LowKick.com UFC 126: Silva vs Belfort PredictionsPosted on February 4, 2011, 09:51 AM by Anton Gurevich
UFC Middleweight Title Fight: Anderson Silva vs Vitor Belfort
Top Prediction: Anderson Silva via TKO in Round 3
Daniel Cassidy: For me, this one will depend on which Belfort shows up. If he comes to the cage mentally ready, this really could be one of the greatest fights of all time. If he is even a little off his game, Silva will destroy him. Since this fight was announced, I've had this gut feeling that Belfort will be the man to finally beat Silva. While Silva is easily the more technically skilled striker, Belfort has hands like sledgehammers, as well as the wrestling and submissions to make it an awkward night for the Champ. Im going to go with my gut, and say Belfort takes home the title via first round knockout.
Anton Gurevich: Every possible statistic related to this fight is against Vitor Belfort. He’s not supposed to challenge Anderson Silva for the Middleweight Title, if judging by his fighting record. But one thing is true: It’s Vitor Belfort’s time to shine. He deserves this title for everything he went through in his private life. And like in any great sports story, I believe Belfort will shock the world and KO Anderson Silva early in the first round. Shogun-Machida II style.
Joey Santosus: Belfort's approach here will make a major difference in the outcome. If he rushes in with a reckless blitz attack, it could be a short night for the "Phenom." However, his time spent with Xtreme Couture makes me believe that he will look to wear on Silva by putting him against the cage and dragging him to the ground. While this is a strategy that could work, I'm not convinced that Belfort has the patience to stick to the gameplan. Instead, his aggression will likely get him in trouble as the bout progresses, allowing Silva to catch him coming in and make him pay. Anderson Silva via 2nd Rnd TKO.
Jamie Kennedy: This is easily one of the most anticipated fights in the UFC's Middleweight history, and a fight I have been looking forward to for more than a year now. Silva is the long undefeated Champ, but has looked very human as of late. Although Belfort is coming back from a long layoff; from what I've seen, he looks just as sharp as ever. I don't think there will be much action in the opening round, as both fighters will try to establish their range and feel each other out. In the second round, I see Vitor getting inside Silva's reach and unleashing a devastating punch that drops the Champ. And from here I think Vitor will crowd him with finishing shots, that will put an end to the ''Spiders'' reign over the Middleweight division. Vitor Belfort via 2nd Rnd (T)KO
Forrest Griffin vs Rich Franklin
Top Prediction: Rich Franklin via Decision
Daniel Cassidy: This is another tough one, between two of my favourite fighters! While Griffin has caused the upset time and time again, Rich Franklin has only lost 5 times, to some of the greatest in the sport. Both fighters are known for putting on exciting fights, and this will be no different. While I'd be shocked if one finished the other, I think ring rust will play a factor in Griffin's game. Franklin via Decision.
Anton Gurevich: Both fighters are very similar in everything. From personality to fighting style. But I believe the fact that Forrest Griffin didn’t fight for over a year will play a major factor in this bout. On the other side, Rich Franklin is coming fresh off the KO victory over Chuck Liddell, which will serve as a huge mental boost. Franklin via Unanimous Decision.
Jose Santosus: Out of all the great fights on this card, this has to be front-runner for fight of the night. Two former champions, known for outworking and outlasting their opponents, who seriously need a win to keep their title hopes alive. On paper, it’s a tough fight to call. Griffin will likely enjoy a good 20-pound size advantage, which should give him the upper hand in terms of grappling. Franklin, on the other hand, is the more technical striker of the two and will have speed on his side. The only wild-card here is Griffin's year-plus lay-off, which may or may not affect his game. Rich Franklin via Decision.
Jamie Kennedy: This will surely be a fun fight, featuring two fan favourites. I can see this one being a back and forth war. Franklin will have a significant speed advantage, but Forrest will have a considerable size advantage. Apart from that I think they're pretty evenly matched. This fight will come down to who has the better conditioning. I give the slight edge to Forrest, and I think he'll get it done. Forrest Griffin via Decision.
Jon Jones Jones vs Ryan Bader
Top Prediction: Jon Jones via TKO in Round 2
Daniel Cassidy: Like the next two fights, each one is incredibly difficult to call. With each one being regarded as two of the biggest prospects in the Lightheavyweight division, fans are surely in for fireworks. I think that while Jones has the reach and striking advantage, Bader has the wrestling advantage. Should Jones be able to keep it standing, it will be a very painful fight for Bader. I think Jones will punish Bader, and finish it in the third via TKO.
