Here is a preview John and I put together for UFC 67: All or Nothing.
Main Card Bouts:
Mirko Cro Cop vs. Eddie Sanchez
Anderson Silva vs. Travis Lutter
Quinton Jackson vs. Marvin Eastman
Roger Huerta vs. John Halverson
Scott Smith vs. Patrick Cote
Ryoto Machida vs. Sam Hoger
Tyson Griffin vs. Frank Edgar
Jorge Rivera vs. Terry Martin
Dustin Hazelett vs. Diego Saraiva
Also be sure to tune in at 10 PM EST as we’ll be doing one of our patented ‘Live Blogs’ for the PPV.
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (21-4-2) vs. Eddie Sanchez (6-0)
Come Saturday night, UFC fans will witness the presence of one of the world’s best heavyweight fighters. Known for the quote “right kick hospital, left kick cemetery”, Cro Cop is the most dangerous striker in the heavyweight division. Mastering his craft in K-1, Cro Cop fought and defeated the likes of Jerome LeBanner, Peter Aerts, Mark Hunt, and Remy Bonjasky.
In 2001 Cro Cop decided it was time for a change so he made the move to PRIDE fighting Nobuhiko Takada. Cro Cop spent five years with the organization fighting a who’s who list of opponents. Early on Cro Cop had a lot of trouble when the fight was on the ground but lately he has been working hard with BJJ ace Fabricio Werdum. Utilizing an excellent sprawl and a devastating left high kick, this Croatian heavyweight beat the likes of Kazushi Sakuraba, Igor Vovchanchyn, Heath Herring, Aleksander Emelianenko, Josh Barnett, and many others.
Cro Cop’s last appearance in PRIDE came in September of last year when he defeated both Wanderlei Silva and Josh Barnett in the same night to earn the status as the PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix Champion. With the new title Cro Cop decided it was time for a change of scenery and luckily for UFC fans, he choose the American powerhouse.
Last 10 Fights:
Win – Josh Barnett – Submission (Strikes) – PRIDE: Final Conflict Absolute
Win – Wanderlei Silva – KO (Head Kick) – PRIDE: Final Conflict Absolute
Win – Hidehiko Yoshida- Verbal Submission (Leg Kicks) – PRIDE: Critical Countdown Absolute
Win – Ikuhisa Minowa – TKO (Strikes) – PRIDE: Total Elimination Absolute
Loss – Mark Hunt – Decision (Split) – PRIDE: Shockwave 2005
Win – Josh Barnett – Decision (Unanimous) – PRIDE 30: Fully Loaded
Loss – Fedor Emelianenko – Decision (Unanimous) – PRIDE: Final Conflict 2005
Win – Ibragim Magomedov – TKO (Body Kick) – PRIDE: Critical Countdown 2005
Win – Mark Coleman – KO (Punches) – PRIDE 29: Fists of Fire
Win – Kevin Randleman – Submission (Guillotine Choke) – PRIDE: Shockwave 2004
Strengths: Cro Cop is a K-1 caliber striker who has an excellent sprawl. He possesses a devastating left high kick and a vicious straight-left combo. Cro Cop is just plain dangerous when he is on his feet and Eddie Sanchez needs to remember “right kick hospital, left kick cemetery”.
Weaknesses: Cro Cop really doesn’t have much to worry about in this fight. He has the edge in basically every category but my one question is how will Cro Cop adapt to the cage? Assuming he has no problems this should be an easy night for the Croatian killer.
Eddie Sanchez is a Vista, California native fighting out of the North County Fight Club which is home to the likes of UFC veterans Jason Lambert and Wade Shipp. Sanchez currently sports an untarnished mixed martial arts record of 6-0 and he is currently 1-0 in the UFC. His UFC debut came at UFC 63: Hughes vs. Penn when he fought Mario Neto on short notice. After enduring a tough first round Sanchez came out guns ablazin’ in the second and he caught Neto with his patented overhand right sending him face down on the canvas.
