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UFC 103: Breakdown and Picks

While the best action will happen inside the Octagon at UFC 103 in Dallas, there's also a little outside of it as Sun sports writers Brett Okamoto (8-3) and Andy Samuelson (6-5) take on Yahoo.com's Kevin Iole (7-4) and ESPN Radio's Steve Cofield (5-6) to see which side can improve their lifetime records of predicting winners from Saturday night. Odds courtesy of The Venetian sports book, but subject to change.

Vitor Belfort

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6'0''
  • Weight: 195
  • UFC record 7-4
  • MMA record 12-5
  • Out of: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Betting line: Even money

Rich Franklin

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6'1'''
  • Weight: 195
  • UFC record 12-3
  • MMA record 27-4 1 NC
  • Out of: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Betting line: - 130

Catchweight Bout

Main Event

Last fight: First round win by knockout over Matt Lindland at Affliction - Day of Reckoning

Punch list: Newer UFC fans may be unfamiliar with Belfort, but others know the seasoned fighter and the organization go all the back to his debut at UFC 12 in 1997. The Brazilian fighter is a former light heavyweight champion, an honor he earned when he TKO’d Randy Couture at UFC 46.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Franklin by decision.

Cofield: Belfort by KO.

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Wanderlei Silva at UFC 99.

Punch list: Let’s face it: If it weren’t for a guy named Anderson Silva, Franklin would have likely been the dominant middleweight champion of the last five years. The former school teacher is tough as nails and holds excellent striking skills.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Franklin by TKO in the third round.

Samuelson: Franklin by decision.

Junior Dos Santos

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 6'4''
  • Weight: 238
  • UFC record 2-0
  • MMA record 8-1
  • Out of: Salvador, Brazil
  • Betting line: - 110

Mirko Cro Crop Filipovic

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6'2''
  • Weight: 220
  • UFC record 2-2
  • MMA record 25-6-2
  • Out of: Zagreb, Croatia
  • Betting line: -120

Heavyweight Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Stefan Struve at UFC 95.

Punch list: Dos Santos has concrete for hands, knocking out both of his first two UFC opponents in less than two minutes of the first round.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Dos Santos

Cofield: Dos Santos

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Mustapha Al-Turk at UFC 99.

Punch list: With over 30 professional MMA fights, 40 amateur MMA fights and 23 kickboxing matches over the course of his career, experience shouldn’t be a problem for Filipovic.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Dos Santos

Samuelson: Cro Crop

Paul Daley

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5'9’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 21-8-2
  • Out of: Nottingham, England
  • Betting line: + 210

Martin Kampmann

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 6-1
  • MMA record 15-2
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: - 270

Welterweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Junior Barata at WFC 8 - D-Day.

Punch list: It’s never easy to step in for an injured fighter on a few weeks notice. Daley gets the pleasure of doing so in his first-ever UFC appearance against a very tough opponent. One thing going for Daley? He’s got the power in his striking to change a fight in a heartbeat.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Kampmann

Cofield: Kampmann

Last fight: Split decision win over Carlos Condit at UFC Fight Night Condit v. Kampmann.

Punch list: Although Kampmann had originally been training for Mike Swick, to say his camp is familiar with Daley would be an understatement. Kampmann’s close teammate at Xtreme Couture, Jay Hieron, was supposed to fight Daley at Affliction: Trilogy on Aug. 1 before the event folded.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Kampmann

Samuelson: Kampmann

Frank Trigg

  • Age: 37
  • Height: 5'8''
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 2-3
  • MMA record 19-6
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: + 325

Josh Koscheck

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5'10''
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 10-4
  • MMA record 14-4
  • Out of: Fresno, Calif.
  • Betting line: - 450

Welterweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Danny Babcock at SCF - Rumble in Racetown.

Punch list: Just a few years ago, Trigg was just a win or two away from UFC welterweight greatness. He was unable to land the big one however, losing twice to Matt Hughes and once to Georges St. Pierre before leaving the organization. Now, the former wrestler is ready for one more run.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Koscheck

Cofield: Koscheck

Last fight: First round loss by TKO to Paulo Thiago at UFC 95.

Punch list: As a UFC veteran, Koscheck always brings himself prepared and focused to the Octagon. Look for him to be even more so Saturday on the heels of a disappointing loss to Paulo Thiago that Koscheck believes was stopped too early.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Koscheck

Samuelson: Trigg

Hermes Franca

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 5'6’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 9-4
  • MMA record 20-7
  • Out of: Jupiter, Fla.
  • Betting line: + 170

Tyson Griffin

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5'6’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 6-2
  • MMA record 13-2
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: - 200

Lightweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Marcus Aurelio at UFC 90.

Punch list: This will be Franca’s first fight in nearly a year as a torn ACL injury in his right knee forced him to back out of a previously scheduled fight with Joe Lauzon in February.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Griffin

Cofield: Griffin

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night Condit v. Kampmann.

Punch list: Prior to the UFC, Griffin was best known as the only fighter to defeat Urijah Faber, who was a perfect 8-0 at the time. The big win has eluded Griffin thus far in the UFC though, losing key matchups to Sean Sherk and Frank Edgar.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Griffin

Samuelson: Griffin

Cole Miller

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 4-1
  • MMA record 15-3
  • Out of: Coconut Creek, Fla.
  • Betting line: + 120

Efrain Escudero

  • Age: 23
  • Height: 5'9’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 12-0
  • Out of: Tempe, Ariz.
  • Betting line: - 150

Lightweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by submission over Junie Browning at UFC Fight Night Condit v. Kampmann.

