The world knows Nostradamus as the man that predicted many major world events. His prophecies are undeniable and have created quite the cult following. Well 5thRounders, Ngo-stradamus will look to do the same thing, but in the context of the MMA world. The all-mighty one is coming off of a humbling 2-3 record at UFC 96, however is still a respectable 51-24 over the last 15 UFC events. Check below to see how he foresees UFC 97 playing out.
Luis Cane (+250) vs. Steve Cantwell (-325)
Cantwell looked sensational in his Octagon debut against Razak Al-Hussan late last year. He is one of the division’s more exciting fighters as all of his wins have ended in finishes, win or lose. Cantwell has compiled a 7-1 professional record, and will go down as the last WEC light heavyweight champ.
Cane is one of the division’s fastest rising stars. The Brazilian holds a 9-1 record, with Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou going down as his latest victim at UFC 89. The only blemish on his record came as a result of the DQ that he received for illegally kneeing James Irvin in the melon at UFC 79.
Ngo-stradamus predicts: Cane via 2ndRound TKO
Cheick Kongo (-350) vs. Antoni Hardonk (+275)
With three consecutive Octagon wins, Hardonk has quietly been making his way up the heavyweight ladder. The most impressive aspect of his current winning streak is that he has finished in all of those contests. Hardonk has experienced much of his success against the less agile fighters in the weight class, however Kongo will present an entirely new element.
Kongo has steadily been improving his overall MMA game through the years. Known as a devastating striker, he has relentlessly, and successfully, worked to better his ground skills. His most recent win came at the expense of Mustapha al Turk at UFC 92.
Collecting a win this weekend is imperative for both fighters as they look to push their way into title contention.
Ngo-stradamus predicts: Kongo via 3rdRound TKO
Krzysztof Soszynski (-155) vs. Brian Stann (+125)
Saturday marks Stann’s UFC debut, as well as his first scrap since losing his WEC title to the aformentioned Cantwell last August. That is the only L the former military man has on his record as he was perfect through his first six MMA bouts.
Soszynski made a name for himself as a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 8. Although his superior wrestling skills only managed to get him to the semifinals, his overall performance on the show earned him a future inside the Octagon.
He holds a 16-8-1 pro record, however has won his last four bouts. Most recently, he caught Shane Primm in a sick Kimora at the TUF 8 Finale in December.
Ngo-stradamus predicts: Stann via Unanimous Decision
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (+160) vs. Chuck Liddell (-200)
Word is that this could very well be a loser leave town match for these two strikers. The 39-year-old Liddell has dropped three of his last four fights, two of which resulted in The Iceman being knocked out cold on the canvas.
UFC president and Liddell amigo Dana White has already gone on record stating if Liddell doesn’t win convincingly this Saturday, the division, and possibly the organization, will move forward without him in the picture.
Just three years ago, Shogun was the world’s best 205-pounder. Since then, the talented Brazilian has endured two devastating knee surgeries, which were followed by two lackluster Octagon performances. It should be noted that only one of those resulted in losses, however this is the UFC, and this is not the division were a fighter can get away with uninspired performances.
Ngo-stradamus predicts: Shogun via 3rdRound TKO
Thales Leites (+425) vs. Anderson Silva (-625)
Since this fight was officially announced, Leites has gone on a world tour defending his place as the division’s top contender. At 14-1, it would be hard to argue that he isn’t deserving, but there are others out there just as accomplished and ready to test themselves against the best as well (ie. Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt).
Leites will be riding a five-fight winning streak into this 5Round affair, with his most recent win coming against Drew McFedries at UFC 90. Coincidentally, that was the same night Silva last fought.
Chances are that Silva will leave the Octagon on Saturday with his title belt in tact, however the question is how motivated will he be defending it. His performane against Patrick Cote was by far his least impressive since joining the UFC, however his effort had more to do with what Cote couldn’t do to him rather than what he wanted to do to Cote.
Silva took a lot of flack for his last fight, and unfortunately for Leites, he will have to bear the brunt of the champ’s frustration. Look for The Spider to spin his web all over Leites early and often, proving to the MMA community that he is still the world’s best P4P fighter.
Ngo-stradamus predicts: Silva via 1stRound TKO