UFC 134 Rio: Saturday, August 27, 2011

UFC 134 Fight Pedictions (Odds courtesy of Bodog as 12:01 AM EST Saturday

The UFC makes it’s Brazilian debut with a stacked card from HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. The card is loaded as with Brazilian fighters as Zuma plans on making Brazil a regular stop including a card at a 100,000 seat venue is 2012.

While there are a number of big name fighters on the card, the matchups are for the most part pretty one-sided. That said, we’ll work our way through the card in hopes of finding the quality favorites and the live dogs.

Anderson Silva (-625) vs Yushin Okami (+425) Middleweights

The Spider’s last lost came at the hands of Okami all the way back on January 20, 2006. Silva was DQ’d for an illegal kick while domination Okami during the fight. At the time, Silva was extremely upset at the time that Okami didn’t continue. Silva hasn’t made much of it in the pre-fight but you know that he’s seething inside. Okami has a good chin and is strong as an ox but his only hope is to get this to the mat and work hard. There is no way that this goes more than 1-2 rounds. Expect the Spider to pick apart Okami and settle the matter with an early TKO win.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (-250) vs Forrest Griffin (+195) Light Heavyweights

Both of these gizzled veterans are at the crossroads and a bad loss here by either fighter could have ramifications for their futures in the UFC. Rua is a MMA legend having fought and beaten the best wherever he’s competed. That said, he’s just 3-3 in his last six fights and two of the wins came against spent shells Chuck Liddell, and Mark Coleman. One of the losses came against Forrest Griffin in 2007 in a fight dominated by Griffin and ended with a rear naked choke. Both have fought off injuries (Rua knee, Griffin shoulder) to get to this point. Griffin is off wins over Tito Ortiz and Rich Franklin and could be flying under-the-radar here. This is probably our best chance of an upset and will call for Forrest Griffin to win a close decision.

Brendan Schaub (-250) vs Antonio “Minotauro” Rodrigo Nigueira (+195) Heavyweights

Schaub is an up and coming heavyweight on a run of four straight wins since being knocked out by Roy Nelson in the final of TUF 10. While three of those four came against fighters who are now out of the UFC and Cro Cop just a shell of his former self, Schaub has taken care of business and gained valuable experience. Big Nog comes off hip surgery and wasn’t expected to fight until October but the lure of fighting on his home turf sped up his recovery and return to the ring. In the end, the younger, stronger, faster, Schaub should wear the Minoauro down and win by late KO.

Edson Barboza (-325) vs Ross Pearson (+250) Lightweights

Nice matchup here as unbeaten Edson Barboza takes on Tuf 9 winner Ross Pearson. Barboza hasn’t fought anyone of note while Pearson owns wins over Dennis Siver and Spencer Fisher. Pearson is a tough guy whose fought better and will not be intimidated by an extremely hostile crowd. Barboza is in his home town but may have bit off more than he can chew. Pearson.

Luis Cane (-260) vs Stanislav Nedkov (+190) Light Heavyweights

Cane is on the comeback trail and probaly needs a win to stay in the UFC. Nedkov is a perfect 11-0 and was a Bulgarian wrestling champion so this is a classic striker/grappler matchup. Nedkov could have some ring rust not having fought in 15 months. Cane looked sharp and latest and wins this by decision.

Thiago Tavarez (-225) vs Spencer Fisher (+170) Lightweights

Both vets fighting for their UFC lives. Tavarez was unbeaten and highly touted entering the UFC but is just 3-4-1 in his L8 fights against pretty much journeyman opposition. Spencer Fisher is 24-7 bit just 1-4 in his last five fights. He’s fought everyone and this might be a case of an old warrior going out on his shield. Tavarez by decision.

Rousimar Palhares (-325) vs Dan Miller (+250) Middleweights

Palhares grew up in the slums of Rio to a dirt poor family and will be cheered as one of our own made good. His nickname of “Toquinho” translates out to “Tree Stump” and in fact he’s 5’8″ and 185. Dan Miller takes this fight on short time as a replacement and may not be his best. Palhares by late TKO.

Pualo Thiago (-500) vs David Mitchell (+350) WelterwightsUFC 134 Fight Pedictions (Odds courtesy of Bodog as 12:01 AM EST Saturday

The UFC makes it’s Brazilian debut with a stacked card from HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. The card is loaded as with Brazilian fighters as Zuma plans on making Brazil a regular stop including a card at a 100,000 seat venue is 2012.

