In order to help get you ready for UFC 77 this Saturday the staff at 5 Oz. is making their predictions for the card public in our latest “Pain Poll.”
Anderson Silva vs. Rich Franklin
Sam Caplan: Unless Franklin can put Silva on his back and expose his poor wrestling skills, I don’t see a way he can win. Silva via second round TKO.
Gary Herman: Did anyone see any reason in the first fight to think this one has a chance to go differently? If so, you were probably watching the wrong fight. Silva by first round KO.
Matt Kaplan: Based on their previous meeting, as well as what each fighter’s done since, I see Silva finishing this fight before it even hits the championship rounds — Round 3 stoppage.
Ben Fowlkes: My question is how, exactly, can Rich Franklin threaten the champ? Not with superior striking or submissions, so…takedowns? Not bloody likely. Silva by first round TKO.
Adam Morgan: No one has the nuts to pick Franklin, so I will. If Franklin can use his wrestling to take Silva down and stay in top control, I think Rich has a chance. If you think you’re going to see the same fight as last time, you’re sorely mistaken. It will be close. If Rich works to his strengths and takes it deep into the championship rounds, we’ll have a new champion. Rich Franklin by fourth round TKO. Plus, I’m from Cincinnati, so I can’t pick against the hometown hero.
Consensus: Anderson Silva (4 votes to 1).
Tim Sylvia vs. Brandon Vera
Sam Caplan: This will no doubt be Vera’s toughest test to date but it’s one I think he’ll pass with flying colors. Vera via second round TKO.
Gary Herman: Vera is highly skilled, but Sylvia is a determined big man with no quit. In the end, Vera will be too fast for the giant. Vera by unanimous decision.
Matt Kaplan: I think Vera will undercut the former champion’s size advantage with his superior athleticism and skill. I’m also not totally convinced that we’ll see the aggressive, knockout-hungry Tim Sylvia of yesteryear for five rounds, so I’m going with “The Truth” via unanimous decision.
Ben Fowlkes: While I’ve always been weirdly in awe of Sylvia’s awkwardly powerful striking, I don’t think he’s going to catch Vera. I hate to go along with the crowd, but I’ll take Vera by unanimous decision.
Adam Morgan: This fight is a lot closer than most people think. It’s dead even in my eyes right now. Ultimately I think Vera’s athleticism and all around skill will be the difference in this fight. Watch out for Brandon’s solid leg kicks, they have the ability to freeze Tim Sylvia. Brandon Vera by unanimous decision.
Consensus: Brandon Vera (5 votes to 0 votes)