Last 6 Fights:
Win – Mario Neto – KO (Punches) – UFC 63: Hughes vs. Penn
Win – Wade Shipp – TKO – TC 13: Anarchy
Win – Julian Rush – TKO (Corner Stoppage) – TC 10: Total Combat 10
Win – Adrian Perez – Submission (Strikes) – KOTC: Flash Point
Win – Anthony Ruiz – Technical Submission (Choke) – KOTC: San Jacinto
Win – Tony Tower – TKO – TC 7: Total Combat 7
Strengths: Eddie Sanchez has heavy hands and he likes to fire off his overhand right but that will be a big mistake if he tries it against Cro Cop. Sanchez’s best opportunity to succeed in this fight will be on the canvas if he can get Cro Cop pinned up against the cage where he’ll have the opportunity to rain down shots.
Weaknesses: Eddie Sanchez is currently in the toughest battle of his life. He is a striker facing another striker whose ability is far superior. In this fight Sanchez will be lacking both standup skill and experience. Cro Cop has fought all over the world against the best and Sanchez only had six professional fights to his name.
Anderson Silva (17-4) vs. Travis Lutter (9-3)
UFC middleweight champion, Anderson “Spider” Silva will be defending his title for the first time since he stole the hardware from Rich Franklin at UFC 64: Unstoppable when he dismantled the man people thought was unstoppable with numerous knees to the body and face. Eventually enough was enough and Franklin crumbled to the canvas with a sore rib cage and a new nose.
Anderson Silva is a big scary Muay Thai fighter who possesses excellent punches, kicks, knees and elbows. Silva has taken the octagon by storm blasting through top contender Chris Leben and former champ Rich Franklin while showcasing his vicious striking skills.
Silva is a former Chute Box member who Muay Thai Dream Team while he trains his BJJ with Brazilian Top Team leaders Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Last 10 Fights:
Win – Rich Franklin – KO (Knee) – UFC 64: Unstoppable
Win – Chris Leben – KO (Knee) – UFC Fight Night 5
Win - Tony Fryklund – KO – Cage Rage 16: Critical Condition
Loss – Yushin Okami – DQ (Illegal Kick) – Rumble on the Rock 8
Win – Curtis Stout – KO – Cage Rage 14: Punishment
Win – Jorge Rivera – TKO – Cage Rage 11: Face Off
Loss – Ryo Chonan – Submission (Flying Scissor Heel Hook) – PRIDE: Shockwave 2004
Win – Lee Murray – Decision (Unanimous) – Cage Rage 8: Knights of the Octagon
Win – Jeremy Horn – Decision (Unanimous) – Gladiator FC: Day 2
Win – Waldir dos Anjos – TKO (Corner Stoppage) – Conquista Fight 1
Strengths: Anderson Silva’s biggest strength is his vicious striking which includes knees, punches, elbows and kicks. He is arguably the best striker in all of mixed martial arts and he has shown he has a deadly Thai clinch. Don’t believe me? Just ask Rich Franklin. Also many people don’t know this but Silva is a BJJ blackbelt under the Nogueira brothers.
Weaknesses: Even though Silva is a BJJ blackbelt under the Nogueira brothers I’d say his weakness in this fight in the ground game. Lutter is the better ground practitioner and Silva has gotten caught in fluke submissions in the past.
Travis Lutter is a BJJ blackbelt who sports a mixed martial arts record of 9-3. Lutter is currently 2-2 in the UFC with victories over Marvin Eastman and Patrick Cote. Lutter made his mixed martial arts debut back in 1998 when he defeated James Cooper by decision. His first MMA loss came against UFC veteran and fellow TUF 4 alumni Jorge Rivera.
After suffering the TKO loss to Rivera, Lutter went on a 3 fight tear winning his first two fights by submission and then his UFC debut by KO when he caught Marvin Eastman with a hailmary right that left the tough kickboxer unconscious on the canvas. After an impressive UFC debut, Lutter was thrown into the octagon with top tier middleweight Matt Lindland who quickly latched on a guillotine and submitted Lutter early in the first round. Lutter was able to rebound from the loss and when he returned to the UFC he luck ran short again when he lost a tough decision to Trevor Prangley.
Since that time Lutter has gone 3-0 with victories over Jose Landi-Jons, Cedric Marks, and Patrick Cote, all by armbar in the first round.
