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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UFC News: Drew McFedries Replaces Goran Reljic

It did not take long for the UFC to tap a replacement for Goran Reljic who was set to face Thales Leites.  It appears the replacement will be none other than Miletich trained fighter, Drew McFedries.  McFedries is very talented and has knockout power, but he has proven vulnerable on the ground.  Leites is a top notch fighter who is coming off of a controversial win over Nate Marquardt.  McFedries is coming off of a loss at UFC Fight Night 15 to Mike Massenzio.

UFC Fight Night 15 Salaries

  • Nate Diaz — $70,000 ($20,000 to show, $20,000 to win, $30,000 Fight of the Night Bonus)
  • Wilson Gouveia — $66,000 (Includes $30,000 Submission of the Night Bonus)
  • Alessio Sakara — $64,000 ($17,000 to show, $17,000 to win, $30,000 KO of the Night Bonus)
  • Josh Neer — $39,000 (Includes $30,000 Fight of the Night Bonus)
  • Clay Guida — $26,000
  • Alan Belcher — $26,000
  • Joe Lauzon — $20,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 to win)
  • Ed Herman — $16,000
  • Drew McFedries — $16,000
  • Mac Danzig — $15,000
  • Houston Alexander — $13,000
  • Eric Schafer — $12,000
  • Dan Miller — $10,000
  • Mike Massenzio — $6,000
  • Jason Brilz – $6,000
  • Rob Kimmons — $5,000
  • Ryan Jensen — $4,000
  • Kyle Bradley — $4,000
  • Brad Morris — $4,000
  • Joe Vedepo — $3,000

UFC Fight Night 15 Results and Thoughts

Nate Diaz Def. Josh Neer via Split Decision

Clay Guida Def. Mac Danzig via Unanimous Decision

Alan Belcher Def. Ed Herman by Split Decision

Eric Schafer def. Houston Alexander by Submission in Round 1

Joe Lauzon Def. Kyle Bradley By TKO in Round 2

Wilson Gouveia Def. Ryan Jensen by Submission in Round 2

Alessio Sakara Def. Joe Vedepo by KO in Round 2

Dan Miller Def. Rob Kimmons by Submission in Round 1

Mike Massenzio Def. Drew McFedries by Submission in Round 1

Jason Brilz def. Brad Morris by TKO in Round 2

Fight of the Night: Nate Diaz vs. Josh Neer

Knockout of the Night: Alessio Sakara

Submission of the Night: Wilson Gouveia

  • Nate Diaz looked really impressive in submission defense
  • I am shocked Neer fought so well and fought on the ground a lot of the time
  • Clay Guida was overwhelming
  • Ed Herman probably should have gotten the decision victory
  • It looks like the middleweight divison’s newcomers are a force to be reckoned with (Wilson Gouveia, Mike Massenzio, and Dan Miller)
  • It looks like Houston Alexander is out of the UFC.  He looked solid at first but his ground game stinks.

UFC News: Mike Massenzio Signs With the UFC

The UFC has signed former IFL middleweight fighter Mike Massenzio to a four fight contract.  It also appears that Massenzio will debut at UFC Fight Night 15 in September against the tough Drew McFedries.  Massenzio was a former college wrestling star who turned to mixed martial arts.  He boasts a 10-2 record in MMA with notable wins against Dan Miller and Dante Rivera.  Massenzio enters into a heavy second tiered middleweight divison.  Perhaps he will be a good addition to the UFC, but Drew McFedries is a tough welcome for him.

The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale Quick Results

Kendall Grove def. Evan Tanner via split decision

Amir Sadollah def. C.B. Dolloway via Armbar Submission in round 1

Diego Sanchez def. Luigi Fiorvanti via TKO in round 3

Spencer Fisher def. Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision

Matt Riddle def. Dante Rivera via Unanimous decision

Dustin Hazelett def. Josh Burkman via submission (arm bar) — Round 2, 4:46

Drew McFedries def. Marvin Eastman via TKO (strikes) — Round 1, 1:08

Matt Brown def. Matt Arroyo via TKO (strikes) — Round 2, 3:40

Dean Lister def. Jeremy Horn via submission (guillotine choke) — Round 1, 3:52

Matt Brown def. Matt Arroyo via TKO (strikes) — Round 2, 3:40

Rob Kimmons def. Rob Yundt via submission (guillotine choke) — Round 1, 3:58

Official Bonuses:

Fight of the Night: Josh Burkman vs. Dustin Hazelett

KO of the Night: Drew McFedries

Submission of the Night: Dustin Hazelett

Other Notes:

  • The Tim Credeur vs. Cale Yarbrough fight was cancelled due to traces of Adderol being in Tim’s system still.  Apparently, he informed the commission prior to weigh ins and they pulled the fight.  It was not due to some advantage he would be given, but because of concern for Tim’s health while on Adderoll.  No further discipline will be given.
  • Diego Sanchez looked great and his striking was awesome.  I was disappointed because I wanted to see his improved ground game that he speaks of.  He is still a force at welterweight and he beat a tough Luigi Fiorvanti.
  • Kendall Grove looked good, but he didn’t impress me.  Evan Tanner is tough as nails.  I don’t think Evan has what it takes to fight in the UFC anymore, but he can sure go in there and take a beating.
  • Congratulations to Amir Sadollah TUF 7 winner.  Who would have picked this at season’s start?  I like C.B. and think he will be just fine in the UFC, but he needs to leave Tempe and join a major camp where he can learn some submissions and submission defense.  Anyways, Amir is awesome and he has a great personality.
  • I think Matt Riddle may shock some people in the UFC as he is tough and looked much improved. 
  • Drew McFedries is back in a big way
  • Saddly, fight of the night and submission of the night were not televised (Burkman vs. Hazelett)
  • Overall this wasn’t a great show in my opinion.

