UFC 117 Predictions

CHICAGO- OCTOBER 25:  Anderson Silva prepares before the Middleweight Title Bout at UFC's Ultimate Fight Night at Allstate Arena on October 25, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen takes place Saturday night from the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California and this card is stacked from top-to-bottom. The headliner is a contest for the UFC Middleweight Championship between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. Here are my picks for this event.

UFC Middleweight Championship Bout – Anderson Silva (26-4) vs. Chael Sonnen (26-10-1): Sonnen gets the award for most smack talk prior to a fight, but he better make sure he backs it up, or else he is going to look like a complete jackass. Sonnen does have a good style to combat Silva, as he is an aggressive wrestler that knows he needs to get the fight to the ground. At the same time, Sonnen has struggled in defending submissions in the past, losing to lesser opponents like Demian Maia and Jeremy Horn via submission. Silva may get taken to the ground a few times in this fight, but his accurate strikes and jiu-jitsu ability on the ground tell me that sooner or later, he will end this fight. I like Silva to win by submission in the second round.

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Mikey’s MLB power rankings

Amazingly, we’re only 10 days away from the All-Star break. That means teams will re-charge and start to make a serious run at a playoff spot from mid-July on. And the power rankings haven’t changed much, other than most of the California teams dropping off the list. So without further adieu…..

1. New York Yankees (48-31)—The Bombers continue to ride their stars to victory, and survived a recent team hitting slump. There’s no reason to believe they won’t win the division again and contend for the title.

2. Texas Rangers (47-32)—Seriously, how scary has this team become? This past week Vlad gave his former team a taste of what they might be missing this year

3. Boston Red Sox (48-32)—Barely hanging on to second place in the tough AL East, but only two games separate the Yanks, Sox and Rays.

4. San Diego Padres (47-33)—Sure, the Rangers are a big surprise. But no team has been as surprising as the Padres, who just keep winning. And here’s a frightening thing for other National League teams—the Pads are now believing in themselves too.

5. Tampa Bay Rays (46-33)—Thankfully the Rays got off to a hot start, because everyone knows how much talent resides in the AL East. And has Carlos Pena become Dave Kingman? Yikes….he’s batting .196 with 16 homers and 50 RBI.

6. Atlanta Braves (47-33)—The Braves are a major league best 29-9 at home this year (.763 winning percentage). Too bad no one goes to their home games.

7. New York Mets (45-35)—With two more games against the suddenly slumping Nationals, the Mets still have a chance to close the gap with Atlanta this weekend.

8. Cincinnati Reds (46-35)—I’m getting closer to believing, and so are the Reds.

9. Minnesota Twins (44-36)—They haven’t been playing great baseball, which has allowed the mediocre Tigers and White Sox back into the AL Central race. But there is too much talent in Minnesota to keep the Twins out of the postseason hunt.

10. St. Louis Cardinals (44-36)—I’m now ready to put the Reds above the Cardinals, and Tony LaRussa’s boys had better start playing better away from home (18-22) if they want to keep pace.

Behind WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber

Friday is a day that fighters like Urijah Faber dread more than the fight itself.

It’s Weigh-In Day.

Today at 7PM ET/4PM PT, Faber and the other fighters that take part in Saturday’s WEC 48 PPV Event (sponsored by AMP) will make their official weigh ins in order to participate in the fight. Faber has to make the 145-pound weight limit that is required for his WEC Featherweight title bout against Jose Aldo and at 11 a.m. PT, he found himself 6.5 pounds over his limit.

Losing that weight shouldn’t be an issue as most fighters cut a significant amount of weight prior to the fight by sweating themselves dry, all in order to put that weight back on by the time the bout begins in hopes of being the bigger, stronger fighter.

As Faber put on the sweats and worked up a sweat at his gym, Ultimate Fitness, in Sacramento, Calif. some of his teammates provided me with a lesson in Mixed-Martial Arts, courtesy of AMP.

UFC Middleweight Mark Munoz, and WEC Lightweights Danny Castillo and Justin Buchholz showed the difference aspects of MMA from striking, to submission fighting, to wrestling. The three laid out the basic techniques of fighting, starting with striking. Munoz followed with a lesson on wrestling technique, while Buchholz and Castillo displayed submission fighting.

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2009 College Football Week 12 Picks & Predictions

Last week was bitter sweet as I went 4-0 straight up but just 1-3 against the spread. Keep in mind that I try to only pick top 25 games, so they’re much, much harder to predict. Like, much harder. (Or at least that’s my excuse anyway.)

No. 8 LSU at Mississippi, 3:30PM ET
Both of these SEC teams will be looking to finish the 2009 season strong when they square off this Saturday in Oxford. The Rebels snapped a six-game losing streak to the Tigers last season but they haven’t won at home in his series since 1998. The public seems high on Ole Miss after the Rebs hammered Tennessee last Saturday, but keep in mind that the Vols were in the midst of some turmoil after three of their players were arrested for attempted armed robbery last week. Dexter McCluster went off on Tennessee for 282 yards and four touchdowns, but he’ll have a hard time repeating that effort against a stout LSU front seven. Something tells me that Les Miles’ team is still pissed off about what happened two weeks again in Tuscaloosa and will play this week with passion. I see a small upset for the Tigers and an outright win.
Odds: Ole Miss –4.5.
Prediction: LSU 20, Ole Miss 17.

No. 25 California at No. 17 Stanford, 7:30PM ET
Stanford is playing as well as anyone in the nation right now. The Cardinal have scored 106 points combined against Oregon and USC the past two weeks and senior running back Toby Gerhart has almost been unstoppable. Without running back Jahvid Best, Cal squeaked by Arizona last week, 24-16. With Best sidelined again this Saturday, many expect Stanford to roll but don’t forget that Cal has the 19th best run defense in the nation and is capable of containing Gerhart and keeping things close. Quarterback Kevin Riley might be able to take advantage of a Stanford secondary that has been inconsistent this season, although without the threat of a running game the Bears’ offense might become too one-dimensional in the second half. I think Stanford will pull out the victory but this game will be closer than people think.
Odds: Stanford –7.5.
Prediction: Stanford 35, Cal 31.

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Couch Potato Alert: 12/26

All times ET…

College Football

Sat, 1 PM: West Virginia vs. North Carolina – Meineke Car Care Bowl, ESPN
Sat, 4:30 PM: Wisconsin vs. Florida State – Champs Sports Bowl, ESPN
Sat, 8 PM: Miami (FL) vs. California – Emerald Bowl, ESPN

College Basketball

Sat, 4 PM: West Virginia vs. No. 13 Ohio State, CBS
Sat, 4 PM: UAB vs. No. 19 Louisville, ESPN2


Fri, 8 PM: Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat, ESPN
Sat, 8:30 PM: Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets, NBA TV


Sun, 1 PM: New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills, CBS
Sun, 4:15 PM: Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets, CBS
Sun, 4:15 PM: Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Fox
Sun, 8:15 PM: Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers, NBC


Fri, 7 PM: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New Jersey Devils
Sat, 9 PM: Detroit Red Wings vs. Colorado Avalanche

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