Quick Strike Beat Down Predictions: UFC 95
By Garrett Bailey
UFC 95 is free on SpikeTV because this night of fights will take place in Londons O2 arena, following the status quo of all the other oversea events which means no title fights, insignificant title implications; like an Ultimate Fight Night. However, there are some good fights on this card and will indeed be entertaining. Here are my quick thoughts and predictions for UFC 95:
Diego Sanchez and Joe Stevenson were friendly and even joked with each other on the most recent UFC conference call. This doesn’t mean they won’t be hitting each other any less or not go for a knockout. Sanchez is dropping from the 170 lb weight division to the 155 lb division in order to shake the recent losses he incurred before going on a two fight win streak. The difference in size may not be the only factor in this fight as Joe has been unable to perform well against top fighters like BJ Penn and Kenny Florian. Stevenson will no doubt put up a decent fight, but he may come up short if the weight cut doesn’t hinder Sanchez’ performance. Although I don’t see Sanchez pulling a Mike Swick looking like a ‘roided up skeleton, he may not put on his best performance. This is in no way a tune up fight, so I see this one going to decision with Deigo “Nightmare” Sanchez as the victor.
Dan Hardy has a mohawk. He beat Akihiro Gono in his UFC debut last October. Fighting out of Team Rough House in Nottingham, England, Hardy is facing former IFL fighter Rory Markham. The majority of their wins are by TKO, but are also capable of submitting anyone they want. This match up will end in someones brain rattling around with the referee standing over them. But who’s brain? What is interesting about Markham is he has never gone to a decision. Whether he is aware of this or not, it’s not going to happen this time. It is going to be Markham on the losing end–the losing end of a fist.
Nate Mardquart will dot his I’s and cross his T’s. He will not step on a crack, he will look both ways before crossing the street. He will avoid the mistakes that cost him a win against Thales Leites. At least he should. Wilson Gouveia is no joke. No fighter is. This fight is very similar to Mardqaurt’s fight with Leites, as Gouveia and him share similar styles. Mardqaurt will be back on his game and will stop Gouveia in the second round by technical knockout.
Fighting Demian Maia is a breathe of fresh air for Chael Sonnen as he fought Paulo Filho two out of his last three fights. But that fresh air won’t last long. Maia has incredible submissions. He is undefeated and is eying the unstoppable force that is the UFC’s middle weight champion Anderson Silva. If Sonnen leaves his arm for the taking, as he did with Filho twice, Maia will snatch it. Sonnen has little chance winning this one, partly because he hasn’t been all too impressive lately, having been unable to stop an inexperienced Bryan Baker in 2008. Maia won’t have this fight last longer than a round, submitting Chael with relative ease.
Josh Koscheck vs. Paulo Thiago is an interesting fight. Once rumored to be released, Koscheck has signed a new contract with the UFC. He has been putting on exciting fights recently, coming fresh off a knockout victory over Japanese fighter Yoshiyuki Yoshida last December. Paulo Thiago is undefeated with 10 wins making his UFC debut after competing for Jungle Fight. He has 7 wins by submission. Koscheck will beat the UFC newcomer by decision, seeing as Thiago won’t make it easy for Kos to win.
The rest of the card is filled the usual undercard type fighters. If Junior dos Santos makes his way on the televised portion it will be great because he has no choice but to have a follow up performance and TKO his way to a second straight UFC win against Stefan Strive. Other fighters in the win column will be Terry Etim, Troy Mandaloniz, Neil Grove and Per Eklund.