February , 2011
Vladimir Matyushenko and his coach stop by Fox News San Diego for somwFox News one ...
In a recent video story Vladimir Matyushenko says he's ready to fight the Devil if ...
If you haven’t heard of Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko, it’s not your fault. He’s been ...
MMAjunkie.com wraps up our all-star week of programming with another MMA notable: UFC middleweight contender ...
By Chris Nelson American fans know Stefan Struve as a talented up-and-comer in the UFC heavyweight ...
As seen on LA TIMES   http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2010/10/brendan-schaub-preps-for-career-opportunity.html Earlier this year, Colorado native and Ultimate Fighter finalist ...
Brendan Schaub is the Fan Choice for the Tequila CAZADORES® Spirit Award for UFC® 121 ...
A middleweight bout between Nate Marquardt (29-9-2 MMA, 8-3 UFC) and Rousimar Palhares (11-2 MMA, ...
One of the world’s top middleweight fighters in the UFC’s Nate Marquardt will be front ...

Archive for February, 2011

Cristiano Marcello: “My plan is the same as always, I will be looking for the knockout or the submission.”

Posted by CherieCarlson On February - 22 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Ask any knowledgeable fan of Mixed Martial Arts about the famed Chute Boxe Academy and the response is almost guaranteed to touch on the Brazilian camp’s reputation for producing fearless, ferocious fighters who in many cases have gone on to be considered among the sport’s best – names like Mauricio “Shogun” Ruaand Wanderlei Silva for example.

One of the key components involved in Chute Boxe’s rise to glory was BJJ expert, and trainer, Cristiano Marcello. Marcello, who has since founded his own center called the CM System, first came to Chute Boxe in 2000 in hopes of improving his own Muay Thai and ended up staying on as a contracted coach after impressing chief trainer Rudimar Fedrigo.

Beyond teaching, Marcello has also translated his knowledge into the ring with an overall record of 11-3 and a trio of victories in 2010. Set for action againstOriol Gaset on February 19 in Brusque, Brazil as part of an event promoted by Nitrix, Marcello recently spoke with Five Ounces of Pain about his time with Chute Boxe, his current status, his interest in helping out at-risk children in Curitiba, a notorious backstage confrontation at a PRIDE event in 2005 which leftCharles Bennett sleeping as the result of a Triangle Choke, as well as a number of other topics.


Five Ounces of Pain: You came to mainstream attention due to your work with a number of notable students at Chute Boxe. How did you first come to be involved with Chute Boxe and fighting in general?

Cristiano Marcello: I started training Jiu-Jitsu in 1989 in my town in Rio de Janeiro with Cesar Guimarães. I stayed two years with him before I started training at Gracie Tijuca Academy. I divided my time between Gracie Tijuca and Gracie Humaita with Royler Gracie. In 1995 I went to train in Los Angeles where I lived with Rickson (Gracie) and trained with him for three years. After that I came back to Brazil, started training with Royler again, and in 1998 I had my first fights. I participated in two tournaments where I had to fight two times in one night. I won them both.

In 2000 I talked to Jorge Guimarães and asked him about Muay Thai. He told me the best place to train Muay Thai in Brazil was in Curitiba, so he hooked me up with Chute Boxe. I got here and came to only train for a month and a half, but Rudimar liked my style and the way I taught. As Chute Boxe at the time did not have a Jiu-Jitsu coach they contracted me. So at 23 years old I was in the corner of the best in the world. Before I went to Chute Boxe the way things worked was they would have to go to Jiu-Jitsu gyms and have closed door training. Everyone was scared to go and train with the guys. I was the only guy who, for lack of a better term, passed all their tests and had the aggressiveness that they were looking for in a coach.

5OZ: Are you able to share a “behind the scenes” story from Chute Boxe people may find funny or insightful? For example, a particularly memorable training session or any moment that stands out in your mind from your time there.

Marcello: “Pele” (Jose Landi-Jons) had left the gym and I already had a problem with the Jiu-Jitsu teacher from his gym, a black belt named Pelucio, who was about 210 pounds. And I don’t know why, but one day Pele went to the gym with about eight or nine other guys to talk to Rafael Cordeiro so we could resolve the problem. Rafael told me and I went and changed into shorts. Me, Rafael, Nadim Andraus,Jorge Patino, and Roberto Piccinini went to Barigui Park to resolve the problem like we used to in Brazil – man to man. So each side called a friend from the police here, to make sure that everything would be fair and go down smoothly. When we got to the park we had a fight, he took me down I was able to get back up, we traded some punches, I was able to get his back, standing, and I got the Rear Naked Choke and put him to sleep. And after that day, all the problems between Chute Boxe and Pele’s team were resolved.

