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Trading Punches: UFC 105 Preview and Predictions; The Main Card

MISC MMA Chez CoutureCome along as 5 Oz.‘ managing editor Cory Brady and fellow patriot of pain David Andrest verbally duke it out in this UFC 105 edition of Trading Punches.

The event is set for November 14 from the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England.

Headlining the card will be a 205 pound tussle between Randy Couture and Brandon Vera, with other match-ups including Michael Bisping vs. Denis Kang, Mike Swick vs. Dan Hardy and more.

As always, feel free to agree or disagree with us and put your money where your mouth is and post your own set of picks for public scrutiny in the comment section below.

Randy Couture vs. Brandon Vera

David Andrest:  Have you ever been stuck watching Oprah with your wife or girlfriend. Heard  the wonderful stories about troubled youth who turn their life around and now have everything on the right track? Watched an apology or public service announcement given by a formerly “troubled” pro athlete?  That is the same feeling I get every single time I hear Brandon Vera speak.  The overwhelming feeling that he is saying what he thinks he is supposed to say, and doesn’t believe a word of it himself.  Hearing him talk, I patiently wait for him to tell us he wants to be a veterinary assistant someday because he really wants to help sick animals.  Brandon Vera will never be the UFC  light heavyweight champion,  he will never be the heavyweight champion.  With that put out there, every single bit of common sense would tell you to take Vera in this fight.  Couture is 46 years old, has to be slowing down right??  However,  Vera  doesn’t show up for big fights, and I have no reason to believe this will be any different.  Couture is still just too good  for  B level  fighters, and will handle Vera.

Winner:  Randy Couture  via Decision

Cory Brady: I totally understand what it’s like to have a burning desire to achieve what othres say you can not, but in some cases, it’s just way better off if you keep your aspirations inside. Such is the case with Vera and his longtime goal to become a UFC champion at both heavyweight and light heavyweight. Some things are just better left unsaid, otherwise, “they’re all going to laugh at you”. While Vera certainly has a strikers chance in this bout, common sense points to Couture being able to deposit him on the mat and grind his face into lasagna leftovers. With that being said, don’t be too surprised if Vera manages to clip Randy at some point. Brandon is a more technical striker than Chuck Liddell in my opinion, just doesn’t carry the one punch knockout power that “The Iceman” does.

Winner: Randy Couture via (GNP) TKO

Michael Bisping vs. Denis Kang

David Andrest:  If you read a lot of these things, I’m sure you ( like me) are tired of the “ how will Bisping bounce back from his near death experience against Dan Henderson” .   The truth is, he better forget that happened and continue growing as a fighter.  If he takes a step back, and shows up to prove a point and be the “old”  Bisping, he will be too aggressive and Kang will capitalize.  I for one think Kang is the better fighter  both on the feet and on the floor.  And I will say this,  Kang had better end this as he will not win a decision in Manchester .

Winner :   Denis Kang   via submission

Cory Brady: Bisping has yet t be submitted in his professional career, and nothing in Kang’s recent history suggests that he’s going to be the guy. If a 205 pound Red Schafer couldn’t do it, a 185 pound Kang’s chances being slim at pulling off a sub still seem optimistic at best. I feel like this fight stays standing, and the only way it doesn’t is if Bisping chooses to take it to the canvas. On the feet Kang may very well possess the heavier hands, but its nothing like Hendo Power, and I feel like “The Count” is a slightly more technical striker. I see Bisping catching Kang with something after a serious sizing up process and finishing it off with a little standing ground and pound over the fallen Canadian.

Winner: Michael Bisping via TKO

Mike Swick  vs. Dan Hardy

David Andrest:  I like both guys a lot as fighters,  and this honestly is a tough fight to call.  I think we all know what to expect from Swick.   Good stand up,  good on the ground, good all around fighter.  The wild card in this equation is Hardy.  In spite of how people feel about Hardy, I suspect we still haven’t seen everything he has to offer.   Unlike Cory,  I will pick from my gut and make no apologies for it. For no logical reason what so ever  I’m picking Dan Hardy, I can’t even begin to picture how he wins.

