Round Zero Season 2 Episode 12 – Kiwi By Birth Or Heart: Whittaker vs Adesanya

 

JAMIE MULLARKEY VS BRAD RIDDELL 

Sweet MBA: Brad “Quake” Riddell cannot lose in Marvel stadium. Incredible power, speed and accuracy. I suspect Riddell by decision. Big up to City Kick Boxing
Brane Damage: Riddell: [New Zealand~Tiger Muay Thai] 2-0 both Knockouts, will be looking to make a name for himself here. Mullarkey: [Australia~Magnus MMA] 8-2 with 7 Finishes but lost his last 2 by TKO. Riddell by KO
NADIA KASSEM VS JI YEON KIM
Sweet MBA: Kassem is not ready for this. She has an impressive 4 wins on her record but Kim has been a champion in two separate leagues. Additionally, Kim is a black belt level sanda/sanshou player as well as a purple belt in BJJ. Add in her 3rd degree black belt in hapkido, which is also style the main event’s Whittaker holds. Kim by submission
Brane Damage: Kassem: [Australian Top Team] 5-1 with 4 KO’s lost her UFC debut & will be looking to get back to the win column. Kim: [South Korea~Impact Gym] 8-2 with 4 Finishes, although all of her fights in the UFC have gone the distance & she is even at 2-2 under the bright lights. Kassem by Decision
KHALID TAHA VS BRUNO SILVA
Sweet MBA: Taha starched Boston Salmon in their last outing. Very dangerous striker. Silva was removed from his Greenville fight for USADA violations. Generally those returning from USADA do not fare well.
Brane Damage: Khalid “The Warrior” Taha vs “Bulldog” Bruno Silva Taha: [Germany~Arena Dortmund] 13-2 with 9 KO’s is 1-1 in UFC with a 25 seconds KO in last outing. Silva: [Brazil~Pitbull Brothers] 10-3-2 with 6 Finishes, he won his last 2 fights to earn his shot at the big show. Taha by TKO
JAKE MATTHEWS VS ROSTEM AKMAN  
Sweet MBA: I used root for Jake Matthews on some ANZAC loyalty but ever since the rise of Kiwi fighters, I am finding less need to. I’ve also been turned off by some of his social media. Matthews has a weakness for grapplers and leaves his neck to be taken. He won’t have that problem with Akman, who has won 5 of his 6 wins in the UFC by TKO. His sixth win was by heel hook. Akman by submission.
Brane Damage: Jake “The Celtic Kid” Matthews vs Rostem Akman Matthews: [Australia~Nexus] 14-4 with 11 Finishes, 7 of them Submissions, he lost his last fight looking to get back on the right side of the stats column. Akman: [Sweden~Fightzone Stockholm] 6-1 all Finishes with 5 KO’s but lost his UFC debut in his last fight. Matthews by Submission
JUSTIN TAFA VS YORGAN DE CASTRO
Sweet MBA: Generally I find heavyweight bouts boring as all get out. However the investments and recruiting in this division has really shown as of late. These fights generally don’t get past the first half of the first round. Tafa is Aussie with the Samoan pedigree to match. Yorgan is a recruit of the Contender series – a masterful muay thai striker from Cape Verde. This fight will test Castro’s chin, thats for certain. Castro by KO.
Brane Damage: Justin “Bad Man” Tafa vs Yorgan De Castro Tafa: [Australia] 3-0 all TKO’s De Castro: [Cape Verde~Regiment Training Center] 5-0 with 4 TKO’s I don’t know anything about either of these guys but Somebody is going to sleep here. Tafa by TKO
CALLAN PORTER VS MAKI PITOLO
Sweet MBA: Potter’s ring name is the Rock Star which is ironic because he looks like he smokes grimmies. Meanwhile Pitolo is the Coconut Bombz with a z. Coconut has 11 wins with z, only 3 by decision. Pitolo by decision.
Brane Damage: Maki “Coconut Bombz” Pitolo vs Callan “The Rockstar” Potter Pitolo: [Hawaii~West Oahu MMA] 11-4 with 8 Finishes 5 of them KO’s Riding a 3 fight win streak & a nice KO from body shots on DWCS. Potter: [Australia~Renegade MMA] 17-8 with 16 Finishes 10 of them Submissions. Lost his UFC debut to a body kick & has only heard the final horn once in his 25 fight career, Something tells me this one won’t go the distance either. Pitolo by TKO