Last 10 Fights:
Win – Patrick Cote – Submission (Armbar) – UFC: Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale
Win – Cedric Marks – Submission (Armbar) – IFF 1: International Freestyle Fighting 1
Win – Joe Landi-Jons – Submission (Armbar) – CR 15: Adrenalin Rush
Loss – Trevor Prangley – Decision (Unanimous) – UFC 54: Boiling Point
Win – Matt Ewin – Submission (Keylock) – CR 12: The Real Deal
Loss – Matt Lindland – Submission (Guillotine Choke) – UFC 52: Couture vs. Liddell 2
Win – Marvin Eastman – KO (Punch) – UFC 50: The War of ‘04
Win – Grzegorz Jakubowski – Submission (Kimura) – EVT 2: Hazard
Win – Mark Epstein – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – EVT 1: Genesis
Loss – Jorge Rivera – TKO (Strikes) – USMMA 2: Ring of Fury
Strengths: Travis Lutter is a veteran who has been around the sport since 1998. He possesses an excellent ground game which will prove to be his biggest asset in this fight. Lutter is also exceptionally strong which helps him when clinching his opponents to drag them to the canvas.
Weaknesses: Lutter cannot stay on the feet in this fight and if he does it will be a short night. Silva will pick him apart from the outside with strikes and kicks which will be costly for Lutter.
Quinton Jackson (25-6) vs. Marvin Eastman (13-6-1)
The anticipated UFC debut of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is certainly something fans have been talking about non-stop ever since it was announced that his contract was brought over from the WFA. Jackson is a renowned wrestler who has spent the majority of his professional career with PRIDE, racking up numerous wins against quality opponents. His opponent for tonight, Marvin Eastman, defeated Jackson in the early stages of his career, losing a unanimous decision at KOTC 4. He is popular with UFC fans as being one of the few fighters who have defeated current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell.
Last 10 Fights:
Win – Matt Lindland – Split Decision – WFA: King of the Streets
Win – Dong Sik Yoon – Unanimous Decision – PRIDE 31: Dreamers
Win – Hirotaka Yokoi – PRIDE 30: Fully Loaded
Loss – Mauricio Rua – KO (Strikes) – PRIDE: Total Elimination 2005
Win – Murilo Rua – Split Decision – PRIDE 29: Fists of Fire
Loss – Wanderlei Silva – KO – PRIDE 28: High Octane
Win – Ricardo Arona – KO (Slam) – PRIDE: Critical Countdown 2004
Win – Ikuhisa Minowa – TKO (Punches) – PRIDE: Shockwave 2003
Loss – Wanderlei Silva – TKO (Strikes) – PRIDE: Final Conflict 2003
Win – Chuck Liddell – TKO (Strikes) – PRIDE: Final Conflict 2003
Strengths: Jackson’s biggest strength is obviously his wrestling. He has the ability to control people on the ground very well and uses strikes to try and stop the fight or get the opponent to give up an opening for a submission. He has awesome slams with the power to be able to knock you out once you hit the mat.
Weaknesses: Jackson has a decent stand-up game but one of his biggest problems that he is too overly aggressive in his approach and usually ends up in him getting caught. He has a suspect chin and he has been stopped multiple times in his career with strikes.
Marvin Eastman is another gifted wrestler who has developed into a solid all-around fighter. Eastman has fought in the UFC twice before in his career – losing in a memorable knockout victory for Vitor Belfort that featured Eastman suffering the largest cut in MMA history to date. Eastman came back to fight at UFC 50 but was knocked out by tonight’s UFC Middleweight Title challenger, Travis Lutter in the second round. Since then, Eastman has blasted through the competition with a record of 7-2-1 and has been brought back to the UFC to try and once again defeat Quinton Jackson.
