A brief look around SB Nation at the predictions on Saturday's UFC 105 event. We'll take a look at each site's predictions for the main event and provide a link to their full card picks.
It's pretty simple: Anything Vera can do Couture can do better. And if he can't, he has the Octagon experience to nullify it. Let's also remember the "idol" factor, which should never be overlooked (See Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Hughes I). Vera knows how to play the game, but Couture practically invented it.
Luke Thomas: Here's the reality: Couture can't win a striking match and can win a wrestling match. Which one will it be? I'd say it depends more on the aggressor in Couture than the sparring-fighting style of Vera. I think this one is ultra close and I can easily see either man winning, but I have to think Couture can beat an opponent who just doesn't fight with a sense of urgency. Couture via decision.
Kid Nate:There are two questions in this fight: 1) Is Randy Couture finally too old to compete at the elite level? and, 2) Is Brandon Vera going to be able to close the deal and live up to his potential. I'm going to have to go with the odds here. Father Time is inevitably going to beat us all, Randy Couture included. Brandon Vera by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: Everything comes down to where the fight takes place. People greatly overrate Vera's wrestling. If Randy wants to he can clinch him, take him down and rough him up. If Couture does decide to play the boxing game like he did with Nogueira he is going to lose. I just keep looking at their recent fights. Randy has been fighting Brock Lesnar and Nogueira, Vera has been dragging guys like Reese Andy and Soszynski to decision or leg kicking Mike Patt (who was brought in to be a punching bag for Vera). I don't think Vera has the mental game or the wrestling to beat Randy, unless Randy decides to play the striking game for any reason other than closing distance. Randy Couture by decision.
Mike Fagan: Only Brandon Vera can beat himself in this fight. Couture's smart enough and in good enough shape to appear competitive, but his days beating top flight competition decisively are over. Brandon Vera by decision.
Eugene Schelfaut: Randy Couture grinds Brandon Vera against the cage for the first round and in the second he frustrates the Vera from on top in half-guard. In the last frame, however, he does both, leading Randy Couture to win by TKO, round 3.
Leland Roling: Randy's wrestling and clinch game should be the key to damaging Vera against the cage. I think Vera is sturdy enough to withstand most of it, and Randy should cruise to a decision victory here. Randy Couture via unanimous decision.
Zach Kratnz: I hope Brandon Vera is like coca-cola. First we had the solid coca-cola then we had the gross new coke and hopefully we will be rewarded with Coca-Cola Classic. This is the fight for him to do it. Couture is the favorite and Vera has looked poorly recently, but we all know the potential is there and while Randy might be the MMA version of Satchel Paige, but age will eventually catch up. I think this is a perfect opportunity for Vera and he comes out with nothing to lose which goes in his favor as Vera wins via TKO in Round 2.
Nick Becker: This fight obviously means a lot for both men and I expect to see them perform at the top of their games. Couture represents an opponent that Vera is forced to take seriously and "The Natural" knows that a title shot is just over the horizon if he can beat Vera in convincing fashion. I suspect we'll see vintage Couture in the cage Saturday night, roughing up Vera in the clinch with dirty boxing before eventually getting the takedown and ground and pounding his way to another age-defying victory. Couture via TKO Round 2.
E. Spencer Kyte: I can't stick with one decision on this fight for the life of me. On one hand, Couture is older than dirt and has showed signs of slowing down, but am I really going to let myself pick Brandon Vera? That being said, he looked crisp against Soszynski and has the tools to beat Couture just about anywhere this fight goes, but he's had those same tools in some of his less-than-memorable performances too. Dammit! Head over heart on this one - Vera by Unanimous Decision.
Zak Woods: Yesterday, I was watching Fox Fight Game and I was told by the new editor of the UFC Magazine that this would be a great and interesting fight. I am sorry to have to disagree with that lunacy but when was the last time Brendon Vera was in a good fight? It was 2006, three years ago! Since then Vera has looked out of place every time he steps into the cage. I know this next comment might get me labeled as a heretic but Couture looked old when he fought Nogueira. Yes, it was entertaining but the fight was in old people slow motion. Vera vs. Couture will be a dirty boxing clinch-fest with Couture being the aggressor, which will earn him the split decision victory.
Charles Walker-Vera via decisionRich Wyatt-Vera over Couture by TKO in the 3rd. I'm thinking that Vera will start slow but will turn things around midway through the fight and get stronger as the fight goes on, finally stopping Couture in the third.Kelvin Hunt-If this fight goes to decision, in all likelyhood Couture would win it. However, I think Vera finds himself in this fight. I think his wrestling is good enough to use in reverse and keep it standing, which leaves the standup battle which he should win. I think he beats Couture up as the fight goes on and wins a decision.