him come out aggressive and fight like he used too, im fed up of seeing Rampage the boxer, i wanna see Rampage the fighter.
Shane O' Mac Version 2
Top to bottom, probably my favourite UFC on paper in ages. The lightweights are my favourite division, so to have them bookend the main card with Edgar/Henderson and Pettis/Lauzon is bliss. I'm hoping Rampage is indeed motivated in Japan and goes for the kill against Bader, who I believe is vastly overrated, his most impressive win was against Jardine. Sexyama, despite his recent record, is never in a shit fight, so hopefully he should knock the boring out of Shields. I'm also a huge Hunt fanboy, so hoping for the slight upset here. If he loses, is that his contract fulfilled? A win should get him re-signed, WAR HUNT.

The prelims have that great Japan vs. The World thing going on. Gutted for the loss of Sots, but Gomi should use the opportunity as a showcase. I'm hoping Boestch steamrolls Okami, I still haven't forgiven him for the Marquardt fight. Hioki has a chance to atone for his debut against Bartimus, that'll be fireworks, as will the Kid vs. Lee fight, I expect stand up wars there.

One curious aspect of the card is Tiequan Zhang. He obliterated the can of cans in Jason Reinhardt, but his second fight against Darren Elkins either exposed him as a one trick pony, the Asian Cody Mackenzie, or perhaps just a bad gameplan. But I'm actually picking Nam Phan to win that fight.
Dead Mike
QUOTE
does anyone else think this could be it for Rampage Jackson? there's been rumblings for years that he's ready to hang them up, and then there's always the talk that of him only getting motivated by certain fights. I don't think Bader's an opponent that motivates Rampage but he's stated that fighting in Japan does, so does anyone else feel that Rampage is looking to go out with one last hurrah in the country that pretty much made his career? I'd also love to see a classic Rampage performance, i wanna see him come out aggressive and fight like he used too, im fed up of seeing Rampage the boxer, i wanna see Rampage the fighter.


If he loses then probably, yes. He's stated publicly often enough that he'll take acting jobs over MMA if they pay better. He didn't want the Bader fight but spat his dummy out massively over not being originally booked for this Japan card (I think they wanted him for a Fox show) but the compromise for fighting in Japan was obviously having to face Bader. I still think he's got a couple of main events left in him (Rashad, Wandy maybe) but I don't see him as a contender these days. Because he's been in the fight game for so long it's easy to forget he's only 33. There's no reason he can't take a couple of years off & if he gets the desire come back. Might be good for him.
the_mole
QUOTE
Next week's UFC 144 event will feature seven main-card bouts instead of the usual five.

Zuffa official Ryan Grab today confirmed the extra-large lineup, which is slated to run four hours.

UFC 144 takes place Feb. 25 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. In addition to the main card, which airs in its normal Saturday-night timeslot with a Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson headliner, prelims air on FX.

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view)

Champ Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson (for lightweight title)
Ryan Bader vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
Cheick Kongo vs. Mark Hunt
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields
Tim Boetsch vs. Yushin Okami
Hatsu Hioki and Bart Palaszewski
Joe Lauzon vs. Anthony Pettis

PRELIMINARY CARD (FX)

Takanori Gomi vs. Eiji Mitsuoka
Vaughan Lee vs. Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto
Steve Cantwell vs. Riki Fukuda
Chris Cariaso vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Issei Tamura vs. Tiequan Zhang


From MMAJunkie, so a 4 hour main card starting at 3am,
METAL ON METAL
That is just overkill.

Oh well, an afternoon nap on Saturday it is then!
The Natural
When I learnt ESPN was doing a free weekend in February, I hoped it would take place during UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson and now with this news, it's another reason why I wish this was the UFC ESPN would show free to air. I'll still see it.
Ebb
7 fight main card! wow, guessing that has something to do with Japan liking their shows long.
wandshogun09
QUOTE (Ebb @ Feb 14 2012, 21:36) *
7 fight main card! wow, guessing that has something to do with Japan liking their shows long.


Yeah most likely. Wonder if this is a one off cos it's Japan or if they will do this more.

I'm loving these plus size main cards. 7 fight main card for this and 6 fights on FUEL. I'm guessing FUEL are more flexible with time than Spike were cos Spike had more programming so that might have something to do with that.

But the 7 fights on this Japan main show surprised me a bit. I'm not complaining like, but them securing an extra hour on PPV is something they didn't even do for UFC 100 so I wonder why they did it here? I'm sure we'll get the reasons when Helwani inevitably asks Dana.

