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Friday July 21st 2017
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UFC 73 – Fight Breakdown

With the highly anticipated UFC event near by it is only right to breakdown the fight card for those who haven’t already previewed it.

Nogueira vs. Herring
Lets start off with the debut of PRIDE heavyweight stud Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira aka Big Nog vs. Heath Herring. Minotauro is one of the best heavyweights in the world and has had a successful MMA career over at PRIDE posting a 29-4-1 record. He has improved his stand up while his ground game is second to none. Big Nog is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist and has submitted some of the best fighters, including a second round submission victory over Herring three years ago. Herring, 27-12, on the other hand has mediocre stand up, and absolutely no ground game. He has a tendency to slug it out and throw wild haymakers. Herring’s last fights have been lack luster and I really don’t see him shining on the 7th. This is actually the third time these fighters square off. Nogueira won both of those fights with ease. The UFC has a reputation of feeding easy bait to new top fighters, and this is no exception. I see Minotauro crushing Herring and finishing him off via submission. I’ll say Big Nog with an arm bar in the 2nd round. The thing that is so appealing to MMA fans about this fight is that Minotauro will finally grace the Octagon. New MMA fans should keep an eye out on him because he will soon be wearing the heavyweight crown.
Ortiz vs. Evans
Next up the Huntington Beach Bad Boy Tito Ortiz looks to rebound from a TKO loss to former champ Chuck Liddell when he squares off against undefeated Rashad Evans. Ortiz, 15-5, is known for his ground and pound approach. Ortiz is the type of fighter with a B level stand up, but is one of the best at punishing his opponents on the ground with punches and elbows. Evans, 15-0, however is the winner of the 2nd season of the reality show The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV. Evans is a fighter that continues to improve with every fight. Evans, who used to fight at heavyweight, now fights at 205 which is more suitable for him. In Evans last fight, he showed why he is a contender at 205 by knocking out Sean Salmon with a picture perfect high leg kick to Salmon’s head. Talk about making a highlight reel out of some one. Evans is still trying to make a bigger splash on the scene as he looks to punish Ortiz. Evans has slight advantage in the stand up game, yet its not all that great. If Ortiz is smart enough he will take this fight to the ground, which I feel he should have no problem because Evans has shown he is vulnerable to the take down. Something Evans should be working on in camp if he wants to hang with Ortiz. Overall I believe Ortiz is stronger, not by much, and should be able to ground and pound out the victory. I would pick this as the 2nd best fight of the night.
Francs vs. Sherk
Before I begin with this fight, I just want to say that the lightweight division has some of the most explosive fighters. You’re talking about fighters who are quick on their feet and slick on the ground. This title fight for the 155-pound belt will be no different as the challenger Hermes Franca faces off with titleholder Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk who is making his first title defense. Franca, 18-5, is currently riding an 8 fight winning streak, 5 of those wins coming via submission, 3 by knockout. With that said, Franca is a well-rounded fighter. He has good hands and well versed in jiu-jitsu. He’s coming off an impressive TKO victory over Spencer Fisher and is one of the top fighters in the weight class. If there’s anything his opponents have learned is that this guy can finish the fight on his feet or on the ground. Sherk, 32-2-1, on the other hand is pretty big for a lightweight. He fought most of his fights at welterweight where he lost to two of the best in that division. Sherk won the title last October in a tough 5-round bout with Kenny Florian who is one bad dude. Sherk controlled most of that fight and dominated on the ground. For being a stocky guy, Sherk has improved and looked better in his striking. Not only that but he is a good wrestler with ground and pound skills. I see this fight lasting all 5 rounds. Both have good conditioning yet I am yet to see Franca go more than 3 rounds, so I give that edge to Sherk. I would say Franca would take the stand up game, but Sherk was able to hold his own against Florian so that is a tough call. The ground game would go to who ever has better position. Once again, Sherk was able to control most of the fight against Florian on the ground who is also well versed in jiu-jitsu. This is a tough fight to call, but I guarantee that both fighters are in for a long night. My prediction is that Franca vs. Sherk is the fight of the night!
Marquardt vs. Silva
The main event of this card features, challenger Nate “The Great” Marquardt vs. the middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva. Marquardt, 25-6-2, is a well-rounded fighter and underrated in my eyes. Marquardt was a middleweight champion overseas and has won his last 4 fights in the UFC. Marquardt is good striker with heavy hands and loves to ground and pound his opponents into submission. Silva, 18-4, is one of the elite strikers in all of MMA. He’s a Muay Thai specialist who is vicious in the clinch, just ask ex-middleweight champ Rich Franklin (note in that fight, Silva man-handled the bigger Franklin in the clinch and eventually broke his nose to take the title). Silva is a smart fighter who will pick you apart with his hands or feet. He is not only a great striker, but isn’t too shabby on the ground. Silva has been training in jiu-jitsu with the Nogueira brothers, and most MMA fans know that they have top-notch jiu-jitsu. The thing about this fight is that both have great standup, yet I would give the advantage to Silva. If anything Silva is one of the top 3 strikers in the game. Marquardt would have better luck on the ground if he can take him down. In Silva’s last fight, he was exposed for his weak take down defense. Travis Lutter, a B level fighter, was able to rain down some punches, but wasn’t that effective as he was later submitted by Silva. Marquardt on the other hand will have more success if he is able to take Silva to the ground, mount him and rain down punches. But remember, Silva can also submit people so Marquardt is going to have to come in with a sick game plan in order to prevail. I have to go with Silva on this one, because the winner faces the number one contender in Franklin. Silva vs. Franklin II is something I’ve been waiting for.
Also on the card:
Kenny Florian vs. Alvin Robinson
Mike Nickels vs. Stephen Bonnar
Diego Saraiva vs. Jorge Grugel
Jason Gilliam vs. Chris Lytle
Mark Bocek vs. Frank Edgar


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