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Pipeline: Ultimate Fight Night 6
by Scott Newman (MMA)
Posted on August 13, 2006, 2:31 PM

Welcome to the first edition of the MMA Pipeline. Iíll be the host of the new series, Justin T. Basically I will be bringing on two analysts at a time to preview upcoming MMA cards from the bigger shows coming up, whether itís PrideFC, UFC, WFA or the occasional Bushido or Heroes. Reviews will be more rare, but may appear at some point. Weíll be having in-depth discussion about the shows with picks for the night, the lock pick of the night, and of course all the who, what, where, when and whys.

For the first edition we will be covering UFCís Ultimate Fight Night 6 which will be airing this Thursday, August 17th, live on Spike from the Red Rocks Casino in Vegas. This is a card meant to hype the imminent fourth season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show and has a solid card with an absolutely superb main event on top. Joining me for the first edition will be Adam Rifkin and Scott Newman.

First up on the televised card is Josh Koscheck (8-1-) coming back to live TV as he faces Jonathan Goulet (16-6-0). A great striker in the Canadian Goulet goes against a top-shelf wrestler in Josh Koscheck. Newman is first up, how do you see this fight going?

Scott Newman: I think Kos takes this one, I think people are heavily underestimating him right now mainly because his last couple of fights haven't been televised and based on his improvements from when we first saw him, I think he's got too much for Goulet to handle. I have a feeling he might even stand with Goulet and finish him there.

Justin T: Confidence in a man who needed a decision to beat a past his prime Dave Menne then?

Scott Newman: Yeah, I think Menne is past his best, but he's still a tough competitor, whatever you say about him. I don't think Koscheck's quite ready for the very top welterweights, but I think he can take someone of Goulet's level.

Justin T: Rifkin, how do you see this going? Do you think Newman's bold statement about Koscheck being able to finish a kickboxer standing has any merit?

Adam Rifkin: No. He talks about underestimating, but look at Goulet. Here's a guy that won 10 fights in a row before walking into to "Bang" Ludwig. Some of those wins were over Tony Fryklund, Jay Hieron, Shonie Carter and John Alessio. Pretty good competition if you ask me. I think he's more well rounded than Josh with the ability to win the fight anywhere.

Scott Newman: Very true, and he dominated Cummo for the most part. Even so, I don't think his chin is very good, and I think Koscheck's power is underrated. He knocked Sanford silly and from what I read, he had Menne rocked standing a few times too. I'm taking Koscheck by TKO in the 3rd. I think he'll use the wrestling advantage to wear Goulet down with ground-and-pound early on, but I think he'll show much improved stand-up, and Jonathan might underestimate him there. I don't know whether it'll be standing or on the mat, but I think Koscheck finishes him with strikes.

Justin T: Personally I'm taking Koscheck by decision. I think he has the ability to keep Goulet on the mat and dry hump his way to victory. Goulet won't be able to tap him out and I don't think he's got the sprawl for a wrestler of Josh's caliber.

Next up we have Dean Lister (8-4-0) against Yuki Sasaki (20-12-1). Lister is a wiz on the ground and despite his unimpressive record, he's on a roll lately with a featured role on The Ultimate Fighter 3, a great loss in PrideFC to Ricardo Arona and dominating Alessio Sakara. Yuki Sasaki is a general unknown in the United States where his Pancrase history means nothing, but his record shows the ability to finish fights in a number of ways. Rifkin's first up this time. What's your crystal ball say?

Adam Rifkin: I really don't much about Sasaki. Hard to think they'd want to have Lister lose so I imagine he's been brought in to get submitted. Lister is maybe the best 185-pounder in the world on the ground. Everybody I recognize on Sasaki's record has beaten him so it's hard for me to imagine anything other than a loss for him here. 12 of his 20 wins have come via submission and that only seems to play into what Lister wants to do. I also want to mention that "The Boogeyman" is maybe the coolest nickname going right now in the UFC and that alone would probably get me to pick Lister by first round tapout.

Justin T: Reminds me too much of that WWE trash. UFC is great at building up fighters when they want to, but Newman, do you have as much confidence in Lister, who has lost 3 of his last 5, as Rifkin does?

Scott Newman: Well, all I've seen of Sasaki is that clip of Terrell knocking him into next week. As you say, I don't think they'd bring him in to beat Lister, who I can see them trying to build based on his association with Tito. I find it interesting that they're suddenly bringing in more Japanese fighters though, even if a lot of them look like they're being brought in to lose. I'm not as high on the Boogeyman nickname as Rifkin, but I'd still take Lister by submission in the 1st. Not that he's got the best ground game at middleweight - I think that'd be Paulo Filho or maybe David Terrell if he can actually show it some time.

