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UFC 102: Breakdown and Picks

As the UFC makes it debut in Portland, Sun sports writers Brett Okamoto and Andy Samuelson caught up with Yahoo.com's Kevin Iole and ESPN Radio's Steve Cofield to see who could pick the most winners from Saturday night's event.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6'3''
  • Weight: 231
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 31-5-1
  • Out of: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Betting line: plus-130

Randy Couture

  • Age: 46
  • Height: 6'2''
  • Weight: 220
  • UFC record 13-6
  • MMA record 16-9
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: minus-160

Heavyweight Bout

Main Event

Last fight: Second round loss by TKO to Frank Mir at UFC 92.

Punch list: The second of two fighters that need no introduction come the main event Saturday night. Nogueira is the only fighter in MMA history to have won the heavyweight championship in PRIDE and the UFC. The seasoned vet is best known for his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Couture by decision.

Cofield: Couture by decision.

Last fight: Second round loss by TKO to Brock Lesnar at UFC 91.

Punch list: What is there to say about Randy Couture? The man defies nature, still performing at the highest of levels at the age of 46. Stylistically, Couture is a master at using the clinch to his advantage, a skill he picked up from years and years of Greco-Roman wrestling for the U.S. Olympic team. He’s also the king of dirty boxing.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Couture by decision.

Samuelson: Couture by decision.

Thiago Silva

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6'1''
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 4-1
  • MMA record 13-1
  • Out of: Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Betting line: plus-130

Keith Jardine

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6'2''
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 6-4
  • MMA record 14-6-1
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: minus-160

Light Heavyweight Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: First round loss by TKO to Lyoto Machida at UFC 94.

Punch list: A fighter that definitely fits under the classification of a ‘knockout artist’. Silva has either KO’d or TKO’d 10 of his 13 victims, seven coming in the first round. If he doesn’t knock you unconscious from his feet he’s likely to do it from his knees, as Silva boasts a vicious ground and pound game.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Jardine

Cofield: Jardine

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at UFC 96.

Punch list: As important as it is to be able to throw a punch in the UFC, it’s just as important to be able to take one. Jardine is notorious for rallying for victories after taking beatings from opponents. He has a slightly unorthodox boxing style that can be difficult to prepare for, and even has four professional boxing bouts under his belt.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Jardine

Samuelson: Jardine

Demian Maia

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 5-0
  • MMA record 11-0
  • Out of: Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Betting line: plus-145

Nate Marquardt

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 7-2
  • MMA record 31-8-2
  • Out of: Denver, Colo.
  • Betting line: minus-175

Middleweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by submission over Chael Sonnen at UFC 95.

Punch list: Everyone knows what to expect when they enter the Octagon with Maia, but so far no one has been able to stop it. The submission specialist has earned “Submission of the Night” honors four times in five UFC fights. The Brazilian might be a questionable striker, but until someone is able to stay on their feel against him we’ll never know.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Maia

Cofield: Marquardt

Last fight: Third round win by TKO over Wilson Gouveia at UFC 95.

Punch list: One of the most well-rounded fighters in the UFC. His training partners include Georges St. Pierre, Rashad Evans and Keith Jardine. He can win a fight anywhere, but he’s definitely most dangerous on his feet where he has great knees, hands and elbows.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Marquardt

Samuelson: Maia

Chris Leben

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5-11
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 10-4
  • MMA record 18-5
  • Out of: Oahu, Hawaii
  • Betting line: minus-180

Jake Rosholt

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 5-1
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: plus-150

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Michael Bisping at UFC 89

Punch list: Leben is coming off one of the longer layoffs of his career after receiving a nine-month suspension from the UFC for testing positive for steroids at UFC 89.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Leben

Cofield: Leben

Last fight: First round loss by submission to Dan Miller at UFC Fight Night Lauzon vs. Stephens.

Punch list: As a three-time NCAA National Champion out of Oklahoma State University, Rosholt is one of the more accomplished wrestlers in the UFC.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Rosholt

Samuelson: Rosholt

Brandon Vera

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6’2’’
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 6-3
  • MMA record 10-3
  • Out of: San Diego
  • Betting line: minus-170

Krzysztof Soszynski

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’11’’
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 3-0
  • MMA record 19-9-1
  • Out of: Temecula, Calif.
  • Betting line: plus-140

Last fight: Second round win by TKO over Michael Patt at UFC 96.

Punch list: Vera was on everyone’s radar after winning his first four fights in the UFC. According to the former WEC heavyweight champion the success went to his head, as he dropped three of his next four. The now focused Vera says he’s ready to make a run in the light heavyweight division

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Vera

Cofield: Vera

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Andre Gusmao at UFC 98.

