This week we have myself, Dick, and Clint sharing our picks for the top two fights on tonight’s UFC 139 card. How will we fare? Drop into the Fightlinker Chat, starting at 6pm EST, to find out! Or just read them now, watch the event, and go “Huh, they really have no idea what they’re talking about do they?”
Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio Rua
Fightlinker: When two guys seem evenly matched, the best solution is to pick the one who’s more consistent. In this case, that means Dan Henderson. While Dan has had his bad fights (most recently against Jake Shields, where a back injury kept him trapped on the ground for five long rounds), he’s still not one of those guys you have to flip a coin with to see if he’s going to show up or not. With Shogun, it seems like there’s always a chance he’ll secretly come into the fight with his hamstrings holding onto bone by a few fibers of meat. Or without cardio. Or something. Dan Henderson via decision.
Dick: Dan Henderson UD 5 – Picking the better wrestler in a main event has really bitten me in the ass over the last couple of events: BJ Penn and Cain Velasquez both got the beatings of their lives in their last outings. Being a glutton for Interwebs-related castigation, I’m going to take the better wrestler again here and pick Henderson by decision. Even though he is 41 years old, Henderson’s practice of injecting manstrength directly into his testicles has made him as spry and agile as one of Sandusky’s boys. Like Josh Gross, I don’t see Shogun getting knocked out unless it happens as part of a scramble or odd position a-la-Fedor, but I like Henderson’s prospects to stymie Shogun against the fence and on the mat and get off the more damaging strikes down the stretch. It will take a couple of rounds for Rua’s higher-volume and higher-variety striking to level off, but Henderson will weather the storm (as he always does, unless a submission is involved, which it won’t be) and take a close come-from-behind decision.
Reverend Clint: Henderson has one of the hardest rights in mma plus the ability to wrestle. Shogun is a tough fucker who can strike and submit. I think hendo can take shogun to the cage or the mat.He will rough him up like subo at a bath house. Hendo via UD
Wand vs Cung predictions after the jump!
Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le
Fightlinker: The UFC has pulled off a smart one here – they’ve put Wanderlei Silva in the cage against a striker, but not the kind of one punch knockout artist that’s liable to blast him into retirement in under a minute. Cung Le likes to tenderize his opponents for a few rounds before dropping them with a spinning back kick to the liver or breaking their arms. This is a bonus for Wanderlei Silva, who should have some time to take Cung’s head off. But I doubt it will be enough. When it comes to finesse vs fury, finesse often wins out. I see Wanderlei swinging at air while Le picks him apart. Cung Le via Decision.
Dick: Le KO 2 – Let me start out by saying that I love Wanderlei Silva and that he is one of my two biggest heroes in the sport. However, I have to grudgingly admit that his time has passed. Le is younger, stronger, faster, fitter, happier, and more productive than Wanderlei is at the present time. What Wanderlei should (but probably won’t) do is use leg kicks to interfere with Le’s mobility, wait for an opportunity to get inside of his outside striking range, and then rough him up from the clinch. But Le is a quick motherfucker with a wrestling background (people forget that his base is actually wrestling), and holding him at bay inside the clinch may prove to be more difficult than people think. Wanderlei has a habit of going for broke when damaged, and make no mistakes about it, Le will land enough strikes with enough power to wake Wanderlei up. Unfortunately, he will also land enough to put Wanderlei to sleep: after the inevitable last-gasp bull rush of strikes, we will once again be reminded that Silva’s life bar is not what it used to be and that the sport has passed the era of slobberknockery by. Wanderlei will hit the deck in round 2.
Reverend Clint: Both guys are all show but Wandy is the show that time forgot. Sure Cung Le is a freakshow minus the bulk but Silva has seen better days. Wandy is so old Dan Severn asks him for incontinence tips. Cung is quicker and will just wear wandy out. Cung Le via UD