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UFC 115 Predictions for “Liddell vs. Franklin”

The UFC is set to make its first foray into Vancouver, Canada this Saturday with a card headlined by a meeting between Chuck Liddell and Rich Franklin and co-headlined by Mirko “Cro Cop” Filopovic vs. Pat Barry.

That means it’s prediction time here at once again:

Chuck Liddell vs. Rich Franklin

Justin – I know that Liddell is in the best shape he’s been in for sometime, but both of these fighters seem not quite at the level they used to be. It will be interesting to see what Liddell’s game plan is, and how both men will do after long layoff. In the end, I believe that Franklin’s skills have diminished less and he will pull out a decision victory against Liddell.

chrisl – Four years ago, this would have been a “super-fight” and the front-runner for the fastest selling PPV of all time. Instead, both fighters are at crossroads in their careers. Both fighters need wins badly, one in order for his career to continue and for the other to gain traction in a tough division. Liddell and Franklin both hit hard we know that. Both hold decisions over Wandi and that is the fight I look to when breaking down this match-up. Chuck did something in that fight that could really alter the entire outcome of this fight… he took Wandi down. If Liddell uses his wrestling background offensively then he could potentially walk away with this fight. That said he most likely would not. I see both guys standing, trading, and looking for a KO to get on the highlight reel. I think Rich takes in the same game plan he had for Wandi, make this a K-1 fight and stay elusive. I think Rich will catch Liddell overextended while chasing. Franklin via 2nd round (T)KO

bsbiz – Aaahhh… Another stop on the Chuck Liddell “Playing out the String” Tour. I hate to crack on Chuck because he’s part of the UFC Relevance Triumvirate (along with Randy Couture and TUF), but you can tell there isn’t much left in his career. He’s still got a nasty counter-right hand, but a chin that has taken enough punishment over the last handful of fights that it needs to be called into question. Rich Franklin, though, is in a similar position. He’s caught in between a division that contains the man who has helped plastic surgeons in Cincinnati make their yacht payments (Anderson Silva) and a division that contains men a few pounds too big for his hybrid striking/submission game to handle without getting hurt. With that having been said, it should be a good fight, assuming no one breaks a hip first.

Kris Karkoski – Liddell hasn’t fought in over a year and has dropped four of his last five, but recent photos and comments point to a newfound dedication to training that seemingly have “The Iceman” in great shape. Ring rust may be an issue, but Franklin could fall victim just as easily, as he hasn’t fought since suffering a swift KO to Vitor Belfort in September and was sidelined for 6 weeks after undergoing surgery earlier this year. There’s more on the line for Liddell, and I think he scores a (T)KO in the second or third.

fr702 – The main event is headed by two fighters coming off of KO losses, Chuck Liddell looks like he is the best shape of his life (literally), Rich Franklin as we all know is a game opponent, I don’t know what really to think of this fight, it could go all three rounds, it could finish in a minute. Chuck’s chin is questioned, Franklin’s is as well both have heart and desire, I’m going to say that because I believe that Liddell is going to take this fight to the ground Chuck Liddell will win a UD and go onto face Forrestt Griffin in early September.

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Pat Barry

Justin – Filipovic is a legend of the sport, and Barry is a rising star, who idolizes Filipovic. “Cro Cop” says that he is revitalized and 100% for the first time in a long time, but I think this once great fighter is past his prime and will fall to the younger, hungrier striker Pat Barry in the second round. One thing is certain, though, the only time we’ll see anyone on the ground in this fight is if they get knocked there.

chrisl – A long time ago… in a land far, far away… Mirko Cro Cop’s Left head kick was the most feared weapon in the Croatian arsenal. Like many athletes, his celebrity put him in position to try to make changes in his country’s government. While the jury is still out on his political career, it is clear this did not help his MMA career. Arguably, the most disappointing big signing in UFC history Cro Cop’s octagon career has been lackluster and erratic at best. In Barry, CC has a fighter who in many ways is practically a protégé. I think youth trumps experience and CC’s career in the octagon is unceremoniously ended. There is the off chance the “I am a different fighter now” could prove true… but we have heard that line often from aging fighters just trying to hold on. Barry by UD.

bsbiz -This fight is a measure of how much fuel the Legend of Cro Cop has left in the tank. It could also be a springboard for Barry to take a number to get bull rushed by whichever Neanderthal comes out on top next month. But he’d have a win over a legend. So he’d have that going for him…

Kris Karkoski – While Cro Cop has blasted Mostapha Al-Turk and Antony Perosh since returning to the UFC last summer, Barry should offer a good test of whether he still has what it takes to win at the highest level. I expect Barry can avoid being knocked out and will earn a decision win over his idol.

fr702 – CC is awesome and Barry is pure class, one fighter will lose and I believe it will be CC that will lose a decision to Barry, should be an outstanding fight.

