| Article Summary:
UFC Fight Night 14 Preview
Silva vs. Irvin, FREE On Spike TV!
Las Vegas, NV (July 19, 2008) - Live from the Pearl located within the Palms Casino and Resort, The UFC presents Ultimate Fight Night 14: Silva vs. Irvin. The 3-hour main card will feature six fights and will be aired on SPIKE TV, Saturday the 19th at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
The two main fights will feature the light-heavyweight debuts of Anderson "The Spider" Silva and Brandon "The Truth" Vera. The current UFC middleweight champion Silva moves up in weight to challenge James "The Sandman" Irvin. Vera, the former heavyweight contender moves down to the LHW division to battle Reese Andy.
The main card also features the return of Hermes Franca going up against Frankie Edgar. In a heavyweight showdown Cain Velasquez will fight "Irish" Jake O'brien, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson will look to stay on his winning ways against Kevin Burns, and two recent TUF finalists, C.B. Dollaway and Jesse Taylor will finally get it on inside the octagon.
In an attempt to steal some viewers from the Affliction debut show "Banned," the UFC quickly put together a respectable card headlined by one of its top fighters (Silva) and some possible up-and-coming talent, here's the breakdown of Ultimate Fight Night 14.
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Anderson "The Spider" Silva
21 - 4 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
Height 6'2" (188cm) Weight 185lbs (84kg)
James "The Sandman" Irvin
14 - 4 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw) ( 1 NC )
Height 6'2" (188cm) Weight 205lbs (93kg)
The Brazilian middleweight champion, Anderson "The Spider" Silva, who should change his nickname to "The Buzzsaw" as he's cut straight through the ranks since his arrival to the UFC, will now attempt to do the same within the light-heavyweight division. Standing in his way will be knockout artist, James "The Sandman" Irvin.
James "The Sandman" Irvin:
Irvin who is coming off a huge 8-second win over Houston Alexander, would like nothing more than to spoil "The Spider's" 205-pound debut. Irvin has been with the UFC for three years and hasn't had the opportunity to face a fighter of Silva's caliber.
In a stacked 205 division with fighters such as Chuck Liddell, Rampage and Forrest Griffin, a win over Silva will no doubt help him get to the top of the heap. Irvin will definitely have to rely on his size and strength against the smaller and quicker Silva.
Irvin is a Muay Thai specialist with knockout power in both hands, feet and knees. He holds two highlight-reel knockouts over Houston Alexander (superman punch) and over Terry Martin (flying knee.) The one-time WEC heavyweight champ stood up to the challenge; that is Anderson Silva, when other fighters declined. He stands as a big underdog against Silva, but we've seen stranger things happen within the octagon.
Anderson "The Spider" Silva:
Considered to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world, Anderson Silva has become restless within the 185-pound division. Silva is currently undefeated within the UFC with seven wins. He's beaten former contenders such as Nate Marquardt, Chris Leben and Travis Lutter. With two wins over former champ Rich Franklin and a convincing win over former Pride Champion Dan Henderson the UFC quickly ran out of suitors to challenge "The Spider."
His last fight was against Dan Henderson to unify the Pride and UFC middleweight belts. At that point Dan Henderson was asked to drop from the LHW division to challenge Silva since there was no other clear cut contender. Since then there still is no clear cut contender aside from Yushin Okami and there was even a rumor that Silva wanted to challenge Roy Jones Jr. to a boxing match. Dana White quickly nixed that idea and for that reason we have his move to the LHW division.
Silva's strengths are numerous, he is a BJJ black belt who trains with the Nouguiera brothers. However he mostly relies on his precision striking that has put fear in the eyes of all his opponents.
He has one of the most feared Muay Thai clinches around that he uses to knee his opponents silly, ask Rich Franklin! Travis Lutter decided to test out his BJJ and was caught in a triangle choke and submitted via elbow strikes. Anderson Silva is truly a great all around fighter with little to no weakness.
Still this is a 20-pound weight jump for Silva and could prove a problem. Silva easily outmatches Irvin at all levels except for maybe strength. If Irvin can catch him with one of those powerful punches or knees it could be lights out for the Spider. This fight will be reminiscent to the Silva/Franklin fights and I don't see this fight lasting long. Silva victory via TKO in the first round.
