Las Vegas Sun

November 20, 2014

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UFC 115: Breakdown and Picks

Chuck Liddell and Rich Franklin headline the first UFC card ever in Vancouver, Canada. Join the Las Vegas Sun’s Brett Okamoto, Yahoo.com’s Kevin Iole and ESPN Radio’s Steve Cofield as they do their best to predict which fighters will leave UFC 115 victorious.

Chuck Liddell

  • Age: 40
  • Height: 6’2''
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 16-6
  • MMA record 21-7
  • Out of: San Luis Obispo, Calif.
  • Betting line: +110

Rich Franklin

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 6’1''
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 12-4
  • MMA record 27-5
  • Out of: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Betting line: -140

Light Heavyweight Bout

Main Event

Last fight: First round loss by TKO to Mauricio Shogun Rua at UFC 97.

Punch list: Liddell is 1-4 in his last five fights and coming off a year-plus layoff, but few have completely written him off. The former champ is in the best shape he’s ever been in for this fight and should be highly motivated knowing this could be his last shot at keeping his career alive.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Franklin

Cofield: Liddell

Last fight: First round loss by knockout to Vitor Belfort at UFC 103.

Punch list: Franklin has been stuck between weight classes lately, competing in his last two fights at a catchweight of 195 pounds. That could change with a win over Liddell, as Dana White has said Franklin would be back in the mix and is still one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Franklin

Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 6'2''
  • Weight: 220
  • UFC record 3-3
  • MMA record 26-7-2
  • Out of: Zagreb, Croatia
  • Betting line: +125

Pat Barry

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’11''
  • Weight: 235
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 5-1
  • Out of: Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Betting line: -155

Heavyweight Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: Second round win by TKO over Anthony Perosh at UFC 110.

Punch list: Filipovic is in the last fight of his current contract with the UFC, but there’s no question the Croatian fighter will be invited back should he deliver a good performance against Pat Barry.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Barry

Cofield: Cro Cop

Last fight: Second round win by TKO over Antoni Hardonk at UFC 104.

Punch list: Barry has been very public about his admiration towards his opponent, even stating he’d like to leave Vancouver with Filipovic’s autograph. The personable fighter even said should he win Saturday, he’ll probably spend the next two years of his life ‘staring out a window’ in contemplation.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Barry

Paulo Thiago

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 3-1
  • MMA record 13-1
  • Out of: Brasillia, Brazil
  • Betting line: -200

Martin Kampmann

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 7-2
  • MMA record 16-3
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: +170

Welterweight Bout

Last fight: Second round win by submission over Mike Swick at UFC 109.

Punch list: Thiago has a lot of hype behind him despite having fought in the UFC only four times. That’s what happens when you have wins over guys like Josh Koscheck and Mike Swick. The Brazilian is terrific on the ground and puts a lot of power behind his punches.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Thiago

Cofield: Kampmann

Last fight: First round by submission over Jacob Volkmann at UFC 108.

Punch list: An eye injury suffered in camp forced Kampmann to pull out of a fight with Ben Saunders on the UFC 111 card in March. Kampmann was very disappointed when it happened, but he may have gotten a better deal as a result, facing one of the higher ranked guys currently in the welterweight division.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Thiago

Ben Rothwell

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6’4''
  • Weight: 165
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 30-7
  • Out of: Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Betting line: -130

Gilbert Yvel

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’2''
  • Weight: 225
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 36-14-1
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: Even

Heavyweight Bout

Last fight: Second round loss to Cain Velasquez at UFC 104.

Punch list: Rothwell was a last-minute scratch from UFC 110 when he came down with the flu and should prove to be one of the more eager fighters to get in the cage this weekend. Following a disappointing showing in his debut at UFC 104, Rothwell moved to Milwaukee to train full time with Duke Roufus and will finally get to show off what it’s done for him.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Rothwell

Cofield: Rothwell

Last fight: First round loss by TKO to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 108.

Punch list: Yvel wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity, but knew he was in for a rough UFC debut when he received only one month to prepare for Junior Dos Santos. He’ll look to rebound against Rothwell and says that he hopes Dos Santos goes on to win the heavyweight belt so he can take it from him someday.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Yvel

Carlos Condit

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6’2’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 6-1
  • MMA record 24-5
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: Even

Rory MacDonald

  • Age: 20
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 10-0
  • Out of: Kelowna, Canada
  • Betting line: -130

Welterweight Bout

Last fight: Split Decision win over Jake Ellenberger at UFCFN: Diaz vs. Guillard.

Punch list: Condit has been kept out of action since last September after cutting his hand while rearranging his garage. The former WEC welterweight champion was supposed to fight Paul Daley at UFC 108 and was disappointed when the Brit got booted from the UFC making a fight between the two down the road highly unlikely.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Condit

Cofield: Condit

Last fight: First round win by submission over Mike Guymon at UFCFN: Maynard vs. Diaz

Punch list: The very young MacDonald will have the crowd and a lot of momentum behind him, having stopped all 10 opponents he’s faced. MacDonald has won fights in multiple ways but seems most dangerous on the ground where his transitions to submission attempts are very impressive.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Condit

Tyson Griffin

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5’6’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 7-2
  • MMA record 14-2
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: -240

Evan Dunham

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 150
  • UFC record 3-0
  • MMA record 10-0
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: +190

Lightweight Bout

Last fight: Second round win by knockout over Hermes Franca at UFC 103.

