Anderson Silva (25-4) vs. Demian Maia (12-1)
- Much like GSP/Hardy, we all know there's a chance Demian Maia could beat Anderson Silva...it's just not a very good one. Without having to go into a long explanation, Silva has proven over and over again that his vices from the past are still in tact but he's so good at everything else that he's able to mask them. The danger that Maia has to endure just to get himself in a position to potentially win is too great to even give him a decent shot at it. He could shoot in and try to double leg Silva but if you watch Silva, that's not an easy thing to do as his foot work and reputation is enough to make fighters think twice before just haphazardly charging at him. To get in close enough to clinch and possible pull guard or drag him to the mat is possible, but Maia would have to either blitzkrieg his way in there or entice the Spider into simply grabbing a hold of him. Either way, he runs the risk of getting kneed or punched into lala land. So with that said, Anderson Silva is almost an impossible fighter to outpoint because in using that strategy you simply allow him time to get down your patterns or your movements en route to being smashed unconscious. So without further adieu.....Silva via TKO early round 2.
B.J. Penn (15-5-1) vs. Frankie Edgar (11-1)
- I'm going to say this, this will be BJ's toughest test at lightweight. I know he's fought Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez, both top 10 lightweights that are seen as higher ranked fighters than Edgar, but both, stylistically were nothing but fodder for the Prodigy. In Edgar, while he doesn't do ANYTHING better than BJ, he's not totally outclassed anywhere by him. His boxing is much cleaner than both Kenny's and Diego's while having a solid chin. His wrestling is just as good as Diego's and better than Florian's in my opinion. Also, his ability to counter, while it was merely on display against Sean 'T-Rex arms' Sherk, still showed that his footwork is very good. The problem is, BJ's nearly impossible to finish and/or hurt. The volume of punches Edgar will have to wade through and counter will be too much. The fact that he can't rely to his wrestling as a Plan B against someone like BJ is another negative. He could possibly go the GSP-route and try to smother BJ and tire him out, but we saw how that worked for Florian, I feel that the only way for a lightweight to possibly have a shot at beating BJ is by having him tire himself out in his stand up using leg kicks or solid counters to the body. I'm not sure Edgar has the length to do so unfortunately. This fight will be interesting early but the longer it goes, the more BJ will realize he's too much for Edgar and go for the kill. Ending in a fourth round TKO stoppage due to strikes for BJ and Edgar putting on a valiant effort, of course, some of that Abu Dhabi sand could blow into BJ's eyes and blind him momentarily for some kind of jaw breaking punch from Edgar, but those odds aren't good enough for me.
Matt Hughes (43-7) vs. Renzo Gracie (13-6-1)
- Ehhhh, I like Renzo but he's a few years too late and in the wrong weight division for his style. Even though Hughes is far from a top welterweight, stylistically he's Renzo Gracie's worst nightmare. Strong wrestler with good top control and great submission defense. Outside of Renzo somehow grabbing on that country Breakfast filled neck of Hughes', this has unanimous decision via takedown/little action/standup/takedown/little action/standup written all over it.
Terry Etim (14-2) vs. Rafael Dos Anjos (13-4)
- Etim's exciting and I have a feeling he has a place in the UFC win or lose because he's going to lose to Dos Anjos. Dos Anjos grappling is very underrated in my opinion and he should have no problems simply outworking Etim in the grappling department and not allowing much time for a kickboxing match. Dos Anjos via decision.
Mark Munoz (7-1) vs. Kendall Grove (11-6)
- Can't stand Grove, but he's one of those guys that when his back is against the wall he wins. Munoz hasn't looked great at middleweight but he's slowly building up some momentum. I think the huge reach advantage that Kendall almost always has is what's going to win him this fight since he can basically keep Munoz at bay with his jabs and kicks which will no doubt prompt Munoz to want to wrestle and much like Rosholt rush in and get his neck hooked in a guillotine. I see this taking place in the first round before they get too sweaty.
Phil Davis (5-0) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (9-0)
- Davis via unanimous decision.
Paul Taylor (10-5-1) vs. John Gunderson (22-7)
- Taylor via GnP in the 2nd.
Nick Osipczak (5-0) vs. Rick Story (9-3)
- Story via decision.
DaMarques Johnson (10-7) vs. Brad Blackburn (15-10-1)
- Johnson fan but Blackburn's going to be a bit too tough for him, I see him landing something on DaMarques' chin that drops him in the 3rd.
Matt Veach (11-1) vs. Paul Kelly (9-2)
- Veach looked great against Edgar, and I think he'll be able to wrestle his way to late TKO stoppage.
