UFC 113 Picks & Predictions

Tonight brings the rematch of Lyoto Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua with UFC 113: Machida vs. Shogun 2 from the Bell Centre in Montreal. The card doesn’t have a lot of overwhelming bouts outside of the main event, but each fight should be interesting. Here are my picks for tonight’s main card:

UFC Light Heavyweight Championship – Lyoto Machida (16-0) vs. Mauricio Rua (18-4) – Shogun exposed weaknesses in Machida’s once-thought unstoppable style in the first meeting at UFC 104. Now, in this rematch, look for Machida to approach the fight from a different style and make the proper adjustments to win this fight decisively. Shogun gave one of his best efforts at UFC 104 and he has the potential to win this fight, but Machida has a better team around him to have him prepared to win this contest. I like Machida to win by TKO in round four.

UFC Welterweight Bout – Josh Koscheck (16-4) vs. Paul Daley (23-8-2) – This fight will determine who will coach alongside UFC Welterweight Champion, Georges St. Pierre, in the next Ultimate Fighter and also be the new No. 1 contender to St. Pierre’s title. This fight can be won by Koscheck if he checks his ego at the door and takes the fight to the ground as Daley is the better and more powerful striker but struggles on the ground. Look for Koscheck to feel Daley out early, but eventually rely on his wrestling skills to get the fight to the ground where he will sink in a choke in round two.

UFC Heavyweight Bout – Kimbo Slice (4-1) vs. Matt Mitrione (1-0) – As much as the UFC tries to deny it, they are setting up Slice with as easy of opponents as they can to allow him to build up some wins to sell pay-per-views. Mitrione can win this fight, but his inexperience in the octagon and his poor conditioning will probably allow Slice to earn a TKO in round two. Slice has started training with American Top Team, so one has to assume that he is developing into a better all-around fighter.

UFC Lightweight Bout – Sam Stout (16-5-1) vs. Jeremy Stephens (17-5) – This could be the fight of the night as both like to scrap. Stephens has more power in his hands, but Stout is the superior striker in terms of technique and combinations. Look for Stout to use his speed and quickness to out-strike Stephens early and then take the fight to the ground where he will unleash some ground-and-pound to secure a unanimous decision victory.

UFC Middleweight Bout – Patrick Cote (14-5) vs. Alan Belcher (14-5) – These two are evenly matched but Cote is coming off a lengthy layoff after knee surgery following his last bout with Anderson Silva. It has been about 18 months since that fight and during that time, Belcher has had three impressive performances against respectable opponents. Belcher has improved greatly over the last two years and Cote may be biting off more than he can chew in this return bout. Look for Belcher to take over the fight the longer it goes as Cote will tire from the layoff. I like Belcher by unanimous decision.

Be sure to tune in to UFC 113 tonight and take part in the WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber giveaway for your chance to win a pair of official WEC gloves and a t-shirt each signed by Urijah Faber. For more on the contest, check it out here.

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