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Trading Punches: UFC 104 Undercard Preview & Predictions is kicking UFC 104 week in high gear with another edition of trading punches. Come along with us as we tear into the undercard  for this Saturday evening’s UFC 104 card that features a light heavyweight championship match-up with Loyoto Machida defending his belt for the first time against Mauricio Rua, a battle of the big men  between Cain Velasquez  and Ben Rothwell , a 155 pound shoot out between Joe “Daddy” Stevenson and Spencer Fisher  and much more.

Stay tuned to  this week as we bring you continuing coverage of  UFC 104   that will include,  Previews, Predictions,  and analysis.   You will also be able to watch  the UFC 104 weigh-ins  LIVE and after the Play by Play,  Hop in the Press box with the 5oz’s  staff as we bring  Live video coverage of  UFC 104’s  post fight press conference.

Enough with the intro, let’s breakdown the undercard….

Ryan Bader Vs. Eric Schafer

David Andrest: I’m going to  throw analysis out the window.  I’ll let Cory come in and explain to you all why I’m a moron for not picking Ryan Bader to smash Red Schafer.    I don’t care what is typed below me,  Cory will be right about everything he types with the exception of the outcome of this fight.

Winner: Red Schafer  via Sub

Cory Brady: David already knows where I stand on this subject, and I would truly love to hear how he rationalizes agreeing with my assessment of the bout, yet splitting hairs on the fight’s outcome.

I’ve come to learn that the more friends I make in this business, the harder it becomes to pick fights in a completely unbiased manner. This fight is a little different being that I have learned from experience that both Ryan Bader and Eric Schafer are two of the nicest guys you’ll come across in the sport. However, one man has to win, and another has to lose, and one thing I have always held myself accountable to is picking fights with nothing but the facts in mind.

Bader is a smart guy. Smart enough to know that Schafer’s only path to victory lies on the canvas of the Octagon. Look for “Darth” Bader to employ a gameplan identical to his bout with Vinny Magalhaes in the TUF finals. Bader is going to utilize his superior wrestling to keep the fight standing, and will batter Schafer on the feet at will. Stylistically this is a great match-up for Bader, and a terrible one for Red. Look for the big right hand from Bader to set it all up.

Winner: Ryan Bader via TKO

Antoni Hardonk Vs. Pat Barry

David A: This is going to be a spectacular fight.  Someone is going to be knocked out  or  this fight will be a war of epic proportions that people will be talking about for months to come.  Both fighters are very dangerous strikers at the highest level.   You can throw records out the window,  and just know  Hardonk is absolutely one of the  best strikers in the game.   Oddly enough he and Barry used to train together.  Barry brings big power and excellent stand up as well.   This is a close fight but it’s hard to ignore the size difference.   Hardonk is 5” taller and will have a significant reach advantage.  When you are giving up that kind of size to a guy who is a slightly better striker, it’s going to be a long night………….correction short night.

Winner:  Hardonk  KO

Cory Brady: I agree with Dave’s analysis of the bout, but disagree with the outcome to some extent. An important fact to remember is that Barry has never suffered a legitimate KO or TKO loss (outside of a stoppage due to a cut) in kickboxing or MMA; Hardonk has been TKO’d twice in seven kickboxing bouts. Now provided this one turns into a slugfest like many anticipate, I don’t see Hardonk being able to stop Barry with strikes. The gloves may be smaller in MMA, but the shins are standard issue.

However, I see this one being everything everyone hopes for a moment or two before Hardonk uses his size to drag Barry to the canvas and work for a submission. Look for a keylock, RNC or guillotine.

Winner: Antoni Hardonk via submission

Yushin Okami Vs. Chael Sonnen

David A:To quote a fine reader of this siteSonnen vs Okami likely will be a bit slower” . This fight is interesting on every level with the exception of excitement.  Why is Okami on the undercard?  What happened to his Title shot?  Why is the UFC brushing this kid under the carpet?  Well let’s be honest, would you buy a PPV  headlined by him?

As a fighter, I like Okami, however he is a very slow starter.  I don’t seem to remember him ever winning the first round of any fight.   His lone loss in the UFC came to Rich Franklin by Decision in a fight he clearly won the 3rd round in.

Sonnen is a wrestler that doesn’t finish fights.  Plain and simple, he has the potential to get on top of an opponent and stay there.   Not do a whole bunch while there and win the decision.

Most say  styles make fights.  My question is, Who did Okami piss off?

Winner:  Okami  via  decsion

Cory Brady: Ugh! I’ve never been very good at sugar coating things. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you guys, neither of these fighters are among my favorites to watch. There’s no reason Okami doesn’t win this fight, but he better do it impressively. He won’t.

Winner: Yushin Okami via decision

Jorge Rivera Vs. Rob Kimmons

David A:The good news is, one of these fighters will get their very first winning streak in the UFC at the end of this contest.  Rivera has faced and defeated the better competition.  While anything can happen, I’m going to pick “El Conquistador”

Winner:  Rivera   decision

Cory Brady: Close fight to call. I’ll give Kimmons the edge in the submission department and Rivera the edge on the feet. Considering the fact that Kimmons has never been stopped with strikes I see him pulling out some form of a choke for the strangulation victory.

Winner: Rob Kimmons via submission

Kyle Kingsbury Vs. Razak Al-Hassan

David A:Both guys come into the fight off losses.  In fact they are both 0-1 in the UFC.  Al-Hassan has a fabulous Afro, and is tough as nails. Anyone who saw what Steve Cantwell did to his arm will never question this kids heart.  Kingsbury is a victim of Tom Lawler who will look to hold onto his contract. This is without a doubt a loser leaves the UFC type fight.

Winner:  Al-Hassan  TKO  high kick

Cory Brady: I don’t know if the afro has given you flashbacks from Sho’nuff in “The Last Dragon”, but there’s no way Al-Hassan wins this fight by high kick. The guy has never knocked anyone out in his professional career, and I’m not even sure if he could get his leg up high  enough to blast the 6’4″ Kingsbury with a high kick. But hey, anything can happen I guess.

The fact that Al-Hassan, who sports five submissions in seven wins, had his arm snapped in his UFC debut tells me a lot about the competition he had been facing previously.

Kingsbury has yet to be submitted, and he won’t on Saturday evening either.

Winner: Kyle “Special Sauce” Kingsbury via TKO

Stefan Struve Vs. Chase Gormley

David A: 6’11” Struve, wow.  What can be said about this kid.  At just 21 years old the kid has a ton of experience. With a pro record of 21-3  Struve looks to be battle tested on paper, however I have to wonder about his level of competition.  His lone loss in the UFC came to  Junior Dos Santos, which in hindsight  doesn’t seem  to crazy.

Gormley comes into his UFC debut with a perfect record of 6-0. Gormley is a wrestler who will have a significant weight advantage over Struve.

I’ll be honest about this one,  I have to look at it like this.  Struve is 21-3 and is in the curtin jerker against a guy making his debut.   He is 6’11”  and is 21-3 and this is who we have chosen to open the show with??  It’s obvious to me that the powers that be feel as I do.

Winner:  Gormley  via  TKO

Cory Brady: Gormley should be able to utilize his superior wrestling to give Stefan Struve “Frankenstein Face” in two consecutive bouts. Only this time, Chase should be able to finish the job.

Winner: Chase Gormley via TKO

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