Stepping up to the challenge is Canadian Patrick Cote, who despite the heavy odds against him, is coming into the fight with a ton of confidence.
See Also: UFC 90 Preview and Predictions | Can anyone defeat Anderson Silva?
Perhaps its because he has nothing to lose, or maybe it's the fact that Cote has never been knocked out in his career. One thing is for sure: Cote is not intimidated.
Cote carries a respectable record of 13-4 overall, but he's an odd choice for a UFC title shot as he's only 4-4 inside the UFC Octagon. But since Silva practically wiped out the middleweight division and Yushin Okami is out with a broken hand, Cote has been given an opportunity of a lifetime.
Silva is 22-4 since he began fighting MMA professionally in May 2000. Other than his first loss in his first fight of his career ? a split decision, Silva's three other blemishes have been against Japanese fighters. One was by disqualification to Okami and the other losses were submissions. First at PRIDE 26 in June 2003, Silva was caught in a triangle choke by Daiju Takase, and the second at PRIDE Shockwave on New Year's Eve 2004, when Silva was submitted with a Hail Mary flying scissor heel hook by Ryo Chonan.
So the best bet to beat Silva would be to take the fight to the ground, but Cote's strengths here isn't his grappling; it's his heavy right hand and boatload of confidence. Only three of Cote's fourteen wins were by way of submission. And if you caught Cote's last fight, Cote completely avoided a ground battle against BJJ black belt Ricardo Almeida.
Can Cote pull off the upset here? Not likely. But anything is possible as demonstrated by Matt Serra at UFC 69 in April 2007 when the Long Island native moved up a weight class to win the UFC welterweight belt by knocking out Georges St. Pierre.
Thiago Alves (21-4) vs. Josh Koscheck (13-2)
By stepping in for the injured Diego Sanchez on less than two weeks notice, Josh Koscheck has a chance to skip ahead to the front of a line for a welterweight title shot if he can top Thiago Alves.
Alves could also solidify a title shot here by successfully following up his big TKO win over Matt Hughes in the main event of UFC 85 in June.
Unless the UFC decides to give promoting Alves vs. Sanchez another swirl, a victorious Alves is a shoe-in as Georges St. Pierre's next opponent (granted St. Pierre defeats BJ Penn at UFC 94).
Fabricio Werdum (11-3-1) vs. Junior Dos Santos (6-1)
Due to combination of a language barrier and low marketability, a talented Fabricio Werdum found himself the odd man out in the UFC's heavyweight tournament to crown an undisputed champ.
Werdum will fight UFC newcomer Junior Dos Santos, who has previously only fought against local talent in Brazil.
Werdum is just staying active here as he waits to see how the heavyweight tournament plays out between Frank Mir-Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Randy Couture-Brock Lesnar.
Tyson Griffin (12-1) vs. Sean Sherk (36-3-1)
Griffin and former champ Sherk share similar styles. Both are wrestlers with great conditioning. Griffin cannot fall into Sherk's wrestling game though.
Griffin, whose last five fights have gone to a decision, needs to avoid being taken down at all costs, especially when Sherk's strength is taking people down and grinding out a decision.
Griffin has won four straight since dropping a decision to Frankie Edgar in February 2007. He most recently defeated PRIDE veteran Marcus Aurelio at UFC 86.
Sherk has never lost two straight fights in his career, and he looks to continue that here after a failed attempt at recapturing the UFC lightweight title ? which Sherk believed still belonged to him ? in his loss to BJ Penn at UFC 84 in May.
Rich Clementi (40-12-1) vs. Gray Maynard (6-0-1)
The Ultimate Fighter 5's Gray Maynard passed his first tough test when he outwrestled Frankie Edgar to win via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night in April. Maynard will now face an experienced Rich Clementi, who has racked up six wins in the past fourteen months.
Thales Leites (13-1) vs. Drew McFedries (7-4) ? Leites launched himself in the top ten world middleweight rankings when he walked away with a split decision against Nathan Marquardt at UFC 85. A win over McFedries won't elevate Leites any higher but it'll provide another opportunity for Leites to showcase his submission skills.
Spencer Fisher (22-4) vs. Shannon Gugerty (11-2) ? Fisher will try to string together a second straight win when he takes on submission fighter Gugerty.
Dan Miller (9-1-1) vs. Matt Horwich (24-9-1) - The first-ever IFL middleweight champion meets the final IFL middleweight champion inside the UFC Octagon.
Hermes Franca (19-7) vs. Marcus Aurelio (6-6) ? This fight on the undercard comes as a surprise since this fight has all the makings to become one of UFC's greatest "bad blood" bouts. The two are former teammates at American Top Team until Franca was kicked off.
Pete Sell (7-5) vs. Josh Burkman (20-6) ? Sell moves down to welterweight for this must-win fight between two TUF veterans. Sell is 1-4 in the Octagon, and probably still a UFC fighter only because of his association with Matt Serra. Burkman badly needs a win too. He's lost three of his last four fights.
How to Watch:
If you're attending live at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, doors open at 6:15pm CT, and the first fight will start at 6:30pm. The pay-per-view fights begin at 9pm CT/ 10pm ET.
UFC 90 is available live on pay-per-view for $44.95, and on HD for $54.95. If the price tag is too steep, check your local sports bar (http://www.joehandpromotions.com).
UFC 90: Silva vs. Cote
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois
Showing on Pay-Per-View
185 lbs. | Anderson Silva (184) vs. Patrick Cote (183)
170 lbs. | Josh Koscheck (170) vs. Thiago Alves (171)
265 lbs. | Fabricio Werdum (256) vs. Junior Dos Santos (234)
155 lbs. | Sean Sherk (156) vs. Tyson Griffin (155)
155 lbs. | Rich Clementi (155) vs. Gray Maynard (156)
185 lbs. | Thales Leites (186) vs. Drew McFedries (186)
155 lbs. | Spencer Fisher (155) vs. Shannon Gugerty (156)
185 lbs. | Matt Horwich (186) vs. Dan Miller (185)
155 lbs. | Marcus Aurelio (156) vs. Hermes Franca (156)
170 lbs. | Josh Burkman (171) vs. Pete Sell (170)