MMA Fan’s Guide To The 2019 Rugby World Cup

Here we go again! Another big sporting tournament which Americans know nothing about, another MMA fan’s guide.

This weekend the rugby world cup starts in Japan with much fanfare. Plenty of teams have had a great few years since New Zealand took home the cup four years ago so it’s all to play for! But who has a Poirier-chance and who has a Zhang-chance? That’s why I’m here! Let’s get started

POOL A
Ireland

Odds: 10-1

If they were an MMA fighter – Stipe Miocic
Currently ranked as the best in the world but is about to take on all the big hitters again. 

Japan 

Odds: 200-1

If they were an MMA fighter – Michel Pereira
One of the most exciting and thrilling outfits in the game. Might stop them from being the best, though.

Russia

Odds: 5000-1

If they were an MMA fighter – TJ Jones
Really only here to make up the numbers.

Samoa

Odds: 1000-1

If they were an MMA fighter – Alistair Overeem
Big, strong and hard-hitting but a touch away from the top-5.

Scotland

Odds: 40-1

If they were an MMA fighter – Paul Felder
Very solid. Well able to put it up to the big boys but will struggle to get to the very top.

POOL B

Canada

Odds: 2000-1

If they were an MMA fighter – Darrell Horcher
Got into the big show but probably won’t last long.

Italy

Odds: 750-1

If they were an MMA fighter – Chas Skelly
Not bad, not great but always awkward to go against.

Namibia

Odds: 5000-1

If they were an MMA fighter – Wuliji Buren
Had go Google who they are.

New Zealand

Odds: 11-8

If they were an MMA fighter – Khabib Nurmagomedov
Sometimes doubted, even showed a couple of chinks in the armour, but will almost undoubtedly turn up and smash everyone.

South Africa

Odds: 4-1

If they were an MMA fighter – Jon Jones
Unquestionable quality and ability to shine on the big occasion. Very questionable drug history.

rugbypunch

POOL C
Argentina 

Odds: 50-1

If they were an MMA fighter – Edson Barboza
Hard-hitting and skilful but lacking something to get all the way.

England 

Odds: 4-1

If they were an MMA fighter – Daniel Cormier
One of the very best in the world. Take constant setbacks but always rise to the top again.

France

Odds: 28-1

If they were an MMA fighter –  Conor McGregor
Unbelievably skilful and charismatic, but are they as good as they once were?

Tonga

Odds: 1000-1

If they were an MMA fighter –  Tyson Pedro
Exciting, athletic and always fun to watch.

USA

Odds: 2000-1

If they were an MMA fighter – CM Punk
Would be better off doing another sport.

POOL D
Australia

Odds: 14-1

If they were an MMA fighter – Frankie Edgar
Used to be the best in the world but now they’ll struggle on the very big days.

Fiji 

Odds: 200-1

If they were an MMA fighter – Sean O’Malley
You’re always going to get something mad and skillful, hard to know where that will take them.

Georgia 

Odds: 750-1

If they were an MMA fighter – Teemu Packalen
Plucky Europeans who aren’t very good.

Uruguay 

Odds: 2000-1

If they were an MMA fighter – Antonina Shevchenko
Not as good as their close sibling.

Wales

Odds: 10-1

If they were an MMA fighter – Henry Cejudo
May have surprised a few winning the 6 nations title. Trying to go up to win another.

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma