The ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) staff comes together to give their thoughts and predictions on Saturday’s UFC 139 fight card featuring Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the main event. Cung Le vs. Wanderlei Silva co-headline.
Maurício Rua vs. Dan Henderson
RICHARD MANN: A lot has been made of the resurgence of Henderson, but in reality the story is still the same. If he can land a big right hand and finish it up with strikes, he will win. Rua is a better striker on the feet. He can attack with a more diverse array of strikes, and he can take a lot of punishment. Look for Rua to own the stand up and survive at least one heavy strike from “Hendo.” Rua by TKO.
BRIAN FURBY: Dan Henderson.
JOSH CROSS: These two are finally stepping into the cage to face each other and this should be an exciting fight. It wouldn’t surprise me if both fighters used the first round to get a feel for their opponent before executing their game plan at the start of the second round. While this is a five round fight, I don’t see these two going the distance. I’ve been really impressed with Henderson’s striking and viciousness in his last few fights, and I think that he’ll be able to overwhelm Rua and finish the fight. I just hope that the term “H-Bomb” isn’t overused in this broadcast like it has been in the past. Pick: Henderson via TKO.
JACK BRATCHER: Whether at middleweight, light heavyweight or heavyweight, Dan Henderson takes on all-comers. He’s putting the final touches on his legacy under the Zuffa banner and “Shogun” will likely fall under his recent reign of domination. The five-rounds in this fight makes it very interesting, as it could very well come down to who has the better gas tank. Shogun has never been known for great cardio (Hendo does no running — how strange is that?). Both guys are tough but I think Hendo has the more well-rounded game and overall advantage and takes it via TKO (or decision).
Kelvin Hunt: I have to go with Henderson here. He’s never been knocked out. He’s the better wrestler and Rua’s takedown defense is suspect. I think Henderson will use that old man strength to bully Rua around and beat him up in the clinch which nullifies a lot of Rua’s strengths. Henderson via decision or late TKO.
Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le
RICHARD MANN: At this point in his career, pretty much anyone can put Silva on roller skates. Le is a solid striker, so in theory, he should be able to stun Silva and finish the fight. However, there are a few problems with this line of thinking. Le rarely fights, and he rarely shows big power with his punches. Silva should be able to bully Le in a variety of positions, because after all, he is actually an MMA fighter. Silva by decision.
BRIAN FURBY: Cung Le.
JOSH CROSS: I think this fight is going to be very important in determining what is next for Silva’s career. If Silva loses via knockout again, like he did so quickly in his last fight against Chris Leben, I don’t think he will have another fight in the UFC again. I expect we’ll see some very explosive moments in this fight, but I think Le’s calculated strikes in conjunction with his kicks will help him leave the cage with a win. Pick: Le via TKO.
JACK BRATCHER: Le’s wrestling and more technical striking will make the difference. Silva will come in winging bombs hoping for the big KO but Le should be able to handle the onslaught. I think he learned a lot from that Scott Smith loss and we saw that in their next fight. Straight punches beat haymakers. Le via TKO. – But I must say, I love this match-up and the contrast of styles should be loads of fun to watch.
Kelvin Hunt: If you breathe on Silva nowdays it’s like he goes out cold unfortunately. I’m pulling for him, but when Le hasn’t fought in over a year and he’s still the betting favorite? Yep….Le via TKO but I’ll have some glow sticks out as a Wandy Tribute!
Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles
RICHARD MANN: Bowles is a good scrambler who also has huge power on the feet. The problem here is that Faber is a better scrambler and has never been really cracked in a fight. Faber might not be able to hang with Bowles on the feet, but he will be able to do enough to stay in the fight. If he can get takedowns, or will scramble battles it is his fight to lose. Faber by decision.
BRIAN FURBY: Urijah Faber.
JOSH CROSS: This should be a very explosive, high paced, and exciting fight. Both fighters are tough and I expect we’ll probably see this fight go to a decision. While this fight could go either way, I just think that Faber has more ways to win this fight than Bowles and that’s why I’ve got to go with the California Kid to win. Pick: Faber via Decision.
JACK BRATCHER: Faber is a great leader and role model. But he hasn’t stopped anybody from strikes since 2006. Faber’s game doesn’t change much. I don’t see him being able to submit Bowles and I think Bowles takes it in the stand-up game because of his more disciplined approach. Bowles isn’t the most exciting guy to watch all the time but that style has won him a lot of fights. Another great match-up due to the clash of styles. But I’m taking Bowles via decision (or TKO).
Kelvin Hunt: I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bowles win this. I mentioned in the preview that this fight will be won or lost in the scrambles and transitions. While Bowles is great at those, I think Faber is just a hair better. Faber via decision in what should be a solid fight.
Martin Kampmann vs. Rick Story
RICHARD MANN: Kampmann is a good enough defensive wrestler to keep the fight on the feet. However, he is not good enough to stay off the fence. Story should be able to own the clinch in this fight, which is where he does his best work. Look for Story to close the distance and do damage against the fence for three rounds. Story by decision.
BRIAN FURBY: Rick Story.
JOSH CROSS: Going into this fight, Kampmann is looking for a win after losing his last two bouts, while Story is looking to rebound after his upset defeat at the hands of Charlie Brenneman back in June. I think Story might try to see how he does on his feet, but I think he will ultimately take Kampmann down and control the fight from there. I think Story will be able to do that for most of the fight leading him to get the decision victory. Pick: Story via Decision.
JACK BRATCHER: Kampann’s only losses really have come to the elite level of fighters and specialists. He’s very good at everything not superb at any one thing and he has been known to get into trouble when he faces a grappling wizard like Jake Shields or the great striking of someone like Paul Daley. Despite Story’s win over Thiago Alves, I don’t see him quite ready for Kampmann. Kampmann via decision.
Kelvin Hunt: If it goes to the judges I’d favor Story taking it. He definitely will need to follow the blueprint of Diego Sanchez minus getting punched in the face multiple times. Story has an iron chin, but I think Kampmann is due to catch a break after losing back to back razor thin fights. Kampmann via TKO.
Stephan Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury
RICHARD MANN: After losing three-straight fights, Bonnar appear destined for a life of UFC charity. However, after winning back-to-back fights everyone seems to think he has his mojo back. Kingsbury is a bigger and stronger fighter and that will show in this fight. He should be able to put Bonnar on the fence and punish him with knees. Kingsbury by TKO.
BRIAN FURBY: Kyle Kingsbury.
JOSH CROSS: Both of these fighters are tough, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this fight goes to a decision. I think Bonnar will have to deal with a flurry of offense from Kingsbury in the beginning, but as long as he gets through that, I believe that he will be in a much better position in this fight. Kingsbury is known to tire out fairly quickly the longer the fight goes, and I expect Bonnar to be looking to capitalize on that. In the end though, I think that Kingusbury will be able to out strike Bonnar, take him to the mat, and ultimately grind out a win. Pick: Kingsbury via Decision.
JACK BRATCHER: Bonnar does not want to lose to an up and comer like Kingsbury. His only losses have been to big name guys, and K-Sos (due to cut), which he avenged in the next fight. I like how Richard said Bonnar thinks he has his mojo back. I agree with that and I think Bonnar takes this by out-pointing Kingsbury… or … he could hurt him with something and finish him off with a submission… something like that.
Kelvin Hunt: Eh…Bonnar outworks a tired Kingsbury via decision.
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