UFC 67 is the first Pay-Per View of 2007 and offers a solid fight card headlined by the middleweight title fight, as champion Anderson Silva takes on Ultimate Fighter 4 winner Travis Lutter. The card also features the much anticipated UFC debuts of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
UFC Middleweight Championship bout: Anderson Silva (Champion) vs Travis Lutter (Challenger)
Anderson "The Spider" Silva (17-4, 10 wins by TKO) exploded into the UFC’s middleweight division with a devastating first round knockout of Chris Leben. Silva was then quickly giving a title shot against UFC poster boy Rich Franklin, who "The Spider" demolished, to the surprise of many, in the first round. Silva now looks to defend his middleweight championship for the first time against the Ultimate Fighter season 4 winner Travis Lutter.
Travis Lutter enters the biggest fight of his career with a record of 9-3 and is on a three fight win streak. Lutter has won his last three fights by armbar and has seven of his nine wins coming by way of submission. Lutter is going to want the fight on the ground and will not make the mistake that both Leben and Franklin did. Standing with Anderson Silva is just a bad idea, just ask Rich Franklin’s nose, which Silva happily relocated to the side of Rich’s face.
The question in this fight is whether or not Travis Lutter can take Silva down. If Lutter can take Silva down, he could grind out a five round battle and take a decision victory. However, this fight will come down to whether or not Lutter can earn himself consistent takesdowns. The longer this fight is standing, the less and less chance Lutter will have at earning himself the victory. This fight is going to test Anderson Silva and will not be like the quick and brutal first round knockouts that have gotten him to his 2-0 UFC record.
This fight is going to look very much like Anderson Silva’s fight against Carlos Newton way back at Pride 25 in 2003. Newton was able to get the fight to the floor, but a restart forced the fight back to the feet. Newton went to shoot, got caught with a knee, and it was lights out. Anderson Silva retains his title with a third round knockout of Lutter from a knee. Lutter will earn some early takedowns, but Silva will prevail.
The Debut of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic
Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic enters the octagon for the first time with a mixed martial arts record of 21-4-2, with 14 of his victories coming by way of tko or ko. "Cro Cop" is a former K1 champion and is arguably the most dangerous striker in the world of mixed martial arts. "Cro Cop" is coming off the best year of his mixed martial arts career where he went 4-0 with wins over Ikuhisa Minowa (tko), Hidehiko Yoshida (leg kicks), Wanderlei Silva (ko headkick), and Josh Barnett (strikes). His victories over Silva and Barnett earned "Cro Cop" Pride’s 2006 Open-Weight Grand Prix championship.
Eddie Sanchez is 6-0 in mixed martial arts and is in a world of trouble.
"Cro Cop" has competed with the best in the world and has come out on top more times that he has failed. Eddie Sanchez has claimed the he will knock "Cro Cop" out in round two. I applaud his attitude, but Sanchez does not have the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell. If Sanchez was able to pull off the upset, it would be without a doubt the biggest in the history of all combat sports. "Cro Cop" will separate Sanchez from consciousness midway through round one with a classic head kick, get the highlight reel ready.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs Marvin "The Beastman" Eastman
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson makes his UFC debut against Marvin Eastman. The two met way back in 2000 at King Of The Cage 4, where Eastman earned a decision victory. Since then Eastman has gone 12-6-1 with wins over Travis Wiuff (decision), Jason MacDonald (decision), Veron White (decision), and losses to Rich Franklin (armbar), Vitor Belfort (tko), and Travis Lutter (ko). Jackson on the other hand has become one of the biggest stars at 205 pounds in the world and has fought a list filled with world class fighters. Jackson’s fight resume includes wins over Matt Lindland (spilt decision), Murilo Rua (decision), Ricardo Arona (ko slam), Chuck Liddell (tko), Kevin Randleman (ko), and losses to Kazushi Sakuraba (rear-naked choke), Maricio Rua (ko), and Wanderlei Silva twice both by knockout.
This fight is going to take place mostly on the feet. Eastman can strike, but Jackson is just too big and strong. I do not see Eastman really being able to hurt Jackson. If the fight hits the floor, than Jackson will have the advantage. I see this fight ending early second round ,when a big right hand ends Eastman’s night. Jackson by knockout early in round two.
Scott Smith (10-2) coming off his crazy desperation knockout of Pete Sell, will earn himself another victory when he stops Patrick Cote (8-4) with strikes in the middle of round three. This fight is going to be a slugfest, and Smith will be loving every second. Cote is still looking for his first UFC win and he will fight too tight and Smith with drop him in round three.
Roger Huerta (15-1) will improve to 16-1 when he submits John Halverson (13-4) with an armbar in round two. Huerta seems to be the real deal at 155 and could find himself against a very high level of competition later this year.
Sam Hoger (6-2) will pull off the upset decision victory over Ryoto Machida (8-0). Machida holds wins over BJ Penn (decision), Rich Franklin (tko), and Stephan Bonnar (cut). However, Hoger will grind out a victory using takedowns and some ground and pound to pull off the upset.
Tyson Griffin (8-0) will improve to 9-0 when he pounds out a second round tko victory over New Jersey native Frank Edgar (5-0).
Dustin Hazelett (7-3) drops down to 155 and will submit Diego Saraiva (9-3-1) with a guillotine choke in late round two.
Terry Martin (14-2) will bully Jorge Rivera (14-5) and win a boring lay-n-pray decision victory. Rivera will not be able to stop Martin’s takedowns and will not be able to mount any offense.