So like always I’m going to be doing a prediction piece on the upcoming UFC 97: Redemption. I really am looking forward to this event, because it has some good fights on the main and under card. So without further ado.
Sam Stout vs. Matt Wiman
Both Sam Stout and Matt Wiman are considered middle tier lightweight fighters in the UFC and both may be hitting the pavement soon enough if they don’t start making real strides towards the upper levels in this division. Stout is a great fighter outside the UFC, inside the UFC is a different story.
In the UFC he is 2-4 and this just may be his last rodeo in the big show. Wiman has a better overall record in the UFC at 4-2; however most of those wins have been against lesser opponents. He hasn’t done well stepping-up in competition.
Standing I’d give the advantage to Stout who is a much better kick boxer, but if Wiman can get it to the ground he can use his top control to keep it there. For that reason I’m going for the “Handsome” one. Matt Wiman via Second round TKO-GnP
David Bielkheden vs. Mark Bocek
Both men are ground fighters and both have ties to a top team, Bielkheden to the Brazilian version and Bocek to the American version. Bocek has also been training recently in Vancouver at the newly built Xtreme Couture with Chris Horodecki.
The truth is I personally haven’t seen any striking from either guy to give either one of them any sort of advantage there. I feel that Bocek is a bit more dangerous on the ground so I’ll go with him, but I wouldn’t but money on that.
Mark Bocek via Unanimous Decision. By the way if anyone watched ER, doesn’t Bocek look like Dr. Morris?
Vinicius Magalhaes vs. Eliot Marshall
This one is easier than most are thinking. Yes Vinny is a world class Black belt in BJJ, however those skills are only useful against a guy who has no takedown defense.
Eliot Marshall is to skilled and comes from too good of a camp in Team Quest in Temecula and some spare time training with Nate Marquardt in Denver to allow Marshall to just fall for the BJJ traps that Vinny will be trying to set.
Vinny is just way to one dimensional to beat Marshall.
Eliot Marshall via first round TKO.
Ryo Chonan vs. T.J. Grant
This fight should be featuring one of the best UFC fighters ever in Ryo Chonan however his stay in the UFC hasn’t been that great thus far. Ryo is 1-2 in the octagon and his opponent T.J. Grant is a very solid Canadian fighter who is making his UFC debut.
Now I’d love to say the Ryo is going to win this one easily due to Grant making his UFC debut, but I worry that Grant will make the fight interesting enough to really make it more of a tossup. Hopefully Chonan’s training with the team Quest guys in Temecula will pay off soon.
Ryo Chonan via Unanimous Decision.
Xavier Foupa-Pokam vs. Denis Kang
Kang needs this win desperately in order to be relevant in the middle division but Xavier Foupa-Pokam is no slouch. “Professor X” is a French Muay Thai fighter with some serious knees in the clinch.
Since 2006 Professor X has had only one loss and 12 wins with only one of those 13 fights going to the decision. Kang really has no real advantage in the fight except maybe his takedowns, but Xavier has good submission skills, so who knows if Kang will take it there.
I like Kang in general but I don’t like him in this fight.
Xavier Foupa-Pokam via Second round TKO.
Ed Herman vs. David Loiseau
There have been a lot of fans super excited about the Crow’s return but really David Loiseau has had no real competition since leaving the UFC and Joe Silva handed him an easy opponent in Ed Herman.
Herman is 3-4 in the UFC and my guess is that one more loss will send him out the door of the UFC and into Strikeforce or worst yet a smaller venue. Loiseau needs to impress in order to stay relevant in the division, but really the step above an Ed Herman may give him trouble. That said, Herman shouldn’t.
David “the Crow” Loiseau via First round TKO.
Jason MacDonald vs. Nate Quarry
A battle of middleweight gatekeepers should show who is a UFC top ten middleweight fighter and who needs to go back to the drawing board. Both men can stand and trade, but MacDonald has the submission advantage if the fight goes to the ground.
Both men need this win to stay on the thoughts of Joe Silva in regards to future fights. It’s a real coin flip but because of the grappling skills, I think I’m going with the Athlete on this on.
Jason MacDonald via Second round RNC.
Luis Cane vs. Steve Cantwell
I’m not a big time fan of Cantwell, and not just because of his jackassery after breaking his previous opponents arm but because he had the nerve to beat Brian Stann in their last meeting.
My guess is that this match and the next match up will pit the winners together in hopes of seeing the Cantwell-Stann rematch, but it won’t happen because Luis “Banha” Cane is the real deal.
Cane is a great Muay Thai fighter with good head movement as demonstrated in the fight with Sokoudjou. I think that he will outlast and wear down Cantwell. Luis Cane with a win will likely move up in the rankings and face some top level 205’ers.
Luis Cane via second round TKO.
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Brian Stann
For the record I will never bet against Brain Stann. He has been in more real life shit in Iraq than any of us could imagine. And unfortunately, Krzysztof is in for a world of hurt. The only way Krzysztof could maybe win is if he takes the fight to the ground, but Stann should be able to prevent that.
Brian Stann via TKO in the first.
Cheick Kongo vs. Antoni Hardonk
Kongo has been steadily improving in his MMA career and working with the Wolfslair has help him leaps and bounds. Antoni Hardonk is a real test though to see how well Kongo’s takedown defense is.
I’m really hoping for a good showing by Kongo which will translate into a fight with someone like Carwin or Velasquez if he gets past Herring. Hardonk has got to try and get this fight to the ground to have a shot to win it.
Cheick Kongo via Un. Decision.
Chuck Liddell vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
I’ve stated my case to why I think Shogun will win in a previous article but here is something to add to the fire.
Last month Fight Magazine did a write-up on why beating on the underdog isn’t the smartest way to make money beating on UFC events. Since UFC 72 the underdog in a main or co-main event has only won six times with two of those times being against Chuck Liddell.
So normally you beat the favorite minus when Chuck is fighting. Chuck is currently at -200 which means he is the favorite to win, so off of what the article says, beat on Shogun at +160 for 100 and you should get a nice return.
Shogun via second round RNC
Middleweight champ Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites
I really feel bad for Thales Leites, because I have the feeling that Anderson is going to make an example out of him. After the Cote fight, Anderson went back to his locker room and fought with his training partners for two more rounds just to calm himself down.
It’s gonna be messy and just straight brutality when he gets a hold of Leites. That’s not to say that Leites has no chance at shocking the MMA world, but I’d give him less of a chance than Serra did against GSP on their first go around.
Leites’s only hope is by something like a guillotine or something crazy like a flying armbar. I just can’t see anything that Anderson won’t be able to stop, which could lead to a ton of blood on the mat. I’m almost afraid to watch this annihilation.
Anderson Silva via decapitation or any way he chooses to win. TKO in the First.
KOTN- Anderson Silva
FOTN- Cane vs Cantwell
Enjoy the fights