Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time once again for the UFC to have a pay-per-view event just one week after we saw Michael Bisping take out Chris Leben in England. Will Anderson Silva retain his title? Will Josh Koscheck be able to take out Thiago Alves on short notice? Will Sean Sherk return to form after his devastating loss to BJ Penn? And will Marcus Aurelio and Hermes Franca settle their ATT beef? It all happens at UFC 90 and the staff of 5 Oz. is here to tell you what we think. Let’s do it…
Anderson Silva vs. Patrick Cote (185 lbs. Title Fight)
Adam Morgan: This has to be the biggest no brainer fight of all time. Cote has heavy hands and a good chin. So did Chris Leben. Silva is better than Cote everywhere. I don’t see this one getting past the first round. Anderson Silva via TKO, round one.
Michael Huckaby: I wouldn’t say the biggest no-brainer of all-time but it’s certainly lopsided. WAIT WAIT, is this one of those fights like GSP/Serra or something where 9 people across the globe just throw the underdog’s name out there and if he wins he brags about it the rest of his life? And if he’s wrong no one notices? I love that guy. There are still people bragging about picking the Giants over the Patriots in the Super Bowl and it’s October. Why am I rambling on? Because there’s little to say other than Silva should punch him and make him fall down. See, that’s why I’m an “expert” with analysis like that. The only question is if Silva will choke him or just punch it out. I will blindly trust Cote’s chin to stand up to it and I’m probably stupid for doing so. Winner: Silva, submission, Rd2.
David Andrest: I love you too Huck… But seriously anyone picking Cote at this point is working hard to be different or has a personal interest in the future of Patrick Cote. Nothing that has taken place would lead anyone to believe that Cote has a chance to make it out of the first round. While I feel Cote may do a lot better than most people expect, I have to resist the urge to be “that guy” , Anderson Silva wins this by highlight reel KO in the second. Winner: Silva, KO, Rd2
Josh Koscheck vs. Thiago Alves
Adam Morgan: This is perhaps the most evenly matched fight on the entire card. With Diego Sanchez out with an injury, Josh Koscheck is a fantastic replacement on short notice since he was already training for a fight with Yoshida at UFN 16. Alves is the better striker here, Koscheck the better wrestler. Alves was able to stuff Matt Hughes in their fight on all of his takedown attempts and beat him up on the feet. Kos will be more of a threat due to his athleticism and explosiveness but I expect Alves to do much the same to him as he did to Hughes. Thiago Alves via TKO, round three.
Michael Huckaby: I can’t in any way disagree really but the historian in me can’t help but have a little light go off saying we’ve seen this before. Just when you think some big new welterweight is about to bust through and get his title shot he gets beat when he shouldn’t. Alves probably should win this and very well will but I’m going to just be fun and say Koscheck can revert and do his best to ride this one out and not let Alves scalp him. Winner: Koscheck, decision.
David Andrest: For me there are only two outcomes that are likely in this fight. Alves beats Koscheck with the same gameplan that defeated Matt Hughes, or Koscheck turns into a wet blanket and lays on top of Alves for 15 minutes. Can Koscheck resist the temptation to stand and trade with the better striker? Can Alves stuff Koscheck’s takedowns and manage to KO Koscheck who has never fell victim to strikes? Alves will be the bigger of the two fighters, but Koscheck has really preformed well in big fights. I almost hate to say it Winner. Koscheck, decsion.
Thales Leites vs. Drew McFedries
Adam Morgan: McFedries will look for the home run shot almost the entire fight. Landing a huge punch to KO Leites is about the only chance he has to win. Leites is solid on the feet and has outstanding jiu jitsu. If it stays on the feet I give the slight advantage to McFedries. I feel, however, that Leites has the better overall game to contend with McFedries’ brawling style. Thales Leites via submission, round two.
Michael Huckaby: This fight is just kind of silly isn’t it? I didn’t even realize this was a fight on the card until last week and I had to look at it three or four times to understand the matchmaking. I know it was originally supposed to be Reljic and McFedries is game but he really has no chance at all here. In fact you’re being very, very nice to say it will go to the second round. McFedries is a smaller Houston Alexander with a slightly better game. They should only use him for slugfests and entertaining openers. Winner: Leites, submission, Rd1.
David Andrest: It’s all about ways to win. McFedries has one, Leites has dozens. Winner: Leites, submission, Rd 1.