5OZ: You have since moved on and opened your own training center called The CM System. What is your philosophy and focus there? Are there any fighters in particular coming out of your Gym fans should keep an eye on?

Marcello: The philosophy of my gym is to be professional in every way. Between the training, the way we eat, and the focus in living this life not for the glamor. It should be like a job to support your family and reach your dreams. The other focus is to make you a champion with technique and aggressiveness not only to win the fight, but to make a great show for the public.

It’s hard to speak about only a few guys because we are a very new gym that has only been around for a year and eight months. Our gym already has 318 fights in this short amount of time and 90 percent of those fights have been victories. Some guys to watch are Mario Soldado Sartori, Bruno Carvalho, Diego Davilla, Naldo Silva, and Marco Antonio Santana among many others. We have 40 professional fighters under our banner at the moment.

5OZ: Beyond being a teacher you also compete and even went 3-1 in 2010 after a three-year break from fighting. Why the layoff from action and how has it been returning to the ring?

Marcello: I had to focus on teaching at Chute Boxe at the time, and when I left and created my own team it took a lot of attention and dedication to get it off the ground. I never stopped training and during this time I had some boxing and Muay Thai fights. It felt amazing to be able to come back and thank God they have been big victories which have helped to open doors for my team.

5OZ: You fought on December 4 in Brazil and then on December 8 in Jordan (both first round wins). Can you explain exactly how difficult it must have been to not only have two fights so close together but in locations more than 6500 miles apart?

Marcello: Before these last two fights there was a big judging error in my second fight after my comeback that ended up giving the victory to my opponent which for sure put a damper on the plans I had for my comeback.

I thought it necessary to do something to show everyone that the ref was wrong in that fight and to erase the history of that fight in the eyes of the public and for myself. So I accepted the challenge to take on two fights in four days time. In the first fight I was able to submit my opponent a minute and twenty seconds into the first round, and the second fight in Jordan I was able to submit my opponent two minutes and twenty seconds into the second round. It was a great experience for me, but not so difficult because I had already had two fights in one night where it was Vale Tudo rules.

5OZ: Your next bout is on February 19 on a Nitrix event in Brazil against Oriol Gaset for the lightweight belt. What do you know about Gaset and how will you be approaching the fight?

Marcello: I know that he has about 16 or 17 fights. He’s a guy who has a name in Europe, a complete fighter. My plan is the same as always, I will be looking for the knockout or the submission. My strategy is this – I’m prepared for any situation and something that is really motivating me for this fight is that it will be for the 155-pound title.

5OZ: You are also very active in your community as far as helping at-risk children. Why are you passionate about that particular cause? What can you tell us about your program? Is there a website where people can learn more about how to help?

Marcello: I think everyone in the world expects a lot. If everyone did a little bit for themselves, to visit a public hospital, an orphanage, a place likes this, you’re already doing something. Something that we do here is we have a big class where all the participants must bring food, and then I’ll go to an orphanage or a place that needs it and we donate what we can.

There is always a way to help and it’s not everyone who has money to do so. If you have the will to do it, there are many ways that things can be done, not only by donating money. I don’t have a website, because this is something that in reality I didn’t even know people outside of here knew about. It is something that I do out of my heart that doesn’t really get to much media attention, but if anyone would like to help you can send me an email at [email protected].

5OZ: Finally, your backstage Triangle Choke of Charles Bennett at a PRIDE event in 2005 is legendary in the MMA community. From your perspective, what exactly happened that lead to the confrontation? What are your current thoughts on Bennett?

Marcello: Basically he’s the type of guy who doesn’t have respect. If you look at his career it’s easy to understand what I’m talking about. I don’t believe he carries himself like an athlete. Where I’m from there only two ways to deal with that situation – you walk away or you confront the problem, and I chose the second option that day. I didn’t have any problem with him. For me the whole situation ended after that day in Japan. But I don’t believe that he the right to open his mouth about Wanderlei who is a great friend of mine. If his story was true it’s one thing, but he’s just living off of the fame of something that never happened.