Last 10 Fights:
Draw – Jorge Oliveira – WFA: King of the Streets
Win – Jason Guida – Unanimous Decision – WEF 18
Loss – Jason Guida – Submission (Guillotine) – WEF 17
Win – Travis Wiuff – Majority Decision – EF 1: Supremacy
Win – Yan Pellerin – Submission (Front Choke) – TKO 22: Lionheart
Win – Alan Belcher – Unanimous Decision – WEF 16
Win – Anthony Rea – TKO – WEF 15
Win – Jason MacDonald – Unanimous Decision – WEF 14
Loss – Jason Lambert – Split Decision – KOTC: Mortal Sins
Win – Vincent Lawler – TKO – Desert Heat
Strengths: Eastman’s biggest strength is probably his heart – no matter where the fight goes, Eastman is always willing to battle until the final bell rings. Eastman is also a solid striker with above average wrestling ability and some submission mixed in as well.
Weaknesses: One of Eastman’s disadvantages over the years has been his height – He is a big 205 lbs but he is only 5’9 tall, that gives fighters taller than him a distinct reach advantage and the ability to pick their shots. Just like his opponent, Eastman is also too aggressive sometimes, leading to him getting caught with a punch or taken down very easily. Their styles should definitely make this an exciting fight.
Scott Smith (10-2) vs. Patrick Cote (8-4)
Scott Smith is a native of Sacramento, California who sports a mixed martial arts record of 10-2. Smith is primarily a striker but he is also versed on the ground. Smith currently trains Muay Thai at the Fairtex Academy with Gunyao.
Smith’s UFC debut came at UFC 59: Reality Check where he suffered a controversial submission loss to David Terrell. Smith’s next UFC appearance came on UFC reality show ‘The Ultimate Fighter 4’ where he was quickly dismissed when he lost to middleweight contender Travis Lutter.
After leaving the reality show, Smith was matched up with good friend Pete Sell on The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale. Their fight proved to be a barn burner as they slugged it out for two rounds before fans witnessed a shocking knockout. Sell unleashed a vicious body shot that left Smith hunched over and on his way down to the canvas but in a last ditch effort Smith fired off a right bomb that caught his charging opponent unconscious on the canvas. Both fighters were left in heaps on the canvas but in the end Smith was declared the winner by KO.
Last 10 Fights:
Win – Pete Sell – KO (Punch) – UFC: Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale
Loss – David Terrell – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – UFC 59: Reality Check
Win – Justin Levens – KO – WEC 18: Unfinished Business
Win – Tait Fletcher – TKO (Punches) – WEC 17: Halloween Fury 4
Win – Tim McKenzie – TKO (Punches) – WEC 17: Halloween Fury 4
Win – John Seilhan – TKO – GC 30: Gladiator Challenge 30
Loss – James Irvin – KO – GC 22: Gladiator Challenge 22
Win – Jaime Jara – KO – GC 20: Gladiator Challenge 20
Win – Jaime Jara – TKO – GC 16: Gladiator Challenge 16
Win – Levi Thornbrue – TKO – GC 10: Gladiator Challenge 10
Strengths: Scott Smith is a very talented fighter who is has some grappling knowledge. Smith is still fairly new to the game and he is always improving.
Weaknesses: In this fight Smith’s only weakness being the wrestling and grappling factor of the fight. I still expect Cote to come out and trade blows but if he has to take the fight to the canvas he should have the edge.
Patrick “The Predator” Cote is the currently TKO Light Heavyweight champion. Cote no longer fights at light heavyweight as he is now a middleweight fighter in the UFC. Cote sports a mixed martial arts record of 8-4 and a UFC record of 0-4.
Cote started his career strong going 5-0 while he carved out his name in Canada’s premier mixed martial arts organization, TKO. Things all changed for Cote when he got the call to fight Tito Ortiz at UFC 50 when Guy Metzger was forced to pull out. Cote was given all he could handle but he proved he was legit taking Ortiz to a decision. Cote’s next UFC appearance came at UFC 52 when he faced off against fellow Canadian Joe Doerksen. The fighters set the pace high exchanging bombs until late in the third when Doerksen took Cote to the canvas and latched on the rear naked choke.
Cote then faced TUF alumni Chris Leben where they met in the center of the octagon and slugged it out for three rounds. In the end Cote loss a razor close split decision to Leben. With his record at 0-3, Cote was forced to go out and win a few fights before he got the call again. Cote was able to beat UFC veterans Bill Mahood and Jason MacDonald which was enough to earn him a spot on TUF 4. Cote made it to the finals and lost by armbar to Travis Lutter.
