Main Card (Pay-per-view):
185#: Anderson Silva (29-4) vs Chael Sonnen (28-11-1) wins by TKO in RD1!
205#: Forrest Griffin (18-7) vs Tito Ortiz (17-10-1) wins by Unanimous Decision!
185#: Cung Le (7-2) vs Patrick Cote (18-7) wins by Unanimous Decision!
170#: Dong Hyun Kim (15-1-1 1NC) vs Demian Maia (15-4) wins by TKO (Injury) in RD1!
145#: Chad Mendes (11-1) vs Cody McKenzie (13-2) wins by TKO in RD1!
135#: Ivan Menjivar (24-8) vs Mike Easton (12-1) wins by Unanimous Decision!
Preliminary Card (FX Channel):
155#: Melvin Guillard (46-11-3 1NC) vs Fabricio Camoes (13-6-1) wins by Unanimous Decision!
155#: Gleison Tibau (34-7) vs Khabib Nurmagomedov (17-0) wins by Unanimous Decision!
185#: Constantinos Philippou (10-2 1NC) vs Riki Fukuda (18-5) wins by Unanimous Decision!
155#: John Alessio (34-15) vs Shane Roller (10-6) wins by Unanimous Decision!
Preliminary Card (Facebook):
155#: Rafello Oliveira (14-5) vs Yoislandy Izquierdo (6-1) wins by Unanimous Decision!
Ultimate Fighting Championship 148 takes place on Saturday, July 7th, 2012 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. This bout was originally scheduled for UFC 147 and co headlined by Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva, but changed due to scheduling conflicts and injury. Facebook Prelims start at 7 p.m. EST before switching to FX Channel for the rest of the prelims at 8 p.m. EST. PPV begins at 10 p.m. EST. To watch the FREE prelims on Facebook simply visit their Facebook page and “like.”
Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen
Since their fight at UFC 117 in August of 2010 both fighters have gone on and won all their bouts setting up an inevitable rematch. Anderson went on to finish Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami, and Sonnen finished Brian Stann and Michael Bisping by unanimous decision. The nature of how the first fight unfolded certainly created an interest in the rematch. In the first bout Chael Sonnen dictated the pace, and where the action happened and was en route to winning a unanimous decision when in the fifth and final round, he got caught in a triangle choke by Anderson Silva and was forced to tap. The UFC is providing the first Silva vs. Anderson fight video for FREE on their website. Sonnen, having knocked down Silva twice, landed more strikes standing, and taken Silva down at will shocked many people that expected Anderson to simply finish the fight quickly.
The first fight created a lot of questions. Was Anderson having a bad night? Was he playing ‘possum? Was he lucky he caught Sonnen in a triangle choke? Will this fight unfold the same way as the first with Anderson’s only hope to get a sneaky submission? Or was it a lack of motivation on Anderson’s part that allowed Sonnen to have his way? While the first fight should be a confidence booster for Sonnen, he should recall what Anderson’s strengths are and what his are. There is no comparison in wrestling ability and Sonnen should strike to set up his takedowns and clinch and take Anderson down and work his ground and pound. Anderson is a very special striker and should avoid the takedowns and work some of his virtuoso like striking.
Is this matchup simply a style makes fights matchup or was there an X factor that will be revealed on Saturday night? Sonnen, always the trash talker has seemingly gotten the always cool Anderson Silva very angry and making violent threats. Will this anger throw Anderson off his game or will it give him extra motivation? There’s no way of knowing however the NBG pick is Anderson Silva. While some may consider Anderson lucky for pulling off the submission, the same could be said about Sonnen surviving that long without eating a fight finishing combo from Anderson.
Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz
Here is a fight that is more about something the fans want, then about relevancy in the Light Heavyweight division. Both fighters have had lackluster performances as of late. Forrest is coming off of a TKO loss against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 134 in August of last year.
Ortiz is coming off back to back TKO losses against Rashad Evans and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 133 and UFC 140 respectively. To their defense, they consistently fight top opponents and never have an easy fight. This is a rubber match or a third match between opponents who each have one win over each other. Tito won their first bout at UFC 59 in 2006, and Forrest won the rematch at UFC 106 in 2009.
Neither fighter is unpredictable and certainly there will be no surprises in how this fight unfolds. Neither fighter possesses much in terms of punching power or submission ability. Ortiz’s last finish besides that of Ryan Bader was his TKO win over Ken Shamrock in 2006. Forrest’s last finish was a Rear Naked Choke win over Mauricio Rua in 2007. Having said that, Forrest is getting close to a ‘must win’ situation and Tito is near retirement. While Dana White would never cut Forrest, one of the fighter’s responsible for the popularity of the sport today, a loss for Forrest would paint him in the corner where he should consider resignation or retirement. Not being able to beat Ortiz, a fighter who is not remotely relevant in the division leaves little hope that Forrest will ever challenge for the belt.
