This Saturday, July 7, we are given what is being called a “Stacked” card by the UFC. While I think UFC 74 is shaping up to be a better card, two title fights and a brilliant co-main event do enough to give the moniker some cred:
-Anderson Silva vs. Nathan Marquardt (MW Title)
An interesting match up. Marquardt seems to do everything well, but nothing great. I, like a lot of fans, really haven’t seen enough of Nate (save for the hilarious Youtube clip of Renzo Gracie soccer kicking him in the face after he tried to hit Alameida after the bell). Anderson will want to stay up and Nate will want to take it down, it’s that simple.
I think Anderson can use his length and speed to land strikes on Nate and keep him at bay to pull out a 3rd round TKO. Toughest fight to call in my book, with odds of 2.25 to 1 I would put money on Nate.
-Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Heath Herring
Nog’s debut makes this interesting. The fact that he has beat Herring twice already doesn’t. Herring has failed to live up to his potential and the UFC looks to be using the last fight on his contract to put over the veteran Brazilian. Hopefully he pulls off a sweet submission and Herring just doesn’t lay down so he can show some of the heart that had made him legendary. Nog, sub round 2. Next stop for Nog: UFC title.
-Tito Ortiz vs. Rashad Evans
The most compelling fight on this card, and not even a title fight (the UFC 74 match up of Koschek-GSP will probably do the same to that card). The Rashad band wagon has gained a lot of momentum, and the way a lot of people are talking he should be the easy favorite. For good reason, too.
Rashad has a much better pedigree than Tito in Tito’s own bread and butter, wrestling. The fact the fight is only three rounds definetely hurts Tito’s other main strength, which is his fantastic conditioning. Rashad is also quicker, and seems to have developed superior stand up almost overnight. Tito has experience on his side, and the added motivation of knowing that a loss could forever put him out of another title run in the UFC.
His defense is top notch, and Rashad will have one hell of time putting him away. I don’t see this fight ending, and I really think Rashad can eek out a decision over Tito. Look for Tito to start strong, and Rashad to rally late.
-Sean Sherk vs. Hermes Franca (LW Title)
Sherk will lay on Hermes to a decision. Hermes won’t stop the takedown, and he won’t submit Sherk from his back. Sherk UD. Whoever wins will face BJ Penn, which will be the fight to really light a fire under the UFC LW title.