Paulo Thiago vs. Martin Kampmann

Justin – This fight hasn’t received as much attention as it deserves, but it will be a great fight. Martin Kampmann is a dangerous fighter, but has fallen on tough times of late. However, I think Thiago will make short work of him and will remain at the top of the welterweight division by rocking Kampmann with a punch then finishing him off with a submission.

chrisl – I am excited for this fight. This is one of those fights where I am reminded of the last round of consolation matches where the winners go to Nationals and the losers season ends, for those of you who have not been in one of those matches or seen one it is the most intense match-ups of every season. A loss stalls both fighters’ careers and a win puts them on track for title shot. Kampmann has the advantage in stand-up, Thiago in the clinch and on the ground. I remember Thiago being picked apart by Kos before Kos got cocky and got himself put down like Old Yeller. I think Kampmann can take solace in that. I think Kampmann takes Thiago apart in the first but in the 2nd Thiago takes the fight to the ground and works for submissions for the rest of the fight. Thiago by an extremely hard fought decision.

bsbiz – This contest will be decided by where it takes place. On the one hand, you have Martin Kampmann, a former Danish Muay Thai champion (which is kind of like being the least trashy show on MTV) vs a man with eight submission victories to his name, including an impressive Brabo choke against Mike Swick his last time out. If Paulo Thiago can get inside Kampmann’s defenses, it should only be a matter of time before Mr. Kampmann taps.

Kris Karkoski – I give Thiago a slight edge winning this fight, particularly if he can get it to the ground, but I expect a close battle between two skilled contenders.

fr702 – I actually believe that this is going to the ground and that Paulo Thiago will pull a sub in the 2nd.

Ben Rothwell vs. Gilbert Yvel

Justin – The loser of this fight may very well get their walking papers, but I’m pretty sure someone is getting knocked out. Both fighters hit hard, and both fighters are known for their striking, but I think it will be Yvel that puts Rothwell to sleep in the first round.

chrisl – When Yvel is not busy being a head case he is a nasty striker. Rothwell’s camp change may have made him more focused on striking but entering into a striking match-up with Yvel is not advisable. If this fight stays standing, I see Yvel dropping Rothwell but if Rothwell is smart and takes the fight to the ground, he has a much better chance at survival. I think the change to Duke’s camp will work out for Rothwell in the end but this is the wrong fight to be an inferior kick boxer. Yvel via t(KO) in the 1st.

bsbiz – Will the Rehabilitation of Gilbert Yvel continue? Well, you have to believe that his prior bad acts probably won’t ever appear in the cage again due to the increased regulation of MMA and the fact that Dana White would probably knock him out while in the cage if he tried any of that crap again. He may have gotten his temper under control, but Rothwell might be too difficult. Look for Rothwell to try to take the fight to the ground and do work. If he can’t, Yvel’s knee might end up with an imprint of Rothwell’s face.

Kris Karkoski – Yvel and Rothwell will likely stay on their feet, and I see Yvel connecting with some shots early before putting Rothwell away in the second.

fr702 – Yvel will win via (T)KO in the third in what should be a pretty good fight.

Carlos Condit vs. Rory MacDonald

Justin – MacDonald is an exciting, rising young star, while Condit has been around a while and though he dominated the WEC welterweight division has had some struggles since coming to the UFC. MacDonald has excellent submissions but so does Condit, I think the more experienced Condit will take MacDonald out with a decision victory.

chrisl – Tough fight for the hometown hero. Condit’s camp change I think will be lead to him ultimately becoming the best he can be. I think a Jackson trained Condit is a frightening thought and I believe he takes it to MacDonald in an entertaining fight. Cage rust could be the X-factor in this fight though. Condit via UD.

bsbiz – No disrespect intended to Mike Guymon, but Carlos Condit is no Mike Guymon. Suffice to say that the last WEC champion will be a heavy favorite against MacDonald, but it should be a good lesson for the young man, win or lose. Condit is trying to get some traction in his quest to get smoked by GSP, and he should get it, barring some sort of freak performance (or not so freak, I can’t remember ever seeing MacDonald fight).

