Rampage Jackson vs. Rashad Evans-I've said this time and time again. An in-shape Rampage beats Rashad Evans. I think Jackson is at least in decent shape as he hasn't gassed in quite some time regardless of the time off. In fact, after the long layoff against Griffin he went 5 rounds on like one and a half legs. I think Rashad will try to utilize a lot of movement(even though his gas tank isn't elite either). Which Jackson will try to counter by cutting off the cage and forcing Rashad to engage. Evans has the speed advantage in regards to striking and movement, but Rampage has arguably the best striking defense in MMA(head and body wise). If Rashad tries to follow Griffin's gameplan with leg kicks, he will get countered with punches right down the middle. Rashad's not that good of a kicker anyways. In regards to wrestling, Evans may have an edge, but Jackson's size and brute strength should be able to negate most of that advantage. If Evans gets the takedown I don't think he'll be able to keep Rampage down for long..ala Thiago Silva. Rampage will force Evans to fight at some point in this fight and knock him out. Rampage via TKO Rd. 2
Michael Bisping vs. Dan Miller-Ehh...Miller's tough and scrappy, but so is Bisping. Bisping has a big advantage standing while Miller's strength relies on wrestling and submissions. Bisping has underrated takedown defense as well as an underrated guard. I don't think Miller can keep Bisping down for long IF he gets the take down. I expect Bisping to pick Miller apart standing, which will discourage Miller who's already been through hell personally. Miller is tough as hell though, so I'm going with Bisping via UD.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Jason Brilz-Nogueira is clearly the better fighter. He's better standing and better on the ground. Brilz probably has the wrestling advantage, but does he want to goto the ground with Nog? It's pick your poison time with Brilz. If he stands with Nog, he's going to eat shot after shot. At least if he goes to the ground he MIGHT be able to keep top position without getting subbed. The percentages are higher there than him winning standing. It doesn't really matter though...he's going to lose. Nog via TKO Rd. 1
Todd Duffee vs. Mike Russow-Russow is a veteran and has a solid skillset with wrestling being his strength. The longer the fight goes, the better Russow will be. However, I just don't think he's ready for the power and athleticism of Duffee. Duffee wants to continue the hype train. Duffee via TKO Rd. 1
Diego Sanchez vs. John Hathaway-Hathaway is a decent fighter, but the only problem for him in this fight is that everything he does well...Sanchez does better. The pace Sanchez will set will be too much. Sanchez could get too over aggressive and give up a take down. IF that happens...Sanchez's game off his back isn't THAT great. So Hathaway may enjoy some success there. However, other than that...this is Sanchez's fight to lose. Sanchez via UD
Efrain Escudero vs. Dan Lauzon-All the distractions coming out of Lauzon's camp will not help him here. Escudero will be hungry coming off that loss. Escudero via Submission.
Amir Sadollah vs. Dong Hyun Kim-Kim has gas tank issues and Sadollah usually has a high work rate. Kim is touted for his Judo but hasn't had success with implementing it like Karo Parisyan used to do. However, if Kim is able to take Sadollah down, then he could do some damage from the top position even though Sadollah has proven to have an active guard. The longer the fight goes..the more Sadollah will start to impose his will though from my POV. Ultimately..Sadollah via SD
Luiz Cane vs. Cyrille Diabate-Diabate has a good striking game and will have a huge reach advantage here...not to mention that Cane takes way more damage than he should. It'll also be interesting to see how he reacts from getting KTFO for the first time during his last fight. I think Diabate could win this fight no doubt. But I can't pick against my boy Cane. Cane via SD.
Melvin Guillard vs. Wayne Cole-Guillard via TKO.
Kyle Jensen vs. Jesse Forbes-Jensen via Submission
Aaron Riley vs. Joe Brammer-Riley via UD
-Jackson over Evans by TKO in the 3rd; This should be an interesting fight. I think that the movement of Evans will give Jackson problems early. I see Evans building up a points lead only to have Jackson connect with a big combination for the win in the final round.
-Bisping over Miller by decision; Miller has a real chance here. My best guess, however, is that Mike comes in with the right gameplan and executes it.
-Nogueira over Brilz by Submission in the 2nd; This is Jason's big opportunity. Unfortunately for him, I just think that he's outgunned. Will he prove me wrong?
- Duffee over Russow by TKO in the 3rd ; This should be a good test for Duffee at this point in his career. Ultimately, I think it's a test that he'll pass. We shall see.
-Sanchez over Hathaway by decision
-Escudero over Lauzon by TKO in the 3rd
-Jensen over Forbes by decision
-Kim over Sadollah by decision; I see Kim as being a bad matchup stylistically for Amir. Kim has a big strength advantage here and I think he'll use the clinch to outscore Sadollah in this one.
-Riley over Brammer by decision
-Cane over Diabate by TKO in the 2nd
-Guillard over Lowe by TKO in the 1st
Jesse Forbes vs. Ryan Jensen: Funny, 3 weeks before Forbes got called up to the UFC to fight Nick Catone, SportFightX was targeting him to face Ethan Garrison. In this fight though Forbes is a better wrestler than Jensen, so I see Forbes getting takedown after takedown and wining a decision here. I'd like to see Forbes improve on his submission defence and put his ground and pound on display.
Forbes via Decision
Aaron Riley vs. Joe Brammer
Brammer is just not UFC material.