Adam Rifkin: Scotty is always hoping Terrell will show it just for him.

Justin T: He does have trouble forming sentences without talking about Terrell. Now you both have Lister by submission in the first round, explain a bit more why. Is it lack of respect for the Pancrase organization? Dean Lister is fun to watch for anyone interested in seeing the subtleties of the ground game, but his wins aren't against the most impressive of names, because the most impressive usually beat him. Rifkin, you first. What's with the predictions of a quick and easy win?

Adam Rifkin: The fight should end up on the ground and I think Lister holds the edge there. It's as simple as that for me. Sasaki's last 4 fights have ended in the first round as well. With Lister being tied to Tito I just think they are trying to build him up into a contender.

Scott Newman: I completely agree with Rifkin, as it goes. 185lbs is a bit devoid of contenders right now outside of Anderson Silva and if Lister gets another real quick sub here, they can push him as a major threat to Franklin. Whether he would provide a threat, I doubt it, but that's besides the point. I can't see Yuki Sasaki being the one to stop him.

Justin T: Right, well I'm taking Lister as well, But I'm holding off until the second round when Sasaki is more worn down and tired.

Next we have Chris Leben (15-2-0) versus Jorge Santiago (11-5-0). Santiago isn't the most talented but he's managed to last to a decision with Diego Sanchez and won his debut at the last UFN with a big KO win so he won't be a pushover. Leben is coming off a devastating KO loss to Anderson Silva and many think he's coming back too early. Newman, what do you think?

Scott Newman: Yeah, I'm in the camp that thinks Leben is returning way too quick after that loss to Silva. He should've taken time to recover from that and tweak the holes in his game, but instead he's saying he just took Anderson lightly. It'd be a big upset, admittedly, if Santiago were to beat him here, because he's not got the greatest record against top fighters. But he knocked out Levens last time out and his Muay Thai's supposedly improved greatly.

I know Leben has an iron chin of sorts, but Anderson Silva blew the theory that you can't knock him out away, and we've seen in the past that once a guy has been KOd, suddenly he seems a lot more vulnerable to strikes. I'm going with the upset, I think Santiago will rock Leben early causing Chris to take it to the ground, and I think Santiago might pull off the sub from there.

Justin T: We've seen Quinton Jackson have his entire style changed thanks to vicious KOs by Wanderlei Silva that he's only now bouncing back from. Rifkin, do you think the bombing KO changed the future for Leben?

Adam Rifkin:: Well I'm on the other side. It's almost 2 months since he worked for 49 seconds against Anderson Silva. I don't think it's that quick and it's not like he was injured. There is no shame in getting blizted by a guy as talented as Silva. I expect Leben to find a better focus this time around. It's stupid for anybody to say they took Anderson lightly, but I do buy into Leben getting caught up in his own hype. Rather than just lose to Silva I think he was humbled.

Justin T: So you don't see Leben being mentally affected by his last match in the same way many have been?

Adam Rifkin: People get knocked all the time. I'm supposed to believe by one KO against a top of the food chain striker is going to completely break Leben?

Scott Newman: If this were in October I'd agree with that, but I just think that what, a month and half? That's too early.

Adam Rifkin: Santiago is on a nice run and his Muay Thai work could provide for some good clinch work both ways. He's got an opportunity to make a name for himself against Leben. I think he'll want to bang and Leben is out to prove something. It's got the making of a pretty wild brawl and that will favor Leben in my opinion. Leben by TKO round 2.

Scott Newman: I'm going for Santiago by submission, late in the 2nd. I can see an uneventful first round, and then fireworks in the second as Jorge rocks him and then finishes on the mat, ala Hominick-Edwards.

Justin T: Personally, I think Leben would be screwed if he was coming back against a top shelf fighter, but against Santiago, who I'm not saying is a tomato can, I think he'll recover. I'll take Leben via Unanimous Decision here as he gets his confidence back and fights with more trepidation as he did against Luigi Fioravanti.

For the main event, there is what I think is one of the most interesting UFC fights in a long time despite many not seeing that, or at least the pre-match hype not being what I think it should be. Karo Parisyan (23-3-0) is a great talent and outside of losing wars to Sean Sherk on two small cars 6 years ago, he's only lost to Georges St. Pierre who would probably be called a Top 3 pound for pound fighter alive if he manages to win the title from Matt Hughes. Diego Sanchez (17-0-0), on the other hand, is undefeated in 17 showings (well, 15 recorded by Sherdog, 17 according to UFC). He's beaten anybody thrown against him at any level of competition and has freaky strength along with skills all over the place.

