This past Saturday I made my MMA debut inside the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. I lost in the final round with 15 seconds left, by way of a shoulder choke. I wanted a stand up war, but my opponent wouldn't have it. Each round he shot in and took me to the ground, put a few punches on my left eye and eventually got a submission.
I got a few shots to his head while standing, but just didn't show up when it came to defending the takedown and ground game. I must say I felt like I was in a bit of a trance for my first fight. You walk out of the tunnel, hear fans screaming, music pounding, cameras all over you and bright lights everywhere you look. It wasn't like training in the gym the last six months. I will resume training next week and find out when my next fight will be scheduled. I'm not certain how my next fight will go, but I assure you, I will be much more focused when the time comes. Thanks to all of you who have supported this column and me as I fight. You are with me in that cage!
Now back to the professionals. This Saturday, Dec. 5, The Ultimate Fighter Finale will take place inside the Pearl at the Palms Hotel and Casino. After watching the 10th season of this reality show, the final two of 16 are pitted against each other.
Roy "Big Country" Nelson is the favorite at -250. Brendan Schaub is the underdog at +190.
Roy Nelson is a former International Fight League heavyweight champion. He has excellent power while standing and a world class ground game. Don't let his physique fool you. For a big man, this guy can move impressively quick. In 2002, Roy played one season of rugby with my rugby club, The Las Vegas Blacksjacks. The one thing we all remember is when guys would run full speed at him and lower their shoulder in hopes to run him over, he didn't even budge.
Brendan Schaub is a former Arena Football Player and quite an impressive striker. He is pretty new to the game and really shouldn't pose much of a threat for the very experienced Nelson. Nelson is my pick in this one and should win this one like most of his fights. He will trade shots with Schaub, take him down, smother him and then unload punches on his head until the ref stops it.
One fight that might draw a huge viewership is www.youtube.com sensation, Kimbo Slice versus UFC veteran, Houston Alexander. Alexander is the favorite at -295. Slice is the underdog at +235.
Alexander is an extremely explosive striker and has been recently working on his ground game. Kimbo Slice, in my opinion, is blown up hype and has shown no sign of ever being a good mixed martial arts fighter. He got some face by being a backyard brawler in YouTube videos. His one fight on the The Ultimate Fighter this season, a loss to Roy Nelson, was not very impressive. I expect Alexander to destroy him quickly. After that, hopefully we won't be insulted by having to watch him fight in a cage again.
Another notable fight on this card is Marcus Jones versus Matt Mitrione. Jones is the favorite at -340 against Mitrione at +260. Look for Jones to take Mitrione to the ground and pound him out or get the quick submission. Mitrione can throw some bombs and will need to win this one. My pick is Marcus Jones.
Until next week, I hope you cash some tickets.