UFC 147 Full Card Preview and Picks
Injuries are certainly a part of sport and sometimes they dictate the shape of a sporting event. Case in point – UFC 147, a card that was supposed to be headlined by the rematch between Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva – supposed to be!
Instead, the Brazilian crowd will get a look at a few has-beens and some up-and-comers as the TUF Brazil finalists determine their winners. Here is a look at all of the fights and what we can expect.
UFC 147: Silva vs. Franklin 2
Date: June 23, 2012
Time: 10pm ET/7pm PT
Location: Mineirinho Arena, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Broadcast: Pay-per-view, FX (Prelims)
Rich Franklin (28-6-0): -175
Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1): +145
Rich Franklin replaces injured Vitor Belfort
Wanderlei Silva may have caught a break when Vitor Belfort pulled out of his scheduled fight and Rich Franklin was named as a replacement. A battle of fading legends headlines a sketchy UFC 147 card as Wanderlei Silva looks to avenge a loss to Rich Franklin in 2009.
If there is one thing that we have learned from Silva is that his chin isn’t nearly what it was a few years ago. Like Fedor Emelianenko, his inability to take a punch has resulted in him spiraling off the radar in the UFC. A loss to Chris Leben in his last fight only punctuated this fact.
Expect Rich Franklin’s ability to keep his distance and to score from the outside to be the difference in this one. Franklin is far too crafty, far too efficient and far too conditioned to let the smaller Silva dictate this fight. Neither fighter is at a level they used to be at but at least Franklin still has what got him to the top of the ladder – conditioning and crisp, clean, accurate strikes. Revenge is sweet, but we’ll see none on Saturday night.
Pick: Rich Franklin -175
Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira (4-2): -280
Sergio “Serginho” Moraes (6-1): +210
In the TUF Middleweight final, Cezar Ferreira takes on Sergio Moraes. Ferreira has certainly surrounded himself with legends – Vitor Belfort has been his coach and he is a member of Xtreme Couture. He takes on an injury replacement – Sergio Moraes who is in for Daniel Sarafian. Moraes is a former multiple world jiu-jitsu champion – needless to say his grappling is top notch. But Ferreira should be able to neutralize Moraes`s grappling game with his own Black Belt in jiu-jitsu and he should be able to use the elite striking that has got him to this point. A KO is on the horizon!
Pick: Cezar Ferreira -280
Godofredo “Pepey” de Oliveira (8-0): +220
Rony Mariano (10-3): -300
The TUF Brazil Featherweight final features the undefeated Godofredo de Oliveira and Team Noguiera member Rony Mariano. Mariano has shown that he can finish a fight on the feet and on the ground. With lethal strikes and a Black Belt in jiu-jitsu, he is as dangerous as they come. de Oliveira also has a Black Belt but that advantage will be absorbed by Mariano`s. Striking will be the difference in this fight and Mariano has the distinct advantage in that aspect.
Pick: Rony Mariano -300
Fabricio Werdum (15-5-1): -550
Mike Russow (15-1-1): +375
In perhaps the most interesting bout of the evening (sorry Mr. Franklin and Mr. Silva) ex Strikeforce Heavyweight standout Fabricio Werdum takes on the very tough Mike Russow. Werdum is an interesting fighter – he can look like a world-beater as he did against Fedor and against Roy Nelson and he can look very bad as he did most recently against Alistair Overeem.
Russow’s game is predicated on solid wrestling, decent striking and his most important attribute – his chin. Werdum has the skills to give him fits – his jiu-jitsu is absolutely world class and his muay-thai is light years ahead of where it used to be. That said this is likely to be a dumbed-down grinding type fight. It’s not going to be pretty and in that type if fight, you have to like Russow’s chances.
In a huge upset take Mike Russow’s toughness to win out over the all-around skill set of Fabricio Werdum in a decision victory.
Pick: Mike Russow +375
Hacran Dias (20-1-1): +210
Yuri Alcantara (27-3-0): -280
Yuri Alcantara brings a tidy two fight UFC win streak into his Lightweight battle with Hacran Dias on Saturday night. Dias has proven that he is no slouch either – eight straight wins coming into this fight.
Dias will likely try to take this fight to the ground from the clinch and try to grind out a couple of rounds – Alcantara has some question marks when it comes to his conditioning and his effectiveness after the first round. That said, Alcantara will have, as he always does, a distinct size advantage and he does possess the better athleticism in this fight. Dias will be tough but Alcantara has the skills and the desire to get it done.
Pick: Yuri Alcantara -280
Preliminary Card **The Betting Lines have yet to be posted for these fights**
Anistavio “Gasparzinho” Medeiros de Figueiredo (15-7):
Rodrigo Damm (9-5):
Featherweights do battle to end the preliminaries on Saturday – yet another TUF matchup. Damm has had some experience on the bigger stages, fighting in Strikeforce and faring well. Medeiros was the last pick on the show and after a decision win in his first fight, he got unceremoniously removed from the house. Take the experience and the actual dedication to his craft in this one.
Pick: Rodrigo Damm.
Delson “Pe de Chumbo” Heleno (23-6:
Francisco “Massaranduba” Drinaldo (10-1):
Francisco Drinaldo jumped two weight classes for his chance to be on TUF. He looked OK in his first matchup on the show and then was outclassed by de Oliveira Perpetuo in his second. Heleno came into the house fairly highly regarded having done very well in the International Fight League before its demise. That experience and obvious size advantage should carry Heleno to victory in this one.
Pick: Delson Heleno
Thiago “Bodao” Perpetuo (8-1-1):
Leonardo “Macarrao” Mafra Teixeira (5-0):
Two eventual losers from TUF Brazil square off on the preliminary card this weekend. Perpetuo is the much bigger man but not necessarily the most talented in this fight. But the enormous size disadvantage will ensure that Perpetuo will keep Teixeira in the danger zones. By overwhelming his opponent, Perpetuo takes this one.
Pick: Thiago Perpetuo
Marcos “Vina” Vinicius Borges Pancini (19-3-1):
Wagner “Galeto” Campos (11-3):
Two Featherweights from TUF Brazil take to the Octagon on Saturday – neither of the two was good enough to make it into the final. Pancini will have a distinct size advantage in this fight and should be able to utilize it where he is most dangerous. Wagner Campos hasn`t looked all that impressive lately – Pancini definitely has the superior skills.
Pick: Marcos Pancini
Milton Vieira (13-7-1):
Felipe Arantes (14-4-0):
In what should be a good, yet not pay-per-view worthy scrap, a striker versus grappler match could possibly be the most exciting fight of the evening! Milton Vieira will be looking to employ his submission game against Felipe Arantes who is 1-1 with the UFC.
Vieira is a tough guy and has been OK recently but his opponents have definitely been in a lower tier than that of Arantes. Look for Vieira to try to get this fight to that mat where he can apply his patented anaconda choke while Arantes tries to pick him apart with his superior striking. Take the UFC experience and the hands of Arantes to prevail in this one.
Pick: Felipe Arantes