UFC 103: Franklin Vs. Belfort Predictions/Tips

Flying KneeCorrespondent ISeptember 19, 2009

Hermes Franca vs. Tyson Griffin


Hermes Franca

+Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt that is very dangerous from anywhere
+Decent striking
+Decent force behind strikes

-Poor wrestling
-Sloppy striker; still a grappler




Tyson Griffin

+Good wrestler
+Good striker
+Very good submission defense, having never been submitted even against BJJ black belts

-Poor finishing ability
-Mediocre sub game





A good wrestler with submission defense is kryptonite to the pure grappler, as Franca's fights with Sherk and Edgar testify to. Griffin is more of the same, having never been submitted and having wrestling experience, albeit less than that of those two.

Griffin's striking should be enough for Franca, but not by a wide margin. Franca's striking has been steadily improving always.

Griffin will decide where the fight takes place, but I'm not sure what he'll do; he has a slight advantage everywhere from what I see. Perhaps he'll test the striking, and turn to wrestling if things become unfavourable.


My Take

Gotta go with Griffin, I think he'll do enough to get the nod from the judges.

Griffin enters at 1.35, while Franca is at 3.25, so Griffin isn't worth much by himself, but I'd be sure enough to back him in a multiplier.

Frank "Twinkle Toes" Trigg vs. Josh Koscheck

Josh Koscheck
12 - 4 - 0

+Excellent wrestler, being a four-time NCAA Division I All American wrestler at 174lbs, and finishing first in 2001
+Some very good ground and pound
+Knockout power
+Excellent submission defense
+Great cardio

-Lacks submission skills
-Suffers from "wrestler striking," very basic and telegraphed

Frank Trigg
19 - 6 - 0

+Good clinch game, having a Judo black belt and incorporates dirty boxing and knees
+Good ground and pound

-Sluggish striking
-Slow takedown shots
-Poor submission defense


Frank Trigg has never lost to someone he shouldn't have, but he has struggled severely against the top competition in his class. Koscheck has fallen in status since his losses to Thiago Alves and Paulo Thiago, but is still in the upper class of the welterweight division.

Koscheck is a better wrestler than Trigg, and since his disastrous TKO loss to Paulo, I think it's likely he'll go back to his wrestling roots. Trigg is a lot older than when Hughes beat him, and Koscheck pretty much has all of what Matt Hughes had back then.

The one advantage Trigg has is in submissions, but I doubt it will be useful to him against someone of Koscheck's skill, and striking, I'm not sure that Koscheck doesn't have an advantage also.

My Take

Can't see this any other way than a Koscheck win, probably by TKO in the second.

Koscheck is at 1.20 while Trigg is at 4.00, which is correct. I'll take Koscheck as part of the multiplier.

Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann vs. Paul "Semtex" Daley

Martin Kampmann
15 - 2 - 0

+Good submission skills
+Good clinch
+Solid jaw
+Good Muay Thai

-Lax striking defense
-Not a one hit KO artist

Paul Daley
21 - 8 - 2

+Excellent Thai Boxer
+Extremely hard hitter, with 16 of his 21 wins coming by (T)KO
+Decent sprawl

-Bad ground game, and his single submission win comes from "punches to the body"
-No aggressive wrestling


Kampmann is the definition of well rounded, with good submission skill, quality wrestling, and good stand up, without really being fantastic in any area.

Daley is sort of one dimensional, but is an extremely dangerous striker, as his KO percentage testifies. His sprawl is pretty good, but whether it will be able to repel Kampmann's wrestling is a toss up.

Kampmann can survive the striking portion a lot better than Daley can survive on his back, but I'd give a big striking edge to Daley, both in terms of power and technique.

My Take

I'll guess Kampmann by sub in the first, but Daley is a very dangerous underdog.

Kampmann is 1.20, while Daley is 4.00. Interesting, but I'll still take Kampmann with Griffin and Koscheck.






Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic vs. Junior "Cigano" dos Santos

Mirko Filipović


+Elite boxing experience, having an amateur boxing record of 40-5 and a professional record of 12-5
+Elite kickboxer, with a K-1 record of 16-7
+Top quality sprawl
+Naturally hard hitter

-Recurring injuries that have required constant surgery, and probably left him past his prime
-No real ground game
-No aggressive wrestling
-Striking increasingly one dimensional, relying on left high kick more than anything



Notable Wins:
Josh Barnett x3 (2006, 2005, 2004)
Mark Coleman (2005)
Kevin Randleman (2004)
Igor Vovchanchyn (2003)
Heath Herring (2003)

Junior Dos Santos

+One of the fastest and most explosive strikers at heavyweight
+Extremely hard hitting KO artist
+Submission skills, being a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
+Excellent sparring partners - Nogueira, Anderson, Machida

-Still not that tested, being only 25, and never been past round one
-Sometimes striking can get wild
-Not a strong wrestler



Notable Wins:
Fabricio Werdum (2008)


It's never easy to pick a battle between two heavyweights with awesome KO power and who are close to the same level of striking. But it does make for an epic fight.

Dos Santos has the speed, and the power advantages, and all he needs to do is to hit Cro Cop with one or two good punches and that's the end. Cro Cop has the experience advantage and the more refined strikes, with the aid of always being a left high kick away from another KO.

Dos Santos could be thought of as somewhat similar to prime Wanderlei Silva, with the savage aggression and brutal punching power, and even the start of an intimidating presence—albeit with more refined striking.

Cro Cop has a history of being very good against aggressive strikers, his KO of Wanderlei, for example, or his KO of Aleksander Emelianenko—however, these were some time ago, and it isn't likely that Cro Cop will reach that pinnacle of striking again, being 35 years old. Nonetheless, I think dos Santos would be well advised to pick his shots carefully á la Overeem.

I can practically guarantee that this will not hit the ground until someone's dazed or unconscious.


My Take

Leaning towards Cro Cop by KO, second round. It's difficult to call, but I think Junior's bullrushing which served him well against Werdum and Struve will hinder him against Cro Cop, who has never been bullrushed successfully.

Cro Cop enters at 2.15, while dos Santos enters at 1.69, so It's Cro Cop all the way for me.


Rich Franklin

+Versatile and technical kickboxer
+Great sprawl and scramble
+Great cardio
+Submission defense very good, being a Jiu Jitsu brown belt who has never been subbed

-Doesn't have one strike KO's for the most part


Notable Wins:
Yushin Okami (2007)
Nate Quarry (2005)
Evan Tanner (2005)

Vitor Belfort

+One of the fastest and most explosive boxers around
+Very good boxing combinations and has experience in professional boxing
+Competent on the mat, having a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
+Smooth footwork

-Mentally unreliable and has a tendency to lose important fights
-Not much of a wrestler
-Doesn't use submissions aggressively and isn't on par with other black belts

Notable Wins:
Matt Lindland (2009)
Heath Herring (2001)
Wanderlei Silva (1998)




Another good fight that is difficult to predict. Franklin has a size and reach advantage as well as cardio advantage, while Belfort has a distinct speed and power advantage.

I think Franklin will opt for more kicks than usual and attempt to use his reach to avoid to many up close exchanges, where I think Belfort would have a distinct advantage - assuming he's motivated, because in his history of fighting big names (Overeem x2, Henderson, Couture x2, Chuck Liddell), Belfort usually comes out second.

I don't think Franklin will use much wrestling here, as he seems more happy to strike nearly every time I've seen him. In some ways I think this could be similar to his fight against Wanderlei Silva, with Franklin aiming to keep distance and Belfort aiming to finish with a flurry.

My Take

I think Belfort will edge Franklin striking for a second round KO, being faster, and more technical than Wanderlei Silva who gave Franklin all he could deal with—this is all assuming he's focused.

Belfort enters as underdog at 2.10, while Franklin is at 1.71, so I'll take Belfort, of course.


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