UFC on Versus 5 a.k.a. UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle a.k.a. UFC Live 5 takes place this evening at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis. The main card airs LIVE on Versus at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features longtime UFC vet Chris Lytle vs. Dan Hardy and his rooster red mohawk in the main event.
The ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) staff has come together once again to give their thoughts and predictions on each of the main card bouts. Let us know who you agree or disagree with and why, who’s on the money and who is off their rocker. We’d love to hear your picks too!
Dan Hardy (23-9, 1 NC) vs. Chris Lytle (30-18-5)
Odds: Hardy -115, Lytle -115
KELVIN HUNT: Ya know..this is absolutely a fight that Lytle would win if he were to fight smart because his ground game is superior to Hardy. However, he’ll fight to please the crowd and likely lose a ultimate kickboxing decision to Hardy. Hardy via decision.
RICHARD MANN: I am going to ignore the fact that Lytle has shortened his career by continually brawling with lesser fighters. This is a fight he can certainly win. He is the more well rounded fighter and should be able to own Hardy in the clinch. If he decides to brawl, Hardy will be able to pick him apart from the outside. Lytle by decision.
JOSH CROSS: This fight is without a doubt a must win for Hardy, and I think “The Outlaw” has the best chance to win as long as he keeps the fight standing. I don’t think Lytle will take Hardy to the ground so the fight will come down to whoever the better striker is. Looking at their records, Lytle only has three knockout wins compared to Hardy’s 11. I don’t think Hardy will be able to knock Lytle out, but I think he will be able to do enough to pick up the win. Pick: Hardy via Decision.
BRIAN FURBY: Does this fight have major title implications? No. Is it going to be entertaining? Absolutely. This card as a whole is an excellent one, especially for a non-pay-per-view event. Look for Lytle to have a slight edge all the way around. I doubt it will go to the ground, but if it does, Lytle can finish there too. However, I think Lytle’s experience will allow him to finish it late in the fight, or win a solid decision. Lytle by unanimous decision.
JACK BRATCHER: Chris Lytle has been in a lot of fights my friends. I don’t just mean he’s had a lot of fights, this guy has been in a lot of fights. Lytle made his UFC debut 11 years ago at “UFC 28: High Stakes” against Ben Earwood in Atlantic City. Lytle lost that fight via unanimous decision. I’m not sure why UFC.com has his record listed at 40-18-4, but that’s another story. Lytle has had eight fight night bonuses during his UFC career. He was on a four-fight win streak prior to fighting Brian Ebersole in February. Although he’s had a few four fight win streaks in his career, Lytle has never put together more than four wins in a row. I would say he’s the perfect gatekeeper, but I think that undermines him a bit. Hardy’s back is against the wall here. He’s lost his last three in a row to GSP, Condit and Anthony Johnson. This fight is intriguing for a number of reasons. Where is Hardy mentally after losing three straight? Technically, I believe Hardy has the better all-around striking. And as much as Lytle likes to box, he only has three wins via (T)KO compared to 21 wins via submission. If he takes it down, he may be able to submit Hardy. Hardy has three losses via submission, although the last time was in 2005. It’s amazing the odds are dead even at -115. I’m going to go with Hardy via decision. I was originally going to pick Lytle, but I’ve changed my mind.
Jim Miller (20-2) vs. Ben Henderson (13-2)
Odds: Miller -160, Henderson +130
KELVIN HUNT: I really struggled with this one. I can see either fighter winning this fight because they are both the same stylistically. I think the difference in this fight is that Miller has become much more aggressive in his last couple of fights in hopes of getting that elusive title shot. Henderson will give him all he can handle, but I’m go with Miller via split decision.
RICHARD MANN: In a lot of ways this could be the last hurdle that Miller has to jump before he is grant a title shot. On the other hand, a win here could put Henderson right back into the ProMMANow World Rankings. Miller has more paths to victory. He is a better striker and wrestler. However, Henderson has shown a surprising level of discipline during his career. He sticks to a gameplan better than almost all other fighters. I expect Miller to take a decision, but do not be surprised if Henderon ends up staying on top and avoiding submissions for three rounds. Miller by decision.
JOSH CROSS: This is going to be a tough one I think to call, because I think these fighters match up pretty so closely. While I think Miller has a slight edge on the ground with Henderson, I don’t see Miller submitting the former WEC champ. While both guys can be dangerous in the striking department they are also very tough and I don’t see either fighter getting knocked out. I think Miller holds a slight edge again over Henderson if the fight remains standing and that’s why I’m picking Miller. This fight could go either way though. Pick: Miller via Decision.
BRIAN FURBY: I like Miller in this fight. A whole lot more well-rounded than Henderson, and Miller’s takedown defense is enough to stop Henderson from taking him down. It should be another fast-paced fight, and Miller’s better all-around game will allow him to win a clear decision. Miller by unanimous decision.