Punch list: Miller’s nickname, ‘Magrinho’, means ‘skinny’ in Portuguese. It definitely fits, considering Miller is able to cut to 155 pounds despite standing 6-foot-1.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Miller

Cofield: Miller

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Phillipe Nover at The Ultimate Fighter Team Nog v. Team Mir.

Punch list: The winner of the eighth season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ returns for his first fight since the show ended last December. Escudero was forced to withdraw from a bout in April because of a rib injury.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Miller

Samuelson: Escudero

Tomasz Drwal

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 16-2
  • Out of: San Diego
  • Betting line: - 115

Drew McFedries

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 4-4
  • MMA record 8-5
  • Out of: Bettendorf, Iowa
  • Betting line: - 115

Middleweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Mike Ciesnolevicz at The Ultimate Fighter Finale Team US v. Team UK.

Punch list: After making his UFC debut in 2007, Drwal went a stretch of roughly 16 months without a fight due to injury. The Polish fighter is making up for it in 2009, as UFC 103 will be his third fight this year.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: McFedries

Cofield: McFedries

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Xavier Foupa-Pokam at UFC 98.

Punch list: After eight UFC fights, McFedries has still never seen the second round. His weakest area is his ground game, as three of his four losses have come by submission.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Drwal

Samuelson: McFedries

Steve Lopez

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5'11’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 12-1
  • Out of: South Bend, Ind.
  • Betting line: + 280

Jim Miller

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5'8’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 3-1
  • MMA record 14-2
  • Out of: Whippany, N.J.
  • Betting line: - 360

Lightweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Alejandro Villalobos at WFC - World Championship Fighting.

Punch list: Lopez’s MMA career started with a knockout and TKO win on the same night when he fought in a small tournament in South Bend, Ind.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Miller

Cofield: Miller

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Mac Danzig at UFC 100.

Punch list: Fighting must be in Miller’s blood: His brother, Dan, holds an identical 3-1 record in the UFC middleweight division.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Miller

Samuelson: Miller

Nik Lentz

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5'8’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 18-3-1
  • Out of: Eden Prairie, Minn.
  • Betting line: + 200

Rafaello Oliveira

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5'8’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 9-0
  • Out of: Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Betting line: - 250

Lightweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Nick Walker at Extreme Challenge 127.

Punch list: A former wrestler at the Univeristy of Minnesota, Lentz was added to the UFC 103 card to take the place of the injured Dan Lauzon.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Lentz

Cofield: Oliveira

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over John Mahlow at XFC 8 - Regional Conflict.

Punch list: Oliveira is one of a handful of fighters picked up by the UFC since the folding of Affliction. He was scheduled to face Takanori Gomi before the ‘Trilogy’ event was canceled.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Oliveira

Samuelson: Oliveira

Brian Foster

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5'10’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 14-3
  • Out of: Granite City, Ill.
  • Betting line: - 115

Rick Story

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5'10’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 7-3
  • Out of: Vancouver, Wash.
  • Betting line: - 115

Welterweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by knockout over Kyle Baker at SF - Genesis.

Punch list: Foster says he draws inspiration from the 2006 death of his brother, Brandon, every time he enters the Octagon.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Story

Cofield: Story

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to John Hathaway at UFC 99.

Punch list: Story improved to the rank of Officer in the National Guard, before dedicating himself to his MMA career full-time.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Foster

Samuelson: Story

Jason Brilz

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 2-0
  • MMA record 17-1
  • Out of: Omaha, Neb.
  • Betting line: NA

Eliot Marshall

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6'3’’
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 2-0
  • MMA record 7-2
  • Out of: Boulder, Colo.
  • Betting line: NA

Light Heavyweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Tim Boetsch at UFC 96.

Punch list: Brilz will put a 10-fight win streak on the line when he meets Marshall Saturday. His last lost was in 2001.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Marshall

Cofield: Brilz

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Vinicius Magalhaes at UFC 97.

Punch list: Marshall is a tactical jiu-jitsu artist, with five of his seven career wins coming by way of submission.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Marshall

Samuelson: Brilz

Igor Pokrajac

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 21-5
  • Out of: Zagreb, Croatia
  • Betting line: NA

Vladimir Matyushenko

  • Age: 38
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 3-2
  • MMA record 22-4
  • Out of: El Segundo, Calif.
  • Betting line: NA

Light Heavyweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Kalvis Gebavers at WFC 8 - D-Day.

Punch list: Pokrajac credits much of his success thus far to fellow Croatian fighter, Mirko Filipovic.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Matyushenko

Cofield: Matyushenko

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Jason Lambert at Call to Arms 1.

Punch list: The 38-year-old fighter is making his return to the UFC for the first time since 2003. He once was one fight away from claiming the light heavyweight championship, but lost by unanimous decision to Tito Ortiz at UFC 33.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Pokrajac

Samuelson: Pokrajac

Rafael Dos Anjos

  • Age: 24
  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 0-2
  • MMA record 11-4
  • Out of: Rio de Janeiro
  • Betting line: NA

Rob Emerson

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5'9’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 2-1 1 NC
  • MMA record 10-7- 1 NC
  • Out of: Irvine, Calif.
  • Betting line: NA

Lightweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Tyson Griffin at UFC Fight Night Condit v. Kampmann.

Punch list: The Brazilian fighter is most dangerous on the ground, where five of his last seven victories have come by way of submission.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Dos Anjos

Cofield: Dos Anjos

Last fight: Second round loss by submission to Kurt Pellegrino at UFC Fight Night Lauzon v. Stephens.

Punch list: Emerson has one no contest in his career, which occurred during The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale, when Gray Maynard knocked himself out after body slamming Emerson to the canvas.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Dos Anjos

Samuelson: Dos Anjos