Great Sherdog Debate: Liddell vs. Silva
It seemed like this day would never come: two Sherdoggers debating
one of the most anticipated showdowns MMA could ever offer.
Chuck Liddell (Pictures) and Wanderlei Silva (Pictures) will finally lock horns
Saturday inside the Mandalay Bay in what should an explosive war.
Sherdog.com's Mike Sloan and Steven Curtis lay down the letters in
a war of words to see who will triumph in this edition of the Great
You're back again? I thought
I sent you into permanent hiding after I humiliated you in front of
millions of loyal readers! But since you are back in my face, I
must admit that I admire your courage, considering that you're
going to wind up like radio "co-host" TJ De Santis with a goose egg
still in your win column.
Both Liddell and Silva have dropped two in a row, but when looking
at this fight a little closer, it would appear that Silva has the
overall advantage. Stylistically speaking, he has more of an edge
in quite a few categories. He's younger, has faster hands and has
more power in both of his hands (Chuck is typically a right hand
puncher). Silva also has a much better ground game, delivers better
knees and tends to have better cardio.
Also, it can be argued that although Silva has fought a ton of
tomato cans, he's actually competed against much better overall
competition than Liddell. All signs point to a Silva victory,
especially considering that Liddell is not getting any younger.
But Liddell will win, and he'll do it in the first round via
knockout. It won't be a doctor or referee stoppage. It'll be a good
old-fashioned one-punch knockout, and Liddell will do it with the
fist that Wanderlei has trained his ass off to avoid -- the
Going into this fight, I don't care that Silva has all of these
so-called advantages. His power and intangibles outweigh everything
you can throw back at me.
Chuck has only two great fights left in him, and he's going to exit
stage left. He has dropped two in a row and simply can't afford to
lose another, especially to a fighter from Pride.
Also, though Chuck throws a wild loopy right hand, he actually
tends to throw shorter, somewhat straighter punches than Wanderlei.
"The Axe Murderer" almost never tosses a straight punch as he
usually flails wildly with telegraphed bombs from left and right.
Moreover, Wanderlei is sometimes too aggressive for his own good
and is often too careless with his strikes.
Careless aggression is what Chuck has feasted upon throughout his
career. The best way to solve the Liddell puzzle is to make him
come at you and give him angles -- something Wanderlei simply is
incapable of doing.
Going back to the subject of angular punching, Chuck's awkward left
hand comes down from behind his shoulder but is actually a short,
compact strike that acts like a straight jab (think geometry, and
you'll get the picture).
Another plus is Chuck's chin. It's sturdier than Silva's, as "The
Iceman" has only been iced once. Wanderlei has been flattened
thrice, with two of the knockouts coming in brutal fashion in his
most recent fights.
And finally, to end this debate before you actually begin, Silva is
a Pride fighter -- a former champion from that organization. Aside
from Anderson Silva and
Rampage, no former Pride superstar has faired well at all in the
Seriously, Steven, I love ya and all, but it's not even worth
jumping into this ring. Your boy from Brazil is going out at the
1:48 mark of the opening round.
Mike, I want to thank you
for the rematch. It was very cool of you. But he who exults himself
shall be humbled, my friend.
I'm going to knock you right off your championship perch in time to
ring in the New Year. I'm bringing the belt to the East Coast and
I'll be partying in Times Square. Dick Clark, take your
I'll tell you why you're wrong about the main event, Mike. How's
this fight going to play out? Well, it's safe to say that neither
guy is looking to take it to the ground. And Wandy will be bringing
more standup weapons and better Muay Thai than your boy Chuck has
seen in a long time, if ever.
Chuck's counterpunching attack won't faze Silva. Wanderlei's a
tough guy to hit, and his recent KO losses have come against guys
who wore him down with a varied attack before capitalizing on a
While he is less experienced in the cage, the Octagon is actually
better suited to Silva's style. If he can close the distance with
Chuck and press him up against the cage, the knees will be flying.
