Event: UFC Fight Night 22
: "Marquardt vs. Palhares"
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010, at 8 p.m. ET on Spike TV
Location: Frank Erwin Center from the University of Texas in Austin
Nate Marquardt vs. Rousimar Palhares
Luke Thomas: As I stated on The Fight Fix, Palhares isn't like other opposition Marquardt has fought. He's fought other aggressive grapplers, yes, but with very different styles and in very different ways. Overall, the well-roundedness of Marquardt's game gives me reason to believe that through rough spots, he'll be able to prevail. Marquardt by decision.
Kid Nate: Marquardt is possibly the most well rounded fighter in the division. Alas that means he's not as good as Palhares at submissions or wrestling but is better at striking. Fortunately for Nate, he's better at striking by a much wider margin and should be able to outpoint Palhares on the feet, mostly keep the fight standing and avoid getting submitted on the ground. Marquardt by decision.
Mike Fagan: This is Palhares's biggest fight since losing to Dan Henderson at UFC 88. I picture a very similar fight. In my mind, "Toquinho" needs a submission. That's not going to be impossible, but it's not the likeliest scenario either. Nate Marquardt by decision.
Chris Nelson: As the superior striker with a significant height/reach advantage, this should be Marquardt's fight to lose... I just can't shake the feeling that "Toquinho" will find some opening to grab a heel hook or choke at some point during the 15 minutes. Palhares via submission, round two.
Nick Thomas: Love this fight. Palhares has great slams and is vicious on the ground. I don't think Marquardt can win a decision before Palhares catches him. Palhares by submission.
Leland Roling: Wow, I seriously can't believe my fellow writers have this much faith in Palhares. I thought I was alone. Tough fight, and the safe bet is Marquardt due to his size and overall well-rounded skill-set. Nate is the better fighter, but Palhares has the perfect frame to snap legs and arms. I'm going with Marquardt via decision, but cries for the heel hook will fill the night. Marquardt via decision.
Jonathan Snowden: I think Nate is the better fighter, but I don't like the way he is looking past Palhares. That never bodes well. Palhares via submission.
Efrain Escudero vs. Charles Oliveira
Luke Thomas: I just don't think very highly of the overall MMA game of Oliveira. At least not yet. If Escudero keeps this fight standing, it's his to lose. Escudero by TKO.
Kid Nate: I'm not buying the Oliveira hype. Escudero won't fall into a quick submission and he can hang on the feet. His wrestling will be the difference. Escudero by decision.
Mike Fagan: I don't know much about Oliveira outside of the minute he spent in the Octagon and the long list of Brazilian scrubs on his fight card. Efrain had a similar list of scrubs, but he also has a handful of legit UFC wins. Plus, he lost to Evan Dunham, who looks like a potential top 10 guy. Efrain Escudero by decision.
Chris Nelson: Going with the Brazilian here because, honestly, I have a hard time picking against guys until I see them beaten. I also don't think his strength of schedule is that far apart from Escudero's. Oliveira via submission, round two.
Nick Thomas: Escudero wins this by sprawl and brawl. Escudero by decision.
Leland Roling: Escudero coming in overweight doesn't bode well, and Oliveira has solid stand-up and a wicked guard. Escudero gets caught, Oliveira via submission.
Jonathan Snowden: Winning fights against nobodies in Brazil and winning fights in the UFC are two different things. Escudero by stoppage.
Jim Miller vs. Gleison Tibau
Luke Thomas: Miller's a good wrestler, but not great. He's a decent striker, but not particularly good. And with the size differential, it's a hard slog for the New Jersey product. Tibau by decision.
Kid Nate: Miller is really good, but Gleison Tibau is also good and he's HUGE. Tibau by decision.
Mike Fagan: The last time Miller fought someone this big, he got Maynard'd. Gleison Tibau by decision.
Chris Nelson: This one's a coin flip to me (both sides of the coin saying "decision"). Miller via decision.
Nick Thomas: Tibau is a monster. But I think Miller is just a bit better in all areas. Miller by decision.
Leland Roling: Miller's wrestling will be key, especially if Tibau comes in winging overhands. Miller via decision.
Jonathan Snowden: Jim Miller did the podcast. That must be good luck. Miller by decision.
Cole Miller vs. Ross Pearson
Luke Thomas: Pearson, the physical brute with good takedown defense, is a bad style match-up for Miller. Unless Miller's jab has really improved in the last year, I don't see an outcome in his favor. Pearson by TKO.
Kid Nate: I'll be pulling hard for Miller, but I'm afraid Pearson is just too much. Pearson by TKO.
Mike Fagan: Both guys like to win fights when I pick against them. I like Miller's chances if he gets Pearson on the floor, but that's going to be a tough task. Pearson's going to own him on the feet. Ross Pearson by decision.
Chris Nelson: Miller should be able to take Pearson down and win this on the floor, but I worry about the ATT product getting clipped and falling to pieces in the process. Micah Miller's boxing looked much-improved the other night - I choose to take that as a good portent. Miller via submission, round one.
Nick Thomas: On the feet, it's all Pearson. Pearson by decision.
Leland Roling: Pearson's range fighting and footwork will win this one. Pearson by decision.
Jonathan Snowden: For some reason I am feeling Miller in this one. He's a really good fighter and despite the TUF success, I don't know that Pearson is ready for Miller on the mat. Miller by submission.
Yves Edwards vs. John Gunderson
Luke Thomas: The Yves Edwards who KO'd Josh Thomson holds a special place in my heart, but that isn't this guy. Gunderson by decision.
Kid Nate: It's nice to see Yves in the UFC again. Sadly, like Caol Uno, his UFC days are past. Gunderson by decision.
