NOTE: The below MMA news analysis is contributed to Smashmauf! by my good friend, Little Dragon. (Little Dragon, aka "Bruce Lee", is a Freelance Sports Writer and a respected MMA Analyst. )
AFFLICTON: ACTION OUTSIDE THE UFC
Aside from the overwhelming anticipation and excitement of this coming weekend, Last weekend (January 24, 2009) there was a very reputable fight as well. One of the reasons the Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski fight last weekend was not nearly as widely know is that it was not promoted by the UFC - co-promoted by Affliction and Golden Boy Promotions. Affliction, held their fight card with notable fights. The main event, Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko vs. Andrei "The Pitt Bull" Arlovski being a more than notable one. Fedor Emelianenko is the undisputed Heavyweight WAMMA (Affliction's Heavyweight title) champion, and is considered the number 1 ranked heavyweight. He has beaten many credible opponents. He has this mysteriousness demeanor. Not much of the training and fight preparation aspect of his life is in the media (in comparison to other fighters). Fedor being a very humble guy does not even look his opponent in the face when in the ring just before the fight, as many fighters do, in what has been called "the stare down". He does not boast that he will win before a fight or that he is best fighter, even though many other fighters consider him just that.
Although Anderson Silva, B.J Penn and Georges St. Pierre are close contenders, Fedor is arguably the best pound for pound fighter, based on his record and the fighters he has fought. In fact in interviews, when the topic of "the best pound for pound" was brought up, both B.J and Georges mentioned Fedor as a prospect.
His opponent was Andrei Arlovski, who is one of the top heavyweight fighters and is credited as being the number 2 ranked heavy weight by many ranking charts. This alone constitutes an important match. When you factor in Arlovski being an exciting fighter with well rounded skills and that he is constantly improving, fight after fight, you get an interesting fight. In the sense that although Fedor was favored to win, by no means did I feel he was going to easily take out Arlovski.
Anyways the results are out and Fedor won by K.O in the first round. Although it was not that straight forward as the line "K.O in the first" may imply. Arlovski was winning the fight with what appeared to be overwhelming punches. It was not until Arlovski went with a flying knee that he got caught with a punch that Fedor called "a natural reaction to seeing an opening" knocked him out. Interesting occurrence considering Bruce lee spoke often about having that natural instinct of not thinking but reacting. He said "and when there is an opportunity, I do not hit it hits all by itself" (Enter the Dragon).
UFC: GEORGES "RUSH" ST. PIERRE vs B.J. "THE PRODIGY" PENN
This coming weekend, Saturday January 31, 2009, there is one of the biggest, most anticipated fights in MMA. UFC Welter weight champion Georges St. Pierre puts his belt on the line against UFC Light weight champion B.J. Penn. This fight is a largely anticipated and much wanted fight by fans. The reasons being, these are two of the best fighters. St. Pierre ranked as the number 1 welterweight on most recognized rankings, and B.J Penn ranked the number 1 lightweight likewise. Then there is the fact that the two have faced before in what was an incredible match, ending in split decision for St. Pierre. Many claim it was a controversial decision, although I think it was a close fight but St. Pierre did clearly win. I think much of the "controversial decision" talk by UFC is to help promote the coming rematch. Regardless this will be a very good match.
Being a fan of both fighters I find it hard to say who will come out on top and by what method. The claims and attributes the fighters bring to the fight are as follows.
St. Pierre being a well rounded fighter, he has excellent striking including both kicks and punches. His Jiu Jitsu is incredible, he recently earned his black belt. He very well may be the best wrestler in MMA overall. Of course just as B.J Penn is a very smart fighter so is St. Pierre.
B.J Penn has the noticeable attribute of flexibility which he implements in his fights. He is an incredible striker. Freddie Roach, renowned boxing trainer who has trained greats such as Manny Pacquiao, Mike Tyson and other champs at times, stated B.J Penn is the best striker he has seen in MMA. That goes to show the caliber of B.J's punches considering Roach has worked with extraordinary MMA fighters such as Anderson Silva, and Andrei Arlovski.
Then there is the fact that both fighters have only gotten better since their last encounter. While St. Pierre has excellent take down skills, Penn is noted for his take down defense. One of the more debatable traits is which fighter has more heart and more of a desire to win, as each claims he really wants to win. Well I guess we will soon find out!
GSP wins decisively after 4 rounds.