UFC 83: Pre-Event Coverage

Pete Dudek@TaynqCorrespondent IApril 17, 2008

UFC 83: Serra Vs. St. Pierre 2 is going to be an electric card.  Not only is the main card stacked, but the undercard makes this worthy of buying the eventual DVD the day it is released. 

In my opinion, the most intriguing bouts will appear on the undercard. Coverage will be given to the main card as well.

This being the first time the UFC is taking place in Canada, the crowd is definitely going to have an impact on the hometown fighters. 

The first undercard bout features Jonathan Goulet and Kuniyoshi Hironaka.

Goulet is sporting a 21-9 record against Hironaka's 11-4 record. Experience goes to Goulet. Both fighters have UFC experience, but Hironaka's last bout was a loss against Thiago Alves in back in September, so ring rust may be an issue.

On the other hand, Goulet is on a two-fight win streak and has the hometown advantage.

My pick: Goulet via early KO.

Another undercard bout is Rich Clementi against Sam Stout.  This is my pick for fight of the night. 

Clementi is on a four-fight win streak, while Stout is on a two-fight win streak. Clementi has more experience than Stout by more than 20 fights, having more wins than Stout has fights. 

Stout has quick hands and will prove a challenge for Clementi. 

Clementi believes that his size, strength, and ground fighting abilities will be more than the hands of Stout can handle.

I agree. I think Clementi will work inside, get the takedown, and either submit or ground 'n pound Stout until the ref pulls him off.

In my opinion, the only thing Clementi has going against him is the Canadian fans.

My pick: Clmenti by TKO through Ground 'n Pound.

Probably the most interesting undercard match is between heavyweights  Cain Velasquez and Brad Morris. 

Velasquez is an American Kickboxing Acadamy product, going 2-0 in his career. Although he came from AMA, he has a strong wrestling background from Arizona State. 

Brad Morris is 9-2, winning his last four fights. 

The heavyweight division needs some new blood, and I believe Velasquez will fit that mold.

My pick: Cain Velasquez via TKO (Ground 'n Pound).

Also on the undercard is Alan Belcher against Jason Day.

Belcher is fresh off of two dominating performances, submitting Sean Salmon in the first and TKOing Kalib Starnes in the second round via cut. 

This is Day's UFC debut, giving the UFC experience advantage to Belcher. However, Day is a little more experienced in terms of number of fights and has the hometown crowd behind him. 

This is going to be an exciting fight to say the least.

My pick: Alan Belcher via 2nd round KO.

My other candidate for fight of the night goes to another undercard bout between two Canadians in Joe Doerksen vs. Jason MacDonald.

Both fighters are trying to rally back after suffering a loss. MacDonald's decision loss to Yushin Okami in October and Doerksen KO loss to Ed Herman in November were each fighter’s last fight. 

Both fighters are submission specialists. Of Doerksen's 39 wins, 31 were submissions, and of MacDonald's 19 wins, 16 were by submission.

This fight could go one of two ways. It can be a ground war or a test as to who has the better stand-up.  My guess is a ground war. 

I don't see either of these fighters finishing the other, so Doerksen's experience will help him control the pace of the fight.

My pick: Joe Doerksen by Unanimous Decision

The last fight on the undercard features Ultimate Fighter 3 middleweight finalist Ed Herman taking on undefeated Demian Maia (6-0). 

All but one of Maia's fights ended in the first round, with four of those victories coming from submission.  Herman has more octagon experience with Maia making his second appearance in the UFC.

This one will be tough to call. 

If it goes to the ground, Maia wins. If it stays on feet, Herman will take the bout.

My pick: Herman by 2nd round KO. He'll utilize takedown defense and beat Maia on his feet.

Now for the main card:

The first fight scheduled for the main card features Ultimate Fighter 6 winner Mac Danzig taking on Mark Bocek.

Danzig is fresh off of dominating the most recent season of the Ultimate Fighter, this being his first fight on a PPV card. Mark Bocek has been inside the octagon twice, losing to Frank Edgar and defeating Douglass Evans.

Despite Bocek's UFC experience, Danzig has more than three times the wins than Evan's has had fights.  The hometown crowd will cheer for Bocek, but my pick goes to Danzig via 1st round KO.

Next on the card is Michael Bisping vs. Charles McCarthy.

Hands down, the fight should go to Bisping, who is making his middleweight debut. Last fight McCarthy had was a submission victory over Gideon Ray at the Ultimate Fighter 4 finale back in November of 2006. 

Bisping's last fight was a spit decision loss to Rashad Evans, prompting a drop from 205 to 185.

My pick: Michael Bisping via 1st round KO.

The third fight of the night is a Middleweight bout between Nate Quarry and Kalib Starnes.

Hometown advantage goes to Starnes, whose last bout ended in a loss due to a cut.  Quarry's last fight was a successful comeback in defeating Ultimate Fighter 4 finalist Pete Sell. 

Whether or not Quarry has the tools to defeat Starnes is to be seen.

I think Quarry will push the pace and take it to Starnes the way Alan Belcher did.

My pick: Nate Quarry via 1st round KO. 

Fourth fight of the night is between Travis Lutter and Rich Franklin. 

Both fighters are coming off of losses to current middleweight champion Anderson Silva

Lutter is, for the most part, a one trick pony. All he has is submission, with the exception of his KO against Marvin Eastman. Franklin is the former middleweight champion and has numerous submission and knockout victories. 

All three of Franklin’s losses were by (T)KO, two of which were to Silva.  His conditioning and stand up will be too much for Lutter.

My pick: Franklin via 1st round KO.

MAIN EVENT: Matt Serra vs. Georges St. Pierre.

Serra's last fight was defeating St. Pierre over a year ago. In the meantime, St. Pierre out-wrestled both Josh Koscheck and Matt Hughes to win by decision and submission, respectively.

St. Pierre's ever-improving game is going to be a lot for Serra to handle.  Some will say the last fight was a fluke, I think Serra was the better fighter that night. 

However, this Saturday will be different.  With his entire country behind him, St. Pierre is going to take it to Serra by using his reach and superior striking to finish him.

Serra's Jiu-jitsu will help slow the pace of the fight, but St. Pierre will arise victorious.

My pick: Georges St. Pierre via 3rd round KO.


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