Kris Karkoski – The undefeated MacDonald faces a big step up in the former WEC champ Condit, and while I think MacDonald may find some success early, I think Condit’s experience proves too much and he comes back to earn a decision.

fr702 – Condit with take alot of punches to the body, but somehow win via Kimura.

Tyson Griffin vs. Evan Dunham

Justin – Griffin is a stud wrestler with improved boxing while Dunham is a similar fighter, but much better known for his submissions. The two have trained together in the past, so they will likely know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This is a fight between two good ground guys that will likely turn into a striking match, and I think Griffin will come out on top with a second round TKO.

chrisl – I really would like to thank Zuffa for this one. These two’s in camp rivalry gets to be acted out on the big stage. It is hard to pick between training partners as they typically negate advantages thanks to familiarity with the subtle moves and changes of each fighter. I like Dunham and think he will successful but Tyson always impresses me and his style is just smothering. Tyson by UD.

bsbiz – Will Evan Dunham choke in his first “big” fight? A win would certainly push him into the “in the mix” level of the lightweights. Which means he could fight one of the big boys with a win or he could end up in Tyson Griffin’s position, which is “Measuring stick for young up-and-comer.” By all reckoning, Griffin should be higher in the rankings: his only two losses were a tight decision featuring that legendary nasty knee bar against the current champ, Frankie Edgar, and current top-3 guy in Sean “The Muscle Syringe” Sherk. Yet here he is, fighting a hungry young guy for the right to fight one of the guys to hopefully get a shot at a title shot.

Kris Karkoski – Dunham surprised Efrain Escudero in his last outing, but I don’t think he’ll do the same to Griffin, who should be able to wrestle his way to a decision win.

fr702 – Dunham will get beat up for 12minutes, then slap on a triangle.

Mac Danzig vs. Matt Wiman

Justin – Danzig has had a rough go of things since winning “The Ultimate Fighter” season 6 but I think he should have the tools to manage a decision victory against Wiman.

chrisl – Danzig is one of most disliked TUF fighters of all-time but I don’t think that matters here. I believe he is the better fighter and should win this one. Danzig via UD in a fight that will be fast forwarded through on most DVRs.

bsbiz – Hi, Mac Danzig. This is relevance calling. I know you aren’t used to me being associated with you since you won your season of The Ultimate Fighter. And just between you and me, don’t get used to this. Oh, wait a second, I have a call on the other line. Sorry about that. Hello, Matt Wiman? Thanks for getting back to me. This is relevance, and I’m just calling to let you know that I won’t be visiting you any time either. Sorry, I’d like to talk more, but I have to wash my hair. *click*

Kris Karkoski – The Ultimate Fighter veterans both snapped losing streaks with wins in their last outings, but I see Danzig as the better fighter and should do enough to earn the decision.

fr702 – Mac Danzig will be overwhelmed. Wiman by not catching a flying knee to the face.

Preliminary Card Quick Picks

  • David Loiseau vs. Mario Miranda: Miranda via second round TKO
  • James Wilks vs. Peter Sobotta: Wilks via unanimous decision
  • Ricardo Funch vs. Claude Patrick: Patrick via unanimous decision
  • Mike Pyle vs. Jesse Lennox: Pyle via second round submission


  • David Loiseau vs. Mario Miranda: Loiseau
  • James Wilks vs. Peter Sobotta: Wilks
  • Ricardo Funch vs. Claude Patrick: Patrick
  • Mike Pyle vs. Jesse Lennox: Pyle


  • David Loiseau vs. Mario Miranda: Loiseau
  • James Wilks vs. Peter Sobotta: Wilks
  • Ricardo Funch vs. Claude Patrick: Uhhh…
  • Mike Pyle vs. Jesse Lennox: Probably Pyle, I guess.

Kris Karkoski:

  • David Loiseau vs. Mario Miranda: Loiseau via TKO – R2
  • James Wilks vs. Peter Sobotta: Wilks via unanimous decision
  • Ricardo Funch vs. Claude Patrick: Patrick via unanimous decision
  • Mike Pyle vs. Jesse Lennox: Pyle via unanimous decision


  • David Loiseau vs. Mario Miranda: Loiseau via TKO (elbows)
  • James Wilks vs. Peter Sobotta: Sobotta via split decision
  • Ricardo Funch vs. Claude Patrick: Funch via (T)KO
  • Mike Pyle vs. Jesse Lennox: Pyle via unanimous decision

Stop back to tomorrow for live UFC 115 results beginning at 9pm ET, and stay tuned for complete UFC 115 coverage.

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