Cinco de Mayo is upon us, sneaking up and ambushing our collective livers under cover of tax-season and unemployment reports. By the time you peel yourself off of the floor of the drunk-tank that you inevitably get thrown into, un-tag all of the photos of you that your buddies posted to facebook documenting your Tequila-induced tailspin, and get around to taking a shower it will probably be Friday. Once you finally get over the shock of finding yourself in one of those fake MasterCard ads you’re probably going to want to spend the weekend cocooned in your living room, blinds drawn, wallowing in shame.
Well pick up that remote, camper, there’s Man-fightin’ to be watched! Let’s see if UFC 113 can wash the stink of shame, urine and, most-likely, paraplegic stripper perfume off of your dehydrated corpse.
Kimbo Slice vs Matt Mitrione
Fresh off of a surprising –albeit insanely boring—victory over UFC journeyman Houston Alexander, Kimbo Slice looks to put his training time with the vaunted American Top-Team to good use and prove to all of us in t.v. land that he can do more than just lead with his chin and sling leather. Unfortunately for him slinging leather is all that NFL washout Matt Mitrione seems capable of. Well, that and talking an insane amount of shit. Mitrione has fought exactly one fight and that was a knockout of another NFL veteran, Marcus “The Black Mummy” Jones. Mitrione is fat and has shown no interest in not-being-fat, or training for that matter. His victory over Jones came after Jones got tired tossing him around the ring for an entire round and eventually tried to break Mitrione’s fist with his facial parts. In the industry we call this “the Homer Simpson Gambit” or “How to lose every fight you’re ever in unless you fight Tank Abbott.”
Even more interesting than the outcome of the fight is the question of whether or not the YouTube-tacular Kimbo can fully transform himself from internet one-trick-pony to a true MMA fighter? Kimbo has done an admiral job at dedicating himself to the sport and showing it the respect that it deserves since his humbling at the hands of Seth Petruzelli. And even more interesting than that is the fact that today I mowed my lawn using a push mower. What is this 1520? No, genius; the chicks in my neighborhood all drive Priuses’s-s-es and care about their carbon footprint –this thing’s gonna get me laid more than that windowless panel-van with the mattress in the back that I bought from Lawrence Taylor. –ZING!!!!—
Prediction: Kimbo via beard-smothering
Josh Koscheck vs. Paul “Semtex” Daley
This is another one of those classic stand-up vs. ground-and-pound matchups that the UFC has become so fond of. On the one hand we have TUF1 Alum Josh Koscheck. Koscheck is a phenomenal wrestler that is on par or better than everyone at his weight class in takedowns and ground and pound. Where he gets himself in trouble is when he gets too comfortable on his feet and begins moving away from using his hands as a set-up tool for his takedowns. Most of his “combinations” are not a surprise; you’ll see them coming, much like a 5 year-old trying to swing a sledge-hammer –they are obvious and painfully slow to develop. If you toss on an afro-wig and chase a friend around your living-room with your right fist cocked-back you will be performing a close approximation of Koscheck’s entire stand-up arsenal.
Paul “Semtex” Daley, on the other hand, has lighting-fast hands and can throw combinations from just about any angle. Where he falls short in the MMA game is in his takedown defense, or his total lack of it. This would not be as much of a concern if he had any semblance of a ground game to fall back on once he inevitably gets taken down, which he does not. Daley’s ground game is based around thinly-veiled panic wrapped in a complete lack of Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling or knowledge of even the word “composure”. Heading in to a matchup with someone like Koscheck –who’s takedown shoot resembles Blanka from Street-figther II’s ‘Cannonball’ attack—this becomes a real problem.
This fight comes down to whether or not Koscheck can stick to his strengths and not get suckered in to a standup war –and inevitable KO loss—by Semtex and all of his pre-fight trash-talk. Koscheck’s ground game far outweighs Daley’s standup, much in the same way that your mom far outweighs all of the other girls –ahem, Women!!—that I’ve slept with in the back of my aforementioned panel-van.
Koscheck via Neck-biting Attack in the 2nd
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Lyoto “I Drink My Own Piss” Machida
Which finally brings us to the long-awaited rematch of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Lyoto Machida. The first meeting of these two ended in controversy when Rua had seemingly won a lopsided 5-round victory in everyone’s eyes; everyone’s eyes but the three judges at ringside who had apparently been watching re-runs of ‘What’s Happenin’ during the fight. I have heard arguments about this decision from both sides –pro and con—and have come to the following conclusion: if you think that Machida won the first fight you are a blind flipper-baby who should be required to wear a helmet and be given a special “Hug Me” sign to wear around your piss-stained neck. Arguments for the scoring ambiguity and ringside point-of-view aside, if you watch the video of that fight it is clear that Rua had won that fight. Just taking Machida’s “What the f*ck..?” reaction when he was announced as the winner is enough for me.
What Rua did in that fight is prove that if you are a phenomenal striker and all-around MMA fighter—which he is—and you stick to a viable game-plan, then you can pick Machida apart. This is not a recipe for victory for anyone; truly, only a singular talent like Rua—when healthy—could have pulled this type of victory off, a victory against an opponent who had buzzsawed his way through the light-heavyweight division without getting so much as a scratch on him. Machida is an unorthodox fighter with amazing reflexes, stifling takedown defense and a frustratingly patient counter-striking style. This, combined with his penchant for drinking his own urine, made him a lethal albeit often boring fighter. In his first fight with Rua he faced, for the first time, a fighter who was not only able to avoid falling in to his counter-striking game but was able go on the attack and do serious damage while doing so. The rematch will come down to much of the same thing: will Rua be able to stick to a similar gameplan and not let the ghosts of the first fight and that same gameplan’s short-fall in the eyes of the judges goad him in to ill-advised attacks and breaks of composure. If Rua can do that then Machida offers no viable counter-attack, the first fight proved that. At their best both of these fighters are lethal yet unorthodox strikers –Rua is just a little bit better.
Rua via TKO
Now that I’ve educated you on what you can expect from UFC 113, how ‘bout you educate yourself on what you can expect from that 50 year-old you banged in the bathroom of that cantina on Cinco de Mayo, frat-boy. Those crabs aren’t going to magically disappear all by themselves; you need a special shampoo to rid yourself of that kind of shame.