Mike Fagan: Yves just got decision'd by a guy who washed out of the WEC's 155 division. Gunderson's no world beater, but he should take this. John Gunderson by decision.
Chris Nelson: Edwards' only loss since the Duane Ludwig fight in Strikeforce has been a highly dubious split decision to Mike Campbell. Call me crazy, but I think he catches Gunderson here. Edwards via submission, round two.
Nick Thomas: Edwards is going to get grinded out. Gunderson by decision.
Leland Roling: Gunderson will use his wrestling to neutralize Edwards' stand-up, and grind it out to a decision. Gunderson via decision.
Jonathan Snowden: Voting with your head is something for other people. I will ride with Yves until they ring that final bell. Edwards via KO.
Jared Hamman vs. Kyle Kingsbury
Luke Thomas: Kingsbury appears to be in physically better shape, but I doubt that adds much to the complexion of this fight. Hamman by TKO.
Kid Nate: Should be a royal beat down. Hamman by TKO.
Mike Fagan: This might be more competitive than some people think, but Jared Hamman by decision.
Chris Nelson: Admittedly, I'm not entirely sure who Kyle Kingsbury is. Hamman via TKO, round one.
Nick Thomas: Hamman by whatever he wants. Hamman by TKO.
Leland Roling: Kingsbury has a shot, but with over eleven months off and Hamman's power... it could be lights out. Hamman via TKO.
Jonathan Snowden: Hamman by TKO.
Dave Branch vs. Tomasz Drwal
Luke Thomas: This is close. Drwal has faced better opposition and is a devastating puncher. Branch is super tough and a good BJJ player. I also don't know how the time off for Drwal is going to affect him. I always try to bet against those who have had layoffs. Branch by submission.
Kid Nate: Drwal is very tough at middleweight. Branch looked tentative against Gerald Harris. Drwal by TKO.
Mike Fagan: Branch didn't do anything for me against Gerald Harris, and Drwal is someone I could see with a future at 185 so long as he keeps his knee intact. Tomasz Drwal by decision.
Chris Nelson: Branch almost made me look like a genius last time out, when I forecasted his ability to mount a comeback... then Gerald Harris slammed him into oblivion. I'll take another chance on the Renzo Gracie black belt facing a six-months-off Drwal. Branch via submission, round three.
Nick Thomas: As long as Branch can weather the early storm it's Branch by decision.
Leland Roling: Branch looked awfully good against Harris until he was slammed into ESPN's top ten plays of the day. Tough call, but Drwal's toughness and power leans me in his direction. Tomasz Drwal via TKO.
Jonathan Snowden: The UFC is looking for fighters to rep their home countries on European swings. I think Drwal may be one of those guys. Drwal by decision.
Rich Attonito vs. Rafael Natal
Luke Thomas: Kind of a close call, but I'll go with Natal's strength of schedule. Natal by TKO.
Kid Nate: Natal is no world beater, but Attonito came out of a very talent starved season of TUF. Natal by TKO.
Mike Fagan: I'll take the guy who stopped Travis Lutter over the guy who stopped the Yager Bomb. Rafael Natal by decision.
Chris Nelson: Even two years later, it's hard to pick Natal after seeing him get his head kicked off by Eduardo Telles. He looked good and had an actual gameplan against Travis Lutter though, and while Attonito is good, he's not on Natal's level. "Sapo" via TKO, round two.
Nick Thomas: If Natal can stop Lutter, he can stop Attonito. Natal by TKO.
Leland Roling: Natal hasn't impressed me in the slightest in his regional bouts, but he fight from range rather well. Look for him to pepper Attonito and crush him with a big blow as the fight progresses. Natal via TKO.
Jonathan Snowden: Natal by TKO. These fights are not good...
David Mitchell vs. Anthony Waldburger
Luke Thomas: I'll give Mitchell's BJJ a play here. Mitchell by submission.
Kid Nate: Two UFC newbies meeting in the Octagon. Waldburger is only 22. I may be saying this because I saw him lose to Pete Spratt, but he just didn't impress me as a killer. Mitchell by decision.
Mike Fagan: I'll admit I'm just playing groupthink here. David Mitchell by decision.
Chris Nelson: Mitchell's sub game is a joy to behold. Mitchell via submission, round one.
Nick Thomas: Mitchell has a ground game that will be trouble for the wrestler Waldburger. Mitchell by submission.
Leland Roling: Waldburger is a bit of a live dog here, and while many are focusing on Mitchell's jiu-jitsu -- War Machine was able to avoid almost everything and damage him for a few rounds. With that said however, Waldburger isn't much of a thrasher. Mitchell via submission.
Jonathan Snowden: Finally, the epic Waldbruger-Mitchell showdown the world has awaited for so long. Mitchell by decision.
Brian Foster vs. Forrest Petz
Luke Thomas: Petz is ok. Foster is a lot better than that. Foster by TKO.
Kid Nate: Petz is the past, Foster is the present. Today beats yesterday everytime. Foster by decision.
Mike Fagan: Foster is 1-2 in the UFC, but those losses come to a couple of pretty legit guys. And he beat Brock Larson (though that seems to mean less and less these days). Pets is on the wrong side of 30. Brian Foster by decision.
Chris Nelson: Expecting the younger, less battle-worn Foster to take this with relative ease and put "The Meat Cleaver" on the chopping block. Foster via decision.
Nick Thomas: Huge fan of Foster after this fight with Larson. Foster by decision.
Leland Roling: Petz reminds me of summer nights at the local watering hole when two guys fight over who's better -- Jeff Gordon or Tony Stewart. Sometimes, he's just plain sloppy and brawls too much. Foster will hurt him, and Petz will go into bar mode. Foster via TKO.
Jonathan Snowden: Foster by decision.