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Wanderlei Silva v. Rich Franklin
Doctor Law: Thank Christ we avoided Wanderlei v. Vitor II. Seriously, that was just going to be an execution. Don’t get me wrong, I love Wanderlei Silva. The man is just violent. That being said, he couldn’t beat Vitor when he had a chin. God knows what would have happened to him now that his chin is super questionable. Rich Franklin steps in for Vitor (who broke his hand) and takes this fight on short notice, showing that he is the ultimate company man. This a rematch of an awesome fight at UFC 99 that Franklin won. I think Wanderlei wins this because, well, it’s what I want. Sidenote, Belo Horizonte is beautiful...you all should go there. Wanderlei by 3rd round TKO.
Kid Presentable: Hey Calgary, Brazil feels your pain as this is another card ravaged by injuries. Franklin the consummate company man steps in to fight Wanderlei at the franklin-weight catchweight. It's a chance for Silva to avenge his earlier loss to Rich, and a chance for both to show if either of them is still relevant in the fight world. How relevant is a stretch though considering once again, its at a catch weight. It was a close fight last time, though I still thought it was clearly Franklin's fight, though this time I look for Silva to even the score due to home field advantage. There is something about that Brazilian crowd that lights a fire under these fighter's asses, unless of course you are Luiz Cane and you kick the fence in your near unconscious state. Wanderlei has to win, otherwise how is he going to ever get that Vitor rematch? Axe Murderer by TKO 3rd round.
DJ Mark with a “K”: While it sucks that we aren’t going to see the two TUF coaches fight eachother, I feel like Wanderlei dodged a bullet. With Silva’s worsening chin and Belfort devastating hands the original match up had Wanderlei’s destruction written all over it. This fight however, seems more evenly matched. While I still have serious questions about Silva’s chin, he looked awesome in his last fight and I hope we see that Silva again. Normally I would pick Franklin because I think he has more fuel in his tank then Silva does, but given that it’s pretty short notice and Silva’s last fight I’m going with Silva. Silva by decision.
Lavender Gooms: I was happy when Silva came back against Cung Le to get the TKO. Being a newcomer as a fan of MMA, I never saw Silva fight while in Pride, when he was just wrecking dudes. The only Silva I’ve seen is the one who got broken by Rampage and lost to Chris Leben. Logically, I know that Silva’s days as being one of the best in the world are long over, but he still has more than enough in the tank for Franklin. If Franklin can keep his distance or get on top he’ll likely win. Silva will (hopefully) be able to get inside and cause major damage from the clinch and earn himself a second straight TKO victory. Silva by TKO in the 2nd.
Picking Silva: All of us (Seriously guys…someone should have picked Rich Franklin)
|Image via sherdog.com|
Doctor Law: Look, the Mike Russow thing has been all fun and games when he was fighting below average UFC fighters. The Hammerfist of Doom isn’t going to fly against a guy like Werdum. I honestly don’t see how Russow wins this fight. Werdum’s standup has looked great in recent fights and while Russow is a wrestler, he’s entering a world of pain if he tries to take down Werdum. Ask Fedor what happens when you get in Fabricio’s guard. Russow is tough, so it may take Werdum a couple minutes, but I think the former ADCC champion has got this one. Werdum by 2nd round submission.
Kid Presentable: This is probably the most relevant fight in terms of divisional rankings on the card, but at the same time it should be a pretty one sided fight. Russow has put together a nice win streak against the dregs of the heavyweight division through toughness and solid to decent wrestling. Werdum is one of upper tier guys though and should outclass Russow by a wide margin standing. Should it go to the mat, there might not be a more dangerous guy off his back than Werdum who shattered the Fedor mystique with a triangle choke. This is all Werdum, all day and all night long. Werdum submission 1st round.
DJ Mark with a “K”: Finally, a couple fighters I actually know. I think this is actually an easier fight for Werdum then his UFC return against Roy Nelson. Mike’s always kinda been a one dimensional fighter, he’s a ground guy going against one of the best Jiu-Jitsu players in the game, I just don’t see this working out well for him. Also I think Werdums standing is functionally better then Russow’s as well. Werdum by decision.
Lavender Gooms: I’ve been wracking my brain for the last 20 minutes trying to think of some way to do some word play using “I shot the Sheriff”, but Suits is on and I’m much more interested in whether Mike is going to tell Rachel he’s not a real lawyer. Werdum looked good his last time out against Roy Nelson. I think he’s going to keep the ball rolling. Werdum’s striking is better than the Chicago Police Officerand while Russow is a good wrestler, if he goes to the mat against Werdum he’ll be contorted into weird angles. Werdum by TKO in 3rd.
Picking Werdum: All of us
|Image via vitorbelfort.com|
Cezar "Mutante" Ferreira v. Sergio "Serginho" Moraes
Doctor Law: I only saw the first episode of TUF:Brazil, so I’m not going to try to fake my way through this. Instead, I’m going to get on my soap box and tell you about something that’s on my mind: Carlos Condit. Carlos…what the hell man? How is possible for a man to ruin all of his good will this quickly? First you forget how aggressive you fight and pretty much run away from Nick Diaz for 5 rounds. Then, you somehow win the decision. Alright, I get that…gotta win any way you can. This is the part that is making me angry: you wont defend the belt. There is NO point to having an interim champion if he will not defend the belt. The whole point of an interim champ is so that a division doesn’t get backed up. You really screwed the pooch here Carlos. Oh, the guy Stefan picked…Mutante, by 2nd round TKO.
