For a moment, the UFC 147 fight card had the potential to be the biggest event in MMA history, but the removal of the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen headliner (and Vitor Belfort's injury) greatly diminished the event. Here are my predictions for the UFC 147 fight card, set for June 23, at the Jornalista Felipe Drumond Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil:
Wanderlei Silva versus Rich FranklinFranklin won the first encounter between the two, and I expect him to improve to 2-0 against "The Axe Murderer" at UFC 147. Both men are competent strikers, but Franklin is the more rounded fighter. Franklin wins via TKO.
Sergio Moraes versus Cezar FerreiraFerreira was originally scheduled to face Daniel Sarafian for "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil" middleweight title, but the latter pulled out due to injury. Moraes - who was knocked out in the semi-finals of the tournament - will now step in for Sarafian. Moraes is a serious BJJ practitioner, and he should be able to secure a submission if the fight goes to the ground. Moraes wins via submission.
Godofredo Pepey versus Rony Mariano BezerraPepey's undefeated record will be on the line when the two square up at UFC 147. Both are solid on the ground, but Bezerra has faced tougher opponents in the past. He should be able to handle anything Pepey throws at him, and emerge as the featherweight tournament winner.
Fabricio Werdum versus Mike RussowWerdum was impressive in his last outing against Roy Nelson, and I expect another dominant performance from the BJJ specialist. Russow is a solid wrestler, but taking Werdum down is never a good idea. If Russow decides to keep the fight standing, Werdum is the better striker, making it a very tough matchup for the Chicago police officer. Werdum wins via TKO.
Yuri Alcantara versus Hacran DiasThis is an excellent matchup between two promising MMA fighters. Both are well-rounded, and I expect them to put on an entertaining display at UFC 147. Very tough fight to call, but I have to go with Alcantara, given the caliber of opponents he has faced. Alcantara wins by decision.
Rodrigo Damm defeats Anistavio Medeiros de Figueiredo
Delson Heleno defeats Francisco Drinaldo
John Teixeira da Conceicao defeats Hugo Viana
Thiago de Oliveira Perpetuo defeats Leonardo Mafra Texeira
Marcos Vinicius Borges Pancini defeats Wagner Campos
Milton Vieira defeats Felipe Arantes
Fight and fighter information from Sherdog.com
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