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 Frank Trigg's Breakdown: Silva vs. Henderson part 1

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PostSubject: Frank Trigg's Breakdown: Silva vs. Henderson part 1   Sun 24 Feb 2008, 12:39 am



By Frank Trigg/MMAjunkie.com
With UFC 82 fast approaching us, we need to get in and break down the main event.

I know there are a bunch of fights to cover that would be great to analyze, but I have little time, and I don’t want to owe any of you the 20 minutes it will take you to ask your girlfriend or boyfriend to read this to you. Hopefully the words I use will be small enough for me to spell correctly.

UFC 82 is a great card, and with the Arnold Sports Festival simultaneously taking place, the Columbus card is worth the trip every year — even if it’s cold as a penguins in Ohio this time of the year.

In my best Bruce Buffer impression: “It’s time to begin the main event of the evening. The fighter standing to my right is a two-time Olympic wrestler, former PRIDE welterweight grand-prix winner, former middleweight and welterweight PRIDE champion, he stands 6-foot-0, and he weighs in at 184 pounds. He holds a record of 22 wins and 6 loses.

DAAANNNNNN HENNNDERSONNNNNN!
(I joke; Dan could weight in at 185 for all I know.)

What has Henderson done? Well, what hasn’t he done? He’s a two-time Olympic wrestler, the 2005 PRIDE Grand Prix winner, and the one and only guy to hold both the welterweight (185) and the middleweight (205) belts at the same time in PRIDE. He should be at the top of the heap at 185, and in my mind, only gets out-ranked by Matt Lindland. And after March 1, we’ll know if he gets out-ranked by Anderson Silva.

He KTFO’d Wanderlei Silva and took “Rampage” Jackson to a five-round decision — something not even the great Chuck Liddell could do. He is vicious and single-minded with his big overhand right. His cardio has always been lacking at 205, but it showed great improvement when he fought Rampage. His submission game is under-developed for such a great champ, but his defense to submissions is incredible.

However, Henderson’s best feature can and might be his biggest weakness: he is such a gifted athlete with incredible strength that he tends not to train hard for his fights. He seems to do better when he is not cutting weight, and he sometimes brings his game up to only as tough as his opponent will be on that night. He will wait for his opportunity and strike with such a force that it will dislocate your eyebrows, but for a long time, he seemed only able to win fights by long, drawn-out decisions.

Gorgeous George, my co-host at TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), and I were talking about this fight, and the gorgeous one has this to say about Henderson: “He’s fought some great top fighters, including the UFC’s current 205-lb. champ (Jackson) and knocked out the previous 205-lb.

PRIDE champ (Silva), but the big question is whether that translates to him having a favorable match up at 185. He just doesn’t seem as active at 185, and that is one of the great mysteries of MMA.“

What the hell is he talking about?! If a guy drops from 205 to 185, he should be stronger, faster and way more active at a lower weight. Do I believe that? Absolutely! Period! Well, except when it has to deal with Henderson. He is slower and sluggish at 185. He does seem to move a little less and have a lot — a lot – more patience. So much patience, in fact, that it seems that he will wait for the bell instead of attacking his opponent. With a long-reaching UFC 82 opponent such as Silva,

Henderson must bob and weave his head at all times. He must attack to the clinch. He needs to get inside of Silva’s stand-up to be able to control this fight. If this goes to the ground, it won’t mean a thing being in Silva’s full guard because the Brazilian is so long and active. If Henderson doesn’t establish the ground and pound early and often, Silva will be the one giving punishment instead to receiving it.

Inside the cage, Henderson is the most focused; outside the cage, he’s a very humble and quite dedicated father. Henderson is a fan favorite, but none of that keeps you from getting your nose put on the side of your head during a clinch.

Henderson has one of the best training camps a fighter could put together. With Judo Terry and Jason Miller in his camp (just to name a few of the guys in his training sessions), he will have seen Silva’s type of explosiveness and his submission game. However, seeing it and being able to use it against him on the night of March 1 are very different things.

Henderson has all of the tools. Will he bring them? Which ones will he use? For Henderson — in my opinion — it all comes down to his great overhand right and quick, explosive takedowns. He’ll need to establish the ground and pound, and get out before he even has to test his cardio. Make this a street fight; Silva doesn’t like it when somebody brings the fight to him. Grind him up against the cage, keep elbows in his face, and stay in sidemount when on the ground.

Is all of this enough to win the title?

We’ll find out next week when I give a breakdown of Silva and explain how I think the fight will play out.

For now, in the words of the Human Torch, “Flame on!“


source: http://mmajunkie.com/
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