Apologies for the quiet week, everybody… I’ll try to get back on a regular blogging schedule starting next week. Here are the SILVA predictions for UFC 150 this Saturday:
Since I haven’t done any individual fight previews for this event, I’ll give some quick thoughts on each of the fights:
-At UFC 144, SILVA picked Frankie Edgar to beat Benson Henderson, but Henderson won a close decision. This time around, SILVA is picking Henderson, and I have a feeling it might be wrong again. Really, this is a very close and competitive match, and might simply come down to who the judges feel like giving the win to. I favor Henderson, but very slightly.
-To use some bad “MMA math” type analysis, Melvin Guillard fought a very close contest against Jeremy Stephens at UFC 119, which was a striking match. When Donald Cerrone fought Stephens, he was clearly better from beginning to end, again in a striking match. I do think Cerrone is both a better technical striker than Guillard, and a much, much better submission fighter. Guillard always has a chance to win by KO, and can never be counted out, but I feel it’s his only path to victory in this one.
-It’s been great to see Ed Herman rebound from injury nicely with a three-fight winning streak, but keep in mind that his wins – over Tim Credeur, Kyle Noke, and Clifford Starks – have not been against the cream of the crop in the UFC middleweight division. His opponent, Jake Shields, is in decline in my opinion, but has still only lost to Georges St-Pierre and Jake Ellenberger in his recent past. I’m picking Shields to win, because I consider him the better overall fighter, but Herman’s wrestling base and better striking could give Shields real trouble. Shields is not a safe pick by any means.
-Yushin Okami has often been listed by me as an overrated fighter on this website, and despite his loss to Tim Boetsch at UFC 144, I still consider him a bit overrated. However, I don’t think Buddy Roberts is the guy to beat him. I give Roberts credit for taking this fight on short notice, replacing Rousimar Palhares, but he’s going to have to find a way to out-strike Okami and prevent the fight from going to the ground. I don’t see that happening.
-SILVA doesn’t give much credit to Max Holloway or Justin Lawrence, but they should both be considered very good prospects, that SILVA hasn’t had time to figure out yet. I particularly like Holloway’s potential, as all of his professional MMA fights have been against experienced opponents, and he’s already had a lot of success. Since Lawrence doesn’t qualify for a SILVA score, there is no official SILVA prediction for that fight, but my personal prediction will be for Holloway to win, because I feel Holloway has better volume striking, and better conditioning.
-Dennis Bermudez is a very good wrestler, but one whose chin and submission defense are potential liabilities. His opponent, Tommy Hayden, has a good submission game, but is unlikely to find himself in good position on the ground against the better wrestler in Bermudez. I see Bermudez stifling Hayden in a similar fight to his last win, against Pablo Garza.
-Jared Hamman has a good SILVA score, but he’s an example of a fighter whose underlying performances are not that great. Either Hamman is blasted with strikes, as was the case against Costa Philippou and Alexander Gustafsson, or he suffers through trials by fire to find a way to win, as was the case against C.B. Dollaway. With that said, his opponent, Michael Kuiper, doesn’t have any history of winning against tough competition, despite his 11-1 record. His only truly tough opponent, Rafael Natal, was able to take him down repeatedly, although Kuiper did have a lot of success in the third round of that fight. Kuiper is a threat to win by knockout here, given Hamman’s chin, but my pick to win will be the more proven fighter in Hamman.
-It’s hard to gauge how good Erik Perez is by his last fight against John Albert. Albert was winning most of the first round before getting caught in an armbar attempt from Perez, and having the fight stopped prematurely in my opinion. SILVA is no help either – it charges all four of Perez’s losses against him, but three of those were by split decision. Without knowing enough about Perez, I’m going to pick him to win, as I think he’s a better fighter than his record and SILVA score indicate.
-Speaking of fighters I don’t know enough about, SILVA likes UFC newcomer Chico Camus to win his debut against Dustin Pague. Statistically speaking, their level of competition has been very similar, with Pague having fought a couple more tough opponents, and Camus entering with a better record. I’ll be learning about Camus during the fight, but based on the little I know right now, I expect it to be close and competitive.
-The one fight on Facebook, between Nik Lentz and Eiji Mitsuoka, features two fighters both overrated by SILVA. Lentz is overrated based on a draw against Thiago Tavares and a decision win against Tyson Griffin, both of which probably should have been decisions against him. Likewise, Mitsuoka has a majority decision win against Joachim Hansen, a win that helps his SILVA score a ton, but also a win he probably didn’t deserve. I do think Lentz will win this fight, as I expect him to dictate where it takes place, but Mitsuoka has a good submission game and shouldn’t be counted out.