Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sherdog Predicts Hathaway and Kampmann Victories

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John Hathaway vs. Tom Egan

The breakdown: This one is simple for Hathaway: Don’t go mucking it all up by trading with Egan. From what I’ve seen of Hathaway’s striking, it’s mostly telegraphed punches that have all the force of a pillow-fight behind them. Keeping the boxing to a minimum would be in the best interests of his baby-face mug.

If Hathaway is serious about keeping his teeth securely in his mouth, he needs to get after Egan early with takedowns and swarm his inexperienced quarry with strikes and submission attempts. From there, Hathaway’s strong positioning and accurate striking should be all he needs to tip the balance in favor of the Britons.

* * *

The bottom line: I’ve never been too keen on doubling down with unproven boxers in MMA, and this bout is no exception. Egan may have the edge on the feet, but he’s not Ireland’s answer to Floyd Mayweather, and Hathaway’s tremendous pace on the mat is something Egan is unprepared for.

Irish Mayweather goes down in the first round thanks to British ground-and-pound. Damn, I shouldn’t have read that Ali biography.

Martin Kampmann vs. Alexandre Barros

The bottom line: In case you haven’t surmised it by now, I think I’ll be picking Kampmann to win this fight pretty easily. The long and short of it is that Barros’ sloppy striking and mediocre grappling are nowhere near enough to make it in the UFC -- a lesson that he’ll learn via knockout.

Afterward, expect Kampmann to go after John Hathaway for stealing his nickname. Things will get real ugly, though, when Thomas Hearns and Bret Hart join the fray and we end up with a freestyle tag team match headlining UFC 100. Please believe.

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