Very Detailed UFC 61 Preview, Shamrock-Ortiz II, & More
By Ryan Clark | July 07, 2006
Picking this one is hard to do, simply because there's so many different ways this fight could end up. General instinct tells me Edwards will be able to avoid Stevenson's takedowns, and he'll beat him up on the feet either leading to a stoppage at some point, or a one-sided decision. Stevenson is fighting at 155 lbs. in the UFC for his first time, after fighting a weight class above his regular fighting weight just to get on the Ultimate Fighter reality show and into the UFC permanently. One loss in his real UFC debut, and Stevenson thought twice about remaining at 170 lbs. Edwards is a former 170 lb. fighter himself, so moving down for Stevenson doesn't guarantee him any statistical or physical advantage over Edwards. It just guarantees him fighting to the best of his ability, at his natural weight. With him fighting who he's fighting, and the fact that he's coming in off a loss, you can bet Stevenson trained his hardest and barring any unmentioned injuries, he'll be the best Joe Stevenson possible on Saturday night. However, Yves is also coming off a loss that set him back quite a bit in a division that he was expected to be king of whenever the dust settled. Now, he's got to regain those expectations from the fans, and fighting a determined Joe Stevenson is a tough obstacle to overcome. Prediction - Yves Edwards by decision. This should be a very good fight, the styles scream entertainment.
Frank Mir vs. Dan Christison
This one is pretty interesting. Obviously the main focus is on Frank Mir and where he stands. Is he going to be the same fighter he was before his motorcycle accident? An even better question is what kind of fighter was he before the accident? Prior to the accident, everyone labeled Mir as a guy who kind of quits when things don't go his way. Everyone pointed to the Ian Freeman fight, a fight he was expected to win pretty easily, where he just about shut down as soon as his gameplan failed and he found himself on the receiving end of some brutal ground and pound. No one seems to be drawing the comparison from that to the Marcio Cruz fight. Everyone just jotted the Cruz fight down as a fight Mir shouldn't have taken yet due to not being fully recovered from his accident. It was almost identical though. Mir came in a pretty heavy favorite, immediately things weren't going his way, he was taking punishment, and he just kind of hung on as long as he could until he couldn't any longer. His facial expressions, his body language, it was all reminiscent of the Ian Freeman fight. This is Mir's last chance to show people a sign that they were right in pointing to his early return in the Cruz fight as the reason for it ending up the way it did. If he loses here, everyone is going to write him off. There will be a lot of know-it-alls who all of a sudden start bringing up the Ian Freeman fight, drawing the comparison to the Cruz fight, and sprinkling on top whatever juicy conclusions we can draw from the Christison fight once it's over. That's looking at things from the "what if Mir" loses file. Odds are (literally, check any of your favorite gambling websites) Mir wins this one.
In all fairness, I have seen Christison but I'll make the same claim I did with most of the "unknowns" in the prelim line-up, in that I haven't seen enough of him to really gauge his chances here with Mir. Obviously most expect Mir to submit the guy, myself included, but really that's just going on the logic that Mir is 100 percent healthy and determined. Another factor people overlook, Mir's motivation to be a professional fighter. It wasn't all that long ago that Mir was contemplating retirement. A loss here, I wouldn't doubt for one second that those same rumors resurface. Christison is a big guy in terms of size, but that's nothing new to Mir. He's got some impressive wins, but also carries the dreaded double-losing efforts to a past-his-prime Dan Severn on his record. So he's a mixed bag in terms of expectations. The key wins look good enough that on paper would make you think he could beat Mir, but again most people don't really break things down they just kind of look at how good this fighter is, how good this fighter is, and here's who wins because this guy is better than the other guy. More than ever, in the case with the current Frank Mir, that equation won't work. You have to look at the styles, and like I said I don't know enough about Christison's style. Yes, this is all a big build up to an excuse for me making a blind pick. I'll take Frank Mir by early submission.