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Old 02-20-2009, 01:30 PM
Rogthedodger Rogthedodger is offline
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Default UFC 95: Preview and Predictions...By Jay Graziani

UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson
Saturday, February 21st, 9 PM ET, tape delayed on SpikeTV
O2 Arena, London
Weigh-in: Friday, February 20th, 11 AM ET, live on
Current odds from

Paul "Tellys" Kelly (7-1-0) vs. Troy "Rude Boy" Mandaloniz (3-1-0)
Current Odds: Kelly -360; Mandaloniz +290

Kelly suffered his first loss a mere month ago, a 2nd round choke out by Marcus Davis in a match that saw him clearly outclassed in stand-up. Mandaloniz is as raw as they get, with his entire history consisting of just four fights and his only professional bout since September 2006 coming after his stint on Ultimate Fighter 6. His lack of recent experience should play against him, and while both like to stand and trade, Kelly's ground and pound should give him a solid edge. Prediction: Kelly, 2nd round TKO.

Per Eklund (14-3-1) vs. Evan Dunham (7-0-0)
Current Odds: Eklund -170; Dunham +140

The Swedish Eklund rebounded from his decision loss to Sam Stout by finishing Samy Schiavo via rear naked choke. Dunham's 7-0 record looks good on paper, but he has yet to face a quality opponent. He's also coming off a 3 round win just a month ago in the Palace Fighting Championships. Eklund is solid, well-rounded, and has the big-fight octagon experience which will be too much for Dunham to handle. Prediction: Eklund, 1st round TKO.

Mike Ciesnolevicz (16-3-0) vs. Neil "Goliath" Grove (7-1-0)
Current Odds: Ciesnolevicz +100; Grove -130

Grove will be a home crowd favorite, a former CageRage contender who was scheduled to fight for that promotion's heavyweight title before its demise. He is truly a goliath at 6'6" and 260+ pounds, and his karate expertise makes for a lot of KO's - only one of his seven fights has made it past the halfway point and that was his sole decision loss. Mike "C" put together a decent record in the IFL and is stepping in here for an injured Justin McCully. He's a Miletich camp fighter with a good wrestling background, but the size difference here will hurt his typical game plan. Both of these fighters are making their UFC debuts, but look for Grove to continue his KO streak. Prediction: Grove, 1st round TKO.

Junior "Cigano" Dos Santos (7-1-0) vs. Stefan "Skyskraper" Struve (16-2-0)
Current Odds: Dos Santos -300; Struve +240

Dos Santos made the most of his UFC debut, KO'ing Fabricio Werdum in the 1st round as a 6-to-1 underdog. Despite the win, it's still tough to gauge his skills after seeing only 81 seconds of him in the Octagon. Struve is a gigantic man who's been through a number of small promotions, showcasing his jiu-jitsu prowess with 75% of his wins coming by submission. Unfortunately, Santos has strong jiu-jitsu as well, and Struve will struggle to get a submission. Nonetheless, Struve's reach should provide him distance from the solid boxing of dos Santos, and his size and strength are enough to lean his way with the long odds. Prediction: Struve, 2nd round submission.

Terry Etim (11-2-0) vs. Brian Cobb (15-4-0)
Current Odds: Etim -280; Cobb +220

While Etim had a lot of luck with submissions in small promotions, he's struggled in the Octagon, compiling just a 2-2 record with 3 of those fights going to the scorecards. He most recently pulled an upset decision victory over Sam Stout as a 5-to-2 underdog, a fight in which he relied on a very sharp standup game. Cobb is coming up from the minor leagues where he fought really no one of note despite holding the Palace Fighting Championship lightweight title. Cobb comes from a wrestling background, but Etim will have a solid edge in standup and his submissions are good enough that he won't really be in danger on the ground. Prediction: Etim, 2nd round TKO.

Josh "Kos" Koscheck (12-3-0) vs. Paulo Thiago (10-0-0)
Current Odds: Koscheck -600; Thiago +450

This will be Koscheck's 3rd fight in just 4 months. His career was rising exponentially until decision losses to Georges St-Pierre and, more recently, Thiago Alves, threw the brakes on his title aspirations. Paulo Thiago is making his UFC debut, though he's undefeated in smaller promotions in his native Brazil. Like most of his UFC-bound countrymen, his jiu-jitsu is solid and will help neutralize Koscheck's great wrestling. Look for Kos to bounce back with a solid standup attack leading to an easy win. From a value standpoint, however, Kos continues to be overpriced and I'd lean against him at these inflated odds. Prediction: Koscheck, 2nd round TKO.

