Over at UFCBetting, Desert Dog calls two upsets for this weekend’s UFC 71: Jackson over Liddell and Burkman over Parisyan. Notable quote:
For the record, I disagree with picking Burkman over Parisyan. Parisyan tends to lose when he’s unable to overwhelm his opponents. Competitors with exceptional strength or good gas tanks give Parisyan trouble both in the application of his submissions and throws during the early rounds and with executing gameplan/unleashing an offense in the later rounds. Karo is very much a bully in the octagon, so those that don’t wilt under his pressure give the Armenian a lot of trouble.
To Desert’s point, though, is Burkman good enough to do that? Is he in the same category as Diego or GSP? I’m not convinced. Discarding his pro debut loss, it appears that Burkman has trouble with excellent grapplers. Moreover, Burkman hasn’t faced nearly the stiff competition that Karo has. In fact, Burkman’s toughest opponents – Jon Fitch and Jeremy Horn – happen to be fighters who’ve handed him 2 of his 3 losses.
They’ve got a mutual opponent in Drew Fickett. Both defeated him, Burkman very easily and quickly; Karo took a unanimous decision. I’m not sure what this means since Fickett is enormously talented (choked out Neer and Pellegrino), but is very inconsistent. Burkman quickly overwhelmed him whereas Parisyan entered a three-round war.
The only way I see Burkman winning is by getting off first with Karo. If he’s able to immediately go after Karo from the start of the first round, he can hurt Karo enough to affect how he fights the rest of the match. Serra, Fickett, and Diego all did this and to some extent, it worked in every fight.
Short of that, though, Karo is going to be too much for Burkman. He’s a better grappler, he’s also very strong, and he’s got experience Burkman cannot touch.
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