UFC 109 Fight Predictions

It is always fun to do fight
predictions when you are not emotionally invested in the fight.  As I mentioned earlier this week, I am
not super-excited about Saturday's card, which actually helps me keep a more
objective point of view on who I would bet on.  You would think that owning an MMA school, I talk about
fighters and give predictions all the time, but it is not the case.  Even when Dino Costeas (Director of BJJ
and MMA at POW! MMA) and I grab our weekly lunch or catch-up coffee, we try to avoid
MMA in our conversation.  But this
week, it was not the case.  Because
we are hosting a UFC fight night at The Lucky Strike - River East, we decided
to do some fight predictions together and give you our two cents worth on a
card that we are not stoked about, but acknowledge is truly packed with well-matched
fighters.

Saturday's Line Up - PPV begins at 9pm 

Randy Couture vs. Mark Coleman
Nate Marquardt vs. Chael Sonnen
Mike Swick vs Paulo Thiago
Demian Maia vs Dan Miller
Matt Serra vs Frank Trigg
Un-televised Bouts
Mac Danzig vs Justin Buchholz
Ronys Torres vs. Melvin Guillard
Phillipe Nover vs. Robert Emerson
Phil Davis vs. Brian Stann
Tim Hague vs. Chris Tuchscherer
Rolles Gracie vs. Joey Beltran

Randy Couture vs. Mark Coleman

Couture has demonstrated so
much to me in the last 5 years of his career.  In particular, was his performance against Noguiera, the
best loss I have ever seen.  I actually
learned a lot from how he handled the pressure and dealt with an opponent who
kept a better offensive game going. 
Dino points out that between Coleman and Couture, Couture will be a much more
offensive fighter and will win by a KO or some version of an anaconda or front
choke.  We both seem to think that
Coleman just does not have game.

Nate Marquardt vs. Chael Sonnen

Certainly we both agree that
Marquardt is coming into this fight as the top dog.  He is getting a lot of attention from the MMA media and is
placed well on the main event card as second from the top for a lot of good
reasons.  I am pulling for Nate, he
comes from a better training camp than Sonnen and I feel he sees a lot of good
training partners between the Greg Jackson Camp, the Montreal boys and his
local Denver crowd.  Additionally,
I think this strategy is dead -on if he should find himself trying to make it
through the deep end of the 3 round against wrestling pedigreed Sonnen (see the
column I wrote up on Feb 1).  

Dino
on the other hand, thinks Sonnen will be the upset of the night.  He was super impressed with his last
fights against Yushin Okami and Dan Miller and not too concerned about the loss
he took by way of triangle choke against Damian Maia.  Dino also thinks that Sonnen will fight harder for
'IT.'  And in the end he will be
able to grind out a unanimous decision.

Mike Swick vs Paulo Thiago

This is a hard one for both
of us.  Swick seems to pull out
wins, mind you a lot of decisions. 
Five of his last 7 fights were wins by decision.  He is also tight with Dana White.  Nothing he does seems to impress either
of us.  But he also has solid
skills, just nothing that wows us. 
I think Swick will win just because, but hoping for Thiago.    The second half of Swick's
career just seems to be sponsored by Zuffa Inc, so I think he will get the win.

Dino says he has no choice
but to go with Paulo Thiago, despite the fact that Swick trains with a better
camp.  He wants to stay loyal to
the jitz guy, Thiago. Thiago has won 6 of his last 7 fights.  But what is most impressive is the pace
he has fought those 7 fights. 
Beginning in 2008, he fought with 45 days, 45 days, 60 days, 150 days,
150 days, 110 days, and 75 days between fights.  This type of fighting schedule keeps a fighter very finely
tuned.  

Demian Maia vs Dan Miller

Dino and I are on the same
wave-length for this fight.  Maia
needs to stick to what he does. Miller has not done much or fought guys that
make me look twice at him at this point in his career.  Despite the fact that Maia and Miller
are well-matched on paper, his only hope is to try to derail Maia from his
fight strategy.   

Dino thinks
that as long as Maia doesn't show up Saturday looking like an actor trying out
for Kickboxer the movie and sticks to his plan, he will win.  Neither of us can deny that his BJJ
game is tight in everyway and Dino even calls it highly efficient and potent.
Maia makes BJJ work for MMA and he really knows the difference between passive
sports JJS and reality sport JJS. 
Dino calls a win in the second by submission. 

Matt Serra vs Frank Trigg

Of all the fights on the
card Saturday, I do want to see this one. 
I can not help but be happy for Serra that he really earned a second
chance at an MMA career.  There is
not much disagreement between Dino and I on this bout.  Serra will win.  We both lack faith in Trigg's skills
overall.  Trigg is tough, but he
does not posses the skill level of most guys in MMA today.  Dino points out that most think it is
styles that make fights, but Trigg's takedown game is completely
answerable.  On the flip-side, Serra's
BJJ game is leagues ahead of Trigg. 
Truth be told, the wrestler's takedown game has not evolved nearly as
much as BJJ has in the last 5 years or better yet its adaptations to MMA.  Serra is on top of this.  I am sure that Trigg will step into the
cage extremely well conditioned, but his game is just not where it is at.

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