Winner:  Dan Hardy via TKO

Cory Brady: David’s right, there’s no way I’m picking a fight without being able to back it up with something. I mean hell, even if I’m going with my gut, I usually feel like there’s at least one key to victory for my guy. I just don’t see that being the case with Hardy. “The Oulaw” is undoubtedly one of my favorite fighters to watch throw down. and I’m definitely not saying he stands no chance of winning this fight, but in my opinion Swick is just a little bit better technically in more areas than Hardy. Striking, edge goes to Swick; Wrestling, Swick; experience against top opposition, Swick; Submissions, Swick. You see what I’m getting at. As a sidenote, there’s absolutely no reason for this fight not to end up with “Fight of the Night” honors.

Winner: Mike Swick via unanimous decision

Ross Pearson vs. Aaron Riley

David Andrest:  Very close fight all around as the two fighters have a very similar style.  I for one have to pull my  “Joe Silva did this for a reason “ card and pick Pearson for the win.  The UFC doesn’t typically set their TUF winners up for failure.

Winner: Ross Pearson via decision

Cory Brady: This should be a competitive, crowd pleasing scrap with both fighters having their moments. I don’t expect for either man to walk over the other, so be prepared for a three round battle in this one. I feel like this fight will end up being fought primarily on the feet, with the similarities of both fighters causing it to be more of a tactical give and take type affair. This fight is either man’s to win, it’s all bout who performs on Saturday evening. However, one factor that should never be ignored in a close bout on paper is the infamous hometown advantage.

Winner: Ross Pearson via unanimous decision

James Wilks vs. Matt Brown

David Andrest: Some people may view this fight as close in some way.  It’s not.  Matt Brown is better everywhere and tougher.  Look for Brown to control the action and dominate the Wilks.  Brown will stop this one early on his way to a TKO victory and  KO of the night bonus.

Winner: Matt Brown via TKO

Cory Brady: Is there a better person to cast your “Most improved fighter of all time” vote for in all of MMA than Matt Brown? If I’m forgetting someone, please feel free to remind me. I mean, the guy walks into the Ultimate Fighter house with a record of 7-6, and leaves one of the absolute grittiest welterweight in the UFC. While I’m not going to go as far as to say that Brown is better everywhere, I do feel like they don’t make them much tougher than Matt, and I fully expect him to give Wilks a beating he will not soon forget. Talk about a sink or swim opponent for James’ first fight out of the gate, jeesh.

Winner: Matt Brown via TKO

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Vera is a very talented fighter but every time he really steps up the competition he seems to wilt. Think of a LHW version of Gonzaga. If he faces someone who isnt going down easy it spells a lose or a very boring fight. Couture via gnp 2nd
    I dont see Bisping having the power to KO Kang here, and say what you want to about his ground game but Bisping is a handful just ask Rashad or Hamill, I see a good 3 rounder here but likely a UD for the Brit.
    I really expect Hardy to come out with something to prove here and take it to Swick. Look for Swick to be a little overwhelmed early here and Hardy to build up enough points to win via a split decision.

  • thatswhatshesaid13 says:

    I really like this card, I think it might be better than 106. I really am confused by the main even however. As they said, all signs point to Vera, but I cannot bring myself to say he’ll win. Randy by UD. Bisping, I think, is overlooking Kang, who has a more complete skill set than Bisping. Kang by UD., although he’ll come close to finishing on multiple occasions. Swick vs. Hardy. Yes. I’m very excited for this fight, as well as Kos vs. AJ, to see who fights GSP. Maybe they could even make it a tournament for the shot? I like that idea. I like Hardy by TKO, and AJ by TKO, both KOOTN. Then I like AJ by TKO, and obviously we won’t get to see the “third place” match between the two AKA fighters. Not much to say on Pearsons fight, as I dont think the guy’s that good, Riley by UD. I also believe Wilks vs. Brown will be FOTN, with Brown taking a UD.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Vera is a better technical striker, but he looks kinda scrawny. Seriously, the man has no ass. How much core body strength can he have? If Couture gets him in the clinch, Vera will take a pummeling. Couture caught Sylvia and Gonzaga, but Vera’s more elusive and probably respects Couture’s power more since he’s smaller than Couture. Vera will try to stick and move, and I expect him to test the waters with leg kicks. He’ll keep Couture moving forward and in his striking range. Vera is an interesting match up and Couture’s age has to be catching up to him, but I’m giving the edge to Couture on this one.

