It’s that time again for the staff of 5 Oz. to break down another major MMA card. EliteXC: Street Certified is this Saturday, February 16th with the undercard fights streaming live on ProElite.com at 7:30 PM ET and the main card starts on SHOWTIME at 10 PM ET and we are here to give you the goods on who’s going to claim victory and who will taste defeat. Apparently this time around it’s just me and Gary Herman. Oh well, let’s do the damn thing.
Kimbo Slice vs. Tank Abbott
Adam Morgan: This fight is sort of tough to call as it’s always hard to tell what shape Tank Abbott will come in and what kind of gas tank he’s going to have. We know what Tank’s gameplan is. It’s what it’s always been, and that’s throw leather. As for Kimbo, just from what I’ve seen, his training and training partners are a level above Tank Abbott’s. Tank is collecting a paycheck, Kimbo’s trying to make a name for himself in mixed martial arts. There’s lots of unknowns about both fighters but I have to give the edge to Kimbo. Kimbo Slice via TKO, round one.
Gary Herman: The way I see it, Kimbo Slice has two ways to win and Tank has zero ways to win. Advtange: Kimbo. Kimbo wins if it goes longer than two minutes or by submission. Really, unless Abbott connects with a wild punch very early in the fight, I don’t see how Tank wins. Abbott won’t come to the fight in shape, and Kimbo will. Kimbo by first round submission.
Antonio Silva vs. Ricco Rodriguez
Adam Morgan: Out with the old, in with the new. Isnt’ that the saying? Look, Ricco Rodriguez was a fine fighter in his prime. He has wins over Randy Couture, Jeff Monson, and Andrei Arlovski. During the latter years of his career, though, Ricco has come to fights out of shape and not in the correct mindset. A win here could do wonders for his confidence and his career but I just don’t see it happening. On the ground or on the feet, Silva has the advantage. Ricco’s only chance is to put Silva on his back which is something that I don’t think ends up happening in this fight. If it stays on the feet, “Pezao” will pepper Ricco with extremely powerful punches. Silva at 265 is extremely scary and this fight will be a great test for him, one I think he passes with flying colors. Antonio Silva via TKO, round two.
Gary Herman: Big Foot Silva is really going to get the monster push with EliteXC. They love the idea that they can bill Silva as the “best heavyweight in the world” because unlike a lot of guys, he has no losses to top UFC guys. Rodriguez is a great name to put Silva in the cage with. His popularity will be up based on his UFC pedigree and VH1 appearance. However, in the cage, Rodriguez hasn’t looked good in a while. I believe Silva leaves a footprint on Rodriguez in the first round. Antonio Silva by first round TKO.
Scott Smith vs. Kyle Noke
Adam Morgan: The big thing here is going to be if Smith can keep the fight standing and make this a muay thai fight. If that happens, Noke will get himself caught up in a fight that he will most likely not win. The key for Noke will be to somehow close the distance and get this fight to the mat and use his superior ground and pound and jiu jitsu to put Smith at a disadvantage. This is a tough one to pick but I think Noke has more tools in his arsenal to pull out the win. Kyle Noke via TKO, round two.
Gary Herman: Smith is a giant enigma. He wants to put on good fights. He has great stand-up and toughness. His fight against Pete Sell was a classic. Unfortunately, his fights with Patrick Cote and Ed Herman were not. Smith will look to keep the fight standing to deliver the big knockout in his EliteXC debut. Meanwhile, Noke wants to get the fight to the ground quickly. Smith is not very adept if it hits the mat. Noke won’t be strong enough to keep Smith on the ground. Therefore, I like Smith to win. Scott Smith by second round TKO.
Yves Edwards vs. Edson Berto
Adam Morgan: This has fight of the night written all over it. Yves Edwards recently made the switch to American Top Team and has looked to be back on track after changing camps. He is a very talented striker and has one of the better KO reels in all of mixed martial arts. He’s also no stranger to the ground game as most of his wins (13) have come by submission. Edson Berto is also a lethal striker and a good grappler so this fight should be very competitive no matter where it ends up. I like Yves Edwards to outlast Berto in this one. Yves Edwards via unanimous decision.
