UFC on Fuel 8: Silva vs. Stann predictions

March 1, 2013


UFC on Fuel 8: Silva vs. Stann predictions

John Boldrick – The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Japan for its sixth event (second ZUFFA era) in the land of the rising sun for UFC on Fuel 8: Silva vs. Stann. The card takes place March 2nd and emanates from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama. Saitama has been home to a number of past MMA events such as the final PRIDE FC event (PRIDE 34), Final Conflict 2005 and of course the UFC’s last venture into Japan. UFC 144 saw Ben Henderson claim the lightweight title from Frankie Edgar after a hard fought 25 minutes.

This time around, the UFC will present a Fuel TV card for its sixth event of 2013. The preliminary card (which airs on Facebook) features a lot of home grown talent while the main card is littered with former PRIDE fighters. The card also features five fighters who are making the trip again.

As with most Fuel events, there is a six fight main card, highlighted by Wanderlei Silva versus Brian Stann. The co-main for the evening features former PRIDE/K-1 star Mark Hunt taking on the surging Stefan Struve. It’s interesting to note that Hunt and Silva are both 3-1 when they compete on the same card. Could this be an indication of what is to come? Can the former PRDIE stars receive a sentimental boost and capitailize on it on Saturday? Will North American fighters suffer from the same “curse” as Japanese fighters who make the trip to the states? The card offers many questions, so just sit back as I try to answer a few of them.

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Marcelo Guimares vs. Hyun Gyu Lim

8-0-1 Brazilian Marcelo Guimares must be feeling some déjà vu. He made his UFC debut on another Fuel card last year, Munoz vs. Weidman. Guimares fought Dan Stittgen that night. While Guimares walked away from the action light affair with a split decision win, he didn’t look particularly strong. The first ever Jungle Fight middleweight champion looks to improve on his undefeated record here, as he finally gets a crack at Hyun Gyu Lim in a fight that was originally booked for UFC: Macau.

The 28 year old Lim enters the UFC on the strength of a five fight win streak. In fact, the 10-3 Lim hasn’t lost in over three years. Lim trains out of Korean Top Team with the likes of current UFC featherweight contender Chan Sung Jung and former UFC fighter Dongi Yang. The training partners are top quality, but the most impressive thing about Lim may be his reach. The 6’3 welterweight owns an 82 inch reach.

While it may be tempting to say Lim will win because KTT’s Facebook page boasts of “good looking instructors”, this fight is a little deeper than that. Guimaraes owns five career decision wins, and a wrestling based game plans. He switches between single and double leg takedowns and likes to use the cage and clinch to try and topple his opponent. If there’s one way to describe Guimares grappling style, it would be imposing. Guimares is also very quick in scrambles, as he showcased in tapping out Lucas Rota at Jungle Fight 31.

While Guimares may be more than willing to use his grappling, it isn’t quite “elite”. Stittgen was able to stop all of his takedowns when they fought.

The game plan Lim, much like his opponent, is simple. With 82 inches to work with, Lim should look to stay on the outside and pick Guimares apart. Lim possess some very powerful leg kicks, although he may be tentative to throw them against someone who is primarily a grappler.

Lim also has some excellent knees, which he has used in his 7 (t)ko victories. One of the best traits about Lim’s game is that when he has a fighter rocked, he doesn’t take time off. Lim attacks like a shark that smells blood.

In this striker versus grappler match-up, I have to figure the striker. Lim has some vicious attacks and his reach should be more than enough to keep Guimares at bay. Over his current win streak, Lim has yet to make it out of the first round and I expect that trend to continue. Lim via 1st round TKO.

Alex Caceres vs. Kyung Ho Kang

I once thought Caceres was out of a job. How wrong I was. After opening his UFC career 0-2, Bruce Leeroy has gone 3-1, including a two fight win streak. This will also be his second fight against local talent on an international card, as he defeated Motonobu Tezuka in Macau. It’s also interesting to note that none of the fighters that Caceres has defeated in the octagon are still with the company (Tezuka, Damacio Page and Cole Escovedo).

Kyung Ho Kang was originally supposed to face Caceres in Macau. That fight didn’t happen, but Kang will still get his shot in the cage. A training partner of Dong Hyun Kim, Kang holds a career record of 11-6 and is currently on a three fight win streak. After seven fights (5-2) in Road FC, Kang makes his UFC debut in unfriendly territory. Kang is 1-3 lifetime while fighting in Japan. The good news is that he’s never fought in Saitama.