I like it though. I know it's said a lot now but we really are spoiled. It wasn't long ago when the only way to see prelims was to download them the next day (even then you couldn't always count on the quality) or wait for the DVD release. Now it's possible to watch every fight on every show live in one way or another.
The Cum Doctor
That pretty much confirms I'll be downloading rather than watching live.
Ebb

its unreal these days. When i first started watching MMA i'd get to see one PPV every 3 months, and i was lucky if they added 1 prelim to the main card. When i first got into there was obiviously certain UFC 45 when Pedro Rizzo/Ricco Rodriguez was on the prelims, i was f'n gutted! There was literally no way to watch the fight at the time other than to wait for the DVD which came out months later (the fight turned out to be a stinker too, haha).

How times have changed.
wandshogun09
QUOTE (Ebb @ Feb 15 2012, 10:35) *
its unreal these days. When i first started watching MMA i'd get to see one PPV every 3 months, and i was lucky if they added 1 prelim to the main card. When i first got into there was obiviously certain UFC 45 when Pedro Rizzo/Ricco Rodriguez was on the prelims, i was f'n gutted! There was literally no way to watch the fight at the time other than to wait for the DVD which came out months later (the fight turned out to be a stinker too, haha).

How times have changed.


I started watching a bit after you. UFC 52 was my first one. I'd seen bits and pieces before but that was my first full show. My PC back then was so shit it wasn't worth trying to download, so I just had to avoid spoilers and wait the 24 hours for the Bravo showing the next night. A show full of 5 minute ad breaks for sex lines and anti constipation tablets (mid fight). And on top of that, you'd know when there's only 10 minutes left on Bravo and the 5 round main event hasn't started yet, that someone's getting KO'd quick. Kinda ruined it but it was all we had back then.

There were so few shows back then that I'd be eagerly anticipating a card headlined by Andrei Arlovski and Paul Buentello as if it was Chuck vs Wanderlei. That was an accepted PPV main event back then, a title fight for fuck's sake. People these days bitch when a fight like Leben vs Munoz main events on free TV.

Kids today, they don't know they're fucking born.
jimufctna24
UFC 51 was my first show, it was shown on Bravo.

Used to get annoyed when we would only get 3 or 4 fights due to the adverts for years before I learned how to download when I got my laptop in 2007.
Ebb
yeh Bravo butchered shit out of them things, we got it so much better these days!
METAL ON METAL
You know them videos Dana tweets in the run up to each event that they try to pass off as fan-made but are clearly the work of the UFC? Yeah, well this one is probably my favourite:

Will Ferrell: UFC 144 Guest Ring Announcer
The Natural
QUOTE (jimufctna24 @ Feb 16 2012, 0:04) *
UFC 51 was my first show, it was shown on Bravo.


Mine as well. Really good show.

Edgar/Henderson is a hard fight to call, I wouldn't be surpised by either fighter winning. I'll go Edgar by decision in what should be a great fight. Jackson TKO's Bader in the second though I can see it going to a decision, Shields over Akiyama, Okami beats Boetsch, Hioki defeats Palaszewski and Pettis over Lauzon all by decision. Kongo TKO's Hunt in one.
Ebb
I'm quite enthused by some of the stuff Rampage Jackson has been saying in the press. He's saying he's back in 'Pride' mode, and he's there to entertain, not care so much about winning or losing. I've always found that's what harmed Jackson's game through the majority of his UFC career, he's basically a boxer that fights MMA now. I'd love to see him cut loose and get a little wild in there. It's ironic cause i think a boxing based strategy would probably lead to him beating Bader, but regardless i'd like to see him get in a bit of a dog-fight. Of course we aint gonna know if what hes saying is true till he gets in there but it's got me excited.

I'm picking Okami over Boetsch, i think they have similar skill sets but i just feel Okami has the edge everywhere. Looking forward to seeing who has the power advantage in there though, Okami is notoriously strong, whilst Boetsch has just looked like a f'n ox since coming down to 185, i think it'll be a long drawn out battle.

I think we'll see a vintage Jake Shields performance against Akiyama. Akiyama could be a beast at 170, but Shields has proven before that he can takedown and hold down pretty much anyone (except GSP), don't think it'll be a crowd pleaser but i think Shields takes it...now in an ideal world, i'd love to see Sexyama put a hammer on Shield's chin and KO for a KO of the night performance but i can't see it happening.

If Hioki performs like he did against George Roop, Palaszewski is gonna smash him, it was another in a long line of poor Japanese debuts. Palaszewski's on a role right now so im gonna pick him by TKO.

Can't wait to see Gomi/KID, arguably the two poorest runs of any Japanese fighter to enter the UFC, they both seem to have perfect opponents to actually showcase what they can do against. I'm hoping they both win, cause i wanna see em both stick around.
The Natural
What's your main event prediction Ebb?
Ebb
Henderson via decision. I've picked Henderson from the start, i just feel he can match Edgar's pace and he's bigger and stronger. The only place i give Frankie the edge is with his boxing, but Henderson will pretty much nulify that by being the superior kickboxer, Benson won't try and have a straight boxing match with Frankie.

