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UFC 85: Preview and Predictions...By Jay Graziani
UFC 85: Bedlam
Saturday, June 7th, 3 PM ET
O2 Arena, London
Weigh-in: Friday, June 6th, live online
Another practically all-chalk card last time out, as favorites notched a 9-2 record at last month's UFC 84. Now, just two short weeks later, we are treated to one of the least compelling line-ups of the year, with a slate of 11 fights that has little, if any, potential to shake up the UFC ranks. "Bedlam", defined as a state of confusion, is the perfect name for this event, which has seen numerous significant changes in the fight line-ups. While notables such as Chuck Liddell, Mauricio Rua, and Rashad Evans graced the card at various times, injuries have left this card a skeleton of a UFC event. Broadcast from England, this pay-per-view will make for some lazy afternoon entertainment for North American fans, but little more.
Here's a preview of Saturday night's fights, with current odds from Bookmaker.com.
Antoni Hardonk (6-4-0) vs. Eddie "The Manic Hispanic" Sanchez (8-1-0)
Current Odds: Hardonk -245; Sanchez +195
Hardonk bounced back from two straight losses to KO Colin Robinson in 17 seconds at UFC 80. Although Sanchez has faced weak competition, his only loss to date has been to Mirko Filipovic (a fight in which he was a 10-to-1 underdog). Sanchez stepped into this bout just 2 weeks ago when Hardonk's original opponent withdrew due to injury. Both are big heavyweights who like to battle on their feet, and this fight can really go either way. I'll lean towards Sanchez at plus-money until someone other than CroCop can beat him. Prediction: Sanchez, 3rd round TKO.
Paul "Relentless" Taylor (8-3-1) vs. Jess "The Joker" Liaudin (12-9-0)
Current Odds: Taylor -240; Liaudin +190
Taylor's career is quickly stalling following two straight losses, though he has a psychological advantage since beating Liaudin when they first met in 2003. Liaudin was on the wrong end of a Marcus Davis KO punch last time he entered the Octagon. This should be a close fight, with both fighters comfortable on the mat or in stand-up, and I see plenty of value in taking nearly 2-to-1 on Liaudin. Prediction: Liaudin by decision.
Luiz "Banha" Cane (7-1-0) vs. Jason "The Punisher" Lambert (23-7-0)
Current Odds: Cane +120; Lambert -150
In his UFC debut, Cane was dealt his first loss via disqualification for an illegal knee to the head. He'll look to get his career back on the right path with a win over Lambert, who looked good in his last fight against Wilson Gouveia until getting clocked by a left hook. Lambert should have the edge in striking, but may have trouble keeping this off the mat where the advantage is reversed. Prediction: Cane, 2nd round TKO.
Roan "Jucao" Carneiro (12-6-0) vs. Kevin Burns (5-1-0)
Current Odds: Carneiro -440; Burns +340
Carneiro was successful in his UFC debut, topping Tony DeSouza in the 2nd round and demonstrating his stellar ground game in the process. Burns is 5-1 against no-names for no-name promotions. Regardless, we've seen a lot of unknowns pull off surprising wins in the octagon, so laying the chalk may be unwise. Prediction: Carneiro, 1st round submission.
Matt "Handsome" Wiman (9-3-0) vs. Thiago Tavares (13-1-0)
Current Odds: Wiman +305; Tavares -405
Wiman looked decent during his stint on TUF 5, but has failed to step up the intensity against tougher competition, evidenced by his losses to Spencer Fisher and Roger Huerta, his only noteworthy opponents. Tavares was undefeated until losing a very close decision to Tyson Griffin. While Wiman has been hyped as an up-and-coming talent, he is running into a tough fighter who has a dangerous submission game and good Muay Thai from the clinch. I'll call for Tavares to win it, but the value, if any, lies with the underdog. Prediction: Tavares, 1st round submission.
