Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pick Your Poison : UFC 111

Before we start, I'd like to warn you that this UFC 111 preview piece contains spoilers from the kung fu classic Five Deadly Venoms. If you haven't seen the movie already, please proceed with caution.

In my earlier post "The Poison Clan Reborn in UFC 111", I compared Dan Hardy to the Scorpion from The Five Deadly Venoms, for his fast, accurate and powerful long-range striking. Hardy is also a Scorpion in the sense that he can sneak up on people with his underdog's hunger.

Sun Chien the Scorpion flashing the smile of an assassin

Among the Poison Clan members, the Scorpion is the easily the sneakiest. He pretends to be the upstanding Constable Ma - even though he has an eye on the hidden riches of wealthy ex-Clansman Yuen, who is murdered by the Centipede and Snake in a failed robbery attempt.

The Scorpion stops at nothing to get to this secret treasure : The bandit in a police suit uses his position of power and underhanded methods to identify and eliminate rivals and obstacles. Although he keeps his identity a secret until the end, Constable Ma bides his time as a judge is bribed - and the Toad falsely accused of murder, then tortured and executed.

Treachery at its most sophisticated
from Five Deadly Venoms

Under the cover of official duty or his mask, the Scorpion discretely intervenes at opportune moments, managing to stir the pot to the point where Venoms are fighting Venoms to the death.

But not everyone is as corrupt as Constable Ma. In fact, his underling Ho happens to be an honest policeman who seeks to bring justice to those who killed Yuen. Ho - who is actually the Lizard - even combines forces with Yang Tieh, the jack of all trades (but master of none) sent by the Venoms' master to eliminate the evil Clansmen by collaborating with the honorable.

Moreover, when bad karma strikes the Scorpion, Centipede and Snake - and greed gets in the way of common sense - the plot is all but over.

In the end, regardless of how cunning and deadly his plan is, the Scorpion fails because he is confronted by a juggernaut.

Like how Dan Hardy was the Scorpion in "The Poison Clan Reborn in UFC 111", Georges St. Pierre is "the juggernaut of the (UFC's) welterweight division" :

Simply put, GSP is the juggernaut of the welterweight division. He can punch and kick from afar like the Scorpion.

He may not be the fighter with a Thousand Hands like the Centipede, but St. Pierre's uncanny timing gives opponents fits. He has also built a Toad-like fortification with his invincible conditioning and wrestling.

Moreover, GSP glides through the ground game when he transforms into a snake, turning into a lizard when he flips in the air after a victory.

Without a doubt, "Scorpion" Dan Hardy will have his hands and feet full against "Juggernaut" Georges St. Pierre.

I like Dan Hardy for his straightforwardness, but I think this title fight against GSP will be a case where it would've helped if he was actually sneaky - rather than simply having the ability to sneak up on people as the underdog.

Hardy is tough, so I don't think he'll just get his ass handed to him. In fact, I think he'll give GSP a good fight. It's just that I think he'll go home disappointed on Saturday night.

If you think the combined force of the Lizard and Yang Tieh is deadly, wait until you see the Lizard, Toad and Yang Tieh together. Because that's what GSP is as a fighter - and more.

Georges St. Pierre may not be as good a pure striker as Dan Hardy, but backed by his takedowns and overall feel for the MMA game, GSP's striking can become just as deadly. And while you never know what a blow with Dan Hardy's fight-ending power could do, I'm not betting against GSP on this one.

I think Dan Hardy will keep Georges St. Pierre at bay with his striking and toughness at first, but the more GSP's takedowns sap his energy, the more vulnerable he'll become on the ground : Georges St. Pierre over Dan Hardy via submission, Round 3.

As for Mir-Carwin, I like Frank Mir over Shane Carwin in Round 1, via submission : Mir may be no Muhammad Ali, but he's been getting better on his feet, especially with his combinations and timing. If he could tag an agile striker like Cheick Kongo with ease, he'll certainly get to Carwin's jaw early and often.

With the mass he's put on, Mir can drop Carwin, who isn't nearly as agile or explosive as fellow behemoth Brock Lesnar. On the ground, he can constrict the former NCAA Division II Wrestling Heavyweight National Champion.

It helps to have a Toad's iron skin, but how useful is it against a quicker and slicker opponent who's smart enough to find a way to turn off its armor system? Just ask Joshua Clottey.


  1. honestly cant wait for GSP to shut up Dan Hardy.. Dan Hardy is NO competition for GSP … Thiago Alves is a better competitor than Dan Hardy and Alves got his pounded by GSP with a pulled groin. Dan Hardy is a JOKE!!

    In depth preview for UFC 111 with predictions, pictures and of course octagon girls.

    Mir/Carwin Hardy/GSP is the best card we have seen since UFC 100 (the
    last time GSP fought) and Hardy is talking lots of trash.
    GSP is a heavy favourite and by all means should dominate YET again..
    Carwin and Mir is gonna be ridiculous!! Think Carwin will knock him out? Hard to say, Mir has looked so much better and dominated Kongo but none of Carwins fights have went past 2:30 of round 1.. gonna be amazing!!

  2. On paper, GSP should destroy Hardy, but I have a feeling that Hardy won't just bawl over. Like his nickname "The Outlaw" indicates, Dan Hardy's a tough kid whose striking matches up favorably with GSP. And from what I remember, he also has a solid takedown defense and the ability to escape when taken down.

    That said, GSP is on a level of his own, so I still see him winning decisively when it's all said and done. After all, he took down BJ Penn, a great takedown defender with excellent balance, at will. Granted, Hardy's much bigger than Penn, but GSP's timing on takedowns are exquisite.

    As for Mir-Carwin, I think Mir is a little too slick and a little too versatile for Shane Carwin. While Mir hasn't made opponents go lights out with one punch, I think his bigger frame and improved striking technique and movement will help him drop Carwin early.

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