5OZ: Is that a fight you would like to see eventually made official to resolve things in a ring even though Bennett has lost three of his last four fights?

Marcello: Look, for me basically him as an athlete is something that is not interesting. There are many more athletes that would be more interesting fights. The opposite of him, I’m coming off of four great fights and am about to have one for the belt. For me it would be more interesting to fight with people who will help my career as an athlete grow. But if the interest is there from the public to see it happen, I’m a professional and I would love to make it happen.

5OZ: Anything else you’d like to add?

Marcello: Thanks for the opportunity to speak my mind. I want to give a big thank you to my manager Alchemist and if anyone wants anymore info you can contact me through my Facebook or the CM Systempage.

Posted by Brendhan Conlan

As seen here http://fiveouncesofpain.com/2011/02/14/cristiano-marcello-my-plan-is-the-same-as-always-i-will-be-looking-for-the-knockout-or-the-submission/

Jorge Rivera: I got under Michael Bisping’s skin (Exclusive Interview)

Posted by CherieCarlson On February - 22 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

UFC Middleweight contender Jorge “El Conquistador” will look to extend his three-fight winning streak at UFC 127, facing Michael Bisping at the main event attraction of the night. Thirt-eight years old Rivera was originally scheduled to face Alessio Sakara at UFC 122 in Germany, but the fight was canceled only hours before its start due to Sakara suffering from a severe flu symptoms.

Rivera holds an overall MMA record of 18-7, finishing 13 of his fights via a knockout. Rivera’s last bout was against Nate Quarry on March 31st of 2010, which El Conquistador won via a Technical Knockout in Round 2.

Here’s what Jorge Rivera had to say about the upcoming fight against Michael Bisping, in an exclusive interview to LowKick.com.

Hello, Jorge. Your next fight is against Michael Bisping on  February 27th, how are your preparations going for this one?
My preparations are going good, and I’m about to hit the GYM as we speak. What happened in Germany didn’t affect me in any way. My job is to concentrate on what next, and to get myself ready for the next bout. Michael Bisping is the only thing in my head.

You announced the fight against Bisping right after the bout against Sakara was cancelled. Bisping reacted saying that he would prefer to fight an opponent of higher caliber, like Nate Marquardt for instance. Why do you think he said that?
I have no idea, that’s what you have to ask him. He can say whatever he wants. At the end of the day this fight was put together, and I think I can beat him. We gonna find about it pretty soon.

In your opinion, what’s the main difference between preparing for Alessio Sakara and Michael Bisping?
Alessio Sakara is a fighter who’s coming forward. He’s constantly looking to pressure you and finish the fight. He also has better hands than Michael Bisping.  Sakara is also a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I’ll give Bisping an overall edge in takedowns, but I still think Sakara is a more complete Mixed Martial Artist. We gonna find out soon.

Michael Bisping recently said some pretty harsh things about you. He called you a “dork”, said that you can’t read and that he would expect more maturity from someone who’s 38 years old. Do you think you got under his skin for this fight?
My friend, let me ask you, do you think I got under his skin?

I think you did.
I think so too.

Do you think it will play some sort of factor in this fight?
Every fight is personal. I love when people say “nothing is personal”. We are going to punch each other in the face, and you can be damn sure it’s going to be personal real quick. You gotta do what you gotta do to get over, and that’s it. I’m not worried about anything.  It’s all fun right now before the fight, but when we get there – it will be strictly business.

The fight will take place in Australia, and if I’m correct, it will be your first time fighting so far away from home.

Well, I fought a lot in England. Traveled to Japan and Korea, so I know what time differences are. I’ll go there to get acclimated, and I’m completely sure everything will be fine.

I don’t want to ask you about a possible gameplan, because I think it’s pretty obvious you’ll be looking for a knockout. But in your opinion, what will be your main advantage over Michael Bisping in this fight?
I think I have better hands than him, and I hit harder. I’ll be looking to keep this on the feet, and hit him hard. Honestly, I’m just looking to get inside the cage and fight him. The fun time will be over pretty soon, and we’ll get it on in Australia. I think it’s the most important fight of my career, and I’m ready to get it on.

How do you sum up your plans for 2011?

I would like to have at least 2 or 3 fights this year, and get myself in the mix for the title shot.