Jorge "El Conquistador" Rivera (15-6-0) vs. Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann (15-2-0)
Current Odds: Rivera +200; Kampmann -250
Kampmann last tasted defeat all the way back in '04. He pulled out of a fight against Rich Franklin a year ago due to knee injury and hasn't stepped back into the ring since. He'd prefer to stand and punch it out, but is not out of his element on the mat either. Rivera is coming off a very impressive performance over the sagging Kendall Grove, but he has been hit-and-miss during his career, and has yet to notch a significant win in his belt. The more talented and consistent Kampmann takes this one early. Prediction: Kampmann, 1st round TKO.
Fabricio "Vai Cavalo" Werdum (10-3-1) vs. Brandon "The Truth" Vera (8-1-0)
Current Odds: Werdum +145; Vera -175
Vera was making waves in the UFC heavyweight division until dropping a decision to Tim Sylvia in a challenge for the heavyweight title, his first loss. Immediately prior to that, he defeated current contender and ex-champ Frank Mir in just 69 seconds. He has a strong wrestling background with a mix of excellent Muay Thai, leading to the majority of his wins coming via KO or TKO. Werdum has excellent ground-game credentials and BJJ experience, and is coming off a win over Gabriel Gonzaga, bringing him to 1-1 in the octagon. Vera will have the definite advantage in stand-up, and should be able to at least hold his own on the ground. Prediction: Vera, 3rd round TKO.
Nate "The Great" Marquardt (26-7-2) vs. Thales Leites (12-1-0)
Current Odds: Marquardt -170; Leites +140
Marquardt bounced back from his title-shot loss to Anderson Silva by handily defeating BJJ expert Jeremy Horn at UFC 81. Leites was originally scheduled to be his opponent that night before pulling out due to a hand injury, the second postponed fight between these two. Leites has not fought since UFC 74, a victory over Ryan Jensen. He has little experience against elite opponents, with his toughest challenge so far resulting in a decision loss to Martin Kampmann at the TUF 4 finale. His lack of competition as well as an extensive layoff and injury concerns could be an issue. Marquardt's grappling is excellent, and he has only been submitted twice in a long career, but Leites specializes in jiu-jitsu as well. Leites struggled in standup against a much less experienced opponent, so both fighters will be most comfortable on the mat, though Marquardt might hold the advantage there as well. Prediction: Marquardt, 2nd round submission.
Marcus "The Irish Hand Grenade" Davis (14-3-0) vs. Mike "Quick" Swick (11-2-0)
Current Odds: Davis -105; Swick -125
Davis has been on the winning end of 11 straight, a streak stretching back to 2005. His last was a 1-minute TKO of Jess Liaudin at UFC 80, bringing him to 6-1 inside the octagon, though he gets surprisingly little respect in the mainstream MMA media. His boxing experience leads him to favor a stand-up attack, though he has a number of submission victories as well. Swick bounced back from a decision loss to Yushin Okami to defeat Josh Burkman in January. Swick is a kickboxer by training and has a slight reach advantage in this fight. This is also just Swick's second fight since moving down to middleweight. I'll go with who I see as the better fighter at even odds. Prediction: Davis, 3rd round TKO.
Michael "The Count" Bisping (15-1-0) vs. Jason "Dooms" Day (17-5-0)
Current Odds: Bisping -370; Day +300
Both of these fighters are coming off April wins, so neither has had much time to prepare for this match. Day looked impressive in his UFC debut, effectively utilizing strikes in a 1st round TKO of Alan Belcher as a good-sized underdog. He's well-rounded, but his credentials are less than stellar, with few bouts against quality opponents. Bisping has received mixed reviews, but the fact remains that he has only a single split decision loss to his name. This is his second match since coming down from light heavyweight, and while he has struggled against top-level wrestlers, it's doubtful that Day will be able to exploit that. Bisping should dominate this matchup, but laying nearly 4-to-1 is a bit rich for my tastes. Prediction: Bisping, 2nd round TKO.
