Its that time again. UFC 83 is just around the corner so lets get to it with some quick predictions. The first two picks provide a little breakdown, but the rest are pretty short and sweet. Enjoy.
Matt Serra vs. George St. Pierre (welterweight championship)
GSP via TKO, round 3
As many MMA diehards well know, there are a number of great fighters out there that for one reason or another, just cannot for the life of them beat a certain opponent. Rampage canâ€™t beat Wanderlei, Liddell canâ€™t beat Rampage, Barnett can’t beat Cro Cop, Franklin canâ€™t beat Anderson, Tanner can’t beat Franklin, Trigg canâ€™t beat Hughes, Hughes canâ€™t beat Hallman, the list goes on. The big question is, will Serra soon be added to the list of people who serve as kryptonite for an otherwise dominant fighter? I think not.
Though Serra definitely made St. Pierre look foolish the first time around, I think the smart money is still on GSP for this one. I will say that I donâ€™t think that Serra can win this fight, but that GSP can lose it. If Serra wins it will only be because GSP is unprepared in some way, shape or form. Simply put, Serra on his greatest day is still not a better fighter than George St. Pierre on a good day. Donâ€™t get me wrong, I believe Matt Serra is a top ten UFC welterweight and could hang in the UFC for quite some time, but there is no amount of improvement or training that Serra could undergo which would make him the type of fighter that GSP is. GSP is bigger, stronger, faster, and more dominant in pretty much every aspect of the game. Serra is a great ground guy, but I canâ€™t give him a definitive advantage there because GSP is also ridiculously dangerous on the ground. Not to mention that outside of his TKO over GSP, Matt Serra has not finished a fight since 2002. I feel like Serra plays better defense than offense, and that will not be enough to get him past GSP.
On the flip side, Matt Serra has a short frame and uses good head movement, making him a difficult target to pinpoint. And while Serra has not finished a fight since 2002 as I mentioned above, he has also only been finished off once, by Shonie Carter back in 2001 via that famous spinning backfist. Some forget that Serra has also gone the distance with Karo Parisyan and B.J. Penn, not an easy task by any means. So if Karo and Penn couldnâ€™t finish Serra, whoâ€™s to say the St. Pierre will either?
Of course, letâ€™s not forget about the mental mumbo jumbo. Lots of chatter leading up to this fight about whoâ€™s got the mind game advantage. Will GSPâ€™s hometown crowd help him or weigh him down with nerve-racking pressure? Will Serra have such a mental edge because he has relatively nothing to lose (other than the title) and GSP has a reputation on the line?
The final word: I think that all of the mental-toughness controversy coming into this fight is total B.S. I think its clear cut simple. GSP underestimated Serra once upon a time, he wont this time, and he will destroy him. I give Matt Serra a good chance at holding off GSP, but it wonâ€™t last more than a couple rounds. GSP via TKO 3rd round.
Travis Lutter vs. Rich Franklin
Lutter via split-decision
After speaking with the confident Travis Lutter personally, you would think that Franklin doesnâ€™t even have a chance coming into this fight. But the truth is, Franklin is the all-around better fighter. While Lutter maintains a superior ground game, he will have to get Franklin on the ground to employ it. So if Franklin sprawls and brawls all night, Lutter will either get knocked out or lose on points. But thatâ€™s not how I see it going down. I think that Lutter will eventually be able to score the takedown, and will be able to neutralize Franklin for at least a round or two. I donâ€™t think Lutter will be able to secure the submission, but I also donâ€™t think that Franklin will be able to end the fight either. I predict a split-decision upset victory for Travis Lutter.
Nate Quarry vs. Kalib Starnes
Quarry via TKO, round 2
Starnes will have the crowd, but Quarry has the skills. I think that Nate Quarry is a much better fighter than Kalib Starnes, and should be able to throw down some crazy ground and pound somewhere in the second round. Gotta go with Nate Quarry on this one.
Charles McCarthy vs. Michael Bisping
Bisping via TKO, round 2.
Many who frequent this particular website will noticeably comment â€œBisping Sucksâ€ from time to time, and at 205lbs, I can almost agree with that statement. But at 185lbs the man seems much better positioned to climb to the top of the division. Charles McCarthy is a better ground guy but Bisping has been working on his jiujitsu a lot lately, and should be able to defend a take down fairly easily. I say Bisping catches McCarthy in the second round and scores the TKO.
Mark Bocek vs. Mac Danzig
Danzig via unanimous decision.
Though I never really cared for Mac Danzig while he was on TUF, the guy does have undeniable skills and is rightly the favorite to win this fight. Danzig is very well rounded and at 155lbs, a lot better proportioned than when he fought at welterweight. Maybe Danzig wonâ€™t be able to finish Bocek off, but I bet he gets the decision once the final bell tolls.
Joe Doerksen Vs. Jason MacDonald
MacDonald via unanimous decision
Ah, the dueling Canadians. Jason MacDonald actually defeated Doerksen via rear naked choke once before back in 2005. While both fighters have surely improved since then, I really donâ€™t see this fight going any differently than the first meeting. Maybe Doerkson will avoid the submission this time around, but I doubt he dominates the fight at all. Cruising decision for MacDonald.
Jason Day vs. Alan Belcher
Belcher via TKO, round 3.
Tough fight to call. Belcher has the heavy hands, Day has the ground game. I say this one goes to the ground but Day fails at securing the submission and ends up on the receiving end of some ground and pound. It doesnâ€™t take many shots from Belcher to spell lights out.
Ed Herman vs. Demian Maia
Herman via split decision
Demian Maia has solid and tested BJJ, but I donâ€™t know if he will able to combat the experience and well roundedness of Ed Herman. Close one to call, but I say Ed Herman squeezes out the decision.
Rich Clementi vs. Sam Stout
Clementi via submission, round 3.
Sam Stout definitely has the striking advantage, but Clementi is strong enough to weather the storm and should be able to get Stout down and submitted by the end of the third.
Brad Morris vs. Cain Velasquez
Morris vis submission, round 2.
We donâ€™t know much of anything about Cain Velazquez other than that he is 2-0, with both wins coming via TKO. Brad Morris on the other hand is 9-2 with most of his wins coming by way of either submission or decision, but I havenâ€™t been able to watch any of his fights, so itâ€™s tough for me to say who the better fighter is. I will have to go with Morris on this one simply because of the experience factor. Iâ€™m assuming Morris will eventually look to take Velasquez down and apply a submission, which he probably gets due to Cainâ€™s lack of ground game-familiarity inside the octagon.