Monday, June 30, 2008

July PPV Battle Main Card: UFC 86 vs Affliction: Banned

The 2 big questions remaining in the in the UFC 86 vs. Affliction: Banned PPV battle are whether or not Affliction: Banned has a better main card than UFC 86 and, if so, whether that makes up for UFC 86 having a better main event.

When looking at the 2 cards, 1 thing immediately stands out in Affliction's favor. Affliction: Banned has 5 main card, non-main event fights vs UFC 86's 4.

The fights:

Cote vs Almeida or Barnett vs Rizzo

Cote vs Almeida - Cote has managed to shed his "big talent, but can't win in the UFC" label by winning his last 3 UFC fights, all of which were against quality competition. Cote has looked better with each fight, and the last 2 have shown off the heavy hands he was always hyped as having.
The only thing I know about Almeida is that he returned to MMA after a 4 year lay-off and managed to score an impressive first round submission.
I'm really interested in this fight. Its a big fight for both guys. If either guy scores a big, decisive (ie. non-decision) win, he might leap-frog Yushin Okami for a title shot.

Barnett vs Rizzo - Barnett is a rarity, a heavyweight with a ground game. He's one of the top heavyweights in the world (#4 if you believe WAMMA's rankings
Rizzo is your more typical big striker heavyweight. He used to be one of the top heavies in the world, but, at 34, he's starting to move past his prime.
I can't get that excited about this fight. Partially because I'm not a big fan of the heavyweight division (slow & one-dimensional).

Edge: UFC 86

Stevenson vs Tibau or Arlovski vs Rothwell

Stevenson vs Tibau - Stevenson is probably near the top of the lightweight ladder in the UFC. He faired as poorly against BJ Penn as most lightweights which ended his fairly impressive 4 win streak.
Tibau is also coming off a loss that snapped a win streak. Only his loss was to Tyson Griffin, and his win streak was only 3 wins.
I'm not that interested in either fighter. However, this fight should remind people how entertaining the ground game can be.

Arlovski vs Rothwell - Rothwell completely dominated the IFL's heavyweight division, and I'm really interested in seeing him take on higher level competition. Unfortunately, he's fighting Arlovski.
Going into Sylvia vs Arlovski 2, Arlovski had walked through he last 6 opponents and looked poised to dominate the heavyweight division for years. Then, he drops Sylvia with a big overhand right & moves in to finish Sylvia off, only his hands are a bit too low & Sylvia rebounds and finishes Arlovski with strikes. Since that fight, Arlovski has moved onto my "I won't pay to watch list" with uninspiring decisions against Sylvia & Werdum where he's looked extremely hesitant. Granted he's also stopped Cruz and O'Brien, but neither of them are top tier fighters.
WAMMA considers this to be a battle between the #6 & #9 heavyweights in the world, and I'm interested in how Rothwell will fair against top tier competition and whether or not Arlovski can regain his championship form. But, I can't bring myself to get excited about this fight. I can't shake the feeling that its going to be a lot of circling & jabbing.

Edge: UFC 86

Koscheck vs Lytle or Lindland vs Nascmento

Koscheck vs Lytle - Koscheck is the inaugural member of my "I won't pay to watch" list. He's getting better & moving away from his lay & pray roots, but he's still on the list.
Lytle's been fighting with a sense of urgency lately. He's 33 which means if he wants to make a title run, he needs to do that now. He seems to not only understand this, but to also realize that the fastest way to move up the ladder is to finish fights.
Lytle very entertaining fighter, Koscheck an "I won't pay to watch" fighter.

Lindland vs Nascimento - What can you say about Lindland? He's been fighting for over 10 years. He's a middleweight, but he'll fight anyone, anywhere. Hell, his last fight was against Fedor Emelianenko. He's a main card (& occasional main event) fighter that constantly bounces from promotion to promotion.
I've got nothing on Nascimento. I couldn't even find the guy on Wikipedia.

Edge: Affliction: Banned. That's how serious I am about the "I won't pay to watch" list. I'll take a fight with someone I know absolutely nothing about over a fight with someone on the list.

Griffin vs Aurelio or Nogueira vs White

Griffin vs Aurelio - This fight should exemplify my love/hate relationship with the lightweight division. It should be a very exciting, fast paced fight which will end in a decision.

Nogueira vs White - A very good light heavyweight who had a fantastic run in Pride vs a journeyman with a losing record. Why is a fight this lopsided on paper a part of Affliction's first PPV? My guess, Nogueira's there to provide star power & White's there because people know who he is and Nogueira needs an opponent.

Edge: UFC

Praying for undercard matches or Sobral vs Whitehead

Sobral vs Whitehead - This could be my favorite fight on the Affliction: Banned main card. Whitehead dominated the IFL and it'll be interested to watch he take on higher level competition. Sobral is a very good light heavy and proves that even guys weighing over 200 lbs can have a great/entertaining ground game.

