Look up Badger, Honey in the dictionary and you'll see a picture of an animal that just don't care. I hope that you do care (about this breakdown), and also that you don't suffer from dry throat after inhaling the dust you brush off of your dictionary to look that up. It's fight week, so we can't have anyone on the sidelines.
Our breakdown today features (one of) the big one(s) on Friday night. The Honey Badger vs. The Rockstar. Mazzotta vs. Richardson. Let's get to it:
5 - Richardson has tasted the big show
Richardson recently put together a five-fight win streak over names like Frank Caraballo, Titan FC No. 1 contender Andrew Whitney, and Bellator veteran Rodrigo Lima. That earned him a shot on a Bellator undercard. And while he came up short, you've got to think that that little taste of the big show makes him even hungrier to get back there.
4 - Mazzotta jumps out of pools
I keep saying that one thing Mazzotta doesn't get credit for is his freakish athleticism. Then he goes and posts a video of him jumping out of a pool (shades of B.J. Penn), and proves me right. The pool never even had a chance.
3 - Richardson does everything right
He's a Marine veteran, owns his own gym, and even spends his training camps with Team Alpha Male in Sacramento. He has plus punching power, and black belt level skills on the ground. He's also a bullish type fighter, with a low center of gravity. If Mazzotta wants the fight on the ground, he'll have a hard time getting it there.
2 - Mazzotta is this close to the UFC
People are starting to notice. First he was on Restaurant Impossible slinging pizzas that make your mouth water, and next we'll probably see him on Fox Sports 1 or pay-per-view fighting in that eight-sided cage. He's put away every opponent set in front of him save for probably No. 1 contender Cody Garbrandt, and he's done so in devastating fashion. An eighth straight win here over yet another legit opponent and you've got to think that his UFC contract will be in the mail on Monday. People still use mail right?
1 - The breakdown
I like this fight so much it's not even fair. Mazzotta has every tool in his toolbox and has had to dig deep in a couple of fights to show some things that have really surprised even me. When he was being bullied by Rob Hanna in his last fight, he threw some vicious spinning elbows off of the cage that you could hear all the way in the back of the Syria Shrine Center.
And oh yeah, he's also a jiu-jitsu black belt. And they say that it's hard to find guys who can take him down in the gym, including former elite college wrestler and UFC veteran Chris Dempsey. Another thing I like is that he's been training a lot with Mark Cherico for this fight. Cherico and Richardson are very similar in terms of fighting style and body type, and Cherico is a bigger guy who can push Dom.
Richardson is also a jiu-jitsu black belt and has some slick transitions on the ground. He's got an ace in his hole in that training at Alpha Male gives him access to the only man to defeat Mazzotta in Garbrandt.
Richardson is a straight-forward, hard-nosed type fighter, but don't let that fool you. He's got skills everywhere and is a dangerous threat on the feet as well.
Mazzotta has the toughest test of his career not named Garbrandt, and if he passes it expect him to receive the call from Uncle Dana. Richardson also wants his shot on the big stage as well, so don't expect him to go down easy.