While there are a number of big name fighters on the card, the matchups are for the most part pretty one-sided. That said, we’ll work our way through the card in hopes of finding the quality favorites and the live dogs.

Anderson Silva (-625) vs Yushin Okami (+425) Middleweights

The Spider’s last lost came at the hands of Okami all the way back on January 20, 2006. Silva was DQ’d for an illegal kick while domination Okami during the fight. At the time, Silva was extremely upset at the time that Okami didn’t continue. Silva hasn’t made much of it in the pre-fight but you know that he’s seething inside. Okami has a good chin and is strong as an ox but his only hope is to get this to the mat and work hard. There is no way that this goes more than 1-2 rounds. Expect the Spider to pick apart Okami and settle the matter with an early TKO win.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (-250) vs Forrest Griffin (+195) Light Heavyweights

Both of these gizzled veterans are at the crossroads and a bad loss here by either fighter could have ramifications for their futures in the UFC. Rua is a MMA legend having fought and beaten the best wherever he’s competed. That said, he’s just 3-3 in his last six fights and two of the wins came against spent shells Chuck Liddell, and Mark Coleman. One of the losses came against Forrest Griffin in 2007 in a fight dominated by Griffin and ended with a rear naked choke. Both have fought off injuries (Rua knee, Griffin shoulder) to get to this point. Griffin is off wins over Tito Ortiz and Rich Franklin and could be flying under-the-radar here. This is probably our best chance of an upset and will call for Forrest Griffin to win a close decision.

Brendan Schaub (-250) vs Antonio “Minotauro” Rodrigo Nigueira (+195) Heavyweights

Schaub is an up and coming heavyweight on a run of four straight wins since being knocked out by Roy Nelson in the final of TUF 10. While three of those four came against fighters who are now out of the UFC and Cro Cop just a shell of his former self, Schaub has taken care of business and gained valuable experience. Big Nog comes off hip surgery and wasn’t expected to fight until October but the lure of fighting on his home turf sped up his recovery and return to the ring. In the end, the younger, stronger, faster, Schaub should wear the Minoauro down and win by late KO.

Edson Barboza (-325) vs Ross Pearson (+250) Lightweights

Nice matchup here as unbeaten Edson Barboza takes on Tuf 9 winner Ross Pearson. Barboza hasn’t fought anyone of note while Pearson owns wins over Dennis Siver and Spencer Fisher. Pearson is a tough guy whose fought better and will not be intimidated by an extremely hostile crowd. Barboza is in his home town but may have bit off more than he can chew. Pearson.

Luis Cane (-260) vs Stanislav Nedkov (+190) Light Heavyweights

Cane is on the comeback trail and probaly needs a win to stay in the UFC. Nedkov is a perfect 11-0 and was a Bulgarian wrestling champion so this is a classic striker/grappler matchup. Nedkov could have some ring rust not having fought in 15 months. Cane looked sharp and latest and wins this by decision.

Thiago Tavarez (-225) vs Spencer Fisher (+170) Lightweights

Both vets fighting for their UFC lives. Tavarez was unbeaten and highly touted entering the UFC but is just 3-4-1 in his L8 fights against pretty much journeyman opposition. Spencer Fisher is 24-7 bit just 1-4 in his last five fights. He’s fought everyone and this might be a case of an old warrior going out on his shield. Tavarez by decision.

Rousimar Palhares (-325) vs Dan Miller (+250) Middleweights

Palhares grew up in the slums of Rio to a dirt poor family and will be cheered as one of our own made good. His nickname of “Toquinho” translates out to “Tree Stump” and in fact he’s 5’8″ and 185. Dan Miller takes this fight on short time as a replacement and may not be his best. Palhares by late TKO.

Pualo Thiago (-500) vs David Mitchell (+350) Welterwights

Thiago is just 2-3 since knocking Josh Koscheck stiff but there is no shame in fighting Fitch, Volkman, Swick, Kampmann, and Sanchez. Thiago gets softer touch here against David Miller who was 11-0 before getting knocked out in his UFC debut vs TJ Waldburger. Thiago rolls.

Thiago is just 2-3 since knocking Josh Koscheck stiff but there is no shame in fighting Fitch, Volkman, Swick, Kampmann, and Sanchez. Thiago gets softer touch here against David Miller who was 11-0 before getting knocked out in his UFC debut vs TJ Waldburger. Thiago rolls.