I know you guys are polarized on this issue and we'll start with Rifkin's thoughts.

Adam Rifkin: I think most people understand how big this fight is. Diego is as well known as anybody to come off TUF and has an unblemished record to boot. Karo is actually younger than Sanchez and was lined up to fight Matt Hughes for the Welterweight Title last year before an injury put him on the shelf. He's only had one fight in the last year which is something I think could hinder him early on. However, that fight was a dominating punishment of Nick Thompson- who is no slouch. Diego looked weaker in his last fight against John Alessio. Maybe he was still recovering from the illness that postponed that fight the first time, or maybe not. Sanchez will look to take Karo down and pound him either for a stoppage or a decision in the end. His game to me, is pretty one dimensional. His stand up is comparably sloppy to Karo's so that could make for some interesting/ugly exchanges on the feet.

Scott Newman: Yeah, like Rifkin I think people recognize the magnitude of this fight - it's two of the top five UFC welterweights going at it. In the past I admit I've underrated Parisyan, but the more I watch of him, the more I see what a great competitor he really is. That said though, I'm still picking Sanchez to win this fight. I don't think Diego is necessarily on the level of Georges St-Pierre, but after seeing Georges basically hold Karo down and pound on him, I question whether Karo can stay off the bottom against a wrestler with the skill of Diego. The only thing that will get me worried here is if Diego comes in looking emaciated like he did against Alessio. It's a better look to be cut up like that, but I don't think it did him any good at all in the strength department. I think this might come down to cardio though, and again, I think Diego has the advantage there.

Justin T: Now, Rifkin, you were talking about the stand-up. With both guys preferring to go to the ground, who do you see having the advantage? Both are good with submissions but the edge would have to go to Karo. Will Diego's strength be enough to avoid them?

Adam Rifkin: Early on it will. I think people overlook how strong Karo is at this point. He'll be 24 years old in 2 weeks. He's learned more about his own body and been able to adapt his game more accordingly. I wouldn't be surprised to see Karo end up on top for more than some of this fight. His cardio has been suspect in the past, but I think understanding what this fight means Karo is going to be at his very best. I expect Diego to get frustrated at some point when Karo throws him to the ground and eventually leave himself open to getting tapped out. I'll say early in the 3rd round.

Justin T: And Newman you talked about the ground game already, do you think we'll see any stand-up at all or we'll this one be won and lost on the mat?

Scott Newman: I think Diego might try to go the stand-up route early. Karo's stand-up, as you mentioned, isn't all that great, and Diego has talked about wanting to stand. I don't think he's going to show great striking himself though, it's not his bread and butter, I suspect he'll shoot sooner rather than later. He might try to give Karo something to think about though, or even just keep the distance to avoid the throws.

Justin T: Back to Rifkin, you took it early in the 3rd round for Karo, are you sticking with that and since you have to check out now, what are your final thoughts on the match and the card?

Adam Rifkin: That's my prediction. Karo via submission in the 3rd round. The fight definently could go either way and regardless it establishes a serious contender for the Hughes/Rush winner. It's hard for me to think of a fight I've looked forward to more all year. The card itself is great, especially for free TV. Considering the joke that UFC 62 you have to wonder why some of these fights aren't on that card.

Justin T: And Newman, how is the main event ending at UFN 62?

Scott Newman: I'm going with Sanchez by a decision. It'll be a tremendously close fight, I think, along the lines of both men's fight with Nick Diaz, but in the end I just think Diego's strength and wrestling skill will prove to be too much for Karo. It won't be easy, that's for sure, but the Nightmare rolls on. Diego by decision after three rounds of grappling heaven.

Justin T: Personally I'm going to Diego and I'm going to take a finish in the 3rd with Diego still fresh and Karo worn down from battling his strength. The ref will step in to stop Diego from ruining Karo's face.

And now folks, with Rifkin gone we're bringing in another analyst. J Biceps of the forums and by far the guy with the most MMA knowledge there, whom basically all of us learned from.

Moving on to the undercard, the one I really want to talk about first is Jason Von Flue (13-6-1) and Joe Riggs (27-8-0), but we can talk about any bout you'd like after that. Who do you see coming out ahead? Von Flue just lost to Cummo and should be little more than a stepping stone for Riggs as he comes back from losses to Matt Hughes and Mike Swick. J, you first.

