UFC 90 Predictions

UFC 90 Predictions

UFC 90 Predictions
by T.O. Whenham

If it seems like there is a constant and endless stream of UFC events these days it's because there is. UFC 90 will take place on Oct. 25 in Chicago. That's just one week after UFC 89. MMA fans will be happy to hear that this card is far more interesting than the one in England for UFC 89. If anyone is left standing by the time this one starts, that is. Leading up to the event, fighters have been getting scratched because of injuries. First Goran Reljic went down to injury, then Diego Sanchez was hurt. The latter was replaced by Josh Koscheck in the fight with Thiago Alves. That makes for a better fight in my eyes, so I am more than okay with it. Even the main event has been affected by injuries. Yushin Okami was originally slated to face Anderson Silva, but he broke his hand, so Patrick Cote had to step up in his place. Here's a look at the fights and my picks. Odds are from Bodog.

Anderson Silva (-675) vs. Patrick Cote (+475) - The biggest single problem that the UFC has is that Silva is so good that they can't find anyone to match up to him. It falls to Cote to be the next to try in this main event. I am a fiercely loyal Canadian, and Cote is my fellow countryman, but even I can't find too many reasons to be optimistic about his fate. Silva has just one loss in nearly four years, and that was only because he got disqualified for an illegal kick. Since then he has beaten much of the best that the UFC has to offer, and he has looked very good doing it. Silva is good on his feet, but he's fine off them, too. His greatest strength is his vast arsenal of skills. Lots of guys can do several different things, but few can do them all as well as Silva can.

That's not to say that Cote is a slouch. Far from it. He's won five in a row, and he has mostly looked good doing it. His last loss was against Travis Lutter. That's regrettable, but he has bounced back with a vengeance since that potentially embarrassing setback. He is a ferocious striker, and it's virtually impossible to knock him out, or even to rattle him. He is the definition of unflappable, and that will serve him well against the onslaught that Silva can and will unleash.

We're in a recent period of stunning upsets in MMA. As much I would love to predict that it will continue, and as fun as it would be to cash a bet at +475, I just can't see it happening. Silva is too good.

Prediction: Anderson Silva.

Thiago Alves vs. Josh Koscheck - Alves is a talented guy, but he has a spotty history. At the end of 2006 he tested positive for an illegal diuretic he was using to make weight. His last fight was a win over Matt Hughes, but it was sullied because he was unable to make weight. Despite the problems he has won six in a row. He's not one to end a fight quickly, either. His fights consistently go into the second or third round - he is patient until he finds a spot, then he exploits it viciously. It will be a contrast in styles with Koscheck. He doesn't like to be on his feet long, and when he gets down on the ground he just wears away his opponent. Four of his last six fights have gone to a decision. I like some things about both guys, but in the end I have to give the edge to Alves. He's more likely to be able to exploit an opportunity.

Pick: Thiago Alves.

Sean Sherk vs. Tyson Griffin -
This is a very fascinating fight because of the wide variety of different things that could happen. If this one stays upright for an extended time then I think that gives Griffin a real edge. Sherk is overrated in my mind as a stand-up fighter, while Griffin is proven to be effective. Sherk might be at a disadvantage, but he has a lot to prove. In his last two fights he had his title stripped after testing positive for steroids, then lost to BJ Penn in his return. He hasn't won in two years, so he needs to prove he is still relevant. There is no doubting Griffin's relevance. He's 12-1, riding a four match winning streak, and he's the only guy ever to beat Urijah Faber. A couple of things seem likely in this one. It will go the distance - Griffin's last five fights have all gone to a decision. It should also be exciting - three of Griffin's last five have been named fight of the night. I don't think Sherk can be counted out just yet, but he's up against too much here.

Pick: Tyson Griffin.

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