This one should be a good ground battle. It’s safe to say that both of these men are more comfortable letting their submissions do the talking. Caceres has righted any wrongs in his jiu-jitsu game, as he has won half the fights in his career by submission. While he’s also lost four fights by way of the tap, which may be behind him as Caceres hasn’t lost via submission since a drop to bantamweight.

As far as attacking, Caceres is pretty constant. To say he is active off his back is an understatement. With his long limbs (he’s 5’9), Caceres is constantly throwing up triangle choke attempts and armbars. In his fight with Page, it just felt like it was a matter of time before Caceres locked in something. Caceres also employs a good guard. Keeping his opponent’s head close so that he can throw up sub attempt, Caceres is very comfortable on bottom.

If Caceres is comfortable on the ground, then Kang has made it his home. Owning eight career submission wins, Kang is currently on a three fight submission streak, including two in a row by rear-naked choke. Kang doesn’t get by with his strength, as he is routinely muscled around in his fights, but does have positive attributes. He always looks to advance position and is extremely quick in jumping to mount and side control.

One place Kang has the advantage over Caceres is in how the fight gets to the ground. Caceres is often put on his back by opponents and forced to work from the bottom. Kang can decide if the fight goes there. He has some very nice judo work and trip takedowns to go with the occasional suplex.

Any fan of grappling should enjoy this fight. It will likely be a lot of Kang on top trying to advance position while looking for an armbar of rear-naked while Caceres defends from the bottom, throwing up legs at every opportunity. I think Kang will be able to avoid getting caught in anything while eventually waiting Caceres out and making his move. Kang via 3rd round armbar.

Cristiano Marcello vs. Kazuki Tokudome

It’s a home coming of sorts for Cristiano Marcello. The 35 year-old is the former grappling coach of Chute Box, meaning his was around during the Wanderlei and Shogun eras of PRIDE. While his BJJ is world class, Marcello has looked a bit shaky in his UFC career thus far. A former Ultimate Fighter cast member, Marcello lost his first UFC bout to cast mate Sam Sicillia. He was given another chance, and beat Reza Madadi in Brazil in a decision that was a little questionable.

Kazuki Tokudome is the third of four Asian fighters making their UFC debut on the card. The 25 year-old is 11-3-1 in his MMA career and on a two fight win streak. Tokudome last fought in August of 2012, where he walked away with a unanimous decision victory.

There’s no doubting Marcello has some serious jiu-jitsu skills. You don’t get to be the grappling coach of one of the best camps in the sport without it. The thing is, Marcello’s BJJ hasn’t translated well to the UFC. He has nine wins via submission, and yet we haven’t seen any of it in the octagon. Marcello did win his fight to get into the Ultimate Fighter house by submission, but since then he’s turned into a striker.

Marcello’s stand-up is still in development. He has good leg kicks and likes to throw a high front kick often. That’s outweighed by his chin up, hands down strategy. Still, at least Marcello is persistent.

Tokudome is a similar to Marcello in some ways. First off. He likes to drop his hands. Now, this wouldn’t be a problem if he dropped them when there was distant between him and his opponent, but that isn’t the case. You see, Tokudome likes to drop his hands when fighting “in a phone booth”. This is a bad skill to possess. The good news is that he shouldn’t have to worry too much about it with Marcello.

Tokudome has some decent grappling skills. He has good takedowns, which he will go for even when rocked. He’s also pretty good in the clinch, and likes to utilize trip takedowns. Tokudome also doesn’t get submitted very much, as he hasn’t tapped out since his first pro fight.

This one will likely be a sloppy stand-up battle. I don’t think Marcello has the takedowns to get the fight to the ground, as Tokudome has good balance and clinch work. I also don’t think Tokudome will want to take Marcello down, as the fear of a quick submission is always there. Overall, I see Marcello being more active on the feet and eventually winning a decision. Marcello via Decision.

Takeya Mizugaki vs. Bryan Caraway

Takeya Mizugaki is just looking for some stable ground. Saturday’s fight will be his 11th under the ZUFFA banner and Mizugaki is yet to record back to back wins. In his last outing, Mizugaki beat up on Jeff Hougland, winning a unanimous decision. Last time Mizugaki fought in Japan, he lost a very controversial decision to Chris Cariaso. Many onlookers felt Mizugaki did enough to win the fight. Dana White felt the same way, as he paid Mizugaki his win bonus for the bout.