J Biceps: Von Flue has heart and he comes to fight, but nothing really stands out about him. That being said, Riggs garners attention but can't seem to put it all together.

Justin T: He seemed to fight to his potential one time, against Nick Diaz, do you see him ever fighting at that level again being that in his mid-twenties, youth is on his side?

J Biceps: I think Riggs is better than Von Flue in most areas and you have to believe he realizes this has got to be almost a last chance for him. They can't keep bringing him back after losses. I think he has the potential to do well, but I don't know if he can rise to the top of a division, or not. I do think he'll beat Von Flue, though.

Justin T: And Newman, what do you see happening in this fight?

Scott Newman: I can't see Riggs losing this fight at all - he's too big and powerful for Von Flue and Jason just doesn't have that extra level of skill to get past that strength disadvantage. Riggs will most likely stop him in the first. Von Flue does have a NINE-fight deal though, so this won't be the last we'll see of him.

Justin T: Alright and J, are there any undercard fights you'd like to bring up as we slip into the more casual discussion?

J Biceps: I actually know who a couple of these guys are. I wouldn't mind talking about the Jake O'Brien (7-0-0) versus Christopher Midoux (9-5-0) fight.

Scott Newman: Don't you know a bit about O'Brien? He's pretty much the one guy on the card who I've never heard of before.

J Biceps: Yeah. I've watched O'Brien for years now. He's a 3-time Indiana State Wrestling Champion at 215 pounds. He got a scholarship to wrestle for Purdue University. College weight classes go 197, and then 285, so he was kind of caught in the middle. I remember his junior year at state during face offs. He was wearing a Tito Punishment 'boggin, and doing the whole Tito pre-fight routine. Had to figure he was destined for this someday. He's 5-0 so far in MMA. 4 KOs/TKOs, and 1 submission in his last fight. He's definitely an exciting young fighter on the rise. He was an absolute monster in high school and it looks like he's worked on his striking a lot.

Justin T: Any thoughts on his fight with Midoux, either of you?

J Biceps: I believe Midoux is a Jiu Jitsu guy is he not? 7-5 record, no real impressive wins. He's been KO'd a few times and subbed by a few guys. Sylvester Terkay even subbed him. Terkay is a legit wrestler who doesn't really cross train that well. O'Brien's probably not as good of a wrestler as him, but he's more well-rounded and he's a beast. I'd say he'll be able to overpower Midoux on the ground long enough to pound out a stoppage, IF it hits the mat.

Justin T: Well, Midoux has a lot of losses, but at the same time he also fought some incredibly talented guys. His 3rd, 4th and 5th fights were Travis Fulton, Jeremy Horn and Fabricio Werdum. So thatís always something he can use as a reason. Moving on, letís talk about Sam Morgan (18-7-0) against Forrest Petz (17-2-0). Newman, your thoughts?

Scott Newman: Sammy Morgan to me was the dark horse in the welterweight division on TUF II, he came in with arguably the best record of the lot, with a KO win over Bang Ludwig and a submission over Aaron Riley. He got knocked out by Luke Cummo though in what was probably the best fight on that series, and then went on to lose to Josh Burkman following an accidental headbutt, so as a fan of his I'm glad to see him getting another crack. You know much about his opponent, Petz, J?

J Biceps: He's got an impressive record with his only losses coming to Jake Short and Josh Neer.

Scott Newman: Yeah, I've seen a few of his fights, the Neer loss was impressive, and he's subbed Charles Bennett too. I heard he struggled with Danny Hardy though, who's never impressed me too greatly, so this could be a close fight I think.

J Biceps: Yeah, it's definitely got the makings of a close bout. It's a big opportunity for both guys to get their career moving in the right direction.

Scott Newman: What about Anthony Torres (4-1-0), another TUF II alumni? I was impressed with his performance in losing to Luke Cummo, I thought he showed a lot of heart and toughness and goes up against Pat Healy (26-10-0).

Justin T: Hey, Iím the host here...

J Biceps: Anthony Torres is a solid talent. I don't think he's had a lot of fights overall has he? Pat Healy has a lot of experience. Healy's got a lot of TKO and Sub wins and a lot of TKO and Sub losses. He strikes me as a guy that comes to fight and has trouble maintaining a winning streak, although he's won 4 in a row now. Healy's coming off a big sub. He has a win over Carlos Condit, also.

