Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar
A squash match. This is without a doubt what this amounts to in a world where Anderson Silva is the best fighter on the planet today and possibly best of all time thusfar in the sport. He has the opportunity this saturday to do what nobody else has ever been able to do in the cage, knock out or submit Stephan Bonnar. For a guy who fights the way Bonnar does and how long he's been fighting in the UFC's 205lb division it is a bit of an anomaly for him to never have been stopped by anything other than cuts. Though if anyone on the planet is capable of putting an end to that streak, it's Anderson Silva.
Standing this is a no brainer. Both the power and technique advantages have to go to Anderson Silva. His unique mix of length, precision, and power have made more top level fighters look completely foolish than just about anyone else around. Grappling I give a very slim edge to Bonnar based solely on the fact that he is the bigger man but Anderson has done some amazing things on the ground as well. I doubt anyone gets submitted here because neither of these guys are really the kind of fighter to go looking for the submission that isn't readily available. This should be contested mainly standing and Bonnar just isn't fast enough to really pull anything significant off. I see a classic highlight reel style knockout in store for Anderson here.
Prediction: Anderson Silva by (T)KOJon Fitch vs. Erick Silva
It's been a long time since we've seen a striker quite so explosive as Erick Silva. Not even Thiago Alves had the kind of one punch ability to change the course of a fight we've seen out of Silva. Jon Fitch has made a career out of grinding down opponents round by round, minute by minute, second by second. Though his last two fights have been less than impressive, a draw to BJ Penn and a TKO loss to Johny Hendricks in just twelve seconds, Fitch looks to get back on the winning track here. Unfortunately he's going to have to overtake an explosive brazilian in brazil to do that. Obviously Silva will have the striking advantages in technique and especially in power, while Fitch has the cardio and grappling edges. I don't think Erick Silva can submit Fitch from his back despite the fact that he has a good submission game. Despite the hype around Silva, I think Fitch can do his thing. That's not to say Erick Silva is all hype, but we're going to be given a reminder I think as to why Fitch was the unsung number one contender for so long.
Prediction: Jon Fitch by DecisionDemian Maia vs. Rick Story
In hopefully his first real fight at 170lbs, Demian Maia looks to improve his welterweight record to 2-0 against Rick Story. in Maia's last fight we didn't really get to see a fight, we saw a quick takedown in which Dong Hyun Kim was injured and the fight had to be stopped inside of fifty seconds. Rick Story's last fight saw him rebounding from back to back losses when he controlled the debuting Brock Jardine. As far as the fight goes I don't expect a whole lot of open space striking to take place here. I give Story a very slight edge standing in both power and technique since we haven't seen whether or not Maia has knockout power in his hands at this weight. Grappling in virtually all facets will be an edge for Maia, though Story is a decent offensive wrestler himself. Story's problem is that he's a very poor defensive wrestler. We have seen that when his opponents initiate the clinch on him he can be taken down, and that is exactly where Maia likes to work takedowns from. I don't see a whole lot of outs for Story here to be honest. He can't match Maia on the ground even from top position, and if he sits in the clinch too long Maia is going to find a way to throw or trip him down. If he ends up on the bottom he's in serious trouble, and I really only give him a viable shot at winning here standing on the outside and snipe-striking to keep Maia from tying him up. I think we've seen the return of Demian Maia the grappler, and he'll be looking for a way to get this to the ground at any cost.
Prediction: Demian Maia by Submission