If you like a good stand-up war, you’re probably going to see a few this weekend at UFC 110. Wanderlei Silva, Keith Jardine and Mirko Cro Cop all face opponents with decent ground games, but if have anything to say about it, there’s going to be a lot of standing and banging going on at UFC 110.
Wanderlei Silva plans to follow Dan Henderson’s blueprint on how to beat Michael Bisping.
“I’ve studied his game, I know all movements, I’m ready for him. I feel great. I feel my technique growing up; my cardio is amazing. I feel really, really, really good…Henderson gave me the way to beat him. I’m going to try to copy Henderson. I know the way to beat Bisping. I have a good game plan…In his head he thinks he’s going to get me with the takedown and want to fight me like he did in the second round with Denis Kang. It’s not going to happen. He’s going to need to fight with me in stand-up. He’s never going to take me to the ground. He has maybe one or two takedowns, a double-leg, and one other takedown. I’ve had a great opportunity to train with real good names, real good friends.”
Keith Jardine thinks Ryan Bader will try to beat him with his boxing before resorting to his wrestling.
“We’ll see where this fight is going to go. I think he’s going to try to stand with me honestly. He might force it to the ground, and if he’s really after those takedowns it’s going to end up on the ground eventually because he’s a two-time All-American. He’s a great wrestler. Maybe we’re going to see some of my grappling. It’s been a while since I’ve been underneath anybody for a good amount of time…I get a chance to test my skills now, and that’s the way I look at it, as a test. The guy throws very hard, very strong punches, but he’s a great wrestler and he hasn’t really used his wrestling yet. He might break it out for this fight, or he may not, but it’s an exciting test for me…I’ve been watching his boxing a lot in a couple of fights. He doesn’t bring a lot to the table boxing. He’s not very fancy, but what he does, he does extremely well. He has an extremely fast, hard overhand, harder than I think anybody in the UFC maybe. That’s pretty much his deal. If he touches you with that it’s going to hurt. That’s his deal, so I’ve been looking at that a little bit. I think it would be easier for me if his boxing was better because he’s going to throw punches at strange times and strange angles and it’s going to be hard for me to pick up the timing. The few things he does do, even though it’s a few things, he does them pretty well.”
Despite his recent performances, Cro Cop doesn’t think he should be underestimated.
“I went to Holland to train with K-1 fighters for over a month for this fight. It was very hard, very new to me. Now I am training with sparring partners who are nice people, sure, but not my friends. These are sparring partners who want to knock me out in sparring. In the Croatian media they said it was ‘life and death’ sparring — it was not quite life and death, but it was all out fighting, very hard. For every round, I had A-class fighters trying to knock me out…He is a big guy, much bigger and taller than I am. He is very tough as well. But I am ready. He is very good with ground and pound, but I am not worried about this. I am ready if it goes to the ground. But I do not think it will go to the ground. I think this will be a stand-up battle, the Fight of the Night…We will see. I am taking one fight at a time. But I don’t think anyone in the division should be underestimating me. I am not someone who should be underestimated. I have not had the results in my last fights, but I am still the man who won titles, won in PRIDE, and did what I did. It isn’t clever business to underestimate me.”
The one fight you can expect a ground war from is the main event. Considering Big Nog’s submission prowess you might expect Cain Velasquez to avoid Nog’s ground game and attempt to outstrike him. Not so says Cain. He’s spent this training camp getting comfortable in bad positions on the ground and believes he can beat Nogueira there. We’ll see, but one thing is certain: UFC 110 has the potential to be a great event chock full of highly entertaining fights.