Punch list: Soszynski has been on fire since making his UFC debut in December 2008, finishing all three opponents in convincing fashion, including a first round knockout in his last appearance.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Vera

Samuelson: Vera

Ed Herman

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6’2’’[
  • Weight: 185.5
  • UFC record 4-4
  • MMA record 17-6
  • Out of: Portland
  • Betting line: minus-165

Aaron Simpson

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 2-0
  • MMA record 5-0
  • Out of: Phoenix
  • Betting line: plus-135

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over David Loiseau at UFC 97.

Punch list: Ed Herman didn’t have to make a long drive to UFC 102, as he trains at the renowned Team Quest gym in Portland that was originally opened by Randy Couture, Dan Henderson and Matt Lindland.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Simpson

Cofield: Herman

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Tim McKenzie at UFC Fight Night Condit vs. Kampmann.

Punch list: Simpson twice advanced to the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials, finishing fourth and fifth. He was also a two-time all-American at Arizona State University and graduated high school with a final record of 142-1.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Simpson

Samuelson: Herman

Gabriel Gonzaga

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 254
  • UFC record 6-3
  • MMA record 10-4
  • Out of: Ludlow, Mass.
  • Betting line: minus-360

Chris Tuchscherer

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 258
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 17-1
  • Out of: Fargo, N.D.
  • Betting line: plus-280

Last fight: First round loss by knockout to Shane Carwin at UFC 96.

Punch list: Gonzaga is 2-3 in his last five fights, but those losses have come to the likes of Randy Couture, Fabricio Werdum and Shane Carwin.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Gonzaga

Cofield: Tuchscherer

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Jamie Klair at SNMMA-Extreme Beatdown.

Punch list: Good training partners make good fighters. Hard to find much better than the man Tuchscherer goes to work with — UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Gonzaga

Samuelson: Gonzaga

Justin McCully

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’2’’
  • Weight: 238
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 9-4-2
  • Out of: Maui, Hawaii
  • Betting line: plus-180

Mike Russow

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 260
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 11-1
  • Out of: Chicago
  • Betting line: minus-220

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Eddie Sanchez at UFC Fight Night Fight For the Troops.

Punch list: McCully prides himself on his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but his strength has also been his weakness. All four of his losses in professional MMA have been by submissions.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Russow

Cofield: Russow

Last fight: First round win by submission over Braden Bice at AMMA 2 – Adrenaline MMA 2.

Punch list: At 260 pounds, Russow is not a tiny man. He’s also a technical fighter though — submitting six of his last seven opponents to earn a UFC contract.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Russow

Samuelson: Russow

Tim Hague

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6’4’’
  • Weight: 263.5
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 10-1
  • Out of: Edmonton, Alberta
  • Betting line: EVEN

Todd Duffee

  • Age: 23
  • Height: 6’3’’
  • Weight: 251
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 5-0
  • Out of: Coconut Creek, Fla.
  • Betting line: minus-130

Last fight: First round win by submission over Pat Berry at UFC 98.

Punch list: Hague fought his first 10 fights in Canada before making his UFC debut in Las Vegas at UFC 98. He’s got the power to finish a fights with striking and strong enough to choke an opponent out if given the chance.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Duffee

Cofield: Duffee

Last fight: Second round win by TKO over Assuerio Silva at JF 11 – Jungle Fight 11.

Punch list: Duffee scored first round knockout wins in his first three professional fights — and a second round knockout win in his fourth. Watch out for the right hand.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Hague

Samuelson: Duffee

Nick Catone

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 185.5
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 7-1
  • Out of: Brick, N.J.
  • Betting line: plus-150

Mark Munoz

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 185.5
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 5-1
  • Out of: Vallejo, Calif.
  • Betting line: minus-180

Last fight: Second round loss by submission Tim Credeur at UFC Fight Night Condit vs. Kampmann.

Punch list: Catone was undefeated until his last fight, losing by guillotine choke to Tim Credeur.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Munoz

Cofield: Munoz

Last fight: First round loss by knockout to Matt Hamill at UFC 96.

Punch list: Munoz hails from the renowned Oklahoma State University wrestling program where he was crowned the NCAA National Champion his senior year in the 197-pound division.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Munoz

Samuelson: Catone

Evan Dunham

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 8-0
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: plus-180

Marcus Aurelio

  • Age: 36
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 2-3
  • MMA record 18-7
  • Out of: Coconut Creek, Fla.
  • Betting line: minus-220

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Per Eklund at UFC 95.

Punch list: The undefeated Dunham has gone the distance in only one fight — his first.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Dunham

Cofield: Aurelio

Last fight: First round win by submission over Joey Gorczynski at 2156 Combat League – Rumble at the Rally.

Punch list: Aurelio is best known for his success in PRIDE, where he once fought for the lightweight championship. The Brazilian grappler is returning to the UFC for the first time since losing a unanimous decision to Hermes Franca in October 2008.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Dunham

Samuelson: Dunham