  • edub says:

    Short and sweet.

    Brown by tko
    Riley by dec
    Swick by tko
    Bisping by dec
    Not picking until I see weighins for Couture vs Vera.

  • Makington says:

    Go figure, I have your exact picks edub. I have Swick winning by tko or decision, but I haven’t really decided yet. Probably decision. I also am one of the people who picked Vera. Everyone is saying Vera should win this fight, but they’re going with their gut and picking Couture, but I’m thinking, ‘Vera should win this fight, so I’m going with my gut and picking the guy who should win in the first place.’ I think Vera’s strikes are just a little too sharp and a little too fast for Couture to handle, and he will get caught eventually. I would love to be wrong since Couture is a true champ inside and outside of the ring, and is proving phenomenal odds everyday at 46, but I don’t see him winning.

  • nate says:

    im going to do something silly and pick based on what i want to happen in my silly head. nick o by sub. pearson by ko. hardy by shocking tko. kang better put away bisping.. otherwise it will be the count via controversial “fuck you ya wanker he won” decision. and my most dark horse vera via upset tko. (leg kick punch combo followed by standing gnp) . i cant wait till i re-read this monday to remind myself why you dont pick on who you like more lol.

  • Rich S. says:

    These days, it’s hard not to pick Couture..
    His age really doesn’t even come to mind when picking his fights because that never seems to be a factor..
    But, he got rocked way too many times against Nog, and I don’t think it will be any different here..
    Vera will be very antsy and cautious in the 1st round, slipping in leg kicks and jabs occasionally.
    Then, he will stagger Couture with a small punch that didn’t seem very powerful, and that’s where he’ll start the mauling and take a TKO late in the first round.

    -Vera TKO late r1.
    Just know, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Couture give the performance of his life here.. but this is my gut feeling..

    Bisping has nice, technical striking.. He mixes up the punches and kicks nicely, and he’s got a great ground game if he needs to use it.. But, this style Bisping has picked up, this stick and move, back away and counter style, doesn’t work very well for him. He’s a bit too sloppy for it to work effectively, but as long as he doesn’t get hit, he’ll win.. Well, he will get hit here… Kang will be stronger, and will use that to control Bisping in the standup and on the ground..

    -Kang via Unanimous Decision.

    Dan Hardy is great, and I look forward to seeing more of his fights, but Mike Swick is unstoppable at Welterweight.. Well, at least by guys that AREN’T GSP.
    -Mike Swick via Unanimous Decision.

    I’m still not sold on Ross Pearson.
    -Riley via Unanimous Decision.

    Wilks looked like a mad man at the TUF finale..
    He did OK on the show, but he blew my mind that night..
    I still don’t know if that was him just being THAT dominant, or if Johnson was just totally out of it..
    Either way, Matt “Motherf***ing” Brown is going to control him here..

    -Matt Brown via Unanimous Decision.

  • David Andrest says:

    nate: and my most dark horse vera via upset tko. (leg kick punch combo followed by standing gnp)

    Standing GNP……………….I love it!!

    Not if randy gets the takedown from the guard.

  • David Andrest:
    Standing GNP……………….I love it!!Not if randy gets the takedown from the guard.

    Haha… David, be nice.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    1)Randy vs Vera= Vera via TKO or Randy via Dec. Randy cannot finish Vera, unless he head butts Vera’s nose. LOL
    2)Kang vs Bisping= Kang via TKO. Bisping is not in Kang’s class for me.
    3)Swick vs Hardy=Swick via TKO. Swicks too quick.
    And Brown to win along with Pearson.