Bryan Caraway hasn’t had to worry about streaks. A former WEC fighter, Caraway was a member of Team Miller on the Ultimate Fighter. While he may have been ko’ed on the show, Caraway has bounced back with two straight UFC wins. Caraway also boasts an impressive three fight rear-naked choke streak.

Even though Mizugaki hasn’t been able to get a streak going, let’s not discredit him. The Bantamweight fighter has very good grappling. The fact that Mizugaki was able to win a fight fifteen minutes with Rani Yahya without getting submitted, and actually win the fight, is impressive in itself. He also has some decent stand-up, owning five career (T)KO’s. Mizugaki is very hard to finish. He’s only been stopped only twice in 25 pro fights. It will also be interesting to see Mizugaki fight in Japan again, as he is 11-3-2 in his home country.

Mizugaki is a very well rounded fighter, making it difficult to predict his game plan. Caraway’s game plan is a bit simpler. The man from Seattle, Washington owns 15 of his career 17 wins by submission. What’s more, he hasn’t recorded a (T)KO victory since his second career fight, and that was 2006. Caraway should look to drag Mizugaki down to the mat and lock in a rear-naked choke. He has 10 wins via that method.

I think this fight comes down to if Caraway can get the takedown. If he can then he could work to submit his opponent. While Mizugaki has only been submitted once in his career, it was by rear-naked choke. The man who tapped him? Urijah Faber. Caraway trains out of team alpha male with, you guessed it, Faber. If Caraway has been working with Faber throughout camp, he could be in luck.

The thing is, I don’t think Caraway will be able to get the fight to the ground. Mizugaki has a solid base and holds a 74 per cent in takedown defense in the UFC. By comparison, Caraway’s takedown success rate is only 63 per cent. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I think Mizugaki will stuff all of Caraway’s takedowns while putting the alpha male product on his back throughout the fight. Mizugaki via Decision.

Riki Fukuda vs. Brad Tavares

It may be just another fight for Riki Fukuda. Fukuda, a former DEEP middleweight champion knows what it’s like to fight in Japan. In fact, 19 of his 25 career fights have been fought in his home country. Add in his last fight, a win over Tom DeBlass in Macao, and Fukuda has fought 80 per cent of his fights on his home continent. Fukuda was part of that 144 card. He defeated Steve Cantwell by decision. This time around, he has a more formidable foe.

It may sound cliché, but this is the best Brad Tavares we have ever seen. In his last fight with Tom Watson, Tavares looked solid as ever, picking up the split-decision victory. It was just the latest win for Tavares, who has been on a tear since he left the ultimate fighter house. He’s 4-1 on his UFC career, defeating the likes of Phil Baroni and Dongi Yang along the way. His only career setback came to Aaron Simpson in 2011.

Fukuda is one of those fighters that is very good at a lot of things but not really great at anything. He has some good leg kicks and boxing, which has led to 7 (T) KO’s. Fukuda throws punches that while they may not be the hardest, definitely pack some oomph. Fukuda’s boxing is actually very crisp, as he has great technique. Fukuda’s chin is also a great weapon. He took some bombs from Costa Phillipou and kept moving forward, while also not showing any effects of getting hit by former heavy and light heavy weight DeBlass.

I think Fukuda has some very underrated wrestling. Quick takedowns and a strong top game have given Fukuda a nice weapon to have in his back pocket. He has been able to takedown Nick Ring, Cantwell and DeBlass in his UFC career, which is no small feat. If there is one knock against Fukuda, it’s that he hasn’t been able to halt an opponent inside the octagon. His last finish came in August 2010.

Tavares has something special about him. Give him a few more years to refine his craft and he could turn into something very good. That’s not to say he isn’t good now though, as his fights speak for themselves. On the feet, Tavares has shown ever evolving muai thai. While he used to look more like a pure boxer with some knees mixed in, Tavares has recent begun using kicks in his fights and the results have been pretty brutal. He’s never been knocked out in a fight, although Baroni did give him a scare.

Tavares’s wrestling is over looked by some, although that’s because he doesn’t use it often. Tavares doesn’t play around on the ground, as he looks to drop some big ground and pound when his opponent is in danger. While he has shown some flaws in his defensive wrestling game earlier in his career (think the fight versus Simpson) Tavares has recently fixed some of the holes. His UFC takedown defence sits at 86 per cent, which is really outstanding.

