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UFC 104: Breakdown and Picks

The battle continues as the Sun’s own Brett Okamoto (15-9) looks to out-predict Yahoo.com's Kevin Iole (16-8) and ESPN Radio's Steve Cofield (13-11) at UFC 104 in Los Angeles. Odds courtesy of The Venetian sports book, but subject to change.

Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6'1''
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 18-3
  • Out of: Curitiba, Brazil
  • Betting line: plus-325

Lyoto Machida

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6'1'''
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 7-0
  • MMA record 15-0
  • Out of: Belem, Brazil
  • Betting line: minus-450

Light Heavyweight Championship Bout

Main Event

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Chuck Liddell at UFC 97.

Punch list: Rua was once considered the top light heavyweight fighter in the world. He’ll always be rememberd as one of the best PRIDE fighters in the organization’s history. Over the course of four years, Rua compiled a 12-1 record in PRIDE with wins over Antonio Nogueira, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Kevin Randleman.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Machida by knockout second round.

Cofield: Machida by decision.

Last fight: Second round win by knockout over Rashad Evans at UFC 98.

Punch list: Machida is the least hit fighter in UFC history, absorbing just 47 strikes over 83 Octagon minutes. In addition, only Anderson Silva has been more accurate of a striker than Machida, as he lands 65 percent of his attempts. The average fighter lands 35 percent.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Machida by knockout in first round.

Ben Rothwell

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6'4''
  • Weight: 265
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 30-6
  • Out of: Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Betting line: plus-220

Cain Velasquez

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6'1''
  • Weight: 240
  • UFC record 4-0
  • MMA record 6-0
  • Out of: San Jose, Calif.
  • Betting line: minus-300

Heavyweight Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: First round win by submission over Chris Guillen at AMMA 2.

Punch list: Rothwell says he purposefully put off joining the UFC until he felt completely prepared to face the best fighters in the world. Although he seems like an old vet with over 35 fights in his career, the 28-year old still has plenty of life left in his career to make a run towards the UFC heavyweight belt.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Velasquez

Cofield: Velasquez

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Cheick Kongo at UFC 99.

Punch list: After finishing the first three opponents the UFC threw at him, Velasquez had trouble putting away Cheick Kongo at UFC 99 in Germany. Already considered one of the best wrestlers in the UFC, Velasquez says he focused much of his training since that fight on his standup.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Rothwell

Josh Neer

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5'11’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 4-5
  • MMA record 25-8-1
  • Out of: Des Moines, Iowa
  • Betting line: minus-115

Gleison Tibau

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 5-4
  • MMA record 29-6
  • Out of: Coconut Creek, Fla.
  • Betting line: minus-115

Lightweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Kurt Pellegrino at UFC 101.

Punch list: Neer nearly had a very short career in the Octagon after the UFC cut him in 2006 after a 2-3 start. After recording a big win over Mac Danzig in February this year, Neer fell short of what would have been an enormous win when he lost a unanimous decision to Kurt Pellegrino in August.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Neer

Cofield: Neer

Last fight: Split decision loss to Melvin Guillard at TUF Finale: Team US vs. Team UK.

Punch list: Gleison Tibau is actually a stage name for the Brazilian fighter. He shortened his first and adopted Tibau, the city he was born in, as his last. His real full name is Janigleison Herculano Alves.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Tibau

Spencer Fisher

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 5'7''
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 8-3
  • MMA record 24-4
  • Out of: Bettendorf, Iowa
  • Betting line: plus-200

Joe Stevenson

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5'7''
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 7-4
  • MMA record 35-10
  • Out of: Albuquerque, NM
  • Betting line: minus-250

Lightweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Caol Uno at UFC 99.

Punch list: Fisher is a terrific standup fighter but was outclassed on the ground in previous losses to Hermes Franca and Frankie Edgar.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Stevenson

Cofield: Stevenson

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Nate Diaz at TUF Finale: Team US vs. Team UK.

Punch list: Joe ‘Daddy’ has hit a rough stretch of late, losing three of his last five fights. However he can be forgiven as they came at the hands of Diego Sanchez, Kenny Florian and B.J. Penn.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Stevenson

Yoshiyuki Yoshida

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 5'11’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 11-3
  • Out of: Albuquerque, NM.
  • Betting line: plus-280

Anthony Johnson

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 6’2’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 4-2
  • MMA record 7-2
  • Out of: San Jose, Calif.
  • Betting line: minus-360

Welterweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by submission over Brandon Wolff at UFC 98.

Punch list: Yoshida had won nine straight fights over two years before suffering a knockout loss at the hands of Josh Koscheck last December. The loss encouraged him to join Greg Jackson’s camp in Albuquerque, NM.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Johnson

Cofield: Johnson

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Luigi Fioravanti at UFC Fight Night: Lauzon vs. Stephens.

