Thursday, July 05, 2007

UFC 73 is Stacked

Saturday's pay-per-view, UFC 73, is called Stacked for a good reason. It features four fights that all [well, at least three for sure] that could headline any MMA card. Of the four main fights, three are tough to call, but I've given it my best shot. "X" marks my predicted winner.

Heath Herring Vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is the easiest prediction of the night. Herring has lost to Noguerira twice before and I don't think Saturday will be any different. Nogueira will get the win and maybe by knockout.

Hermes Franca Vs. Sean Sherk should be a very good fight... maybe the best of the night. Franca is on an eight fight winning streak and has wicked jiu-jitsu skills. Sherk's conditioning is unmatched... maybe his strength too [pound-for-pound]. Will Sherk's wrestling skills, conditioning and strength be enough to defeat Franca? I think so. I see Sherk retaining his lightweight title by decision win.

Rashad Evans Vs. Tito Ortiz is perhaps the most anticipated fight of the night. It means the world to both fighters. Evans needs a win to keep his undefeated streak alive and to earn him a title shot. Ortiz has to have a victory to show everyone his best days aren't behind him. This is a tough one to call. Evans is undefeated, has excellent wrestling skills and has knocked out his last two opponents. Ortiz is bigger. He's been in the spotlight before. He knows what he needs to do to win. If he can take Evans down, Ortiz could win by stoppage. If he can't Ortiz is in for a long night. I'm going to give the nod [a slight nod] to Ortiz.

Nate Marquardt Vs. Anderson Silva. Another tough one to call. This one's for the middleweight title. Silva destroyed Rich Franklin to win the title when Franklin elected to stand and trade shots. I don't think that Marquardt will follow that example. I'm going to pick an upset here and say Marquardt by decision.

I know that many of you follow UFC and MMA... so have I called it right?


Rafael said...

Nate Marquardt's weakness is defense against knees! So if he can survive the Silva onslaught of knees he has a chance. Good matchup on paper.

Chad said...

I'm slobberin' for the Ortiz match!

Craig Zablo said...

Raf, What are your predictions?

Chad, wipe yer chin and let me know who you think will win.

Rafael said...

Craig, I think you're right, Tito and Rashad both need this fight. One (Tito) is on the way up and the other down. Rashad's wrestling skills are underestimated and Tito has yet to exhibit the stopping power at standup that would rattle Rashad. So Rashad on paper.

Silva by KO if Nate does not adapt right away.

The other two fights, I haven't seen enough of all the fighters to make a legit call.

Of course what is fun about MMA is that individuals still have to fight to actually be given the match. So all the best laid plans can be thrown out if one of the fighters does not show up with their A game.


Craig Zablo said...

Raf, you were right on in your assessment of how the fights went. I'll do a full post tomorrow.

Rafael said...

Cool followup postfight post Craig. Silva was the one who adapted to Nate. Nate was so wooried about the knees that he got Jujitsued by Silva. That was a sweet reversal against the single leg, and what Silva has in striking power makes a true champion. When you have the power to end the fight if you connect at any time, plus have excellent ground game to boot - then you're going to be a threat for a very long time to come. Silva looked like he was just chopping pieces off of Nate.

Craig Zablo said...

Silva impressed me. I was shocked that he took out Franklin so easily and now for him to do the same with Nate... man!