Punch list: Griffin was kept on the sidelines with a rib injury for awhile but says the layoff was actually the best thing that could have happened to him. Instead of focusing so much on his teammates as he has in the past, Griffin inspected his own game during the layoff and ended up shedding pounds and becoming the leanest he’s ever been as a result of his hard work.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Griffin

Cofield: Griffin

Last fight: Third round win by submission over Efrain Escudero at UFCFN: Maynard vs. Diaz

Punch list: Dunham was forced to take his training on the road for this fight as he usually trains along side Griffin at Xtreme Couture based in Las Vegas. Instead of splitting the camp, Dunham let seniority rule, and split his time between four other Las Vegas gyms.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Dunham

Mac Danzig

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’8’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 3-4
  • MMA record 20-7-1
  • Out of: Los Angeles
  • Betting line: -110

Matt Wiman

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 5-3
  • MMA record 11-5
  • Out of: San Francisco
  • Betting line: -120

Lightweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Justin Buchholz at UFC 109.

Punch list: Danzig admits he thought he was on his way out of the UFC after suffering three losses in a row, culminating in a decision loss to Jim Miller at UFC 100. Instead of cutting him, matchmaker Joe Silva entered the cage that night and immediately told Danzig he would get another chance. Danzig responded by winning his next fight, which he’ll look to build on Saturday.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Wiman

Cofield: Danzig

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Shane Nelson at UFC 107.

Punch list: Wiman had strung together a four-fight win streak until back-to-back losses to Jim Miller and Sam Stout sent him back to the drawing board. Wiman got back on track with a win over Shane Nelson at UFC 107, which he said got somewhat personal after the two had a brief scuffle at weigh-ins the day before the fight.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Wiman

David Loiseau

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 4-4
  • MMA record 18-9
  • Out of: Montreal, Canada
  • Betting line: +130

Mario Miranda

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’4’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 11-1
  • Out of: Kirkland, Wash.
  • Betting line: -160

Middleweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Ed Herman at UFC 97.

Punch list: Win or lose, UFC 115 will be the conclusion of a documentary titled ‘The Striking Truth’ based on Loiseau and welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Miranda

Cofield: Miranda

Last fight: First round loss by TKO to Gerald Harris at UFCFN: Florian vs. Gomi.

Punch list: Miranda had a tough welcome to the UFC, losing by TKO with just 11 seconds left in the first round of his debut. He earned his way into the organization with a nine-fight win streak however, and will look to bounce back in a big way in Vancouver

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Miranda

James Wilks

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 7-3
  • Out of: Laguna Hills, Calif.
  • Betting line: -270

Peter Sobotta

  • Age: 23
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 8-2
  • Out of: Geislingen, Germany
  • Betting line: +210

Welterweight Bout

Last fight: Third round loss by TKO to Matt Brown at UFC 105.

Punch list: With just 10 professional fights, the 30-year-old Wilks is getting a somewhat late start on his career. He missed out on a big chance to move up the welterweight division in his last fight, losing to Matt Brown in the third round and now has to prove he deserves a shot at a big name opponent by handling the younger Sobotta.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Wilks

Cofield: Wilks

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Paul Taylor at UFC 99.

Punch list: With seven of his eight wins coming in the first round, it’s safe to say Sobotta is a pretty fast starter. In his first fight in the UFC however, Sobotta proved he could go the distance, defeating Paul Taylor by unanimous decision last June.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Wilks

Ricardo Funch

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 7-1
  • Out of: Ludlow, Mass.
  • Betting line: +180

Claude Patrick

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 11-1
  • Out of: Toronto, Canada
  • Betting line: -220

Welterweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Johny Hendricks at UFC 107.

Punch list: Funch was forced out of his last scheduled fight against Matthew Riddle at UFC 111 and should be ready to put a lopsided decision loss to Johny Hendricks in his UFC debut behind him.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Funch

Cofield: Patrick

Last fight: Third round win by submission over Matt MacGrath at AMMA 2 - Vengeance

Punch list: Patrick is a highly touted prospect in the welterweight division despite the fact he’s based in Toronto, Canada where MMA is still unsanctioned. Saturday is the first on a four-fight deal Patrick signed back in March.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Patrick

Mike Pyle

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 3-2
  • MMA record 18-7-1
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: Even

Jesse Lennox

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 11-2
  • Out of: Bettendorf, Iowa
  • Betting line: -130

Welterweight Bout

Last fight: Second round loss by TKO to Jake Ellenberger at UFC 108.

Punch list: Pyle has been open leading into this fight with his belief he’s fighting for his spot on the UFC roster. A well-traveled veteran who definitely wouldn’t have trouble finding work, Pyle would certainly prefer to stay where he is but needs to prove himself quickly having gone 1-2 in the organization since rejoining last year.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Lennox

Cofield: Pyle

Last fight: Majority decision loss to Rick Story at UFCFN: Maynard vs. Diaz.

Punch list: It’s a well-known fact fighters never like to leave decisions in the hands of judges and if anyone’s good at that, it’s Lennox. All 11 of Lennox’s wins have come by stoppage.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Pyle

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