UFC 128 Picks and Predictions

UFC 128 takes place Saturday night from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey and the main event is a battle for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua taking on Jon Jones. The card is filled with exciting fights and interesting storylines, so here is a look at who I like to prevail in the five main-card bouts.

UFC Light Heavyweight Championship: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (19-4) vs. Jon Jones (12-1) – This fight is tough to call. Jones seems like he is an unstoppable force coming in, and is actually favored by oddsmakers. However, this is the biggest fight of his life on the biggest stage and that could affect him mentally. Shogun has looked good in his wins over Lyoto Machida, but he has been off for 10 months because of a knee injury and his last time fighting off an injury, he looked less than impressive. Shogun will show Jones something he hasn’t seen yet, but I think Jones will return the favor. I think the key to this bout is Jones’ wrestling and I see him controlling Shogun in the early rounds before finishing with ground and pound in the third round.

UFC Bantamweight Bout: Urijah Faber (24-4) vs. Eddie Wineland (18-6-1) – Both fighters were former WEC champions and are now making their UFC debuts. Faber likely earns a title fight with a win and coming in he is clearly the better fighter in terms of all-around skills. I see Faber using his quickness and hand speed to set the tone early and then moving to his grappling and submission fighting late in round two to seal the deal. I like Faber by choke in the second.

UFC Lightweight Bout: Jim Miller (19-2) vs. Kamal Shalorus (7-0-2)
– Miller is working his way towards a title fight and in this bout, he faces an unbeaten but untested fighter. Shalorus has the better striking, but Miller had a good chin and a relentless attack with his grappling. I look for him to control the fight for the last two rounds to earn himself a decision victory.

UFC Middleweight Bout: Nate Marquardt (33-10-2) vs. Dan Miller (13-4) – Marquardt is favored to win and I think he will, but it will be a tough fight. Marquardt has struggled with wrestlers over recent years and Miller is a solid wrestler. The difference is that Miller is not as strong as some of the other wrestlers Marquardt has stumbled against and I think that will be the deciding factor in this fight. Marquardt will be able to avoid the ground more often due to his strength advantage and his striking and takedown ability will allow him to earn a close decision.

UFC Heavyweight Bout: Mirko Cro Cop (27-8-2) vs. Brendan Schaub (8-1) – This should be an entertaining fight between strikers, but in the end, I like Schaub by TKO as Cro Cop just does not have the explosiveness he once had. He has struggled against strikers in his UFC career, and I see this being no different. Look for Schaub to land some heavy punches in the second round that will finish the PRIDE legend.

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