Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira and Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum are set to clash atÂ UFC on Fuel TV 10Â this Saturday, June 8, 2013, in Fortaleza, Brazil, and prior to the rematch of a bout that took place during a PRIDE Elimination tourney in 2006, pro fighters have gathered to give their opinions on who will come out on top in this weekend’s heavyweight contest.
It’s always fun to check out who the pros predict to win, so lets see what they’ve got for “Big Nog” vs. Werdum.
Anthony PettisÂ has put together a string of impressive wins in the lightweight division. But “Showtime” was more interested in taking on the king at 145lbs instead. Pettis makes his pick for this Saturday’s main event:
“I like Nogueira. I’ve been a fan of the Nogueira brothers for a long time. So I gotta ride with Nogueira.”
Chael Sonnen just took a beating from Jon Jones at UFC 159 and is looking to get back on the wagon. He was briefly linked to a fight with Mauricio Rua at UFC 161: “Henderson vs. Evans” before visa issues kept him from stepping in. Now they will fight at UFC on FOX Sports 1 for the main event. Sonnen shares who he feels is going to pull off the win in Brazil on Saturday (via FUEL TV):
“We have all been waiting for Big Nog to quit fighting, we need to accept he’s still got it. This guy can still fight, he’s ranked number eight in the world, and that might even be a little bit low. Now he’s gonna be tested here with Werdum. Werdum needs this more, I think he’s a little sharper right now. Werdum should win this fight. I’m gonna take Werdum.”
T.J. Grant is coming off the destructive stoppage win over a former two-time title challenger in Gray Maynard, which rearranged the lightweight rankings and put the Canadian in a position to fight for the belt. Grant is now set to fight Benson Henderson for the title at UFC 164.
“At this point I want Nogueira to win, he’s one of my all-time favorite fighters. I don’t know if it’s gonna happen.”
Johny Hendricks has cemented himself in a top spot in the welterweight rankings with knockout wins over top competition and a three-round war with Carlos Condit. Catch Hendricks’ prediction for the Minotauro vs. Vai Cavalo main event on June 8th.
“Werdum hasn’t looked good since certain things. I’m going with Nogueira.”
Frankie Edgar, one of New Jersey’s finest, is still an exciting fighter to watch. Despite losing razor-close decisions to the champions in both divisions he’s fought in, Edgar is back for revenge – still at featherweight – and ready to rematch the champion. But first he has to get through the savvy submission game of Charles Oliveira at UFC 162, which will be Edgar’s first non-title bout in almost four years. “The Answer” has a different prediction for this weekend’s heavyweight title eliminator:
“Nogueira’s kinda at the tail end… and I think Werdum’s coming on strong. So I think I’ll go with Werdum.”
Donald Cerrone just beat the brakes off K.J. Noons at UFC 160 in what was anticipated to be a striking battle. “Cowboy” took Noons down again and again, landing elbows that made the Strikeforce import a bloody mess. Cerrone sees more of the same from the PRIDE days happening on the UFC’s tenth run on Fuel TV.
“I’m gonna go with Nogueira.”
Phil Davis, a.k.a. “Mr. Wonderful”, has landed a fight with Lyoto Machida at UFC 163: “Aldo vs. Pettis”Â in August. Davis says he’s not putting any money on this one.
“I like Werdum, but Nogueira is one of those guys… he’s a gangster man. I won’t bet against him.”
Daniel Cormier was the Strikeforce GP tournament champion prior to coming over to the UFC and facing Frank Mir at UFC on FOX 7 in his home town of San Jose, and he came out with a unanimous decision win. “DC” sees someone avenging their loss on Saturday.
“I think Fabricio wins this fight, he’s improved now, and he’s one of the best fighters in the world.”
To find out who else will be fighting this Saturday,Â click here
And if you have some more time to spare, check out their first meeting at PRIDE Critical Countdown 2006 — posted below