By Brian Beard
Anderson “The Spider” Silva (30-4-0) vs. Stephan “American Psycho” Bonnar (17-7-0)
Is the middleweight division so thin that Silva has to move up to 205? Well, I don’t know if it’s that thin but Silva has cleaned it out. Bonnar will be quite a bit larger than Silva as he is a big light heavyweight and Silva is a middleweight. That will be the only advantage that Bonnar has. This is nothing new to Silva as this is his third fight at 205 in the UFC. Silva has not lost since 2006 and I don’t see it happening here. Bonnar is as tough as they come, but so was Forest Griffin when Silva knocked him out at UFC 101. Silva will stroll into the cage wearing his grape smugglers, dance around for a round and taunt Bonnar a little. In the second round, he will actually engage and drop Bonnar and proceed to ground and pound him to a TKO stoppage.
Minotauro Nogueira (33-7-1) vs. Dave Herman (21-4-0)
This will be Big Nog’s first fight back since Frank Mir tore his arm off last year. Usually this would be a mismatch but cage rust could be an issue. Herman is young and explosive and we don’t really know how Nog will be. Nog has great boxing and a great ground game. Herman has good wrestling and is an explosive striker that loves to bang and will throw a lot of wild and unorthodox combos. Herman will start strong and give Big Nog a beating. If Nog can weather the storm he will have a chance to comeback and win as he has done many times before. I just don’t see this as a very easy comeback fight for him. Pee Wee by TKO in the second.
Glover Teixeira (18-2-0) vs. Fabio Maldonado (18-5-0)
This fight will come down to the classic “striker vs. grappler” situation. Teixeira has a world class ground game and Maldonado has quite a bit of professional boxing experience including 21 KO’s! Teixeira has had some success with stand up throughout his career and has proven to be a competent and capable striker but he really doesn’t want to try that here. Maldonado has very heavy hands and has been known to take one on the chin and keep going strong. The key for victory is for Teixeira to get the fight to the ground without taking too much damage and work the submission game. Maldonado will obviously want to put one on the button of Teixeira and end the fight with strikes. I call Teixeira by sub in the third round.