Cageplay Breaks Down UFC 95: Sanchez vs Stevenson


Cageplay Breakdown

UFC 95 is this Saturday, February 21 and the UFC is back in Europe.  Coming live from London, England, UFC 95 is available for free on Spike TV.  Diego Sanchez will be making his Lightweight debut as he is facing Joe Stevenson.  Other notable fighters on the card include Middleweight title contenders Demian Maia and Nathan Marquardt who will be facing Chael Sonnen and Wilson Gouveia, respectively.

Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Stevenson
Diego Sanchez is making his Lightweight debut while Stevenson is looking to rebound from his quick loss to Ken Florian.  If Sanchez is able to cut the weight with ease, he should dominate Stevenson.  Expect Sanchez to take Joe Daddy down, mount him, and Ground and Pound him for the victory.  Sanchez will simply be too quick for Stevenson. There are some rumours that the cut has been very difficult for Sanchez.  This could be an equalizer in this bout.  If Stevenson does win, look for Sanchez to be caught with his head out and losing to that Guillotine that Joe Daddy favors so much.

  • Cageplay’s Pick: Diego Sanchez by GNP Round 1
  • Cageplay Readers’ Pick (so far): Diego Sanchez 76%
  • Sanchez -303, Stevenson +200

Dan Hardy vs. Rory Markham
Rory Markham loves to bang and will love to turn this bout into a Fight of the Night brawl.  Dan Hardy is coming off a decision win over Akihiro Gono and is 9-1 in the last three years.  Hardy will use his length to keep Markham away.  Hardy’s technical striking advantage and reach will be the major factors in this fight as Hardy will jab and kick his way to a decision victory.  Watch out for Markham’s power though, if one of those bombs catch Hardy, it will be lights out!

  • Cageplay’s Pick: Hardy by Decision
  • Cageplay Readers’ Pick (so far): Markham 71%
  • Hardy -120, Markham -120

Josh Koscheck vs. Paul Thiago
Paul Thiago has no business in the cage with Josh Koscheck.  Koscheck is getting an easier opponent perhaps to rebuild his Welterweight career after losses to frontrunners, Georges St-Pierre and Thiago Alves.  Thiago is an undefeated grappler from Brazil will not be able to take down Koscheck.  Thiago may pull guard to get this fight to the ground and that is where the NCAA wrestling champ will TKO the Brazilian – removing him from the undefeated ranks.  Look for Koscheck to dispatch Thiago as easily as  he did Yoshida last December.

  • Cageplay’s Pick: Koscheck TKO (GNP) Round 1
  • Cageplay Readers’ Pick (so far): Koscheck 98%
  • Koscheck -625, Thiago +350

Nate Marquardt vs. Wilson Gouveia
Take away his loss to Anderson Silva and a bad split decision loss to Thales Leites and Nate Marquardt has been a dominant beast since 1994.  Fighting out of Greg Jackson’s camp, Marquardt is training with the best and has a great all around MMA game as shown by his dismantling of Martin Kampmann in his last fight.  Gouveia will have the reach advantage and he is a very dangerous striker, as Jason MacDonald can attest.  Not only a stiker, a suprising 60% of Gouveia’s wins come via submission.  However, Greg Jackson and Nate the Great will come up with a strategy to take care of Gouveia.  I see Marquardt dominating the clinch and taking away Gouveia’s stand up.  On the ground, Marquardt will win the position game and maintain top control throughout the match.

  • Cageplay’s Pick: Marquardt by Decision
  • Cageplay Readers’ Pick (so far): Marquardt 87%
  • Marquardt -303, Gouveia+200

Demian Maia vs. Chael Sonnen
Chael Sonnen cannot use his wrestling to take down Maia in this bout or he will get tapped out.  Instead, Sonnen must have a perfect sprawl in this match to avoid being taken down and submitted.  Chael keep this fight standing to have a chance at winning.  This will not happen.  Maia will get Sonnen to the mat at some point in this match and probably take another Submission of the Night bonus for his efforts.

  • Cageplay’s Pick: Maia Submission Round 2
  • Cageplay Readers’ Pick (so far): Maia 88%
  • Maia -303, Sonen +200

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