Affliction's second foray into the MMA world is almost upon us in what turns out to be a pretty good card on paper. However, it'll be up to the fighters to deliver on their end in terms of how good this card will be. They will need to fight valiantly, because these fights on Saturday night could very well be an impromptu interview for when Affliction folds. I think that is a very real possibility. On to the fights:
Paul Buentello vs. Kiril Sidelnikov-I must admit I don't know anything about Buentello's opponent. Most of his wins have come via TKO so I'll assume he likes to strike, which just so happens to be Buentello's game. Buentello will enjoy a height/reach advantage and has more MMA experience. I'm going with Buentello via TKO.
Babalu Sobral vs. Sokoudjou-We all know what Sokoudjou brings to the table. He's explosive and has KO power, but will break if things fail to go his way. If he can keep the fight standing he has the ability to take Sobral out. Sobral will enjoy a big advantage on the ground, and I expect this fight to get to the ground. Once that happens I expect Sobral to take advantage of Sokoudjou's weaknesses there. Sobral via RNC.
Josh Barnett vs. Gilbert Yvel-Barnett should handle Yvel easily if he fights smart. Which is take the hard striking fellow down to the ground. Barnett via Submission.
Matt Lindland vs. Vitor Belfort-I'm very interested in this fight. I'm biased and would love to see Belfort KTFO of Lindland. However, it will not be easy as I expect Lindland to be able to take Belfort down when he wants to. Belfort looked good against Terry Martin, but I would like to think Lindland is a step up in competition. I expect to Belfort to want to keep the fight standing where he'll enjoy a big advantage. Most people probably expect Lindland to LnP his way to victory. I'm going out on a limb with Belfort making a statement at 185 via TKO.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski-This fight is all about confidence for Arlovski. If he is able to get past the first couple of minutes and have some success standing? I do think it's possible for him to beat Fedor. However, I don't expect that to happen. I think Arlovski and Freddie Roach have been concentrating on boxing far more than the ground game. Which was evident in the Arlovski/Roy Nelson fight. If Nelson was able to get an advantageous position on the ground against him, Fedor will finish him. Fedor via submission.