JACK BRATCHER: This could be fight of the night. Both these guys are two strong wrestlers. Miller is on a seven fight win streak and if he wins this bout he will most likely be next in line for a title shot. Henderson was on a 10-fight win streak before losing a decision to Anthony Pettis at WEC 53. He then won a decision over Mark Bocek in his UFC debut in April. I think Miller is too strong, has too much big show experience and is going to overpower and out-grapple Henderson. Miller via decision.
Charles Oliveira (14-1, 1 NC) vs. Donald Cerrone (15-3, 1 NC)
Odds: Oliveira -135, Cerrone +105
KELVIN HUNT: Another fight that’s hard to predict. I’m a huge fan of Oliveira, and I like Cerrone as well but I think Cerrone’s tendancy to be a slow starter will cost him in this fight. Oliveira via decision.
RICHARD MANN: Most of the time when people talk about a “fight of the night candidate” it is usually before a bar-fight slop fest. However, this fight should be the pinnacle of MMA, that is, both exciting and technical. I think the difference will come on the ground. Both fighters are talented grapplers, but Oliveira gives up too many positions when he goes for submission holds. Look for Cerrone to spend more time on top and take the fight in the eye’s of the judges. Cerrone by decision.
JOSH CROSS: This is a fight that I think many people, including myself, are looking forward to. I think we’ll see some really exciting work on the ground, but I don’t really see either fighter getting submitted. I feel like the deciding factor will be how each fighter performs on their feet. Cerrone can be dangerous, but all of his wins have come from a submission or by decision. I think Oliveira will do better on his feet and his self-proclaimed lack of caution will be enough to keep Cerrone guessing and on the defensive. Cowboy is tough, and while I don’t see him getting knocked out, I think Oliveira will control enough of the fight to pick up the win. Pick: Oliveira via Decision.
BRIAN FURBY: I was surprised to see Oliveira as the favorite in this fight. Had Oliveira beat Miller and Lentz, I would have seen more of a justification for it, but as it is, I think Oliveira’s loss to Miller is extremely telling about what will happen in his match with Cerrone. Both guys will definitely come out swinging, but I think Oliveira’s over-zealousness will put him in trouble like it did with Miller. Cerrone by submission in Round 2.
JACK BRATCHER: Oliveira was undefeated with a 14-fight win streak before he got submitted by Jim Miller at UFC 124 this past December. His next fight ended in a No Contest against Nik Lentz after he submitted Lentz, but upon replay it was shown he had hit Lentz with an illegal knee prior to the submission. It did win Fight of the Night. I believe Oliveira has more power in his strikes than Cerrone, who has never finished a fight via (T)KO. Oliveira has six wins via (T)KO on his record, along with seven submissions and one decision. Cowboy has faced the much tougher opposition and has finished 12 of his 15 wins via submission, along with three decisions. If there’s one knock I have on Cerrone I think it’s his takedown defense. I don’t think that will be a huge issue in this fight though and I see Cerrone winning this one via decision.
Amir Sadollah (6-2) vs. Duane Ludwig (28-11)
Odds: Sadollah -350, Ludwig +250
KELVIN HUNT: I think Sadollah is the more well rounded fighter and is also the larger fighter. Sadollah via submission.
RICHARD MANN: Sadollah really only runs into trouble when people are able to plant him on his back and keep him there. That has never been Ludwig’s game. On top of that, “Bang” really belongs at lightweight. He has always been billed as a “K-1-level striker,” but when you watch his fights he is not a strong defensive striker. Look for Sadollah to compete on the feet and ultimately finish this fight on the ground. Sadollah by submission.
JOSH CROSS: While Ludwig might be the more powerful striker and kickboxer, I don’t think it will help him much in this fight. I think Sadollah will be able to use his reach advantage to keep Ludwig at bay and then take the fight to the ground where he will grind out a win. Pick: Sadollah via Decision.
BRIAN FURBY: An interesting fight. Ludwig definitely has the power to put Sadollah down, and has a huge experience edge as well. However, he’s not immune, and Sadollah has precise striking coupled with a solid submission game. Sadollah by submission in Round 1.
JACK BRATCHER: Sadollah has fought his entire MMA career in the UFC Octagon. If you did not know, that is damn remarkable, especially when considering he did not come from a big sports background such as NCAA wrestling or an Olympic Judoka or a BJJ champion or something like that. He is a black belt in Sambo though. Of course, it was possible for Sadollah to enter the UFC without any pro fights because he won the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter, defeating C.B. Dollaway in the finale. Ludwig is on his eleventh year as a pro MMA fighter. He’s seen and done it all. As a former pro kickboxer (43-7-1) his stand up game is where he excels, although he can hold his own on the ground, having six submission wins on his resume. Ludwig moved up to welterweight for his last fight against Nick Osipczak at UFC 122 this past November. Sadollah has won his last two bouts, most recently submitting DaMarques Johnson via elbow strikes in March. Sadollah is too new school for Ludwig. Ludwig has a lot of miles on his body and has sort of plateaued in his development, whereas Sadollah is still growing and visibly progressing. Sadollah via decision.
All fight odds courtesy of BetUS.com.