Here’s a new feature that we’ve technically been doing for a while but just didn’t have a name for it - Tap Selections. Basically it’s our annual predictions for each event along with our records and stuff like that. However this time around we decided to throw in a little twist and get some celebrity picks for Liddell-Jackson.
Below are the celebrity picks followed by our usual prophecies. Bill will be along with his predictions later on today…
Jonathan Goulet, UFC Veteran: I think Rampage is going to win the title.
Elvis Sinosic, UFC Veteran: This is a tough fight to call. Both fighters are very talented, skilled and experienced practitioners. Though based on recent performances, the edge has to go to Chuck, even though Rampage beat him last time.
Evan Tanner, former UFC Middleweight Champion: Chuck Liddell has been on a roll for quite a while now and it’s hard to see it ending with this fight. I see Liddell earning the victory.
Cole Miller, TUF 5 cast: If I had money, it would be on Liddell. I hope that Rampage wins though.
Joe Lauzon, TUF 5 cast: I’m going with Rampage in the 4th round by TKO.
Jeff Sherwood, Sherdog: I’m taking Rampage.
TJ De Santis, Sherdog: I think the longer the fight goes, the better chance Quinton has. Chuck has power and if Jackson can persevere, he will win the bout. My pick is Chuck by TKO in the second round.
Greg Savage, Sherdog: Chuck Liddell has been on an amazing roll since losing to Quinton Jackson in 2003. Jackson on the other hand has had his troubles, dropping a pair of fights to Wanderlei Silva and another to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Having avenged his other two losses, “The Iceman” should be looking at a clean slate after dispatching Jackson Saturday night. I see it going into the later rounds before Chuck lands the right hand that has so often been the difference maker for Liddell.
Shawn Tompkins, Team Tompkins: I believe Chuck will win. I love Quinton and only hope the best for him. But Chuck is too consistent and always has a great leader with John Hackleman
Dann, UFC Junkie: I simply hate trying to pick winners, and Liddell vs. Jackson is no exception. What makes the sport great is that anyone can surprise you at any moment. But every time I’ve bet against Liddell, it’s come back to bite me. I do think the fight will be closer than many people think, I do think Jackson is ready for this level of competition, and I do think Jackson is out to prove a point. But I just can’t see giving him the advantage over Liddell. I see a TKO for Liddell in a wildly entertaining fight.
Zach Arnold, Fight Opinion: I’m picking Rampage to win the fight, primarily based on the fact that out of all of the various PRIDE fighters who have participated in UFC, his style is best suited for both the cage and the ring. His style presents problems for Liddell and it could be a real long night for Chuck if the fight goes past two rounds.
Luke Nicholson, Fight Opinion: Liddell by KO. I’ll say in the 2nd round.
Elias Cepeda, Inside Fighting: People have gone broke betting against Liddell so its tough to do it now, but I do like Jackson if he performs up to his potential. There are many unknknowns going into this fight but Jackson’s dismantling of Liddell in 2003 was no fluke. Jackson has good defensive skills for what Liddell does best, punch, and he is unafraid of Liddell’‘s power. Jackson pressured Liddell on the feet but also stayed patient. Most fighters either run away from Liddell or bum rush him with no defense. Neither strategy has worked. “Rampage” has shown he can do what needs to be done against Liddell, and that’‘s stay in the pocket, defend himself and land his own shots. If he can hurt Liddell with strikes Jackson will then have opportunities to take the “Iceman” down. The cage-factor can go either way.
Their first fight took place in the Pride ring and Saturday’s will take place in the UFC Octagon cage. In the cage it may be initially more difficult for Jackson to keep Liddell down if he gets him down because Liddell is so good at getting back up, especially while using the cage as leverage. On the other hand, if Jackson can hurt Liddell enough to get him down and against the cage and secure a good dominant position on him, Liddell will have no where to go and be pinned against the cage. Will all this be easy for Jackson? No, and with the run Liddell has been on and how much he’s improved I think its fine to have him as a favorite. But can Jackson do it? Yes. He’‘s already done it once and champion or not, Jackson has showed himself the better man in the match up until Liddell proves otherwise.
Tom, UFC Mania: My heart says Chuck and my brain says Rampage. That’s because styles make fights—or so “they” say—and Rampage Jackson has all the tools to beat Liddell at his own game: Strength, experience, chin, power, and perhaps most important, history. Chuck will work his typical game plan to perfection in the opening minutes—much like he did the first time around. But once Rampage eats a few punches and gets warm— and Chuck begins to fade—look for Rampage to dominate the action from rounds three through five—if it even lasts that long. Rampage via technical knockout in round four.
Scott White, MMA on Tap: I think Chuck Liddell will continue his domination of the UFC LHW division Saturday night. Chuck will put his hands on Jackson and he will put him on the canvas. I am looking for Liddell to get the TKO/KO sometime in the 3rd round. With that being said, I have tons of respect for Rampage and if anyone can beat Chuck it’s Quinton.
David Singer, MMA on Tap: Chuck Liddell is out for revenge. It’s rare he’s in this situation and as long as he’s semi-calm, we might see a perfect fight from him. Liddell, bitches!
John Chandler, MMA on Tap: I think Rampage is the sexy pick in this fight. Everyone knows the skills that he brings to the table and on top of that, he beat Chuck in their last fight. However the two have gone in different directions since then: Chuck has been unstoppable while Rampage has seemed to lose a step or two. This fight hangs on which Rampage shows up in this fight. Will we see the Rampage that was aggressive and took it to Chuck three years ago or will see the Rampage that was hesitant and was stopped by Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio Rua? Even if Rampage brings everything he has, Chuck knows what he did wrong in their last fight and will have the right strategy to be able to beat Rampage. I’m going with Chuck by KO in the 2nd round.
Scott White (65-30)
John Chandler (67-28)