UFC 98 Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida Predictions: The Undercard

98_wallpaper_medium Brock Larson (25-2) vs. Chris Wilson (14-5)

Luke Thomas: As formidable as it is, I'm a little concerned that Larson believes too much in his left straight. It's a powerful tool, but standing with Wilson would be a major mistake for Larson even if he is a southpaw with big power. As long as Larson sticks to his aggressive wrestling which forces opposition to defend and move and in the process leave openings for positional advancement, submissions or further punishment, Larson should take the decision. Larson by unanimous decision.

Kid Nate: Why are they continuing to feed Wilson to wrestlers who will put him on his back and grind out a decision? Wilson should be getting the Chris Lytle's and Marcus Davis' of the division so he can showcase his standing skills. I expect Larson will ground and pound Chris Wilson right out of the UFC. Larson by decision.

Brent Brookhouse:  There is a simple reason this fight isn't on the main card...it's going to go to a decision.  Hughes/Serra, Edgar/Sherk, and Machida/Evans are all probably going to decision.  XFP/McFedries is needed on the main card as it probably ends quickly.  Wilson is a guy who could have maybe developed into a minor star if he was given fights that showcased what he does well.  Instead, he is going to get taken down and pounded on for three rounds.  Brock Larson by decision.

Mike Rome:  This fight should really be on the main card instead of the McFedries fight.  I'm taking Larson via decision, he can impose his will with wrestling.

Michael Fagan: I thought Larson was a favorite before the armed robbery, and now it's really hard to picture Wilson winning this.  I hope his head's in it because Brock Larson's a tough dude.  Brock Larson by decision.

Cannon Jacques:  This has the potential to be a great match.  Though Wilson is quite capable of pulling this one out, Larson's wrestling ability along with his strength and size should be the determining factors.  Larson by decision.

Eugene Schelfaut: I like Wilson, but I don't see him off his back or with his hand raised. Brock Larson by RNC, round 3.

Leland Roling: Wilson has solid striking ability, but Larson's overpowering wrestling coupled with the fact he trains with beasts like Sherk everyday should be enough for him to put on a smothering ground and pound win. Larson via decision.

Yoshiyuki Yoshida (10-3) vs. Brandon Wolff (7-3)

Luke Thomas
: Wolff is another Hawaiian prospect (and former Navy SEAL) who possesses a fair amount of durability and not much else. And everytime he's presented with opposition that have legitimate skills, those opponents are able to lord aforementioned skills over Wolff, be it the clinch of Saunders or the wrestling of Fukuda. This is Yoshida's fight to lose. Yoshida by TKO, round 2.

Kid Nate: Yoshida, despite his loss to Koscheck, is operating at a whole 'nother level from the outmatched Wolff. I'll expect a clinch, a throw and a battering with elbows. Yoshida by TKO.

Brent Brookhouse:  Wolff isn't going to have an answer for Yoshida's game.  No answer at all.  Yoshida by TKO, round 1.

Mike Rome:  I think Yoshida's judo is going to be too much for Wolff, who doesn't look like a UFC level fighter.  Yoshida via TKO, round 1.

Michael Fagan:  Why Yoshida is fighting someone like Wolff is beyond me.  It's good to hear that a Japanese guy is eschewing training at home and instead comes to an elite American camp.  Yoshida by TKO, round 1.

Cannon Jacques:  Both fighters are coming off devastating losses.  However, Yoshida's was to Koscheck while Wolff lost to Ben Saunders.  Yoshida should take this one.  Yoshida by TKO, round 2.

Eugene Schelfaut: Yoshida wakes up from Koscheck's KO in time to finish Brandon Wolff sometime in the second. Yoshiyuki Youshida by TKO.

Leland Roling: Yoshida is beastly when you're jammed against the fence, and his judo will only help him get Wolff into that position. Yoshida via TKO, Round 1.

Tim Hague (9-1) vs. Patrick Barry (4-0)

Luke Thomas: "The Thrashing Machine" in Hague is incredibly strong, but isn't even approximately close in skill to Barry standing. And while Barry possesses some clear liabilities on the floor, Hague isn't the one to exploit them. Barry by TKO, round 1.

Kid Nate: Barry is being given a gift here. Hague is another perfect opponent for him. Barry by TKO.

Brent Brookhouse: When I bring up things like wanting to see Houston Alexander get a tailor-made matchup someone always responds with "that doesn't happen in the UFC, every fight is hard."  But every card you look and see things like Pat Barry getting the exact kind of guy he can eat alive because the promotion wants to groom him into a star.  Let's not pretend there is any outcome other than Pat Barry by KO.

Mike Rome:  There's a lot of hype on Patrick Barry due to his kickboxing background.  He looked very uncomfortable on the ground, so I suspect his entire gameplan is sprawl and brawl.  I'm going to pick Barry via KO, round 2.

Michael Fagan: Barry's an absolute stud.  Expect lots of kicking.  Pat Barry by TKO, round 1.