MEGAN ANDERSON VS ZARAH FAIRN DOS SANTOS
Sweet MBA:  This hype train has been running for four years ever since Esha was on this show swearing Megan Anderson would come to the UFC, beat Cyborg, destroy Holm, unite the kingdoms and become Khalessi. Well none of that happened did it. Most Anderson has done is win by toe poke against Zigano. Dos Santos is well named – she has hands for days, uses boxing footwork and trains at TMT. If Dos Santos gets inside, its a quick night for Anderson. Dos Santos by TKO.
Brane Damage: Megan Anderson vs Zarah Fairn Dos Santos Anderson: [Australia~Glory MMA & Fitness] 9-4 with 7 Finishes 5 of them KO’s. Megan had a huge hype train coming into the UFC but only has 1 win in 3 bouts & that was due to an injury. She really needs to show something here or it could be back to Invicta. Dos Santos: [France~10EME Round] 6-2 with 4 KO’s, it really seems like they are trying to feed Dos Santos to Megan so she can start to gain momentum. Anderson by KO
LUKE JUMEAU VS DHIEGO LIMA
Sweet MBA: Jumeau is another killer from City Kickboxing. The Juggernaut has added tae kwon do based kick boxing to his incredible boxing base. Lima on the other hand is the brother of Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima. These two are problems. Lima worries me. I cannot say that I have seen enough of Jumeau to see a win for him – which is not to say it does not exist. I am familiar with both Limas and they have penchant for ruining strikers who do not transition quick enough. Lima by decision.
Brane Damage:  Luke “The Jedi” Jumeau vs Dhiego Lima Jumeau: [New Zealand~Phuket Top Team] 13-4 with 9 Finishes 5 of them being KO’s he is 8-1 in his last 9 bouts with 6 Finishes in that span. Lima: [Brazil~American Top Team] 14-7 with 8 Finishes 4 reach on subs vs KO. He is riding a 2 fight winning streak & wants to keep that going in the right direction. Lima by Decision
TAI TUIVASA VS SERGEY SPIVAK
Sweet MBA: Crowd favorite Tai Tuivasa is beloved by the Aussie crowd. My fear is that the Austrailans are more interested in seeing Tai drink out of his shoe than win fights, have rights or buy a house. Ironically he is facing Spivak who calls himself a polar bear. Reminds me of Blood In Blood Out. As it turns out Spivak is fighting out of Ukraine which means he is not a stranger to controversy. I see this ending in no contest.
Brane Damage:  Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa vs Sergey “The Polar Bear” Spivak Tuivasa: [Australia~Lions High Performance Center] 8-2 with 7 KO’s but lost his last 2 fights. Bam Bam is crazy fun to watch with extreme knockout power & when he wins he will do multiple “shoe-ys” which means fans will take off their shoe, pour a beer into it & Tai will chug that beer straight from the shoe. Spivak: [Republic of Moldova, Chisinau~Mir Production/UF Promotion] 9-1 all Finishes 4 KO’s 5 Subs & suffered a KO loss in his last outing, which was his UFC debut. Safe to say someone’s head will bounce off the canvas in this one. Tuivasa by KO
AL IAQUINTA VS DAN HOOKER
Sweet MBA: Al has done very well for himself in his story. After losing to Chiesa in the Ultimate Fighter finale fight, he put together a set of impressive wins in his division. Somewhere in there he caught beef with Dana and began a campaign against him. What was hilarious was when he tweeted his real estate business out stating that was where he made money so waiting for fights in the UFC was not really a priority. Then opportunity rang and he was moved on a card to fight Khabib in wake of the notorious Dollygate. Hooker is the face that introduced me to City Kickboxing. The first fighter from NZ who trained in NZ I could show my family. Due to how fresh faced he is, I almost get the sense I watched him grow up. Watch his fights and you realize he has always been the man. Hooker enjoys an incredible climb with the only obstacle being Barboza. I remember watching him “demand” to be on this card to co-main with his brother. Iaquinta doesn’t quit and Hooker is a sniper. This going to be a war. Hooker by decision.