What this fight should give us is two motivated guys with a history that want to beat the ever loving poo out of each other. Our only solid chance of an entertaining fight is if they stand in center of the ring and pound on one another for three rounds. Our pick for this fight is Forrest Griffin. With youth, better recent performances, and more hunger he has more reasons to will a win.
Cung Le vs. Patrick Cote
This is a fight that excites me. This is a very intelligent match-up in terms of styles. Cung Le is a San Shou fighter who came to MMA in 2006 and has had a relatively short career. Le has a very explosive, aggressive style and it shows in the fact that he has never heard a judge’s decision, win or lose. His powerful kicks and maintenance of distance combined with solid takedown defense pose a tough puzzle for many fighters to solve. Though he is coming off a loss against Wanderlei Silva at UFC 139 in November of last year, he is has a ton of potential and it doesn’t accurately portray how dangerous of a fighter he is.
Canadian Patrick Cote is simply fun to watch and like Le, he is also a finisher and has an aggressive style. Cote used to fight for the UFC, but having strung together 3 losses in a row, went down to the lower, local events where he has put together a four fight win streak. Unfortunately Patrick seems to have the big fight curse, going 4-6 in the UFC. He is known for the dynamite in his right hand and one of the more durable chins in the sport. Having come in and out of the organization on a few occasions, it is safe to say this is his last hurrah. A loss here would certainly mean a permanent cut from the UFC.
This fight has all the makings of Fight of the Night. I think Le is the younger, hungrier, more dangerous opponent and his unorthodox style will present too much of a problem for Cote and why Cung Le is the NBG pick. Cote’s chance to win is to use that durable chin to take a lot of punishment just to land that powerful right hand a few times. If he can turn it into an ugly war, his chances will be best.
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Demian Maia
Dong Hyun Kim or the Stun Gun, has really made massive improvements in his all around MMA game and put together some fantastic wins, most notably Amir Sadollah, Nate Diaz, and Sean Pierson. Kim is a very sound, solid well rounded fighter and will present a problem for anyone in the Middleweight division. Kim has only one loss against Carlos Condit, prefers to stand and strike, which is exactly how to beat his opponent Brazilian Demian Maia. Maia was at one point the supposed heir apparent to the championship. However, fans of many Brazilians show too much of an eagerness to declare this and it has often resulted in disappointment.
Maia is one of the best submission specialists in the sport today, however like many high level grapplers, they forget what their strength is stand and strike losing fights that they may have won if they had taken it to the ground more. For Maia to win this fight, he needs to do what he does best: grapple. For Kim to win, he simple needs to do what he does best: stand and strike and he may have an obliging opponent in Maia making it an easy night. Our pick for winner of this fight is Dong Hyun Kim.
Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie
All-American and Pac-10 Wrestler become fighter Chad Mendes, went 11-0 before finally challenging current Featherweight champ Jose Aldo. Mendes leading up to that fight had rarely lost a round and was expected to be a legitimate threat. However, Aldo made sure to let everyone know how much better he is than everyone else by KOing Mendes in one round. Mendes wants to maintain his top 3 ranking and get back onto the winning track. His style of taking opponents down and grounding and pounding them, is effective, but there is tremendous value in taking an opponent, especially a dangerous one, out of the fight as soon as possible. For him to evolve he needs to work on passing the guard and getting submissions.
His opponent Alaskan native, Cody McKenzie is the unofficial king of the Guillotine Choke having twelve of his thirteen submission wins (including amateur bouts) by Guillotine Choke. At one point he put together ten in a row! Cody is 2-2 in the UFC and coming off a win (Guillotine Choke, of course) in his most recent performance against Marcus LeVesseur on the UFC on Fuel TV 3 card in May. Mendes who likes to take his opponents down, needs to be VERY careful about where he places his head when taking McKenzie down. If he can avoid the Guillotine, it’s an easy win for Chad “Money” Mendes as Cody has shown it’s virtually a Guillotine or nothing.
Ivan Menjivar vs. Mike Easton
Veteran and highly dangerous Salvadoran Ivan Menjivar faces Lloyd Irvin Black Belt Mike “The Hulk” Easton in another candidate for Fight of the Night. Menjivar has won all three of his outings recently (he lost a decision against Matt Serra at UFC 48 in 2004) in the UFC and is looking to continue on his streak. Menjivar is very strong and very dangerous as indicative of his 18 finishes in 24 wins.
Easton is on a seven fight win streak and 2-0 in UFC performances. Easton, like Menjivar prefers to stand and strike. He’s very athletic and very fast. He also puts together combos rather well. Our pick for this fight is Ivan Menjivar based on his greater experience, having faced tougher opponents, momentum and volatility.
Come back for the results, updates and animated gifs. What are your picks for the headline fight between Franklin and Silva? The main card bouts? Who wins the bonuses?