Last 10 Fights:
Loss – Travis Lutter – Submission (Armbar) – UFC: Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale
Win – Jason MacDonald – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – MFC 9: No Excuses
Win – Bill Mahood – Submission (Choke) – KOTC: Anarchy
Loss – Chris Leben – Decision (Split) – UFC: Ultimate Fight Night
Loss – Joe Doerksen – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – UFC 52: Couture vs. Liddell 2
Win – Ricardeau Francios – Decision (Split) – TKO 19: Rage
Loss – Tito Ortiz – Decision (Unanimous) – UFC 50: The War of ‘04
Win – Bill Mahood – KO – TKO 16: Infernal
Win – Steve Vigneault – KO – TKO 14: Road Warriors
Win – Yan Pellerin – Decision (Unanimous) – TKO 13: Ultimate Rush
Strengths: Patrick Cote is a heavy handed slugger who will have the edge on the ground in this fight. He can definitely stand and slug with Smith in this fight but I feel Smith will have the edge on the feet. Cote will be the better wrestler and grappler.
Weaknesses: Cote has had terrible luck in the octagon so confidence may be a huge factor in this fight for him. He won’t be the better striker in this fight but is he does stand and slug he has a chance of catching Smith with a bomb.
Roger Huerta (15-1-1) vs. John Halverson (13-4)
Roger Huerta is a tough lightweight prospect who sports a mixed martial arts record of 15-1-1. Huerta is a student of former UFC middleweight champion Dave “The Warrior” Menne.
Fighting out of Austin, Texas, Huerta is a skilled striker and wrestler. He is currently on an 11-fight winning streak with victories over Harris Sarmiento, Jake Short, Jason Dent and others.
Huerta made his UFC debut at UFC 63: Hughes vs. Penn where he pulled off a unanimous decision victory off Jason Dent.
Last 10 Fights:
Win – Jason Dent – Decision (Unanimous) – UFC 63: Hughes vs. Penn
Win – Joe Camacho – TKO (Strikes) – Raze MMA: Fight Night
Win – Dan Swift – N/A – EC 66: Extreme Challenge 66
Win – Lee King – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – IFC: Rumble on the Rio 2
Win – Matt Wiman – Decision (Unanimous) – FFC 15: Fiesta Las Vegas
Win – Brad Blackburn – TKO (Corner Stoppage) – IFC: Rock N’ Rumble
NC – Melvin Guillard – No Contest – FFC 14: Freestyle Fighting Championship 14
Win – Kenny Jerrell – TKO – FFC 14: Freestyle Fighting Championship 14
Win – Steve Kinnison – Submission (Choke) – FFC 14: Freestyle Fighting Championship 14
Win – Kaoyuki Kotani – TKO – XFO 4: Xtreme Fighting Organization 4
Strengths: Huerta is a young experienced lightweight prospect who has solid striking and wrestling. Huerta’s hands should give him the edge in this fight.
Weaknesses: Huerta and Halverson are pretty evenly matched but if I had to call a weakness I’d say Halverson has the edge on the canvas.
John Halverson is a native of Waukee, Iowa who sports a mixed martial arts record of 13-4. The strong point of Halverson’s game is definitely his striking but he also possesses some submission skills.
Last 10 Fights:
Win – Jake Brown – Submission (Armbar) – MCC 5: Thanksgiving Throwdown
Win – Juan Bendrickson – Submission (Strikes) – IC 30: Iowa Challenge 30
Loss – Tristan Yunker – Submission – DFC 1: Diesel Fighting Championships 1
Win – Mike Suttles – TKO (Strikes) – TCT 2: Twin Cities Throwdown 2
Win – Anothny White – Submission (Strikes) – XKK: Des Moines
Loss – Sean Huffman – TKO – EC 64: Extreme Challenge 64
Win – Shawn Nolan – Submission – IC: Iowa Challenge
Win – Brian Halstead – KO – BB 10: Blairstown Brawl 10
Win – Miguel Cooley – Decision – XKK: Des Moines
Win – Shawn Nolan – KO – XKK: Xtreme Kage Kombat
Strengths: Halverson is a talented striker who is has some good submissions as well. His strongpoint is striking but in this fight I feel Huerta has the edge so he may want to get on top if things aren’t working out for him.