Alright, Jorge. I really enjoyed speaking to you. Would you like to mention any sponsors before we finish?
Yeah, great. I would like to thank RangerUp.com, Everyone at Alchemist Management: MC Hammer, Lex McMahon, Jeff Aronson, Kelly Crigger and many others. Tim Burrill Jiu-Jitsu, Peter Welch’s F-15, Florian Brothers. Everyone who contributed for my career, thank you so much.

Posted By Anton Gurevich UFC News



Michael Bisping Not Amused By Jorge Rivera’s Video Parodies Leading To UFC 127

Posted by lex On February - 22 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Michael Bisping will meet Jorge Rivera in the co-main event at UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia on February 26th.
Rivera and Ranger Up have posted two parody videos on YouTube that have drawn the ire of Bisping.

Bisping failed to see any humor in the videos, commenting to the UK newspaper The Independent, “Rivera’s a f-king dork and there’s only one person who’s going to be laughing on the night and that’s me. He can try and make himself relevant by talking s— and doing stupid videos. I make myself relevant by constantly fighting the best in the world in main events and co-main events for the UFC.”

“Obviously Jorge hasn’t written any of that himself because the guy hasn’t got two brain cells to rub together. I doubt he can even read. Looking at him, I don’t imagine he spent too much time in school. The guy’s 38 years old. You’d think he’d grow up and mature. He’s going on like a childish teenager. It’s all pathetic garbage.

“He should spend less time making videos and more time in the gym. I’ll leave him to his stupid games but believe me, I’m training to kick his f-king arse.”

Are the videos that Rivera posted some of the best trash talking that the world of mixed martial arts has ever seen or are they silly childish distractions?

I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

Trent Reinsmith

As seen here


Vote for Brendan Schaub for the tequila Cazadores spirit award

Posted by lex On February - 17 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Please take a moment and vote for Brendan Schaub for teh Tequila Cazadores Spirit award

link listed below


Thank you for the support

Marcello Wants ‘Big Event’ Return, Welcomes ‘Krazy Horse’ Fight

Posted by lex On February - 16 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Cristiano Marcello is back, and he is looking to make a splash.

In 2007, the former Chute Boxe Academy representative left active competition for over two years in order set up his own gym, CM System. Returning to the ring in 2010, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt fought four times, winning three of those contests. Since he restarted his MMA career, Marcello has fought primarily for the Bitetti Combat promotion in his native country, avoiding the judges’ scorecards in each of his four fights.

“I think everything is going well [since I’ve returned to competition]. Most of my fights haven’t gone past the first round,” Marcello told Sherdog.com. “[I am] showing a lot of technique and aggressiveness, which is what I think the public wants to see most.”

Now the Pride Fighting Championships veteran is looking for another fight, possibly against old nemesis Charles Bennett. Marcello and “Krazy Horse” have tangled once before, though never in a sanctioned MMA contest. The pair met backstage at Pride Shockwave 2005 following a verbal dispute between Bennett and the Chute Boxe camp. The scuffle, which was famously caught on tape and posted on the Internet, ended when Bennett lost consciousness while caught in a tight triangle choke.

Though Marcello says a fight today would not be personal, he feels there is a large contingent of MMA fans who would like to see such a bout.

“I think it was simply a lack of professionalism and a lack of respect on his part that brought things to a head in the locker room [in 2005],” Marcello said. “To tell you the truth, [I am not interested in] him as an athlete [or] person, but I see this as an interesting fight for any event just based on the fact that there is a large audience that wants to see it. But for me, I think there are a lot more interesting fights with the top guys in Strikeforce or the UFC. The only reason I would fight Krazy Horse now would be to put on a good show.”

Fighting for a major promotion is now one of the Brazilian’s primary goals. But if the lightweight does sign with a big show, he will not be happy to simply be there. He desires gold.

“The dream of every athlete at the end of the day is to have the belt in a big event. In my life, everything I do, I do with fidelity,” he said. “In Strikeforce or any other large event, my goal is to make my history within that event, put in my time and retire there.”

Several of Marcello’s former Chute Boxe brothers have found a home with the UFC, and the submission ace claims that he would welcome a reunion with his old teammates.

“Being in a big event is great and even more so with old friends,” said Marcello. “We all have a history together, and for sure life has separated us, but it would be great to work with everyone again.”