Gary Herman: This is a good fight. Edson Berto is a great up and comer. Hopefully, he worked on his stamina since his last EliteXC fight vs. KJ Noons. Edwards is a very tough match-up for a young fighter as he is experienced and always looking for the knockout. Maybe Edson can substitute in his brother Andre if things get tough like the Killer B’s used to do. Without that, I don’t think Berto can win. Edwards is just a class above right now. Edwards by decision.
James Thompson vs. Brett Rogers
Adam Morgan: Brett Rogers is a good prospect who has primarily fought on regional shows and is now making his appearance on a big league MMA show. He’s got a tough draw in front of him in James “Colossus” Thompson who just recently switched camps to Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, NV to become a more complete fighter. This one should be over quickly no matter who wins. I like Rogers as a prospect but the thought of Thompson with a camp like Xtreme Couture is scary. James Thompson via TKO, round one.
Gary Herman: James Thompson is coming for the knockout quickly and definitively. Rogers is taking a big step up here. I don’t think he’s ready. Thompson wins and then challenges Big Foot Silva. Thompson by KO in round one.
Rafael Feijao vs. John Doyle
Adam Morgan: Feijao trains out of Black House with Anderson Silva and the Nogueira brothers so you know he’s going to bring some excitement to the cage. Doyle is a guy whose frame might be better suited for middleweight but he has only competed at that weight once. He’s a good wrestler and should look to keep Feijao with his back planted on the mat. I don’t think that happens, though. Feijao will use strikes to set up a takedown and from there use some seriously powerful ground and pound to pound Doyle out. Feijao via TKO, round two.
Jon Kirk vs. Yosmany Cabezas
Adam Morgan: Jon Kirk is a tough guy with decent striking but Cabezas is an all around good fighter with a background in traditional martial arts. He’s also got the better story. He’s a Cuban immigrant, yet he was on the Venezuelan national karate team and is also a black belt in judo. He is one of the guys on the undercard to look out for. Yosmany Cabezas via unanimous decision.
Mario Rinaldi vs. Dave Herman
Adam Morgan: What I’ve seen from Dave Herman hasn’t been much. He’s built up his record to 9-0 by fighting guys with little to no MMA experience and is primarily a wrestler with good power and a very tall frame. He’s totally untested against a guy like Rinaldi who is fighting out of American Top Team. Rinaldi’s training partners are better, he’s going to be much stronger than Herman, and I think his wrestling is better as well. The one thing that could give Herman the advantage is his reach because Rinaldi is a shorter guy (think Jeff Monson). But Rinaldi is one hell of an athlete for such a big guy and I look for him to put Herman into untested waters, such as on his back with Rinaldi in side control, locking up a keylock or a kimura. Mario Rinaldi via submission, round two.
Eric Bradley vs. Mikey Gomez
Adam Morgan: This is a great style matchup as Bradley is a collegiate champion in boxing and a two-time All American at Penn State University and Gomez is an amateur muay thai champion and a black belt in BJJ at Gracia Barra in Tampa, FL. Bradley is the less experienced opponent with only two fights while Gomez has nine fights under his belt so experience could be an issue. Also, Bradley’s submission defense is the most suspect part of his game and Gomez is slick with submissions. Look for Bradley to use his wrestling to defend takedowns and pick Gomez apart on the feet. Eric Bradley via TKO, round two.
Lorenzo Borgomeo vs. Mike Bernhard
Adam Morgan: Both of these guys are products of well respected camps in Florida. Borgomeo with American Top Team and Mike Bernhard with Freestyle Fighting Academy. Both are pretty new to MMA with Borgomeo’s record being 2-0 and Bernhard’s record at 3-0. From what I’ve seen, Bernhard should win this fight by being unprecedentedly big for a welterwight at 6’3” and he seems like the more well rounded fighter. He’s a purple belt in Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu yet all three of his wins have been by TKO. On the ground or on the feet, Bernhard has the edge. Mike Bernhard via TKO, round two.