If they stand toe-to-toe in the center of the Octagon, Silva will
also have the advantage because of better defense and power with
both hands. Checking those leg kicks won't be easy for "The Iceman"
And one other thing ... Silva is seven years younger. Wandy by
St. Pierre pretty much has
dominated Hughes for every minute of their battles. Heck, the only
time Hughes has ever truly had the upper hand was the last few
seconds of their first fight, when he subbed GSP. Other than that,
this "rivalry" has been all "Rush." Why would I think any
differently in their rubber match? St. Pierre will pummel the
former MMA deity and stop him late in the third via strikes.
Well, so much for 2008 being
the year Matt Hughes
(Pictures) wins the title back! Matt
may be physically stronger, but GSP is just too much for him to
handle -- better standup, better ground, better submissions, better
athlete, you name it. But I don't think Matt will get caught a
second time. GSP by decision.
It's tough to say that Sokoudjou
has had fluke wins considering who he's trumped. Still, I'm not
totally sold on the Team Quest fighter. The same can be easily said
about Machida, though his overall experience dwarfs that of
Sokoudjou. My pick is Sokoudjou via second-round knockout, and
karate will return to the ventilator.
I'm pumped Sokoudjou is making
his UFC debut. As usual he looks to be in tremendous shape and is
ready to put on a show. This guy has been running through top
fighters a la George Foreman in the mid-70s, and Machida will be
the latest victim via second-round knockout. Believe the hype!
I see Guillard storming out of
the gates and swarming Clementi. I also see Clementi being dropped
and lying flat on his back midway through the first round, losing
by KO for the first time in his career. Guillard will also stay
away from the nose candy and pass the post-fight urinalysis.
We'll call this one the "battle
of the guys who have been given way too many second chances."
Clementi gets the edge in my book because he brings more to the
table than Melvin -- the Gary
Goodridge (Pictures) of the 155 class. Clementi via
Palelei can punch. Sadly,
Sanchez is best known as being the last guy the "good" Cro Cop
stopped. Should be interesting, but Sanchez will wind up scoring a
hard-fought decision over the UFC newcomer.
I'm with you on this one,
Sloan. Soa cannot only deliver a punch, he can take one too.
Sanchez bounced back nicely after the Mirko loss, and I'm betting
he continues the win streak via decision.
Irvin has always been the guy
most overlooked even though he's arguably among the top three most
exciting fighters in the history of MMA. This is Cane's biggest
test and this one should be the fight of the night. The fight ends
in the first, but it'll be a mini Hagler-Hearns type of war. Good
job Joe Silva and good job Irvin for making me look like a genius!
Irvin via KO.
I agree that it will be a great
fight, but I don't think the undefeated Cane is going to fall so
easily. In fact I think he'll give Irvin everything he can handle
and lose a close decision.
Mohr got jobbed when ESPN fired
him and took away his talk show. Too bad because it was funny. Oh,
wait. That was Jay Mohr. Oh. Well, Nate Mohr (Pictures) bounced back from a loss, but
he's fighting the ultra-tough Gamburyan, who will submit him via
kimura in the second.
Manny is a man on a mission.
He'll have Nate saying "No Mohr" after submitting him in round
Lister has always been one of my
favorite MMA submission artists to watch, and he'll do me proud by
locking up Radev in a slick armbar. The mysterious pentagram choke
will remain unseen.
Never mind the pentagram choke,
Mike. What about the claw? Mr. Radev is in for a very short night.
I'm thinking, oh, about four minutes before Mr. Lister submits him
in round one.
Both cats are coming off of
losses, both within the UFC. This should be a decent scrap between
two relative newcomers to the sport, but Evans will prevail via
This one is a toss-up in my
book. In the interest of mixing things up and making Mr. Sloan look
bad, I'm backing Bocek via decision.
If DeSouza could only grapple
and not have to strike, he'd probably be a title challenger by now.
Good thing for the Peruvian that his opponent is a Brazilian, which
usually means he's a jiu-jitsu practitioner. This one will be a
classic if you like that sort of stuff. Carneiro will get caught in
the famous gogoplata … maybe.
Classic? Dunno about that one,
Mike. Guessing this one will be about as exciting as Brandon Lee
Hinkle-Sean Gannon. Anyway, Brazilian or no, Carneiro has shown
that he's vulnerable to submissions, and that's just what Tony D
will exploit. DeSouza by rear-naked choke in the second.
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