When asked what he would like to accomplish with the rest of his career, Marcello answered twice — once as a fighter and once as a trainer. However, one quality in particular was common to both responses: excellence.

“My goal is to make my gym one of the best and to help produce some of the best athletes in the world, just like I did with my old team,” he said. “And as a fighter, [I want to] get into a big event and eventually become the champion. I think I still have a lot to show as a fighter. I’m just waiting for my chance.”

Jorge Rivera: ‘There is a very good chance Michael Bisping is going to sleep’ at UFC 127

Posted by lex On February - 7 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

As seen on mmamania.com  http://www.mmamania.com/2011/2/3/1973213/jorge-rivera-there-is-a-very-good-chance-michael-bisping-is-going-to


“There’s a very good chance he’s going to sleep. This is how I fight: I come forward and I look to knock you out. I’ve been crushing my jiu-jitsu for the last few years. I’ve got a great jiu-jitsu coach and I work out with the Florian brothers…I am very grateful for the team that I have. In the past 2 or 3 years my game has gotten a lot better. If Bisping thinks he’s gonna walk over me, he’s got another thing coming. Honestly, I just hope I give a great performance to show the people what I have. … If he comes out and wants to stand and trade with me, if I knock him out, boom, that’s exactly what I wanted. If he knocks me out, f*ck it, so be it. Let the fans enjoy it. I just don’t see it going that way.”

Although popular British striker Michael Bisping wanted to dance with perennial contender Nate Marquardt, the UFC decided a better match-up would be a fight against Jorge Rivera at UFC 127 on Feb. 27 in Sydney, Australia. “The Count” believes “El Conquistador” is just another opponent lined up for him to knock down but he’s got another thing coming — that is, if you take Rivera’s word for it. The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran, despite his belief in his strong jiu-jitsu game, is willing to trade punches with Bisping if it means an exciting fight for the fans. Surely, that’s music to the ears of Dana White, but is it a winning strategy for the 38-year old? He thinks he can win the fight no matter where it takes place. Do you agree?

MMATORCH EXCLUSIVE: UFC 127 co-headliner Jorge Rivera on Michael Bisping and what his fighting future holds

Posted by lex On February - 7 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

UFC middleweight Jorge Rivera was scheduled to return to action in 2010 on two separate occasions against Alessio Sakara, but due to injuries and illness, both fights fell through. Now, the Rivera finds himself in perhaps the highest profile bout of his career, as he takes on Michael Bisping in the co-main event of UFC 127 in Australia at the end of next month.

The 38-year-old Rivera is a decade-long veteran of the sport, and is riding a 4-1 mark over the last three years of competition. That mark includes a current three-fight winning streak, with his most recent victory coming last March against Nate Quarry. And though he admits he’s lost a step or two over the years, he feels the best is still yet to come.

“I feel like I’m getting better,” Rivera told MMATorch. “I’m getting sharper. I am getting older, and I might be a step behind where I was ten years ago, but my [knowledge] of the game is going to make up for that. So I feel like you’ve yet to see the best of me, and I’m looking forward to the next year or two.”

Rivera has stood across the cage from a number of big name fighters throughout his career, including current middleweight king-pin Anderson Silva, former Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin, Ultimate Fighter winner Kendall Grove, TUF vet Chris Leben, UFC on Versus 3 headliner Martin Kampmann and more.

After losing Sakara as an opponent at UFC 122 in November on the day of the fight due to an illness, Rivera wanted to get into the cage against another name fighter, and he specifically called Bisping out for this fight. Now that it’s coming on February 27, he’s excited for what he knows will be a stiff challenge in the Brit.

“I’m looking forward to it, man. I got the fight that I asked for, and I think it’s going to be a good fight,” Rivera said. “He’s fought some high caliber guys before me. I think it’s going to be a real good fight.”

“He’s been fighting for awhile, he’s got a reputable name, he’s known worldwide. I feel like right now, where I want to be in my fighting career, I want to advance that. I think he’s a good matchup for me and he’ll allow that opportunity to come about. All I’ve got to do is go out there and perform, to do my job.”

The majority of Rivera’s 19 wins have come by way of TKO or knockout, and though Rivera believes his biggest advantage is on the feet, he says he feels equally comfortable taking this fight with Bisping to the ground.

