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UFC Fight Night Saskatoon main card picks & preview, plus Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker

UFC Saskatoon

By Josh Nason, WrestlingObserver.com

Between WWE SummerSlam, NXT TakeOver, a big RAW on Monday, two ROH shows, and a Global Force Wrestling taping, this UFC show head-to-head with SS is just kinda there. However, the main event is like Sasha Banks (BOSS!), so that will make it worth you setting your DVR for it.

As our Dave Meltzer will be handling the play-by-play SS posting duties, ROH & Bellator recapper Paul Fontaine will be cageside in Saskatoon giving you the feeling you want to feel in your heart and mind.

Two quick notes:

  • Be sure to listen to this week’s Josh Nason’s Punch-Out featuring Bleacher Report’s Mike Chiappetta. If you are reading these picks, I’m guessing you’ll like it.

  • Since the January Anderson Silva/Nick Diaz fight was officially made a no-contest, that win has been removed from the picks.


Our Panel:

- Jack Encarnacao (78-28 | .742) Sherdog Rewind host, The Lapsed Fan podcast co-chair, Steve Austin impersonator

- Steve Juon (70-36 | .673) AngryMarks founder, MMA Mania writer

- John Pollock (68-38 | .653) Fight Network personality, Live Audio Wrestling co-host, The MMA Report host

- David Bixenspan (67-39 | .643) Figure Four Weekly writer, Observer Daily Update writer, podcast host

- Mike Sempervive (67-39 | .633) Wrestling Observer Live co-host | Big Audio Nightmare

- Front Row Brian (65-41 | .613) MMA newsbreaker, Twitter personality, podcast host

- Dave Meltzer (63-43 | .603) Wrestling Observer founder & writer, smoke dectector battery expert

- Mike Sawyer (62-44 | .574) Tough Talk MMA, 2014 picks panel champion

- Josh Nason (61-45 | .594) Wrestling Observer digital media and content guy, WON Twitter enabler



Let’s get to the REAL main event of the weekend:

WWE SummerSlam

> Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker

Will this be their final meeting or the second of a three match series leading to Wrestlemania 2016 in Dallas? We all know what happened back at Mania ‘14 when Lesnar controversially broke “The Streak” and now the two behemoths square off again. Yeah, it’s not a real fight, but it is easily the most anticipated battle of men in a four, six, or eight sided field of battle this weekend.

Lesnar: Nason, Bix, Meltzer, Encarnacao

Taker (favorite): Sawyer, FRB, Juon, Pollock, Sempervive

UFC Saskatoon:

> Max Holloway (13-3) vs. Charles Oliveira (20-4-0-1)


The 23-year-old Holloway may have a title run in his future after showing poise and tons of promise in a six-fight win streak, started after consecutive losses to Dennis Bermudez and Conor McGregor. He’s coming off a third round submission victory over Cub Swanson, and has been a featherweight fixture since 2012. A win here puts him in conversations for Frankie Edgar or Chad Mendes-level competition.

You could say the same for Oliveira, another young UFC prodigy who has found his way after making his Octagon debut back in 2010. Since back-to-back defeats to Swanson and Edgar, the 25-year-old has won four straight with three submission victories. Even more impressively is the list of veterans he’s dusted along the way: Hatsu Hioki, Jeremy Stephens, and Nik Lentz.

This fight is hot fire, man.

Holloway (favorite): Nason, Sawyer, FRB, Encarnacao, Juon, Pollock, Bix, Sempervive, Meltzer

> Neil Magny (15-4) vs. Erick Silva (18-5-0-1)


The 31-year-old Silva is sometimes great, sometimes disappointing, and always entertaining. He looks for his third straight victory after dispatching Mike Rhodes and Josh Koscheck, both in the first round. Magny fills in for Rick Story on short notice, looking to get back to his winning ways after his seven-fight win streak was snapped by Demian Maia just 23 days ago.

Magny: FRB, Meltzer
Silva (slight favorite): Nason, Sawyer, Encarnacao, Juon, Pollock, Bix, Sempervive

> Patrick Cote (21-9) vs. Josh Burkman (27-11-0-1)


In a battle of wily, cagey, grizzled veterans, these two fight for the first time in their long careers. The 35-year-old Cote has won four of his last five (all of the wins coming in Canada, btw) and is coming off a decision win over Joe Riggs in April. The 35-year-old Burkman’s latest UFC stint has been a bit of a dud with a listless loss turned no-contest to Hector Lombard and a third round submission loss to Stun Gun Kim in May. He needs to show something here.

Cote: Nason, Sawyer, FRB, Juon, Sempervive

Burkman (slight favorite): Encarnacao, Pollock, Bix, Meltzer

> Chad Laprise (10-0) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (17-4)


The 29-year-old Laprise brings his undefeated record into his fourth tilt in the Octagon. The past TUF Nations winner faces a stiff test in the 36-year-old Trinaldo, riding a three-fight win streak.

Laprise (big favorite): Nason, Sawyer, FRB, Encarnacao, Juon, Pollock, Bix, Sempervive, Meltzer 

> Olivier Aubin Mercier (6-1) vs. Tony Sims (12-2)


The 26-year-old Mercier has fought twice since losing to Laprise in the TUF Nations final, and has picked up two submission wins in the process. Sims is coming off a first round KO win in his June UFC debut, the latest in a four-fight win streak.

OAM (favorite): Nason, Sawyer, FRB, Encarnacao, Juon, Pollock, Bix, Sempervive, Meltzer