Here are our predictions are tonight’s event. It’s the same setup as last time around (which happened to be last week) with our records next to our names. Feel free to leave your predictions as well…
Bill Reger (6-2)
Anderson Silva vs Travis Lutter: Ultimately, Dana White would hate for Travis Lutter to win. His fights are not all that exciting when he wins other than the single highlight KO of Marvin Eastman. Silva’s action packed fights are much more like what the UFC brass likes to see. The Spider is a BJJ black belt but certainly uses it more defensively than offensively to set up his lethal Muay Thai. Lutter can be nasty on the ground and ground specialists have given Silva trouble in the past. Not this time. Silva will find the range and KO Lutter with a knee as Travis goes in close for the clinch.
Winner: Anderson Silva - TKO
Mirko Cro Cop vs Eddie Sanchez: There is surprising support by Eddie but his game is tailor made for CroCop’s devastation. This could be a pretty good standup war early on unless Mirko catches Sanchez early but not clean enough to KO. If that happens, Eddie may run and look for the ground. Doesn’t matter, CroCop will make his debut in the UFC successful, but it will be a punch, not a LHK, that sends Eddie into dreamland.
Winner: Mirko Cro Cop - KO
Quinton Jackson vs Marvin Eastman: Its interesting to look at each fighters progress since the first fight between the two. And if one does look at that, they see Rampage is going to wipe Marvin out.
Winner: Quinton Jackson - Submission (Strikes)
Roger Huerta vs John Halverson: All the early heat is for Huerta to continue his climb in the lightweight ranks, but don’t be too surprised if the tough Halverson gives a very good showing of himself. I’ll go with an upset in this one.
Winner: John Halverson - Unanimous Decision
Scott Smith vs Patrick Cote: People are really all over Scott Smith’s chances in this one, but I really think Cote will get his first UFC win. While people harp on Cote’s losses, they are all to highly regarded opponents. And people never mention Cote’s wins outside of the UFC. Until landing the freak counterpunch on Pete Sell, Smith was heading for another loss. He’ll get beat again in this one.
Winner: Patrick Cote - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Ryoto Machida vs Sam Hoger: I think part of the reason this fight is not on the main card is the fear it may be less than spectacular. Hogar is no doubt tough and seemingly impossible to stop. Machida is a much higher class fighter but geos to alot of decisions. Machida will impose his will on Hogar pretty easily but it will likely go to a decision ... again.
Winner: Ryoto Machida - Unanimous Decision
Tyson Griffin vs Frank Edgar: I’ve seen Frank Edgar fight and he is nasty tough. But Griffin is an elite athlete with a very well rounded game. He’s one of the future stars of the lightweight division. I’d love to see him rematch Faber one day. The first fight was great.
Winner: Tyson Griffin - TKO
Jorge Rivera vs Terry Martin: Too many people only remember Martin for the spectacular KO loss to James Irvin. But he was dominating that fight up to the flying knee. Rivera is no doubt tough, but the insight provided by his appearance on TUF made me wonder just how much he still likes MMA and his motivation. The oddsmakers have made Rivera a healthy favorite, but they are wrong IMO.
Winner: Terry Martin - Unanimous Decision
Dustin Hazelett vs Diego Saraieva: These are two grappling wizards and could make for a great ground war between two lightweights. But Hazelett has a distinct advantage on the feet. As they each search for the takedown, Hazelett will land a nasty punch and rock the late replacement Saraieva. Hazelett will then take the fight to the ground and GnP a victory.
Winner: Dustin Hazelett - TKO
John Chandler (33-18)
Anderson Silva vs Travis Lutter: Now that this isn’t a title fight, I don’t see Lutter coming into the bout with much confidence. Many are saying that Lutter has the exact style to counter Silva’s striking but I don’t really see it. Silva is a black belt on the ground as well so it’s not like he is going to get dominated if Lutter is able to take him down. I visualize Silva being able to stuff Lutter’s takedown attempts which may be weak due to his struggle to make weight. Lutter actually has decent defense while standing so Silva is going to have to use a different kind of strike to catch him, but that’s not going to be a problem at all considering the kind of striker Silva is.
