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The Unpopular Opinion: 2010 Predictions (Part 1)

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Ok, ok I know what you're asking, why isn't he doing a UFC 107 breakdown.  Well, basically EVERYONE (minus maybe Cheick Kongo) was impressive in my opinion.  Even in defeat Diego Sanchez showed superior heart when I was almost sure he was getting finished before round 3.  BJ Penn is the freakin' man!  I was once a Penn hater but I'm on the war wagon now for sure, that guy is on another level at 155 and it sucks that he has so little competition there because I don't think he'll ever do well at 170, unless GSP decides to move on up to middleweight.  But, for now, I'm going to breakdown my 2010 predictions from each division and main stars to Strikeforce and everything in the middle.  So sit back and relax, it may be a little long winded.



Lightweight Division

- BJ Penn has one more title defense at 155 and that defense is against Frankie Edgar.  He, of course, runs through Edgar with ease and finally trains properly for a run at 170 at the end of the year.  He faces Thiago Alves in a title contender bout and loses but remains a welterweight into 2011.

- Frankie Edgar as mentioned gets the call up to face BJ Penn for the title.  Does well for a round before BJ begins to butcher him and finally gets choked out come the third round.  Edgar finally decides to drop down to 145 and immediately challenges Jose Aldo for the Featherweight title in WEC.

- Gray Maynard loses by submission to Nate Diaz at the upcoming Fight Night and gets knocked down a peg or two.  He rebounds with two impressive wins in 2010 to remain in the title hunt.

- Nate Diaz as mentioned gets a much  needed win against a top contender against Gray and continues to inch his way up the lightweight ladder.  I see him being the focal point of another Fight Night or possibly TUF 11 Finale and then heading back to a PPV come close to the end of the year.

- Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez will face off come early 2010 to seek a definitive number 2 at the lightweight division.  Florian squeaks out a win and takes on Sean Sherk in rematch and is victorious to earn another shot at the lightweight title, which he won't get until 2011.

- Diego Sanchez as mentioned loses a close decision to Florian and is put up against a B-level lightweight before facing off with Gray Maynard late in 2010 and losing again.

- Sean Sherk defeats Jim Miller and takes on another rising lightweight in Joe Lauzon and beats him and of course takes on Florian and loses towards the end of the year.

- Tyson Griffin gets a fight with a lesser known lightweight and wins but still gets passed on for title talks.  He gets a publicized fight with Spencer Fisher and loses in less than stellar fashion and fights his next few bouts on Fight Night cards.

- The UFC will try to build Efrain Escudero by having him face some lower B-level fighters and he'll find success.  He'll have one big match in 2010 and lose in dramatic fashion.

Welterweight Division

- Georges St. Pierre doesn't break a sweat against Dan Hardy and puts him away impressively.  Takes on Josh Koscheck in a Summer showdown and beats him handily.  More GSP/Anderson Silva talk arises while he awaits another contender to emerge but none are available so he sits out until 2011.

- Josh Koshcheck gets his revenge on Paulo Thiago and gets another shot at GSP and loses again.  Koshcheck contemplates dropping down to 155 but remains at welterweight and takes on a slew of guys he has no business fighting at the end of the year.

- Jon Fitch continues his workman-like style and rattles off another big win against John Howard, who will be fed to the wolves.  Fitch will go on to lose a close fight with a returning Carlos Condit.

- Carlos Condit, will be out most of the year but return later and fight Jon Fitch in a possible title contender fight and pull out a tough fought decision win over the veteran to get his name in talks of a GSP fight.

- Thiago Alves returns and takes on and defeats Anthony Johnson in what will be build up as a huge match.  Alves then takes on BJ Penn towards the last quarter of the year and beats him to gain another shot at GSP in 2011.

- Dan Hardy has his shark-teeth mouthpiece surgically removed from his mouth after getting ground and pounded into oblivion against GSP.  He later takes on Matt Brown on a card overseas and gets back on the winning track.

- Matt Hughes gets beaten by Renzo Gracie in a close decision and contemplates retirement before returning late in the year one last time to face off against a scrub and finally hangs up the gloves.

- Dong Hyun Kim finally gets over all his injuries and returns and defeats Mike Swick getting his name in talks for a title shot.  However, we know how foreign fighters fair with title shots so Kim has the unfortunate task of taking on an angry Anthony Johnson and wakes up the next day with the aid of smelling salts and nurses calling his name.