 

The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale Predictions

C.B. Dolloway vs. Amir Sadollah

This is a re-match for the TUF 7 crown.  Amir beat C.B. in the third round of a semi-final fight via armbar.  However, it must be remembered that C.B. beat Amir for two and a half rounds.  I think Amir has been shockingly good.  I think he has a place in the UFC, and will be very good.  He however has far less experience than C.B.  C.B.’s wrestling is awesome, and certainly he has been preparing for Amir well and defending armbars.  I think when it comes down to it, C.B. may keep the fight standing or do a little bit better ground and pound.  C.B.’s problem was cardio.  If he has bettered that he will be a force in the UFC.  From day one most people considered C.B. the best in the house and in the end I think a great final match is set up.  Some don’t like C.B. because of his cockiness, but I like him.  Some others feel that he shouldn’t be given this re-match and I disagree.  He wasn’t just handed this.  He had to beat Tim Credeur to get there.  Also, Amir didn’t tear him up, he won a come from behind win as he did in all his fights.  Don’t forget Gerald was beating Amir before he won.  Matt Brown gave him fits as did C.B.  Now with that said a win is a win, and Amir is amazing.  No one thought Amir would get this far.  He showed endurance and a great Nogueira like ability to come from behind.  Overall, I think C.B. is the best out of this season and I think he deserves this shot and will make the most of it.  I pick C.B. by ref stoppage in round 2. 

Kendall Grove vs. Evan Tanner

This has been billed as a do or die fight.  The loser of this fight is probably out of the UFC unless they put on a good show.  Kendall grove has looked horrible lately.  Evan Tanner didn’t look so hot in his bouth with Yushin Okami, but then again Okami is a great fighter.  Tanner has been out of fighting for a while now and I don’t know if he can get back with it.  If Tanner fights like the Tanner of old he will win and win big.  However, if not he is done with the UFC and his fighting career.  He has way more to lose in this fight than Kendall Grove.  I will pick Evan Tanner by TKO or ref stoppage in round 2. 

Diego Sanchez vs. Luigi Fioravanti

This match is one that I think will be better than some expect.  Fiorvanti is maybe the most underrated welterweight in the UFC and he could easily pull a win out.  Luigi is an awesome fighter and is well rounded.  He may have better stand up than Diego.  Diego Sanchez though seems to be refocused and ready to go.  I was half tempted to pick the upset here, but I am picking Diego to get back on track and win by submission in round 1.

Dustin Hazelett vs. Josh Burkman

Hazelett is a good fighter, but I think Burkman will prove too strong, aggresive and big for him in this fight.  Burkman didn’t look great against Swick his last outing, but I believe he is betetr than he showed.  Hazelett could hope for some type of submission, but if Burkman strikes with Dustin.  It will not be good for Hazelett.  If I was Hazelett I would try to pull off some type of head kick to get a KO.  I think that in the end Burkamn wins this one by decision.

Spencer Fisher vs. Jeremy Stephens

Fisher has to be the favorite in this fight, but Stephens is tough.  In this fight I just have to go with experience.  I think it can be a great fight though, and this is on my upset watch.  I will pick Fisher by decision.  If we see the Fisher of old it will be a win for him.  Stephens may have learned from Edgar about wrestling and ground and pound though against Fisher. 

Jeremy Horn vs. Dean Lister

Both these guys are good on the ground, but Dean Lister is amazing on the ground.  Jeremy Horn will want to keep this fight standing and if he can it is bad news for Lister.  I think Horn needs a win here to hang around the UFC.  I think he will do it.  I pick Jeremy Horn by TKO in round 3. 

Marvin Eastman vs. Drew McFedries

This fight may be a good stand up match.  Drew McFedries is talented, but has struggled lately.  Marvin Eastman is big at middleweight.  I think the beastman Eastman will win by TKO in round 1.  Don’t count Drew out though. 

Rob Kimmons vs. Rob Yundt

I don’t know much about these guys, except seeing Yundt lose to Almeida.  Kimmons has lost 3 times and they were all to UFC or former UFC fighters.  Perhaps that means he cannot hang with UFC level guys.  I don’t know if Yundt will prove to be UFC worthy.  However, I pick Yundt to win by decision.

Quick Picks:

Matt Brown vs. Matt Arroyo

Matthew Riddle vs. Dante Rivera

Tim Credeur vs. Cale Yarbrough

Upset Watch:

 Jeremy Stephens over Spencer Fisher.  Dean Lister over Jeremy Horn.  Kendall Grove over Evan Tanner.