For my few MMA readers out there, I would like to formally introduce you all to Mauricio"Shogun" Rua. If this video doesn't get you jacked up (all 6 minutes of it), check your pulse, asshole. I don't think your alive.
This weekend, UFC 76 comes to Southern California's Honda Center in Anaheim,CA. I am very excited for this event for several reasons, but mostly because it will actually be my first live UFC event. I can't say I would have attended under any circumstance, but the debut of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua is probably the reason I decided to go and not just order it in HD. Anyways, here are matches to watch and why this event is gonna be "the shit."
Chuck Liddell vs. Keith Jardine: This match is happening because recently signed Pride light heavyweight Wanderlai Silva chose to return to the UFC to face Liddell in December, instead of this weekend. Dana White then threw Liddell a bone, in Keith Jardine. But then again, Liddell didn't fare well in his 90 seconds in the Octagon with Rampage.This fight matches 2 strikers who will throw blows until someone falls. How did Jardine get this fight after being KTFO by Houston Alexander? Beats me. Nevertheless, there should be fireworks as Liddell is once again hungry. Liddell by TKO in Round 2.
Forrest Griffin vs. Mauricio Rua: The long awaited arrival of Pride superstar "Shogun" is finally upon us. I have been touting this guy for a long, long time. As a member of the World Famous Chute Boxe Academy, Rua is well versed in every style of MMA. He is truly a "lion" in the ring or the cage. Forrest Griffin is still looking for his first big-time win after a cult following from his TUF days. While Griffin puts on exciting fights and will no doubt be the favorite and have come crowd advantage, I just don't see this night going well for him. I think this fight will go to the 2nd round at least. There are too many nerves for this fight to end in the first. It will be interesting to see how Shogun adjusts to the Octagon and to the UFC rules. Remember, no soccer kicks or stomps in the UFC, and believe me, that hurts Rua. But there are elbows and that is just another weapon that Shogun has added to his arsenal. If Griffin wins this, he puts himself back into the mix for the light heavyweight title. If Shogun wins, I think he and Liddell might fight, or one of the two will fight Rampage for the title. Shogun via submission in 2nd round.
Diego Sanchez vs. John Fitch: Diego is looking to get back into the mix after losing his first fight to Josh Koscheck. He is hungry and has the talent to be the champion in the 170lb division. But Jon Fitch is going to bring it and has the ground skills and striking to make this fight interesting. If Jon Fitch wins, he will definitely put himself in position for a title shot. We all know Diego's ground game is vicious, but will he be able to stand toe to toe with Jon Fitch? My guess is an emphatic yes. Diego wins via TKO in the 2nd.
There are other great fights Saturday as Matt "Handsome" Wiman from TUF Season 5 steps into the Octagon with Michihiro Omigawa and Tiego Tavares squares off with Tyson Griffin. It has been a long month for the UFC with the 3rd pay-per-view, UFC Fight Night, and TUF season debut, and I have no doubt that 76 will keep everyone satisfied until 77 in October. If you are a gambling man, click here for Performify's 76 picks.