Matt Hughes (42-6-0) vs. Thiago "Pitbull" Alves (14-3-0)
Current Odds: Hughes -210; Alves +170
Alves is on a 5 bout win streak since losing to contender Jon Fitch nearly two years ago, including a recent TKO over Karo Parisyan. He has good stand-up and an impressive jiu-jitsu background, but is facing a tough match-up in the always-dangerous Hughes, who has fallen out of favor since dropping two of his last three, both to welterweight phenom Georges St-Pierre. Prior to those losses he won 19 of his last 20, and he later avenged that blemish by defeating BJ Penn. Hughes is falling out of contention due to his age, but he is still a legend in the octagon and his wrestling ability should present serious problems to Alves if he can avoid prolonged stand-up action. While this may not live up to the normal excitement of a headline PPV fight, it should be an entertaining battle between a man on his way up and one on his way out. I'm not ready to write off the old guard just yet, though Hughes may have trouble getting the stoppage. At this price, I'll lean slightly towards Alves. Prediction: Hughes by decision.
Picks (2008: 13-8 +5.85 units; Best Bets: 4-2, +2.00 units)
Eddie Sanchez +195
Jess Liaudin +190
Luiz Cane +120
Brandon Vera -175
Marcus Davis -105
Opinions (2008: 16-13 +2.40 units)
Kevin Burns +340
Matt Wiman +305
Martin Kampmann -250
Nate Marquardt -170
Michael Bisping -370
Thiago Alves +170
Thiago Alves fails to make weight for UFC 85 main event | MMAjunkie.com
Thiago Alves failed to make weight for his UFC 85 main event fight with Matt Hughes.
Alves weighed 174 pounds for the welterweight bout, three pounds over the 171-pound limit. The fight will now be contested at a catchweight of 174 pounds.
Today's weigh-ins took place at the 02 Arena in London, England -- the same venue that hosts Saturday's pay-per-view event.
The full results, courtesy of UFC.com, included:
* Thiago Alves (174) vs. Matt Hughes (170)
* Michael Bisping (184) vs. Jason Day (184)
* Marcus Davis (170) vs. Mike Swick (170)
* Thales Leites (185) vs. Nate Marquardt (185)
* Fabricio Werdum (247) vs. Brandon Vera (228)
* Martin Kampmann (186) vs. Jorge Rivera (185)
* Thiago Tavares (154.5) vs. Matt Wiman (155)
* Kevin Burns (170) vs. Roan Carneiro (171)
* Luiz Cane (204) vs. Jason Lambert (205)
* Jess Liaudin (169) vs. Paul Taylor (169)
* Antoni Hardonk (247) vs. Eddie Sanchez (244)
Eddie Sanchez? I guess he's got a puncher's chance but honestly I wouldn't put money on the guy. He's your basic run of the mill brawler type, exactly the kind of fighter Hardonk should beat rather easily.
Hardonk's troubles have been with grapplers/submission guys who can take him down and submit him.
Antoni Hardonk (Pictures) vs. Eddie Sanchez
Sanchez comes out aggressive and scores an early knockdown. Following a referee standup, Hardonk gets busy with knees from the clinch, which forces Sanchez to look for a takedown. He succeeds, but does little with the position. The round ends with another Sanchez takedown on the heels of another referee standup. 10-9 Sanchez.
Hardonk picks up the pace in the second, landing a hard knee to the chin and a stiff series of blows to the body. Sanchez answers and knocks Hardonk to the canvas with a powerful right hand. With the fighters back on their feet, a wild exchange of punches plays out with both landing. Hardonk starts to get the better of the exchange as he pieces together a strong combination. Hardonk seals the deal with a left hook at the 4:15 mark of round two with a left hook that forces referee intervention.
Paul Taylor (Pictures) vs. Jess Liaudin (Pictures)
The fighters trade blows in the center of the Octagon with neither gaining the upper hand early. Liaudin drops levels for a takedown and succeeds directly into side-control. Taylor escapes and gets to his feet, but the referee stands them up quickly after action slows. Liaudin lands a flying knee and Taylor answers with a punch that stuns the Frenchman and sends him to the canvas. Close round that goes 10-9 to Taylor on the Sherdog.com scorecard.
The action slows a bit in the second as Liaudin scores an early takedown. Taylor separates and gets to his feet, where he is taken back down. He controls and strikes from the top for the duration of the round. 10-9 Liaudin.