Demian Maia (9-0-0) vs. Chael Sonnen (21-9-1)
Current Odds: Maia -285; Sonnen +225

Maia is an impressive 4-0 since entering the UFC, including a convincing 1st round submission of Nate Quarry. His jiu-jitsu is off the charts, with all 4 of his UFC wins coming by submission, and 3 of the 4 winning Submission of the Night honors. This will be Sonnen's first UFC fight since May of 2006, though he has bounced around other promotions putting together a 7-1 record in the interim. During that time he was a contender for the WEC middleweight crown before that division was absorbed into the UFC. Unfortunately Sonnen fights from a wrestling base which looks like a very bad matchup against the wily Maia. Prediction: Maia, 2nd round submission.

Nate "The Great" Marquardt (27-8-2) vs. Wilson Gouveia (12-5-0)
Current Odds: Marquardt -315; Gouveia +255

Marquardt unloaded on Martin Kampmann his last time out, showcasing his stand-up even though he's known primarily as a grappler. Gouveia's last pay-per-view appearance was in May, a TKO loss to Goran Reljic, though he rebounded with solid wins over Ryan Jensen and Jason MacDonald. At these long odds, I'll lean towards the underdog. Prediction: Gouveia by decision.

Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy (20-6-0) vs. Rory Markham (16-4-0)
Current Odds: Hardy -125; Markham -105

Hardy looked good in his UFC debut, defeating Akihiro Gono via split decision as a 3-to-1 underdog. That win gave Hardy 9 victories in his last 10 fights dating back over 2 years. As a British fighter, Hardy should get plenty of crowd support. Markham also has only one fight under his belt in the UFC since migrating from the IFL, a 1st round KO of Brodie Farber at UFC Fight Night 14 in July, and a feat which earned him Knockout of the Night honors. Both should be willing to stand and trade punches, so count on this barnburner ending early. I'll give Markham the edge based on power and chin. Prediction: Markham, 2nd round TKO.

Joe "Daddy" Stevenson (29-9-0) vs. Diego "Nightmare" Sanchez (19-2-0)
Current Odds: Sanchez -315; Stevenson +255

Stevenson was a lightweight title contender until looking rather pedestrian in losing 2 of his last 3 bouts, submissions at the hands of BJ Penn and Kenny Florian. Sanchez's sole two losses came in his only fights of 2007, bouts against top welterweight contenders Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch. He has since rebounded to win his last two and now moves down to lightweight. Sanchez hasn't received the public accolades he deserves, having not appeared on a UFC pay-per-view card in nearly a year and not appearing in a featured bout since his loss to Fitch. Sanchez has only two losses and both have been by decision to elite opponents. Sanchez's move down in weight should not bear heavily on this fight, seeing as Stevenson started at welterweight himself. Stevenson has looked horrible his last few times out, and while he's due for a bounce-back effort he is facing the wrong opponent for that rebound. Betting on Sanchez may look expensive at this price but he's the far better fighter with a stellar track record. Prediction: Sanchez, 2nd round submission.

Picks (2009): 2-5 -4.20 units; Best Bets: 1-1 -0.75 units
Per Eklund -170
Neil Grove -130
Terry Etim -280
Diego Sanchez -315

Opinions (2009): 4-9 -10.00 units
Paul Kelly -360
Stefan Struve +240
Paulo Thiago +450
Demian Maia -285
Wilson Gouveia +255
Rory Markham -105

Jay Graziani
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:12 PM
voiceofjanis voiceofjanis is offline
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anybody with results?
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:21 PM
drunkguy drunkguy is offline
MW Mod & Writer, Jay Graziani
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Troy Mandaloniz vs. Paul Kelly
Round 1
Both warriors looking focused, Kelly appears focused. Kelly is out to big reception. Big exchange to begin; scramble and clinch. Kelly scores with knees and Mandaloniz answers with a punching combo. Clinch and a break. Clinch. More Paul Kelly knees. Mandaloniz clinches. Kelly puts together a three-piece combo and a digging body shot. Mandaloniz lands a stiff right hand. Kelly gets a fast takedown and begins to work elbows. The elbows continue to land as Manaloniz starts to bleed. Mandaloniz goes for an armbar and Kelly has none of it. 10-9 Kelly.