Fabricio Werdum vs. Junior Dos Santos
Adam Morgan: Fabricio Werdum is the odd man out of the heavyweight title picture and I have a feeling that the UFC is feeding him some gimme fights in order to keep him at contender status while allowing him to keep active. Otherwise this fight wouldn’t be on the main card. Werdum is very good at striking, wrestling, and jiu jitsu. Dos Santos is not even on Werdum’s level. Good, young fighter? Yes. But Werdum is too strong for him in every facet of MMA. Fabricio Werdum via TKO, round one.
Michael Huckaby: This isn’t even worth the time to write or read. Just remember with these feeder fights that eventually the guy loses and the UFC is still yet to learn that. Though I guess they can talk themselves into saying, “well if he can’t beat him….” or whatever other nonsense to justify it. Winner: Werdum, whenever, wherever. Now I’m thinking about Shakira.
David Andrest: Since making the move to Chute Boxe, Werdum has rounded out his once one dimensional game and has emerged as a true contender. Werdum is a top 3 UFC heavyweight, and it’s a shame that this is the best the UFC could do for a match up. Werdum wins, big deal. Werdum loses, we knew he wasn’t that good. This is a nightmare situation for a guy who by rights should be fighting Randy Couture at UFC 91. Winner: Werdum, Submission Rd1
Sean Sherk vs. Tyson Griffin
Adam Morgan: This is outstanding matchmaking, Joe Silva. Whenever two strong wrestlers get together it always makes for a good fight because they usually end up standing and trading the entire time. I have a feeling this will be much the same way. Both have great takedowns and great takedown defense. It will come down to who can inflict more damage on the feet. I think Sherk has the crisper boxing and his reach (or lack thereof) shouldn’t be an issue because Griffin is a short, stocky fighter as well. Hard to pick a winner in this one but I have to. Sean Sherk via unanimous decision.
Michael Huckaby: I understand Adam’s reasoning but even though wrestler bouts usually stay on the feet I’m not sure that’s how this one is going to end up. Sherk will look to shoot and take top control, as he does, while Griffin fights like hell flipping around trying to get back up or improve. I look forward to three rounds of this and I’m not sure whether it will be very entertaining or very boring…. I guess that will be up to whichever one of them is succeeding. I’m going with my original thoughts that no one in the UFC LW division stands a chance against Penn or Sherk. Winner: Sherk, decision.
David Andrest: Is Sean Sherk really playing the role of gatekeeper here?? Griffin seems to find himself on the odd ends of decisions. If I pick him to lose, he seems to impress some blind judge or Cecil Peoples and pull out a decision. If I pick him to win, the blind judge and Cecil Peoples takes the night off and he is on the losing end of the decision. Incredible match up of guys who are known as wrestlers, but I think Sherk will show off some of that boxing I was forced to hear about during his beating at the hands of B.J. Penn. Winner Sean Sherk, decision.
Rich Clementi vs. Gray Maynard
Adam Morgan: I think Clementi’s hot streak comes to an end here against Maynard. Clementi has been on quite a roll having not lost a fight in over a year but I think Maynard, who is absolutely a monster for 155 lbs., will have his way with Clementi standing or on the ground. Clementi’s jiu jitsu is very good but Maynard’s power, his improved standup, and his strong wrestling game should be enough to grind out a decision over the tough Louisianan. Gray Maynard via unanimous decision.
Michael Huckaby: Now THIS is good matchmaking. While I can’t disagree that Maynard should win every facet of the game outside of the jiu-jitsu, Maynard has shown a couple of times that he’ll leave himself open. Neither a rather quick Clementi win nor a Maynard butt-whoopin’ would really surprise me here and this is a true pick’em on the card for me. You know what this fight reminds me of? That Pellegrino/Nate Diaz fight where you knew Pellegrino would beat him horribly unless Nate pulled off the sub. Maynard should pound this man (I love you Rich!) and just like I mistakenly took Pellegrino with an upset I’m taking Maynard here. Winner: Maynard, decision.
David Andrest: This is the hardest fight to pick on this entire card. And I’ll be honest in saying I have no facts to back up my decision to pick Clementi via arm bar. Winner: Clementi sub Rd 1.