  • David Andrest says:

    Sergio Hernandez:
    Haha… David, be nice.

    No malace at all, he made me smile. And after a day like today I could use it.

  • nate says:

    u know what i meant! :-) Standing over a grounded opponent pounding on them! lol but no really the standing gnp will be to mma what the members only jackets did for mens fashion in the 80s lol.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    anyone see at the press conference dan hardy gave a “runners up” trophy to mike swick? swick vowed to give it back to hardys corner after the fight! entertaining stuff eh?. but I doubt hardy will play the mind games as effectively with swick that he could with marcus davis. I’ll take Swick. I’ll be rooting for Vera to live up to his potential but can’t pick him over Randy after that last Nog fight. And I’ll take Kang because Bisping can’t touch his ground game and because I’m from Vancouver, the best city in the world.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    or maybe I’ll wait till the weigh-ins to call Vera Couture like edub. So I can see whos got the “eye of the tiger”

  • JollyDV says:

    bigbadjohn: or maybe I’ll wait till the weigh-ins to call Vera Couture like edub. So I can see whos got the “eye of the tiger”

    Love it!!!

    Vera via TKO
    Swick via TKO
    Kang via UD
    Riley via UD
    Brown via TKO

  • David Andrest says:

    I just have a curious question for those of you picking Vera.

    What has Brandon Vera ever done to lead you to believe he can beat Couture? Is it something that Couture has done?

    serious question.

  • nate says:

    D A- what has he done? not much. but to be honest he looks like sagat from street fighter. and thats pretty sweet. that and everyone always picks randy. i know i know…never bet against randy couture.. good thing i got no money on it. i was picking how wives pick the winner of football games…ooh i like the purple team!

  • edub says:

    David Andrest: I just have a curious question for those of you picking Vera. What has Brandon Vera ever done to lead you to believe he can beat Couture? Is it something that Couture has done? serious question.

    Um just gonna list some certain things that could help him…

    Randy struggles with quicker guys early on in some of his fights; Vera has a strong Greco background; Randy struggles with good strikers if he takes too many shots looking for the clinch; If Vera loses it would be the 4th high profile/high ranked fighter to beat him in a row and Vera would be one notch closer to bust, So he might take this as a fight for his career…

  • Rich S. says:

    David Andrest: I just have a curious question for those of you picking Vera.What has Brandon Vera ever done to lead you to believe he can beat Couture? Is it something that Couture has done?serious question.

    Well, I’ve always backed Vera, but I’ll be the first one to tell you his last however many fights have been… unimpressive.

    1. I enjoy calling the upset, and I’m normally right when I do.
    2. Randy got dropped multiple times by Nog’s wild strikes (and I still think he was unconscious before he hit the floor that one time in the 3rd). So, how is he going to fair against Vera’s technical, set up strikes?

    Randy is a great wrestler, and a legend of the sport, but at this point, his chin is far too suspect..
    Brandon Vera KNOWS this is the biggest fight of his life, and he KNOWS that he’ll have to give the performance of his life if he wants to take out this figurative giant.. Therefore, he’s going to pour it on, and he’ll either get taken down consistently and controlled, or he’ll get a knockout.. I happened to choose the latter..

  • Makington says:

    I was basically going to say what Rich said, but he basically covered it. But a couple other things I’ highlight is how good Vera is at striking from his range. He doesn’t have the longest reach, but he uses what he does extremely well. Although he doesn’t have that imposing wrestler physique, his wrestling is still top notch. I believe top notch enough to avoid all, or most, of Randy’s takedowns. If Randy is going to shoot, he is going to have to shoot from far away which I believe Vera can stop anytime. Vera has some of the fastest and most accurate hands at LWH, and although he doesn’t have the power other fighters do with their hands, I think he has enough to finish Couture whose jaw has seemed quite suspect lately to me.

    I’m not absolutely convinced beyond a doubt that Vera will win Dave, but I am leaning slightly more on his side to take the W.


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