Compiled by MMAWeekly Staff
What will the first ever UFC show in California bring this weekend? A monster live gate and big pay per view buys are likely. The return of Tito Ortiz will be big, but being able to fight in his backyard of California should translate to big numbers for the UFC.
Below is a viewers guide with a few things to watch for at UFC 59 from Anaheim, California.
Tito Ortiz Vs. Forrest Griffin – Griffin may surprise some people here. It’s been a forgone conclusion in most forums that Ortiz will smoke the TUF 1 star. Ortiz always has the potential to do that in every fight, but an interesting note is that MMAWeekly’s Frank Trigg is just one of the guys who has spent time training with Griffin in Las Vegas and says Griffin was walking around at 225 pounds for most of this training camp and is much stronger than most think. Griffin’s stand up is also better than Ortiz. Is Ortiz overlooking Griffin for his fight against Shamrock in July? This fight could be a lot better than most think. We find out this weekend.
Andrei Arlovski Vs. Tim Sylvia – Everyone is expecting another Arlovski demolition early in Round 1, but this is why this fight won’t be over in under a minute like the last one. Sylvia, we believe, won’t just walk into the fire like he in their first meeting. If you look at Sylvia’s two losses of his career against Frank Mir and Andrei, it was Sylvia making mistakes of being too aggressive and reckless in those fights.
Tim rushed in and followed Mir to the ground in a fight he didn’t need to. Instead of chasing Mir to the ground if Sylvia chooses to stand and trade it could have been a much different fight. For this rematch, look for Big Tim to pick his shots and be more patient much like he did against Telligman. If Sylvia doesn’t force the action it may make this title fight much more compelling. On the flip side did Andrei train for this fight after what happened last time? We are hearing early rumors he may not have. Overconfidence vs a Hungry fighter is always a recipe for a good fight. While Sylvia may not win, we believe it will be a MUCH better fight this time around.
David Terrell Vs. Scott Smith – Maybe the best fight on the card you don’t know about. Smith, the WEC Champion, can knock you out with either hand. He has explosive power in his young 11-1 career. Terrell has had a variety of injuries, but is finally back in the UFC as he looks forward to his return to the Octagon. Terrell defintely has the experience and ground game to win, but will he choose to stand and trade? Terrell’s stand up is probably underrated so this has all the potential to be a very explosive fight.
Karo Parisyan Vs. Nick Thompson – Parisyan goes from a title shot against Matt Hughes to the forgotten man in just six months. An injury kept Parisyan away from a title shot against Hughes and now six months later he returns to the UFC and is finally fighting again. Thompson is a very underrated fighter and this won’t be an easy way to come back after an injury. Karo could struggle against Thompson.
Evan Tanner Vs. Justin Levens – Levens, a Marco Ruas student, has a ton of weapons and the ability to beat anyone in the division standing or on the ground. His only problem? He may be too young at this point of his career to fight Evan Tanner. Tanner, the former UFC Champion, is looking to make his quote “comeback” of sorts, after a tough back to back loss stretch against David Loiseau and Rich Franklin. Tanner is supposed to be in the best shape of his life and this could be a tough go for Levens who not only has to conquer Tanner but the butterflies of his first UFC. Still has the potential to be a sensational match.
Thiago Alves Vs. Derrick Noble – Alves is a great talent who got caught by Spencer Fisher at Ultimate Fight Night 2. Alves came back though defeating Ansar Chalangov at UFC 56. His opponent, Derrick Noble, actually upset Alves back in December of 2003 at the Absolute Fighting Championships as he took out Alves by rear naked choke. This is a rematch as Alves has wanted this fight for quite some time.
Nick Diaz Vs. Sean Sherk – Rumor has it this is the last fight for Sherk at 170 as he will move down to the 155 pound division. Will this be the last fight for Diaz in the UFC if he loses? Diaz is always very exciting, Sherk needs a win after he was taken out by Georges St. Pierre. Sherk will have to stay very busy with ground n pound after he takes down Diaz in this fight. Diaz is always dangerous on the ground with his submissions, so Sherk will not only have to take Diaz down, but he will have to watch out for submissions once in the guard. It’s a must win for both fighters as the loser has a losing streak in the UFC.
Marcio ‘Pe De Pano’ Cruz Vs. Jeff Monson – From everything we’ve heard, this winner of this fight gets the title shot vs Arlovski. Both fighters have looked impressive in their last few appearances and this is a rematch from their Abu Dhabi submission grappling days. The one thing to watch for in this fight is the stand up game. Neither one of these fighters has great stand up, so whomever can get the edge standing, could ultimately win this fight. No one will question their ground games as they are light years ahead of any UFC Heavyweight, but let’s see who looks better on their feet which will tell us a lot about this fight.
Terry Martin Vs. Jason Lambert – Don’t know if anyone has noticed, but Jason Lambert has 20 wins, including 11 of his last 12. In that time, his only loss at 205 was to Chael Sonnen who we’ve learned is a very good fighter. Lambert has been very good as of late and will try to continue the hot streak against Terry Martin. Speaking of streaks, Martin is 12-1 with his only loss coming to James Irvin due to a crazy flying knee at UFC 55. Martin could be undefeated if he didn’t catch the knee in a fight he was clearly dominating. Martin has knocked out most of his opponents as he has very good stand up. Will he have good enough take down defense against Lambert? We should know if he does by the early first round. This one has all the makings of a very good fight.