Jon Madsen (4-0) vs. Mostapha Al-Turk (6-5)
- I'd like Al-Turk to get a win, but it won't happen...Madsen via wrestlemania
Silva TKO Rd. 3
Penn TKO Rd. 4
Hughes TKO Rd. 1
Grove Sub Rd. 3
Davis TKO Rd. 2
Taylor TKO Rd. 3
Story Sub Rd. 2
Robert Downey Sr.:
BJ Penn vs. Frankie Edgar:
Edgar has nothing for Penn. Absolutley nothing. Penn by Sub, Round 3
Anderson Silva vs. Demian Maia:
At least Maia has other-world jiu-jitsu, so if he can somehow make it a grappling match he might win. If he comes out like he did against Marquardt, Silva won't be as merciful as Nate. This one ends fairly brutally. Silva by KO, Round 1
Matt Hughes vs. Renzo Gracie
The last time Huges fought a Gracie--Royce--it was an absolute drubbing. Although Renzo is far less one-dimensional than Royce, the former UFC champ is bigger and stronger, and is too seasoned to get caught sleeping in a sub. I think this could be fun though, much like Hughes' fight against Gracie-protege Matt Serra. Hughes by Decision.
Terry Etim vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Doing some research about Etim (i.e Wikipedia-ing Etim) shows that he won a fight against Diego Gonzalez in England that was refereed by, get this, Mike Tyson. That's kind of cool. Here he'll tower over dos Anjos by some seven inches. I'll take him by something long and lanky. Etim by Sub, Round 2.
Kendall Grove vs. Mark Munoz
I've never been sold on Munoz's potential. Unfortunately for him most fan's think of Matt Hammil's brutal head kick KO at UFC 96 whenever his name comes up. Grove--as deeply as my unfounded hatred for him runs--has more experience and has shown he can handle wrestlers like Jake Rosholt. Unless Munoz catches Grove's suspect chin, I'll take "Da Spida" (maybe that's why I hate him). Grove via Decision.
- Silva over Maia by TKO in the 2nd. I'll be honest and admit that I'm going for Maia. I'm a big fan of Silva but Maia has always been one of my favorites. I just don't see him being able to lock in a submission before taking some abuse from Silva. Plus, Silva does have good submission defense and I'm thinking that may buy him time to put Maia away.
- Penn over Edgar by Submission in the 3rd. Edgar is a very talented fighter in my opinion. He just won't have much for Penn, I believe.
- Hughes over Gracie by decision.
- Munoz over Grove by TKO in the 3rd.
- Etim over Dos Anjos by decision.
- Story over Osipczak by decision.
- Veach over Kelly by decision.
- Davis over Gustafsson by TKO in the 2nd.
- Johnson over Blackburn by decision.
- Taylor over Gunderson by TKO in the 2nd.
- Madsen over Al-Turk by decision
Anderson Silva vs. Demian Maia-I mean we all know how this fight is going to go for the most part. Maia's only pray is to get the fight to the ground where Silva isn't exactly a slouch. I think Silva's speed and reach will be too much for Maia to overcome. Silva via TKO Rd. 2.
BJ Penn vs. Frankie Edgar-I think Edgar will be more competitive than Diego Sanchez will, but ultimately will come up short just as everyone else has against BJ Penn. Edgar will probably use a lot of movement and try to capatilize on his speed while throwing combinations. Only thing is, he doens't have KO power and Penn has an iron chin with heavy hands himself. I think Penn will find a home for that heavy ass jab of his and shrug off any take down attempts from Edgar. Penn via lopsided decision.
Matt Hughes vs. Renzo Gracie-Hughes is past his prime, but he'll have enough to get by 43 year old Renzo who hasn't fought in 3 years. Hughes via grinding UD.
Mark Munoz vs. Kendall Grove-I'm pretty interested this one. I think Grove is going to have a hard time keeping this one standing. Unless Grove is able to stifle Munoz with his length on the ground, it's going to be a short night for him. Munoz throws with bad intentions and Grove's chin isn't the best in the world. Munoz pins Grove against the cage and lands a big one before the referee pulls him off Grove in the 2nd.
Terry Etim vs. Raphael dos Anjos-I been a dos Anjos fan since the Tyson Griffin fight...dude is a soldier but he'll have his work cut out for him. Etim will have a reach/height advantage that could pose some problems for dos Anjos, but dos Anjos has some good muay thai of his own with good leg kicks. Dos Anjos should have the edge on the ground if he can get it there. I wouldn't be surprised to see him catch an Etim kick and get the takedown. Overall, this is going to be a war. I'm go with Etim via split decision.
Phil Davis vs. Alexander Gustafsson-Davis will take Gustafsson down and punish him. Davis via armbar round 2.
Rick Story vs. Nick Osipczak-Story will be too strong in this one. I really like this kid. Story via decision.
Demarques Johnson vs. Brad Blackburn-I think Blackburn is about done as a fighter as sad as that sounds. He got absolutely overwhelmed by Amir Sadollah in his last fight. I think if Johnson can avoid getting cracked in that chin of his...this is his fight to lose. I'm go with Johnson via Submission.
Matt Veach vs. Paul Kelly-Veach via wrestling
Paul Taylor vs. John Gunderson-Kelly via TKO
John Madsen vs. Moustapha Al-Turk-Madsen via wrestling