UFC 97 Preview And Predictions

ufc97 Anderson SilvaTotal Pro Sports – UFC 97 is coming up this weekend in Montreal, Quebec. It features a decent enough main card with lots of Canadian fighters sprinkled in.  Here is  a look at how we think the fights will play out.

UFC Middleweight Champonship Bout
Anderson Silva (-600) vs. Thales Leites (+350)

Silva is riding an 8 fight winning streak inside the octagon with an astounding 4 title defences, finishing all of his previous 9 opponents. Leities is also on an impressive 5 fight win streak and should be a game challenger to “The Spider”. Silva should have a distinct advantage in the stand up and clinch, and should he keep this fight standing it should be good showing for Silva.  If the fight hits the ground, the roles should be reversed as Leites is a very accomplished black belt in BJJ.

Silva in his own right is a very skilled ground fighter, but if Leities gets this to the ground he has a chance. With that said, I’m going to have to go with a gut feeling here and take Leities and his iron chin. I look for him to take this fight to the ground and do damage much     like Gonzaga vs. Cro Cop but eventually catch a submission. Even the best strikers lose a bit after being pounded on. Leities by submission round 2.

Chuck Liddell (-200) vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (+150)
Stylistically, this should be a great match up for Liddell. Shogun is an aggressive striker that likes to get in your face. Liddell on the other hand does his best work while backpedaling and counter punching. This is definitely a must win for both fighters as they are a combined 2-2 in there last 2 fights. This is a match up that has come about 2 years too late but this should still be  a very exciting fight. I think Liddell should control the first round with his striking, but i look for Shogun to get this fight to the ground somehow and submit Liddell. I know Chuck hasn’t been submitted in forever, but Shogun is pretty slick on the ground and is need of one of those great performances he had in PRIDE.  Shogun by submission round 2.

Krzysztof Soszynski (-155) vs. Brian Stann (+115)
No idea why this fight is on the main card instead of Herman vs. Louiseau but this is a pretty even fight that can go either way. I think Soszynski’s a bit crisper of a striker so ill take him.  Soszyski by TKO.

Luiz Cane (-250) vs. Steve Cantwell (+185)
My favourite pick of the night here. Cane is a beast of a man and should  be a lock here.  Cantwell will have no answer for Cane’s wicked Muay Thai. Cane by TKO round 1.

Tags: Anderson Silva, Brian Stann, Chuck Liddell, Krzysztof Soszynski, Luiz Cane, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, MMA, PRIDE, Steve Cantwell, Thales Leites, UFC 97,