WEIGH IN BELOW AND VOTE ON WHO WILL WIN EACH FIGHT (main card only)
Yoshiyuki Yoshida (11-4-0) vs. Mike Guymon (12-3-1)
TheCoach’s Pick: Yoshida via Submission
Joey Beltran (11-3-0) vs. Tim Haque (6-0-0)
TheCoach’s Pick: Haque via Knockout
TJ Grant (15-3-0) vs. Johny Hendricks (7-0-0)
TheCoach’s Pick: Hendricks via Knockout
Marcus Davis (21-7-0) vs. Jonathan Goulet (22-10-1)
TheCoach’s Pick: Davis via Unanimous Decision
Joe Doerksen vs. Tom Lawlor (6-2-0, 1 NC)
TheCoach’s Pick: Credeur via Submission
Patrick Côté (14-5-0)
Alan Belcher (15-6-0)
Cote – Boxing/Kickboxing/Wrestling/BJJ
Belcher: – Muay Thai/BJJ
|19 matches||14 W||5 L||21 matches||15 W||6 L|
|By knockout||7||1||By knockout||8||2|
|By submission||3||2||By submission||5||1|
|By decision||4||2||By decision||2||3|
Patrick ‘The Predator’ Cote will be fighting in his home-land and province of Quebec, and will be in the Octagon for the first time since October 2008 when he lost to Anderson Silva (when Silva wasn’t acting like a chump) at UFC 90. They headlined the fight-card for the Middleweight Championship and Cote hurt his knee during the 3rd round and had to withdraw from the fight. Cote, is what you can consider a veteran in the UFC as nine of his eighteen fights have come inside the Octagon while his other fights have come in organizations such as UCC Proving Ground, TKO and King of the Cage. Cote got his big break at UFC 50 when Guy Mezger from the fight club called ‘The Lions Den’ had to pull out of a fight with Tito Ortiz and on only four days notice, Cote impressed everyone included UFC President Dana White who has had him back for plenty more fights through-out the years. After two more losses against Joe Doerksen and Chris Leben, the UFC decided to put Cote on the cast of ‘The Ultimate Fighter 4′ to see if it could jump-start his career and he looked good making it to the finale when he lost to Travis Lutter via armbar submission early in the fight.
It seems to be what Cote needed as he won his following fights at UFC 69 over Scott Smith (unanimous decision), and Jason Day at TKO 29 – Repercussion. Cote than came back to the UFC and knocked off three more wins against ‘TUF: Season 3′ Winner Kendall Grove (via knockout RD 1 4:45 earning knockout of the night), Drew McFedries (TKO TD 1 1:14) and Ricardo Almeida (via split decision). After five straight wins, four of them coming in the UFC, vice-president and fight-booker Joe Silva paired him up against Silva for the middleweight belt. Cote gave Silva one of the better runs for his money but ultimately ‘The Spyder’ turned out to be too-overwhelming, as he is for all his opponents and when Cote injured his knee, it was as but over. Cote was quoted on MMA Connected saying “if I get a rematch with Anderson Silva, I am confident that I will beat him”. Hmm, better start by being able to get past Alan Belcher but with more notable wins Cote has, paired with the home-crowd behind him… there’s no reason he shouldn’t reign victorious.
TheCoach’s Pick: COTE via Knock-Out
Kimbo Slice (4-1-0)
Matt Mitrione (1-0-0)
Slice – Boxing/Street Fighting
Mitrione – Boxing
|5 matches||4 W||1 L||1 match||1 W||0 L|
|By knockout||2||1||By knockout||1||0|
|By submission||1||0||By submission||0||0|
|By decision||1||0||By decision||0||0|
Kimbo Slice will technically have his first ‘official heavyweight fight’ in the UFC because his previous fight was at the ‘TUF 10 Finale’ held on Spike TV against Houston Alexander at a catch-weight of 215 lbs. Kimbo won with a unanimous decision victory over Alexander in a fight that many thought would not leave the first round but Alexander would instead spend most of the first and third rounds circling Slice tentatively with little engagement. During the 2nd, round Slice landed a back suplex on Alexander, which very well may have tipped the judges’ scorecards in his favour. On the ‘TUF Season 10′, if you didn’t watch the season, it was the first episode in which the future ‘TUF 10′ champ Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson decided he would throw himself on top of Slice similar to beached whale before he locked in a crucifix in an extremely boring fight.
