Thursday, August 6, 2009

UFC 101: Pepper vs. Echo- Genesis

UFC 101 is here and that means it’s time to throwdown. Some of you will recall a certain Pesky Pepper calling me out last month, challenging staticEchoes to a sort of “he said, she said” battle, the idea for which was lovingly stolen from Cagepotato's Ben vs. Ben.

I've spent the past month training and feel confident in my ability to out-“call” Mrs. Pepper. Many-a blogger have fallen victim to my patented triple finger key tap and I can backspace like a bastard, so I hope she's bringing her "A" game.

Here’s the main fight card:
--Josh “The Dentist” Neer vs. Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino
--Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove vs. Richard “Big Dog” Almeida
--Amir “Powda Keg” Sadollah vs. Johny “Ham Sammich” Hendricks
--Anderson “The Spider” Silva vs. Forrest “Open car doors” Griffin
--BJ “The Prodigy” Penn vs. Kenny “KenFlo” Florian

Let’s get it on!

Josh Neer/Kurt Pellegrino
Josh “no one’s tougher than the Orphans” Neer vs. Kurt “Mineral Water Only” Pellegrino. Neer’s a little bit thick. Saying Nick and Nate Diaz are the same fighter? That’s like saying Hans Gruber is the same kind of villain as the Joker. I didn’t like that about him. Doesn’t matter which Diaz though, bro, you got knocked the eff on your a** by both. Neer is slightly more experienced than Mr. Fancy Italian Water, and though Kurt seems like he really wants it, I have to see myself swaying for Neer.

Echo: I’m surprised to see we disagree right from the start. First of all, am I the only one that finds it humorous a guy nicknamed “The Dentist” is going to be fighting a guy who is best known for winning a fight after having a tooth knocked out of his skull? Anyway, Neer has been in the game quite a while and has some knockout power, but Pellegrino can take a punch and is quite comfy on the ground. Depending on whether or not this fight stays standing will be a huge deciding factor and, personally, I see Pellegrino bringing it to the mat where he will quickly break between one and three of Neer’s limbs.

Kendall Grove/Ricardo Almeida
Echo: Into fight two and we have Kendall Grove battling Ricardo Almeida. After winning The Ultimate Fighter 3, Grove has been learning from the best and built a good ground game. His chin, though, is suspect. Unfortunately for Almeida, the guy’s got no strength behind those mits, so Grove’s weakness is moot. Both enjoy submitting their opponent, but Grove desperately wants to keep a forward momentum following a sloppy start to his UFC career. I hate his nickname, but I see Grove winning this one.

Pepper: I am trying very hard to not make Dentist, waiting room, “sit back and breath the gas” jokes here, and you're not helping by bringing it up once again! Almeida seems to have the heart. It’s tough to say just by watching the pre-fight video who wants it more, because they’re both so relaxed, but it seems like Almeida has done his homework. Unfortunately it still seems his only objective is to get Grove to the ground, but he knows that the six inch height advantage for Grove will make it tough. He had enough foresight to train with super tall guys, and he recognizes that he has to work hard because Grove isn’t someone who will just rollover. But I am hoping in the rough and tumble Almeida will be victorious. Extremely bloody, but victorious.

Amir Sadollah/Johny Hendricks
Amir “The Surgeon” Sadollah vs. Johny “Teach Me Something I Don't Know” Hendricks. LMAO. That’s what I have to say to both of them. Sadollah called his favorite techniques “deliciously painful,” while Hendricks replied that his favorite technique was an eloquently succinct “punch in the face.” Seems like this might actually be a great match-up with two equal opponents. Sadollah seems like he has been waiting for a good challenge like this. Being Hendircks’ first UFC fight, he has a lot to prove, but he is up for it. I think that Amir might have a little bit of an advantage though.

Echo: I agree with you on the equality of the fighters here. Sadollah and Hendricks are about as green as they come and, both wanting to keep their early undefeated records going as long as possible, hopefully this fight will be all heart. I would give Hendricks the advantage, actually, but I know too little about these young fighters to give an honest call. For the sake of argument, I’m going with Sadollah.

Anderson Silva/Forrest Griffin
I think you would have to be crazy to call this fight in Griffin’s favor, and I doubt Mrs. Pepper is ready for a straightjacket, but I suppose we’ll find out in just a minute here. In the meantime, let me say that I would be totally fine with Griffin pulling off the upset. I love this guy. You can’t not love this guy. His heart is bigger than his body and, though he doesn’t like to show it, he’s a big thinker and knows the science of a fight. Silva, though, is as close to unbeatable as you can get. If anyone’s going to give him a run for his money it’s Griffin, and I’m hoping for a fantastic fight before Silva finds a way to embed a knee in Griffin’s skull. No matter what happens, I seriously doubt Silva will get the opportunity to dance around again. Griffin will push the fight, and Silva will push right back…But I really would like to see Griffin pull it off…But he won’t.

Pepper: Forrest “F**kin’” Griffin. Just scroll down and look at his fighter pic on He’s so goofy he has finally won me over. That doesn’t mean I'm going to rally against the original Spider, though. None of that missspelt “Da Spyder” crap Kendall Grove is pushing. However, I am going to firmly plant myself on the fence for this one. Maybe they can both knock each other out, or both decide the fight is silly and go play bumper cars and get milkshakes. I don’t want either of them to lose.

BJ Penn/Kenny Florian
Pepper: Lastly, we have BJ “Fox and the Grapes” Penn vs. Kenny “I Believe You Have My BEEEEEEEEELT!” Florian. That yell Florian does in the pre-fight videos cracks me up. I am rooting for KenFlo, that’s all there is to this one. I don't know if it's all the whine he made with his sour grapes, but BJ Penn just rubs me the wrong way. I hope KenFlo hamburgerizes him, shuts him up, whatever. I’d rather see someone who feels they have to work extremely hard to attain a goal have that belt.

Echo: Oh snap! As for me, hopefully we’re looking at another dynamite bout. (Assuming Silva/Griffin is dynamite, of course.) Both Penn and Florian are top-notch combatants and both have a good reason to win this one. Penn, so he can prove he’s not ready to retire. Florian, to prove he’s a champion-caliber fighter. I have a bad feeling Penn might be out of this one mentally, but if he comes in confident, his experience is going to guide him straight through Florian. The man executes brilliantly and, if he can get the upper hand, he’s not going to lose it.

(Thanks for reading and please remember to check out for Pepper’s post on UFC 101. Feel free to hang around and give her full blog a look-see as well. Or else.)

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