My UFC 90 Predictions

I at first glance thought this was the weakest card of 2008.  I honestly was tempted to not order it.  I admit the main event isn’t much, but from top to bottom this has some great fights, especially in the lightweight divison.  My point is this: if you are doubting this card, look at fights like Clementi vs. Maynard and Griffin vs. Sherk to remind you why it is a good card.  The undercard has a few good bouts like Aurelio vs. Franca and Miller vs. Horwich. 

Andreson Silva vs. Patrick Cote

Is anyone really going to pick against Anderson Silva in this fight?  I know in a MMA fight anything can happen and I know that with a guy with heavy hands like Cote that Silva can get caught, but seriously very few will be picking Cote in this one. However, for the gamblers out there perhaps it isn’t a bad idea to put some bread on Cote.  If he somehow wins it would make a good pay day.  Here is the truth about this fight: Cote is not the type of guy that will beat Silva.  Style wise it is a bad match up for Cote.  The guy who can beat Silva will be good at jiu jitsu and good and wrestling and ground and pound, but yet can strike.  Cote is not good on the ground.  I will be shocked if this fight goes past round 1.  I think James Irvin had a better chance of beating Silva than Cote does.  Anyways, I will take the safe bet and pick Silva by TKO in round 1.

Josh Koscheck vs. Thiago Alves

This could be an interesting fight.  The fight was supposed to be Alves vs. Diego Sanchez.  That fight was well hyped.  Many looked forward to the high paced aggressive style of Sanchez vs. the muay thai of Alves.  That would have been a good one.  Let’s give props to Josh Koscheck for stepping in on about 2 weeks notice to fight a very tough opponent.  Say what you want about Koscheck, but he is super talented and always improving and he is always ready to fight.  Here are some of the factors that will come into play in this fight.  First, what will the short notice do to Koscheck?  Will it affect his game plan or his conditioning?  Second, will Alves make weight?  Either way and it could affect him.  He is a huge welterweight and the weight cut could hurt him and drain him.  How will Koscheck approach Alves?  Will he look for the take down and try to out wrestle him or will he stand and bang with him?  I think a combination of the two will work well.  The winner of this fight will get a title shot.  There is a lot riding on this fight.  When it comes down to it I think the size and strength of Alves will be too much for Koscheck and I think that Alves wins in round 2 by TKO, or maybe pulls of a decision.  Koscheck may be smart to try to take this to later rounds in hopes that Alves tires.  I will pick Alves, but root for Koscheck.

Fabricio Werdum vs. Junior Dos Santos

I don’t know anything about Junior Dos Santos, except that the Brazilian trains with Nogueira and Anderson Silva.  With that said, I think Werdum is one of the best heavyweights in the world, and I think he deserves a title shot.  I hope he gets it.  Quite honestly if Werdum loses here it would clear up a lot of the mess in the UFC Heavyweight divison.  We have the Couture/Lesnar bout for the title and the Nogueira/MIr fight for the interim title.  We can suppose that the winners of those bouts will fight in February or March.   That means Werdum would have to wait until early summer 2009 to get his title shot.  I look for Werdum to win this fight by submission in round 1. 

Sean Sherk vs. Tyson Griffin

What a fight!  I do not know what is in the mind of UFC match maker Joe Silva and Dana White, but it appears that the UFC could be anticipating B.J. Penn to vacate his lightweight title.  It would seem logical that the winner of this fight could face the winner of the Florian/Stevenson fight for the title.  If not Florian gets the next shot with a win.  I’ve thought a lot about this fight and here is my conclusion.  Tyson Griffin is a solid contender, but he has trouble finishing fights.  Sean Sherk is tough as nails and his conditioning is second to none.  Both are great wrestlers and Tyson Griffin will not outwrestle Sean Sherk.  Sean Sherk is very underrated.  He has only lost to the best of the best in his career (B.J. Penn, Georges St. Pierre and Matt Hughes).  I think Sherk takes this fight.  However, if Griffin is smart he will take a page out of B.J. Penn’s booka nd box Sean Sherk and utilize a jab.  Griffin has a big advantage in training in one of the best gyms in the nation at Xtreme Couture.  He has training partners like Gray Maynard.  Nevertheless, I pick Sean Sherk to win this by unaimous decision.

Gray Maynard vs. Rich Clementi

Rich Clementi has looked very good lately.  He is so solid of a fighter and is so well roudned that he makes difficult match ups.  Gray Maynard is very good.  He is coming off of a dominant win over Frank Edgar.  Maynard is still underrated, but a win here will catapoult him into the top tier of lightweight contenders and certainly put him into the mix for a title shot.  Clementi has good submissions and he could pull off a submission here, but I look for Maynard to use his boxing and then his take downs to work soem ground and pound.  Maynard will win this one by unaimous decision in what is a fight of the night and fight of the year candidate.

Dan Miller vs. Matt Horwich

The fight of former IFL middleweights.  Dan Miller being the last IFL middleweight champ.  Miller won his UFC debut and was tapped as a replacement for the injured Ricardo Almeida.  This could be a very good fight.  Horwich is a solid fighter, but his ground game will really be tested against Dan Miller.  Horwich has solid ground skills with 18 of his 22 wins coming by way of submission.  Horwich also will have the experience on his side.  They have a common opponent in Ryan McGivern.  McGivern beat Horwich, but Miller beat McGivern.  That doesn’t necessarily translate into victory for Miller, but here I think it will. I think Horwich will do very well at first, but then Miller will get the take down and submit Horwich in round 2.

Hermes Franca vs. Marcus Aurelio

Hermes Franca is a former number 1 contender who has great amounts of experience.  He has great wins over the likes of Nate Diaz, Spencer Fisher, Jamie Varner, Ryan Schultz, and Caol Uno.  However, Franca has lost two in a row to Frank Edgar and Sean Sherk.  Following his steroid suspension Franca has not looked the same.  Aurelio also has a great resume which boasts wins over Rich Clementi and most notably Takanori Gomi.  Aurelio has great jiu jit su and he should have the advtage in this fight.  I think in the end Aurelio is too much for Franca and he wins by submission in round 3. 

Thales Leites vs. Drew McFedries

This fight was supposed to be Leites vs. up and comer Goran Reljic.  That fight was highly anticipated, but this should be pretty good as well.  Leites comes into this fight having won four fights in a row, including a controversial decision win over Nate Marquardt.  McFedries is an exciting fighter who has not lived up to potential.  He is 3-3 in the UFC and seems to have a patetrn of winning every other fight.  He is a late replacement for Reljic who withdrew due to injury.  I think Leites is too good all around and McFedries is not good enough on the ground.  Leites is well rounded and has great submissions.  I thinm he will submit McFedries in round 2 with a easy submission. 

Spencer Fisher vs. Shannon Gugerty

Gugerty made his UFC debut against Dale Hartt and won that match.  He has a 8 fight win streak on the line.  Spencer Fisher is a solid veteran who has been around.  Fisher is 6-3 in the UFC and he looked really good against Jeremy Stephens.  I honestly do not know much about Gugerty, but I have to pick Fisher to win this fight by unaimous decision. 

Pete Sell vs. Josh Burkman

Pete Sell has yet to prove himself in the UFC, and quite honestly I do not know why he is getting this chance.  Nevertheless Josh Burkman has had a solid UFC career and is full of talent.  I think this fight could be exciting and we could see these two go at it.  In the end I pick Burkman to win by decision.

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