UFC title contenders share their main card selections
Brian Stann and Chad Mendes are two of the four up-and-coming UFC superstars in the running to become the new face of Team Edge with Edge Shave gel. The middleweight and featherweight title contenders are in the running alongside light heavyweight prospect Phil Davis and bantamweight phenom Michael McDonald to supplant BJ Penn as the next face of Team Edge. Fans can cast their votes at the Team Edge website, and enter to win a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas and VIP tickets to a future UFC event.
While we won’t know the results of the Team Edge vote until the end of September, we’ll get the results of UFC 134 tomorrow night.
We caught up with Mendes and Stann earlier today, and got them to share their predictions for the main card fights.
Luiz Cane vs. Stanislav Nedkov
Mendes: I can honestly tell you that I’ve never watched either of them fight, so I have no idea. I’ve never watched either of them fight, so I don’t want to just throw anything out there.
Stann: I’m going to go with Luiz Cane solely based on UFC experience and due to the fact that I have not seen any of Nedkov’s fights, so it’s very hard to pick him. Cane is looking to get back into the top 10 of his division; he’s hungry and he’s fighting in Rio.
Ross Pearson vs. Edson Barboza
Stann: I’ll tell you what: that’s a tough fight to pick. Pearson is definitely as tough as they come; he’s got some great stand-up. I’m going to go with Pearson just based on the fact that he’s really been working on his wrestling, but Barboza’s an animal. I’m not sure who’s the favorite in this fight, but I’m going to go with Pearson because he’s extraordinarily tough. That might be a slight upset.
Mendes: I have watched Barboza fight and he’s an animal. I’m going to go with him; his stand-up is wicked and the guy’s got heart, so I’m going to go with him.
Brendan Schaub vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Mendes: I like Schaub. He’s the type of guy that just trains hard all the time, and he’s kind of an up-and-comer; kind of, but not really. He wants to get in there and beat these top names. He’s done it once already, and he’s working his way up, so I’m going to go with Schaub on that one.
Stann: I’m going to go with Schaub because I helped him train for this fight. I think athleticism is going to be a big part of this. Heavyweights don’t have a lot of fights in them, and Nogueira has really been a legend in that he has. I don’t think he has the ability to absorb the kind of damage that he used to, and I think Schaub, no matter how the fight’s going, is going to be able to catch him with that right hand eventually because of the way he moves and his ability.
Unfortunately, no matter how good you are or what your legend status is, you can’t stop a knockout when it’s your time. Schaub has great power, he’s got great athleticism, and I think he takes it.
Shogun Rua vs. Forrest Griffin
Stann: This is a tough pick because obviously Forrest has come out and been very open about his disdain for the match-up and his disinterest in fighting altogether. The problem is though that Forrest does rise to the occasion, and he sometimes he over-exaggerate his own feelings towards the sport. When he gets in there and they close that cage door, Forrest is an animal. He is a very, very large light heavyweight.
I’m going to go with Forrest just due to the fact that he never gets tired and he has very good jiu-jitsu; better than Shogun, and he’s much longer. I don’t think Shogun is going to be able to knock him out. I think Forrest is going to be able to whether the storm on his feet, get it to the ground and dominate down there. So I’m going Forrest by decision.
Mendes: You know, I’m going to have to go to Forrest on this one. I think Forrest’s style is going to be hard for Shogun to beat, just because he never quits. We saw what happened with the last one. People were saying Shogun wasn’t prepared for it and wasn’t in shape, but I think you can only get in such good shape. With Forrest, the guy’s an animal, a machine, and I’m going to have to go with Forrest on that one.
Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami
Mendes: I’m going to have to go with Anderson. I think this could be one of his toughest challenges yet, but the guy is a true champion and he finds a way to win. We’ve seen that before in past fights, so I’m going to have to go with him.
Stann: I’ve got to go with Anderson Silva. He just has so many more ways to win a fight, and he’s shown an ability to overcome fighters who win ugly, and that’s what Okami does. He wins ugly and he great at it, but Anderson has shown time and time again that he can beat those guys. The dangerous time to fight Anderson is when he’s really interested in a fight. Because this fight is in Rio, he’s really interested in this fight. Because of who Yushin trains with, I think he’s really interested in this fight, and that makes it a bad night for Yushin Okami.
I understand he’s strong, but he’s not athletic enough, he’s not fast enough to deal with what Anderson is going to put him through. I don’t think that Yushin is going to be able to establish any real dominant ground and pound like Chael did because I’m sure Anderson has gone back and looked at some of the things that had gone wrong in that fight — besides his rib cage — and addressed some of those issues. So I expect a better Anderson Silva to come out against Yushin Okami tomorrow night.
Mendes’ Picks: Barboza, Schaub, Griffin, and Silva
Stann’s Picks: Cane, Pearson, Schaub, Griffin, and Silva