UFC 148 Silva vs. Sonnen II: The Roaring Predictions
Our trio of Roar Fight regulars – expert E. Spencer Kyte and contributors Sam Brown and Erin Tierney – are back with their picks for this weekend’s epic UFC 148 fight card, featuring the biggest fight of the year: Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen.
These are the UFC 148 Roaring Predictions!
Anderson Silva (31-4) vs. Chael Sonnen (27-11-1)
Sam Brown: You may have read earlier this week that I think rather highly of Silva so it won’t come as a surprise that I think he will take this one out.
The last time they fought, Silva had a broken rib and Sonnen was found guilty of taking PED’s. Add in extra motivation to truly clear his legacy and you have the makings of a brutal fight. Prediction: Anderson Silva by TKO, Round 3
Erin Tierney: With an emotional Silva in the cage, it’s hard to determine how this will impact his performance. We have seen some of the best knockouts come from him, however, this is a whole new ballgame, especially with Sonnen beating him for almost five rounds previous.
If Silva has his head in the game, it could easily be his and we will see another highlight reel KO. With his poker face already blown this week, we probably see the pre-fight advantage going to Chael. Prediction: Chael Sonnen by Unanimous Decision
E. Spencer Kyte: From the start, I thought Silva would use this fight to take out his frustrations and angers on Sonnen, and prove the first fight was an aberration.
While I still think the champion retains the title, my belief that Sonnen could go one step further than he did in the first bout and pull of the upset continues to grow as the fight gets closer. Can’t wait for this one! Prediction: Anderson Silva by TKO, Round 2
Forrest Griffin (18-7) vs. Tito Ortiz (16-10-1)
Erin Tierney: Both fighters match up in style and aggression, always moving forward in order to capture the entertaining KO highlight. No matter who wins, this fight is the perfect send-off for Tito. Prediction: Tito Ortiz by TKO
E. Spencer Kyte: As much as I would love to see Ortiz end his career on a win, I can’t picture how that happens. Griffin beat him the last time they met, and remains the more competitive of the two at this stage of their careers. Prediction: Forrest Griffin by Unanimous Decision
Sam Brown: Good sense says Griffin should take this, but there is just too much motivation for Tito. Forrest is such a good guy I almost half expect him to drop his hands, stick out his chin and gift Ortiz one final win. Seriously though, like with their other two fights, I think this one to go the distance. Expect the crowd to have a big effect as well. Prediction: Tito Ortiz by Decision
Patrick Cote (17-7) vs. Cung Le (7-2)
E. Spencer Kyte: This one seems real easy to me – as long as Cote can avoid getting caught early, his hands are more than good enough to stop Le much like Wanderlei Silva did back in November at UFC 139. Prediction: Patrick Cote by TKO, Round 2
Sam Brown: This one promises to be a pretty awesome standup fight, as both these fighters are powerful and it could come down to who hits first. Ultimately though, I feel like Le hasn’t fought enough in recent years and Cote will make good in his UFC return. Prediction: Patrick Cote by KO, Round 2
Erin Tierney: Le really needs to pull a win out of the bag here to maintain a future with the promotion, whereas Cote is back for his third chance. It really comes down to who wants it more. Prediction: Patrick Cote by Decision
Dong Hyun Kim (15-1-1, 1 NC) vs. Demian Maia (15-4)
Sam Brown: This is an intriguing fight. Maia is dropping down from middleweight, and it’s always hard to predict how the extra cut will effect a fighter. For the Brazilian, it could mean a strength advantage, which will benefit his jiu-jitsu game.
He has had some impressive wins in the past, including a triangle choke on Chael Sonnen, but since his fight with Anderson Silva, he has struggled to find consistency against the higher ups in the division. Kim has only lost once – knocked out by a crazy flying knee from Carlos Condit – and has since rebounded.
I’m tipping Kim’s all-round skills will trump Maia’s grappling game. Prediction: Dong Hyun Kim by Decision
Erin Tierney: Damien Maia is making his debut into the already crowded welterweight division the hard way, against “Stun Gun” Kim, who himself has recorded wins against the likes of Nate Diaz. This is a hard one to pick and really comes down to how the weight cut affects Maia.
Maia will be looking to get this to the ground where he has the most advantage, given that their boxing skill almost matches up. However, Kim’s takedown defense is up there and could prove to be frustrating for the Brazilian. Prediction: Demain Maia by Submission
E. Spencer Kyte: I wasn’t a big fan of Maia’s move down when it was announced, and think this is a great match-up to see where he falls in the welterweight division. Maia looked awful last time out against Chris Weidman, and if he hasn’t rectified his conditioning issues – and had an easy cut – he could look bad again here.
That said, his boxing has improved a great deal since he made his UFC debut, and if he’s fit, that should be the difference maker here against the durable, but ultimately one-dimensional “Stun Gun.” Prediction: Demian Maia by Unanimous Decision
Chad Mendes (11-1) vs. Cody McKenzie (13-2)
Erin Tierney: This is one interesting match-up with McKenzie, who came back with a fantastic win right when he needed it, and Mendes, who suffered his only loss in his MMA career to the champion Jose Aldo. Although I like the excitement of “The McKenzitine,” Mendes is on another level, and will prove to be too tough for the TUF-alum. Prediction: Chad Mendes by Decision
E. Spencer Kyte: Mendes absolutely trucks McKenzie, period. It’s laughable to me that he goes from fighting for the championship at UFC 142 in January being paired up with a one-trick pony who washed out of The Ultimate Fighter. Look for “Money” to make a statement here. Prediction: Chad Mendes by Submission, Round 1
Sam Brown: Both these guys have recent loses that snapped large winning streaks and both are looking to move up. Mendes likes to grind out his wins, but McKenzie has some seriously dangerous submission skills, and whoever wins will be right in the mix in the featherweight division. I tip Mendes will manage to stifle McKenzie and take it by decision. Prediction: Chad Mendes by Decision
Mike Easton (12-1) vs. Ivan Menjivar (24-8)
E. Spencer Kyte: Easton is a dude too many people are sleeping on right now, and this will be the fight where he comes out and shows what he’s capable of doing. Menjivar is a durable veteran with a nice all-around skill set, but Easton has great stand-up and a slick ground game that isn’t often on display. He’s the better of the two no matter where this fight goes, and puts himself in the title chase with a quality win here. Prediction: Mike Easton by Unanimous Decision
Sam Brown: I’m tipping Menjivar by submission because of the veteran’s edge. These two seem fairly closely matched, so I think his extra fights will be the difference. Prediction: Ivan Menjivar by Submission, Round 1
Erin Tierney: Menjivar was training to face Renan Barao on this card initially, so the shift to Easton means that he has had to change his focus. However, overall I think that Menjivar has the advantage in both the stand-up and ground game against Easton. Prediction: Ivan Menjivar by Submission
Follow Erin Tierney (@ErinTTweeting) and Sam Brown (@Sir_Samuel) on Twitter.
Follow The Roar’s UFC Expert E. Spencer Kyte on Twitter (@spencerkyte).
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