UFC Women’s Strawweight Rankings

Photo Credit: www.wmmaroundup.com

The UFC announced they were adding a Women’s Strawweight division to their roster a few months back. Most of the fighters that were signed will be competing on Season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter coached by Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez. Instead of simply crowning a season winner of TUF, and an actual UFC Championship will be awarded to the winner.

Since most of the top Strawweights will be competing on TUF 20, and not technically debuting in the UFC, I will keep fighters ranked as NR (Not Ranked), until they have officially fought in the UFC, just as a I do for all other divisions.

10 out of 10 on Fight Night 48 Predictions

It’s rare that I can pick a card perfect, but I just did so. After reading through BloodyElbow’s panel of experts’ picks I was starting to get nervous on a few of my picks, but I guess that’s why watching actual tape of prospects helps me feel confident making fight predictions.

Once again, here’s my picks from earlier this week:

Main Card

Michael Bisping def. Cung Le  – Bisping struggles against opposition with good footwork and KO power, but Le is coming off another long layoff, and though he is by far the more explosive fighter, Bisping should have the overall wrestling and conditioning advantage for a 5-round fight. There’s still potential for Le to win via KO, but Bisping has held his own against recently against Brian Stann and Alan Belcher.
Tyron Woodley def. Dong Hyun Kim – Kim has been nearly invincible fighting in Asia, but Tyron Woodley is a stylistic nightmare. Woodley will have to make sure to not give up a takedown, which sounds strange since he is one of the top wrestlers in the sport, but Kim has proven resourceful with his judo. If Kim can seize top position, he’s capable of keeping Woodley on his back. What’s more likely to happen though is Kim gets reckless on his feet and pays for it.
Zhang Lipeng def. Brendan O’Reilly – I’m stunned Brendan O’Reilly is getting a shot in the UFC. No disrespect, but he didn’t exactly shine on The Ultimate Fighter: Canada vs. Australia. O’Reilly did do a good job of garnering camera time for his trash talk, so it looks as if it won him an audition against TUF China Welterweight winner Zhang Lipeng. This is supposed to be a showcase fight for Lipeng, so if he doesn’t it will show just how far behind China is in the sport.
Ning Guangyou def. Jianping Yang – The Featherweight winner of TUF China is finally going to be determined as the #1 and #2 overall pick of the season face off. Ning finished both his fights on TUF China via KO, while Yang primarily relies on his submissions. I will side with Ning, though it’s merely just a flip of the coin.

Preliminary Card

Wang Sai def. Danny Mitchell – I went back and forth on this pick probably more than any other fight on this card. I sided with Sai mainly due to his homefield advantage. Mitchell is as scrappy as they come, and he has legit submissions, which has been a sore spot at times for Sai. Yet, if the UFC really wants China to get behind the sport, the need for homegrown athletes is paramount. For that reason, I am guessing UFC matchmaker Joe Silva booked Sai in a fight he feels he can win.
Alberto Mina def. Shinsho Anzai – Mina is finally set to make his UFC debut, but he sure has had to go through his fair share of drama to get there. From a prior Bellator contract, injuries, Zak Cummings missing weight, and now a last minute opponent change, Mina finally gets to step inside the octagon. He faces a relatively unknown, yet rising Japanese prospect Anzai. I haven’t watched much film on Anzai, but I do know Mina’s game, and I’m sticking with him to win via submission.
Yuta Sasaki def. Roland Delorme – I originally was about to side with Delorme, but I watched a little film, and once again remembered why Sasaki is one of the rising phenoms in Japan. This is still a tough fight for Sasaki’s debut, but Delorme’s lack of striking should allow Sasaki the freedom to take risks. As long as he can avoid Delorme’s submission attempts, I see him winning via decision.
Colby Covington def. Wang Anying – Colby Covington was my #2 Welterweight prospect prior to signing with the UFC. His wrestling is off the charts, and he trains daily at American Top Team. The word has been spreading about his immense potential. Covington should have no problem taking Anying down and doing what he wants with him.
Royston Wee def. Yao Zhikui – Another flip of the coin type fight as there’s not a whole lot of video available on these two guys. This is the type of fight that shows just how much the UFC has watered down their roster. I’ll take Wee.
Milana Dudieva def. Elizabeth Phillips – Phillips proved ultra-tough in her debut, but I will still take experience over toughness in this one.

