UFC 97: REDEMPTION – PRO MMA staff picks

Once again the PRO MMA (promma.info) elders make their predictions. The event is UFC 97: REDEMPTION going down this Saturday night, April 18th in Montreal, Canada. The headliner is a UFC Middleweight Title fight between Champion Anderson Silva and Thales Leites. 

Take a look at our predictions, see if you agree or disagree, and let us know why. Submit your picks as well.

Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites
Denny Hodge: I don’t think Leites is going to be successful at getting the champ to the ground, to show us his world class ground game. Silva by TKO in Round 2.
Jeff Howard: Silva over Leites-I think Leites has a chance, if he can get Silva down. With that said, Leites’ chin is like glass and he will get crushed trying to take Anderson down.
Eddie Constantine: Silva by TKO RD2 – Silva should be able to overpower Leites, wearing him out as Thales attempts to take Anderson down tiring him out in the process.
Jack Bratcher: Silva wins in round one via (T)KO (strikes) because he can.

Chuck Liddell vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
Denny Hodge: Which version of each fighters show up? I believe the change in training will help Chuck mix it up a bit, and if Rua gasses again and leaves his hands down, it may be a quick night. Liddell by KO in round 2.
Jeff Howard: Liddell over Rua-After the knee injury, Rua hasn’t been able to do anything. His time is up in the UFC, Chuck gets a KO victory.
Eddie Constantine: Liddell by unanimous decision. Stand up battle between two heavy hitters. Liddell’s power should be too much for Shogun and I think he will have the better cardio of the two.
Jack Bratcher: Chuck knocks Shogun out and Dana let’s him keep his job.

Brian Stann vs. Krzysztof Soszynski
Denny Hodge: Sosyznski has a huge advantage with his experience and will likely test Stann’s ground game. I see Soszynski finishing Stann via submission in Round 2.
Jeff Howard: Stann over K-Sos-Brian Stann is a devastating Striker, KO’s K-Sos, early 1 or 2 rounds.
Eddie Constantine: Stann by KO RD1. Stann power should prove too much for his more experienced opponent.
Jack Bratcher: Brian Stann wins. His power and toughness pull him through.

Cheick Kongo vs. Antoni Hardonk
Denny Hodge: This will be a stand up battle with both guys utilizing their kicking game. Kongo by decision.
Jeff Howard: Kongo over Hardonk-Kongo by KO, need I say more?
Eddie Constantine: Kongo by TKO RD 3. Boring fight and once Hardonk gasses Kongo should overwhelm him.
Jack Bratcher: Kongo wins via (T)KO first round.

Luis Arthur Cane vs. Steve Cantwell
Denny Hodge: Cane has won 8 of his 9 fights via T(KO) and Cantwell has been known to stand and bang as well, although almost half of his victories are by submission. I’m going with Cantwell by decision in this one.
Jeff Howard: Cantwell over Cane-Cantwell brings heavy hands and sick subs, Cane is one dimensional.
Eddie Constantine: Cane by TKO RD 2. Cane will walk through Cantwell’s punches landing his own and finishes the fight by GNP.
Jack Bratcher: This could be the fight of the night. Both these guys are ruthless. Man. Have to go with Cantwell although not sure how but he has shown he can break a limb or knock a fool out.

Denis Kang vs. Xavier Foupa-Pokam
Denny Hodge: I believe we will the Kang we’ve been waiting for in this one. Kang by decision.
Jeff Howard: Xavier Foupa Pokam over Kang (upset of the night!)-Denis Kang is overrated. Pokam is way more skilled and experienced then fans know about.
Eddie Constantine: Xavier by TKO RD1. Kang has not been the same fighter of years back and I don’t think he will until he can return to ATT full time.
Jack Bratcher: Professor X (T)KO in round one Kang hasn’t looked so good lately.

Jason MacDonald vs. Nate Quarry
Denny Hodge: MacDonald has a decided advantage on the ground, while Quarry will be looking to stay on his feet. I see Quarry punishing MacDonald and winning this one by TKO in Round 3.
Jeff Howard: Quarry over MacDonald-Quarry is proven in the UFC, MacDonald just doesn’t bring it, weak defense.
Eddie Constantine: McDonald by submission RD 2 – Macdonald chin will serve him well as he will absorb some strong shots by Quarry but eventually get him to the ground and tap him out.
Jack Bratcher: Jason Mac wins because the rock hammer won’t work in this one.

Ed Herman vs. David Loiseau
Denny Hodge: I can’t wait to see “The Crow” back in the Octagon. He will be victorious again, and earn a decision win over Ed Herman.
Jeff Howard: Hermann over Loiseau-Hermann can go forever, win by decision.
Eddie Constantine: Lousieau by Split decision. The Canadians streak continues in an uneventful fight.
Jack Bratcher: The Crow is back and wins it decisively. Let’s say strikes in round three (T)KO…maybe some old fashioned Crow elbows.

Eliot Marshall vs. Vinny Magalhaes
Denny Hodge: Two ground guys going at it, and everybody knows how decorated Magalhaes is, but Marshall has the advantage on his feet. Marshall by decision.
Jeff Howard: Elliot Marshal over Vinny M.-Vinny’s Jits is good, but his MMA isnt, period.
Eddie Constantine: Eliot Marshall by HEART.
Jack Bratcher: Eliot Marshall all day long. He has the better stand up and can avoid the submissions.

Mark Bocek vs. David Bielkheden
Denny Hodge: Each fighter boast over 50% of their victories via submission, and will battle this one to a close decision. Bocek takes the split decision over Bielkheden.
Jeff Howard: Mark Bocek over David Bielkheden-Bocek has more experience against proven fighters.
Eddie Constantine: Bocek by submission RD 2 – Bocek overpower his European opponent for the hometown crowd.
Jack Bratcher: Bielkheden because everyone else picked Bocek.

T.J. Grant vs. Ryo Chonan
Denny Hodge: T.J. Grant is a submission specialist with 12 of his 13 victories coming by way of submission and is making his UFC debut. We all know that Chonan is very capable of pulling off crazy submissions…. Grant will overcome first time Octagon jitters, and earn a decision victory over “The Piranha”
Jeff Howard: TJ Grant over Chonan-Grant is a sub wizard, Chonan is on his way out.
Eddie Constantine: Chonan by Submission RD1 – Fist time jitters and a step up in competition prove too much for the Canadian.
Jack Bratcher: Have to go with Chonan. I’ve always liked Chonan and he will win because he beat Anderson Silva!

Sam Stout vs. Matt Wiman
Denny Hodge: This is a battle of two fighters that need a win. Wiman lost his last fight via decision to Jim Miller, and Stout is coming off back to back losses. Stout will re-establish himself and finish this fight by TKO in Round 3.
Jeff Howard: Sam Stout over Matt Wiman-Stout hits extremely hard, think his striking wins this.
Eddie Constantine: Sam Stout by Unanimous Decision. This fight could be visually stunning or a snooze fest. I think the latter is more likely.
Jack Bratcher: Even though Wiman is handsome, Sam is too stout and will win by decision.

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