UFC 105: Preview and Predictions
By: Richard Burmaster
Randy â€œThe Naturalâ€ Couture vs Brandon â€œThe Truthâ€ Vera
Randy Couture has been what we all thought Brandon Vera would be. Randy has held both the heavyweight and light heavyweight titles. A feat that Vera so boldly announced he would do early in his UFC career. Randy has shined against the biggest names on the biggest stages in the sport. Vera has had only 1 win against a top 10 fighter.Â That came against Frank Mir when Mir was still making his comeback from the motorcycle accident that nearly ended his career. Every chance that Randy has had he has been impressive, even in defeat. A little over a year ago we were talking about Vera being dropped from the UFC roster with another loss.
This fight is a safe fight for the UFC as both fighters have nothing to lose and a lot to win in this fight. If Randy wins it will be said that he dropped down to 205 again and defeated a young up and comer. If he losses he will have lost to a younger and faster fighter who is a young up and comer. If Vera wins it will be said that he has finally started to realize his potential and that he defeated the great Randy Couture. If he loses it will be said that itâ€™s OK because he lost to the great Randy Couture.
Vera needs to use his length and speed to keep Randy at a safe distance. He has superb striking skills and a solid ground game. Usually he likes to employ his clinch game to deliver some killer knees, but I donâ€™t see that strategy working against Couture. Randy is the king of controlling fighters from the clinch and beating them up with dirty boxing. His take-downs are legendary as is his ground and pound. Randy has shown us all that even a top level black belt in Nogueria has trouble putting him away, and I donâ€™t see Vera being effective on the ground against him. The only real question in this fight is if father time has finally caught up to Randy.Â Of course we have asked that many many times over the years. Unless this fight is over quickly or is a snooze fest than the winner might get a title shot next or a fight against Shogun while Machida heals.
Prediction: Â Randy Couture Decision
Mike Swick (13-2) VS Dan Hardy (22-6)
Swick has 9 wins in his last 10 UFC fights, with 5 coming in the first round. With a win over Hardy he will earn a title shot with GSP, and it will be well deserved. Coming from the AKA camp with teammates such as Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch, Swick will be well prepared for the biggest fight of his career. Dan Hardy has been on a roll since his UFC debut against Akihiro Gono and with 2 quality wins over Marcus Davis and Rory Markham his skills and his mouth have put him quickly in line for a title shot. Hardy has had great success getting into his opponents head most notably Marcus Davis. This has the potential to be the fight of the night as well as a fight of the year candidate with two explosive strikers who also have very well rounded ground games. Â LookÂ for Swick to key off of the jab of Hardy and to capitalize on the first mistake he makes.
Prediction: Â Swick by TKO round 1
Micheal Bisping (16-2) VS Dennis Kang (32-10-1)
Bisping needs a dominant performance to erase the memory of Dan Henderson launching a flying forearm to his head after being destroyed by a big right hook that will live forever in highlight reel montages. Bisping has not defeated a top 10 fighter in his career.Â Besides the fact that he is a huge draw in the UK, he is a gate keeper in the UFC and will continue to be.Â Dennis Kang is 3-3 in his last 6 fights, and he is coming off of a lackluster decision win over Xavier Foupa-Pokam.Â He Â really needs a win to keep from being referred to as former UFC fighter Dennis Kang. Bisping usually shines against lesser opponents, and I expect him to use his superior striking and clinch to win this one.
Prediction: Â Bisping TKO Round 1
James Wilks (6-2) vs Matt Brown (9-7)
The last time we saw Wilks, he was winning the Ultimate Fighter 9 finale. Wilks showed surprisingly well rounded skills and finished off DaMarques Johnson with a rear naked choke at the end of the first round. The last time we saw Matt Brown, he was making Pete Sell look like an amateur with a great show of striking skills. While Brown has fought the higher quality opponents Wilks seems to be the bigger, stronger fighter.
Prediction: Â James Wilks Round 2 TKO
Ross Pearson (9-3) vs Aaron Riley (28-11-1)
Pearson is the younger, faster fighter and with him winning the TUF 9 Lightweight title he has momentum on his side. Riley has a massive experience advantage and training at Jacksonâ€™s in New Mexico.Â He has the games best coach on his side. Riley stands a punchers chance, but Pearson should control this fight.
Prediction: Â Pearson by Decision
Other winners will be Etim, Taylor, Osipczak, Hamman, and Winner .
Enjoy the fights!