The FiveOuncesOfPain.com staff is back to break down Affliction Day of Reckoning. Enjoy as 5 Oz. staff members preview and predict 10-bouts for tonight. After reading the picks, readers are encouraged to leave their predictions in the comment thread that proceeds this article. Enjoy the fights!
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski
Caleb Newby: Fedor wins with his superior ground game and by just being Fedor. If this stays on the feet, it could get interesting. Still, Fedor is the longest running rock of consistency we have in this sport. I suspect Arlovski gets pummeled on the ground. Winner: Fedor Emelianenko – GnP, Rd1
Jonathan Snowden: The MMA world has been largely silent about this match, perhaps the best heavyweight matchup we’ll see this year. Arlovski is a good test for Fedor. He punches with power and has good quickness for a heavyweight. When the fight goes to the ground, he’s also dangerous with submissions.
It’s rare a fighter of his caliber would be such an overwhelming underdog, but Arlovski has lost the faith of many fans after his chin was found lacking by Tim Sylvia. That may be the difference in this fight. Fedor can take a punch, while Arlovski will likely crumble the first time he is tagged with Fedor’s heavy hands. Fedor, Submission, Round 2.
Christopher Dolan: Arlovski will pose a huge threat to Fedor, probably his biggest in the past three years. Arlovski’s boxing skills will be the making or breaking point during the course of this bout. I want to say I see an upset happening but I see Fedor winning this fight in the second round via TKO.
Cory Brady: To me, Arlovski’s only chance in this one is to stay on the outside, use movement an prevent Fedor from swarming him. He won’t be able to. Fedor is just way too fast, explosive and natural for Arlovski. I see Fedor mauling Arlovski very early on in this one. Fedor by TKO
David Andrest: Since the day this fight was announced, I’ve had the feeling Arlovski was going to win. My pick is not based in logic or common sense. Arlovski is the bigger fighter, should have better hands, longer reach…………oh hell who am I trying to fool, it’s a gut feeling. Maybe it’s something I ate. Arlovski via tko
Nick Travaglini:Arlovski has been working his boxing for months with one of the best trainers in the world in Freddie Roach. Unfortunately for Arlovski, its not boxing, its MMA. The rhythm is different, the footwork is WAY different, and the timing and combos are different. There have been much better pedigree pro boxers who have tried and failed in MMA. Arlovski has never had a good ground game, he resembles a fish out of water on the floor and his guard can be passed rather easily. Fedor is to explosive on the feet, and even if Arlovski manages to get Fedor into trouble in the striking, he will just takedown Arlovski and submit him there. I like Arlovski, but he is overmatched here. It will take a completely well rounded MMA fighter to dethrone Fedor from his perch, and Arlovski is not it. Fedor via submission round 1.
Lee Gerowitz: Okay kids, I’m on vacation so my picks will be brief and to the point. As will this fight.
Fedor by submission, Round 2
Brendhan Conlan: Fedor Emelianenko, TKO, RD1
Josh Barnet vs. Gilbert Yvel
Caleb Newby: Not exactly sure why this is the fight Affliction deemed worthy for the number two slot. Barnett should win and better win. A Barnett vs. the main event winner is a great next fight. Winner: Josh Barnett – Submission, Rd1
Jonathan Snowden:Barnett should easily outclass Yvel here. Gamblers have to be a little nervous, because Josh is the kind of fighter who would do something stupid like stand with Yvel to prove he can. I think he’ll be smart, get a quick submission, and hope the promotion survives long enough to match him with Fedor. Barnett, Submission, Round 1.
Christopher Dolan:This might be the fight I am most excited about on the card. Yvel is a monster of a fighter but Barnet should be able to neutralize him with his wresting ability. As long as Barnet isn’t caught with a punch I like for him to win the fight via submission in the second round.
Cory Brady: Barnett will have little problems taking Yvel to the floor and using his extremely superior submission skills to make short work of Yvel en route to a long overdue match up with Fedor. Barnett by submission.