- Anthony Johnson, gets one more chance to edge his way to the top of the welterweight division and loses to Thiago Alves, which is billed as a big fight.  Johnson takes a little time off and then takes on Dong Hyun Kim and reroutes his jaw to get back in the good graces of the fans and UFC.

- Paul Daley loses to Dustin Hazelett at UFC 108 but rebounds against a lesser known welterweight on the undercard of a show overseas and fights one more time before the end of the year against Marcus Davis and loses.

- Dustin Hazelett gets a big win over Paul Daley and is once again relegated to Fight Night status where he'll face a welterweight he should easily beat and does.  Closes off the year with a victory over Phil Baroni (lol)

- Renzo Gracie beats Matt Hughes and then gets a young, up and comer and loses badly.

- Matt Serra and Frank Trigg will unfortunately get their pink slips before the end of 2010.

- Ben Saunders will stamp his name to the welterweight title picture in a big way in 2010 with impressive wins over some B-level welterweights.

- Ricardo Almeida will not make much impact in the welterweight division due to his cardio.

Middleweight Division

- Anderson Silva will smack Vitor Belfort silly when they finally meet, come close to Spring time and he and Ed Soares will position themselves for a year ending superfight at light heavyweight.  Dana will bite and will see Anderson Silva take on Rashad Evans to close off the year and he embarasses 'Suga' much like he did Forrest.

- Vitor Belfort gets caught up in the hype of 'The Spider' and looks tentative and scared as he's picked apart early and finally dropped in the third round.  Vitor gets another shot to shine against Nate Marquardt and loses that one as well and his employment is in question come the end of 2010.

- Nate Marquardt grinds out a decision over Chael Sonnen and then takes on the aforementioned Vitor Belfort due to Anderson and Soares keeping the MW kingpin off the market for a while leaving Nate hanging for another shot.  He takes the fight to Vitor and wins and Dana finally officially announces Anderson/Nate 2 for early 2011.

- Wanderlei Silva loses a tough to watch fight against Michael Bisping and retires but remains a personality with the UFC.

- Michael Bisping sprints to the nearest holy building at the conclusion of UFC 110 and thanks God for his unheard of victory over Wanderlei Silva.  Bisping is once again toted as a top middleweight and gets Nate Marquardt's scraps, Chael Sonnen, and again someone wins by the skin of his teeth to end the year.

- Yushin Okami bounces back with a boring, albeit decisive victory over a newcomer to the middleweight division.  He'll be scheduled to fight Demian Maia and drop out due to injury and not be seen the rest of 2010.

- Demian Maia barely gets by Dan Miller and then as I said gets a 3rd quarter fight with Yushin Okami but Okami drops out and Maia's stuck facing a B-level fighter whom he beats handily.

- Yoshihiro Akiyama is placed up against Tomasz Drwal in his next UFC bout and somehow edges the bigger, meaner fighter.  It is once again apparent that Akiyama is undersized at middleweight but he'll stay at that weight and take on Dan Miller later in the year and lose a one-sided affair and move down to welterweight early 2011.

- Thales Leites will return to the octagon come summertime.

- Chris Leben, Mike Massenzio, and Nick Catone will all get their pink slips before the end of 2010.


- The first WEC PPV will bomb in buyrates although it will boast a stacked card with a Jose Aldo/Urijah Faber headliner and a UFC lightweight will make his first WEC appearance that night as well as a Miguel Torres/Brian Bowles rematch.  The card will be phenomenal but will by their first and last foray into PPV.

- Speaking of UFC lightweights, quite a few name lightweights will be brought into the WEC to help boost ratings.

- Jose Aldo will remain Featherweight champion throughout 2010 in devastating fashion and talks of Aldo/Penn will surface for 2011.

- Urijah Faber's stock will slowly decline as he's put away soundly by Aldo and is given a gimme fight late in the year.

- Jens Pulver retires.

- Dana White finally gets to do a show in New York and they stack the card and use that venue for their year end show.

- Dana White has a falling out with another top star, which keeps that fighter off cards for a long period of time in 2010.

- Mike Thomas Brown returns to lightweight and is called up to the UFC after a top fighter pulls out a major fight.

Whew, so tell me what you think, could this come to fruition or have I lost it?  What do you think of these predictions and do you have your own involving these weight classes and topics?  Make sure to stay tuned for part 2 which will showcase the Light Heavyweight division, Heavyweight division, Strikeforce, and more miscellaneous thoughts.