UFC 147: Purists’ Card? (+ Main Card Predictions)
It’s finally time for UFC 147, a fight card I couldn’t wait for when announced… but in the time since that announcement, so much has happened, so much has changed… Now it’s here and even though it is a much different card than I initially expected, I find myself looking forward to it almost as much as if it were as originally scheduled.
This is an odd PPV card: no huge headliner (Wandi vs Franklin? Not exactly Sonnen vs Silva) not a fan favorite co-headline bout (Werdum vs. Russo is hardly Belfort vs Wandi) but a stacked card full of hungry talent who I believe will show off Brazil’s MMA potential. In many ways, lack of big name, big hype fights makes this more of a purists’ card than a big American event, and in that way it is perfect for Brazil. After all, does it matter how big the fighters’ profile? It shouldn’t. Talent and heart are what should matter, and UFC 147 delivers that all day. Don’t sleep on this PPV!
Now, onto some quick predictions before the prelims start…
Catchweight (190 lb) Wanderlei Silva vs. Rich Franklin
Both of these guys have been around for a long time and both have been involved in some of MMA’s most exciting fights. I’ll admit, a few fights ago, I thought Wanderlei was washed up and found myself hoping he would retire before he damaged his legacy, but really before he seriously damaged himself. He’s done a lot to restore my faith in his ability to keep fighting, but has shown some weaknesses that have developed. Franklin was training for a whole different fight (against Cung Le, another bout I wasn’t thrilled about) when he got the call to face Silva. Everyone’s line on him is that he’s a “company man” and will happily do what the company wants and so stepped in to face Wanderlei. Me, I think he saw an opportunity to take advantage of Silva’s newly weakened chin and look for Franklin to surprise everyone with a TKO/KO in the 2nd.
Middleweight Cezar Ferreira vs. Sergio Moraes
Now we come to the TUF: Brazil final fights and there have been a lot of explosive bouts leading up to these. Ferreira is Vitor Belfort’s guy. Having Belfort off of the card puts some pressure on him to win, even though Ferreira has said publicly that it removes pressure from him. I think he’s wrong. I also think that in the spotlight of a UFC PPV, Ferreira doesn’t get to use his shadier tactics and gets exposed by Morsaes and loses. Moraes by submission, 3rd round.
Featherweight Godofredo Pepey vs. Rony Mariano Bezerra
The featherweight finale of TUF: Brazil is a little more difficult for me to pick. I like both guys. But since I have to pick, I’ll pick Bezerra catching Pepey in a submission in the first round.
Heavyweight Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow
Fabricio Werdum has shown an impressive improvement in his striking. He made Alistair Overeem look awkward in their Strikeforce match and, sadly, tee’d off against Roy Nelson. Russow consistently comes into fights looking like the underdog, but his amazing work ethic and power always give him a fighter’s chance. Plus, I’ll admit I have an admiration for Chicago Cops. I’m picking Russow to KO Werdum in the 1st round.
Featherweight Yuri Alcantara vs. Hacran Dias
This should be a great match to start off the main card! I think both guys are looking to make a statement and take their UFC profile higher. Alcantara has fought the tougher opponents, in my opinion, so I think we’re going to see three action-packed rounds and I’ll agree with Anthony: Yuri Alcantara by decision.
Preliminary Card on FX
I’m not picking prelims, but look to them to be great fights. I even think they’ll be so good that more PPV’s will be sold and the audience for TUF: Brazil will increase on Fuel TV as people want to know the stories behind these Brazilian fighters.
Get ready, UFC 147 is gonna be a good one!