David Andrest: This fight will go to the floor, when it does Barnett wins with ease. Barnett by submission
Nick Travaglini:Yvel could catch Barnett and knock him out cold. We all know Yvel is a phenomenal striker. But Barnett is just to good in every other facet of MMA to lose this match. I expect Barnett to take Yvel down immediately and work some ground and pound and submit him rather quickly. Barnett via submission round 1.
Lee Gerowitz: Barnett by submission, Round 1
Brendhan Conlan: Josh Barnett, Submission, RD2
Matt Lindland vs. Vitor Belfort
Caleb Newby: Lindland wasn’t overly impressive in his last outing, and I want to believe Belfort is on the upswing. I’ll take what I’m assuming is the upset. Winner: Vitor Belfort – Decision
Jonathan Snowden:A few years ago, this is an easy win for Lindland. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the signs of aging I saw in his last fight. He still has all the tools to beat Belfort. Luckily for Lindland, Belfort will almost certainly quit if the fight goes to the ground and he has Lindland on top of him for three rounds. I like Lindland here, but need more convincing to consider him among the top fighters at 185. Lindland, Decision.
Christopher Dolan:Part of me is saying to go with Lindland in this fight, but I’m having a problem pulling the trigger. With that being said I’ll go with Belfort winning this fight in the second round via TKO.
Cory Brady: Lindland looked like crap against Negao. He was rocked several times by a guy that is not known for his striking. I know I’m going out on a limb here but I feel that Lindland is way over rated and I’m thinking Belfort will have the momentum and explosiveness that it will take to expose him. Belfort by knockout- second round.
David Andrest: This is a tough fight for me to call. I suppose Lindland could wet blanket his way to victory. But on this night I’m going to pick Belfort via TKO
Nick Travaglini:Everyone is waiting for the “Old Vitor” to return and wreck havoc on the MMA scene. I think the old Vitor is buried and gone. I see Lindland controlling position for most of the fight and winning on the score cards. But it seems the Team Quest guys are having problems with cardio lately, as Sokoudjou, Henderson, and Lindland all gased out badly in their last fights. If Vitor can hang in til the third round, he should be able to steal a 3rd round tko win over Lindland.
Lee Gerowitz: Belfort by decision
Brendhan Conlan: Matt Lindland, Judges’ Decision
Renato “Babalu” Sobral vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
Caleb Newby: I love me some Sokoudjou and hope he comes on strong here, but I can’t take him. He still has a future in the sport, but Babalu is a very good fighter. I figure Babalu can finish Sokoudjou after he inevitably gasses. Winner: Renato “Babalu” Sobral – Submission, Rd3
Jonathan Snowden:Babalu may be the best fighter in the world to never win a major championship in his career. He’s really good everywhere and has the kind of mean streak you need to be a success. We know who he is as a fighter.
I think we have a better idea of what kind of fighter Sokoudjou is now too. He was a little overrated after two flash knockouts. More time in the cage has exposed plenty of weaknesses and Babalu is a fighter that makes you pay for any mistakes. I don’t think this was the right opponent to get Rameau back on track. Babalu, Decision.
Christopher Dolan: Sokoudjou has the ability to be a top five fighter but for whatever reason he is extremely inconsistent. Babalu will be a huge challenge for him, but I’m going to stick with Sokoudjou who will win this fight via decision.
Cory Brady: Babalu is by far, the superior ground fighter in this match up and the gap between the two will be too much for Sokoudjou. I don’t see Sokoudjou being able to keep Babalu off of him for very long. Babalu by early submission.
David Andrest: Again this fight will go to the ground. once there Babalu will win via what ever choke he feels like. Babalu via submission
Nick Travaglini:This is a bad style matchup for Sokoudjou, and I have to question the wisdom in taking this fight after the run he just had in the UFC. Sobral is an intelligent fighter if he keep his cool. Babalu will take down Sokoudjou and submit him rather quickly. Babalu via submission round 1.
