UFC 204 – Ricks Picks

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A Huge event in the UK MMA calendar is happening on Saturday

Michael Bisping, of Manchester, England defends his title against a previous nemesis, Dan Henderson. Back at UFC 100, Hendo knocked out Bisping with one of the most vicious punches and follow-up hammer fists you’re likely to see in MMA. Does Hendo deserve the title shot? Nope. Does the UFC owe it to him? Maybe, does anyone other than the top 5 Middleweights give a shit? Nope. It’s happening, though, and interestingly it’ll also be Hendo’s swansong, as he has reached the ripe old age of 46 and declared that this, regardless of the outcome, will be his last fight.

Let’s have a look at some of the fights:

Stefan Struve vs Daniel Omielanzuk

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Struve has had an up and down career, to say the least. Though he does hold a win over current heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. Currently coming off a win against Antonio Silva, he’ll be very happy to be fighting in front of a European crowd again. His opponent (let’s call him Omie) is a polish heavyweight who looks like he’d eat your cat. Every time he’s taken a slight step up in competition he’s come up short but is currently flying a 3 fight win streak. I think overall Struve’s experience will be key here. If Struve decides to use his reach to his advantage for once (matched in wingspan only by Jon Jones) this is his fight to lose. Should he get sloppy and excited he could walk right into a KO, something he’s done plenty of times in the past, but I’ve got a feeling he’s matured since training over with The Blackzilians in Florida, he should walk it.

Ovince Saint Preux Vs Jimi Manuwa

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OSPs latest fight against Jon Jones, a loss, actually was pretty much a win from him. He broke his arm at some point early in the fight, and continued on, and still showed he is a creative yet powerful striker. Every time Manuwa has stepped up against top 5 competition he’s been knocked out in the second round. Firstly against Gustaffson, Secondly against knockout legend Anthony Johnson. If he’s conditioned himself correctly, Manuwa could see this through all three rounds and scrape a decision, but, I think OSP will clinch it. He’s too smart to get knocked out by Manuwa, and his body kicks will suck the life out of him. If he implements his wrestling, which I feel is superior to Manuwas he’ll TKO him in the second.

Vitor Belfort Vs Gegard Mousasi

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Post-TRT Vitor has not been the same. That said, all he has focused on this camp is his conditioning. If Gegard can use his superior footwork to stay away from Vitors explosiveness in the first round, then he’ll take it. If he starts out slowly, though, as he usually does, Vitor could leap on him with one of his furious flurries and take him out. Which I think might just happen.

Bisping Vs Hendo

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What should happen in this fight? We all know, that what should happen is Bisping will outwork Hendo. He’ll avoid that H-bomb like the plague (nobody wants that to happen to them twice) and circle away, picking his shots and applying pressure when he feels necessary to edge out a safe 5 round win, he may even TKO him in the 4th, as Hendo is just that old and has taken so much damage that it could very easily wipe him out. That’s what should happen. What could happen, and what keeps happening, is that Hendo pulls back some insane power and smushes it right into somebody’s skull. I thought Hector Lombard was going to kill Dan Henderson. I also thought Shogun was going to kill Dan Henderson. Somehow, in those two fights he Hendo’d his way right through them and here we are. The magic of Hendo is that this could always happen. On his final every entrance to the octagon, fighting in his opponents hometown, at 46 years old, Dan Henderson could knock out Michael Bisping and become the Middleweight Champion of the world. If you’d told me this was even a possibility in January I’d have laughed you off the internet. Maybe even made a meme about you, but, here we are. Ain’t that magic. If I was a betting man , I’d go Bisping. But just for the fun of it, I’m going Hendo.

Please don’t use this blog as a tip on who or how to bet this weekend. I’ve been wrong plenty of times before. If you win, though, 10% is custom.

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