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UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes Main Card Preview/Predictions Part 1

Good afternoon Maniacs.

Here is my preview/predictions for the Main Card of UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes part 1. I'm gonna do the co-main and main in a separate post because I don't want it to be too long like my preview of the undercard. Let me know what your guys predictions are and what you think of my predictions, leave a comment.

Also, here's a link to the undercard predictions:
http://www.mmamania.com/2012/1/4/2683367/ufc-142-aldo-vs-mendes-preview-and-predictions-preliminary-fights

Lightweight bout: Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim

Background: Barboza is 9-0 and Etim is 15-3

Edson Barboza - 25 years old - 5'11" - Reach: 75"

-Barboza was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and made his pro debut in 2009. This is his forth fight in the UFC, and his second fight in Brazil. He has two "Fight of the Night" (FOTN) awards in the UFC; his last two outings at UFC 128 and UFC 134 respectively. He has a finish percentage of 77% with 6 KO/TKO's and 1 submission with 2 TKO's due to leg kicks. He is a purple belt in BJJ, but his highlight real belongs to his Muay Thai, in addition to his MMA striking accolades, he is 25-3 in pro Muay Thai bouts with 22 (T)KO's. While competent on the ground, his striking is his best bet for success in any fight. If you want to see great technique from him, watch the combination that dropped Ross Pearson at the beginning of round 2 at UFC 134: awesome. His two biggest wins have been over Pearson and Anthony Njokunai, both by decision.

Youtube video:

Edson Barboza Tribute (via 080910anthony)

Terry Etim - 25 years old - 6'1" - Reach: 73"
-Etim was born in Liverpool, England and has been fighting as a professional since 2005. He has been fighting in the UFC since 2007, going 6-3 in the promotion. His biggest win is over Sam Stout at UFC 89, he's had a lot of success overall, but most of his opponents he has wins over aren't long of the UFC, and return to the regional circuit quickly. He has losses to BJJ black belt Rafael dos Anjos, Rich Clementi, and Gleison Tibau. Etim is known for his grappling/submissions. He is the owner of 4 submission of the night awards. Not surprisingly, most of his wins are by submission: 12 wins by submission and 2 by KO/TKO, for a finish percentage of 93%. Etim isn't helpless on the feet either, a Muay Thai based striker himself, he uses his long legs and arms the best be can, favoring the head kick and knees in the clinch. He is 5-1 in his last 6 fights. He is a 2 stripe blue belt in Luta Livre, a catch wrestling/judo no gi based grappling system, (pretty sure most of you know what that is anyway, but there's a lot of interesting history about luta livre vs. BJJ if you feel like looking it up).

Youtube video:

Terry Etim Highlights (2011) (via MMAforTheWin)


Current Betting odds: -255 Barboza, +215 Etim

My Pick: This looks like an awesome fight! Both are good strikers, but Barboza is the more touted striker. Etim has a lot more wins by submission but may or may not be better on the ground than Barboza. I think Barboza is going to leg kick Etim to hell, and Etim will only stand until he can get it to the ground where he'll be in less danger because Barboza isn't Rafael dos Anjos. The odds makers are favoring Barboza, we haven't seen a lot of his ground game yet, but it's possible he's better than Etim everywhere. U.K. fans can hate on me all they want, I'm calling for a TKO victory for Edson Barboza in the second round.

Welterweight bout: Carlo Prater vs. Erick Silva

Background: Prater is 29-10-1 and Silva is 13-1 (1 NC)

Carlo Prater - 30 years old - 6'0" - Reach: ????

-Prater was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and he's been fighting since 2002. He's been around the block on the regional circuit but had fights in the WEC and Strikeforce. He's fought some decent names: 1-1 with Carlos Condit and 0-2 with UFC vet Drew Fickett. He's bounced around lightweight and welterweight his entire career, sometimes missing the 155lbs limit. Not exactly a finishing machine, with 11 career decisions wins, his finish percentage is 62% with 16 submission wins and 2 TKO‘s. He was last seen on television on a Strikeforce: Challengers card in February in a catch weight 160lbs fight, defeating Bryan Travers in 38 seconds by anaconda choke. He has a 7-4 amateur Muay Thai record and is a Golden Gloves champion in both the US and Brazil. But based on his credentials, it‘s understanding why he has more wins by submission: he is a black belt in BJJ, a black belt in Luta Livre and a brown belt in Judo. His two biggest wins are the win over Condit and one over Spencer Fisher. He is 5-2 in his last 7 fights, and this will be his UFC debut, stepping in as a late replacement.