Lee Gerowitz: “Babalu” by submission, Round 2
Brendhan Conlan: Renato “Babalu” Sobral, Judges’ Decision
Paul Buentello vs. Kiril “Baby Fedor” Sidelnikov
Caleb Newby: While I am a fan of Sidelnikov and his nickname, Buentello may be too much for this young fighter to handle at this stage in his career. I am seriously tempted to go with the kid but I can’t pass up the experience of a true vet like Buentello. I could be very wrong. Winner: Paul Buentello – Decision
Jonathan Snowden:I don’t see “Baby Fedor” doing well here. Bunetello hits hard and will try his best to propel his win here into a main event agains the real Fedor. Buentello, KO, Round 1.
Christopher Dolan: The key in this fight will be how long it lasts. Baby Fedor is 5-0 when the fight ends in the first round but 0-2 when it goes longer. I’m not enthralled with Buentello so I’m going to go with Baby Fedor via TKO in the first round.
Cory Brady: Baby Fedor has a super sweet nickname and an awesome training camp but that won’t stop him from being punished by the older and more experienced Buentello. Buentello by knockout.
David Andrest: someone really hates this kid and wanted to doom his future from the start. “Baby Fedor” ?? Head Hunter TKO Round 2
Nick Travaglini:Another interesting matchup between two heavy hitters. If Sidelnikov can avoid getting sucked into a stand up brawl with Buentello, he should use his strikes to take Buentello down and use his ground and pound to set up a submission. Sidelnikov via submission round 2.
Lee Gerowitz: Um, yeah…and I’m “Baby Brad Pitt.” Buentello by destruction/TKO, Round 2
Brendhan Conlan: Paul Buentello, KO, RD2
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
Jonathan Snowden:The Janitor has been wiping the map with the competition since losing to Arlovski in 2003. But none of the guys he fought in the IFL had the superlative skills of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Rogerio has even better boxing than his more famous brother, while maintaining a fundamentally sound ground game. This is actually a rematch of a fight on the mostly forgotten UFO card in 2002. That Rogerio had just three pro fights and none against top opponents. He’s come a long way since then, while Vlad is pretty much the same fighter. I think it’s a different experience for the Russian this time around. Rogerio, Submission, Round 3.
Christopher Dolan: Matyushenko already holds a decision victory over Nogueira but I see this one playing out differently. I like Nogueira to take this fight via decision.
Cory Brady: Hardest fight on the card for me to call and perhaps the most overlooked. The janitor has the superior wrestling and Lil Nog has the better submissions and maybe a little better boxing. I’m going to flip a coin on this one. Heads, Matyushenko, tails, Nogueira…..heads. Vladimir by hard fought decision.
David Andrest: Toss up fight. Really it is. Because Brady took Vladimir I’m going to go with Nogueira via decision.
Caleb Newby: Like everyone else said, this is hard fight to call. I’m going to be swayed by my ambivalence for the IFL when it was around. Logical? No. I also like the Nogueria brothers, so it’s really just personal bias here. Winner: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira – Decision
Nick Travaglini:A rematch of their previous meeting back in August of 2002 which Matyushenko won. This is a good fight but Matyushenko does not have the most exciting fighting style. Could turn in a grinder on the ground with Matyushenko controlling position for most of the fight. I do not think Matyushenko wants to stand with Nogueira for any extended period of this fight. I will take Matyushenko via unanimous decision.
Lee Gerowitz: Matyushenko by decision
Brendhan Conlan: Vladimir Matyushenko, Judges’ Decision
Jay Hieron vs. Jason High
Jonathan Snowden:Hieron’s game was advancing by leaps and bounds when the IFL collapsed beneath the weight of their millions of dollars of debt. His wrestling has been great since college. At Xtreme Couture, he’s added a solid standup attack and is one of the very best fighters in his weight class that isn’t a major television star. High is undefeated, but hasn’t fought anyone like Hieron. Welcome to the big leagues kid. Hieron, TKO, Round 1.
Christopher Dolan:High comes into this fight undefeated, but I don’t think he’ll leave in the same fashion. I like Hieron to win this fight via submission in the third round.
Cory Brady: High is a prospect to watch in the future no doubt, but Hieron is way too experienced and well rounded for him at this point in his career. Hieron by TKO.
