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Trading Punches: UFC 107 Preview & Predictions; The Prelims

107Come along with the FiveOuncesofPain crew as Managing Editor Cory Brady verbally dukes it out with the always opinionated David Andrest over this Saturday evening’s UFC 107 card.

UFC 107 is set for Saturday evening, December 12, 2009 at The FedEx Forum in Memphis Tennesse, airing live on Pay Per View.

Headlining the card will be a lightweight championship clash between B.J. Penn and Diego Sanchez, along with other promising match-ups featuring the likes of Kenny Florian, Clay Guida, Frank Mir, Cheick Kongo and more.

Let’s get things started with the prelims….

Alan Belcher vs. Wilson Gouveia

David Andrest: I have to agree with Belcher here, this fight should be on the main card. This could easily be FOTN. Belcher is a dangerous fighter with a chip on his shoulder. Gouveia is also a very talented fighter. When Gouveia loses, it’s by KO or TKO. I don’t think that will change.

Winner: Alan Belcher via TKO

Cory Brady: I’m with Alan and David on this one. How Belcher and Gouveia didn’t make the cut for the main card is beyond me. I know it was Paul Buentello that Alan sort of ended up throwing under the bus, but in my opinion I would toss the Fitch/Pierce three round formality and replace it with a fight guaranteed not to disappoint. If Fitch can actually finish Pierce, no worries, he makes the main card. If he grinds out another …. lackluster decision; Let the kids that really want to see that one order it on UFC On Demand. With that being said, this is definitely one of my front-runners for FOTN honors. This is a fantastic match-up between a couple of guys that are lethal regardless of where the bout ends up. Like Dave put it before me; When Wilson loses, he gets jacked.

Winner: Alan Belcher via TKO

Shane Nelson vs. Matt Wiman

David Andrest: Wiman is a better fighter all around. Nelson trains with the best lightweight on the planet but that will not be enough to stop Wiman from having his way in this contest.

Winner: Matt Wiman via TKO Round 3

Cory Brady: This is another fight with a ton of potential to turn into an all-out war. Neither fighter makes it a habit to be finished when they lose, as Wiman has only been finished once in his career (via Spencer Fisher flying knee), while Nelson has never been finished. I’m expecting a three round knock down, drag out brawl in this one with Wiman’s edge in power and striking making the ultimate difference.

Winner: Matt Wiman via decision

Ricardo Funch vs. Johny Hendricks

David Andrest: Both talented, both undefeated. This is an excellent match up of prospects. In a fight like this, I have to side with the wrestler with the heavy hands. At some point in this fight Hendricks with catch Funch and put him away, and in the case that I am wrong, Hendricks takes the fight to the floor and grinds out Funch.

Winner: Johny Hendricks via TKO

Cory Brady: Someone’s O has got to go. You have to love match-ups between undefeated up and comers like this. This one should be explosive and fast paced for as long as it lasts but I feel like Hendricks’ wrestling ability will allow him to decide where the fight takes place. If he feels like he’s the better striker, he keeps it there. If he feels like he doesn’t want any part of Ricardo’s stand-up, he takes it to the ground. Either way Hendricks wins this fight.

Winner: Johny Hendricks via TKO

Lucio Linhares vs. Rousimar Palhares

David Andrest: Linhares makes his Octagon debut, and who better to fight than Palhares. ( I guess there are a ton of guys better to debut against now that I mention it ) Both fighters are very good on the ground, I’d give the striking advantage to Linhares at this point, with the wrestling advantage going to Palhares. I think this fight will come down to top control. The fighter who gets it, will more likely win this battle. Conventional wisdom points to Palhares, I’m going with my heart.

Winner: Lucio Linhares via decision

Cory Brady: Make no mistake about it, Linhares is a complete beast, but Rousimar is a bad match-up for….. anybody at 185 now that I think about it. Not that Palhares could single handedly clear out the middleweight division right now, but his stocky frame, decorated grappling background and granite chin make him a very serious problem for anyone he locks horns with. This is a bit of a leap up in competition for Lucio, but I fully expect for him to make a fight of it. Submission grappling fans be sure to grab your popcorn heading into this one.

Winner: Rousimar Palhares via decision

Edgar Garcia vs. DaMarques Johnson

David Andrest: Johnson is a TUF runner up with a long road ahead of him. I will not be surprised to see someone sent to the minors after this contest. Garcia is coming into this fight off a decision loss in a fight that he won. I think Garcia has learned his lesson and this fight will not go to the judges.

Winner: Edgar Garcia via TKO

Cory Brady: Garcia is one of the fighters I have took a personal sense of pride in following. He’s another one of those guys, along with prospects like Jacob McClintock and Phil Davis, that will have me saying I told you so in a year’s time. To put it best, Edgar drops bombs like Hiroshima. In his first fight in the UFC I feel like he was a little overwhelmed by the bright lights against Brad Blackburn, but still managed to leave the arena with a hefty FOTN bonus after dropping a narrow decision many felt like he won. The bottom line is this: Keep an eye on Garcia. He’s like a Mexican Robbie Lawler and he’s going to make an example of Johnson on Saturday night. Mark my words. Possible KOTN candidate right here.

Winner: Edgar Garcia via knockout

Kevin Burns vs. T.J. Grant

David Andrest: Grant is a very athletic guy with a ton of upside. Burns has a well rounded game, and some big wins in the UFC. I predict this fight to have an eye poke, a groin kick, and a decision that leaves us wondering …..What If?

Winner: Kevin Burns via decision

Cory Brady: On paper it looks like Grant will have a considerable advantage in the submission department, but anyone that has seen Burns’ triangle choke submission over Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Roan Carneiro would know that is not the case. This fight should be competitive but I feel like the similarities between the two is going to create more of the chess match effect.

Winner: T.J. Grant via decision

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