This fight could have some fireworks. Both men have good hands and kicks to go along with underrated wrestling. I think this fight will be decided by the quickness of Tavares, as he should look to leg kicks and quick punches while moving in and out. If Fukuda wants to take the fight to the ground, Tavares should be able to keep it standing and implement his own game plan. It’s also interesting to note that Fukuda is currently 0-2 against the Ultimate Fighter season 11 cast. Tavares via Decision.

Main Card

Dong Hyun Kim vs. Siyar Bahadurzada

We kick off the Fuel/Sportsnet televised portion of the card with a welterweight tilt. Korea’s Dong Hyun Kim looks to continue his climb up the ladder. Kim looked very good last time out, shutting down the grappling of Paulo Thiago on route to a decision win. Kim is used to fighting in Japan, as he is a veteran of 9 fights in DEEP. This time out, Stun Gun will face a much purer striker, which is a different from his previous three opponents.

Across the cage from Kim will be the Afghan product Siyar Bahadurzada. In his UFC debut, Bahadurzada was impressive, knocking out Thiago in 42 seconds. While that fight didn’t show the world too much of the resume of “The Great”, he does have the tools. Bahadurzada is currently riding a seven fight win streak. In fact, The Great hasn’t lost since November 2008. The 11 (T)KO’s on his record definitely show his fearsome power.

In this fight, look for Kim to take it down. While Kim likes to throw, especially front kicks to the chin, I don’t think he will want to take a chance and strike with Bahadurzada. On the ground, Kim should be better off. A judo black belt, Kim has decent takedowns and an overwhelming top game that keeps opponents on their backs. While there, look for Kim to deliver ground and pound while improving position in an attempt to land some vicious elbows. Kim doesn’t really have the submission touch.

While Kim should look to take the fight to the ground, Bahadurzada will try for the opposite. He has to keep the fight upright, look to land, and look to land hard. If he does land, we can bet it will be hard, as Bahadurzada has power in all his strikes, including his jabs. I would imagine that Bahadurzada will limit his attack to mostly boxing. He could mix in knees and kicks, although that just gives Kim an opening to take the fight down.

If the fight goes to the ground, I expect Kim to win. If it stays standing, I expect Siyar to win. Whil Bahadurzada may be able to hold his own on the ground, I see Kim winning this one fairly easily. His top control will be too much to handle and should be able to control his opponet. Bahadurzada’s takedown defense isn’t that great either, as he was taken down with realative ease in Kazao Misaki fight. Misaki was able to put Bahadurzada on his back a few times, even throwing him when in a scramble. Kim should have no problem doing so. Kim via Decision.

Mizuto Hirota vs. Rani Yahya

Mizuto Hirota must be glad there are second chances. In his first fight for ZUFFA (and outside of Japan), Hirota fought Pat Healy at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy. After a hard fought three rounds, they went to the judges’ scorecards. Healy ultimately walked away with the nod, although many fans felt that Hirota deserved the win. Here, the 14-5-1 fighter he will look to get that win in his octagon debut.

Rani Yahya is a long time ZUFFA fighter. He went 3-2 in WEC before moving over to the UFC, where he has gone 2-1. His last fight came on the UFC on FOX card this past summer, as he quickly submitted Josh Grispi in a little over three minutes, proving that his previous victories were no fluke.

Here, we have the classic stand-up fighter versus jiu-jitsu guy. The height of Mizugaki’s ground work is having his arm broken by Shinya Aoki (and being flipped the bird directly after). It’s hard to get him there though. This could be chalked up to Hirota’s base. A sambo and judo trained fighter, Hirota has very good balance and can generally keep the fight where he wants it. That place, is standing. Hirota has 8 (T)KO’s in his career. He’s also never been knocked out. The former DEEP lightweight champion would love to keep this fight on the feet and picked Yahya apart.

Yahya has a different plan. The black belt holds 15 of his 17 career victories by submission. He has also used 10 different submissions to submit people, including three north/south choke finishes. While it is possible to stay on top of Yahya and defend submissions, it’s not an easy thing to do (it took Chad Mendes to do so). Like most jiu-jitsu guys, Yahya will fight tooth and nail for that takedown. So far in the UFC, that strategy hasn’t paid off too well, as his takedown percentage sits at 27.