Scott Newman: Torres is 3-0 yeah, and Healy is much more experienced at 15-9 and Condit is the guy who subbed Trigg and KOíd Charuto (Renato Verissimo). Most of Healy's losses are to good fighters, too, like Chris Lytle and Carlo Prater. It depends on how good Torres really is, I guess. He's never beaten anyone with a winning record, so you have to wonder if he was just on TUF to make up the numbers

J Biceps: Iit's hard to call some of these fights with the younger guys. Both know how much it means and are going to give it all they've got. Sometimes that brings out the best in somebody, and sometimes it brings out the worst.

Justin T.: And moving on to two guys Iím really interested in, Martin Kampmann (7-1-0) and Crafton Wallace (11-1-1). Going purely off their records, I think whoever wins this could have a solid future ahead of them in the UFC, and I see it moreso in Cradton Wallace.

Scott Newman: I think they're both Muay Thai stylists, are they not? I know Wallace was supposed to be fighting Kalib Starnes, which would suggest he's a striker that they brought in for Kalib to tap out. Kampmann is another striker though so who knows now?

J Biceps: I've seen some Kampmann fights actually. He's got a wicked high kick. He is very calm and seems to really give his opponent a false sense of security before unleashing a big blow. He likes to throw some big overhand punches, and the high kick, but they come out of nowhere. Wallace looks tough as well. Great record and he's a phenomenal athlete. He hasn't lost since 2003, I believe, so this could be one of the better fights of the evening.

Justin T: And with both at 185lbs, Ace Franklin may care to watch this one.

Scott Newman: I really don't know who to pick here. If I was forced though, I'd probably go with Wallace. He's been training longer for the fight and historically, late replacements always struggle.

Justin T: Alright, well give me some final thoughts guys. About the card overall, what to look for, and who is your lock pick of the night.

Scott Newman: I think this is a PPV-level solid card. Honestly, it annoys me that some of these undercard fights aren't on PPV - I'd rather see Morgan/Petz, for example, than say, Schafer vs. MacDonald. That aside though, my lock pick of the night would be Dean Lister to go over Yuki Sasaki. I'm very confident in Diego too, but Karo is an incredibly difficult opponent for him. Overall, this is probably the best UFN so far on paper, and I hope it lives up to the expectations.

J Biceps: I think this is a great card. Like Newman's saying, I think this card is more interesting than the upcoming PPV. It's a good blend of young talent, both known and unknown. Fight of the night, will be Diego/Karo. I think others will be good, but I just can't see how this fight won't be fun to watch. Their styles and aggressive natures will make for lots of grappling and transitions. We'll see lots of sweeps, takedowns, and throws. I look for a similar fight to Diego/Diaz, except with Karo excerting more control and adding some nice throws in. I think it'll be one of the better fights of the year.

As for a lock, I have got to go with "Irish" Jake O'Brien making a name for himself and moving on to bigger and better things from here on out.

Justin T: Personally, my lock pick for this card is Joe Riggs. I donít think Von Flue is of the caliber that can hang with him and Riggs knows his future with the UFC is as good as gone for at least a few years if he loses to Von Flue in a UFN untelevised match.

Hereís a summary of the picks of the night:

Josh Koscheck vs. Jonathan Goulet
Rifkin- unstated
Newman- Josh Koscheck, TKO, 3rd round
Justin- Josh Koscheck, Unanimous Decision

Dean Lister vs. Yuki Sasaki
Rifkin- Dean Lister, submission, 1st round
Newman- Dean Lister, submission, 1st round
Justin- Dean Lister, submission, 2nd round

Chris Leben vs. Santiago
Rifkin- Chris Leben, TKO, 2nd round
Newman- Jorge Santiago, submission, 2nd round
Justin- Chris Leben, Unanimous Decision

Diego Sanchez vs. Karo Parisyan
Rifkin- Karo Parisyan, submission, 3rd round
Newman- Diego Sanchez, Unanimous Decision
Justin- Diego Sanchez, referee stoppage (ground and pound), 3rd round

Lock Pick of the Night
Rifkin- unstated
Newman- Dean Lister
Justin- Joe Riggs
J Biceps- Jake OíBrien

Iíd like to thank the readers for checking out this new offering of the Sports Oratory and Iíd like to thank Adam Rifkin and Scott Newman for appearing, especially J Biceps for appearing with roughly 10 minutes notice. Iíll be back for UFC 62, headlined by ďIcemanĒ Chuck Liddell taking on Renato ďBabaluĒ Sobral for the light-heavyweight championship with guests Brett Berliner and a returning J Biceps.

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