The fighters come out trading low kicks to kickoff the final frame. Taylor defends a takedown and is hit with a knee for his trouble. Liaudin scores a takedown but he can't hold Taylor down. Liaudin gets another takedown, but the referee stands them up shortly after. Laiudin pulls guard and gets the round on the Sherdog.com scorecard.
The official judges' scorecards are in and Taylor takes a split-decision.
Luis Arthur Cane (Pictures) vs. Jason Lambert (Pictures)
Lambert comes out clinching and Cane has none of it. Lambert does not want to trade but he chases Cane around the cage looking for a tieup. Cane unloads with a right hand and sends Lambert to the canvas. Lambert stands and is knocked down two more times before the referee steps in to save him at 2:07 of the first. Impressive win for Luis Arthur Cane.
Kampman lines kinda scary....i bet him -225 while ago....Riveras a UFC Jobber IMO.....but -400 is pretty steep... probly the right # though.... Kampman should sub his ass unless he blindly walks into something standing...
Roan Carneiro (Pictures) vs. Kevin Burns
The first round is all Roan as the Brazilian scores a quick takedown and doesn't look back. The entire round sees Carneiro in the top position on the ground, throwing punches. With 90 seconds remaining in the round, Carneiro advances to the mount but he loses the position after landing some punches. 10-9 for Carneiro.
Burns stuffs a takedown attempt from Carneiro but he can't stop a second shot from the Brazilian. Carneiro punches from the top for several minutes and is caught in a triangle choke. Burns holds the head down and forces the BJJ black belt to tapout at 2:53 of the second frame. Very impressive submission for Burns.
holy fuck...thats a complete total fuking shocker....
Matt Wiman (Pictures) vs. Thiago Tavares (Pictures)
The fights starts with wild scrambles for position and both fighters going for submissions. Tavares takes the top position, where he stays and lands punches for the duration of the five-minute opening period. 10-9 Tavares.
The second round starts much different from the first, with both fighters landing hard punches. The fight goes briefly to the floor courtesy of the Brazilian, but Wiman stands back up. Wiman then lands a stiff right hand that stuns Tavares. Another right hand puts Tavares out cold at 1:57 of the second round.
...starting to wonder if some of these Brazilians opened betting accts offshore....
Jorge Rivera (Pictures) vs. Martin Kampmann (Pictures)
Kampmann scores a quick takedown and lands some punches before taking Rivera's back. Jorge Turns and is caught in an arm-triangle choke, but he escapes. Kampmann takes the mount and finishes with a guillotine choke at 2:44 of the opening period.
Fabricio Werdum (Pictures) vs. Brandon Vera (Pictures)
Vera starts with a snapping low kick before going to the clinch against the fencing. Werdum lands a right hand as the fighters get off the cage and move to the center of the Octagon. Werdum scores a takedown into his opponent's half-guard. Vera kicks Werdum off and gets to his feet. Vera lands a right hand that stuns Werdum. The Brazilian trips Vera to the canvas and takes the mount. Werdum strikes and Vera covers.Vera does nothing but cover up and referee Dan Miragliotta steps in to stop the bout at the 4:40 mark of the first. The stoppage was very questionable.
One of teh worst stoppages in the history of MMA....Vera should've slipped him some cash like Gary Shaw did before the fight...Kimbo was way worse off in the 2nd round of the Thompson fight and he didn't stop it...
"If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all"
Mike Swick defeats Marcus Davis via Unanimous Decision
Thales Leites defeats Nate Marquardt via Split Decision
Frabrico Werdum defeats Brandon Vera via TKO (Strikes) Round 1
Martin Kampmann defeats Jorge Rivera via submission (guillotine choke) in round one
Matt Wiman defeats Thiago Tavares via knockout in round two
Kevin Burns defeats Roan Carneiro via submission in round two
Luis Arthur Cane defeats Jason Lambert via technical knockout (strikes) in round one
Paul Taylor defeats Jess Liaudin via split decision
Antoni Hardonk defeats Eddie Sanchez via technical knockout (strikes) in round two
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