Weaknesses: I’d say experience will be a factor in this fight. Huerta has faced quite a few more big names then Halverson so that may give him an edge in this battle.
Tyson Griffin (8-0) vs. Frank Edgar (5-0)
Tyson Griffin is the current Gladiator Challenge Bantamweight Champion and is usually regarded as one of the top prospects in the lightweight division, owning wins over fellow young stars Duane Ludwig and Urijah Faber. Griffin remains undefeated at 8-0 and trains with former UFC Middleweight Title contender David Terrell. Griffin made his UFC debut at UFC 63, submitting David Lee with a rear naked choke in the first round of their bout.
Last 8 Fights:
Win – David Lee – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – UFC 63: Hughes vs Penn
Win – Duane Ludwig – TKO (Strikes) – Strike Force: Revenge
Win – Chuck Kim – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – GC 49: Faceoff
Win – Melchor Manibusan – TKO – FFCF 5: Unleashed
Win – Jorge Evangelista – KO – GC 46: Avalanche
Win – Urijah Faber – TKO – GC 42: Summerslam
Win – Cody Williams – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – GC 36: Proving Grounds
Win – Ryan Frost – TKO – GC 32: King of the Hill
Strengths: Griffin is a fantastic fighter on the ground with the ability to submit people or pound them out with ease. He sports awesome strength for a lightweight and is also not afraid to stand up and use his hands if he is forced to.
Weaknesses: Griffin has only had 8 MMA fights in his career so a lack of experience is an obvious weakness for him. He has only had one fight go past the first round so far in his career so is ability to perform in the later rounds of a fight have not yet been seen.
Frank Edgar is the current Reality Fighting Lightweight Champion who sports a perfect record of five wins and no losses. The most remarkable thing about Edgar is that he has only been fighting professionally since the fall of 2005. Edgar trains with the Rhino Fight Team and is a former All-American wrestler at Clarion University.
Last 5 Fights:
Win – Jim Miller – Unanimous Decision – RF 14
Win – Deividas Taurosevicius – Unanimous Decision – RF 13: Battle at the Beach
Win – Steve Macabe – Submission (Guillotine) – ROC 10
Win – Jay Isip – Submission (Front Choke) – Sportfighting 2
Win – Mark Getto – TKO – ROC 9
Strengths: Edgar has awesome wrestling ability and should give Griffin at least a challenge if this fight goes to the ground. He’s shown good stamina in all of his fights and the ability to finish the fight on the ground and standings. He sports decent submissions and is considered to be the best lightweight prospect on the East Coast.
Weaknesses: Five MMA fights? Enough said. Edgar has fought strictly on the East Coast and against limited competition. His overall skill set can’t also be as developed as Griffin’s at this point either.
Jorge Rivera (14-5) vs. Terry Martin (14-2)
Jorge Rivera is a UFC veteran with a professional MMA record of 14-5. Rivera made his UFC debut at UFC 44, winning a unanimous decision over David Loiseau. He lost his next fight at UFC 46 to Lee Murray, who submitted him with an armbar. Rivera returned to the Octagon again at UFC 50, only to lose by armbar again, this time to future UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin. After a stint over in England, Rivera came back at UFC 55, defeating Dennis Hallman by unanimous decision. His winning streak was short lived however as he fell to Chris Leben at UFC Ultimate Fight Night 3 just a few months later. Rivera most recently stopped Edwin Dewees at The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale, winning by TKO, and is now set to climb back up the light heavyweight rankings.
Last 10 Fights:
Win – Edwin Dewees – TKO (Strikes) – UFC: TUF 4 Finale
Win – Timothy Williams – TKO – WFL: No Fooling Around
Loss – Chris Leben – TKO (Strikes) – UFC Fight Night 3
Win – Dennis Hallman – Unanimous Decision – UFC 55: Fury
Win – Marcelo Azevedo – Unanimous Decision – CR 13: No Fear
Win – Danny Vega – Submission (Choke) – WFL: Unleashed
Loss – Anderson Silva – TKO – CR 11: Faceoff
Win – Alex Reid – KO – CR 10: Deliverance
Loss – Rich Franklin – Submission (Armbar) – UFC 50: The War of ’04
Win – Mark Weir – TKO (Doctor’s Stoppage) – CR 7: Battle of Britain
Strengths: Rivera’s biggest asset is certainly his striking. He is also a professional boxer and possesses quick hands and good movement. Rivera is great in the clinch where he uses dirty boxing techniques to gain the advantage inside and create distance when needed. He also has excellent takedown defense.
