Here are my picks for each of the five main-card bouts. The PPV begins at 9PM ET.
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UFC Welterweight Championship – Georges St. Pierre (21-2) vs. Jake Shields (26-4-1) – Shields may be the toughest opponent St. Pierre has faced in a while, but I still see the champion running through him. Shields’ striking is miles behind GSP and Shields’ takedown ability is nothing St. Pierre hasn’t seen before. I see St. Pierre keeping the fight standing and picking Shields apart before finishing him in the fourth round by TKO.
UFC Featherweight Champion – Jose Aldo (18-1) vs. Mark Hominick (20-8) – Aldo is an absolute beast and seems unstoppable. Hominick has very quick and powerful hands, but he has not had to deal with someone that has the leg kicks of Aldo. I see Aldo landing a few leg kicks in the first and throwing Hominick off his strategy. From there, look for the champion to pounce and eventually knock the challenger out in the second round.
Light Heavyweight Bout – Randy Couture (19-10) vs. Lyoto Machida (16-2) – My heart says Couture, but my head says Machida. I think Couture will have a good strategy and look to leave it all in the cage, but Machida has some solid grappling ability and will be too elusive in the striking to allow Couture to really implement his game plan. Give me Machida by decision in Couture’s retirement fight.
Lightweight Bout – Mark Bocek (9-3) vs. Ben Henderson (12-2) – Henderson is making his UFC debut and looking to make a statement against Bocek. I see Henderson controlling the fight on his feet and on the ground as he will be too strong for Bocek in both areas. Henderson is smart enough to stay out of submission attempts by Bocek, and that is all the Canadian really has to offer. Give me Benson by decision.
Light Heavyweight Bout – Vladimir Matyushenko (25-5) vs. Jason Brilz (18-3-1) – This fight should be competitive, but I like Brilz to win by decision. He has a good chin and he is relentless with his pursuit to grapple. I suspect once Brilz gets a hold of Matyushenko, he will be able to consistently get him to the ground and get the win in the judges’ eyes.
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