A Pro’s Take: Bastianelli on GSP vs. Penn and Varner vs. Cerrone

PRO MMA (http://promma.info) had the chance to catch up with ‘Relentless’ Ryan Bastianelli after his Wednesday evening practice in Concord, CA at Combat Fitness.

‘Relentless’ had been training for his bout at Fight Quest: Battle Grounds; however, he took a quick break from training last weekend to take in WEC 38 in San Diego, CA.

Bastianelli shared his thoughts on Jamie Varner’s performance against ‘The Cowboy’ and where he thought Varner stood on the score cards prior to the bout being stopped. Bastianelli also touched on the St. Pierre vs. Penn Welterweight title fight. The former ASU wrestler broke down the title fight and made a prediction.

PRO MMA: How was Jamie (Varner) looking in the cage against Cerrone?
BASTIANELLI: He really impressed me with the adversity that he went through to beat ‘The Cowboy.’ Man…’The Cowboy’ is tough, he just keeps coming at you and he is no joke. I was pretty nervous before the fight but I knew Jamie could out box him because he moves faster than him. I knew that if Jamie could have stayed on top after taking him down he could dominate, which he did. Every time he attempted a take down he took Cerrone down. I was really impressed; he broke his hand in the second round and finished out the fight until the middle of the fifth round when he got kneed in the face. He looked phenomenal and I thought he won every round except the last round. I think his game plan was, in that last round, not to get caught with anything from ‘The Cowboy.’ Cerrone throws some leather man, he throws hard and some hard kicks. He is a dangerous guy. I’m very proud of Jamie and super stoked that he still has his belt. I’m looking forward to see him fight Donald again.

PRO MMA: Do you see Jamie defending his belt before having another fight with Cerrone or does he need to get back to the top with a win or two?
BASTIANELLI: I don’t think so. I think ‘The Cowboy’ is still at the top. I think he is still that number one contender. After the heart that he showed (against Varner) and he just kept on coming and coming. There is not a 155 pounder right now in the WEC better than Cerrone. I see them having a rematch once Jamie’s injuries heal up and he will be ready to rock.

PRO MMA:
Could Jamie have taken the fifth round or was Cerrone too far ahead up until the knee?
BASTIANELLI: Cerrone was winning that round for sure. He was on top but it could have changed. It was mid-way through the round and Jamie was working his way off the bottom and back to his feet when he did get kneed in the head. He was working back…you never know how that round could have gone. Even if that round did go to ‘Cowboy’ it still would have been three rounds to two or four rounds to one. Jamie must have taken him down four times.

PRO MMA: The big fight that everyone is talking about is GSP vs. Penn. What is your prediction on that fight?
BASTIANELLI: I want the Hawaiian, Penn. I want the American to win but I think GSP is going to edge it out again. Ever since he lost to Matt Serra he has been on a tear. I don’t know, just the training partners that GSP has are out of this world. I think that GSP is going to win but I am rooting for Penn all the way.

PRO MMA: A lot of people believe that GSP has the best wrestling that is suited for MMA. Being a wrestler yourself, would you agree with that statement?
BASTIANELLI: Yeah, I would. It is amazing how his wrestling has evolved. Just the way he dominated Josh Koscheck like he did. Josh’s wrestling is out of this world. Josh is phenomenal. He dominated Matt Hughes and all of these top-notch wrestlers. GSP’s wrestling is top-notch. I have to say he probably has the best wrestling.

PRO MMA: Can you see Penn stuffing GSP’s shots?
BASTIANELLI: Maybe. It’s a matter of how GSP is setting those shots up. It just all depends. We will have to see how the fight goes. B.J. can definitely do it. As far as the ground, there is no one better in the world than B.J. Penn. I can definitely see that happening and I hope it happens because I want B.J. to win this fight.

PRO MMA: Thanks for joining us today Ryan.
BASTIANELLI: Thanks a lot and thanks for coming out Matt.

By: Matt De La Rosa