This fight will probably feature a lot of clinching and work up against the cage. Yahya will be looking for the takedown while Hirota will be trying to break free and strike with the Brazilian. I think Hirota will be able to stay on his feet while working punches inside and preventing Yahya from really getting anything started. Hirota via Decision.

Hector Lombard vs. Yushin Okami

Has Hector Lombard righted the ship? Lombard was on a 25 fight unbeaten streak before entering the UFC. Add Calgary and Tim Boetsch to the equation and that streak was over. Lombard rebounded in December, TKOing the usually iron chinned Rousimar Palhares in the first round. Even with his callouts of Mark Munoz and Michael Bisping, Lombard has a different fight scheduled for the event.

After a rough nine months, Yushin Okami is back to looking like his old self. After losing a middleweight title fight to Anderson Silva in Brazil then being the victim of a Tim Boetsch barbarian comeback last time in Japan, Okami needed to change his fortunes. Two fights and two wins later, the former Pancrase fighter is headed back to Japan. Last time out, Okami dominated Alan Belcher at UFC 155.

The battle is all about strength. Lombard is as strong as they come. At 5’9, Lombard is one of, if not the buffest fighter. There is a lot of muscle packed into that 5’9 frame. It’s not a bad thing for the former Bellator champion either, as the mix of muscles and excellent judo makes for a fighter that is very hard to takedown. If there is one drawback to Lombard’s physic, it may be his cardio. Lombard’s pace has been known to slow in the later rounds, although the last time he went to a decision, he won the five round fight against Alexander Schlemenko.

Standing, Lombard is more than a hand full. With 18 of his 32 victories coming by way of )T)KO, he certainly has power. Lombard also has four stoppages inside of a minute on his record. He throws about two significant strikes per minute, and if one of those lands, it could be lights out for Okami.

Okami is the definition of the word consistent. This will be his 17th UFC appearance and he’s only lost two in a row once. Okami can beat anyone a number of ways. His wrestling is key, as Okami likes to lean on his opponent and take them down using his superior size and strength. Once there, he unleashes an aggressive attack of ground and pound in hopes of putting his opponent to sleep. Due to technique and work ethic, it’s very hard to get out from under “Thunder” when he has dominant position.

Standing, Okami has the tools to give any opponent fights. He’s got a good jab and also has power in both hands. Okami probably won’t throw too many kicks, but everyone has to remember his knee KO of Evan Tanner at UFC 82. Part of what makes Okami successful in the stand-up game is the threat of a takedown at any time. He does have some holes in his game though. As mentioned before, Silva and Boetsch have TKO’ed Okami in his past four fights. He was also getting tagged on the feet in his fight with Buddy Roberts.

Okami isn’t scared of anyone. That said, I doubt he wants to fool around with Lombard on the feet. Okami’s best chance is to take Lombard down and deliver some of his vintage ground and pound. There’s one problem with that theory. Lombard’s takedown defense is pretty damn good. He defending takedowns from Boetsch rather easily, using his amazing judo. Lombard’s takedown defense is at 91 per cent career. Okami’s only gets the takedown 45 per cent of the time. I’m sticking with the numbers on this one. Lombard via Decision.

Diego Sanchez vs. Takanori Gomi

Diego Sanchez will look for a win in his return to lightweight, although he has a more than formidable foe in his way. Sanchez will fight in the division for the first time since a loss to BJ Penn in 2009. After that loss, Sanchez moved up to welterweight, defeating Paulo Thiago and Martin Kampmann before losing a decision to Jake Ellenberger. It will be interesting to see how Sanchez does in this division now that Penn isn’t around.

Takanori Gomi had to fight to keep his job and that’s exactly what he did. After starting his UFC career 1-3, the PRIDE legend rattled off two straight victories. He first TKO’ed Eliji Mitsuoka at UFC 144 then followed it up with his first decision victory in almost three and a half years, beating Mac Danzig. Can Gomi continue his roll at home?

I’ve never really liked Sanchez, but I will admit his style works. He throws a lot of punches, thanks in large part due to his relentless cardio. To say Sanchez has the best cardio in the UFC might be understating just how good it is. With enhanced cardio comes more takedowns as well, as Sanchez is absolutely unforgiving when looking for the takedown or slam.

Sanchez used to have some savvy submission skills to go along with his wrestling. They haven’t translated well to the UFC, as his only submission wins in the octagon are due to strikes. Still, with good ground and pound and a decent top game, Sanchez is dangerous where ever this fight goes.