With the victory I see Silva fighting Yushin Okami for the middleweight title and don't anticipate him to fight in the LHW division anytime soon. He is training partners with Lyoto Machida, who is currently vying for a LHW title shot at the moment. So due to that reason don't look for any super fights with Chuck Liddell in Silva's near future.
Brandon "The Truth" Vera
8 - 2 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
Height 6'2" (188cm) Weight 225lbs (102kg)
7 - 1 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
Height 6'0" (183cm) Weight 205lbs (93kg)
Brandon "The Truth" Vera:
Vera who burst onto the UFC scene back at UFN 2 with a win over Fabiano Scherner also beat the likes of Justin Eilers and Assuerio Silva. At UFC 65 he surprised everyone with a quick TKO over former champ Frank Mir. Looking to be the next big thing in the heavyweight division Vera had some problems with management that derailed his quick progress. He made his return at UFC 77 after a 1-year layoff against Tim Sylvia.
Vera lost to Tim Sylvia and most recently Fabricio Werdum within the heavyweight division. With those losses many questioned if he was too small for that division and if he would be better suited for the 205 division.
Vera was hungry to get back into the octagon to avenge those two losses and the opportunity arose for another fight, but just in a new weight division. Vera will be able to make a name for himself within the stacked 205 division with a win over Andy.
Reese Andy will be making his UFC debut after compiling a near perfect record in the IFL. Andy is a 3-time All-American wrestler with some strong takedowns. His ground game is no joke as he has frequently competed at Abu Dhabi grappling tournaments. He once faced Fabricio Werdum during the Abu Dhabi.
This fight will likely stay on the ground as Andy will look for the takedowns. Vera will no doubt bring a better takedown defense than the one he had against Werdum. Vera will look to out strike Andy on the feet and will out point the newcomer and take the decision victory.
18 - 6 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
Frank "The Answer" Edgar
8 - 1 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
We welcome back Hermes Franca to the UFC, who is coming off a steroid suspension stemming from his UFC 73 title bout with Sean Sherk. He will take on the scrappy Frankie Edgar who is coming off his first career loss to Gray Maynard at last UFN (13).
Franca who tested positive for steroids along with his opponent (Sherk) a year ago, will look to remake a name for himself among the lightweight fighters. He is a strong BJJ black belt with a huge overhand right hand.
There is no doubt about his game plan, he will look to get you down and submit you. His standup isn't nearly as strong as his ground game, but he will mix it up with you and has some crazy punches that come out of nowhere. He has some notable wins over top LW's, Nate Diaz, Spencer Fisher and Caol Uno.
His last loss was against Sherk, it was a unanimous decision loss, but he was able to lock in some nice submissions that nearly ended the fight. He will look to do the same against Edgar.
Frank "The Answer" Edgar:
The New Jersey native Edgar was once on the fast track to title contention with wins over, Tyson Griffin, Mark Bocek and Spencer Fisher. Edgar, who is a talented wrestler, met his match at UFN 13 when Gray Maynard was able to out wrestle him to earn the decision victory. His first taste of losing left a bad taste in his mouth. Edgar will look to bounce back convincingly against Franca.
Edgar has some success over BJJ black belts in the past, but none with the resume of Franca. Edgar will no doubt have great conditioning and he has an extremely huge heart. His knee was hyper extended in his fight against Tyson Griffin and he still held on for the victory.
If Franca has a weakness it might be his conditioning, but he doesn't expect this fight going the distance. Franca will either submit him early in the fight or it will go to a decision in favor of Edgar. My choice would be a victory for Edgar via unanimous decision.
10 - 1 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
3 - 0 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
It's the Big Ten vs. the Pac Ten in this heavyweight wrestling matchup. O'Brien, a product of the Purdue wrestling team, will face off against the ASU standout Velasquez.
Jake was surprisingly cut by the UFC over three months ago after his TKO loss at the hands of Andrei Arlovski - O'Brien still had two fights left on his contract. He was able to spoil Heath Herring's UFC debut over a year pushing his record to a perfect 4-0. After the fight he went under the knife to fix some "stingers" that were causing him discomfort.
With the UFC scrambling to set up a card for the 19th, they quickly called O'Brien to set up this heavyweight showdown.