Weaknesses: Rivera’s biggest fault is his ground game. He can prevent the takedown most of the time but once he is put on his back, he’s always in trouble. Surprisingly it’s a part of his game that still has yet to improve even though he’s a veteran of the sport.
Terry Martin is a former WEC Light Heavyweight Champion who will be fighting at middleweight for the first time in his career. Martin made his UFC debut at UFC 54 against James Irvin. Martin was winning the fight until Irvin caught him with a flying knee directly after the round started and he went to sleep. Martin came back to fight at UFC 59 but was TKO’d by Jason Lambert. Martin now trains with former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski.
Last 10 Fights:
Win – Jason Guida – KO – XFO 13: Operation Beatdown
Win – Keith Berry – TKO (Strikes) – WEC 24: Full Force
Loss – Jason Lambert – TKO (Strikes) – UFC 59: Reality Check
Win – Trevor Garrett – KO – KOTC: Redemption on the River
Win – Ron Fields – Submission (Guillotine) – KOTC: Raging Bull
Loss – James Irvin – KO (Flying Knee) – UFC 54: Boiling Point
Win – Jerry Spiegel – TKO – CDFC 3
Win – Homer Moore – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – WEC 14: Vengeance
Win – Jerry Spiegel – TKO – CDFC 2
Win – Chael Sonnen – TKO (Corner Stoppage) – XFO 4
Strengths: Martin has very heavy hands and having light heavyweight power at middleweight is certainly going to help him. He is a decent wrestler and has a good amount of strength to be able to take the fight exactly where he wants it to go.
Weaknesses: Unless his training with Arlovski has given him a lot of new found speed, Martin will be subject to the quickness of Rivera, who might be able to just pick his shots and move around for the entire fight.
Sam Hoger (6-2) vs. Ryoto Machida (8-0)
Miletich-trained Sam Hoger will be making his fifth appearance in the Octagon at UFC 67. Hoger participated in the first season of the Ultimate Fighter and made his UFC debut at the show’s finale, defeating Bobby Southworth by unanimous decision. He also participated in the first ever UFC Fight Night but lost a decision to Stephan Bonnar. He got back on track at UFC 56, submitting Jeff Newton with a rear naked choke but suffered his second UFC loss in his very next fight at UFC Fight Night 4, where he lost a razor-close split decision to Rashad Evans.
Last 8 Fights:
Loss – Rashad Evans – Split Decision – UFC Fight Night 4
Win – Jeff Newton – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – UFC 56: Full Force
Loss – Stephan Bonnar – Unanimous Decision – UFC Fight Night
Win – Bobby Southworth – Unanimous Decision – TUF Finale
Win – Chris Herring – Submission (Guillotine) – MMA: Eruption
Win – Adam Maciejewski – Submission (Triangle) – EC 54
Win – Josh Hendricks – Submission (Arm Triangle) – NLF 1
Win – Matt Freeland – KO (Kick) – AOW 1
Strengths: Hoger’s main strength is his ground game as he has been studying BJJ for years. His stand-up is respectable and features some impressive leg kicks. He trains with Miletich Fighting Systems so you already know that he is going to be tough to put away.
Weaknesses: Hoger’s stamina has always been in question throughout this career as many are critical about his work ethic and willingness to stay in shape and not rely solely on his skills. Hoger’s stand-up is good but is too hesitant to let his hands go at times.
Ryoto Machida makes his way to the UFC with a great deal of hype surrounding him. The 8-0 fighter holds victories over the likes of B.J. Penn, Rich Franklin, Vernon White and tough K-1 fighter Michael McDonald. Ryoto is a BJJ purple belt and a very talented karate practitioner. Finally he will be making his long awaited debut in the UFC octagon.
