Saturday, November 14, 2009

UFC 105 Predictions

Randy Couture vs. Brandon Vera

There are two questions in this fight:

1) Is Randy Couture finally too old to compete at the elite level?

2) Is Brandon Vera going to be able to close the deal and live up to his potential?

People greatly overrate Vera's wrestling. If Randy wants to he can clinch him, take him down and rough him up. If Couture does decide to play the boxing game like he did with Nogueira he is going to lose.

I just keep looking at their recent fights. Randy has been fighting guys like Brock Lesnar and Nogueira, while Vera has been dragging guys like Reese Andy and Soszynski to decision or leg kicking Mike Patt (who was brought in to be a punching bag for Vera).

I don't think Vera has the mental game or the wrestling to beat Randy, unless Randy decides to play the striking game for any reason other than closing distance.

I think this one is ultra close and I can easily see either man winning, but I have to think Couture can beat an opponent who just doesn't fight with a sense of urgency.

Prediction: Couture via Decision

Mike Swick vs. Dan Hardy

I think Hardy is incredibly overrated, so he can prove me wrong with a win over Swick, but I just don't see it. The problem is that Hardy's striking is highly hyped as something that it isn't. Akihiro Gono actually outstruck Hardy for two straight rounds.

Swick will be able to do what Marcus Davis couldn't do: take Dan Hardy down and thoroughly dominate him on the ground. Swick also has the reach and speed to more than hang with Hardy on the feet.

Obviously Swick may decide to take the strategy of takedowns like against Marcus Davis...but I have a feeling he wants to try to be exciting and "earn" a title shot. Hardy will not find it easy to gain momentum during the fight against Swick. You will be able to see the loss in Dan Hardy's eyes before it becomes actual.

Give me Swick's speed, better opposition, better team, and desire to push his career to help him persevere

Prediction: Swick via Submission

Michael Bisping vs. Denis Kang

As much as I want to pick Kang here, I can't. For a fighter who pushes the action, a poor defensive fighter in Kang just leaves too many holes. Then again, we don't know how that KO from Henderson affected Bisping, so it's a risky play either way.

Bisping is better standing. He fought dumb against Henderson, but he has very solid boxing technique. He is also very hard to keep on the ground. I don't see Kang having a very good chance at all here.

Kang has shown he'll find a way to lose, no matter how much of a skill edge he has in a fight. Until he circled into Dan Henderson's right hand, Bisping had the total winner's attitude. I'm going to guess he'll recapture that form.

Prediction: Bisbing via TKO

James Wilks vs. Matt Brown

This is going to be an enjoyable scrap. People are overlooking Brown's development as a fighter overall because he got into another firefight with Pete Sell. Still this is a tough fight to pick as Wilks has shown an ability to use his reach to strike.

Wilks only win in the UFC was at the Ultimate Fighter finale when he beat DeMarques Johnson. Now I am not trashing Johnson but he isn’t in the same league as Matt Brown. Wilks is unproven and this will be a tough fight for him.

Brown's not a title contender, but he's always good for a fun fight. And with fitting nickname and a striking resemblance to the Bloody Elbow fuhrer, I'm going to go Matt Brown to derail the James Wilks train.

Prediction: Matt Brown via TKO

Ross Pearson vs. Aaron Riley

Can we start talking about a TUF curse? Mac Danzig and Amir Sadalloh have turded it up lately and neither recent English champ looks like he'll do much either. Having said that I think Pearson will use his controlling style to blanket Riley in the clinch and on the floor.

Prediction: Pearson via Decision

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