Benson by Unanimous Decision.
METAL ON METAL
Very, very awesome 45 minute video of Rampage Jackson walking around Tokyo with Ariel Helwani - Rampage talks about pretty much everything in his career:

A Night In Tokyo With Rampage Jackson

As I say its a brilliant & unique interview, its nice to see Rampage so open and honest in this. Very cool of him to give away that much of his time especially when hes only a couple of days away from a fight. Must watch for Pride fans.
The Natural
I'm guessing the weigh in time is the usual UK time seen as that the actual show takes place the same time over here?
Swift89
QUOTE (The Natural @ Feb 24 2012, 13:52) *
I'm guessing the weigh in time is the usual UK time seen as that the actual show takes place the same time over here?


No, it's much later, 4.00am our time I believe.
The Natural
QUOTE (Swift89 @ Feb 24 2012, 14:27) *
QUOTE (The Natural @ Feb 24 2012, 13:52) *
I'm guessing the weigh in time is the usual UK time seen as that the actual show takes place the same time over here?


No, it's much later, 4.00am our time I believe.


Cheers. I rarely watch them but assumed they took place the usual time because the show does over here at the regular time.

I wonder how Henderson is finding the weight cut as he's abroad and usually has to strip to make weight.

EDIT: The poll shows how tough Edgar/Henderson is to call, 10 people picking Edgar by decision and 10 picking Henderson by decision.
Swift89
QUOTE (The Natural @ Feb 24 2012, 14:34) *
QUOTE (Swift89 @ Feb 24 2012, 14:27) *
QUOTE (The Natural @ Feb 24 2012, 13:52) *
I'm guessing the weigh in time is the usual UK time seen as that the actual show takes place the same time over here?


No, it's much later, 4.00am our time I believe.


Cheers. I rarely watch them but assumed they took place the usual time because the show does over here at the regular time.

I wonder how Henderson is finding the weight cut as he's abroad and usually has to strip to make weight.

EDIT: The poll shows how tough Edgar/Henderson is to call, 10 people picking Edgar by decision and 10 picking Henderson by decision.


Also due to the late weigh in the fighters will have around 6 less hours to rehydrate, so this could cause problems for some of them.
The Natural
QUOTE (Swift89 @ Feb 24 2012, 14:41) *
QUOTE (The Natural @ Feb 24 2012, 14:34) *
QUOTE (Swift89 @ Feb 24 2012, 14:27) *
QUOTE (The Natural @ Feb 24 2012, 13:52) *
I'm guessing the weigh in time is the usual UK time seen as that the actual show takes place the same time over here?


No, it's much later, 4.00am our time I believe.


Cheers. I rarely watch them but assumed they took place the usual time because the show does over here at the regular time.

I wonder how Henderson is finding the weight cut as he's abroad and usually has to strip to make weight.

EDIT: The poll shows how tough Edgar/Henderson is to call, 10 people picking Edgar by decision and 10 picking Henderson by decision.


Also due to the late weigh in the fighters will have around 6 less hours to rehydrate, so this could cause problems for some of them.


Aye, Jake Shields could be another. Frankie Edgar should be fine as he drops little weight.
Shane O' Mac Version 2
All fighters made weight except Rampage, coming in at 211 pounds.
KJHenley
211? What the fuck happened there?
Silky Kisser
He's saying he injured his leg/foot during his camp and that stopped him from being able to run. He claims to have lost 21lbs, but couldn't make it any further.

Can't see him getting into hot water though.
jimufctna24
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58y-U3rVv4Q

Awesome Pettis Highlight Reel

Pettis is one of my favourite up and comers, I hope he beats Lauzon and puts himself into title contention.

4 hours of a main card maybe a bit much, but really we are spoilt these days so we cannot moan when they give us too much. Interesting after this event they wont be on PPV for 2 months and after the OZ card next week they are taking a 6 week or so break until the next FX Card in Sweden.

hbk4life
I hope Rampage smashes Bader tonight, I'm not even sure why I dislike Bader so much, but I really don't like him. I think it'll end with a Rampage KO in the second.

The main event is a really interesting fight, Edgar has better boxing but I think Henderson can control this fight on the ground and when it is on his feet he has a style that can give Edgar trouble. Also, if he gets Edgar in trouble the way Maynard did I can't see Henderson not finishing the fight. I'm going for Henderson by decision, I really hope he wins.

My other picks - Pettis, Kongo, Shields, Okami and Hioki. I can't see past the bookies favourites tonight, except for Henderson who's a slight underdog to beat Edgar. I hope I'm wrong with a few of them though, as I'll be supporting Hunt, Akiyama and Bart!
The Natural
**SPOILERS FOLLOW**








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