In one of the most overshadowed and least promoted events in UFC history, middleweights Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami will do battle for champion Anderson Silva's title as the UFC brings us "UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami" on Saturday from Germany.
The five-fight main card airs via tape delay at 9 p.m. ET on Spike TV.
Here is what your fearless prognosticators see happening from Oberhausen, Germany.
Matt Bishop - I like this fight a lot and it's amazing these two have managed not to fight each other yet considering how long they've both been in the company. A lot of people (probably myself included) are looking down on this fight because of where it's placed. This fight would probably be taken more seriously if it wasn't on this date and in this spot, but I see Marquardt being too much for Okami standing and they will cancel each other on the ground. Marquardt via decision.
Charles Walker - This definitely isn't UFC PPV main event worthy but it's definitely a good, interesting fight. The interest is in what type of gameplan each fighter implements. Will Nate be aggressive and try to bully Okami, will Okami be able to use his size and strength to negate Nate's strengths? I have a strong feeling Nate Marquardt is the smart pick here just because Okami's wrestling isn't Chael Sonnen good (yes I know Okami's been training with him) so I don't see him being able to simply hold Nate down and standing, Nate throws a variety of strikes that usually do big damage. I can see the two trading rounds and Marquardt flurrying in the third to take home a unanimous decision.
Rich Wyatt - With Zuffa now putting on a ton of cards annually, it's really tough to have quality main events every time out. But while many folks have downplayed this main event, count me as someone that thinks it's interesting. I concede that the star value isn't there at all, but it is likely that the German fans will be showing up to watch the sport of MMA itself more than any particular personality or athlete. This fight has real relevance in the middleweight division picture and offers an interesting clash between two skilled veterans. My guess is that Nate will get the better of enough exchanges standing and stay busy enough on the ground. Marquardt via decision.
Matt Bishop - A solid scrap this is. Both men are riding three-fight win streaks and meet to see which journeyman can maybe get a top-10 fighter in their next bout. Sakara has good form but his chin worries me, especially against a heavy hitter like Rivera. Sakara doesn't handle adversity well and Rivera would be well off to pressure him. This will either have fireworks or be extremely boring because both men are tentative. I expect fireworks. Rivera via TKO, round 1.
Charles Walker - Ehh, never would believe this as a co-main event, even for a Fight Night, with that said, this will pretty much be a kickboxing bout. Sakara has made some good strides as a middleweight but he's taking on a veteran in Rivera who has looked pretty good as of late himself. I have to go with my gut here and say that Sakara's boxing will be a little too much for Rivera to handle and Rivera will eventually fade and Sakara will continue to pour on the pressure, I might even say Sakara lands a third round stoppage.
Rich Wyatt - There is much to admire about Jorge Rivera. He is a blue-collar type fighter that gives it his all and comes to compete hard every time. I just think that he will find himself outgunned in the standup portion of the game this weekend. I see Sakara putting in some good work early and earning the TKO late. Sakara via TKO, round 3.
Matt Bishop - Another solid, yet unspectacular scrap here. Since returning to the UFC in 2009, Siver has looked pretty good, going 4-1 in the promotion in this run. He has a lot of nice skills standing and I like him in this fight. Remember when Andre Winner fought Nik Lentz? Yeah, I tried to block it out of my mind, too, but it came crawling back when thinking of this fight. Siver will put the heat on Winner and take the fight. Siver via TKO, round 3.
Charles Walker - Another kickboxing match here in the lightweight division. Siver's been on a tear, even getting through Spencer Fisher and Winner was in one of the worst fights ever again Nik Lentz not too long ago. I'm going to go with Winner here as I think he's quick enough to land combinations continuously on Siver and I think his defense is good enough not to get crushed by one of Dennis' kicks. Therefore, I'm going with Winner via decision.
Rich Wyatt - Andre Winner vs. Dennis Siver should provide some nice standup exchanges. While Siver will be fighting in front of his hometown crowd in what is likely the biggest fight of his career, I see Winner doing a good job of gauging the distance and avoiding many of Siver's dangerous kicks and venturing inside long enough to tag the German with nice combinations. Ultimately, I think Winner gets the nod by decision in his opponent's backyard.
Matt Bishop - If Sadollah can't win this fight, he has no future as a fighter in the UFC, plain and simple. This is a big fight for him, after being taken to task by Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 114. Sobotta is 0-2 in the company. This is a must-win for both men, but Sadollah isn't being given a fight to lose. Sadollah by decision.
Charles Walker - I think Amir does everything too well for Sobotta. Not sure if we'll get a finish in this one since I have a strong feeling Sadollah will play it safe for the duration. Sadollah via decision.
Rich Wyatt - Very few fighters on the UFC roster are as recognizable with so few pro fights under their belt as Virginia's Amir Sadollah. I see this as a good opportunity for Amir to get back in the win column. And with millions of folks watching in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere, this would be a great time for him to put together an impressive fight. I think that Sadollah is a bad matchup for Sobotta and will get the better of him standing and do enough on the ground to get an easy win. Sadollah by decision.
Matt Bishop - Here's another fight when both men badly need a win. After a failed run at middleweight, Reljic is bouncing back to light-heavyweight in hopes of extending his UFC career. Here, he draws Soszynski, who was TKO'd by Stephan Bonnar in July. Reljic can hit hard and Soszynski got dropped by Bonnar, who isn't exactly known for his power. Reljic bounces back with a second-round TKO.
Charles Walker - This is another slugfest and should be a good one, however, Reljic is a beast and I'm glad he's back at light heavyweight as I feel that he's better off at that weight. I just have a strong feeling (much like Winner/Siver) that Reljic will be too fast for Soszynski and will land continuously with a variety of strikes. I'm going to go with Goran Reljic via 2nd round TKO.
Rich Wyatt - This fight has huge potential for Goran Reljic. Fight fans have heard of the kid's substantial potential. Reljic has experienced some significant inactivity over the past 18 months but looks to capitalize on this opportunity to have an impressive showing in front of a very large audience. On a hunch, I'm going with the veteran Soszynski to take this one. After a subpar performance against Stephan Bonnar, he's in real need of a win and I'm guessing that his team in Temecula has him ready to get the "W". I'll take Soszynski by submission in the 3rd.