Round 2
Mandaloniz is busted up, but he gets off first with punches to start the second frame. Kelly gets a takedown in the center of the Octagon, where he goes back to work with elbows from the top position. Mandaloniz is cut over both eyes. The fighters stand and Kelly lands a wicked body shot. Mandaloniz gets a takedown but is reversed by Kelly. Mandaloniz is a mess. He goes for the arm and Kelly escapes. Back on top, Kelly tees off with a savage elbow. Mandaloniz gets busy at the end of the round with an armbar and rear-naked choke attempt. 10-9 Kelly.

Round 3
Kelly continues to deal out punishment in round three. Kelly gets a takedown and fights off an armbar. Kelly is on top, hammering away with elbows and punches in the center of the cage. The fighters stand and Kelly lands leather and gets a takedown. Kelly finishes the fight with a score of 30-27 on the card. The official scores are 30-27 (twice) and 30-28 for Paul Kelly, who takes the unanimous decision.

Neil Grove vs. Mike Ciesnolevicz
Round 1
Ciesnolevicz looks soft as he enters the cage. He gets stuffed on a takedown attempt. Grove takes the top position. Ciesnolevicz goes for an ankle lock and a heel hook. Grove taps after attempting to play footsy. Grove in pain, but he hobbles up to his feet. Ciesnolevicz gets the submission (heel hook) at 1:03 of round one.

Per Eklund vs. Evan Dunham
Round 1
A right hand from Eklund rocks Dunham. Eklund strikes from the top and Dunham goes for a guillotine. Eklund escapes. The fighters scramble. Back on their feet, Eklund is firing the right. Dunham connects with a big left hook that floors Eklund. Dunham follows up with strikes from the top. The official time of the technical knockout is 2:13 of the opening frame.

Junior dos Santos vs. Stefan Struve
Round 1
Dos Santos gets the clinch breifly, and Struve works free. Dos Santos rocks him with a left hook. A right hand drops Struve. Referee Dan Miragliotta jumps in at the 54 second mark after a quick follow up from dos Santos. Struve protests afterwards. There is a whiff about the stoppage, though Struve was clearly rocked.

Terry Etim vs. Brian Cobb
Round 1
Etim goes for high kick that misses. Etim stuffs a takedown attempt and scores with a low kick. Cobb catches the next kick and ends up on top. Cobb is doing nothing with the position. They stand and Etim lands several hard low kicks before Cobb gets a takedown. Cobb works punches to the body from guard. The fighters stand again and Etim goes right back to low kicks and Cobb gets a successful single-leg before the horn sounds. Etim takes the close round, 10-9.

Round 2
Etim rushes out and lands a left head kick that drops Cobb. Another low kick and punches from Etim connect after Cobb bounces back up and it’s over at ten seconds of round two. Cobb is not happy, and Etim’s win is well received from the London crowd.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:30 PM
drunkguy drunkguy is offline
MW Mod & Writer, Jay Graziani
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Josh Koscheck vs. Paulo Thiago
Round 1
Both fighters come out cautiously pawing in the pocket. Koscheck stalking, missing with looping left and right overhands. A Thiago leg kick is the first crisp strike of the bout. Koscheck wades in close but Thiago circles away and keeps the distance. Boos begin to shower down from the crowd, and Koscheck lands a hard right overhand that cracks Thiago square, but can't follow up with the left high kick. Thiago lands another clean leg kick, and a front kick to the gut. Koscheck lands a wild, glancing right hand that forces Thiago to backpedal faster. Still a lot of close feinting as Koscheck hotly walks Thiago down. Koscheck gets Thiago's back to the cage, but his head kick and volley of punches are blocked. As Koscheck jabs, he walks into a massive submarining uppercut from Thiago followed by a left hook, and goes down hard. As a spaced Koscheck attempts to sit up, referee Marc Goddard jumps in to save the prone Koscheck at 3:29 of the first round. The recovered Koscheck angrily gesticulates to show his displeasure with the stoppage.