David Andrest: I think this fight is way more competitive than most are predicting. Still I gotta pick Hieron via tko
Caleb Newby: Hieron via the experience and having faced better competition argument.Winner: Jay Hieron – TKO, Rd2
Nick Travaglini:High is a nice prospect, but this is too much to soon. Hieron is a beast and will dominate this fight. Hieron via round 2 tko.
Lee Gerowitz: Jay Hieron TKO, Round 1
Brendhan Conlan: Jay Hieron, TKO, RD3
L.C. Davis vs. Bao Quach
Jonathan Snowden:Davis has one loss on his record, to Wagney Fabiano. No shame in that. I think his game is too well rounded for Quach, a fighter that has been around forever and never managed to succeed against anyone of consequence. If Quach does pull out a win here, it will be by decision and you will be happy it wasn’t on PPV. Davis, Decision.
Christopher Dolan: Both men are hot coming into this fight and will put on a great show. I like Davis to win the fight via decision.
Cory Brady: Quach has been on a role as of late but no type of momentum will prepare him for the extremely impressive Davis. This will a good test for Davis, but a test that he will pass with flying colors. Davis by knockout.
David Andrest: Bao Quach. I just like saying the name. Davis will win this fight in impressive fashion. Davis via KO.
Caleb Newby: I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS FIGHT!! Ok, not really. Winner: L.C. Davis – Decision
Nick Travaglini:This is a very interesting fight to me. Davis is the favorite here, coming out of the Militech camp with only one loss to Wagney Fabiano. Big hitter with very good cardio. Quach impressed me greatly in his win over Mark Oshiro in Icon. I am taking Davis to win via 3rd round tko, but would not be surprised if Quach pulled out a decision win.
Lee Gerowitz: Davis by decision
Brendhan Conlan: L.C. Davis, Submission, RD3
Antonio Duarte vs. Albert Rios
Jonathan Snowden:Duarte’s nickname is “Tigre” which is awesome. If he fights with half the ferocity of the original MMA Tigers (Vernon White and Marcelo Tigre) he will do well. To channel a bit of Jeff Foxworthy: When you’re picking fights based on a guy’s nickname, this might be a dark match. Duarte, Submission, Round 2.]
Christopher Dolan: Duarte should be able to win this fight and in quick fashion with a first round submission.
Cory Brady: This is another tough fight to call. I’ll give the edge to Duarte because of his dangerous submission game. Duarte by submission.
David Andrest: Really hard fight to call. Duarte by sub
Caleb Newby: Snowden stole my methodology for this pick. I need to find something else. I was going to go against Rios because he lost once via heel hook. Then I see Duarte also lost via heel hook. So fooy on that. How about Duarte because he finishes more of his fights, and with varried submissions? Don’t look at me like that. It’s all I got. Winner: Antonio Duarte – Submission, Rd2
Nick Travaglini: I like Rios and I see big things in the future for him, but this is Duarte’s fight to lose. Duarte via unanimous decision.
Lee Gerowitz: Duarte by decision
Brendhan Conlan: Antonio Duarte, Judges’ Decision
Brett Cooper vs. Patrick Speight
Jonathan Snowden:Cooper is the guy who upset Rory Markham in the IFL. On the strength of that solid win, I’ll give him the edge here. Cooper, KO, Round 1
Christopher Dolan: In a tough one to call but I’ll look for Speight to bounce back from the first loss of his career with a decision victory over Cooper.
Cory Brady: Cooper has really been on fire lately and I expect for him to continue his winning streak against the very game Patrick Speight. Cooper by TKO.
David Andrest: How could anyone pick against Cooper in this fight? Cooper KO round 1
Caleb Newby: I have no idea Mr. Andrest! Winner: Brett Cooper – TKO, Rd2
Nick Travaglini: Brett Cooper vs Patrick Speight – Cooper is a dynamic fighter and turning into a stellar up and comer. This has all the makings of a showcase fight, Cooper via tko rd 1.
Lee Gerowitz: Cooper TKO, Round 1
Brendhan Conlan: Brett Cooper, TKO, RD2