Event: UFC 122: "Marquardt vs. Okami"
Date: Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, at 9 p.m. ET on Spike TV
Location: König Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany
Nate Marquardt vs. Yushin Okami
Luke Thomas: Both of these guys have the ability to give the fight away. Marquardt's got more tools, but I wonder if Okami's size and jab is going to give Marquardt problems. Okami by decision.
Kid Nate: Hard one to call. I think Marquardt's speed edge should make the difference. Marquardt by decision.
Mike Fagan: I've been very impressed with Okami's progression since the loss to now-friend Chael Sonnen. That said, he still hasn't overcome his propensity to start slow. It cost him the Rich Franklin fight and it nearly cost him the Mark Munoz fight. Unfortunately, this isn't a five-round affair, and bad habits are hard to break. Nate Marquardt by decision.
Chris Nelson: Finally on the verge of a title shot, Okami's about to get Charlie Brown'd, and it'll be Marquardt yanking the football out from under him. Marquardt via decision.
Nick Thomas: We finally get to see this fight. Okami isn't going to pull a Rousimar Palhares. Okami by decision.
Leland Roling: Marquardt has more tools to win here, and I can guarantee you that Okami is going to use Sonnen's gameplan as his own. Bad idea, because it's absurd to think Marquardt hasn't improved enough to stuff Okami's attempts and then crush him with strikes. Nate Marquardt via decision.
Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara
Luke Thomas: There's a big push behind Rivera and I've always thought whoever started the "Sakara is a boxer!" meme should be shot in the face with a double barrel shotgun. Rivera by TKO.
Kid Nate: Rivera has really looked good lately. Rivera by TKO.
Mike Fagan: I'm a little worried with Sakara having to pull out of the original fight at UFC 118 with an injury, but he's nine years younger than Rivera. Neither guy is making a run at 185, but this should be a fun fight anyway. Alessio Sakara by TKO, round 2.
Chris Nelson: If Nick Thomas can pick every Canadian on every card, I'm going with the guy from Massachusetts this one time... even if I think Sakara's speed and power will be a big problem for the aging "Conquistador." Rivera via TKO, R1.
Nick Thomas: I've always picked Rivera since his win over Kendall Grove. Rivera by decision.
Leland Roling: Tough call since either one of these guys could go to sleep in a split second, but I'm still digging Sakara's speed after dropping to 185. I think he'll catch Rivera with a few speedy one-two's and drop the boom with a follow-up overhand to win. Alessio Sakara via TKO.
Dennis Siver vs. Andre Winner
Luke Thomas: Siver may not win on the feet, but he's got enough to win on the ground if he can't own him standing. Siver by submission.
Kid Nate: Siver should have this one. Siver by TKO.
Mike Fagan: In lieu of a World War 2 joke of questionable taste, I'll say that Siver will put a beating on Winner that will rival the 4-1 thrashing the Germans put on the English in South Africa. The only thing missing will be the vuvuzelas. Dennis Siver by decision.
Chris Nelson: Winner's reach will be something for Siver to deal with, but nothing he hasn't dealt with before. The German pulls off something flashy here. Siver via TKO, R1.
Nick Thomas: Love this fight. It's interesting how Lentz goes to a bottom of an undercard and Winner gets on the main card. Winner by decision.
Leland Roling: Siver's dynamic stand-up game is going to be tough for Winner to wade into throughout this fight, and I think the German will eventually catch him with something and work for the submission while he's stunned. Dennis Siver via submission.
Amir Sadollah vs. Peter Sobotta
Luke Thomas: Sobotta is hanging on by a thread. Sadollah is going to cut him loose. Sadollah by decision.
Kid Nate: This is a gimme fight for Amir. Sadollah by decision.
Mike Fagan: Sadollah annoys the hell out of me as a personality, but Sobotta can't beat [insert random English fighter in the UFC]. Amir Sadollah by decision.
Chris Nelson: Sadollah's still far from a top-level fighter, but he's hung in there with some good ones. Sobotta is no Dong Hyun Kim, or even Johny Hendricks. Sadollah via decision.
Nick Thomas: Gift fight for Sadollah. Sadollah by decision.
Leland Roling: Sobotta doesn't belong in the UFC. Just stating facts. He's heavily limited by the region's lack of training superstars, and he needs to, at the very least, head to England. Sadollah's kickboxing in Holland is going to bomb Sobotta here. Amir Sadollah via decision.
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Goran Reljic
Luke Thomas: This is a total pick 'em. I'll barely side with Soszynski given the wider arsenal of attack. Soszynski by TKO.
Kid Nate: Soszynski should be too much for Reljic who just doesn't seem to have recovered from his injuries. Soszynski by TKO.
Mike Fagan: Have the injury cobwebs washed away? Is 205 his best way class? I hope so. Goran Reljic by decision.
Chris Nelson: Can't pick Soszynski anymore after that second Bonnar fight, so I guess it's Reljic via TKO, R2.
Nick Thomas: Picking my fellow Canuck as usual. Soszynski by decision.
Leland Roling: It's a stretch, but I think Goran will return to his kickboxing here and sizzle some of those heavy kicks into a plodding Soszynski. Goran Reljic via decision.
Under card (May not be broadcast):
Rob Kimmons vs. Kyle Noke
Luke Thomas: Noke should win, but this is a fight of the most minimal significance. Noke by submission.
