Once again TSN 1290 host Jordan Cieciwa (@FitCityJordan) and TSN.ca's James Lynch (@LynchOnSports) go head to head with their picks for this weekend's UFC on FUEL TV 10 event.
Riding solo last week #TeamLynch earned an impressive 10-2 record at UFC 160. With #TeamJC back on the keyboard, can he halt the momentum?
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Fabricio Werdum
James Lynch, TSN.ca (@LynchOnSports): The main event of the evening features a fight that could very well determine the next opponent for the winner of the inevitable Velasquez vs. Dos Santos III matchup.
Since leaving the UFC back in 2008 Werdum has amassed an impressive 6-1 record, with victories over Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Roy Nelson. Because of injuries and a coaching stint on TUF Brazil II, the 35-year old hasn't fought in close to a year.
Meanwhile “Big Nog” who coached opposite against Werdum on TUF Brazil II most recently submitted Dave Herman at UFC 153 back in October. Each combatant is solid on the ground, with the slight edge going to the former UFC interim heavyweight champion.
One area where the 36-year old Nogueira has struggled is in the stand-up department, having been stopped by Frank Mir (twice) and Cain Velasquez. Werdum has shown much improved stand-up as evidence in his victories over Roy Nelson and Mike Russow.
I see the Strikeforce veteran keeping this fight on the feet, getting the better of the exchanges and stopping the former PRIDE GP winner sometime in the third round.
Werdum via third round TKO
Jordan Cieciwa, TSN Radio 1290 (@Fitcityjordan): I love when Lynch is wrong, and this is going to be one of those fights. Frank Mir has Nogueria's number, but that's about the only person out there able to solve "Big Nog".
Werdum doesn't have the hands that Mir has developed. It was Mir's skill in striking that had Nogueira baffled. Cain Velasquez won because, well, he is Cain Velasquez. Werdum doesn't have what it takes to stop Nogueria.
This one will go the distance, and because Nog will control the ground game, he will win this fight.
Nogueira via Split Decision
William Macario vs. Leo Santos
“TUF: Brazil 2” tournament final
Lynch: Because this show only airs sporadically online in North America and I have little patience for watching shows with subtitles, I'll fully admit I didn't watch the second season of TUF Brazil.
Glancing at their records, with Macario you have an undefeated fighter at 6-0 who's biggest win comes against Gabriel Monkey, simply because that last name is awesome! But in all seriousness the 21-year old hasn't fought any major competition through his short MMA career.
Santos meanwhile is 11-3 with his biggest win coming against Canadian Mark Holst and his most notable defeat coming to Takanori Gomi back in 2002. You can't beat experience so I'm taking the BJJ black belt Santos
Santos via unanimous decision
JC: I also didn't see this season and honestly how could you bet against a guy who looks like Wesley Snipes from Demolition Man?
For the sake of always being right, I'm taking the underdog Macario just to prove Lynch wrong!
Macario via unanimous decision
Thiago Silva vs. Rafael “Fejao” Cavalcante
Lynch: Fellow countrymen clash in a light heavyweight showdown, as UFC newcomer Cavalcante meets the once promising Silva. The former Strikeforce 205-pound champion looks to put behind his year long layoff due to PED suspension and instead make a statement in his octagon debut.
His opponent the Blackzillian member Silva meanwhile is no stranger to controversy, having been busted not once, but twice for PED's. Because of this, the 30-year olds last victory was way back in 2009 at UFC 102 against Keith Jardine. Losses to Alexander Gustafsson, Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida have halted what many considered at one time as a serious threat in the division.
Both fighters are well versed on the ground holding Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts but it's likely these two will want to keep the fight standing. Despite “Fejao's” questionable chin in knockout losses to Dan Henderson and Mike Kyle he should be the faster fighter which could pose problems for Silva.
This could easily be Fight Of The Night and I see the 32-year old edging out a close decision.
Cavalcante via unanimous decision
JC: I'm going to say it right here - this fight shouldn't happen. In their combined last four fights, these "athletes" have tested positive for drugs three times. So really, does it matter who wins? It will probably be overturned.
Let's get some real athletes in the cage. That said, Silva will probably out strike Cavalcante and score a KO.
Drugs are bad - Both lose
Daniel Sarafian vs. Eddie Mendez
Lynch: TUF Brazil competitor Sarafain welcomes UFC newcomer Mendez inside the octagon this Saturday night. Bowing out of the TUF Brazil finals due to injury, the 30-year old Brazilian looked very lackluster in his split decision loss to C.B. Dolloway at UFC on FX 7. Seeking his first UFC victory, Sarafain aims for a better effort this time around against the Rumble In The Cage veteran.
Mendez is a bit of an enigma, what we do know is he has a record of 7-1-1, but none of his victories are over notable opponents. With all the hype behind him going into the TUF Brazil season and the fact he's fighting in his native Brazil, this seems like a fight for Sarafain not to lose.
The 30-year old should use his superior ground skills to spoil the octagon debut of his foe.
Sarafain via second round submission.
JC: Watching highlights and a few fights with Sarafain before his first fight with C.B. Dolloway I was impressed. He has the ability to be one of the success stories of The Ultimate Fighter. However, he's going to have to look a heck of a lot better than he did his first go around in the Octagon.
Mendez is new to the Octagon and big shows in general. He had one fight on Strikeforce and how he finds himself opposite a fighter in his home country looking to avenge a bad loss. By the looks of the two, Sarafain has a substantial ground game advantage.
I think nerves, and home court advantage will make this a tough one for the Brazilian to lose
Sarafain via third round submission
Erick Silva vs. Jason High
Lynch: The 19-fight veteran High returns to the UFC and replaces the injured John Hathaway when he squares off against the talented Brazilian Silva. The “KC Bandit” has been underrated throughout his career and holds impressive wins over DREAM veteran Hayato Sakurai and rising star Jordan Mein.
Silva meanwhile is coming off a layoff due to injury and a loss to Jon Fitch which was one of the most entertaining fights of 2012. Finishing a savvy veteran like High will be a tough task, but if Silva has improved his cardio issues which plagued him in the loss to Finch, its definitely possible.
The 28-year old is comfortable anywhere the fight goes and in reality this should be his fight to lose. Using his height and reach advantage, I see the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt knocking out the Strikeforce veteran, sometime in the second round
Silva via second round TKO
JC: Let's talk about Jason High. He's only fought twice in the last two years. That's frustrating for a pro fighter. He has some big wins, but his win over Jordan Mein was almost 3 years ago, and it was a decision.
That compared with Erick Silva, who took Jon Fitch to a decision less than a year ago and I'm going to give the nod to Silva. I don't think either of these two competitors are any threat in the division but they should give us an entertaining fight.
SIlva's game is a more complete package and judging from his 57 percent submission stat, I'm thinking this goes to the ground early where Silva will find a submission.
Silva via 2nd round submission
Lynch's Undercard picks: Assuncao, Pepey, Thaigo, Alcantara, Hirota, Vemola, Neto
JC's Undercard picks: Lee, Pepey, Thaigo, Alcantara, Hirota, Vemola, Neto
Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments section or on twitter. We always love feedback!