UFC 97 Redemption Picks

Another UFC card, another attempt at picks. Looking forward to tonight’s card and Anderson Silva’s redemption after that jokey performance he gave last time out against Patrick Cote. All odds from www.betus.com:

Middleweight Championship: Anderson Silva (-600) vs. Thales Leites (+350)

Leites is a pretty weak challenger with a less than impressive resume leading up to this title fight. Silva has yet to best  a top-notch submission artist in the UFC but I would have preferred to see Damian Meia in this fight over Leites. Silva is also strong in BJJ so it’s debatable whether he would be impaired in the ground game but it seems preferable than challenging him to a striking battle. Silva should prevail in this battle — I don’t think Leites can outclass him on the ground and probably doesn’t want anything to do with a stand-up fight so where can it go? Hopefully, not a boring decision fight. –>SILVA to win; Either no bet or lean Leites on the odds

Chuck Liddell (-200) vs. Maurcio “Shogun” Rua (+150)

Only marginally better than Rua’s last “who cares?”  fight against the ancient Mark Coleman, this is one of the least attractive co-main event fights I can remember. Rua has looked horrible in the UFC, nothing like the razor-sharp fighter that tore through Rampage Jackson in Pride. He looks slow, weak and old these days. If that guy shows up, Liddell will knock him out. If the old Shogun shows up, Chuck is in trouble. But I think that guy is gone. Chuck by TKO.  –> LIDDELL on both fight & odds

Krzysztof Soszynski (-165) Vs. Brian Stann (+125)

Stann has looked tough in the WEC, particularly in his first fight against Steve Cantwell but in the rematch, he looked like he deserved to be in the WEC, completely outclassed by a much improved Cantwell. Soszynski looks like a servicable gatekeeper at most but I think he’ll TKO Stann here or perhaps even take him to the ground and test Stann there. –> Soszynski for the fight but Stann on the odds

Cheick Kongo (-310) Vs. Antoni Hardonk (+230)

This fight makes it onto the main card over several more attractive prelim fights. The UFC is pandering to the casual MMA audience by putting these two strikers on the PPV. It should make for an eventful fight. Kongo hasn’t really done much since beating Mirko Cro-Cop and Hardonk seems to be getting better. I’m sure the analysts will make many mentions of Hardonk’s leg kicks and he’ll probably use them on his way to victory here. –> HARDONK on both the fight and odds

Steve Cantwell Vs. Luiz Cane

I don’t know enough about Cane to really pick this fight but his record suggests he’s a dangerous striker, with his only loss a DQ due to kneeing an opponent on the ground. I’ve been impressed with Cantwell’s last two fights but they were both against second-tier competition (a one-dimensional Brian Stann and a debuting Razak Al-Hassan).  Cantwell looked like he snapped Al-Hassan’s arm last time around so his game is improving.

Enjoy the card and here’s hoping we get to see some of the undercard fights.

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Replaced AA HL with AA HO
Read more on Henderson Invest, Thales at Wikinvest

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