Chael Sonnen vs. Demian Maia
Round 1
A Maia body kick is caught as Sonnen pushes him to the mat, and allows him to stand back up. Maia moves in with a left cross and goes for a single leg, but misses. Sonnen lands two punches. Maia shoots for a double, and quickly pulls double butterfly guard. As Maia sits up and looks to control, Sonnen pushes away and looks to regain posture. Maia with a powerful jab from his back that freezes Sonnen for a moment. Sonnen now stands up, and Maia rolls forward for a single leg. Maia again pulls guard, but Sonnen stands back out of the full guard. Both fighters volleying punches as Maia moves forward and gets Sonnen to the fence. Maia clinches up, and nails a beautiful lateral drop, and quickly moves to full mount on the former Olympic wrestler. In textbook fashion, Maia controls the arm, and cinches up a triangle as Sonnen attempts to roll, pulling down the head to force the tap at 2:37 of the first round.

Nate Marquardt vs. Wilson Gouveia
Round 1
The first minute is marked by cautious pawing and missed leg kicks from range. Marquardt finally lands the first punishing low kick to Gouveia's lead leg. Marquardt goes upstairs with a left head kick which is blocked, and attempts to rush forward with a Superman punch but Gouveia moves back and circles away. Marquardt attempts another Superman punch, but with no success. Marquardt now moving back to counter, and Gouveia clips him with a glancing overhand, forcing him around the outside of the cage. Two sharp leg kicks, outside and inside, from Marquardt. Marquardt with a kick to the body, and evades a Gouveia cross. Gouveia rushes in with hooks that Marquardt blocks, but lands a stiff kick to the gut. Marquardt putting together more kicks together, before a Superman punch and a takedown, landing in a Gouveia guillotine. As Gouveia leverages the guillotine, Marquardt escapes, stacks, and rains down punches and elbows until the buzzer goes.

Jordan Breen Scores the round 10-9 Marquardt
Lotfi Sariahmed scores the round 10-9 Gouveia
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Marquardt

Round 2
Sharp leg kick from Marquardt begins the round. Gouveia reaches with a high kick that misses. Gouveia lands a great low kick to the lead leg of Marquardt. Both fighters missing with punches, until Gouveia lands two glancing right hands, and Marquardt responds with a knee to the body. Marquardt has Gouveia's back on the cage, as he lands another knee to the body, but can't pinpoint any punches before clinching up with Gouveia. Gouveia lands another rushing right hand that stumbles Marquardt, and swings a wild left, and as he goes bowling into Marquardt, Nate is able to control his upper body and take his back momentarily. Gouveia regains guard, and finds himself pressed up against the fence by the former King of Pancrase. Marquardt lands a strong salvo of elbows while controlling Gouveia's wrists. Gouveia is able to separate and snake up the fence, as Marquardt locks up a standing guillotine momentarily before delivering a sharp knee to the head of Gouveia and separating. Gouveia lands a reaching right after absorbing a knee. Marquardt returns with the leg kick, and hurts Gouveia, before landing a flush right hand and a series of knees that send Gouveia reeling across the cage, following up with punches and knees before the horn sounds.

Jordan Breen Scores the round 10-9 Marquardt
Lotfi Sariahmed scores the round 10-9 Marquardt
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Marquardt

