Yesterday the staff of 5 Oz. presented you with our picks for Affliction: Banned. We’re pulling double-duty with our predictions for tonight’s UFC Fight Night 14 event. Does James Irvin have any shot of beating Anderson Silva? Continue reading to find out.
Anderson Silva vs. James Irvin
Adam Morgan: What is there to really be said about this fight other than it’s Anderson Silva, the pound for pound best fighter in the world, stepping up in weight to face one of the 205 lbs. division’s gatekeepers? I really don’t expect it to be much of a fight and I think Silva will likely rock Irvin on the feet early and either KO or him or use his strikes to wobble Irvin and set up a submission on the ground. Silva’s faced much tougher competition in his day, 205 lbs. or not. Anderson Silva via TKO, round one.
Paul Balsom: As I’ve mentioned before, I am a huge Anderson Silva mark, but I don’t even think my bias has me in full tilt toward “The Spider.” Huck was right in this week’s DUEL, skills outweighs size more often than not, and Silva’s really not giving up much size here. I’m sure Irvin walks around a bit heavier, but Silva walks around upwards of 220. It’s not like he’s not going to be cutting off any weight before weigh-ins. This allows Silva to build muscle mass during training and to come out looking unlike the Anderson Silva we’re used to seeing. Silva said it best on the countdown show, “If he wants to stand with me and try to clinch with me, it will be funny.” This will be funny, and a total owning. Anderson Silva via TKO in round 1.
Brandon Vera vs. Reese Andy
Adam Morgan: Either someone finally talked some sense into Vera or two losses at heavyweight in a row have finally sobered him, but either way this is the weight class at which he belongs. Reese Andy is no slouch for a first fight at light heavyweight and his wrestling could pose some problems for Vera but I doubt that Vera will let that happen. Vera’s Muay Thai is sick, his jiu jitsu is very, very good, and his Greco is pretty top notch as well. Reese Andy is one dimensional whereas Vera has the tools to put together an all around well fought matchup. Brandon Vera via TKO, round three.
Paul Balsom: I’m very interested to see how Vera looks at 205 in this bout. I don’t even think it matters that he’s facing Reese Andy. This will be a gruesome display from Vera, much like the Mir or Eilers outings. Andy does have the potential to make this a boring one though, if he just runs out and goes for the double leg and gets it to the ground quickly. That is a very small possibility in my eyes, but a possibility nonetheless. I still have Vera via nasty KO in round 1.
Hermes Franca vs. Frankie Edgar
Adam Morgan: Frankie Edgar should be coming into this fight a little bigger and stronger than we’ve ever seen him before and I really think that spells doom for Hermes Franca who has been out of the cage for almost a year. Edgar is facing someone more his size this time around, he’s been working on his jiu jitsu and has shown in the past that jiu jitsu fighters don’t bother him. As long as he stays away from Franca’s wild bombs that he throws, Edgar should dominate this matchup from start to finish. Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision.
Paul Balsom: Jiu jitsu aside, Edgar has Franca’s number in this fight. Edgar has the polished and crisp boxing, whereas Franca throws wild and undisciplined overhand punches with hopes of eventually landing. This fight has the potential to be outstanding, but I still say it goes the distance. Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision (30-27).
Cain Velasquez vs. Jake O’Brien
Adam Morgan: Velasquez has been the talk of the town for some time now and this will be the toughest test of his young career. O’Brien is no joke when it comes to wrestling and he also has very good boxing skills as well, he just has yet to show them. That being said, I don’t think we’ll see any different O’Brien than we’ve seen before and that’s unfortunate for him because if the same old Jake O’Brien shows up then I think Velasquez squashes him. His wrestling is better, his speed is crazy, he has knockout power, and he’s not afraid to let his hands go. I’ll take Cain in this one all day. Cain Velasquez via TKO, round two.
Paul Balsom: O’Brien quickly goes for takedown… Velasquez knees and punches O’Brien a lot in the face and body. O’Brien goes down, and gets pounded on for almost an entire round before the rep steps in to stop the onslaught. Furthermore, O’Brien does not get another fight in the UFC. Velasquez via TKO in round 1.
Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns
Adam Morgan: Kevin Burns caught lightning in a bottle when he triangled Roan Carneiro at UFC 85 but can he do it again against the fast-rising Anthony Johnson? “Rumble” has been on a tear recently, just absolutely destroying the competiton that’s been put in front of him at 170 lbs. and I doubt that Burns will be much of a test for him. Burns showed us that he’s game and has skills in the win over Carneiro but I believe Johnson’s power and athleticism will just be too much for him.
Paul Balsom: Anthony Johnson is a straight up murking and beasting machine. I see this one going much like the Tommy Speer fight. Burns won’t be able to get Johnson to the ground, thanks to a nice sprawl-game by Johnson, and Johnson keeps swinging for the fences. The fences are Burns’s face. Johnson via KO in round 1.
C.B. Dollaway vs. Jesse Taylor
Adam Morgan: On paper, this is a very good fight. Two wrestlers, TUF 7 alums, and two guys who were in very opposite situations come the end of the show. C.B. took Taylor’s place in the finals after Taylor got booted from the show and now it’s Taylor’s turn to exact revenge and show that he belongs in the Octagon. I feel that C.B. has the better overall game in this fight, especially when it comes to wrestling and striking. Jesse is a good wrestler with good ground and pound but he’s not on Dollaway’s level just yet. And with Taylor, Dollaway won’t have to worry about getting submitted like he did against Amir. I like Dollaway in this fight but I expect it to go all three rounds in a hard fought matchup. C.B. Dollaway via unanimous decision.
Paul Balsom: C.B. Dollaway may be correct about having better stand up, but that doesn’t mean his stand up is good. I agree with Jesse Taylor in saying that his wrestling for MMA is better than that of Dollaway’s. I see this one going in favor of “the drunk guy,” and he gets Dollaway down and pounds some during the first round, but ultimately ties it up in the second. Taylor via TKO (ref stoppage) in round 2.
Tim Credeur vs. Cale Yarbrough
Adam Morgan: Thankfully this fight is finally going to take place and we can see the last of Cale Yarbrough in the UFC. Cale is a banger who likes to stand and trade but beyond that he doesn’t have much else. Once Credeur manages to get past the initial barrage of strikes and get Cale to the ground it should be pretty much academic from there. Tim Credeur via submission, round two.
Paul Balsom: Cale Yarbrough is known for his stand up, but I think his striking game is weak-sauce and remedial. Tim Credeur has an all-around tight game, and I think he will make quick work of Yarbrough, and score a submission early on. Credeur’s a stand-up guy and I hope he does well in the UFC. Credeur via submission in round 1.
Brodie Farber vs. Rory Markham
Adam Morgan: Rory Markham, a former IFL fighter, is being set up with a nice cupcake here for his first UFC fight and if all goes well and Rory ends the fight early I expect this one to make the broadcast. Rory has fought the better competition and trains with one of the best camps in the world at Miletich, so I think he takes this one via intangibles. Rory Markham via TKO, round one.
Paul Balsom: Being from this area, and seeing his less-than-impressive performance at the recent Adrenaline MMA event, I like Markham to arrive in the UFC in old-school fashion and brawl with Farber. Eventually Markham will pop Farber with a clean one in the kisser and send him packing off into obscurity.
Nate Loughran vs. Johnny Rees
Adam Morgan: I don’t know too much about these two other than they’re both undefeated and making their UFC debuts. Rees has made a name for himself on the local shows in the Midwest, specifically Legends of Fighting in Indiana and Loughran has made a name for himself in the California-based Palace Fighting Championships. No idea who takes this one, so I’ll flip a coin. Nate Loughran via submission, round two.
James Giboo vs. Brad Blackburn
Adam Morgan: Another former IFL fighter in Brad Blackburn is making his UFC debut against James Giboo, who has a nice record but hasn’t fought nearly the level of competition that Blackburn has faced. This will be a nice test for Blackburn in his first fight in the UFC but he should pass it with flying colors. He’s a very solid pickup by the UFC out of the ashes of the IFL and could turn into something special down the road. Brad Blackburn via TKO, round two.
Dale Hartt vs. Shannon Gugherty
Adam Morgan: There’s been a bit of hype surrounding Dale Hartt going into this fight, so I’m willing to buy into it the first time around. Dale Hartt via unanimous decision.