Dana never (bluntly) said it, but he was not impressed at how Kimbo was eliminated from the tournament and when Matt Mitrione started complaining of head-aches mid-way through the season, the show made it as if Kimbo was set to make his return and take Mitrione’s place. Slice would not fight due to arthritis in his knee and promised to fight later on at the Finale. The victory over Alexander was decisive but Alexander tried to avoid any contact with Kimbo and it eventually led to his dismissal from the UFC just days after the event. Prior to Dana White practically making an entire season of the Ultimate Fighter specifically for Kimbo, Slice appeared on Exite XC and had three wins over Bo Cantrell, Tank Abbott and James Thompson before losing to Seth Petruzelli in what was the event that put Elite XC in bankruptcy. I’ve watched all Kimbo’s fights (and his YouTube street fights) and what can’t be denied is he has improved as a martial artist more and more everytime he moves towards his next fight. The good thing for Kimbo is that he isn’t fighting the likes of Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin or Cain Velasquez (Mirtione is less experienced than Kimbo himself).
Sam Stout (16-5-1)
Jeremy Stephens (17-5-0)
Stout – Muay Thai/Kickboxing
Stevens – Jiu Jitsu/Muay Thai/Boxing
|22 matches||16 W||5 L||22 matches||17 W||5 L|
|By knockout||9||0||By knockout||13||0|
|By submission||1||2||By submission||3||3|
|By decision||6||3||By decision||1||2|
Sam ‘Hands of Stone’ Stout is the 7th Canadian to grace the stacked card at UFC 113 and he hails from London, Ontario and outside the octagon is pursuing a career in paramedics with a degree from home-town Fanshawe College. Stout (given his nickname), is primarily known as a striker and has been IKF North American Welterweight Kickboxing champion, Canadian lightweight Muay Thai champion and North American Muay Thai Champion. Stout has had some memorable fights through-out his career which have almost all been in the organizations TKO and UFC. 19 of his 21 matches have come in those two organizations while his first two first resulted in a draw and a loss at ICC: Trials and the Mixed Martial Arts Challenge respectively. After the two losses early in his career, Stout ripped off eight straight wins in TKO before the UFC took notice and signed him to a fight deal pairing him up against Spencer Fisher.
As stated above, Stout has been in notable fights and two have come against Fisher with the fighters splitting the match-ups, while both times earning fight of the night honours. Some of Stout’s other losses have come against very notable fighters in Kenny Florian and most recently back-to-back losses against Rich Clementi at UFC 83 (via split decision) and Terry Etim at UFC 89 (via unanimous decision). Following the loss to Etim, Stout has followed up with two unanimous decision victories over Matt Wiman and Joe Lauzon at UFC 97 and 108 respectively (they were Stout’s third and fourth FOTN honours). ‘Hands of Stone’ Stout is extremely talented, but he may have his hands full against Jeremy Stevens… either way we are in for a battle and considering the last time one of Stout’s UFC fights didn’t go the distance was back on June 24, 2006 at ‘The Ultimate Fighter 3: Finale’… I wouldn’t bet against this fight going all three rounds.
Jeremy ‘Lil Heathen’ Stevens, at the ripe young age of 23 (turns 24 in May 26th) has a staggering 21 fights already in his MMA career and has been fighting in the UFC since the age of 20 (he actually made his UFC debut on his 20th birthday) but unfortunately for Stevens he handed Din Thomas the present with a win via armbar submission. It was Stevens first loss in a while as he went 12-1 in other organizations before joining the UFC but this loss hurt more than the one before considering it was not only in his UFC debut but also his birthday. Stevens bounced back with a victory outside the Octagon in ‘Midwest Cage Championship Fighting’ as well as two back-to-back victories over Diego Saraiva and Cole Miller. Stevens looked as if he was ready to move up in the rankings and contend for the Lightweight Championship considering his only loss had come in his debut and he looked good combining his unanimous decision with his technical knockout due to strikes and elbows.
In his last five fights though, Stevens hasn’t seemed to be the fighter that the UFC, fans and Dana White expected him to be. Stevens has went 2-3 first with a loss to Spencer Fisher (whom Stout has split two fights with) at the “TUF Season 7 Finale” via unanimous decision. Fisher bounced back at UFC 91 with a knockout of the night performance when he beat Rafael dos Anjos but again disappointed everyone with back-to-back losses at UFC Fight Night 17 & 18 against Joe Lauzon and Gleison Tibau (submission and unanimous decision). Most recently, at UFC Fight Night 19, Stevens was able to land a number of strikes opening up a big gash on the forehead of Justin Bulhholz which resulted in referee stoppage and another knockout of the night performance. Stevens will have to battle through the crowd, who will be pro-Stout and looking for a ‘Hands of Stone’ knock-out but I expect Stout to win via unanimous decision… only because he seems to want it so much more.
