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Old 10-24-2008, 10:18 PM
Jizay Jizay is offline
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Default UFC 90 analysis

UFC 90 analysis

Saturday night brings us a good card highlighted by some intriguing fights between top contenders, as well as what look to be showcase fights for one champion and one heavyweight in line for a title fight. There are some extreme lines and some tough calls, so Iím going with one confidence pick: Sean Sherk -260 over Tyson Griffin. A little chalky, but I think -260 is underestimating Sherk too much against an over-rated Griffin. Hereís a fight by fight breakdown of the main card.


Sean Sherk vs. Tyson Griffin: At the risk of spewing quote-worthy stupidity, I have to say that I canít see how Sean Sherk loses this fight. Sherk was a dominant lightweight, some thought unstoppable, until a suspension for a positive nandrolone test and a loss to a newly-dedicated BJ Penn, who dropped down to lightweight to clean out the division. He will look to get back on track vs. Griffin, an exciting young lightweight with a wrestling background. But his wrestling will be useless against Sherk, a takedown monster who is ridiculously swollen for a lightweight (explaining the nandrolone) and has a motor that doesnít stop. Look for him to push the pace throughout, working relentlessly to bully Griffin to the ground so that he can pound his way to victory.

Most likely scenario: Sherk dry humps Griffin for 3 rounds to a unanimous decision victory.


Fabricio Werdum vs. Junior Dos Santos: Werdum, a Brazilian jiu jitsu sensation, is waiting in the wings for his title shot while the whole Couture/Nogueira situation slowly plays out. No doubt, the UFC hopes he will have an impressive win to build notoriety in the mean time. Dos SantosÖwell, who the hell knows anything about him since heís been fighting in the Brazilian jungles or something. Thatís just what makes this fight a scary betting proposition which, in combination with the extreme line, means stay away.

Most likely scenario: Werdumís well-rounded game eventually overcomes the UFC newcomer in an awkward contest, with the jiu-jitsu savvy Dos Santos avoiding a ground fight with Werdum at all costs.


Gray Maynard vs. Rich Clementi: This should be a reasonably competitive fight between two capable lightweights. The veteran Clementi brings vast experience to the ring and has some solid victories by submission of late. The up-and-coming Maynard is one of the more powerful fighters in the division and has excellent wrestling. This is a great test for Maynard, who many feel is on the path to title contention in the future.

Most likely scenario: This fight is going to the ground when Maynard wants it to, and once there, his strength and balance should keep him out of trouble. Maynard controls Clementi for 3 rounds and earns a unanimous decision.


Josh Koshcek vs. Thiago Alves: Without a doubt the best matchup on the card. Both men are top 5 in the welterweight division, Alves marking his arrival recently with a dominant KO victory over former champ Matt Hughes. But more intriguing is the contrast of styles: Koschek, an accomplished wrestler, is a ground-and-pound machine, while Alves looks to keep things standing with his dangerous Muay Thai striking. In the past, strikers haven't had much success keeping the fight off the ground against Koschek, but Alves has a sprawl and a clinch game unlike any of the other strikers that Koschek has faced.

Most likely scenario: Personally, Iíll be happy not to bet this one and just watch it as a fan of the sport. This could go either way, but itís hard to go against Koschek, who has a knack for winning boring decisions.


Patrick Cote vs. Anderson Silva: This title fight and main event of the evening lacks drama, at least on paper. Silvaís name is mentioned in any discussion of the best pound-for-pound fighters in MMA. He is on a major role and has cleaned out the middleweight division in absolutely dominant fashion, so much so that the only fights for Silva that wonít be a rematch are against mid-level competitors like Cote. Cote canít be counted out entirely; heís a tough, hard hitting brawler with an iron jaw who has never been knocked out. Of course, thatís exactly how one could have described Chris Leben (who has defeated Cote), before Silva knocked him out in 49 seconds. Itís no wonder that Silva will probably go off at -700.

Most likely scenario: Silva wins by brutal round 1 KO.
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