Round 3
A hesitant opening 45 seconds before Gouveia lands a stiff right cross and lobs more punches that fail to find their mark. Gouveia weakly jabbing to no avail. Both fighters standing flatter, with their hands down now. Gouveia again attempts to rush with punches, and again Marquardt is able to move to the side and get control of him with a rear waistlock, wrestling him up against the fence. Marquardt attempts to swing Gouveia off balance, but can't finish the takedown as Gouveia escapes and they reset in the middle of the cage. A tired Gouveia tries to push forward with feeble strikes, likely knowing he's behind, when the seemingly also-tired Marquardt explodes with a flying knee, and a series of head kicks that sends Gouveia sidestepping weakly across the cage. A flailing spining back fist, a right hand, and then a sharp knee crumple an exhausted Gouveia up against the fence, and force Leon Roberts to halt the bout at 3:10 of the final frame.
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Old 02-21-2009, 05:39 PM
drunkguy drunkguy is offline
MW Mod & Writer, Jay Graziani
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Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Stevenson
Round 1
Sanchez lands a stiff jab, the first meaningful bout of the bout, but is stuffed on a single-leg attempt, as Stevenson is able to defend and land two punches of his own. Sanchez lands slightly with a three-punch rush, but Stevenson lands a sharp counter punch that puts Sanchez back on the defensive. Stevenson moving forward, connects clean on a jab. A short check right hook lands for Diego, but he's unable to land clean as he flurries as Stevenson covers up well. Sanchez responds with a right hand that lands flush, rocking Stevenson to his heels, and forcing Stevenson to shoot, which is stuffed. Stevenson lands a check left hook as Sanchez attempts to come inside with a flurry. Sanchez cuts Stevenson off with a jab, but misses an uppercut follow-up. Diego comes forward with two punches, and lands a left knee to the body. A Sanchez left head kick is blocked by Stevenson, and Sanchez lands a clean left uppercut as Stevenson attempts to swarm in before the round expires.

Jordan Breen Scores the round 10-9 Sanchez
Lotfi Sariahmed scores the round 10-9 Sanchez
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Sanchez

Round 2
The two touch gloves to start the second stanza. Short punching exchanges see nothing land until Sanchez wobbles Stevenson with a short left, and attempts with a flying knee. Stevenson shoots, but Sanchez sprawls, turns the corner, and momentarily takes the back. Stevenson is able to peel Sanchez off his back, standing up and throwing the "Nightmare" off of his person as they restart standing. Sanchez ducks under a Stevenson right, and pushes him into the fence. Stevenson gets control of Diego's head, looking for a guillotine, but Sanchez elevates with a high crotch and slams "Daddy" down. Stevenson is able to get top position in the scramble, before Sanchez sits up, and gets top position for himself briefly before Stevenson stands up and they get to their feet. Stevenson walking Sanchez down, and lands a clean counter right hand, and is able to put a lunging right on Sanchez to follow. Sanchez lands a clean left cross in response. Stevenson trots forward pumping his hands, but Sanchez circles out, and lands a sharp check right hook. Each fighter landing single shots but unable to put combinations together. Sanchez lands a body shot but misses a left uppercut, but succeeds on two successive left uppercuts when Stevenson comes forward. Sanchez goes upstairs with two left head kicks in the last five seconds, both of which Stevenson blocks.

Jordan Breen Scores the round 10-9 Sanchez
Lotfi Sariahmed scores the round 10-9 Sanchez
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Sanchez

Round 3
Both fighters throwing hands to start the third round, but neither can land clean. Sanchez comes forward with a three-punch combination, a right hand just glancing Stevenson. Stevenson bats Sanchez with a right as the former TUF winner looks for a lunging body shot. Stevenson steps into the pocket with a one-two, but Sanchez lands a knee to the body to cut him off. Sanchez whips a kick to the body, but Stevenson absorbs most of it on his arm. Both fighters still pecking away with two and three-punch combos that don't land. Sanchez shoots a double-leg which is stuffed, and as Stevenson stands up, he raises his hands to inspire heers from the O2 Arena crowd. Sanchez now adopting the Thomas "Hitman" Hearns stance, but brings his lead hand back up when Stevenson lands a right hand. Two right hooks land for Sanchez but with little impact on Stevenson. Sanchez lunges with a left hook, but Stevenson gets the better with his counter right hand. With 45 seconds left, Sanchez attemps a single-leg takedown from far out of range, that Stevenson easily defends, getting rear waist control and delivering tepid knees to the body before Sanchez breaks away. Stevenson swings with a right hand and misses, while Sanchez lands a left hook. The two flurry away with flailing punches at the end of the bout, the only material strike being a Stevenson left hook as the horn sounds.

Jordan Breen Scores the round 10-9 Stevenson
Lotfi Sariahmed scores the round 10-9 Sanchez
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Sanchez

The official judges see the bout 29-28 (twice) and 30-27 for Diego Sanchez.
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