TheCoach’s Pick: Stout via Unanimous Decision
Josh Koscheck (16-4-0)
Paul Daley (23-8-2)
Koscheck – Wrestling/Kickboxing
Daley – Muay Thai/Boxing/Wrestling
|20 matches||16 W||4 L||23 W||8 L|
|By knockout||5||1||By knockout||18||1|
|By submission||6||1||By submission||1||5|
|By decision||5||2||By decision||4||2|
Josh ‘Kos’ Koscheck has an impressive record of 16-4 and all but four of his fights have come inside the octagon, meaning Kos posts a 12-4 record in the UFC but never has held a belt in his weight-class, let along get a shot at the belt… it’s craziness. Koscheck was one of the fighters on the originals ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ reality show and advanced to the semi-finals where he lost to Diego Sanchez via split decision (he has since faced Diego at UFC 69 and beat him by unanimous decision). In my eyes, Koscheck has been screwed. When GSP lost the belt to Serra, the UFC used Koscheck as a stepping stone for GSP so he could immediately get back and compete for the title. Don’t get me wrong, GSP is my favourite fighter and quite frankly, if never got hit by a lucky punch by Serra… would have a longer win-streak than Anderson Silva. Either way, Koscheck at some point should have gotten his shot at the belt, considering he’s beat Frank Trigg, Diego Sanchez, Anthony Rumble Johnson and just because 3 of his 4 losses have come against GSP, Thiago Alves and Paulo Thiago shouldn’t automatically eliminate Koscheck from a contenders spot. Give him the chance and have him lose a fight while competing for the Welterweight Championship.
Screw Koscheck vs Daley, lets see Kos vs GSP 2 but this time for a title, instead of GSP completely and utterly destroying Dan Hardy over five rounds (I still don’t think Hardy got a punch in). Many fighters have lost to the three fighers Koscheck has fell victim too and lets be honest, they’ve had a title shot. Koscheck is a well rounded fighter with his 16 victories being spread out with a equal number of knockouts, submission and decisions and considering that he is one of the best fighters in the welterweight division in the world, I don’t expect Paul Daley who is ranked somewhere between 5th-10th to give Koscheck much of a battle. Watch out for a Koscheck submission as he most recently at made Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson tap in the 2nd round viarear-ranked choke but the fight came with much controversy as people thought (including Joe Rogan via Twitter) that Koscheck faked being poked in the eye. Either way, with five-of-his-eight losses coming via submission, watch for Daley to tap-out May 8th in the Bell Centre.
Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley is a british born fighter, who at the age of 27 has fought for EliteXC, Cage Rage, StrikeForce, Maximum Fighting Championship, Cage Warriors and Pancrase before signing with the UFC. Out of his 33 fights in the professional career, only two of them have come in the Octagon while the rest have come in other organizations and prior to joining the biggest organization in the world. Daley hasn’t had many fights against notable fighters either. He had fought Jake Shields at EliteXC: Heat back in October 28 and lost via armbar submission in the 2nd round. Many didn’t think Shields was anything special in EliteXC and StrikeForce but when he recently owned, and I mean owned, Dan Henderson, no one should be surprised Daley lost to him as well. If you missed the Shields-Henderson fight, enjoy the after fight brawl that Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller started by [clicking here]. Anyways, back to Daley, after Shields he fought UFC veteran and Canadian John Alessio and won by technical knockout. Duane Ludwig is the other notable fighter Daley has fought outside the UFC and beat. In the fight before his UFC debut, as well as in his UFC debut and since, ‘Semtex’ has been impressive in all fights ending them all in the first round (all within six seconds of eachother).
First, at WFC 8: D Day he had a TKO of Junior Barata at 2:29 of round one which solidified his UFC contract and did the exact same to Martin Kampmann at 2:31 of the first round. Most recently, Dustin Hazelett fell victim at 2:24 of round one with surprise-surprise… a knockout. The fight with Hazelett was at a catchweight of 172 lbs and earned Daley knockout-of-the-night. As easy as Daley has made it seem, he has been tossed around mentally with first thinking he was fighting Brian Foster at UFC 103 but when Mike Swick got injured, he stepped up and took on Kampmann instead. At UFC 108, extremely similar to his debut, Daley was expecting to fight Carlos Condit but Condit suffered a severe cut on his hand and had to withdraw from the card so in came Hazelett. Having you opponent change weeks before the fight can mess with your head but Daley has done a fabulous job adapting to it. He’s known for a while now he’ll face Koscheck and for the first time, he will be overwhelmed and not know how to adapt to the fighter he’s trained to fight now for the months.
