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 UFC134 Predictions

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UFC134 Predictions Ufc_134_poster_by_aronian-d411y4z

Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami

Ludo: With a chance to avenge his only loss since 2004 Anderson Silva will rematch Yushin Okami. This time many things are on the line. Anderson Silva's win streak, title defense streak, and spot as the pound for pound best fighter on the planet among them. For Okami this isn't just a title shot, this is a chance to prove that Japanese MMA isn't dead, that asian fighters can contend with the best in the world even in a cage under American rules. Okami has amassed a 9-2 record in the UFC and a 12-3 record since that first fight with Anderson. Meanwhile Anderson has put together a perfect 12-0 streak in the UFC, and a 13-0 record since the disqualification loss to Okami.

The advantage in striking is absolutely Silva's. His hands are powerful and crisp and he mixes his strikes up exceptionally well. Speed is another advantage Anderson will have both in his fast twitch reflex and overall footwork and handspeed. Strength will be an advantage for Okami. Overall grappling goes to Okami given that he has used his grappling to great effect in most of his fights. He is a very strong top control grappler who is very aware and incredibly hard to submit. All in all this fight can go one of two ways; either Silva can keep Okami away from him, stuff the takedowns, and eventually knocks Okami out or Okami can take Anderson down and reproduces the would-have-been result that Chael Sonnen was so close to achieving. I personally think it's more likely that Anderson impliments his game in this case. Okami's striking has improved quite a bit lately but it won't be enough for the kind of attack Silva brings to a fight.

Prediction: Anderson Silva by (T)KO.

Mauricio Rua vs. Forrest Griffin

Ludo: Another chance for revenge for a high profile brazilian fighter here. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will look to redeem himself against Forrest Griffin. This fight makes every bit of sense right now given that Forrest still has a name in the division's top ten ranking and Shogun needs a win to get back into the title hunt after losing it to Jon Jones earlier this year. Their first fight is plagued by controversey in the sense that Shogun went into that fight too soon after knee surgery and subsequently lost by rear naked choke to a fighter he was supposed to destroy. Rumors abound though that even now Shogun has not fully healed from his latest knee surgery and may have even blown his knee out as of a couple weeks ago. No official sources have confirmed this and likely won't until after the fight. This fight could be very interesting to say the least. Even an injured Shogun is a dangerous one early on. If he is truly injured we will likely see him storming out of the gate looking to put Griffin away early to avoid any cardio issues as a result of the injury to his knee. If he is in fact healthy Forrest could be in for a terrible night.

Striking could go either way depending on the health of Shogun's knees. Forrest loves to throw leg kicks in bulk and it wouldn't be surprising to see him doubling up on them here just in case. He'll have to watch out for the aggression and power of Shogun, though. Overall strength goes to Griffin given that he will have some size on Shogun, and his style tends to be a bit more gritty. Grappling is really a wash. Griffin is the better positional grappler while Shogun has the better submissions. The rumors alone have Me hesitant to pick Shogun here, I just think he just has too much pride to sit out for the length of time he needs to be 100%. Unfortunately I see Shogun coming out strong and fading in the second round, which is when Forrest, if he survives the initial attack, will take over and grind out a decision.

Prediction: Forrest Griffin by Decision.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Brendan Schaub

Ludo: I'm looking at this fight to take home one of the bonuses. I think Knockout of the Night or Submission of the Night comes in this one. The two most likely scenarios here are; either Schaub stuffs Minotauro's takedowns and can't be held down long enough to lock in a submission before knocking him out, or Rodrigo finds a way to keep Schaub down long enough to lock him up and takes another limb home with him. However while it is likely I just don't see Nogueira doing it here. Unfortunately for him Schaub is too quick, too clean a striker, and has too good of a sprawl here. I see this fight playing out alot like the Gonzaga fight for Schaub. He'll stay on the outside, make Minotauro chase him around while he picks his shots and uses that stiff jab enroute to something bigger and more devastating. The striking from the outside will allow Schaub to see the takedown or clinch attempt coming and at this point Minotauro has just taken too many brutal beatings. I think this is another fight where his chin fails him.

Prediction: Brendan Schaub by (T)KO

Ross Pearson vs. Edson Barboza

Ludo: Uprising prospect Edson Barboza returns to action against Ultimate Fighter graduate Ross Pearson. I'll be honest here I don't see many outs for Pearson in this fight. We just recently saw what happens to essentially a pure boxer when they find themselves in front of a powerful muay thai fighter. Pearsons biggest obstacle is going to be getting into range to strike. Normally he is an effective striker who likes to sit on the outside and use his jab, but he won't be able to comfortably sit outside on Edson in this fight. Barboza has devastating kicks that will likely chop Pearson down at the knees midway through this fight. Pearson may try to take Edson down but he'll have to find a way to get close enough that it's not telegraphed first and I just don't see it in the cards.

Prediction: Edson Barboza by (T)KO

Rousimar Palhares vs. Dan Miller

Ludo: A definite candidate for Submission of the night on paper, even Fight of the night. Many thought Miller was signing a death sentence when he agreed to this fight but it may not be that way at all. Miller may actually have a chance to win this fight given Palhares' prior history of cardio issues late in fights. If Miller can make Rousimar work for three rounds, especially from the bottom he just may be able to steal this fight away. However he won't have an easy time at all here. While Miller holds the wrestling and cardio advantages virtually everything else is in favor of "Toqinho". Although if Miller can take Rousimar down, and turn this into an ugly fight with hom on top avoiding submissions he could very well snatch a decision here. I don't think this one will have too much striking as both fighters are primarily grapplers. This fight will hinge on who can get the takedowns first/more often. Both fighters are skilled enough and strong enough grapplers that they won't lose top position unless they go for submissions and get reversed that way. The only problem I see Miller having is trying to to contend with the raw power Palhares brings to the table in any exchange. If Rousimar finds his way to top position it could get ugly real fast for Dan.

Prediction: Rousimar Palhares by Submission

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