FIGHT! Picks: UFC 110 Nogueira vs. Velasquez (UPDATED)

FIGHT! Picks: UFC 110 Nogueira vs. Velasquez (UPDATED)


The Ultimate Fighting Championship continues its trot around the globe when it touches down in Sydney, Australia for UFC 110 this Saturday at the Acer Arena. Tickets for the promotion’s first visit to the continent sold out in less than 24-hours, likely because the show boasts a lineup so deep that Mirko “Crocop” Filipovic – a star no matter how spotty his UFC tenure has been – opens the card. Here are FIGHT!’s Picks for Saturday night’s fights with odds courtesy bodog – we’re currently 17-7 over the first five major cards of 2010.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (+100) vs Cain Velasquez (-130)

(Velasquez puts it to Ben Rothwell.)

“Minotauro” made his name with heart, grit and top-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Cain Velasquez, undefeated in seven contests, will be asked to test all those aspects of Nogueira’s game. His Arizona State University wrestling pedigree and high RPM pace will challenge Nogueira’s strengths. Whatever damage the Mexican-American does oddly favors the Brazilian too, who is seemingly most dangerous when he’s taking a severe beating deep into the fight.

In a contest with Velasquez, Nogueira can’t afford to look from submissions from bottom. He must employ his technical boxing and BJJ sweeps when the fight hits the mat to force the American Kickboxing Academy’s representative to compete in aspects of the game he’s still developing — standing and off his back.

Repeated takedowns tips the fight to Velasquez, the kind of strong grappler that’s driven Nogueira to the edge in the past like Josh Barnett and Ricco Rodriguez. The three-five minute round format—not wear and tear—steals the fight away from Noguiera.

FIGHT! Pick: Velasquez

Wanderlei Silva (-155) vs Michael Bisping (+125)

(Silva finishes Keith Jardine.)

The Ultimate Fighter season three winner Michael Bisping is best when he is in his opponent’s face, pushing the pace until the enemy gives out. Former PRIDE 205-pound king Wanderlei Silva is the same way and wields more KO power than his British adversary, a fighter known to hit the mat and comeback to win (outside of UFC 100’s KO demolition at the hands Dan Henderson; Henderson was equally violent with Silva to capture to the PRIDE Middleweight Championship). The stick-and-move strategy Bisping utilized successfully against Chris Leben won’t be as effective versus “The Axe Murderer,” as Silva hunts opponents down methodically before unleashing his flurries. Outside of surprise takedowns from Bisping or staying in the pocket with improved boxing and counter punches, one of Silva’s bombs will find its mark.

FIGHT! Pick: Silva

Joe Stevenson (-260) vs George Sotiropoulos (+200)

(Replace Spencer Fisher with George Sotiropolous and there you go.)

George Sotiropoulos has quietly submitted three of his last four opponents, finishing all fights to an unblemished 4-0 UFC mark. He’s a technical steamroller on the mat, but Joe Stevenson’s Robert Drysdale black belt along with his wrestling and decisive ground and pound is too much right now for ever-improving Australian native.

FIGHT! Pick: Joe Stevenson

Ryan Bader (-165) vs Keith Jardine (+135)

(Jardine attacks Brandon Vera.)

Two fighters on dramtically different trajectories meet when Keith Jardine’s two fight skid intersects with Ryan Bader’s rising star. “Darth” Bader has natural power in his hands, but Jardine’s unorthodox eight-point style isn’t to be tested at this point in his young UFC career. The Greg Jackson-trained fighter doesn’t spend time on his back thanks to his underappreciated wrestling. Bader can score repeated takedowns; however, as the fight drags on, Jardine’s experience in the trenches will score him a much-needed ‘W.’

FIGHT! Pick: Jardine

Brian Foster (+140) vs Chris Lytle (-170)

Chris Lytle prides himself on being the most exciting fighter in the UFC, foregoing submission savvy and his professional boxing background for all-out slugfests. After some time on the shelf he draws game UFC upstart Brian Foster. The Hit Squad member overcame illegal strikes from Brock Larson at UFC 108 to crush the bruising Minnesotan via TKO in round two. It was a satisfying rebound from his losing, albeit Fight of the Night, effort at UFC 103.

Foster’s a promising prospect, but Lytle’s newfound aggression along with his experience catches the young gun slow on the draw standing and on the mat.

FIGHT! Pick: Lytle

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (+100) vs Cain Velasquez (-130)
FIGHT! Pick: Velasquez

Wanderlei Silva (-155) vs Michael Bisping (+125)
FIGHT! Pick: Silva Resulting Outcome:  CORRECT

Joe Stevenson (-260) vs George Sotiropoulos (+200)
FIGHT! Pick: Stevenson Resulting Outcome:  INCORRECT

Ryan Bader (-165) vs Keith Jardine (+135)
FIGHT! Pick: Jardine Resulting Outcome:  INCORRECT

Brian Foster (+140) vs Chris Lytle (-170)
FIGHT! Pick: Lytle Resulting Outcome:  CORRECT


  1. You seriously think Velasquez will take Nog down repeated?
    Let me ask you a question: who is a better wrestler, Velasquez or Couture?
    The answer is Couture. And here’s a newsflash for everyone who is a newbie at MMA (including the ignorant writer here): Nogueira is a better wrestler than Couture (and Velasquez)!! Couture’s clinch and dirty boxing was completely useless in the clinch with Nog.
    Plus, Nog can take punishment like no one else in MMA. And Cain (while an awesome wrestler) cannot punish anyone with strikes.
    Even if Cain can take Nog down, one of 2 things will happen. 1. He will get subbed, and 2. he doesn’t have the power to hurt Nog with strikes. He might as well bring in a pillow, cause that’s about how hard Velasquez hits in the first place. Nog faces zero threat with Cain.
    Good picks on the other fights, but you obviously know next to nothing concerning Nogueira. This is going to be worse than what Nog did to Couture.

    • Brent –

      No need to get aggro dude, it’s all conjecture no matter who you pick. Couture is a great wrestler but his game is based on takedowns from the clinch, not power doubles. And no matter how fit Couture is, Velasquez is 20 years younger and that matters. If Cain stands with Nog he will probably lose but I am betting that we see takedowns, top control, and a decision. Maybe we’re wrong. We’ll find out on Saturday. Thanks for reading!

  2. You’re right, I shouldn’t get all aggro. I just feel Nog’s skills and experience are being unappreciated out there in the rhetoric surrounding this fight.
    Great site, love it. I’ve bookmarked it.

    • It’s cool man – thanks for stopping by and caring enough to comment, and thanks for bookmarking us! Come back and disagree with us as often as you like, haha.

  3. Why’s everyone counting Bisbing out? Wandy doesn’t do well on his back and Bispings GnP is wayyy underrated.

  4. Everyone is picking Silva an i hope he wins ! Its just that his style of those looping punches is what bothers me .Bisping throws straight an fast i just hope Silva doesnt get out pointed cause of this like ha did against Franklin?????

  5. Well love the site and your picks…but Im going to go with Bader I think that his stand up has improved and he has his wrestling skills to fall back on. I think the “Herky Jerky” skills of Keith Jardine has been measured up and thats why he has not been to the big show. But its easier to arm chair my picks. Thanks for the best fight mag out there.

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