Saturday will offer some good fights in UFC 134. The main event of Okami vs Silva will be an interesting look to see how well the over-the-hill Silva can do in his home country against a fighter he should beat. With Silva the likely winner of that fight, the other three are going to be all out dog fights and the odds attest to it. We’ll take a brief look at the fights scheduled for Saturday night’s UFC 134 event.
Saturday, Aug 27, 2011
Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Yushin Okami vs. Anderson Silva
Silva -450, Okami +350
Silva (30-4) will finally take on Yushin Okami (26-5) in a rematch that has been highly anticipated by fans. Okami has won his last three fights and last won with a TKO over Lucio Linhares. He won by decision over Mark Munoz and Nate Marquardt.
Okami’s MO is well known. He’ll look to get Silva to the mat as quickly as possible and uitilize his strong wrestling skills.
Silva also has an added advantage of fighting in front of his home crowd, for the first time in eight years. Pleasing his fellow Brazillians will give him extra motivation and incentive to perform well. Silva has a blackbelt in Brazillian jiu-jitsu and has a devestating “Muay Thai” strike, which is difficult for most fighters to bounce back from.
Okami is an underdog for a reason: His striking is not on Silva’s level and it normally takes him a couple minutes to get adjusted every fight. During that time, Silva may well knock him out. Anderson will likely prevail here and the method will likely be a big show stopping knockout.
Forrest Griffin vs. Mauricio Rua
Rua -225, Griffin +185
This is a rematch of the UFC 76 bout when Rua defeated Griffin. The last time they fought, Rua was considered to by most to be the top light heavyweight in the world, but Forrest Griffin surprised everyone and submitted “Shogun” Rua with a choke late in the third round of the fight.
Since that fight, Rua has gone 3-2. All three victories were TKOs. Rua is known as a devestating striker and he has 16 TKOs to account for that claim. He is a black belt in Brazillian jiu-jitsu and is great at locking up opponents with his legs, something Griffin will have to guard against closely.
Forrest Griffin has also gone 3-2 since their last fight against one another, and he lost the light heavyweight title Rashad Evans after taking the crown from Quinton Jackson the fight before. He also defeated Tito Ortiz and Richa Franklin.
Griffin is the underdog and a lot of experts give him little chance to win this fight, and a Rua TKO might be the flavor of the fight, as Griffin is going to have to continuously dodge Rua’s powerful strikes.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Brendan Schaub
Schaub -225, Nogueira +185
Schaub lobbied for a fight and got his wish. He’ll get a shot at the vaunted veteran Nogueira who is coming off an 18 month layoff, after being knocked out by Cain Velasquez last outing. He may, in fact, be beginning to show the signs of wear. He has two TKO losses in his last three fights.
Schaub has won his last four fights since losing to Rob Nelson in the Ultimate Fighter 10. He has been knocking out a lot of established vets. His confidence is running high and after lobbying for this fight it would be a huge disappointment for he and his fans to walk away with a loss.
Noguiera may look to submit to Schaub and take the fight to the floor, where his Brazillian ju-jitsu moves would likely trump Schaub who isn’t as well versed on the mat as Noguiera.
Ross Pearson vs. Edson Barboza
Barboza -280, Pearson +220
Edson “Junior” Barboza is a perfect 8-0 in his young career and will be squaring off against the veteran Pearson who is 12-4 in his career.
Barboza has made waves with his great striking ability. Six of his eight wins have come by TKO and he was close to finishing off Anthony Njokuani at UFC 128. Pearson won Ultimate Fighter 9, but will have his hands full with Barboza, whose quickness is a problem for most opponents.
Pearson won UFC 127 match over Spencer Fisher. He was able to out strike Fisher and he controlled the pace and style of the fight. He is 3-1 since winning Ultimate Fighter, and his sole loss was by submission in the second round, against Cole Miller at UFC Fight Night 22.
The odds are relatively close on this one and it could be a great battle. Pearson will have a tough time matching pace with Barboza who doesn’t tire quickly and often remains fresh looking throughout the entire fight.