UFC 114 Picks & Predictions

The long-awaited fight between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans finally takes place tonight, as the main event of UFC 114 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Here are my picks for that bout and the other four fights on tonight’s PPV card.

UFC Light Heavyweight Bout – Quinton Jackson (30-7) vs. Rashad Evans (19-1-1) – This fight should be exciting as both clearly dislike each other. I think the key to victory will be for Jackson to use his size on Evans and for Evans to use his quickness and wrestling on Jackson. In the end, I like Evans to utilize his hand speed and mix in more wrestling to keep Jackson off guard. Look for Evans to also utilize leg kicks, which Jackson has shown he can’t defend. I am going with Evans to win by decision in a tough fight.

UFC Middleweight Bout – Michael Bisping (19-3) vs. Dan Miller (11-3) – Bisping is hungry for a strong showing after his tough decision loss to Wanderlei Silva. Miller is a game fighter that will keep Bisping on his toes, but Bisping has too much talent and big-fight experience for Miller. Look for the Brit to win by TKO in the second or third round.
UFC Heavyweight Bout – Todd Duffee (6-0) vs. Mike Russow (12-1) – Duffee has been an explosive monster in his MMA career, as he is 6-0 with six KO’s. Russow has the experience edge and will be the better grappler, but the fight always starts on the feet, where Duffee has a clear edge. Look for Russow to push Duffee a little bit before Duffee lands the big punch and scores a TKO late in round one.

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Saturday MMA Review: 8/15

Here’s a weekly rundown of MMA content from Ben Goldstein of CagePotato.com:

– At last weekend’s UFC 101 show, Anderson Silva got his balls back with a stunning knockout of Forrest Griffin and BJ Penn taught Kenny Florian a very painful lesson.

– Brian Bowles scored the upset of the year with his shocking first-round KO of WEC bantamweight ruler Miguel Torres. Unfortunately, Bowles got paid peanuts for the win, and broke his hand in the process.

– Inspired by Nick Diaz’s marijuana-related screwjob of Strikeforce, we counted down the 10 most cursed MMA events of all time.

– The UFC has recently been stockpiling crusty old-timers, including Vladimir Matyushenko and Phil Baroni. Can a “Veterans” season of The Ultimate Fighter be far behind?

– We took a look at some classic MMA moments, crudely recreated in MS Paint.

– Notorious MMA steroid abuser Josh Barnett sold his last shred of dignity in a freaky pro-wrestling bout in Japan.

– Hit up CagePotato.com starting tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET for our liveblog of “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg.” Get familiar with the card by reading our interview with Cris Cyborg, some last-minute betting advice, as well as our always provocative “Ben vs. Ben” debate.

Top 10 Significant UFC Fights

With UFC 100 a week away on July 11, I decided to look back at what got the UFC to this point. Here is my take on what I believe are the 10 most significant fights in UFC history, helping the company become what it is today.

1. Stephan Bonner vs. Forrest Griffin – Ultimate Fighter Finale 1: This fight was not only the most memorable fight to watch, but may also be the fight that really pushed the UFC into the next level of mainstream popularity. Following the debut season of The Ultimate Fighter, a show which UFC President Dana White and co-owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta funded out of their own pocket, the finale took place live on Spike TV, which was airing live fights for the first time in the history of cable television. The UFC knew it needed something big to happen to not only keep a cable television deal, but earn future advertisers, and also prolong its reality show for future seasons. Bonner vs. Griffin delivered just that. The two fought to the very end and both were so even, it was impossible to decide a clear winner for most fans. The fight at one point drew 10 million viewers, which was just what the UFC needed. The back-and-forth, non-stopped action gave the UFC an identity to fans that had never seen it before and got the ball rolling that has allowed the UFC to snowball into what it is today.

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Friday MMA Review 5/1

Here’s a weekly rundown of MMA content from Ben Goldstein of CagePotato.com:

– Congenital amputee Kyle Maynard’s MMA debut went about as well as we thought it would.

– Clearly bored with the garbage-ass challengers he’s been getting in the UFC’s middleweight division, 185-pound king Anderson Silva will go up to light-heavyweight again to face Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 in August. Meanwhile, Nate Marquardt and Demian Maia will be facing off to determine who really deserves the next middleweight title shot.

– Gina Carano looked hot at Kevin Randleman’s wedding.

– Despite some intense infighting, Team U.S. was able to put its first victory on the board on the last episode of The Ultimate Fighter, while coach Michael Bisping vanished into thin air.

– Japanese promotion DREAM is putting together the greatest MMA freak show in history with their “World Superman Championship,” which will feature steroid-snitch Jose Canseco, pituitary case Hong Man Choi, Bob Sapp, and five more warriors, hopefully fighting to the death.