Kid Nate: Noke should outshine Kimmons in every aspect here. Noke by decision.
Mike Fagan: Man, it's a really good thing the UFC is integrating the WEC. This show is lacking depth. Rob Kimmons by decision.
Chris Nelson: The Aussie is a much better fighter than he gets credit for. Kimmons isn't bad either, but I expect Noke to pick Kimmons apart on the feet before putting him away in the second or third period. Noke via TKO, R2.
Nick Thomas: This is Noke's fight to lose. Noke by decision.
Leland Roling: Noke's versatility should keep him out of danger on the ground. He'll cruise via wicked leg kicks and peppering strikes on the feet. Kyle Noke via decision.
Alexandre Ferreira vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
Luke Thomas: Matyushenko should completely smother him. Matyushenko by decision.
Kid Nate: Cacareco is too one dimensional and won't be able to control Vlad on the ground. Matyushenko by decision.
Mike Fagan: I don't see Ferreira joining a list that includes Jon Jones, "Minotoro" Nogueira, Tito Ortiz, and Andrei Arlovski. Vladimir Matyushenko by decision.
Chris Nelson: I would've loved to see these guys fight 10 years ago, when they were originally supposed to. The "Janitor" should be able to hold Ferreira down and pound him to a decision win, but "Cacareco" is fired up and coming in on a roll. Just a hunch, but Ferreira via submission, R1.
Nick Thomas: Matyushenko won't get caught on the ground. Matyushenko by decision.
Leland Roling: Cacareco can't handle being pounded on, and Matyushenko's style works off that very premise. Unless Cacareco can somehow quickly submit Matyushenko early, Matyushenko should be able to smother him in ground and pound for the entire fight. Vladimir Matyushenko via decision.
Pascal Krauss vs. Mark Scanlon
Luke Thomas: This Krauss fellow seems to have the wrestling and submission skills to get it done. Krauss by submission.
Kid Nate: Krauss is bringing the hype. I'm buying. Krauss by submission.
Mike Fagan: "Panzer" is a very manly nickname. Pascal Krauss by submission, round 2.
Chris Nelson: Haven't seen much of either guy, but I've seen enough of Krauss to know he's something special. The tank should come out firing on all cylinders with his vicious strikes and use his reach advantage to pick up a win before his countrymen. Krauss via TKO, R1.
Nick Thomas: This will be a close fight. Picking the bigger Krauss by decision.
Leland Roling: Krauss is the much more diverse fighter in this match-up, and the fact that he has fairly good stand-up in combination with proven submission skills should put Scanlon on ice. Pascal Krauss via submission.
Duane Ludwig vs. Nick Osipczak
Luke Thomas: Osipczak. Come on.
Kid Nate: Bang's time has passed. Osipczak by decision.
Mike Fagan: One of these guys is about to be a merger casualty. Sorry Duane. Nick Osipczak by decision.
Chris Nelson: Tough fight to call with both guys presumably fighting for their UFC lives. I've got to go with the one who's not coming off of a gruesome ankle injury. Osipczak via decision.
Nick Thomas: Osipczak with the height, reach and size advatage. Osipczak by decision.
Leland Roling: I think Osipczak's extensive training at Team Rough House in combination with his physical attributes will frustrate Ludwig to no end. Nick Osipczak via decision.
Seth Petruzelli vs. Karlos Vemola
Luke Thomas: I'll give Petruzelli the very reluctant nod. Petruzelli by TKO.
Kid Nate: They're expecting this one to be a slobberknocker. Petruzelli by TKO.
Mike Fagan: I think there's a reason Seth Petruzelli is 0-3 in the UFC. Karlos Vemola by decision.
Chris Nelson: Vemola is too wild, and this is his first cut to 205 after spending his career at heavyweight. Petruzelli via decision.
Nick Thomas: If Petruzelli doesn't gas, it's Petruzelli by decision.
Leland Roling: Karlos Vemola's striking deserves some accolades for being over-the-top horrific. I've never seen a guy miss consistently by a foot or more when winging wild overhands, and Seth Petruzelli is going to run one right down the middle and counter Vemola. Seth Petruzelli via KO.
Kris McCray vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha
Luke Thomas: Look at who Rocha has fought. Absolute nubs. Complete and total jobbers. McCray has work to do to stay at the UFC level, but I suspect Rocha is completely overrated. McCray by TKO.
Kid Nate: Rocha by submission.
Mike Fagan: Wikipedia lists Rocha as being born in Fortaleza, Brazil, fighting out of Tom's River, New Jersey, and all eight of his fights in Germany. I'll assume he's packing the best of Thiago Silva, Frankie Edgar, and Semmy Schilt. Carlos Eduardo Rocha by submission, round 1.
Chris Nelson: While his striking leaves something to be desired, "Ta Danado" is an absolute terror on the floor. I like him for an early leglock win here. Rocha via submission, R1.
Nick Thomas: McCray just looks so much bigger than Rocha, McCray by decision.
Leland Roling: Rocha is a black belt under legendary red belt Darcio Lira. That should be enough for most people to pick him here, but living in Germany is 2007 and fighting the sub-par competition in the area is a concern. Regardless, McCray is in trouble. Carlos Eduardo Rocha via submission, Round 1.