Saturday, September 15, 2007

Karo vs. Mach

Over at fightlinker there's a discussion about what Karo Parisyan has to do to get a title shot. He got hurt a while back before a shot at Matt Hughes in August 2005, but a quad injury forced him to pull out.

Personally, I'd love to see Sakurai vs. Parisyan. That has the makings of an all-out war, and whoever wins it has a legitimate claim to #1 contender status, hell, number one welterweight status. Sakurai doesn't have a whole lot to prove, and Karo, with a win, puts that last notch on his belt that makes him undeniable. I don't think Karo would get steamrolled by Mach, but I don't think the opposite is true.
As it lies now, Sakurai hasn't fought since February (that sweet KO of Mac Danzig at 33) and Karo since taking apart Josh Burkman in May at 71. Notable wins for Karo: Burkman, Fickett, Thompson, Serra, Lytle, Diaz, Carter, McKee. Losses: Diego, GSP, Sherk twice. Mach has wins over Danzig, Hellboy, Jens, Aoki, Azevedo, and a long list of various level fighters. At 30-7 its hard to keep track of all of 'em.
Sakurai has a great striking game, with deadly kicks and heavy hands. His ground game is above-average, with obviously tons of experience. Mentally he's as good as they get, and preparation-wise he doesn't seem to gas easily. His chin has been called suspect but he has one KO loss, to a guy by the name of Gomi... His wins early in his career were via submission, perhaps due to Shooto's attention to grappling (I don't know Shooto so well, so any info there would be appreciated), and in recent years he's used his strikes to end fights.
Karo has an amazing grappling game, with throws, greco, and (to a lesser extent) submissions, as well as defense against all of the above. He as an unorthodox, kind of weird striking style, with a lot of weight behind his punches. I don't recall much about his kicks. He as a frenetic attacking style to go with it, whence his nickname "The Heat". I've seen him throw knees from time to time to decent effect, but they seem to be afterthoughts. His ground and pound is well above average. He does leave his chin open when he's punching, that bizarre Hermes-Franca-like duck your head and wing for the fences attack, and could be dropped by a power puncher.
I'd see it going two ways (of course, it can always go a million ways)... Mach holds his spacing and measures out Karo for strikes over most of a fight, taking out his legs and setting up big punches, for a unanimous decision win or even a 3rd round KO. That or Karo gets in close and works his grappling to bring it to the floor. You could see a lot of transitions on the ground, because Mach is not going to get pushed around by anyone, but I believe that after getting somewhat exposed as to his cardio against Diego Sanchez, Karo has brought a lot more gas to his fights, and would continue to push the action through the third round. If Karo can take a strong top position he could unleash some viscious ground and pound.
Another thing to consider is the introduction of the cage. Mach has fought Shooto, DEEP, and of course Pride, but only once in the UFC, a loss to Matt Hughes at UFC 36 in 2002. As we've seen, it's important to train in a cage. I couldn't make a prediction about these fighters, but I'd love to watch the fight. Karo and Mach are two of my favorites, and I believe it would be a battle for the ages, as well as going a long way towards clearing up where these two fighters stand in the rankings. Of course, the UFC sometimes throws a patsy to a new high-level fighter coming to the organization, and the welterweights are especially crowded right now. I think that just makes for the possibility of more exciting fights... a lot better situation to be in than, say, the middleweights, who have pretty much no contenders outside of Rich Franklin right now.


Unknown said...

Karo definitly got screwed over when he didn't get the title fight he earned. The UFC punished Karo for getting hurt. Which in turn influenced fighters like Hermes Franca to take steroids so he could fight. What's keeping Karo from getting a title shot now is his loss to Diego. Since Diego loss to Kos I think Karo should fight the winner of Fitch/diego to be next in line for a title shot.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garth2 said...

i could live with that, jose. that's one thing that seems to be missed in all the hollering (me included) about this WW or that WW, there's a TON of exciting fights, with seasoned vets, young up and comers, and the whole gamut to be seen. we've got about a year's worth of awesome WW fights right now in the UFC stables, and more are coming in and rising up... i'm totally excited about the future 170lb fights we'll be seeing

MMA Critique said...

I like Mach alot. I hope to see many more japanese fighters in the UFC. Mach can definitly defeat Karo but thats why they fight the fights to see whos better

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