Punch list: The recent buzz regarding Johnson is that the fighter came into camp 220 pounds. Do the math: That’s 50 pounds he was expected to cut to make this welterweight fight. Whether that affects his stamina or not we’ll see Saturday.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Johnson

Eric Schafer

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’3’’
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 3-2
  • MMA record 13-3-2
  • Out of: Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Betting line: plus-350

Ryan Bader

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6’2’’
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 2-0
  • MMA record 10-0
  • Out of: Tempe, Ariz.
  • Betting line: minus-500

Light Heavyweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Antonio Mendes at UFC 93.

Punch list: Schafer’s first stint in the UFC was a disappointing one, as he went 1-2 with consecutive losses to Michael Bisping and Stephan Bonnar. Since those losses however, Schafer has reeled off four consecutive wins.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Schafer

Cofield: Schafer

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Carmelo Marrero at UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann.

Punch list: Bader was a two-time All-American wrestler at Arizona State University and remains training partners with fellow Sun Devil wrestler, Aaron Simpson.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Bader

Pat Barry

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 235
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 4-1
  • Out of: Milwaukee, Calif.
  • Betting line: minus-115

Antoni Hardonk

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’4’’
  • Weight: 245
  • UFC record 3-1
  • MMA record 8-5
  • Out of: Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Betting line: minus-115

Heavyweight Bout

Last fight: First round loss by submission to Tim Hague at UFC 98.

Punch list: After switching from kickboxing to mixed martial arts in 2008, Barry had been on a roll before getting caught in a guillotine choke by Tim Hague.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Hardonk

Cofield: Hardonk

Last fight: Second round loss by TKO to Cheick Kongo.

Punch list: In June, three men, one armed with a knife, approached Hardonk in an attempt to rob him of his wallet. After he refused, the three robbers proceeded to try to do the same to one of his neighbors, until Hardonk knocked two of them down and chased away the third.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Barry

Chael Sonnen

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 5-4
  • MMA record 24-10-1
  • Out of: West Linn, Ore.
  • Betting line: plus-220

Yushin Okami

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6’2’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 7-1
  • MMA record 24-4
  • Out of: Kanagawa, Japan
  • Betting line: minus-300

Middleweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Dan Miller at UFC 98.

Punch list: In a weird coincidence, Sonnen is preparing to face Okami, the same fighter he stepped in and replaced at UFC 98 against Dan Miller.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Okami

Cofield: Sonnen

Last fight: Unaimous decision win over Dean Lister at UFC 92.

Punch list: Okami is one of only four fighters in the world that own a win over Anderson Silva, although his comes with an asterisk. Silva actually knocked out Okami with an illegal kick from his back that resulted in his disqualification.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Okami

Rob Kimmons

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5'10’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 2-2
  • MMA record 22-4
  • Out of: Liberty, Mo.
  • Betting line: minus-180

Jorge Rivera

  • Age: 37
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 5-5
  • MMA record 16-7
  • Out of: Milford, Mass.
  • Betting line: plus-150

Middleweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by submission over Joe Vedepo at UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann.

Punch list: Kimmons is a very technical grappler who even serves as an instructor at the Xtreme Couture gym in Kansas City.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Rivera

Cofield: Kimmons

Last fight: Split decision win over Nissen Osterneck at UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann.

Punch list: Before going the distance in his last fight with Nissen Osterneck, Rivera had gone through a stretch of six consecutive fights that hadn’t made it past the first round.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Rivera

Razak Al-Hassan

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6’2’’
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 7-1
  • Out of: Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Betting line: minus-115

Kyle Kingsbury

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6’4’’
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 7-2 1 NC
  • Out of: San Jose, Calif.
  • Betting line: minus-115

Light Heavyweight Bout

Last fight: First round loss by TKO to Steve Cantwell to UFC Fight Night: Fight for the Troops.

Punch list: Al-Hassan is looking to rebound from a UFC debut that many fans will always remember due to the way Steve Cantwell dislocated Al-Hassan’s elbow, bending the arm backwards at the joint.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Kingsbury

Cofield: Kingsbury

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Tom Lawlor at TUF Finale: Team Nog vs. Team Mir.

Punch list: Kingsbury is best known as one of Antonio Nogueira’s favorites on the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter television series. Kingsbury was also a walk-on football player at Arizona State University.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Kingsbury

Chase Gormley

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6’3’’
  • Weight: 265
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 6-0
  • Out of: Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Betting line: plus-220

Stefan Struve

  • Age: 21
  • Height: 6'11’’
  • Weight: 238
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 21-3
  • Out of: Beverwijk, the Netherlands.
  • Betting line: minus-300

Heavyweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Eric Pele at MFC 16 – Anger Management.

Punch list: Chase Gormley was originally scheduled to face UFC 104 co-main event fighter Ben Rothwell at the Affliction Triology event in August.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Struve

Cofield: Gormley

Last fight: Second round win by submission over Denis Stojnic at UFC 99.

Punch list: At nearly seven feet tall, one of Struve’s greatest weapons is his long legs, as he’s won six professional fights by triangle choke.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Struve