Kid Presentable: Daniel Sarafian's injury has taken some luster out of this fight for me as the ATT product was one of the top prospects on the show in my eye. I have no doubt he will get his shot though upon healing up as his flying knee KO on finale replacement Serginho was quite beastly. With that injury though, Serginho gets another shot. I came to find him quite entertaining through the season as his flamboyant tendencies and penchant for crying often was supplemented by his world class ground game. I was never a fan of Mutante personally on the season, as he was the only guy on the show who didn't seem like he absolutely needed to win this tourney because their family and everyone they know is absolutely depending on them. But you cannot deny his skill as he is probably the most well-rounded mw prospect to come out of this season. Mutante has far superior standup and a strong enough take down defense game to stop any threat from Serginho even beginning and should probably take this with ease. Mutante by KO 1st round.
DJ Mark with a “K”: ’m not going to lie to you good people. I haven’t seen the vast majority of TUF Brazil. However, I remember Cezar and since I do remember him I’m going to pick him as well haha. He is a direct pupil of Victor Belfort and his first pick, I think he’s got this one in the bag. Cezar by submission 2nd round.
Lavender Gooms: I saw the first episode of TUF Brazil and thought to myself “wow this is pretty good, I should watch this show”. Since then, I’ve watched five minutes of the 2nd episode. I know nothing about these Brazilian fighters, but I do know Brazil lost to the United States in the U-18 FIBA World Basketball tournament. Is that relevant? Not at all, but at least it’s Brazil related. Expect more unrelated Brazil news for the next fight prediction. Moraes by the fact I’m guessing.
Picking Ferriera: Dr. Law, Kid P, DJ Mark
Picking Moraes: Gooms
|Image via bleacherreport.com|
Rony "Jason" Mariano Bezerra vs. Godofredo "Pepey" de Oliveira
Doctor Law: Alright, another thing I’ve been thinking about: Fedor. This morning (as of this writing), Fedor Emelianenko knocked out a broken down Pedro Rizzo in about 90 seconds. After the fight Fedor announced his retirement. A lot has been made of Fedor’s legacy in recent years due the lack of relevant opponents he’s taken on, his 3 straight losses in Strikeforce, and his horrible management team (talking to you, Vadim and Evgeni). I just want to make something clear: Fedor is the greatest heavyweight in the history of MMA. He was a straight savage in Pride. Fedor went 10 years without a loss and did so while basically fighting as a chubby middleweight. We will likely have a larger career retrospective up on him soon (looking at you, Marc). Also, I’m going with the guy Stefan picked again (he actually watched). Bezerra by decision.
Kid Presentable: The featherweight finale mirrors the middleweight one in the sense that you have a very well-rounded fighter against a primarily bjj specialist. Rony Jason was the sole winner from Wanderlei's orginal team, but as his top overall pick, was one of the best prospects on the show. Rony Jason has good power in his hands and a very very strong grappling acumen as shown by his nasty armbar on Gasparzinho. Pepey is a good grappler in his own right but he struggles with maintaining ground control over his opponent. Rony Jason will likely be far too savvy and strong on the ground for Pepey to maintain any type of control or mount an effective offense. I can truly see Rony Jason winning here in any number of ways as he is the superior fighter in pretty much every aspect of this fight, but for picks sake I'll just say submission. Rony Jason by armbar round 2.
DJ Mark with a “K”: Similar with the other TUF finale fight I remember one of the two guys fighting. I like Pepey from the beginning and I’m glad he made it all the way to the finals. He has a good ground game and decent standing (from what I vaguely remember). Pepey by Submission 3rd round.
Lavender Gooms: So former Syracuse center (and Brazilian) Fab Melo told NBA teams the reason for his academic ineligibility during the NCAA tournament was because he only learned English 4 years ago. I’ve known many people that came to the U.S. in their late teens. Bad English or not, they were able to muster at least a 2.0 GPA. Oh and I’m going with Bezerra. Bezerra by decision
Picking Bezerra: All of us
Yuri Alcantara v. Hacran Dias
Doctor Law: Dias is another killer from Nova Uniao. I’m very excited to see him in the UFC as he has long been touted as a serious prospect at 145 pounds. Question: how come everybody good out of Nova Uniao fights at featherweight? Isn’t this going to cause a problem when one of them wants to take on Aldo? Anyays, Dias brings absolutely sick BJJ to the table and an ever developing striking game. His opponent, Yuri Alcantara, is a well rounded fighter who can finish fights a number of different ways. I honestly expect this fight to be a war, but I think the UFC newcomer finds a way to get it done. Dias by 3rd round submission.
Kid Presentable: Yuri is a long standing veteran of the fight game with a nice win streak going to his name. I was planning to take him versus the new blood until I realized that Dias is coming out of the Nova Uniao camp. If there is one thing I do know about MMA, it is that guys coming out of those camps are straight beast mode, so I look for the new blood to announce his arrival with authority. Dias by submission round 2.
DJ Mark with a “K”: Who? Jeez, I know this is pretty much just a TUF finale which has a lot of guys from the show but to ask the US audience to pay to watch this fight is a tough sell. Personally I don’t recognize these guys and if this was a free TV card I wouldn’t have a problem with this being on the main card at all, but I’d be surprised if this PPV does well in the states since TUF brazil was uber- tape delayed to be shown on TV in the states and on a channel that many people (Comcast Customers really) don’t have. Dias by winning maneuver.
Lavender Gooms: It’s the classic case of one guy has been in the UFC and I’ve seen him fight, and the other guy hasn’t and I’ve never heard of him. Give me the UFC vet! Alcantara by Decision
Picking Alcantra: Dr. Law, Kid P, DJ Mark
Picking Dias: Gooms