Winner: Anderson Silva - TKO (Strikes)
Mirko Cro Cop vs Eddie Sanchez: Eddie Sanchez may be letting everyone know he is confident he can knock out Cro Cop going into this fight but it just leads me to believe that he has no idea what he’s in for. Unlike the debut of Heath Herring, this PRIDE import will enjoy immediate success. Why? Only because he’s one of the elite heavyweights in the world. Cro Cop is a deadly striker, bottom line. Anyone that hasn’t seen this guy fight yet is going to be amazing at the destruction that he can cause. This is definitely going to be a quick one so make sure you don’t blink…
Winner: Mirko Cro Cop - KO (Punch)
Quinton Jackson vs Marvin Eastman: Eastman may have gotten the decision the last time these two fought in 2000 but it’s certainly not going to be the same result this time around. Jackson has become a completely different fighter and is on a different level skill-wise than Eastman right now. Eastman has some wrestling skill but it’s nowhere near the talent of Jackson on the ground. I’d give Jackson the edge both standing and on the ground in this fight. Jackson will most likely get at least one of his signature slams and then finish the fight on the ground, pounding on Eastman.
Winner: Quinton Jackson - TKO (Strikes)
Roger Huerta vs John Halverson: This fight is one of the leading canidates for fight of the night as both fighters want nothing more than to just come out swinging. Huerta seems to be the heavily favored fighter in this one but I wouldn’t count our Halverson who is certainly a tough customer as well. The winner of this one just gets in line behind the crop of new generation lightweights that have invaded the UFC. I see Huerta being the quicker and swifter fighter in this one, being able to dodge a lot of Halverson’s power shots and pick apart his opponent on his way to victory.
Winner: Roger Huerta - Unanimous Decision
Scott Smith vs Patrick Cote: This is the fight that I’m looking forward to the most on this card. It’s going to be a war on the feet for the most part without a doubt but even if it ends up on the ground, I’m certain that both fighters will continue to make things exciting there as well. Many are picking Smith in this fight and rightfully so because of the momentum he has coming off a huge win over Pete Sell. Cote however seems to be the more well-rounded fighter and this could be the fight where we see his skills on the feet come full circle.
Winner: Patrick Cote - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Ryoto Machida vs Sam Hoger: Many fans on the internet and around the world have been waiting for Machida to sign with a big-time organization. It was supposed to come to fruition with the WFA but that obviously didn’t work out. Hoger is still a decent opponent for him to start out with, especially if it’s his first time in the Octagon. While many were asking why this bout wasn’t on the main card instead of Huerta-Halverson, the excitement level of this fight is feared to be around zero like Bill said in his prediction.
Winner: Ryoto Machida - Unanimous Decision
Tyson Griffin vs Frank Edgar: With wins over Ludwig and Faber, Griffin is the top prospect out there right now with the exception of maybe Gilbert Melendez. Edgar is no pushover however - I was actually supposed to see him fight in Wildwood, New Jersey last summer but things got in the way so I’ve done my fair share of homewrk on Edgar. He isn’t the top lightweight prospect on the East Coast of the US for shits and giggles, Edgar is very talented. I just don’t think that he has faced the caliber of talent so far in his career that will give him the ability to get past an elite guy like Griffin.
Winner: Tyson Griffin - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Jorge Rivera vs Terry Martin: I had a hard time picking this one because I really like Rivera as a fighter - He’s quick, scrappy, and has the heart of a lion. Martin coming down from 205 begs a lot of questions, especially with him now coming in a tad overweight for the fight. This fight is going to come down to how comfortable Martin feels at 185. If he is able to use his newfound quickness and stamina he’s worked with Andrei Arlovski on and keep the strength he had when he was heavier, Martin will be able to take this fight to the ground and easily exploit Rivera’s lack of a ground game.
Winner: Terry Martin: Submission (Armbar)
Dustin Hazelett vs Diego Saraieva: This fight is very interesting in that it really could end up wherever Hazelett wants it to be at. Both are very skilled on the ground, almost equals in that aspect so we could see a stalemate in that regard. Hazelett is the better wrestler and striker and would have a much better chance of winning if he was able to keep this fight standing.