Spencer Fisher vs. Shannon Gugerty
Adam Morgan: Gugerty is being given to Fisher to see if Fisher can get back on track at lightweight. I have a strong feeling that he will. Gugerty is a good up and comer but Fisher’s experience and gameness will be too much for him. Spencer Fisher via TKO, round two.
Michael Huckaby: Don’t totally dismiss Gugerty. I mean you’re right about everything you said on every point but Gugerty is a feisty dude and Fisher hasn’t stopped a fight in forever. I think they’re not only giving him Gugerty but giving him to him for a Matt Wiman-like entertaining KO. If he can’t do it and make it fun I think the UFC will lose most hope. Winner: Fisher, strikes, Rd2.
David Andrest: As a fighter I always enjoy watching Fisher fight. Gugerty has an impressive record and looked good in his debut fight for the UFC. And while I’m not going to dismiss Gugerty, they matched him with Spencer Fisher for a reason, and it’s not to notch another loss on Fishers record. Winner: Spencer Fisher KO round 1
Dan Miller vs. Matt Horwich
Adam Morgan: Matt Horwich is about as goofy as they come but the kid can wrestle and he also has some strong power in his hands. Unfortunately for him that’s about all he has. When it comes to cardio, jiu jitsu, and overall tightness of game, Dan Miller takes the cake. I don’t think Horwich has much of a future in the UFC other than a middleweight gatekeeper but Dan Miller is someone to keep an eye on. Dan Miller via submission, round two.
Michael Huckaby: Man, you’re killing Horwich. I still need to see a bit more out of Miller before I’m in love with him. Horwich has a punchers chance plus I think he’ll control the first couple minutes of the fight before…. okay, you’re right, he loses. Winner: Miller, decision.
David Andrest: WOW, Morgan you are treating Horwich like his name is Vera. ” …don’t think Horwich has much of a future in the UFC…” That was harsh. I’m not on the Dan Miller is an up and coming star page just yet, and this fight won’t do much to change that. Winner. Miller, decision
Hermes Franca vs. Marcus Aurelio
Adam Morgan: Hands down fight of the night. Too bad it’s buried on the undercard. This fight is going to be an absolute war and there is no love loss between the two. Both have great jiu jitsu and Aurelio may have the more technical standup but Franca has bricks for hands and he throws them wildly and from odd angles in exchanges. I expect this fight to be one that we might see on the broadcast or on UFC.com the next day. I have very high expectations. But I have to go with Franca based on his KO power. I think their jiu jitsu cancels one another out but Franca’s hands could be devastating. Franca via TKO, round three.
Michael Huckaby: This is a fantastic bout but I’m not sure I can pick either one of them to win. Aurelio has looked good in most of his losses and Franca has as well but what will happen if you make one of them win? Aurelio probably has more overall talent (in my opinion) but I think Franca will be more active and that’s what the judges will care about. Winner: Franca, decision.
David Andrest: I really like Aurelio, with that said Franca is better on the feet and on the ground. While I agree with most in the fact that this should be really entertaining to watch. I think Franca takes this fight in dominating fashion. Winner: Franca, TKO round 2.
Josh Burkman vs. Pete Sell
Adam Morgan: Pete Sell once called GSP a “mental midget.” If that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black. Sell has solid jiu jitsu but he likes to brawl. Burkman is known for making good fighters look bad and I have a feeling that he’ll do the same to sell, using his wrestling and grinding style to take a decision victory. Josh Burkman via unanimous decision.
Michael Huckaby: I am not a fan of either so at least one of them will lose. Burkman by decision seems like the only obvious pick and with a gun to my head I’d take it but Sell wins the striking and the ground game. Burkman ONLY wins by holding him down for three terrible rounds and making everyone groan. I don’t want that for the good people of Illinois and all of those watching on pay-per-view. Winner: Sell, strikes, Rd2. Why the hell not?
David Andrest: Pete Sell has just about used up the points on his ” Most exciting finish in UFC history” card. It’s time for Drago to step up and dominate. Unfortunatley for him, Josh Burkman is not the guy it’s going to happen against. In fact I’m gonna throw Burkman’s name out there and if he wins I’ll brag about it the rest of my life. Burkman is going to come into this fight with much improved stand up, and like a kid with a new toy he is going to use it. Winner: Burkman: TKO (strikes) Rd 2.
You have read our picks, now we would like to read yours tell us who and why below.