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Old 01-18-2008, 05:35 PM
Rogthedodger Rogthedodger is offline
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Default UFC 80: Preview and Predictions...By Jay Graziani

UFC 80: Rapid Fire
Saturday, January 19th, 3 PM ET
Metro Radio Arena, England
Weigh-in: Friday, January 18th, 11 AM ET


As usual, the UFC follows up a decent event with a lackluster card. I guess the tagline "Rapid Fire" refers to how fast the UFC is throwing sub-par pay-per-views at us. UFC 80 is squeezed in between two other pay-per-views less than a month apart, and is being held in England, hurting PPV interest in the U.S. So, we are stuck watching a minor league card at 3:00 in the afternoon while the UFC tries to expand its international market. What should be a solid and entertaining Lightweight title fight is precluded by what might be the weakest undercard of the year. Not a great way to start 2008.

Here's a preview of Saturday night's fights, with current odds from Bookmaker.com.

Per Eklund (12-2-1) vs. Sam "Hands of Stone" Stout (12-3-1)
Current Odds: Eklund +230; Stout -290

Stout has not fared well in the UFC, splitting with Spencer Fisher and losing to Kenny Florian to accumulate a 1-2 record. Eklund has bounced around minor promotions, most recently winning by unanimous decision during Bodog Fight - Vancouver in August. Stout is a good striker with a great chin and excellent endurance. If Stout can keep the fight off the mat, he should easily outstrike Eklund and wear him down en route to a late round KO win. Prediction: Stout 3rd round KO.

James Lee (13-2-0) vs. Alessio "Legionarius" Sakara (11-6-0)
Current Odds: Lee +135; Sakara -165

Lee is a King of the Cage veteran who also has a single PRIDE win to his name. He is a submission specialist who has lost only twice, the most recent loss being over 4 years ago. Sakara, a former professional boxer, is 2-3 with one no contest since first entering the Octagon for UFC 55. His last fight saw him get demolished by Houston Alexander at just over a minute into the fight at UFC 75. This is Sakara's last fight before stepping down to 185, and Lee should be able to give him a handful with his superior ground skills. This may be a quick one, as none of Sakara's past four fights have made it out of the first round. Prediction: Lee, 1st round submission.

Paul "Tellys" Kelly (6-0-0) vs. Paul "Relentless" Taylor (8-2-1)
Current Odds: Kelly +180; Taylor -220

This bout pits two Brits against each other in front of their home crowd. Kelly has put together an undefeated record against tomato cans, and is making his UFC debut fighting out of Mike Bisping's camp. This will be Taylor's third UFC fight. He has gone 1-1, most recently falling to Marcus Davis via armbar submission at UFC 75. Taylor holds the experience, height advantage and striking edge, while Kelly is stronger and more dangerous on the ground. This should be an entertaining, high-action fight, and I'll lean towards Kelly to ground-and-pound it out as an almost 2-1 underdog. Prediction: Kelly, 2nd round TKO.

Antoni Hardonk (5-4-0) vs. Colin "Big C" Robinson (9-3-0)
Current Odds: Hardonk -340; Robinson +280

Robinson lost his only fight in the Octagon at UFC 72, as one of the "local talent". Hardonk is coming off back to back losses to Justin McCully and Frank Mir. I can't see a reason to put good money on either of these two fighters. Hardonk certainly has the talent and experience edge, but it's tough to lay 3-to-1 on a guy whose record is barely above .500. I'll lean towards a value play on Robinson. Prediction: Hardonk, 3rd round TKO.

Jorge "El Conquistador" Rivera (14-6-0) vs. Kendall "Da Spyder" Grove (8-4-0)
Current Odds: Rivera +265; Grove -325

Rivera is coming off a loss to Terry Martin nearly a year ago. He is 3-4 in the Octagon in a sporadic and uninspiring career that saw him bouncing around unsuccessfully between different promotions. Grove is a massive 6'6", giving him a 5 inch height advantage over Rivera. Grove was 3-0 inside the Octagon until losing to Patrick Cote. Grove should be able to use his reach while standing, and has the better submission game when the fight hits the ground. The only worry is Grove's chin, and Rivera will look to be aggressive with the strikes early on. Prediction: Grove 2nd round submission.

Wilson Gouveia (9-4-0) vs. Jason "The Punisher" Lambert (23-6-0)
Current Odds: Gouveia -145, Lambert +115

This bout was originally scheduled for UFC 76 back in September until Gouveia suffered a broken nose and had to withdraw. Gouveia is on a three-game win streak since losing to Keith Jardine on the TUF 3 finale. Lambert is coming off a 2nd round KO of Renato Sobral at UFC 63. Both are up-and-comers who need a win to make a name for themselves. This fight is nearly even so I'll lean towards Lambert and his strong ground-and-pound. Prediction: Lambert, 3rd round TKO.

