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ProMMAnow.com UFC 150 staff picks

We’ve got “UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar II” taking place Saturday night in Denver, Colo. Top 10 middleweight Yushin Okami gets matched up against Buddy Roberts on a fluke. Former Strikeforce middleweight champ Jake Shields moves back to 185 to take on the red-hot Ed Herman who’s been unstoppable since coming back from injury last year. Former teammates Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Melvin Guillard clash at lightweight, and in the main event Benson Henderson puts his 155 pound title on the line for the first time in a rematch against the man he took the title from in February, Frankie Edgar. Don’t you dare place a bet on these fights without reading these ProMMAnow.com UFC 150 staff picks. Go.

Buddy Roberts (12-2) vs. Yushin Okami (27-7)

ODDS: Roberts +450 vs. Okami -600

JAY CEE: Yushin Okami is coming off two losses and really needs a win right now. Buddy Roberts has shown good potential, but this could be too much too soon. Taking on Okami in just your second UFC bout is a tough assignment, and I feel that experience could play a big part in this fight. I can see Okami maintaining control for the majority of the fight and picking up the decision victory. Pick: Yushin Okami wins via Decision.

JOSH CROSS: Roberts, who is stepping in to replace an injured Rousimar Palhares, has the best chance to win this bout if he can keep it standing. In the end though, I think Okami will use his superior wrestling to wear Roberts down and then get the knockout late in the fight. Pick: Okami by Knockout.

DR. RHADI FERGUSON: Yushin Okami.

BRIAN FURBY: Yushin Okami.

RICHARD MANN: I don’t want to take a turn to negative town, but… I’ve never been less impressed by a fighter who actually won their UFC debut. Roberts defeated Caio Magalhaes by literally running at his opponent like a linebacker. That strategy will not work against Okami. Expect a vintage performance from “Thunder,” which means a lot of effective work inside the clinch. Okami by decision.

JACK BRATCHER: Yushin Okami fought Anderson Silva two fights ago. Now he’s fighting who? Roberts was originally supposed to fight Chris Camozzi, however, Camozzi was injured. Okami was originally supposed to fight Luiz Cane — injured, then Rousimar Palhares — injured. Who’s left? Buddy Roberts of course. Roberts gets the fight of a lifetime by sheer luck. Okami by mutilation.

Jake Shields (27-6-1) vs. Ed Herman (20-7)

ODDS: Shields -185 vs. Herman +155

JAY CEE: This is actually a very interesting fight as both men are highly skilled on the ground and love to finish fights via submission. Because of this, I think the fighter with the better striking will hold the advantage as it will allow them to soften up their opponent for a submission finish. Jake Shields has not finished many fights via TKO but he trains with the Diaz brothers who have great boxing, so he will definitely be in a position to get the job done. It could be close, but Shields takes this via Submission. Pick: Jake Shields wins via Submission.

JOSH CROSS: I think that Herman has got to keep this fight standing if he wants to win. I don’t think Shields will submit Herman if the fight does go to the ground, but I think that Shields will grind out a win if it does. Even if these two stay on there feet, Shields is tough and I think he’ll take Herman down if he feels like he’s losing. Ultimately, I think it’s inevitable that these two go to the mat and Shields walks away with the win. Pick: Shields by Decision.

DR. RHADI FERGUSON: Jake Shields.

BRIAN FURBY: Ed Herman.

RICHARD MANN: Herman is a solid fighter, but he is also the kind of guy that Shields beats. The TUF veteran is not outstanding in any one area. Plus, he has always been willing to engage superior grapplers on the mat. He might stuff some of Shields’ takedowns early, but he is going to end up losing on the ground. Shields by submission.

JACK BRATCHER: Like everyone Jake Shields faces, Ed Herman has a distinct advantage on the feet. As a product of Team Quest and as a BJJ black belt, Herman will not be easy for Shields to submit or lay on top of for three rounds (his only two options of victory). Herman has more ways to win. He’s finished three straight opponents since coming back from injury. I like his chances much better. Herman via TKO. (This is my “better’s delight” pick of the card!)

