The MMA fans guide to the Rugby World Cup

rugbypunch

After last year’s “MMA fans guide to the soccer world cup” it’s the turn of the oval ball this year as the world of rugby union has it’s premier tournament in the UK. If you don’t know, rugby has a pretty clear divide between the elite and lower level but, to fill numbers for a world cup, the UFC and XFS are all mixing it on the same tournament (that should end well). With that said, let’s get straight into the team-by-team breakdown.

Pool A

Australia
Tournament odds – 8/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Chris Weidman

Talented in all areas with championship quality but the real test will come when they step up to meet the big boys.

England
Tournament odds – 9/2
If they were an MMA fighter – Robbie Lawler

Been around for a long time, tough as old boots and you just can’t rule them out from beating the very best.

Wales
Tournament odds – 25/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Anthony Pettis

Exciting, young, good to watch but injuries and their attacking style could work against them at the very top level.

Fiji
Tournament odds – 1000/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Alastair Overeem

Big, strong and athletic but they are always liable to get knocked out early.

Uruguay
Tournament odds – 5000/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Takenori Sato

They hold on for as long as possible but they will inevitably get smashed.

Pool B

South Africa
Tournament odds – 11/2
If they were an MMA fighter – Jose Aldo

Physical in both attack and defence, knows what it’s like to be a champion but soon to meet their big rivals.

Samoa
Tournament odds – 500/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Mark Hunt

Full of heart while being solid and hard hitting. Can pull off a shock against some of the best.

Scotland
Tournament odds – 75/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Michael Bisping.

Good professional outfit who are on the outskirts of the elite and will never break into it.

Japan
Tournament odds – 1000/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Erick Silva

Enjoyable to watch but once you bring them through the early stages it can become a cakewalk. No longer prospects.

United States
Tournament odds – 2000/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Steve Bossé

Most of their plus points come because they transferred over from another sport. Not very good at their current game.

Pool C

New Zealand
Tournament odds – 13/10
If they were an MMA fighter – Ronda Rousey

The most dominant in the game. Likely to beat everyone else easily and finish up undefeated and the world champion.

Argentina
Tournament odds – 66/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Rick Story

Strong and well-rounded. On their day they can beat anyone but that doesn’t happen often enough to be a contender.

Tonga
Tournament odds – 2000/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Joe Lauzon

Another one who is good to watch but with too many flaws to get to the top of the heap.

Georgia
Tournament odds – 2000/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Dion Staring

Will be best known for getting whopped by the future champion.

Namibia
Tournament odds – 5000/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Royston Wee

Not really sure what they are doing here.

Pool D

France
Tournament odds – 12/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Jon Jones

Mercurial, flawed, full of trouble but absolutely brilliant when they can put it all together. If they can get past that, they have a chance to be the very best.

Ireland
Tournament odds – 9/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Rory MacDonald

One of the top ranked in the world who have a chance to win it all but have a history of falling hard on the big stage.

Italy
Tournament odds – 500/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Ryan Bader

Constantly mixing it with some of the world’s elite. Has some good wins in the past but probably won’t get to the top.

Canada
Tournament odds – 2000/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Dodger Montano

Wins a lot locally but out of their depth on the world stage.

Romania
Tournament odds – 5000/1
If they were an MMA fighter – Katie Castro

Remember that soccer-mom getting smashed in Xplode Fight Series? Yeah.

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