The UFC returns to England for the first time in nearly a year when it presents "UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama." The show, built around British fighters Michael Bisping, Dan Hardy and John Hathaway, already is a box office success. Time will tell if it becomes a critical success. The show, which will air on tape delay in the United States, starts at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on Spike TV.
Here's what your fearless prognosticators from MMAForReal.com see happening come Saturday from The O2 Arena in London:
Charles Walker - It's sad that the foreign markets get main events such as this but with that said this could be a really exciting fight, that is, if Bisping will actually fight. I kind of see this going along the lines of Bisping/Leben (ironically Leben was the person to beat Akiyama in his last fight) with a lot of sticking and moving and very little engaging. If Akiyama is able to close the distance and clinch, Bisping will be getting thrown around like a ragdoll, however, I don't trust Akiyama's cardio to keep him in the driver's seat in this fight. For that, I have to go with Bisping scoring more points. Bisping by unanimous decision.
Rich Wyatt - I think that Yoshihiro is durable enough to last until the final bell in this one, but I just think he's going to get outscored. Look for Bisping to come in very sharp and focused, outlanding Akiyama on the feet and just putting together a better night of work. This is a great opportunity for both fighters to move a step closer toward getting their name in the mix of world title contenders. Bisping via decision.
Erich Vowell - In his UFC career, Bisping has earned two Fight of the Night bonuses. In his last four fights, Bisping is 2-2. His last fight at UFC 114 he defeated Dan Miller by unanimous decision. Bisping doesn't move well in the cage. He backs straight up when being attacked or as we saw in the Henderson fight will circle right to his opponent's power hand. Akiyama has the power to put Bisping down. Akiyama's biggest issue in this fight is his gas. If he lets Akiyama can't let Bisping stick around. Bisping has to transform into a different fighter if he wants to beat Akiyama at UFC 120. Akiyama via decision.
Anthony Pace - I'm going to try to keep my utter hatred of Bisping out of this breakdown, let's see how I do. Despite his stupidity in the Henderson fight, Bisping has above-average footwork and his best weapon is his jab. I expect him to approach the fight trying to pepper Akiyama and occasionally land stout combos. Akiyama's chin is too strong for Bisping to knock him out, or even knock him down unless it's on the sweetest of sweet spots. I expect Akiyama to target Bisping's legs, try to make him flat-footed after the first round and then toss him to the ground. I see Bisping on his back often after the first round. Yoshihiro Akiyama via Decision
Charles Walker - Easily fight of the night, this will probably be all fireworks from start to bloody finish. The power Dan Hardy packs will be what to watch for because as we know with Condit, he's not the most defensive fighter but can take a beating. Can he take Hardy's punches though? With that said though, if Condit doesn't want to go for that FoTN check, he'd be best served taking this fight to the ground, though that isn't exactly the easiest thing to do against Hardy (ask Mike Swick). So with all that said, I see Hardy blasted Condit much early and Condit having no answer, I think a desperate Condit may steal the last round with wrestling, but it will be far too late and he'll be a dismal 2-2 in the UFC as Hardy wins via decision.
Rich Wyatt - I'm going with my instinct in this one. Neither fighter is a word beater but I like Condit's chances to pull off the upset on the road. Hardy has a lot of factors on his side but Condit seems hungry to me and I'm thinking that this might be his night. I'm looking for Carlos to weather the storm on the feet and get this fight to the ground where he'll outscore "The Outlaw". Hardy is an exciting fighter but I don't like his chances if any kind of significant time is spent on the canvas. Condit via decision.
Erich Vowell - Hardy should be able to put together his punches well enough to defeat Condit here. Condit is coming off a third-round TKO over Rory McDonald. I think both these guys are a bit overrated. I think Condit has a favorable style match-up, but I just don't see him winning this fight. Hardy via TKO, round 3.
Anthony Pace - Everyone is way too high on Carlos Condit, in my opinion. Sure, he's tough and well-rounded, but he isn't going to submit Hardy and Hardy has sharp Muay Thai, even if it isn't that powerful. If Condit gets it to the mat enough (which I think will be his plan) he can win. But, he doesn't wrestle like GSP. Dan Hardy via Decision
Charles Walker - This will be a showcase for Hathaway who looked like a monster against the always popular Diego Sanchez. Pyle will offer some resistance but if Hathaway continues to be able to use his length properly I think he'll be the Evan Dunham of the welterweight division. I see Hathaway keeping Pyle at bay for most of this fight and winning on all scorecards. Hathaway via decision.
Rich Wyatt - Hathaway's stock should continue to rise after this weekend. This guy is a legit talent and has a lot of exciting, entertaining fights in store for MMA fans over the next year or two. I just think he'll prove to be too much for Mike Pyle and put him away with unanswered combinations late in the second round. Hathaway via TKO, round 2.
Erich Vowell - I am a really big fan of Hathaway. Really impressive fighter and trains with England's best fight team London Shootfighters. Hathaway should batter Pyle to a stoppage. Hathaway is the best fighter on this card and hopefully the British fans will embrace him like they have with Bisping. Hathaway via TKO, round 2.
Anthony Pace - Pyle is a veteran with superior BJJ who can lock on a sub at any point of the fight. I think, though, that Hathaway knows this and has been working his sub defense and takedown defense sufficiently to get the kill. John Hathaway is the new hotness. John Hathaway via TKO, Round 2
Charles Walker - This has Kongo written all over it. I don't see an area that Browne is better than Kongo and that's pretty bad. Kongo will probably beat up on Browne for as long as the ref is unmerciful. Kongo via TKO.
Rich Wyatt - This matchup should provide fireworks fairly quickly. I look for Browne to be the first fighter to land something meaningful, catching Kongo with a blistering combination midway through the opening frame. Most likely, Browne will finish Kongo off with some ground and pound on the canvas. Browne via TKO, round 1.
Erich Vowell - I'm picking the upset here. Browne is a monster and posseses more skills than Kongo. Kongo has been on a slide recently and really needs a win here to get himself back in contention. If Browne has an impressive showing, Browne is another bright prospect in the UFC's heavyweight division. Should be a very exciting fight while it lasts. Browne via TKO, round 1.
Anthony Pace - Browne is a young fighter with good boxing, but he's a bit in over his head here. I look for Kongo to bust up Browne's midsection with knees from the clinch. If Browne is still standing by Round 3, it'll be because he has some wrestling prowess that we don't know about. Cheick Kongo via KO, Round 2
Charles Walker - James Wilks is probably one of the worst TUF winners and this fight will be further proof. If Matt Brown's beatdown wasn't enough, he's going against Claude Patrick who is vicious whenever he gets a chance to get his hands on you. Wilks will keep it close early but I see Patrick getting top position sometime mid 2nd round or opening 3rd round and pounding out Wilks for a TKO win. Wilks via TKO.
Rich Wyatt - Although both fighters are talented guys, I just see Patrick as being one of the more underrated welterweights on the UFC roster. I see Wilks starting off nicely but being softened up by Patrick's striking in the second round. Patrick should have a high enough workrate and effective aggression to sway the scoring in his favor. Claude Patrick could be a guy that fight fans are talking more about in the months to come. Patrick via decision.
Erich Vowell - Great match-up here in the welterweight division. I favor Patrick slightly, because of the wrestling advantage. This is a very even fight. I think Wilks should have a slight striking advantage in this fight. Wilks has also faced better opponents over his career. Very even fight it could go either way, I just think Patrick will control this fight to get the win. Patrick via split decision.
Anthony Pace - I really haven't seen enough of either fighter to make a very informed decision here, so... Claude Patrick via Submission, Round 1