Jess "The Joker" Liaudin (12-8-0) vs. Marcus "The Irish Hand Grenade" Davis (13-3-0)
Current Odds: Liaudin +275; Davis -345

Liaudin has quietly been amassing UFC wins, with 1st round wins on the undercards of UFC 70 and UFC 75. Marcus Davis now has 10 consecutive wins since his loss to Melvin Guillard in the TUF 2 finale. Davis is the deserving favorite and should cruise through this one, but I can't see backing him at such a high price. Prediction: Davis, 2nd round KO.

Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga (8-2-0) vs. Fabricio "Vai Cavalo" Werdum (9-3-1)
Current Odds: Gonzaga -225; Werdum +185

Gonzaga got a huge popularity boost after his fluke KO of Cro Cop back in UFC 70, but plummeted back to earth after being roughed up by Randy Couture. Gonzaga's jiu-jitsu is top notch and he can strike to boot. He looks to avenge his only other career loss in this bout. Werdum has struggled, losing 2 of his last 3, with losses to Andrei Arlovski and "Minotauro" Nogueira. He is likewise a master grappler and has never been knocked out or submitted in a professional fight. The first time these two met was 2003 and early in both of these fighter's careers. The odds are pretty spot-on, but maybe some value in going with the lesser known fighter in Werdum. Prediction: Werdum by decision.

BJ "The Prodigy" Penn (11-4-1) vs. Joe "Daddy" Stevenson (28-7-0)
Current Odds: Penn -300, Stevenson +240

With Sean Sherk being stripped of the lightweight title due to steroid use, this bout pits longtime UFC star BJ Penn with TUF 2 winner Joe Stevenson for the title. Penn has lost only 4 times in his long, but frequently inactive, career - to light heavyweight phenom Lyoto Machida, welterweight champions Georges St. Pierre and Matt Hughes, and a 25 minute split decision to Jens Pulver. He is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert, back to a more natural weight class, and in fantastic shape by all reports. And we are getting him laying only 3-to-1 against a reality show winner? Stevenson is on a four fight win streak since dropping down to lightweight and is 5-1 overall within the Octagon. Both have fought up in weight, with Penn having a bit more success. I give Stevenson plenty of credit, but these fighters are in two different leagues right now. Prediction: Penn, 3rd round submission.

Picks (2007: 25-21 -2.10 units; Best Bets: 6-6, -0.60 units)


Sam Stout -290
James Lee +135
BJ Penn -300 (Best Bet)


Opinions (2007: 33-25 -2.05 units)


Paul Kelly +180
Colin Robinson +280
Kendall Grove -325
Jason Lambert +115
Marcus Davis -345
Fabricio Werdum +185


1-18-08
Jay Graziani
MajorWager.com
graziani@majorwager.com
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:00 PM
Oddessa Oddessa is offline
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Nice read as always. thanks
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:03 PM
WrongSideWarrior WrongSideWarrior is offline
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Thanks Jay.

Good read.
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:43 PM
Oddessa Oddessa is offline
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Sam Stout beat Per Eklund

Round 1
An uneventful opening frame gets us started in Newcastle. Eklund looked for the takedown throughout the frame, with stout stuffing them all. Eklund landed a knee to the mid-section against the fencing before Stout was able to trip the Swede to the canvas. From the top position, Stout dropped some elbows down on Eklund's face. Sherdog.com sees the round 10-9 for Stout.

Round 2
More of the same in the second. Stout showed great takedown defense as Eklund struggled to get close to the Canadian kickboxer. Stout, again took the top position in a scramble, where he landed an elbow. Eklund attempted an armbar from the bottom, but Stout had none of it and stood up. At the end of the round, the English crowd showered the cage with boos after 10 boring minutes in the Octagon. 10-9 for Stout.

Round 3
Different round, same story. Even though nothing solid connected, Stout looked crisp with his striking and continued to defend the takedown. A pretty disappointing performance by both fighters. Sherdog.com sees the bout 30-27 for Stout, and two judges agree, awarding all three frames to Stout. A lone judge saw it 29-27 for the Canadian.
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:59 PM
Oddessa Oddessa is offline
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Alessio Sakara beat James Lee

Lee dives for takedown and hustles Sakara into the fence where h briefly takes him down. Sakara lands a body kick. Lee takes him down again before Sakara scrambles. Lee holds onto Sakara's ankle whilst Sakara rains down punches. Lee is static and the ref stops the fight.