Youtube video:

Carlo Prater Highlight (via JamesBlair7)

Erick Silva - 27 years old - 5'11" - Reach: 74"
-Silva was born in Vila Velha, Brazil and has been a pro since 2005. He's spent most of his career in Jungle Fight down in Brazil, which included winning the JFC Welterweight title in 2010 in a one night tournament. He made his UFC debut last year at UFC 134, when he KO'd Luis Ramos in under a minute. He is a Muay Thai based striker, a black belt in BJJ and a black belt in Judo. UFC fans don't know him yet, (save the 40 seconds he was in the cage) but it's clear that the UFC wants to develop him into another marketable fighter for South America. His only loss is to one time UFC vet Mario Neto by decision... who fights as a heavyweight. He has 3 wins by KO/TKO and 7 by submission for a finishing percentage of 76%. A member of Team Nogueira, he is coming out of a great camp and he will no doubt progress as a fighter. He has a lot of potential and is already a very good fighter.

Youtube video:

Erick "Indio" Silva HIGHLIGHT (via betobarros007)

Current Betting Odds: -485 Silva, + 385 Prater

My Pick: It's still a week away from the fight, but those odds seem a little crazy to me. Prater has fought longer, fought better competition and has a very similar style... but unless I'm missing something more striking experience as well. Silva is the blue chip prospect, everyone expects great things from him. If you look at his opponents records, however, you find guys with 1-7 , 1-1, ect. I think if I were a betting man and was willing to put some money on a fighter, I would put it on Prater right now, because his chance is better than what the odds indicate. I'm gonna call for Prater to win by decision, a very close decision.

Middleweight bout: Mike Massenzio vs. Rousimar Palhares

Background: Massenzio is 13-5 and Palhares is 13-3

Mike Massenzio - 29 years old - 6'2" - Reach: 73.5"
-Massenzio was born in Teaneck, New Jersey and has been a pro since 2005. Massenzio has a wrestling base, and was a two time state champion in high school as well as a Junior College National Champion. He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and won the NAGA world title at the expert level in 2006. He has 6 wins by submission, 5 by decision and 2 by KO/TKO for a finish percentage of 61%. He's on his second stint in the UFC, his first not going so well: going 1-2 including a TKO loss to CB Dollaway and a triangle choke loss to Brian Stann in a Fight of the Night performance. He was invited back after accepting a light heavyweight fight against Krzysztof Soszynski on only 3 days notice. He lost that fight by decision. He returned to action to fight former WEC light heavyweight champion Steve Cantwell, which he would win by decision at UFC 136 showing improved striking. He is 3-4 in his last 7 fights.

Youtube Video:

Mike Massenzio highlight (via MasonMurdock)

Rousimar Palhares - 31 years old - 5'8" - Reach: 71"
- "Paul Harris" was born in Minas Gerais, Brazil and made his pro debut in 2006. He is a brutally strong if not brutally short middleweight, possibly insane. He made his UFC debut in 2008 and has gone 6-2 in the promotion, losing only to Dan Henderson and Nate Marquardt. He has 9 wins by submission and 1 by TKO, with a finishing rate of 76%. He is also known for making odd decisions in the cage: holding onto a heel hook after the ref tried to break the hold, he was suspended because of it. When he was defeated by Marquardt, he had attempted to lock up a heel hook but Marquardt escaped and proceeded to TKO Palhares while he complained to the referee that Marquardt had greased. At UFC 134 he had Dan Miller on the ground covering up from strikes, but suddenly he walked away thinking he had won the fight. When the ref restarted the action, Palhares was nearly TKO'd by Miller. He would go on to win that fight by decision. Palhares is a black belt in BJJ and Luta Livre and won the silver medal at the 2011 ADCC finals. He is 5-2 in his last 7 fights.

Youtube Video:

Rousimar Palhares - Highlight [HELLO JAPAN] (via HelloJapan05)

Current Betting Odds: -435 Palhares, +380 Massenizo

My Pick: On paper it seems like this fight should be closer. Both have ok striking but they are known for grappling. Little birdie says Palhares is better. Expect a slam or two followed by a painful submission by Palhares. Massenzio is a low card fighter unless something crazy has happened and he's made rapid improvements somewhere.

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