Anton Gurevich: Jon Jones’s incredible reach will play a major factor in this fight. If Jones chases Bader around the Octagon and utilizes his incredible striking skills – he may leave the Octagon victorious. Bader’s only hope is to turn this fight in a grindy wrestling war, but we all saw what Jones did to an excellent wrestler in Matt Hamill. Jones via Round 2 TKO.
Joey Santosus: The winner of this one will officially graduate from prospect to contender, and rightfully so. Ryan Bader is a hard-nosed wrestler with a smothering top game and knock-out power in his hands. And though that has been enough bring him this far, I'm not sure its enough to get him past Jonny "Bones." Finding a training partner to mimic Jones' insane reach advantage and dynamic striking ability is nearly impossible. However, Jones has had the luxury of training with Rashad Evans, who closely resembles Bader stylistically. Bottom line, the "Bones" hype train is running strong and Bader is standing on the tracks. Jon Jones via 1st Rnd TKO.
Jamie Kennedy: This will be a battle for the future of the UFC's 205lb division, with two young lions battling it out to put their stamp on the upper echelon of their weight class. Jones is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC right now, but I believe the undefeated Bader will be his toughest test to date. I think Bader will want to get on the inside and use his explosive double-legs to put Bones on the mat. If Bader can manage to keep Jones down I think he'll cause the upset and get the W. Bader via Decision.
Jake Ellenberger vs Carlos Eduardo Rocha
Top Prediction: Jake Ellenberger via Decision
Daniel Cassidy: While Ellenberger was originally set to fight Jon Fitch, he takes a big risk in fighting undefeated and relatively unknown Carlos Eduardo Rocha. The difference in this fight is that Rocha holds a black belt, while Ellenberger has only lost decisions or submissions. On this basis alone, I think that Rocha will once again cause the upset, earning another UFC submission. Rocha via Submission R3
Anton Gurevich: It will be Rocha’s first bout on American soil, and from all cities, it will take place in Las Vegas. You have to be very tough mentally to get away from all there pressure and keep yourself concentrated. Yes, there’s a lot of hype behind German-Brazilian, but I expect Ellengerger’s experience to make the difference in this one. Ellenberg is a tremendous wrestler, and has enough intelligence to avoid Rocha’s impressive submission skills. Jake Ellenberger via Decision.
Joey Santosus: While Carlos Eduardo Rocha looked impressive in his UFC debut, submitting TUF 11 runner-up Kris McCray in the opening round, the BJJ black-belt is getting a serious step-up in competition here. Jake Ellenberger has been submitted only once in his 27-fight career and though his heavy-hands have earned him his last two victories, his solid wrestling base will make it difficult for Rocha to bring the fight to the ground. With that said, the Brazilian won't last long exchanging with Ellenberger. Jake Ellenberger via 1st Rnd TKO.
Jamie Kennedy: The last time we seen Ellenberger in the cage, was when he left John Howard's face looking like a Big Mac. Rocha is a BJJ blackbelt and he'll be looking to take this one to the floor. I think Ellenberger will be too experienced for him, and will mix his wrestling up with his strikes to keep the Brazilian guessing. I've got Ellenberger via Decision.
Miguel Torres vs Antonio Banuelos
Top Prediction: Miguel Torres via Submission in Round 2
Daniel Cassidy: Finally the Mullet is coming to the UFC!! Torres is one of the best fighters in the world, and one of the most exciting. Despite losing 2 of his last 3, the first loss snapping a 6 year winning streak, Torres still has what it takes to compete in one of the toughtest divisions in the company. While Banuelos is a respectable opponent, I think Torres is on another level. Miguel is just too well rounded and will be too much for his fellow hispanic. Torres via submission R2
Anton Gurevich: Torres showed good signs of comeback in a victory over Charlie Valencia in his last bout, as I expect him to continue the same pattern on Saturday night. Torres’s grappling skills will be his main weapon against Banuelos, who would surely prefer to keep the fight standing. Miguel Torres via Submission in Round 1.
Joey Santosus: Believe it or not, Miguel Torres was once known for more than just his impressive mullet. This is something the former Bantamweight Champion will look to remind the rest of the division of by making a statement in his UFC debut. Stylistically, this is a fight that Banuelos can win if he is able to get inside Torres' sizable reach advantage and maintain control. However, I expect Torres will pick him apart from the outside, forcing Banuelos to do what he does best and look for the takedown. At that point its just a matter of how long it takes Torres to find an opening from the bottom. Miguel Torres via 2nd Rnd Submission.
Jamie Kennedy: This is a classic battle of the Moustache vs the Mullet. However, Banuelos is the heavy underdog in this one, and for good reason. Torres spent the best part of six years undefeated, before losing to Brian Bowles in the WEC. This will be Torres' UFC debut and I fully expect him to kick it off in style. Miguel Torres via 1st Rnd Submission.