UFC 67 will truly be All or Nothing, for not only
defending middleweight champion Anderson Silva, the knockout nightmare who
defends his belt against challenger Travis Lutter, veteran winner of TUF
4, but for a number of young stars, as well.
World Middleweight Title: Anderson “Spider” Silva vs. Travis Lutter
Travis Lutter: In a world of extravagant entrances, over-hyped interviews and boisterous victories, Lutter is a beacon of peace and reason. Fighting out of Dallas, Texas, Lutter is a submission champion and a member of Ken Shamrock’s world famous Lion’s Den.
The MMA career of Lutter is one that is anything less than spectacular. In his first five bouts, Lutter managed to stay under the radar, only losing one against TUF 4 castmate in 2002, Jorge Rivera. A nice side project, Lutter’s MMA career came to a headway when Lion’s Den teammate Guy Mezger dropped out of his scheduled main event against Tito Ortiz in October of 2004. In need of an opponent, the UFC allowed Canadian Patrick Cote to assume the place of the injured Mezger and Lutter to fill Cote’s vacant seat against Las Vegan Marvin “The Beastman” Eastman.
After an uneventful first round Lutter stunned the MMA world when he, a noted submission artist with little stand up experience, knocked the kickboxing veteran Eastman out with one punch. Following up in April of 2005, an overmatched 185 lb. Lutter submitted for the first time of his career against Matt “The Law” Lindland.
After dropping a unanimous decision against Trevor Prangley in August of 2005, Lutter left the UFC and won his next two including a submission victory over legendary Brazilian Jose Pele Landi-Jons. The rest was history as Lutter assumed the task of winner The Ultimate Fighter 4 defeating Scott Smith, Pete Sell and Patrick Cote with ease. Travis Lutter has the chance of a lifetime on February 3rd as he challenges Silva for the middleweight title.
Anderson Silva: Anderson “Spiderman” Silva is best known for his utterly one-sided demolition of Chris Leben. But, for fans of the sport of mixed martial arts, on a global scale, the Brazilian is just about as familiar as everyone’s favorite comic book wall crawler he is named after.
An integral member of the incredibly effective and infamous Chute Boxe academy, Anderson Silva’s Muay Thai kickboxing skills have become the stuff of legend in the MMA community and has set the benchmark for much of the 185 lb. division.
Following a TKO over the self proclaimed “Brazilian Killa” Alex Steibling in 2002, Silva went on to defeat some of the best in the business, including the likes of Carlos Newton, Jeremy Horn, Lee Murray, The Ultimate Fighter, Season Four star Jorge Rivera, Curtis Stout, Tony Fryklund and, most recently, Leben. The drawback, in all of these fights, is that a shot at a major world title had eluded him, much in part to his shocking upset losses to Japanese underdogs Daiju Takase and Ryo Chonan at the worst possible times.
Though we have seen very little of Silva in the Octagon, his ability to land the big shots at the right time (i.e. a reverse elbow knocking out Miletich fighter Fryklund) makes him always dangerous on the feet and in the clinch. Coming off of a spectacular one-sided destruction of champion Rich “Ace” Franklin, it is still in question whether the Brazilian can assume the shoes of the role of champion. He certainly looks and fights the part.
The Six Degrees of Travis Lutter
How They Match Up: UFC 67 is an interesting night for a number of reasons that we will just call “Six Degrees of Travis Lutter.”
Funny how things work out, isn’t it?
A lot of people are writing this fight off as a blowout for Silva, but consider this:
Silva’s only two true defeats since his rise to stardom were homerun submissions by Ryo Chonan and Daiju Takase. In both cases, neither man was to stand a chance and neither man wanted any part of his stand up. Interestingly enough, Lutter’s submission win over Landis-Jons earlier this year really makes this fight closer than many are giving it credit for.
If Lutter can get this to the ground he can overpower Silva, but if it stays on the feet we could see this fight truly become All or Nothing.
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