LowKick.com UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami Staff PredictionsPosted on August 25, 2011, 05:35 AM by Anton Gurevich
Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami
Top Prediction: Silva via TKO in Round 2
Ryan Ventura: This is the fight the world is talking about and one a lot of fans are already giving the fight to the Spider. Anderson Silva is one of the greatest Mixed Marital Artists in our sport’s short history. In the MMA striking department, his skills are the cream of the crop. His clinch game, almost unstoppable. Let’s not forget his BJJ skills, something that a lot of fighters neglect to pay attention to against the Spider. You all may think I’m crazy, but I believe Yushin Okami has the tools to beat Anderson Silva. The weight of a nation and hometown advantage is all against Yushin Okami. It’s going to take a lot of wrestling, a lot of grinding, and he absolutely can’t be patient on the feet like Vitor Belfort. As soon as the bell rings, Okami needs to take this to the ground in order to have a chance. The key to beating Ando is watching the Chael Sonnen fight from UFC 117. Get in the Spiders face early and be careful in his guard. Yushin Okami via decision.
Joey Santosus: It's reasonable to assume that Okami will look to employ a similar strategy against Silva as the one put forth by his training partner, Chael Sonnen, at UFC 117. However, as "Thunder" himself recently stated, he's not Chael Sonnen. While Okami's submission defense may have kept him out of the triangle-choke that ended Sonnen's night, he lacks the wrestling to put Silva on his back for any extended period of time. Unless Okami's stand-up has improved considerably, expect "The Spider" to put on a show for the Brazilian fans. Anderson Silva via 2nd Rnd KO.
Trent Reinsmith: I’m an underdog kind of guy, so in my head I want to say Okami, but I know better. Okami could win, just like I could get a hole in one, there’s a chance, but it is small and conditions would have to be perfect. “The Spider” will be too much for Okami as he has been for so many other opponents. Anderson Silva by Third Round Submission.
Anton Gurevich: It's hard to pick against Anderson Silva. "The Spider" can finish every opponent in every given moment. But I truly believe that Yushin Okami has the necessary skills and experience to deal with the P4P King inside the Octagon. Unlike Belfort, Yushin Okami is not coming to this fight after an extremely long layoff (although some would say that 9 months is more than enough to have ring rust), and it's not his first fight as UFC Middleweight. Okami has great wrestling, high level ground game, and a-good-enough striking to stay away from Silva on his feet, and also, the Japanese veteran is the biggest fighter Silva faced inside the Octagon since the Light Heavyweight bout with Forrest Griffin. Anderson Silva is a clear favorite in this one, but I'll pick Okami to grind out a Decision.
Mauricio Rua vs. Forrest Griffin
Top Prediction: Shogun via TKO in Round 2
Ryan Ventura: I’m looking forward to this rematch four years in the making. Shogun has much to prove if he wants to get back on the light-heavyweight title contender road. Forrest will be looking to upset the former Chute Boxe product in his home country, but I don’t think that’s happening. My main concern is Shogun’s cardio and knee problems, but I think he’ll have more than enough in the tank to drop his rival the original Ultimate Fighter. Shogun via 2nd round KO.
Joey Santosus: As much as things have changed between these two veterans since they first met at UFC 76, things have also stayed the same. Each competitor went on to win and lose the Light Heavyweight strap, each suffered long layoffs due to injury and each are 2-2 in their last four outings. What hasn't changed, however, is the size advantage, durability, and aggressive style that allowed Griffin to upset Rua in their first bout. Forrest Griffin via Decision.
Trent Reinsmith: After reading a recent blog from Griffin, it sounds like he’s not fully focused on the fight game add to that the fact that he said the he felt he wasn’t getting any better as a fighter and I have to give this one to Rua. Once fighting becomes a job that you don’t like and you admit that you’ve maxed out, you have no real reason to step inside the cage except for that paycheck. Shogun by Second Round KO.
Anton Gurevich: Forrest Griffin is a great fighter, but match-up wise, I can't see how he can offer anything against Shogun Rua this weekend. But that's only if Rua returns to his former self. Shogun we saw at UFC 76 (first encounter with Griffin) and at UFC 93 against Mark Coleman will struggle to deal with Griffin's physical stregth, which is considered by many as the key to beating the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. I hope to see the best Shogun Rua ever, and predict a Submission victory for the PRIDE legend in Round 3.
Brendan Schaub vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Top Prediction: Schaub via TKO in Round 2
Ryan Ventura: The legend known as “Big Nog” hasn’t competed since February 11 2010 due to nagging hip problems. His opponent Brendan Schaub is a young and hungry fighter on a four fight win streak and has shown signs of improvement with every fight. Big Nog in his 12 year career has seen it all and fought the very best. But like we’ve seen with many other legends, eventually time catches up to you, and you can’t take punishment like you could before. Brendan Schaub via 1st round TKO.
