They said it couldn’t be done.
Anderson Silva’s gruesome leg injury was supposed to be the end of arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time.
But someone forgot to tell The Spider.
Not only is he back, but Stockton’s finest, Nick Diaz is back to do what he says Georges St-Pierre was always scared to do.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
In case you missed it, here’s a conversation with Miesha Tate.
UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS (6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT)
THIAGO “MARRETA” SANTOS (9-3-0) VS ANDY “LIONHEART” ENZ (8-2-0)
Andrews: I think Enz’s ground game will keep the striking of Santos at bay. He has to avoid getting caught first, which I think he will do.
Andrews Prediction: Andy Enz via unanimous decision.
RICHARDSON “RICK MONSTRO” MOREIRA (7-3-0) VS IIDEMAR “MARAJO” ALCANTARA (20-7-0)
Andrews: This is a tough one on paper, so this on will short and sweet. Both guys are 32-years-old but something at the weigh-ins made change my mind for “Rick Monster.”
Andrews Prediction: Richardson “Rick Monstro” Moreira.
DIEGO “DB” BRANDAO (22-10-0) VS JIMY “THE KID” HETTES (11-2-0)
Andrews: Brandao is in danger of a three-loss losing streak and being cut from the UFC. Hettes lost to Dennis Bermudez and while I think Brandao’s gas issues are still there, he will catch Hettes before he can use his ground game.
Andrews Prediction: Diego “DB” Brandao via TKO.
TSN 4 PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)
RAFAEL “SAPO” NATAL (18-6-1) vs TOM “KONG” WATSON (17-7-0)
Wiseman: Watson has solid standup, but Natal is a monster on the mat. Clearly we know where this is going. If Watson had good takedown defence he might stand a chance at keeping things standing. However, that isn’t the case. Natal will stand for the time needed, then dominate on the mat. I don’t see either being able to get the finish because they are not consistent in the way they perform, but I have Natal being able to dictate the fight due to Watson’s one-dimensional fighting.
Wisema Prediction: Rafael “Sapo” Natal via decision.
#3 IAN “UNCLE CREEPY” MCCALL (13-4-1) VS #6 JOHN “HANDS OF STONE” LINEKER (24-7-0)
Wiseman: There is no doubting that Lineker has the power advantage, but McCall is like Uriah Faber in the fact that he is top-notch outside of the top three. McCall is explosive and mixes things up very well. Lineker is explosive too, but tends to rely on his power too much, making him a little easier to predict. McCall changing levels and just mixing up his combinations gives him the advantage.
Wiseman Prediction: “Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall via decision.
ED “SHORT FUSE” HERMAN (23-10-0, 1 NC) VS DEREK BRUNSON (12-3-0)
Wiseman: Herman loves the clinch game, keeping things close and using ground-and-pound. That is exactly the kind of fight that he needs. Brunson is the opposite. He likes to move around to set up his power shots. With Herman fighting his style, he is going to zap Brunson’s energy level, prevent him from using his striking, and dominate the fight. Brunson is the favorite to win here, but I’m going to go against the grain on this one. Herman needs a win and if he can keep things close, he can get it.
Wiseman Prediction: Ed “Short Fuse” Herman via unanimous decision.
#2 MIESHA TATE (15-5-0) VS #3 SARA MCMANN (8-1-0)
Wiseman: Tate is coming off two wins, but they weren’t impressive when it comes to the fact that she is trying to get back into title contention. To show that she is at that level she needs clear finishes and that isn’t happening. McMann has only experienced loss once to Rousey, but she uses her Judo and Wrestling more to be able to put things on the mat. Considering both are wrestlers, but McMann is an olympic wrestler, so I’m sorry Tate but this isn’t going to be great. Tate doesn’t really pace herself when she stands and strikes, so I have this match being a grappling match, really testing the cardio of both fighters. McMann will win that kind of a match.
Wiseman Prediction: Sara McMann via unanimous decision.
MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)
#13 JORDAN “YOUNG GUN” MEIN (29-9-0) VS THIAGO “PITBULL” ALVES (25-9-0)
Wiseman: Alves tends to stand and put together combinations. Mein won’t need to worry about Alves trying to take things to the mat. Alves will bite down on his mouth guard and try to move forward. Mein is more diverse. He has KO power, he has a submission game, and he mixes up his combinations more making him more unpredictable. Alves just moves forward, Mein moves at angles and pushes the pace. Mein has a huge advantage on the mat, so it may be a submission night, but I’m trying to give Alves some credit.
Wiseman Prediction: Jordan “Young Gun” Mein via unanimous decision.
THALES LEITES (24-4-0) VS TIM BOETSCH (16-7-0)
Wiseman: It’s not going to be a surprise as to where these fighters will want this fight. Boetsch will want to keep this standing so he can use his power. His kryptonite is the ground game, what does Leites do, a master at the ground game. Not a great match-up for Boetsch, unless of course he wants to test himself. I have Leites standing and putting together combinations only to score a takedown. On the mat it’s all Leites. Boetsch doesn’t have a ground game at all, so I have this match not lasting long. Anyone standing with Boetsch is in for a long, painful night, so when you have a submission game like Leites why risk it.
Wiseman Prediction: Thales Leites via submission.
JOE LAUZON (24-10-0) VS AL “RAGING” IAQUINTA (10-3-1)
Wiseman: Iaquinta performs best when he rushes in and attacks aggressively. To force his opponent backwards and throw bombs, that the Raging part of Iaquinta’s game. Lauzon can take a beating if that’s what it takes to score a takedown. Lauzon will force things into a clinch game against the cage, using it to transition to a takedown. On the mat, Lauzon is the favorite. Iaquinta isn’t terrible on the mat, but Lauzon is vastly superior.
Wiseman Prediction: Joe Lauzon via submission.
TYRON WOODLEY (14-3-0) VS KELVIN GASTELUM (11-0-0)
Wiseman: Talk about tough matches. Woodley is that guy whose been been doing nothing but finishing people. His knockout power is formidable, but we learned something about him in the Rory MacDonald fight. When moving backwards and against the cage, he isn’t as effective. Woodley moving forward is a dangerous guy, but like Rory, Gastelum will push forward. The kicks and striking from strange angles will really help Gastelum take control of this fight and when Woodley loses control of a fight, he doesn’t get it back very well. I have Gastelum using his striking to put pressure on Woodley, shooting for a takedowns, tiring out Woodley to the fullest, then driving for a submission.
Wiseman Prediction: Kelvin Gastelum via submission.
ANDERSON “THE SPIDER” SILVA (33-6-0) VS NICK DIAZ (27-9-1)
Wiseman: No one can argue when it comes to the talent both of these guys bring to the octagon. Diaz sticks in there with anyone. He has a fantastic chin, is about entertaining the crowd, while always going for the finish. He has been out for 2 years, but I don’t see “ring rust” being a thing for him as he is always active. Silva, even with his injury, the talent of Diaz, it doesn’t matter because Silva is a supreme fighter. Silva won’t have to worry about having to stuff any takedowns and Diaz doesn’t throw many kicks, so not much to worry about there either. In this fight we have a humbled Silva who thought he was going to lose his fighting life, but now is back. That second chance is really key for Silva in this fight. Beyond his speed, movement, power, combinations, he has a true heart for the sport. I don’t now, nor have I ever, seen that kind of hunger in Diaz.