“I think on the feet I’m definitely going to have the advantage,” Rivera said. “He’s going to be looking for the takedowns, [this fight's] going to be going up and down, up and down, so that’s what I’m looking for. I feel like I can beat him on the ground, I can beat him standing, it doesn’t really matter.”

Though he remains very confident in his own skill set, Rivera knows Bisping will be doing the same. He expects that to bring out the best in both of them, and says one of them will leave Sydney very disappointed.

“I’m confident in this fight. I’m sure he is as well,” Rivera said. “He didn’t get where he’s at by being unsure of his skills. That’s going to make for an even better fight because we’re both going in thinking we’re going to win, and one of us is going to be really upset.

Rivera competes in a crowded weight class at 185 lbs., and while anyone with a decent winning streak eventually gets their name thrown into the mix in the title picture, Rivera isn’t looking past Bisping, and is content to take the remaining years of his career a fight at a time.

“Right now I’m taking it fight by fight. I’m letting [my wins] add up right now, and once they add up eventually that title shot will come,” Rivera said. “I’m not looking past the guy that I’m fighting now. I’ve got a tough fight in front of me, I’m not looking past him at all.

“After I get through with him, then I’ll start thinking about my next step and how I should go about doing it. But I’m still focusing on February 27 and fighting Michael Bisping.”

UFC 127 airs live in the U.S. on pay-per-view on Saturday, February 26 with the time difference from Sydney, Australia. The event begins at noon local time at the Acer Arena on Sunday, February 27, headlined by a welterweight fight between B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch.

Vladimir Matyushenko wants redemption, predicts Jones vs. Bader and Silva vs. Belfort

Posted by CherieCarlson On February - 7 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Posted by: Jon Luther on Feb 04, 2011 as seen on mmaafa.tv

Many fans would identify Vladimir Matyushenko as a staple in the sport of mixed martial arts. The forty-year-old Belarusian has been in the sport for over a decade and fought some of the most notable fighters it can offer. But make no mistake, Matyushenko claims he is far from done and is eyeing his next bout. Speaking with MMAFA.tv from his ‘VMAT’ gym in El Segundo, Matyushenko shared his plans.

“Nothing is official and I would like to fight before Summer, but I want to fight the winner of Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Noguiera. It is a common sense fight for me. Both of those losses still bug me. It would be a way to redeem myself and it would be a great fight for Tito or Noguiera.”

It would appear that redemption is big motivator for Matyushenko, who lost at the hands of up-and-comer Jon Jones 6 months ago and went on score a stoppage win over Alexandre Ferreira only three months later. The stoppage win would be the first for Matyushenko in five years.

“I didn’t get hurt in the Jones fight. Well, my ego got hurt I guess [laughs]. But that was good for me, and I was healthy enough that when the UFC called me up shortly after I immediately took the fight against Ferreira. I never like walking around with a loss on my shoulders.”

Being a veteran of the sport, Matyushenko has seen his fair share of paradigm shifts. Yet Matyushenko claims the rise of younger fighters throughout the years wouldn’t have been possible without the groundwork laid down by him and his contemporaries.

“There are plenty of new guys coming up like Bader and Jones and they deserve a chance at the spotlight. But older guys like Randy Couture and I have proven that we’ve still got it. The new guys, like Jon Jones, have learned from us. I think Jones saw so much of my tape and what I do to people and he did it to me.”

With UFC 126 taking place tomorrow, Matyushenko offered his prediction for the main event:

“Anderson against Vitor is a very interesting fight. It depends on what state of mind the fighters are in. Lately, Vitor Belfort has been very good and has had some exciting wins. Anderson Silva is looking kind of lazy. Maybe he has burned out. I wouldn’t be surprised if Belfort takes it.”

Matyushenko also offered a prediction for a light heavyweight tilt between Jon Jones and Ryan Bader.

“I think Jon Jones will take him. I think he’s going to play the same game he always has. He’s going to be explosive, unpredictable… He is unpredictable for the guys he faces but he knows what he’s doing. I’d like to learn his game a little bit. I know he’s watching a lot of tape on other fighters and studies them. I’ll put my money on Jon Jones.”

When it came to the co-main event between Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin, Matyushenko insisted it was in his best interest to keep mum.

“No comment there. For you media guys it is easy to make predictions whenever you want because you don’t have to fight them after! I don’t want to look like I’m saying bad things about them, ‘You’re this and you’re that,’ then have them trying to beat me up!”

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