Donald Cerrone (18-4, 1 NC) vs. Melvin Guillard (47-11-3, 1 NC)

ODDS: Guillard +255 vs. Cerrone -315

JAY CEE: This should be an exciting stand-up battle as both men love to stand and bang. Melvin Guillard said in a pre-fight interview that this could be “fight of the night” and I agree. In regards to how the fight will play out I do not have much to say. It will be down to who can find the opening first and land the finishing blow. Both men have huge amounts of experience, but I can see Cerrone scoring a knockout somewhere in the second round. Pick: Donald Cerrone wins via TKO.

JOSH CROSS: Looking at this fight it’s obvious that the strongest aspect of Cerrone’s game is arguably the weakest part of Guillard’s. While 13 of Cerrone’s 18 wins have come via submission, that is in stark contrast to Guillard who has been submitted in nine of his 10 losses. Unless Guillard can somehow finish the fight before it goes to the ground, I think Cerrone comes out on top in the end. Pick: Cerrone by Submission.

DR. RHADI FERGUSON: Melvin Guillard.

BRIAN FURBY: Donald Cerrone.

RICHARD MANN: Guillard’s only chance is that he blitzes “Cowboy” early and makes the wheels come off. Cerrone usually does not struggle to take shots, but he struggled after Nate Diaz put it on him early. With that being said, there are so many ways that Guillard can lose this fight, and trust me, he will find one. Cerrone by submission.

JACK BRATCHER: Nine out of Guillard’s 10 losses have come via submission. Thirteen of Cowboy’s 18 wins have come by submission. He’s technical enough on the feet to hang with Guillard. Guillard could land a lucky punch for the KO, but not likely since Cerrone is known for his tough beard. As a former (undefeated) kickboxer, Cerrone’s striking is very good and technical when he’s not fighting with anger like he did against Diaz. The odds favor a Cerrone submission win.

Benson Henderson (15-2) vs. Frankie Edgar (14-2-1)

ODDS: Henderson -210 vs. Edgar +170

JAY CEE: Frankie Edgar is a difficult man to beat, but Benson Henderson prepared for Edgar once before and defeated him to become champion. Every time I have watched Bendo he has improved and become better as a fighter. I am not sure that Edgar will have made such a drastic change or improvement to his fighting style that it would give him the upper hand against Henderson. I am not saying this will be an easy fight for Benson as Edgar is always a handful, but I feel Bendo will be comfortable enough in this fight to implement his game-plan and score the win. Pick: Benson Henderson wins via Submission.

JOSH CROSS: I’ll start off by saying that the outcome of the first fight between these two at UFC 144 was by no means a robbery. Close fights, which that one was, can’t be robberies. That aside, I think we’re in for another close fight. Both fighters are extremely tough and resilient and I think we’ll see this one go to another decision. I could see this going either way, but I picked Henderson to win their last bout and I’m going to have to keep him as my pick this time too. Unless Edgar can successfully pull off a move similar to the famous Pettis’ wall-kick I don’t think he’ll be get the title back Saturday night. Like I said though, I think this goes to a decision, which means it could go either way. Pick: Henderson by Decision.

DR. RHADI FERGUSON: Benson Henderson.

BRIAN FURBY: Frankie Edgar.

RICHARD MANN: I had Edgar winning the first fight, and I think he will take this one as well. The former champion usually does a good job of keeping distance and doing enough to win rounds. On top of that, Henderson has virtually zero offense on the feet. If he is unable to get takedowns, he will not be able to win. Look for Edgar to score more points and earn his title back. Edgar by decision.

JACK BRATCHER: There is a reason Frankie Edgar keeps having rematches.  When skill level is so close, size matters. And it’s going to matter here. Frankie can move in and out and point fight with the best, and yes he has some power too, but I think Henderson is going to get in there and get gutter on the brother, make it all nasty and ish. I like Bendo’s overall power and strength advantage here. Henderson via decision.

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