Cannon Jacques:  It's generally dangerous to make a pick based largely on what you think the promotion wants to happen.  That said, Barry is an exciting, if not one-dimensional, standup fighter.  The UFC likely wants to build him up before putting him in against dangerous competition.  Enter Tim Hague.  Barry by TKO, round 2.

Eugene Schelfaut: Barry wins fast and hard. Pat Barry by KO, round 1.

Leland Roling: I studied Tim Hague for about 5 minutes, and I found out quickly that his Achilles Heel is leg kicks. Interesting how that worked out for Pat Barry. Barry via TKO, Round 1.

Phillipe Nover (7-1) vs. Kyle Bradley (13-6)

Luke Thomas: Bradley has an edge is offensive wrestling, but not by a troubling margin. Everywhere else Nover is superior. While Escudero gave Nover problems, I don't see Bradley dominating in the wrestling nor cleverly integrating well-timed takedowns attempts between striking exchanges. Nover by TKO, round 1.

Kid Nate: Nover should use this matchup as an opportunity to restore some of his luster over the outclassed Bradley. Nover by KO.

Brent Brookhouse:  This is the one fight I'm kind of shocked isn't on the main card.  Nover is going to win, and probably pretty quickly.  Bradley can get stopped, Nover can do the stopping.  Phillipe Nover by TKO, round 1.

Mike Rome:  Nover just looks like the better fighter to me.  He obviously has a weakness in wrestling, but I don't think Bradley is the right guy to take advantage of it.  Nover via TKO, round 2.

Michael Fagan:  This is set up to showcase Nover.  'Nuff said.  Phillipe Nover by submission.

Cannon Jacques:  I'm still pretty high on Nover though he lost to Escudero in the TUF finals.  Bradley has been susceptible to quick TKO's in the past, and Nover's game lends itself to producing such finishes.  Nover by TKO, round 1.

Eugene Schelfaut: We'll see where Nover can go after he beats Bradley. Phillipe Nover by decision.

Leland Roling: Bradley's run in the UFC isn't getting any easier. I think Nover is going to be improved in the takedown defense, and he'll work his Muay Thai to punish Bradley. Nover via TKO, Round 2.

Andre Gusmao (5-1) vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (17-8-1)

Luke Thomas: Soszynski will have a strength advantage, but that will be largely nullified when he and Gusmao clinch. Worse, Gusmao is clearly superior on the floor. Unless Soszynski is able to stay on his horse with lateral movement and precision punching (something he hasn't regularly shown), this is Gusmao's fight to lose. Gusmao by submission, round 1.

Kid Nate: These guys both came out of the IFL where Gusmao was such a hot prospect the UFC actually jumped the gun and tried to sign him while he was still under contract with the IFL. Soszynski on the other-hand was mired in the second tier of IFL talent. I expect Gusmao to outshine Krzystof in every area and get the win. Gusmao by TKO.

Brent Brookhouse:  I'm not changing my tune.  Krzysztof was a middle of the road talent in the IFL.  He did not suddenly become a stud in the fight game because he was on TUF.  Gusmao is a real talent though and one that should dominate Soszynski.  Andre Gusmao by submission, round 2.

Michael Fagan: Gusmao got railroaded by the train known as Jon Jones.  We've come to find out that that isn't exactly a mark against you.  Gusmao by decision.

Cannon Jacques:  Gusmao utilizes a fairly diverse game.  Soszynski is formidable, but doesn't possess as many weapons, in my view.  Gusmao by submission, round 1.

Eugene Schelfaut: Gusmao stops Soszynski's kimura streak at three, but doesn't stop Soszynski. Andre Gusmao by decision.

Leland Roling: I have followed Gusmao since his first fight in the IFL, and I believe he has the skillset to be a formidable opponent in the UFC. Look for his Muay Thai clinch work and striking to overwhelm Soszynski. Andre Gusmao via TKO, Round 2.

George Roop (10-5) vs. David Kaplan (3-3)

Luke Thomas: Kaplan is a far better wrestler and striker than he's ever been given credit, but that's largely because Kaplan is unable to demonstrate in the UFC what he can in the gym. Worse, Roop has the submission skill set and outside striking game to frustrate the tightly compacted Kaplan. Roop by submission, round 2.

Kid Nate: This is a bout between a guy who's marginally qualified for the UFC and a TUF veteran who clearly needed more seasoning before coming to the big show. Kaplan could have the best entrance of the night but I expect he'll be submitted by Roop fairly quickly. Roop by submission.

Brent Brookhouse:  Kaplan earns himself a losing record and a trip out of the UFC after this fight.  George Roop by submission, round 1.

Michael Fagan: Dave Kaplan lost to Junie Browning, who was completely exposed by Cole Miller.  George Roop by submission, round 1.

Cannon Jacques:  I suppose Roop is a little better.  Roop via decision.

Eugene Schelfaut: It is up to Kaplan whether he wants to lose by by submission or decision. I say he goes home early. George Roop by submission, round 3.

Leland Roling: Roop has the reach to keep Kaplan at bay, and the jiu-jitsu to put Kaplan in danger. Roop via submission, Round 2.

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