Well Affliction is upon us and I think it has potential, and I will be the first to admit that I haven't been too high on this card, but as the time nears, the anticipation is growing and growing. Here's how I break the card down.
Renato Sobral vs. Mike Whitehead
Notable Wins: Ben Rothwell
Notable Losses: Tim Sylvia (2), Brandon Vera, Keith Jardine
Notable Wins: Jeremy Horn, Mauricio Rua, Elvis Sinosic, David Heath
Notable Losses: Fedor Emelianenko, Chuck Liddell (2), Dan Henderson, Kevin Randleman, Jason Lambert
Mike Whitehead of TUF2 fame and Renato "Babalu" Sobral, a long-famed fighter who recently caused some controversy, are going to stand toe-to-toe, and face-off. While Whitehead has the size advantage as he jumps from Light Heavyweight to Heavyweight, I feel he just won't be able to stop Babalu's Jiu-Jitsu. Look for the latter to win by submission.
Winner: Renato Sobral
Matt Lindland vs. Fabio Negao
Notable Wins: Phil Baroni (2), Ricardo Almeida, Pat Militech, Travis Lutter, Jeremy Horn
Notable Losses: Fedor Emelieanko, Quniton Jackson, Murilo Bustamonte, David Terrell
Notable Wins: Roan "Jucao" Carneiro
Notable Losses: Demian Maia, Rousamir Palhares
This one doesn't seem as tricky as others. Negao is a renowned BJJ artist, meaning Lindland could have some trouble on his back, but Matt "The Law" Lindland is a notable MMA Legend.
I think unless Negao gets lucky, Lindland will more than likely dominate.
Winner: Matt Lindland
Josh Barnett vs. Pedro Rizzo
Notable Wins: Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira, Jeff Monson, Aleksander Emeileanko, Mark Hunt, Dan Severn.
Notable Losses: Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira, Pedro Rizzo, Randy Couture (he actually beat him, but failed the drug test, thus he cheated. That’s a loss in my book), Mirko Cro Cop (3)
Notable Wins: Andrei Arlovski, Jeff Monson, Mark Coleman, Tank Abbott, Dan Severn, Josh Barnett* (seems like an important win in this one)
Notable Losses: Kevin Randleman, Randy Couture (2), Gan McGee
While Barnett does have a win over Nog, Nog got one right back on him, and if you look at the rest of his wins, they are just not quite the top-level talent that you would boast to have wins over.
The same with Rizzo—his two most notable wins are Arlovski and Barnett. I think Rizzo will take this one standing, and come out on top again.
Winner: Pedro Rizzo
Andrei Arlovski vs Ben Rothwell
Andrei Arlovski :
Notable Wins: Tim Sylvia, Paul Buentello, Fabricio Werdum, Wesley Correira
Noteable Losses: Tim Sylvia (2), Pedro Rizzo, Ricco Rodriguez
Noteable Wins: Ricco Rodriguez
Noteable Losses: Dan Christison, Mike Whitehead
Well I think this really depends on which Arlovski we get. If we get the one we all know and love it will go his way. If we get the point pirate we got against Fabricio Werdum, I see this going Rothwell's way. I take Arlovski.
Winner: Andrei Arlovski
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia
Notable Wins: Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira (2), Mark Coleman (2), Mirko Cro Cop, Richard Arona, Kevin Randleman, Heath Herring, Renato Sobral, Gary Goodridge, Matt Lindland
Notable Losses: Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (by cut, fight stopped early. His only loss.)
Notable Wins: Andrei Arlovski, Jeff Monson, Ben Rothwell, Brandon Vera
Notable Losses: Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira, Randy Couture, Andrei Arlovski, Frank Mir
Well, honestly I'm not going to beat around the bush: everyone thinks Fedor will win, and I agree. His standup is good, his ground game is amazing, and I don't think he will be stopped. Sylvia has a good takedown defense, but not good enough to stop Fedor. Fedor has fought taller and bigger, and I think this win will push him back to the top of everyone's No. 1 list.
Winner: Fedor Emelianenko