Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen for the UFC Middleweight Championship
Rich- No one in the history of MMA has ever so brilliantly hyped a fight to this extent. Sonnen’s crazy routine has created a stir that this fight would’ve never had otherwise. When this fight was announced the first reaction of fans was “oh well, Silva will eat him alive”, but as time has passed Sonnen’s antics have convinced people that this fight is more competitive than it really is. Public perception has never changed this much simply through trash talking, but really Silva has more ways to win the fight as Chael really only has one way, top control while staying out of submissions. Through the course of 5 rounds the more dynamic fighter usually wins the day. Silva is going to bust him up on the feet and eventually finish him on the floor ala Silva vs. Henderson. Anderson Silva retains the Middleweight Championship via 2nd round Submission, but in the process we saw the greatest pre-fight hype ever produced by one individual.
Toby- Let me first say I think Chael has made a grave error. He has basically been prodding a sleeping dragon for the last couple of months and I believe he is gonna regret his mouth writing checks his skill set can’t cash. Let’s be honest Sonnen isn’t even the best wrestler in his camp, that title belongs to Dan Henderson and Anderson already dispensed with him. So what can Chael do, well its obvious he can take him down and pound him out. Well let’s analyze that. Yes he can take him down, it has been done a lot actually. The question there is can Chael close the distance. Forrest couldn’t and he’s bigger and stronger. If he gets him down he is he gonna have to hold him down for 5 rounds because I do not see him getting a stoppage. No one has been able to do that yet and Chael is prone to submissions. Anderson has something to prove to the fans, to Dana and to Chael and his big mouth. The Spider is gonna rain down an ass whooping the likes of which we have never seen. Anderson Silva by 2nd Round TKO.
Junior Dos Santos vs. Roy Nelson
Rich- As evidenced in the open workouts, Dos Santos’ hand speed is unmatched in the heavyweight division. This fight will look similar to Nelson vs. Arlovski except JDS is a better and younger version of Arlovski. I’m not in the populous that believes Nelson’s cardio is any kind of good. I’ve seen him get tired in fights yet it seems to be overlooked because it’s not Pudzianowski-esque and with that physique it’s a seems impossible to have any cardio. JDS will bust him up and avoid the trips of Nelson on his way to a dominating decision. Dos Santos via Unanious Decision.
Toby- These are two really solid guys and honestly I can see this fight going either way. I think Nelson will be able to handle Dos Santos power. I would think Dos Santos can handle Nelson’s power but in all honesty the heaviest hitter he has faced is Yvel ( I exclude Mirko from the list. He wasn’t the old Mirko in that fight). So who has the edge on the ground, I’m gonna take Nelson to get it on the ground and then use his overwhelming girth to hold Dos Santos down and grind out a win. Nelson by Decision
Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves
Rich- As everyone knows by now Alves came in a half pound over and instead of trying to shed the extra weight he opted to be fined 20% of his purse. Fitch is a relentless wrestler that tends to slow down towards the end of the fight. Alves does have some fantastic defensive wrestling and can bust Fitch up on the feet with his muay thai skills. Fitch is impossible to finish. The weight scares me, but Alves is the more well rounded fighter so Alves by Decision.
Toby- This could be fight of the night or snooze fest of the night. Either way I think this is the best match up on the card. Fitch is the ultimate grinder with a great skill set. I honestly think if Gsp would move up he would probably be champion at 170. The same could be said for Alves though. A great striker with finishing power and good wrestling. I really don’t know. If it stays standing, Alves. If it goes to the ground, Fitch. So the ultimate question is which guy is gonna be able to impose his will on the other. Fitch by Decision.
Ricardo Almeida vs. Matt Hughes
Rich- Almeida’s defensive wrestling is pretty dreadful, so Hughes can certainly take advantage of that, but Almeida’s bottom game is good enough for some stalls and submission attempts. Almeida is an elite grappler and although his takedowns are rather rudimentary he is relentless with them. If Almeida can spend some time on top I like him to find the submission or grind out the decision. This could be a very boring, uneventful fight. Almeida by Decision.
Toby- I know Almedia is super slick on the ground but Matt Hughes has seen it all and done it all in the cage. I don’t see a lot of outs here for Almeida, Hughes stand up though not very good is probably a couple notches above Almeida. And his submission defense is superb. I like Hughes to play the bully here and hold him down until he breaks Almeida’s will. Hughes via 2nd Round Submission.
Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Clay Guida
Rich- I like Dos Anjos big in this fight he is a developing prospect that looks better every time he fights. While Guida is basically the same fighter he has always been. Guida’s sub defense is good, but not great and Dos Anjos is good enough to catch something. Dos Anjos is also the better fighter on the feet. Dos Anjos by 2nd Round Submission.
Toby- This is a nice step up in competition for Dos Anjos. Guida’s ground game and wicked bad ass cardio makes him a great test for anyone. Dos Anjos has looked real good recently, and I think Guida is gonna play right into Dos Anjos strong suits. Dos Anjos by 2nd Round Submission.
Ben Saunders vs. Dennis Hallman
As I mention here Saunders has problems when he’s on his back. That being said, Hallman is not Jon Fitch and Saunders can keep this on the feet long enough for an impressive TKO. Saunders via 1st Round KO.
Dustin Hazelett vs. Rick Story
Great matchmaking here. Story is an exciting prospect, but he’s never faced someone with submission acumen like Hazelett. Unless Hazelett decides to throw game planning out the window and strike with Story, he will find a submission. Hazelett via 1st Round Submission.
Phil Davis vs. Rodney Wallace
Mr. Wonderful via Athletic and Explosive, but really the fantastic prospect can win this fight any way he wants to. Hopefully it’s quick enough to make the televised card.
Johny Hendricks vs. Charlie Brenneman
Speaking of fantastic prospects, read “Hendricks” and “any way he wants”.
Tim Boetsch vs. Todd Browne
Good to see Boetsch back in the big show. Boetsch via Barbarian Toss.
Stefan Struve vs. Christian Morecraft
Struve’s underrated submission ability will spell doom for Morecraft.