TheCoach’s Pick: KOSCHECK via Submission
Light Heavyweight Championship bout:
Lyoto Machida (c) (16-0-0)
Mauricio Rua (18-4-0)
Machida – BJJ/Machida Karate/Shotokan
Rua – BJJ/Muay Thai
The light-heavyweight belt on the line in Montreal…
|16 matches||16 W||0 L||22 matches||18 W||4 L|
|By knockout||5||0||By knockout||15||1|
|By submission||2||0||By submission||1||2|
|By decision||9||0||By decision||2||1|
Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida may be the champion in the Light Heavyweight division and by no means am I knocking him as a fighting because he has victories over Rashad Evans, Thiago Silva, Tito Ortiz, Rich Franklin, BJ Penn, Stephan Bonnar and … ugh, cough cough, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua at UFC 104. But can you taste the bitterness? I hope I am not alone. With Machida winning a unanimous decision victory over Shogun, 48-47 from all three judges, with one stating that Machida “landed the more damaging strikes throughout the fight” and was the more “effective aggressor”, it resulted in controversy. Many viewers and prominent MMA personalities (including Dana White) felt that Shogun had won the fight hands down. This prompted the rematch in Montreal on May 8th (seven months after the fight) due to an injured Machida suffered during the fight. Depending on how you view it, you have your own opinion of that fight but I know Shogun won. Prior to that fight, Machida won the Light-Heavyweight Championship from Rashad in convincing fashion when Machida scored an early knockdown in the first-round and Evans struggled to make any progress. In the second-round, when Machida unleashed a flurry of accurate punches rendering Evans unconscious before hitting the canvas.
It earned ‘The Dragon’ knockout-of-the-night and gave Machida back-to-back honours after scoring several trips and knockdowns in a previous fight against Thiago Silva. Machida managed to knock out Silva in the final second of the first round. All three fighters (Rua, Rashad and Silva), are extremely skilled and without a doubt better fighters than Tito Ortiz but it must be noted Machida also has a unanimous decision over Tito at UFC 84. Machida is undefeated in his MMA career at 16-0 with half of his fights coming in the UFC and as hard as he’ll be trying to retain the Light Heavyweight Championship and prove to everyone he can beat Rua and stay undefeated… sometimes the deck is stacked against you and Machida will have to beat the odds. I hope for viewers, the fighters, the UFC, the judges and everyone involved that this fight can be scored truthfully and if it in fact does go to the judges card, that we see a fair decision rendered.
Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua should be the champion. He knows it, you know it and Dana White knows it… and in fact, in post-fight interviews back at UFC 104 Quinton Jackson, Rickson Gracie, Royce Gracie, Randy Couture, Thiago Silva, Jon Jones, Wanderlei Silva, Vitor Belfort, Antonio Silva, and Rashad Evans all said they thought Rua won. Heck, even Dana said Machida was outscored in the 1st, 4th and 5th rounds… hence the rematch. The thing is, he’s not the champ and will have to beat Machida, which will be just as tough mentally as it will physically. He’s already beat him once by everyones opinion, but lost on the scorecard so he knows he can do what it takes to beat Machida but doesn’t know if it’s enough. The question will be if the judges see it the same way as the rest of the world or if more questions will headline about the shadiness of mixed martial arts judges. Rua was the winner of the PRIDE Fighting Championship’s 2005 Middleweight (205 lb) Grand Prix and holds notable wins over Chuck Liddell, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Alistair Overeem (twice), Ricardo Arona and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Rua’s four losses have come to extremely notable fights in Forrest Griffin (in 2007), Mark Coleman (in 2006). Renato “Babalu” Sobral (in 2003) and most recently Machida. The loss to Mark Coleman is crossed-off in my mind when Rua beat Coleman in the rematch back at UFC 93 via TKO earning him knockout honours. The loss to Forrest came in his UFC debut which can overwhelm a fighter and the loss to ‘Babalu’ was controversial and was Rua’s 5th fight of his career (now much more experienced with 22 under his belt). ‘Babalu’ Sobral was fighting for nearly two minutes adjusting a guillotine choke, but Rua was resisting and didn’t taped out but the referee called the match. Rua’s corner protested but it was to no avail. To make a long story short, if things played out just a touch differently, Rua could be 21-1 (with a loss to Forrest) and hold the belt. Machida would be 15-1 and I assume this fight would still be happening but the champion defending his belt would actually be the real champ and not a champ who in my eyes was handed the belt in a loss which makes him a chump. Unfortunately for Rua and his fans, that’s why fights are fought thought but when you take something away from someone they so rightly deserve… you’re going to get what’s coming.
TheCoach’s Pick: RUA via Unanimous Decision
Filed Under: Sports
About the Author: TheCoach knows his stuff. Now you can either utilize the knowledge, or regret that you didn't.