Pros Picks: Silva vs. Jackson III

By Mike Sloan Dec 25, 2008
The main tripleheader of one of the greatest UFC events in recent history -- at least on paper -- is the third installment of the Wanderlei Silva-Quinton Jackson trilogy. Having already beaten “Rampage” twice in the now-defunct Pride organization, “The Axe Murderer” is trying to extend his winning streak to two, and in the process, land a shot at the world champion at 205 pounds. asked dozens of professional fighters and trainers who they think will win. Which of the pros have the inside track and will predict the fight the most accurately? Read on and find out.

CB Dollaway: Well, Wanderlei has won convincingly twice, so I gotta go with him versus Rampage.

Krzysztof Soszynski: (Groans) That’s a tough one. See, it’s in a cage and not a ring so things change just a little bit. But the matchup in styles just favors Wanderlei. He’s so into the pocket and swinging for the fences. Rampage likes to stay in the pocket as well so I think it might just go down the same way as the other two have and with Wanderlei knocking out Rampage with either knees or punches.

Marcus Davis: I think it’s time for Rampage to win this. The third time’s the charm for Rampage. He’s going to come out with a good plan, he’s going to execute it and the rules of the UFC are going to compliment him a little better if he goes in there with a good plan.

Kit Cope: Some matchups will always have the same outcome. Wandy just has Q's number. The fact that Rampage refuses to work on his muay Thai doesn't help him.

Pete Sell: Got to go with Wanderlei. He already knocked him out twice.

Cung Le: Rampage by decision.

John Hackleman: Rampage by left hook.

Marvin Eastman: Rampage (by) decision.

Nick Thompson: I think that the vicious KO Silva gave Rampage last time has got to be in the back of Rampage's mind. This may cause Rampage to be more tentative than usual. A tentative Rampage is a less dangerous Rampage. Silva via KO.

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Most of the pros think
Silva will continue
to have Jackson's number.
Zac George: Silva uses a scary staredown to clinch Rampage, knee his face up and win the decision.

Din Thomas: I think a more focused and determined Rampage beats Silva. I think he's the more talented of the two that just happened to drop the first two fights. We all know the more talented guy won't always win in an MMA fight. But since Rampage lost the prior meetings, hopefully he worked on why he's lost and will make it different this time. I say Rampage by decision.

Micah Miller: Tough pick. Before I saw the Griffin fight I would have said Rampage but we will have to see how he performs changing camps before such a tough fight.

Travis Lutter: That is a tough one to pick. Both guys are so tough. My prediction is a back and forth war that could go either way.

Luigi Fioravanti: Silva by knockout in round one.

Shawn Tompkins: Silva by KO late in the second round.

Randy Couture: I believe there are several questions surrounding Rampage right now (and) most importantly his training situation with the change in camp and head trainer. I think the W goes to Wanderlei but don't blink in this one either way.

Scott Lighty: Silva. I met him and he is a nice guy.

Mike Dolce: Rampage by pure brutal aggression. As Quinton's personal nutritionist I have to admit my bias, but when he steps on the scale Dec. 26 and stares right through the eyes of Wanderlei Silva, you'll see exactly what I'm talking about... Wanderlei is going to wish he were back fighting in Japan!

Kevin Burns: It's going to be a war but Silva has had his number in the past so I'll pick him, but the cage was not a factor in all the previous bouts.

Matt Lindland: History tends to repeat but Rampage is due. Great fight and even though I've seen it twice, I'll tune in. Both are great champions but I'll pick Wand.

Guy Mezger: Tough one but my gut feeling says Rampage.

Ricardo Liborio: Silva by TKO in the second.

Cub Swanson: I think Silva will crush Rampage because he has his number.

Mike Whitehead: Silva by KO round two.

Eddy Millis: I'm rooting for Rampage by left hook.

Stephane Vigneault: I think the result is going be the same as their two fights in Japan --Wand would KO Jackson again. I think Wand just has the number of Jackson and if they fight 20 times Wand would KO him 20 times. I don’t (know) what Rampage wants but man when you get KOed bad two times by the same guy, what (do) you search for fighting him a third time -- you want to die! It’s like Rampage don’t understand he can beat everybody but Wand has his number -- bottom line. Wand KO in round three.

Pete Spratt: I am gonna go with Rampage in this one. Hopefully he's back mentally. If not Wand wins by KO again. If he is and fights smart I think he will beat Wand by decision. Granted he has two KO losses to Wand, I think in a cage he will be able to press Wand against the cage and utilize his wrestling ability. That's the only way I see him winning. Make it a boring wrestling match.

James Thompson: Third time lucky for Rampage. I think he can settle the score, he has the tools. Hope he's switched on, as Wand will be up for this and ready. This has got fight of the night written all over it. Rampage by decision.

James Zikic: Rampage's boxing has improved since the Pride days and the rules of the UFC will suit him better. I don't think Wand is the same killer anymore. Rampage by split decision.

Gabe Ruediger: I’m not sure on this one. I want to say Wand beating Rampage twice would make the third already decisive, but that’s not the case. I’m not sure how Rampage’s camp has been and if he is mentally ready for this task either. Wand is such a great competitor and fighter, I’ll go with him for the win. If Rampage won I wouldn’t be surprised though.

Gary Goodridge: Silva... He has Rampage’s number. He has done it two times before and will do it again.

Rick Roufus: Wanderlei wins a decision.

Mac Danzig: Well, according to Quinton himself, he is actually God. So if that's true, he wins any way he wants. But in the real world, I pick Wanderlei.

Nate Marquardt: That's a tough one to call. Rampage looked bad his last fight and Silva looked great. If Rampage is in good shape I say it's 50/50.

Johny Hendricks: I would say Silva is starting to fight like he was in Pride and Rampage has been looking really good as well. But Silva is up two and I think that is hard to overlook just like (Rampage) and the Iceman [Chuck Liddell]. I wanted the Iceman to win but sometimes things never change.

Final tallies:
Pros who picked Rampage: 10
Pros who picked Silva: 20
Pros who couldn’t decide: 5
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