John Chandler here, breaking down UFC 79: Nemesis fight-by-fight, including detailed predictions along the way.
UFC 79: Nemesis features ten fights including the third fight between Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre for the UFC Welterweight Title and the most anticipated fight in mixed martial arts history when Chuck Liddell takes on arch-rival Wanderlei Silva in a fight years in the making.
Matt Hughes vs Georges St. Pierre - Interim UFC Welterweight Title
Georges St. Pierre has looked great in both of his fights against Matt Hughes and I don’t think that trend is going to change anytime soon. Now that St. Pierre has added some sick takedown defense to his arsenal, it looks like Hughes will only be able to win the fight on the feet or with his back to the mat - two places where Hughes has never won a fight while inside the confines of the UFC. I see St. Pierre stopping Hughes with strikes at some point in the third round.
Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva
I like Chuck Liddell to stop Wanderlei Silva in this one. I don’t think that he’s going to knock him out as promised but I can see Silva being put in a position where the referee might be forced to stop the fight. Silva likes to charge right at you with strikes and that style is tailor made for Liddell who loves to counter-punch. This is a must-win fight for Liddell and he should be able to pull it off.
Ryoto Machida vs Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
In my opinion, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou has the style to finally make Ryoto Machida abandon his conservative ways in the cage. I expect Sokoudjou to be in his face from the moment the fight begins. The way Kazuhiro Nakamura landed continuous wild punches in Machida’s last bout convinces me that Machida isn’t going to last very long. A punch from Sokoudjou is going to be way different compared to the shots Machida was taking from Nakamura. I expect Sokoudjou to continue his amazing run and knock Machida out within the first two rounds.
Rich Clementi vs Melvin Guillard
With the exception of Liddell-Silva, Rich Clementi going up against Melvin Guillard is the one bout that I’m really excited for. The stream of bad blood between these two is a long one and I’m sure we will see the effects of it in this bout. Unless Guillard has improved his submission defense immensely during his time off, I don’t see him doing very welll in this matchup. Clementi will most likely end up taking Guillard’s back and sinking in a rear naked choke that will ultimately end the fight just minutes in.
Eddie Sanchez vs Soa Palelei
A lot of people don’t really know who Soa Palelei is but they are definitely going to know after this fight. This one has fight of the night written all over it. Both guys like to bang and I’m pretty sure that’s what we can expect to see. I’m taking Palelei in this one. While Eddie Sanchez is a dangerous striker in his own right, he tends to start throwing winging shots and that’s not a good idea against a guy like Palelei, who throws very crisp, accurate punches. Palelei should stop Sanchez in the first round.
James Irvin vs Luis Cane
James Irvin gets yet another chance in the UFC when he goes up against Luis Cane in a preliminary bout. I don’t really know that much about Cane but looking at his record it’s obvious that likes to stay on the feet, which is exactly what Irvin’s game is. Another fight of the night candidate for fight of the night. Irvin’s experience gives him the edge in this one and I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes this one by submission after Cane goes to the ground.
Doug Evans vs Mark Bocek
Doug Evans vs. Mark Bocek is an interesting bout between two guys that were thrown to the dogs in their UFC debut but each showed inklings of potential in their respective fights. I love what Bocek brings to the table but this is another matchup that doesn’t bode well for him stylistically. Evans is another solid wrestler and gave Roger Huerta some fits in their fight. I think this one will go the distance with Evans pulling out a unanimous decision.
Nate Mohr vs Manny Gamburyan
This should be an easy win for Gamburyan. He has no business standing with Mohr and I highly doubt that he won’t shoot in for a takedown right off of the bat. Mohr has show solid striking ability but his takedown defense and ground game have been very questionable in his bouts against Kurt Pellegrino and Luke Caudillo. He’s at the right camp (Team Curran) to work on that stuff but it takes time. I like Gamburyan pounding his way to a TKO win.
Jordan Radev vs Dean Lister
This one could make the PPV broadcast based on how fast Lister defeats Radev. Radev has fought some tough guys in his career but none of his opponents are even close to the caliber of ground specalist Lister is. Radev’s wrestling is good but it’s not going to help him very much against a guy that wants the fight to go to the ground. I think Lister’s wrestling is decent enough to be able to reverse Radev’s stuffing attempts. Lister should be able to submit Radev in the first round.
Roan Carneiro vs Tony DeSouza
Another interesting matchup on this card. Both guys are very skilled on the ground and this one should end up being a chess match between the two. Whoever makes a mistake and allows their opponent to capitalize first is going to end up losing this one. It’s a tough one to pick but I think Carneiro has the jiu-jitsu style to finish DeSouza no matter where the fight goes on the canvas.
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