Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Don't Play With Fire

In my previous piece "The Living Hell of Michael Vick - Repentance," I went over how Mike Tyson did nothing but play with fire during his boxing career and how disgraced NFL star Michael Vick is in good hands compared to Tyson's predicament.

Well, even Mike Tyson's fate as a young man was child's play compared to the totally sinister accomplishments of former UFC fighter "Lightning" Lee Murray : If Mike Tyson was a severely misguided young man, then Lee Murray was straight from hell, getting involved with gangs as a youngster and advancing to the highest levels of professional fighting and criminality.

Murray's long rap sheet includes being accused of almost beating a motorist to death during a fit of road rage, getting into bar brawls (including one in which he almost died from a stabbing) and of course, the $92 million dollar heist, in which he and some heavily armed buddies commando-raided a Securitas depot to accomplish what became Britain's greatest cash robbery ever.

courtesy of ESPN

I know it's f***ed up, but the only reason I'm sorry to see Lee Murray locked up in Morocco is that I would've loved to see him in a rematch against Anderson Silva, because the type of fighter that would whoop Tito Ortiz in a street fight and try to take Anderson Silva's head off in the cage is precisely the kind that belongs.

Sure, Murray got schooled by Silva in their Cage Rage bout in 2004, but he had his moments. He may have been outclassed but he wasn't outfought, in the sense that he tried his best to take the fight to Silva.

Just like Murray's been playing with fire his whole life, Dana White and Zuffa are throwing three of their world class fighters - Kenny Florian, Forrest Griffin and Brian Bowles - into the respective hellacious furies of three of the most dominant fighters in MMA in BJ Penn, Anderson Silva and Miguel Torres.

I love KenFlo, but he's fighting BJ Penn at the worst possible time. BJ Penn is pissed off as hell after getting his ass kicked by Georges St. Pierre, and it's not like everything's cool between him and Florian either.

If you want to get technical, Florian's got some nice Muay Thai and sharp elbows, but I don't think he punches very hard. He's got nice footwork, but so does Penn. I see Penn being able to counter almost everything KenFlo throws at him and more in the standup game.

Since Penn's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is even better than Florian's considerable ability in that area, Florian's best chance is to outmaneuver Penn in the clinch, but ultimately, I just don't see it making much of a difference when the two square off at UFC 101 on Saturday night (10 PM ET, August 8, Pay-Per-View).

Kenny Florian is a tough, resilient dude, so I don't think he'll get knocked out or submitted, but I see him getting singed by BJ Penn via unanimous decision.

I see something similar happening to Forrest Griffin against Anderson Silva in the co-feature of UFC 101.

If you bet on Silva to lose against Griffin because he didn't look too good against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites, I fear the woe that will come upon you.

The Anderson Silva that we saw against James Irvin will come alive.

Forrest Griffin is not going to play possum just to avoid getting knocked out, which is precisely why I think Anderson Silva will knock him out on Saturday.

Griffin is the fighter with the heart and talent that will motivate to The Spider to bring out his best, and we all know what happens when Silva steps up to the plate.

Once Anderson Silva has worn out Forrest Griffin with his pressure and strikes from unexpected angles and rhythms, expect him to finish with a stoppage victory in Round 3.

Lastly, I hate to sound so dismissive of yet another gifted contender, but I don't think the well-rounded game of Brian Bowles is nearly good enough for the well-rounded game of Miguel Torres when Bowles challenges Torres for the WEC bantamweight title on Sunday August 9 (9 PM ET, Versus).

Both Torres and Bowles have heart and guts, so may the best man win : Miguel Torres via submission in Round 4.

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