Sakara wins by TKO at 1.30
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:02 PM
WrongSideWarrior WrongSideWarrior is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oddessa View Post
Alessio Sakara beat James Lee

Lee dives for takedown and hustles Sakara into the fence where h briefly takes him down. Sakara lands a body kick. Lee takes him down again before Sakara scrambles. Lee holds onto Sakara's ankle whilst Sakara rains down punches. Lee is static and the ref stops the fight.

Sakara wins by TKO at 1.30
Fukin Bum...
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:44 PM
WrongSideWarrior WrongSideWarrior is offline
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Very nice.

Quote:
Antoni Hardonk (Pictures) vs. Colin Robinson
Round 1
The evening's final preliminary bout ends quickly in just 17 seconds. Hardonk came out with two hard knees to the body, two leg kicks, two jabs and the fight is called. The second stiff jab dazed Robinson, forcing referee Mario Yamasaki to halt the contest.
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:49 PM
Oddessa Oddessa is offline
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WSW- U beat me to it. Been buried busy so far today.. :)
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:53 PM
WrongSideWarrior WrongSideWarrior is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oddessa View Post
WSW- U beat me to it. Been buried busy so far today.. :)
I feel you man. Good luck to you today. I am sure it is going to be a wild day.

Thanks for the Fields play last night. Some good KO's on the Friday Night Fights and looks like Hardonk just put on a stand up clinic.

Good luck everyone.
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:20 PM
Total Square Total Square is offline
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damn.

grove coulndt have shown anything less with that outing
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:22 PM
WrongSideWarrior WrongSideWarrior is offline
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Originally Posted by Total Square View Post
damn.

grove coulndt have shown anything less with that outing
Rivera is one of the biggest cans in the sport too...

Hope things gets better for the Hawaiians as the night goes on.
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:27 PM
Oddessa Oddessa is offline
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Their jobber just beat their investment...lol
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:35 PM
WrongSideWarrior WrongSideWarrior is offline
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I hope Lambert decides he wants to gas...
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:39 PM
WrongSideWarrior WrongSideWarrior is offline
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Originally Posted by WrongSideWarrior View Post
I hope Lambert decides he wants to gas...
or do a face plant.

Beautiful KO by Gouveia.
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:40 PM
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talk about leaving yourself wide open

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Old 01-19-2008, 03:45 PM
Oddessa Oddessa is offline
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Jorge Rivera vs. Kendall Grove
Round 1
Kendall Grove landed a left hook before Rivera shot in and scored a takedown against the fencing. From half-guard, Rivera landed several hard punches. Grove gave up his back to avoid punishment but he continued to get blasted on. Rivera absolutely tees off with a barrage of right hands and a left. Referee Dan Miragliotta stepped in at the 1:20 mark to save Grove. Impressive performance by Jorge Rivera.

Wilson Gouveia vs. Jason Lambert
Round 1
Lambert used his feet to cut off the cage as Gouveia circled the Octagon. Lambert landed a stiff low kick and followed with a successful single-leg takedown. Gouveia went directly to a guillotine, but Lambert escaped and pressed his opponent against the fencing. From Gouveia's butterfly guard, Lambert landed heavy left hands and elbows. Gouveia pulled guard with another guillotine, with Lambert defending it well. Gouveia went high with his hips and locked up a triangle-choke. Lambert stood up and slammed Gouveia to the canvas. Gouveia transitioned into an omaplata, but Lambert escaped and went back to the guard. The round ends with Lambert striking the head with his right hand.

Mike Fridley score: 10-9 Lambert
TJ De Santis score: 10-9 Lambert

Round 2
Lambert stalked Gouveia against the cage. During a striking exchange against the cage, Gouveia landed a left hook that knocked Lambert out cold. After Wilson pounced with follow-up shots, referee Herb Dean stepped in at the 0:37 mark of round two.
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Old 01-19-2008, 04:08 PM
Oddessa Oddessa is offline
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Marcus Davis beat Jess Liaudin

Round 1
Liaudin attacked the inside of Davis' right leg with low kicks throughout the first minute of action. Davis stepped in and crushed the Frenchman with a left hook that knocked him stiff with a shot just below the ear. Three follow-up right hands later, referee Mario Yamasaki jumped in to save Liaudin at 1:04 of the first round.
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Old 01-19-2008, 04:37 PM
WrongSideWarrior WrongSideWarrior is offline
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In my opinion the best Heavyweight fighter in the world is on his way to the Octagon right now. Gonzaga really chose some great entrance music.
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Old 01-19-2008, 04:53 PM
WrongSideWarrior WrongSideWarrior is offline
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In my opinion the best Heavyweight fighter in the world is on his way to the Octagon right now. Gonzaga really chose some great entrance music.
Wow I was off on that one...

At least I kept my money in my pocket.

I hate laying the big chalk on guys who are coming off of loses and it has kept me out of trouble with Grove and Gonzaga tonight.
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