Winner: Dustin Hazelett - TKO (Cut)
Scott White (34-17)
Anderson Silva vs Travis Lutter: Right off the bat, I see Anderson Silva taking this fight by TKO. Travis Lutter has an excellent ground game but Silva is just too light on his feet and his angling and movement will prove to be deadly for his challenger. Lutter failed to make weight for this fight so one could assume he is coming into this fight lacking confidence. He may also be pretty drained from attempting to cut the extra weight. So far nothing has gone Lutter’s way leading up to this fight and I don’t expect it to change Saturday night when he enters the octagon.
Winner: Anderson Silva – TKO
Mirko Cro Cop vs Eddie Sanchez: Finally! With the recent success of the UFC, fans have been waiting for the premier MMA organization to toss its line in the water and finally they have reeled in the #2 ranked heavyweight in the world. Mirko Cro Cop unlike Eddie Sanchez is accomplished on an elite level. Eddie Sanchez has the potential to be an excellent fighter over time but at this point Cro Cop is just too much. Cro Cop will send shockwaves through the crowd when he unleashes a left headkick that leaves Sanchez face down on the canvas. This is going to be good…
Winner: Mirko Cro Cop – KO
Quinton Jackson vs Marvin Eastman: UFC fans are going to love Quinton “Rampage” Jackson when this fight is over. Marvin Eastman handed “Rampage” his first loss very early in his professional career and come Saturday night he’ll be looking for blood. Rampage is making his UFC debut after being scooped up when the WFA was bought out. I see Rampage running through Eastman, slamming him a few times and eventually ending the fight by ground-and-pound.
Winner: Quinton Jackson – TKO (Strikes)
Roger Huerta vs John Halverson: This should be an excellent high paced fight which I feel definitely warrants main card status. Many people feel that this fight should be on the undercard and Machida-Hoger should take its place but I disagree. Huerta and Halverson both like to band so this one could prove to be a barn burner if these two lightweight prospects meet in the middle and trade shots.
Winner: Roger Huerta – TKO
Patrick Cote vs Scott Smith: To me this is a pick’em fight. It has all the makings to be an excellent slugfest but if they do stand and trade I feel Smith will get the edge. Cote will need to take Smith to the canvas where he’ll have to work his ground-and-pound all while looking for a chance to submit his opponent. Eventually I think Cote will be able to wear Smith down and take his back where he’ll latch on the rear naked choke.
Winner: Patrick Cote – Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Ryoto Machida vs. Sam Hoger: I think this will be an interesting fight for a round, maybe two but eventually Machida will finish Hoger with strikes. Machida was less then stellar in his last appearance against Vernon White but as he has shown in the past he is legit and he can give anyone a run for their money. Machida looked to be in excellent shape and I feel he’ll make a huge impact in his UFC by running through MFS’s Sam Hoger.
Winner: Ryoto Machida – TKO
Jorge Rivera vs Terry Martin: Many people know Terry Martin for being the victim to a flying knee knockout from James Irvin. With all that aside, Martin is a very talented fighter who likes to put his opponents on the canvas and pound on them. In this fight Rivera will be better in the clinch but as has been the case with a lot of my picks, I feel Martin will be able to put Rivera on the canvas where he can rain down ground-and-pound and eventually earn the referee stoppage.
Winner: Terry Martin – TKO (Referee Stoppage)
Tyson Griffin vs Frankie Edgar: Both fighters are coming into this battle with untarnished records but Griffin has quite a few more legit wins. Griffin has beaten some solid lightweights while utilizing excellent wrestling, ground-and-pound and submissions. I think Griffin will dominate Edgar by putting him on the canvas, softening him up and then eventually submitting him.
Winner: Tyson Griffin – Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Dustin Hazelett vs Diego Saraiva: Saraiva is coming into this fight as a late replacement for tough lightweight Melvin Guillard. One would have to assume that Hazelett has been working on his standup as he was expecting to face Guillard so I see him having the better striking in this fight. Saraiva is primarily a ground fighter so I see Hazelett winning by… ah what the hell TKO again!
Winner: Dustin Hazelett – TKO