Predictarr: UFC 97
By Garrett Bailey
Now I don’t know about anyone else but I know the main event is a title fight pitting Anderson Silva against Thales Leites but I’m looking forward to the Chuck Liddell fight against Shogun Rua a lot more. It may be that Silva destroyed my favorite fighter in Rich Franklin twice and that I’m still a fan of the Iceman. The Liddell, Shogun fight for me is the fight to see this weekend. It’s certainly the main fight that’s growing those tiny butterflies in my stomach.
The only problem I have with UFC 97 is Nate Quarry being on the preliminary card. Everything else is fantastic. Let’s get on to my predictions.
Starting with the first fight of the televised portion of UFC 97, Steve Cantwell is taking on Luiz Cane. Both fighters are really good and this one can go either way. But it won’t, and it can’t go both ways because that would be impossible from a physicis stand point. I’m picking Cantwell to win by submission because he will look to finish Cane off quickly and bypass an all out war. I’m not saying that Cantwell would get in trouble in a stand up affair, but he has other options to finish the fight. Plus, I’m looking forward to another sick submission from the former WEC fighter.
Cheick Kongo is facing Antoni Hardonk. After losing 2 of his first 3 UFC fights, Hardonk is on a 3 fight win streak, all by knockout. It’s about time these 2 face each other instead of lower tier guys. This one is going to be great with someone winning by stoppage. I’m just not sure who that would be. The safer bet would be Kongo. But I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Hardonk a little more so I’m not going to pick him and pick Kongo anyway because he’s the safer choice. All the signs point to Kongo winning but I won’t be surprised if there is an upset.
Krzysztof Soszynski will be taking on former WEC fighter Brian Stann, in what appears to be put together with the UFC expecting this to be an all out stand up war. Stann is known as the military hero starting his MMA career off with 6 straight knockouts. Unless Stann changes up his game and mixes things up, UFC 97 will be a repeat of his last fight against Steve Cantwell, the man who exposed him in his only loss. Krzysztof has faced much tougher opponents, fighting bigger men in Ben Rothwell and Mike Whitehead. Krzysztof will end this one early by KO because I don’t believe Stann will do anything different, much like Houston Alexander.
Chuck Liddell is coming back from a devastating knockout loss to Rashad Evans. It’s about time he stops getting knocked out cold. Loser of 3 out of his last 4 fights, Liddell appears to be on his last legs as a fighter. His inability to not get knocked out anymore is scary and makes it really hard to pick him to win. During his days as the UFC’s lightheavy weight champion he was what Anderson Silva is now. Indestructible, the only difference with Dana White in his pocket. Shogun Rua stepped into the octagon and lost his mojo. He’s really a shell of his former self. Having a hard time with an old rickety kneed Mark Coleman, it’s time to wonder if the UFC will be done with another failed Pride import. I wish these guys would do well, but not everyone can be Anderson Silva or Rampage. TKO will be the words Bruce Buffer shouts as the ref raises Chuck Liddell’s arm in victory.
Anderson Silva. TKO victory and still the UFC’s middle weight champion. Need I say more?
UFC 97’s undercard could be an Ultimate Fight Night in my opinion, but these predictions will be even quicker. I’ll take Vinicius Magalhaes, Denis Kang, Nate Quarry, Ed Herman, David Bielkheden, TJ Grant and Matt Wiman in the win column.