Welcome to the UFC Cain Carrizosa

The UFC adds another Cain to their roster. Joining UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, will be Lightweight Cain Carrizosa. Carrizosa is set to face fellow newcomer Chris Wade at UFC 177. Carrizosa was my #27 Lightweight prospect prior to signing with the UFC. He’s definitely a powerhouse-type fighter with great size for the division, standing 6’0 tall.

Carrizosa has never competed outside of California, having primarily competed for the Tachi Palace Fights promotion. He also fought once on a Bellator undercard in 2013. Carrizosa hasn’t faced top-level competition thus far in his career. The biggest name under his belt is a 2011 decision win over Featherweight prospect Daniel Romero.

To see Carrizosa in action, check out some fight footage below:


UFC Fights for August – Sorted by Weight Class

Anthony Hamilton vs. Ruan Potts

Light Heavyweight

Michael Bisping vs. Cung Le
Francis Carmont vs. Thales Leites
Lorenz Larkin vs. Derek Brunson

Tyron Woodley vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Mike Pyle vs. Jordan Mein
Ben Saunders vs. Chris Heatherly
Alex Garcia vs. Neil Magny
Danny Mitchell vs. Wang Sai
Alberto Mina vs. Shinsho Anzai
Colby Covington vs. Wang Anying

Benson Henderson vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Tony Ferguson vs. Danny Castillo
James Vick vs. Valmir Lazaro
Ramsey Nijem vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
Yancy Medeiros vs. Justin Edwards
Tony Martin vs. Beneil Dariush
Zhang Lipeng vs. Brendan O’Reilly

Max Holloway vs. Clay Collard
Tom Niinimaki vs. Chas Skelly
Ning Guangyou vs. Jianping Yang
Royston Wee vs. Yao Zhikui

T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao
Joe Soto vs. Anthony Birchak
Roland Delorme vs. Yuta Sasaki
Matt Hobar vs. Aaron Phillips

Scott Jorgensen vs. Henry Cejudo
Wilson Reis vs. Joby Sanchez

Women’s Bantamweight
Shayna Baszler vs. Bethe Correia
Milana Dudieva vs. Elizabeth Phillips

Welcome to the UFC Chris Wade

The UFC has signed Ring of Combat Lightweight champion Chris Wade. Wade is set to debut against fellow newcomer Cain Carrizosa at UFC 177. Wade was my #18 Lightweight prospect after recently defeating #19 Lightweight prospect and recent WSOF signing Frankie Perez.

Wade’s only career loss was to Ozzy Dugulubgov in the World Series of Fighting promotion. In that fight, he was routinely overpowered and taken down. All 7 of his other career fights have come under the Ring of Combat promotion, which was once home to Chris Weidman, Uriah Hall, and a plethora of former and current UFC stars. Wade trains alongside UFC Featherweight Dennis Bermudez and rising prospect Gregor Gillespie.

Below you will find a couple of videos of Wade in action:

The UFC is screwing up Eddie Alvarez’s debut

Eddie Alvarez, Photo Credit: Sherdog.com

Finally, Eddie Alvarez is making his way to the UFC. Alvarez has been a perennial Top 10 fighter, and has arguably been the top fighter outside the UFC for a number of years.

With news coming out that Bellator released Alvarez, his signing with the UFC was a given. Considering UFC Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is booked to face Gilbert Melendez, Alvarez wasn’t going to walk right into the UFC and fight for the title. Yet, instead of booking Alvarez against T.J. Grant this Fall, the UFC may have jumped the gun in having him face Donald Cerrone. A win over Cerrone could equate to an immediate title shot for Alvarez, but a loss is something the UFC seems to not be considering.

Why risk Alvarez losing to Cerrone, when they could have built Alvarez off a name like Diego Sanchez, Takanori Gomi, or Ross Pearson. I realize there are no easy fights in the UFC, but if the UFC truly wants to build new stars, why not build them up by having them face lesser opponents. I think a lot of us agree that Alvarez vs. Cerrone has Fight of the Year written all over it, but why rush it? The UFC could have easily had Cerrone face Bobby Green and Alvarez face Ross Pearson. Both guys win, and then they face off for a title shot against the winner of Pettis-Melendez. The timing would have been perfect. Now, the winner of Cerrone-Alvarez will likely have to wait a considerable amount of time for a potential title shot. Yet, what bugs me the most is the loser of Alvarez-Cerrone completely becomes irrelevant in the title picture.