Monday, July 9, 2007

Looking Ahead to UFC 74

I enjoyed UFC 73, and I think that the 74 card has the potential to be even better. UFC 74 will take place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on August 25, 2007.

Here's what we have so far:

Randy "The Natural" Couture vs. Gabriel Gonzaga

Couture fights out of Las Vegas, so hopefully the hometown crowd will give the champ a little extra juice against the eye-openingly dangerous Brazilian challenger. For those of you who still think that Gonzaga beat Cro Cop with a fluke head kick, think again. Gonzaga said coming into the fight that he'd be looking for the KO. Plus, he vastly outworked and overpowered the former Pride star on the ground and outboxed him, in my opinion. As for Randy, he seems to thrive when the chips are stacked against him, so look for this to be another great match in the newly invigorated heavyweight division.

Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck

GSP will look to climb back to the top of the 170-lb. mountain against Koscheck, despite Phil Baroni's encouraging words for Koscheck. If GSP doesn't show too much respect for Koscheck's wrestling prowess wrestler (the way Diego Sanchez did), and implements aggressive kickboxing, I see the young Canadian beating Koscheck and quickly getting another title shot at 170.

Joe "Daddy" Stevenson vs. Kurt Pellegrino

I like Joe Daddy in this one and look forward to him earning the top contender spot at 155 lbs. Pellegrino is a friend, training partner, and business partner with UFC lightweight Hermes Franca and said recently that he would not fight Franca for the belt. With that scenario being moot for the time being, will Pellegrino be gunning for the lightweight belt harder than ever, possibly to make up for his close friend's loss to Sean Sherk? He's in for a rough night against Joe Daddy either way.

Kendall "Da Spyder" Grove vs. Patrick "The Predator" Cote

I've been waiting to see some more of Kendall Grove, whose punches, knees, and elbows have come in furious succession against Chris Price and Alan Belcher. The Canadian Cote most recently beat Scott Smith (unanimous decision), and he faces a tall order against the 6'6" Grove. Cote loves to slug it out, so hopefully, these two will put on a great show at 185.

Marcus Aurelio vs. Clay "The Carpenter" Guida

The always exciting Guida was robbed against Tyson Griffin at UFC 72 and will no doubt be looking to keep this fight out of the judges' hands.

Renato "Babalu" Sobral vs. David Heath

I'm very happy to have Babalu back in the UFC octagon. He's coming off of 2 devastating KO losses to Chuck Liddell and Jason Lambert, and I'll be crushed if he's caught and knocked out coming in on the heavy-handed, free-swinging Heath.

Travis Lutter vs. Ryan Jensen

Despite not making weight against Anderson Silva in his last UFC appearance, Lutter showed flashes of brilliance against the champion, taking him down and punishing him with strikes from the mount. I'm always hoping for a great middleweight performance, and Lutter has the tools to deliver.


Masta Blasta said...

I like Babalu also. If he loses to Heath, he's done in the UFC.

Fight Night Prez said...

We'll find out real fast if that kick to CroCop's head was a fluke or if Gonzaga's steppin up his game. I liked watching him come up through events like NAGA's full contact show, he's got ground game like a champ....

GSP vs... I'd rather see Koz fight his own ego....Dana? on that huh pal....

Batman Pellegrino.... (sigh)

.....should be an interesting night.