Edge: Affliction: Banned

Thursday, June 26, 2008

July PPV Battle: UFC 86 vs Affliction: Banned

July features 2 big pay-per-view events, UFC 86 Jackson vs. Griffin and Affliction: Banned. Which PPV should the MMA fan with a budget buy?

Main Event: Jackson vs. Griffin or Emelianenko vs. Sylvia

Jackson vs. Griffin is guaranteed to have better post fight interviews, but what about the fight itself?

Quinton Jackson is a very talented and very entertaining fighter. His fights are typically exciting whether he's standing & throwing (see either Liddell fight, but preferably the first one in Pride) or picking guys up slamming them & working his ground & pound (see the insane highlight of him powerbombing Ricardo Arona). Yeah, its been 10 months since his last fight, and that would worry me, if I was betting on him (which I still might do, depending on the line). But, he's had long lay-offs before fights before & been ok.

Forrest Griffin is a very entertaining fighter. With the possible exception of the second fight against Stephen Bonnar, his fights are fast-paced & entertaining. He's not unskilled. I didn't refer to him as very talented because I'm still trying to get a grasp as to how good he is. I thought I had his skill level pegged, good enough to be a mid-card fighter in a top tier promotion/good enough to be a champion with a smaller promotion, but then he beat Mauricio Rua. Now, I think he might be good enough to be a champion in a top-tier promotion.

Fedor Emelianenko is the fighter I'm the most interested in watching. Lot's of serious MMA fans swear he's the greatest fighter ever, and he has a fantastic record. I've only seen his fights that made it onto Foxsport's Pride FC Fedor Emelianenko Special (the episode of the now defunct show on Foxsports showing highlights from Pride that was dedicated to Fedor). Truthfully, I was unimpressed with Fedor. Maybe, I was expecting too much because I'd heard so much Fedor hype. Fedor looked very good, but not greatest ever good. So, I really want to watch him fight. Unfortunately...

Tim Sylvia currently resides at the top of my "I won't pay to watch" list. Sylvia's record indicates that he used to be an interesting fighter to watch. But, after the 2nd Andrei Arlovski fight (or possibly after the Tra Telligman fight) he switched to an "effective"/cautious style. He uses his reach/size to outpoint his opponents either by keeping them at a distance with his jab or wearing on them against the cage. Of his last 5 fights, 4 have gone to decision. And, only one of those decisions didn't draw lots of boo's/criticism for its slow pace (the loss to Couture). Hell, during the Vera fight, Joe Rogan because completely biased, screaming for Vera to circle to his right. Tim's new philosophy on fighting can be summed by his post fight interview after his uninspiring 5 round unanimous decision over Jeff Monson. He was asked about people booing him/booing during the fight and his reply was, and I'm paraphrasing, "it doesn't matter, I won."

Despite my interest in watching Fedor fight, UFC 86 definitely holds an edge in the main event.

That's it for this week. Next week, I'll break down the rest of the pay-per-view main event cards & decide on the winning PPV.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hooray for Harley Davidson

Thank you Harley Davidson for letting everyone watch the Hazelett vs. Burkman fight for free on It'd be nice if Harley Davidson has started a new trend with advertisers sponsoring the unaired fights so they can be seen for free.
I'd argue this gives companies a greater return on their advertising dollars than having their logo in the octagon or sponsoring the fight clock. Having your logo in the ring/on the clock graphic means people see your logo a lot, but people don't view you as doing anything for them. People don't see your logo as much when you sponsor an unaired fight, but they view your company as giving them something for free. Let's put it this way, I have no clue who's logo was in the center of the octagon on Saturday night, but I'll always remember that Harley Davidson let me watch a fight for free.
Thanks Harley Davidson.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Welcome to Budget MMA Blog


Budget MMA Blog is amazingly enough a blog devoted to following MMA while on a budget. Following MMA while on a budget means buying no more than 1 pay-per-view per month, not subscribing to VOD/Fight-on-Demand/Fight Achieves, and not spending all day searching the Internet for free fight videos.

Budget MMA is all about taking advantage of the MMA available on free TV. Luckily, there's a ton of free MMA right now. There's Strikeforce on NBC, EliteXC on CBS, UFC Unleash, TUF, Ultimate Fight Night Live, etc. on Spike, IFL on Foxsports, & Iron Ring was just on BET.

About the author/blogger: I saw the first few UFC Tournaments on VHS when I was about 10. After that, I didn't follow MMA for various reasons (ie. time/money). Until, the dawn of the current Budget MMA golden age/the first season of The Ultimate Fighter.

Here's to hoping this blog lasts longer than 3 months.