– Speaking of freak shows, Fedor Emelianenko used his 70-pound weight advantage to toss around Shinya Aoki in a grappling exhibition at the last M-1 Challenge event.

– Less than two months after Nick Diaz and Scott Smith scored victories at “Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz,” the two will be fighting each other at “Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields.”

– Sign of the apocalypse #783: Kung Fu Football.

– Kim Couture’s wife pulled out of her upcoming fight against Miesha Tate, and Tate responded by telling everyone that Kim and The Natural are getting a divorce. Real classy.

– By forcibly retiring Chuck Liddell, is Dana White looking out for his friend’s health or his company’s wallet? Little from column A, little from column B?

UFC 92 New Years Bash Preview

On Saturday December 27 at 7:00PM ET, the UFC will put on its biggest show of the year in hopes to close 2008 out with a huge bang. Once again live at the MGM Grand Arena the UFC offers a stacked card with two title fights, a grudge match that’s roots come from the old Pride FC of Japan, as well as two other bouts that feature popular names.

Cheick KongoCheick Kongo vs. Mufasta Al Turk
The first fight of the evening pits massive heavyweights against each other when French kick boxer Cheick Kongo squares off with British submission wrestler Mufasta Al Turk. Considering the contrast in styles, look for Kongo to keep distance and separation with his brutal leg kicks, which should set up his heavy-handed knockout punches. Conversely, Al Turk will attempt to take the French kickboxer down and catch him at his weak point, which is on the ground. This fight will most likely not go to a judge’s decision.

C.B. Dollaway vs. Mike Massenzio
The first fight is followed by a battle between the ‘The Ultimate Fighter 7’ runner up and UFC favorite C.B. Dollaway and Mike Massenzio. Both fighters are stand out wrestlers so the fight will more than likely wind up on the ground with both men attempting to use ground and pound techniques. The edge should go to Dollaway, with his striking and submission game being more complete than Massenzio’s. This fight may not draw huge excitement in terms of blow after blow punches, but it does have hidden potential for a quick, don’t blink submission finish.

Rampage vs. the Axe Murderer III
After two vicious fights and two even more vicious knockouts in Japan’s Pride Fighting Championship, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson – the former UFC light heavyweight champion – will face the ultra aggressive former Pride champion Wanderlei Silva for a third time. The first two fights were wars, with both ending in knockouts by Silva. But both were also early in Rampage’s inexperienced career when he was just a brawler with a wrestling background, and who was facing a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and Muai Thai expert. Since their last meeting, Rampage has immensely improved his boxing and technical skills, and hopes to avenge his previous losses.

The Axe Murderer will look to go out and attack, close the distance and clinch to unleash vicious knees and elbows, which has stopped Jackson in previous matches. Even though Silva has not used the Muai Thai clinch as much in the UFC, he is still a heavy hitting, wild swinging fighter who is one of the most entertaining and dangerous strikers in the business. Look for fireworks between the two and don’t get up or you may miss a brutal knockout.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir
The Interim Heavyweight championship is on the line when Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and fellow Ultimate Fighter 8 coach Frank Mir will put everything on the line for the Interim Heavyweight title and the chance to fight former WWE star and UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in a merging of the two titles. Both men have better-than-average striking skills with Mir excelling at kickboxing and Nogueira at boxing, but this is a fight between two Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belts that will likely go to the ground and stay there. Mir is a finisher, but Nogueira has never been submitted or knocked out in MMA. Mir has gassed and been TKO’d a few times before, so look for Nogueira to set him up for very slow and technical Jiu Jitsu styles, and then go for sweeps to mount and pound Frank. Mir’s best chance is to get the take down, pass the guard and hope to choke Antonio out. The winner of the co-main event will get Brock Lesnar next, which should be a great fight.

Forrest GrffinForrest Griffin vs. Rashad “Sugar” Evans
The Light Heavyweight Championship features two reality TV superstars in former Georgia cop Forrest Griffin and ex-Michigan State wrestler Rashad “Sugar” Evans. Griffin is the Season One winner of “The Ultimate Fighter,” while Evans was the champ of Season Two. Both will meet to see who is the best at 205 in the UFC.

Griffin is known for his exciting wars with Stephan Bonner, Tito Ortiz and Shogan Rua. He’ll attempt to out-will and out-slug the undefeated Evans, who has a highlight reel of knockouts including a crushing overhand right of Chuck Liddell and a head-kick to Sean Salmon. These two fighters are sure to put on a show and this is expected to be the biggest fight card the UFC has had all year. All MMA fighters and fans alike will be watching to see the ever growing and always exciting 205 pound division in one of the most thrilling sports around.

UFC 92 has the superstars and match up to bring more and more people to the growing sport of Mixed Martial Arts. As usual, Dana White and the UFC team always look to thrill, as well as top previous fight cards and superstar matchups. Don’t miss these fights.

–Written By TSR Contributor John Duke

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