Velasquez who trains with the likes of John Fitch who labeled him, "the biggest and baddest heavyweight around" has never seen a fight past the first round. A newcomer to the UFC, he defeated Brad Morris by TKO in the very first round at UFC 83. He's a big strong wrestler with a great clinch and strong striking ability.
Both fighters will look to out wrestle each other and look for the takedown. O'Brien needs a decisive and exciting victory in order to stay in the UFC. He was able to takedown Herring at will, but Velasquez's wrestling skill is far beyond Herring's. The American Kickboxing Academy will have Velasquez ready for war and will look to put O'Brien away early.
I don't see this fight differing from any Velasquez's first three fights. He'll prove too strong for O'Brien, as did Arlovski, and will take the TKO victory in the very first round.
6 - 1 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
Anthony "Rumble" Johnson
5 - 1 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
Anthony "Rumble" Johnson:
Anthony Johnson has quickly rumbled onto the UFC scene. He made a name for himself at UFN 10 with a 13-second knockout of Chad Reiner. He took that fight on a week's notice and quickly showed the world that he was a force to be reckoned with within the welterweight division.
His second fight didn't go exactly how he wanted against Rich Clementi. Clementi was able to catch him with a rear-naked choke at UFC 76. Since then he has added a BJJ blue belt to his already strong resume and KO'd TUF 6 runner-up, Tommy Speer within a minute at UFN 13.
Ironically, he didn't make the TUF 6 cast, but that hasn't stopped him. He is a strong wrestler and ever improving kickboxer. He trains with the Strikeforce middleweight champ and kickboxing legend, Cung Le.
The hard hitting "Rumble" will look to challenge top contenders in the future, but can't look past his opponent Kevin Burns.
Kevin Burns a BJJ expert surprised many at UFC 85 with a submission victory over Roan Carneiro. A late replacement for Ryo Chonan, Burns made the most of his UFC shot and earned "submission of the night" with a triangle choke.
Burns will have to stay out of harm's way in order to take this fight to the ground. The stiff punches coming from Johnson will no doubt test the chin of Burns. Burns will also have trouble taking Johnson down due to his strong wrestling background.
I don't see much hope for Burns, Johnson will earn "knockout of the night" in the first round of this contest!
CB "The Doberman" Dollaway
6 - 1 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
6 - 2 - 0 (Win - Loss - Draw)
This fight could have easily been the TUF 7 finale fight, if it wasn't for the pesky Amir Sadollah.
Dollaway, the TUF Runner-up from Team Rampage going up against the ousted finalist Taylor from Team Forrest.
Jesse Taylor, who was actually set to fight Sadollah for the TUF title, couldn't handle his alcohol and was the only person in the show's history to get kicked off after taping had ended.
If you remember Taylor was caught on tape kicking out a limousine side window and harassing customers and employees at a Palace Station Casino, which are owned by the Ferrittas who own the UFC. Dana White had no choice but to kick him off the show and subsequently Taylor lost his chance to fight Sadollah for the UFC contract.
With phone calls from Dan Henderson, who trains with Taylor, White was convinced enough that Taylor changed and was awarded a second chance and this fight with Dollaway.
Both fighters have a strong wrestling background.
CB "The Doberman" Dollaway:
Dollaway is an All-American wrestler from ASU who suffered his first career loss to Amir Sadollah in controversial fashion. He will have his hands full with Taylor.
This fight will be determined by which fighter can gain top position. Taylor grounded and pounded his way to the finals as did Dollaway. This fight will be close, but I will give the decision victory to Taylor. He has the better camp (Team Quest) and having training partners such as Dan Henderson and Sokodjou will only help his cause.
Both fighters have a long way to go if they ever want to compete for Anderson Silva's title, so maybe a weight change will be in their future.
Now this is the million dollar question:
Do you shell over 40 bucks for a star studded pay-per-view (Affliction: "Banned") that features the World's #1 pound-for-pound fighter in Fedor Emelianenko, or do we tune in to SPIKE TV to watch the UFC's #1 pound-for-pound fighter (Anderson Silva) for FREE?
I already shelled out a lot of money for a ticket to witness the mythical Russian make his return to the U.S. My advice would be to check out both shows, Spike will replay the UFC show later that night, or you can always record it. But this Affliction Card is a can't miss, so check it out! Either way it'll be a great night of fights!