Let’s not pretend Gomi wants to take this fight down. He probably wants to keep this fight standing, which plays right into his style. Gomi throw dynamite, and connecting on one haymaker could spell goodnight for Sanchez. Gomi has always had a rock hard chin, but in recent years it seems age has caught up to him a bit. Gomi should look to keep his chin tightly tucked and unload with his trademark bombs.

As nice as it would be for Gomi to get a win in the house that he helped build, I just don’t see it happening. Sanchez takedowns, top control and cardio are just too good. I think Gomi will survive the fight, although I don’t expect him to win it. Sanchez via decision.

Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve

Our co-main event of the evening sees a battle of two completely different body types. 5’10 kick boxer Mark Hunt enters the fight on the heels of a career resurgence. Going winless from July 2006 to February of 2011, Hunt had to feel that his career was winding down. Wins over Chris Tuchscherer, Ben Rothwell and Cheick Kongo have put the Super Samoan back into the hunt at heavyweight. Now, he faces off with the man that he was originally supposed to fight at UFC 146.

Stefan Struve has built up quite the streak of his own. The seven foot tall Dutch mixed martial artist is currently on a four fight win streak and looks to be finally getting comfortable with his frame. He has alternated TKOs and submissions over the streak.

I don’t know if Hunt has been working on his takedown defense, but let’s hope so. Hunt has always had a notoriously bad ground game, and while he has made some advances in the jiu-jitsu department (see his fight with Rothwell), there’s only so much a 38 year-old kick boxer can learn in a same period of time. Hunt should look to use his mass and muscle to keep the fight standing and land that one big blow.

Hunt’s best weapon may be his chin. There is almost no way that Hunt will be KO’ed, as his chin is made out of what the black boxes on planes are made from.

Struve doesn’t want any part of Hunt standing. While the Dutch fighter has filled out with muscle a lot and is using his reach better than he originally did, he still shouldn’t chance things standing. We don’t really know how good Struve’s chin is, as he has been knocked out, but mainly by big power guys.

Struve should use the same game plan he did against Lavar Johnson. Tied his man up along the cage, pull guard, armbar. If Sturve can implement that game plan, he has a good chance of winning this fight.

I don’t think Struve will be able to implement. It’s hard to get inside on Hunt, with his big power and all. At UFC 144, Kongo tried a very clinch heavy attack on Hunt and Hunt stuffed his attempts while getting the KO. I expect to see Struve lying on the canvas at the end of this fight. Hunt via 1st round KO.

Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann

It may be the story book ending to one of the best MMA careers of all time. Wanderlei Silva walks into the octagon knowing that each fight could be his last. The 36 year-old is a true warrior and must want to end his career on a win. Last time out, the axe murderer dropped a decision to Rich Franklin in his home country of Brazil. It dropped Silva’s UFC record to 4-7. While his UFC record may not be stellar, his contributions to the sport cannot be measured.

Standing in his way will be US Marine Brian Stann. Stann will be looking to get back into the win column after dropping his last outing to Michael Bisping at UFC 152. Overall, he holds a 12-5 record with a whopping nine wins via KO. The former WEC light heavyweight champion has only been knocked out once in his career.

This fight will be a slugfest. With both fighters returning to light heavy weight, the power will be on display here. If it does hit the ground, I’d give Silva the advantage, as he is a black belt. Stann has submitted black belts before though, as he triangle choked Mike Massenzio. With that said, I don’t expect this one to hit the ground. Silva has shown over his career that he is the epitome of a fight. He keeps coming until he physically can’t.

Unfortunately for Silva, his chin just isn’t what it used to be. After 48 pro fights against some of the best in the world, Silva’s chin has been weakened. He’s been knocked out twice in his past six fights and can’t take bombs like he used to.

Stann is much like Silva. He loves to get into brawls and is willing to take a punch to give one. His battle with Chris Leben proved that he has both the chin and the power to stand toe to toe with the baddest the division has to offer. Stann has been knocked out once in his career (by Steve Cantwell), but that was years ago before Stann fully developed as a fighter.

This fight is ending by knockout. Either Stann lands a big shot that crumbles Wanderlei or we see some prime axe murderer, complete with brutal muai thai knees. I think the deciding factor in this one will be Stann’s chin, as I see Stann getting the finish from uppercuts, much like when Silva fought Leben. Stann via 2nd round KO.



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