UFC 148 Preview and Picks
This will be my Preview to UFC 148, which airs this Saturday at 10:00 p.m. est. on Pay Per View. There will be approximately 6 fights on the main card. I will not be previewing the preliminary bouts.
First bout: Ivan Menjivar (24-8-0) vs. Mike Easton (12-1-0)
- This fight will be at 135 pounds. Both fighters are elite level strikers. This fight will most likely stay on the feet, however Mike “the hulk” Easton is a very decent wrestler, and might choose to engage in a ground battle with Ivan. This might not be smart though, as Ivan is a world class jiu-jitsu player, and has the skills to submit from his back. Both fighters are coming off back to back wins in the UFC. Although Mike Easton has lost only once in his career, he still hasn’t faced the level of competition Ivan has. Ivan’s experience of 32 career fights and fights with former champs will give him the advantage.
My Pick: Ivan “The Pride of Al Salvador” Menjivar- I believe he will win because he has faced better competition. His experience in fighting the “big fights” in the past will get him the win.
Second Fight: Chad Mendes (11-1-0) vs Cody Mckenzie ( 13-2-0)
- This fight will also be at135 pounds. Wrestling powerhouse Chad “money” Mendez is a friend and training partner of former WEC Champ Urijah Faber. He fights out of team Alpha male. His only loss was to UFC champ Jose Aldo, a fight in which he was ko’d. His standup game has been improving, but he is mostly a wrestling based fighter. His punches are usually used to set up the takedown. His opponent, Cody “AK Kid” Mckenzie also lacks in his standup. Unlike Mendez, Mckenzie is a jui-jitsu based fighter and most of his attacks come from his back. Cody first made his UFC appearance on the Ultimate Fighter 12, where he made it all the way to the quarterfinals before being stopped by Nam Phan. He trains out of Cesar Gracie jiu-jitsu. This is an extremely exiting match-up, as both fighters are ground based fighters. Get ready for a great ground battle. Cody has 11 wins by guillotine choke and believe him to be most threatening if the fight goes to the ground.
My Pick: Chad “money” Mendes- I think his wrestling will be enough to keep the fight where he wants it. His improved striking will be too much for Mckenzie. However, Mendez has got to watch out for that choke!
Third Fight: Dong Hyun Kim (15-1-1) vs Demian Maia (15-4-0)
- This fight will be at 170 lbs. Dong Hyun Kim is a well rounded mixed martial artist with a tough resume. He has great judo and decent standup. His opponent Demian Maia is an elite level jiu-jitsu player. He is hands down the the best jiu-jitsu player in the UFC, if not world. If this fight hits the ground, you can be sure Maia will get the submission win. However, if the fight stays standing, I believe Kim to have better striking skills. Kim needs to keep the fight standing.
My Pick: Demian Maia- I believe his jiu-jitsu will get him the win. Although people train for 6 months to defend his submissions, they still get submitted. That shows how insanely good he is with his jiu-jitsu skills.
Fourth Fight: Cung Le (7-2-0) vs Patrick “the predator” Cote (18-7-0)
- This fight will be at 185 lbs. Former strikeforce champion Cung Le is an Elite level striker that has not yet been tested on the ground. His Sanshou style kickboxing skills are amongst the best in the world. His opponent Patrick Cote is a UFC veteran whose fought some of the UFC’s best, including middlewieght champ, Anderson Silva. Cung Le is comming off beatdown loss to Wanderlei Silva. Patrick is on a 4 fight winning streak outside the UFC. This fight is his chance to get back in the UFC’s good graces after losing 3 straight from 2008 to 2010. This match should stay on the feet most of the fight, as they are both striking based fighters. However, I think it would be smart for Patrick to put Le on his back considering the powerful legkicks that Le will try to land. The longer the fight stays on the feet, the less of a chance Patrick has to get a takedown. He cannot let Le stay on the outside and pick him apart with his kicks.
My pick: Cung Le- I feel Cung Le will be to quick for Cote. He will be able to prevent Cote’s takedowns. However, if Patrick does get the takedown, I believe Le will have a much tougher fight on his hands.
Co-Main Event- Forrest Griffin (18-7-0) vs Tito Ortiz (17-10-1)
- This fight will be at 205 lbs. Both fighters are coming off a loss, and will be hungry for a win. However, I believe Tito is a little more hungry as this is his retirement fight. Not only that but Tito asked for this fight. Both fighters are decent with there submission games but believe Ortiz to be little more savy on the ground. You can expect Tito to come out very aggressive and force the takedown. In my opinion, the takedown is Tito’s real good shot to win the fight. He needs to bring back the old Tito and deliver some vicious ground and pound.
My Pick: Forest Griffin- Although it would be nice to see Tito go out into the sunset with a win, I believe Forest will use his superior reach advantage to fight to another decision. Hopefully I’m wrong though. This is the one pick where I’d be happy to be wrong.
Championship Main Event: Anderson Silva (31-4-0) vs Chael Sonnen (27-11-1)
- This fight is at 185 lbs. It is for the UFC Middleweight Title. Anderson Silva is on a 15 fight winning streak and has never been beaten in the UFC. He is considered by most as the best fighter in the world. He is a rare talent that has an equal amount of skills in every area of mixed martial arts. He has unbelievable standup, takedown, and submission skills. His opponent, Chael Sonnen is only on a 2 fight winning streak. However, he has only lost one out of his last six fights. His loss coming by fifth round submission by Anderson Silva. Sonnen is primarily a wrestling based fighter. He has probably the best power double in all of MMA. His striking skills are okay, however they do not come close to the striking skills of Anderson Silva. In their last fight, however, Chael Sonnen was able to outstrike Anderson Silva for a portion of the fight. This in my opinion was because Anderson was so focused on preventing the takedown of sonnen that he focused less on the striking aspect. If that was the case last time, I believe Silva should focus more on implementing his own gameplan and less on what chael’s going do to him.
My Pick: Anderson Silva- People talk how they believe Chael has gotten into Silva’s head with all the smack talk. I disagree 100%! If anything Silva’s in Sonnen’s head. After their first fight Silva claimed he had a rib injury. The week after their fight, Chael Sonnen’s urine results showed his testosterone levels were high. In Silva’s head, he believes Chael couldn’t beat him at his worst and Sonnen’s best. For me, I find it hard to believe that it is Chael in Silva’s head. I do not think the fight will play out like last time. Silva should stop the shots and get the knock out.