The UFC makes its long awaited return to Brazil this weekend with a middleweight title showdown featuring Anderson Silva defending against Yushin Okami. The card is stacked with some of the top Brazilian fighters in the UFC and it should be a great night of fights. As per usual, Rob and I have made our predictions. Feel free to join in with your comments.

Main Card (PPV)

Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami

Okami has all of the tools to win this fight, a strong wrestler who does not get too aggressive has a chance against Anderson Silva. We all saw what Sonnen was able to do but he is aggressive and leaves himself open to submissions all the time. Okami plays it a lot safer and I expect him to do the same in this fight. Luckily for us, Anderson Silva will make this exciting and will find a way to knockout Okami. He always finds a way.

Joe’s Prediction: Anderson Silva by KO

Rob’s Prediction: The fact that Okami plays it safe is all the more reason why Anderson Silva won’t knock him out. It wasn’t long ago that Silva was criticized for fighting simply to win, not trying to finish his opponent. While that sparked a fire in Anderson for the time, he’s not going into this one resolved to finish Yushin. Five years ago Okami defeated Silva, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that has anything to do with this fight. Anderson Silva isn’t “looking” to “avenge” anything. He lost by DQ, not the biggest problem in the world. That said, Anderson Silva will win by decision

Mauricio Rua vs. Forrest Griffin

This might be the rematch of the year. Forrest Griffin shocked the world when he defeated Shogun in his UFC debut. No one expected him to do what he did that night. He has the size to bully Shogun around like Jon Jones did but Forrest probably will not do that and that will be his mistake. Expect a fight filled with fireworks as Shogun gets his revenge with a KO in the first or second round.

Joe’s Prediction: Shogun by KO

Rob’s Prediction: I couldn’t disagree more with Joe… except that I’m making the same outcome prediction. This isn’t going to be a great fight because the first one was a fluke and Griffin has been on a serious decline since then. Yes, Forrest is on a two fight winning streak, but Rich Franklin and Tito Ortiz aren’t exactly in their primes anymore. Rua found a way to beat Lyoto Machida and then went into the third round against the phenom Jon “Bones” Jones before losing. I don’t think there’s any way that Rua is going to lose this one, and I’m also betting that Forrest is going to get knocked out.

Brendan Schaub vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

It might be my heart saying this but I am picking Big Nog. I do not like to see him lose and I really do not think he will let that happen in Brazil. I don’t want to bash Schaub here either, he gets better with every fight, but this is the toughest fight for him to date. His best chance of a win is to stay upright and keep boxing. If Nog gets this fight to the ground, and I believe he will, this should be a short night for the heavyweights.

Joe’s Prediction: Big Nog by Submission.

Rob’s Prediction: Brendan Schaub is a decent young talent, but he’s not great and has the potential to get caught by smart veteran fighters. That said, I also can’t pick against Minotauro in Brazil, especially against a competitor with the low stature of Schaub.

Ross Pearson vs. Edson Barboza Jr.

This is an interesting fight on paper. Pearson can really look good at times. For a British fighter he has some good grappling behind him. That is something he is really going to need against Barboza jr. If this fight stays standing I think it is going to be a very short night for Pearson. Edson is one of the best strikers in the division and one mistake Ross will go to sleep. That is what I think will happen.

Joe’s Prediction: Barboza by KO

Rob’s Prediction: Barboza would be my pick, too, if I thought Ross Pearson stood a chance of getting knocked out. The way I see it, Pearson lost to Cole Miller because Cole is an extremely smart fighter. I’ll take Pearson by decision.

Luis Cane vs. Stanislav Nedkov

I am pretty excited to see this fight. Nedkov has looked good in his last few fights for WVR and in the European promotions while Cane looked like he found his rhythm again in his last fight. This could produce both Fight of the Night and KO of the Night. It is really tough to call but I think Cane takes this because he has been a little more active recently and because of the hometown advantage. If Nedkov gets this fight to the ground he could grind out a win though.

Joe’s Prediction: Cane by KO

Rob’s Prediction: Because I don’t think too highly of either guy (which is to say that neither are on my “must see” list, not that I dislike either guy), I’m going to go with Nedkov because I think there’s a potential for him to be far more skilled than a guy who has lost two of his last three… both in the first round.

Prelim Card (TV)

Thiago Tavares vs. Spencer Fisher

OK, I want to start off by saying that something is telling me this fight will end in a draw. I know that no one calls for draws but my gut says it is going to happen. ANYWAY, I think this is going to be a pretty good fight and if I have to pick someone I am going to go with Tavares. He came out strong in his last fight until Shane Roller caught him with a solid punch. I love Fisher too but I think his time in MMA is quickly fading.

Joe’s Predicition: Tavares by Decision.

Rob’s Prediction: A draw? Seriously? I like the gut call with that, and I’ll send you a GuysNation shirt if it actually happens. I’ll agree… with picking Tavares. Fisher has experience, but he has lost three of his last four, and that’s a terrible trend which is likely to lead to him losing his job.

Rousimar Palhares vs. Dan Miller

Let me start this off by saying I love fighters that use leg locks. Aside from Iminari, Rousimar Palhares is one of the best in the world. He has claimed three legs in the UFC so far but Dan Miller is going to be a tough one to get a hold of. Dan Miller may not be as talented as his younger brother Jim but he always comes to fight. Dan has never been submitted in his young MMA career, he even survived a match against Maia. I expect this streak to continue but Rousimar should squeak out a decision.

Joe’s Predicition: Palhares by split decision.

Rob’s Prediction: You said the one key stat fact that matters to me, and that’s the fight with Maia. I don’t think there’s any way that Rousimar is going to catch Dan Miller, and in the process, Palhares is going to get knocked out.

Prelim Card (Non-Televised)

Yves Jabouin vs. Ian Loveland

Joe – Loveland by Decision.

Rob – Loveland by decision… in the only fight on the card without a Brazilian

Yuri Alcantara vs. Felipe Arantes

Joe– Alcantara by KO

Rob – On behalf of my son, I’ll go with Felipe… and I’m not going to say why.

Erick Silva vs. Luis Ramos

Joe – Erick Silva by KO

Rob – Silva by submission

Raphael Assuncao vs. Johnny Eduardo

Joe – Eduardo by Decision

Rob – Johnny Eduardo by knockout

Paulo Thiago vs. David Mitchell

Joe – Thiago by Submission

Rob – Mitchell by Submission

Think we’re crazy? Disagree with one of our points? Your opinion doesn’t matter if you don’t share it. It’s easy to scoff at our predictions with your mouth closed. Think you’ve got a better perspective? Share it. You could win a free shirt if you impress Rob. I promise to keep an open mind… so long as you give your thoughts in a respectful way.

Respectful of us, not necessarily the fighters.

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