So this T-Shirt company decided to sign up a bunch of heavyweight fighters, get partial backing from the world’s greatest self-promoter, and hold a PPV. So what’s the world’s biggest MMA company do? Try to recreate the wrestling war of the 80’s by counter-programming with it’s own fight card featuring the world’s best (or perhaps second-best) fighter. Oh, and hold said card on FREE television. Why? Because the UFC can, and I think as MMA fans, we’re winners because of it.
Let’s look at the card.
Anderson Silva vs. James Irvin
Anderson Silva is tesing the waters at 205, and for his light-heavyweight debut he’s taking on gatekeeper James Irvin. We know what Silva’s capable of, so the question is if he can do what he does best against Irvin. Irvin is a big guy, and I don’t know that Silva will be able to dominate in the stand-up game, especially with Irvin’s one strike power. In fact, I can’t recall the last time Irwin actually dominated a fight. When he’s been taken down, he’s been dominated, and Irvin will readily admit that he sucks on the ground. But he gets in a lucky strike and suddenly he’s all over UFC Unleashed. So basically, I see Silva doing his striking thing, somehow taking Irvin down amd then use some jiu-jitsu to secure a victory.
Prediction: Silva, Sub R2
Brandon Vera vs. Reese Andy
Another fighter making his 205 debut is Brandon Vera, and he’s taking on IFL refugee Reese Andy, another 205er fighting as a heavyweight. Andy has a wrestling background, and went 5-1 in the IFL, so he’s no slouch – he should be able to take Vera down with ease. However, I think that the Brandon Vera who was a menace as an undersized heavyweight could be an even bigger menace as a light-heavyweight. He’s got a pretty good ground game, and if his punches in bunches can take down a 265lb Frank Mir, he can probably take out a 205lb Reese Andy. Expect some fireworks from the Filipino trying to bounce back from two consecutive losses.
Prediction: Vera, TKO R2
Frankie Edgar vs. Hermes Franca
Obviously, an automatic candidate for Fight of the Night. Edgar is looking to bounce back from his loss to Gray Maynard, and he’s taking on veteran Hermes Franca to get back into title contention. This should be a good match for Edgar, as Franca is a small lightweight and seems to be in a state of flux as far as training goes. He also hasn’t fought in a year, so ring rust and conditioning may become an issue, especially when you consider Edgar’s penchant for going the full 15 minutes.
Prediction: Edgar, Decision
Jake O’Brien vs. Cain Velasquez
This is meant to be a showcase match for Velasquez. Given how he’s dismantled his previous opponents, I’d expect the same this time around.
Prediction: Velasquez, TKO R1
Kevin Burns vs. Anthony Johnson
We really know nothing about Kevin Burns, apart from him surprising Roan Carneiro. He’s taking on Anthony Johnson in a match that really could go either way. Burns should dominate on the ground. Johnson should handle things standing up. And since rounds start standing up, I think “Rumble” should be able to pull out a victory.
Prediction: Johnson, TKO R2
C.B. Dolloway vs. Jesse Taylor
This could’ve been the finals of the recent Ultimate Fighter season, but alcohol and Amir Sadollah made sure that that didn’t happen. Instead, Taylor entered AA and gets Dolloway for his UFC debut. Given how Taylor fought on the show, I’m not expecting a whole lot out of this fight, so I hope that these two prove me wrong.
Prediction: Dolloway, Decision
Tags: anderson silva, Brandon Vera, Mixed Martial Arts, UFC