Brane Damage:  Al Iaquinta vs Dan “The Hangman” Hooker Iaquinta: [New York~Serra-Longo Fight Team] 14-5 with 8 Finishes 7 of them KO’s lost his last bout. Has Power & is well rounded. Hooker: [New Zealand~City Kickboxing] 18-8 with 17 Finishes 10 of them KO’s. Very well rounded with crazy KO power. Hooker by TKO
ROBERT WHITTAKER VS ISRAEL ADESANYA
Sweet MBA: It’s too on the nose. A maori born training out of Austraila facing a Nigerian who was raised in New Zealand. Stylistically, how do you call this. We never got GSP vs Anderson Somehow we will get GSP 2.0 vs Anderson 2.0 Whittaker has strong jiujitsu based grappling which he has added exceptional wrestling take downs and the defense to match. He has hands of stone with tight technical boxing earning him the moniker of Bobby Knuckles. To boot he adds in hapkido based kicking that duals as kick checks and attacks. He is able to throw power in the same way GSP launched a jab, superman jab, high kick or take down. Adesanya has proven three times that style bending is real by the way he combines jiu jitsu sweeps, wrestling reversals and roll backs to counter aggressive take downs and grappling. Adesanya is has an excellent gauge of range and utilizes clever traps set by a hands down with chin up style. He can generate lightning fast technique with the same velocity as Anderson Silva’s knees. How will this play out? Its hard for me to prescribe strategy as a huge fan of both fighters. To take the belt and unify the titles, Adesanya will have to set a pace that scores five landed strikes to Whittaker’s one. The risk in this is in those flurries is where Whittaker can change momentum with the right counter. In fact he has done this exceptionally well against opponents who out size him. To defend the belt and unify the titles, Whittaker must only survive in front of ANZAC judges. That means pushing Adesanya back against the cage, causing retreats due to landed power shots and keeping the take down consistently a threat. The challenge is the counters waiting for him. I suspect nobody survives Yoel Romero twice and stays unscathed. Adesanya by split decision.
Brane Damage:  Robert “The Reaper/ Bobby Knuckles” Whittaker vs Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya Whittaker: [Australia~PMA Super Material Arts] 20-4 with 14 Finishes 9 of them by KO. He is the current Middleweight Champ. He hasn’t fought in a while & really has only fought twice in almost 30 months. But he says that he has been active enough to not accumulate the ring rust. Adesanya: [Nigeria~City Kickboxing] 17-0 with 13 KO’s. This man has proven to be one of the most unorthodox & exciting strikers we’ve ever seen. Some have called him Anderson Silva 2.0 & then he even took that torch from The Spider 2 fights ago. He is the Interim Middleweight Champion after beating Kelvin Gastelum when Whittaker couldn’t defend the Title against Gastelum & Israel stepped up to the challenge. I seriously can not root against either one of these guys they are both amazing! Whittaker by Decision.
Round Zero Season 2 Episode 12 – Kiwi By Birth Or Heart: Whittaker vs Adesanya is also available as download or audio podcast 

Hosts:

 

Sweet MBA (IG @cageagainst Twitter @cageagainst

Brane Damage (@brane_damage)

BishopChronicle @realhiphopchess

 

Audio provided by:

Dream Ear Productions

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Executive Producer:

DeShawn Davis

@HelloImDeShawn

Edited by:

DeShawn Davis

 

Video provided by:

Dream Eye Media

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Executive Producer:

DeShawn Davis

Edited by:

DeShawn Davis & Regis Jefferson

 

Presented by:

Cage Against the Machine

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