Joey Santosus: It's hard to be an MMA fan and not respect a veteran like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Not only has he been in there with the best of them, he's beaten them. However, after suffering knockout losses in two of his last three outings and rushing to return from injury in order to be a part of the Rio card, I don't like Nogueira's chances against the hungry up-and-comer. Brendan Schaub via 2nd Rnd TKO.
Trent Reinsmith: Brendan Schaub has stated that he would like a shot at the UFC Heavyweight title if he defeats Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira on Saturday. I say, slow down. Schaub will most likely win this fight, but he needs a win against a top competitor before he can get a shot at that title, his last few wins have been against aging fighters and this one will be no different. Schaub by Third Round KO.
Anton Gurevich: Brendan Schaub's speed and KO power will be a key factor in this bout. Minotauro Nogueira is a very balanced fighter, but he always struggled against fighters with fast hands and deep striking arsenal. Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez, and now Brendan Schaub. "The Hybrid" has a great takedown defense, so it's also hard to see how this fight goes to the without Nogueira (or Schaub) getting knocked down. My prediction is Brendan Schaub via Decision.
Ross Pearson vs. Edson Barbosa
Top Prediction: Barboza via Decision
Ryan Ventura: Edson Barbosa is riding the wave of momentum from an eight fight winning streak. Not only does he have awesome MMA striking, he can hold his own on the ground too. However, I don’t think this fight will go to the ground as both Ross Pearson and Edson Barbosa like to keep the fight on the feet. The winner of this fight I believe will be the striker. Edson Barbosa via 2nd round TKO.
Joey Santosus: Both of these Lightweights are primarily strikers and are unlikely to venture too far from that specialty on Saturday night. However, while Pearson has shown an ability to frustrate opponents with sharp boxing and effective footwork, Barboza displayed a far more dynamic arsenal of weaponry in his latest bout with Anthony Njokuani back in March. While I expect the durable Brit to stick around for the duration, Barboza's flashy style will likely do more to impress the judges. Edson Barboza via Decision.
Trent Reinsmith: Possible “Fight of the Night?” Both of these fighters are kind of under the radar of the casual MMA fan, so this one may not be getting the push it deserves. You have a former “TUF” winner in Pearson and a fighter that has been compared to Jose Aldo in Barboza, that’s a solid combination in my book. In the end, I see Barboza moving to 9-0 in this one. Barboza by Third Round TKO.
Anton Gurevich: Edson Barboza proved against Anthony Njokuani that he can hang out with some of the best strikers in the UFC Lightweight division. Ross Pearson has great hands, but in my humble opinion, Njokuani is a superior striker. Now, I don't want to go MMA math here, but I truly believe that Edson Barboza has more tools to win this fight than Ross Pearson. Vicious leg kicks, high kicks, fast hands... It's a very tough fight for Pearson. My pick is Barboza via TKO in Round 2.
Luiz Cane vs. Stanislav Nedkov
Top Prediction: Banha via TKO in Round 1
Ryan Ventura: Stanislav Nedkov is a name UFC fans may not be very familiar with, but he is making his promotional debut on a hot streak. With a perfect 11-0 MMA record, the Bulgarian made heads turn in the Sengoku promotion in Japan for his exciting style, raw power, and grappling abilities. Nedkov was set to make his debut last August, but injuries have kept him sidelined till now. Luiz Cane is no slouch in the all-around department himself and he’ll have the support of an entire nation in this fight. If Cane can’t deal with Nedkov’s wrestling and power, “Banha” will get his lights turned out with some vicious ground and pound. Nedkov via 1st round TKO.
Joey Santosus: Nedkov heads into his octagon debut with an undefeated record of 11-0, but outside of a couple solid victories over veterans Kevin Randleman and Travis Wiuff, he'll face his toughest test to date in Luiz Cane. "Banha," meanwhile, snapped a two-fight losing streak in March and more importantly, he looked like the fighter once considered one of the division's most promising prospects in the process. I expect Cane to continue his return to form on Saturday and dispatch of the Bulgarian in a hurry. Luiz Cane via 1st Rnd TKO.
Trent Reinsmith: Stanislav Nedkov will make his UFC debut on this card, bringing with him an 11-0 record. An impressive record, but with no top flight competition in those wins (does a 2009 Kevin Randleman count), you have to say he is at a disadvantage over a fighter who has been on the big stage before. Cane has been in the UFC since 2007 and scored a big TKO win in his last bout to save his UFC employment. Riding that momentum and fighting in front of the Brazilian crowd, he’ll be hard to beat. Cane by First Round TKO.
Anton Gurevich: Luiz Cane has a potential to become one of the best 205'ers in the UFC. Banha has a vicious power in his hands, and great Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Nedkov will find himself under tremendous pressure, making his UFC debut against a home crowd favorite Brazilian. I expect Luiz Cane to dictate the pace in this fight, and walk away with a convincing TKO victory. Luiz Cane via TKO in Round 3.