Riley via Decision
Melvin Gulliad vs. Wayne Cole
Guillard is going to stuff everyone of Cole's takedowns and eventually Cole is going to get absolutely starched by a Guillard right hand.
Guillard via Rd. 1 KO
Luiz Cane vs. Cyrille Diabate
This is a battle of fighters with weak chins and very little power. Cane looked absolutely dumbfounded when he faced southpaw striker Rodregio Nogeria. Cane is up against anther southpaw in Diabate. How will he fare this time around? Diabate is a better technical striker, but has age caught up with him? Good match-up it could go either way. I am going to go with the underdog Diabate.
Diabate via Decision
Amir Sadollah vs. Dong Hyum Kim
Another really good match-up, but I have no idea why Kim is not the favorite. Kim's best offence comes in the clinch. This fight WILL take place in the clinch and the scramble, two places where Kim is very effective. Amir has the edge striking wise, but he doesn't have the best chin and Kim has some power. I like Kim pretty big in this fight.
Kim Rd. 2 TKO
Efrain Escudero vs. Dan Lauzon
Dan Lauzon has said he feels he has been left out to dry. He doesn't feel that his brother and team are behind him 100% That does not speak well to a fighters confidence going into a fight. Efrian has a style that is Kryptonite to Lauzon style. Escudero is a really good wrestler with some pop in his hands. After this fight Dan Lauzon gets cut from the UFC.
Escudero via Rd. 1 TKO
Diego Sanchez vs. John Hathaway
This like most match-ups on the card is very evenly matched. Hathaway is bigger than Sanchez and in my opinion the better wrestler. This is a really interesting fight, and could be fight of the year. This has shades of Fitch vs. Sanchez. I'm going to be ballsy and pick Hathaway.
Hathaway via Decision
Micheal Bisping vs. Dan Miller
Bisping has been found out. Unfortunately for Miller, he posses almost none of the skills to beat Bisping. Miller got outstruck by Damian Maia and I believe Bisping is a much better striker than Maia. Bisping is a better wrestler as well so Miller will not be able to take the fight to the ground and finish Bisping there. Bisping bounces back at UFC 114.
Bisping via Decision
Todd Duffee vs. Mike Russow
If I knew nothing about Todd Duffee except that he was from Georgia I would still pick him in this fight. Fortunately I do know more that that and Duffee is going to win big. Russow is an exceptional wrestler, but people forget Duffee is predominately a wrestler himself. Duffee will not win this fight in 7 seconds, but he will win the fight and the hype machine will continue for the Georgia native.
Duffee via Rd. 2 TKO
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Jason Brillz
Brillz has got a serious shot at winning this fight and no I am not taking crazy pills. Brillz is a much better wrestler and can take the fight to the floor consistently. Brillz has been known to fold under pressure. If Nogueira is able to put it on him, I believe Brillz will fold. I don't think it will happen though. Nogueira will let Brillz hang around.
Nogueira via Decision
Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans
I said if both fighters were 100% at their very best I would pick Jackson 99 out of 100 times. I stand by that. Unfortunately I don't think Rampage is at his very best. He looks a bit out of shape and battle ring rust is going to be quite difficult. I think Jackson head hunts far too much and it will lead to hs downfall. Evans is going to be in and out of Rampage's range. For the most part Evans closes distance very well. Rampage has a bit of trouble gauging distance. I think if Evans can avoid Jackson's left hook, Rashad should win the fight.
Robert Downey Sr.:
Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans
Evans is strong and very athletic, but Rampage is stronger and just brutal. Evans can indeed win, but it'll likely be three rounds of top control that gets him there. I think Rampage, motivated like never before, fends off most of Evans' shots and uses his crisp combos to viciously floor Rashad. Rampage via KO, Round 2
Michael Bisping vs. Dan Miller
Bisping's the better boxer. Miller is the better grappler. This pick is more wishful thinking than based upon any thorough analysis. Miller via Decision
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Jason Brilz
Brilz stepped into this fight to replace Forrest Griffin, and he likely has a better avenue to victory since his game plan likely consists of one tactic: Lay N Pray. He'll want no part of Lil Nog's boxing so he'll probably follow Rashad Evan's MO and look to win a battle on the mat. Um... Nog is still better there. Nogueira via Submission, Round 1
Todd Duffee vs. Mike Russow
This fight was supposed to happen late last year, but it was Tim Hague that ended up splattered on the blue canvas. Russow can't run from fate forever. Duffee via KO, Round 1
Diego Sanchez vs. John Hathaway
John Hathaway is undefeated but hasn't faced anyone better than Paul Taylor. This is Sanchez's first fight since being outclassed by BJ Penn at UFC 107 and I expect him to be even more determined than usual. I'm willing to bet the Brit isn't as idiotically tough as Clay Guida, therefore Diego earns himself a finish. Sanchez via TKO, Round 2
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson over Rashad Evans via TKO in Round 2
Michael Bisping over Dan Miller via unanimous decision
Todd Duffee over Mike Russow via TKO in Round 2
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira over Jason Brilz via TKO in Round 3
Diego Sanchez over John Hathaway via decision
Dong Hyun Kim over Amir Sadollah via decision
Efrain Escudero over Dan Lauzon via TKO in round 2
Melvin Guillard over Waylon Lowe via TKO in Round 2
Luiz Cane over Cyrille Diabate via submission in Round 1
Aaron Riley over Joe Brammer via decision
Jesse Forbes over Ryan Jensen via decision