Last 8 Fights:
Win – Vernon White – Decision (Unanimous) – WFA: King of the Streets
Win – Dimitri Wanderley – TKO – JF 6: Jungle Fight 6
Win – B.J. Penn – Decision (Unanimous) – K-1: Hero’s 1
Win – Sam Greco – Decision (Split) – K-1: Romanex
Win – Michael McDonald – Submission (Guillotine Choke) – K-1: Beast 2004
Win – Rich Franklin – TKO (Punches) – Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003: Inoki Festival
Win – Stephan Bonnar – TKO (Cut) – JF 1: Jungle Fight 1
Win – Kengo Watanabe – Decision (Unanimous) – NJPW: Ultimate Crush
Strengths: “Lyoto” Machida comes into this fight with a very well rounded game. He has shown he has excellent BJJ and strikes as he has knocked out former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin and Stephan Bonnar.
Weaknesses: Coming into this fight Machida has a fairly well rounded game but he may be a little rusty as he hasn’t fought since August. I doubt that will have much of an affect considering he has never been fairly active to begin with.
Dustin Hazelett (7-3) vs. Diego Saraiva (9-3-1)
Dustin Hazelett is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio who sports a mixed martial arts record of 7-3. Hazelett currently trains with former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin and Jorge Gurgle. Hazelett has earned his BJJ brown belt under Jorge Gurgle. Hazelett made his UFC debut at UFC: Shamrock vs. Ortiz The Final Chapter where he fought Tony DeSouza losing by kimura.
Last 10 Fights:
Loss – Tony DeSouza – Submission (Kimura) – UFC: The Final Chapter
Win – Chad Reiner – KO – Extreme Challenge 70
Win – Victor Moreno – Submission (Armbar) – Extreme Challenge 68
Win – Mike Cardosa – Submission (Triangle Choke) – Extreme Challenge 68
Win – Rhalan Gracie – Decision (Split) – Team Gracie vs. Team Hammer House
Loss – Dereck Keasley – Decision – Freestyle Fighting Championship 16
Win – John Shackelford – Submission (Choke) – Freestyle Fighting Championship 16
Loss – Junior Assuncao – TKO – Full Throttle 3
Win – Jason Ireland – Submission (Triangle Choke) – Hand 2 Hand Combat
Win – Justin Hons – Submission (Armbar) – KOTC: Dayton
Strengths: Hazelett’s strength is definitely his ground game as he is a BJJ brown belt under Jorge Gurgle. Hazelett has also shown that he can utilize some solid strikes.
Weaknesses: A definite weakness for Hazelett is his experience. He has only been fighting since 2004 and he hasn’t defeated any big names.
Diego Saraiva is a native of Atlanta, George who sports a mixed martial arts record of 9-3-1. He is coming into this fight as a late replacement for Team Punishment fighter Melvin Guillard who was forced to pull out due to an injured hand.
Last 10 Fights:
Win – Nate Ford – KO – GFC 1: First Blood
Win – Adam Arredondo – Submission (Armbar) – WEF: World Extreme Cagefighting
Loss – Steve Kinnison – Decision (Split) – ISCF: Wild Bill’s Fight Night 5
Win – Jeremiah Navarro – Submission (Armbar) – ISCF: Wild Bill’s Fight Night 5
Win – Luke Gwaltney – Submission (Triangle Choke) – FT 7: Full Throttle 7
Win – David Derby – Submission (Heel Hook) – ISCF: Knuckle Up 3
Loss – Danny Suarez – Decision (Unanimous) – WEF: Orleans Arena
Win – Brandon Bledsoe – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – FT 6: Full Throttle 6
Draw – Ryan Healy – Draw – AFC 14: Absolute Fighting Championship 14
Win – Donnie Nordstrom – Submission (Armbar) – FT 5: Full Throttle 5
Strengths: Saraiva is a BJJ black belt and as you can tell by looking at his record, he’ll definitely be looking to submit his opponent. 8 of his 9 wins have come by submission.
Weaknesses: Saraiva is taking this fight on short notice and he doesn’t have much standup skill. Hazelett should have the edge on the feet, Saraiva the edge on the canvas.