BJ Penn vs. Diego Sanchez
Charles Walker-Closer than people think, while BJ should be the heavy favorite for obvious reasons, Diego is no slouch in this fight. While I see a distinct advantage at all areas for BJ, I don't see how he finishes Diego which leads me to think Diego could 'Shogun' BJ by stealing some close rounds, which I think the first few will be close as I believe Diego will trade with BJ to start off and even land some good shots and as the rounds go Diego will attempt to get it to the ground. However, I think Diego gasses before BJ in this one and is choked out come the fifth round of an absolute war.
Rich Wyatt-Penn over Sanchez by submission in the 3rd. I'm thinking that Penn will prove to be too much for Sanchez. The first round should be close but I'm predicting another successful title defesne for the world champion.
Kelvin Hunt-I really want to pick Sanchez in the upset, but I'm not sure Sanchez can get Penn to the ground...in fact, Penn might take Sanchez down. Penn via submission.
Frank Mir vs. Cheick Kongo
Charles Walker-I can't stand Mir however this is a really tough challenge for Kongo. I highly doubt Mir will stand and trade with Kongo and thus I think he'll pin him to the cage, trip him and eventually grab a limb, sometime in the 2nd round.
Rich Wyatt-Mir over Kongo by submission in the 2nd. I'm least certain of this pick.
Kelvin Hunt-I've been saying this for the longest...I ain't changing it now. Kongo via KO.
Jon Fitch vs. Mike Pierce
Charles Walker-Fitch by decision
Rich Wyatt-Fitch over Pierce by decision. Pierce has had recent success against wrestlers. It stops here.
Kelvin Hunt-Hopefully it doesn't turn into a borefest. Fitch via decision.
Kenny Florian vs. Clay Guida
Charles Walker-This will go to decision and swing Florian's way as I think it'll look similar to Guida/Sanchez without the crazy staredown
Rich Wyatt-Florian over Guida by TKO in the 3rd. A refocused, rededicated Kenny gets back into the win column on Saturday night.
Kelvin Hunt-I don't think Florian will be able to finish Guida. But he should be able to outpoint him for a decision win.
Paul Buentello vs. Stefan Struve
Charles Walker-Interesting match up, Struve took a beating against Stojnic and came out on top. Buentello may have trouble having to punch up so much as anyone knows having to defy gravity tires you out quickly...I see Struve somehow getting this to the ground and tapping out Buentello come end of the 2nd.
Rich Wyatt-Buentello over Struve by TKO in the 2nd.
Kelvin Hunt-I think the year off and the length of Struve will cause Buentello problems. Struve via submission.
Alan Belcher vs. Wilson Gouveia
Charles Walker-Belcher by close decision
Rich Wyatt-Belcher via TKO in the 3rd
Kelvin Hunt-Belcher is out to prove a point in this one...once Gouveia begins to fade Belcher will take him out via TKO.
Matt Wiman vs. Shane Nelson
Charles Walker-Wiman via exciting decision
Rich Wyatt-Wiman over Nelson by decision.
Kelvin Hunt-Wiman via smashage
Johnny Hendricks vs. Ricardo Funch
Charles Walker-Hendricks by decision
Rich Wyatt-Hendricks over Funch by TKO in the 2nd.
Kelvin Hunt-Hendricks via decision
Rousimar Palhares vs. Lucio Linhares
Charles Walker-Palhares takes Linhares limb home in the 2nd round via submission
Rich Wyatt-Palhares by decision.
Kelvin Hunt-Palhares via decision
DeMarques Johnson vs. Edgar Garcia
Charles Walker-Garcia via TKO in round 2
Rich Wyatt-Garcia over Johnson by TKO in the 2nd.
Kelvin Hunt-Garcia via TKO in the 3rd.
Kevin Burns vs. TJ Grant
Charles Walker-Burns by close decision
Rich Wyatt-Grant over Burns by decision.
Kelvin Hunt-Grant's wrestling and BJJ could be the difference. Grant via decision