Tonight UFC 147 will take place in Brazil as “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil” concludes. The card will feature the finals from the show: Featherweight Final Rony Mariano Bezerra vs. Godofredo Castro, and Middleweight Final Sergio Moraes vs. Cezar Ferreira. The card will also feature submission machine Fabricio Werdum vs. the durable one, Mike Russow. The Main event of the will be the rematch between Rich “Ace” Franklin vs. Wanderlei “The Ax Murderer” Silva. This looks like a decent card, but it lacks alot of the big names that people are used to seeing, especially if you are in the 99.999% of North Americans who have not watched “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil.” Non the less, there are fights to watch and bets to be won, so i sat down with fellow Sports Pedagogy handicapper and MMA expert Blake Woody to discuss the upcoming card.
Fabricio Werdum (-485) vs. Mike Russow(+385):
This fight looks alot like Werdum vs Roy Nelson. Werdum will be facing a durable opponent wit submission knowledge, decent power and a large body. Werdum was able to pick apart Roy Nelson enrout to a unanimous decision victory. Russow is comming of a victory aswell over Brazilian jujitsu ace John Olav Einemo.
Blake: On paper it seems nearly impossible for Russow to win this fight. Despite his win over ADCC champ Jon Olav Einemo I don’t really give Russow much of a chance on the ground in this fight and Werdum showed in the Nelson fight he should have a major edge in the stand up. Russow is definitely durable though and is always in the fight until the last bell. He also packs some dynamite in his hands and as we saw in his fight against Tod Duffee, he can be dominated the whole time and come back at the last second. I’m picking Werdum by a clinic in a three rounder
Riot: I like Werdum aswell, however -485 is a tough pill to swallow, I feel like the fight to go the disance is alot better value then laying -485. Feel free to throw that into a parlay, but if you are going to bet stright up on this fight, Russow/Werdum goes 3 round distance +120 for 2 units.
Iuri Alcantara (-230) vs. Hacran Dias(+190):
Blake: The first thing you have to look at here are the impressive records possessed by both men. Yuri stands at 26-3-1 and Hacran bosts a 20-1-1 record. Yuri has definitely fought the tougher competition and has been on the big stage for a while now. I feel Alcantara should be able to take this by decision.
Riot: Agreed. Although Dias is a training partner of Jose Aldo, and carries a pretty sick jujitsu game, i think Alcantra will keep it standing and earn some points on the ground and earn the judges nod. Yuri Alcantara -230 for 1 unit.
Sergio Moraes (+210) vs. Cezar Ferreira (-250)
Riot: I really feel uncomfortable picking favorites on these finals because you can really only base your picks off of what you saw on the show and the fighters usually go on to better camps to get ready for the final. I havent seen the shows, but i have read alot of recaps and watch some highlights. Moraes is only in the final because the guy who knocked him got injured. Meanwhile, Ferreria went through the show with realative ease and has been training with Xtreme Coture since he got off the show. I think he keeps the fight standing and will rock Moraes and close it out with either a sub or a TKO.
Blake: Now this is an interesting fight. Both of these men are experienced at a high level. Cezar has been good friends and training partners with Vitor Belfort for a very long time. Moraes on the other hand is a top notch grappler who has been competing near the top of the sport for years. I would give the edge to Moraes on the ground and Ferreira should take the stand up. However he did seem rather slow and stiff to me while fighting in the house. I expect him to try to keep it standing but this will almost definitely hit the ground at some point. the grappler in me feels I need to pick the underdog. Moraes by submission in round 3 and wins the figure six figure contract.
Well we are split on this one. Moraes is certinly a better value pick, however I wouldnt go anymore then one unit on any of these lesser known fighters. These fights can easily go either way.
Godofredo Pepey (+230) vs Rony Mariano Bezerra (-270)
Blake: These guys in many ways are essentially mirror images of each other. Both are very aggressive submission artists. The thing that stands out to me however is the competition they’ve fought. Rony took Renan Barao to a split decision in his third professional fight. Barao is easily sitting on the top of the 135 division and is likely to be the new title holder. Though I must admit the mere fact that Pepey has, on record, won a fight by TKO (retirement) scares me. I’m going with Bezerra in the second round for the TUF Brazil Featherweight winner.
Riot: I havent sene enough of these guys to make an educated pick.
Wanderlei Silva ( +145 ) Vs. Rich Franklin (-165)
Riot: Holy unpredicatable fight. The last time these two fought it went to a decision for Franklin. Either man could have won though, it was very close. This time, Wandy is going towards the end of his career, he is fighting in Brazil, he lost the last fight with Franklin because he wasnt aggressive enough. That will not be the case tonight, he will come forward inspired by the crowd and either KO franklin, or get KO’ed by a well timed counter from Rich Franklin. Not sure which will happen (I am leaning toward the counter) howerver, i will lawy all the juice, Fight won’t go 5 round distance -450 to win 3 units.
Blake: Now here’s a rematch I am dying to see. The first fight was exciting from the very second it started to the final bell where Wandy furiously threw to try and finish strong. Personally I had the decision going the opposite way but that’s neither here nor there. There are a few things we have to consider for this fight. For starters this will not be a middleweight fight anymore. It’s going to be a catch weight at 190 pounds. This is probably the weight both men would have liked to fight at for their whole careers and I can’t really see it giving an edge to either fighter. The opponent change is also an interesting topic. Franklin was supposed to fight Cung Le at UFC 148 and Wandy was of course supposed to fight the coach opposite him on the show, Vitor Belfort. While both fighters are similar to the opponents that got switched up I must say Silva has the edge here. Cung is a lot like Wandy in terms of he’s a very aggressive and powerful striker. However his style is different. He works different angles and throws a lot more kicks. Wanderlei loves throwing lots of hooks and looping punches. Franklin and Belfort however are incredibly similar. Very technical down the pipe south paws. The biggest difference is Vitor is better and faster. Wandy has also been more active and looked more impressive late in his career than Franklin. While many think this fight is going to end early I’m predicting an all out war for 5 rounds which will see The Axe Murderer standing on top. It’s also my prediction for fight of the night. Silva wins by 5 rnd unanimous dec. +685 for 3 units.
There you have it. We didnt agree on each fight and that will happen sometimes. It is good to read through different perspectives and then make your own choice when placing a wager. Feel free to leave your own picks in the comments section and we will see how you do. Good luck.