Anderson Silva vs Stephan Bonnar
An underrated fight in my opinion, and due to the fact that it’s only three rounds gives Bonnar a shot. I’m not saying Bonnar is going to win this but he does have the tools to make this fight interesting, and he has shown he can use his wrestling well enough to get a win. I’m am very curious as to see what Bonnar’s gameplan for this fight is because we have all seen Bonnar fight, and he comes to fight but if tries to take the Chael approach he could make this interesting. Silva is on another level though, and I think although Bonnar should makes this a scrap, Silva’s striking will prove too much as he will be too elusive for Bonnar. I’m expecting a three round war and I don’t see Bonnar going away but I see Anderson Silva out striking Bonnar, and taking the fight by decision.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs Dave Herman
The Legend returns to the octagon after recovering from a broken arm he sustained in defeat to Frank Mir almost ten months ago. I was leaning towards picking Big Nog in this one, and I think everyone believes this is a gimme fight, but Herman is no joke. Sure he has lost two fights in a row, but to caliber opponents in Struve and Nelson. Herman’s ground game is not even close to Nogueira’s, and while I’m positive if it hits the ground Nogueira will win, I don’t think it will this fight. Herman predicted a submission win in round two, but I think he will knockout Big Nog in round one. I’m just not crazy about Big Nog’s chin lately, and Herman has an arsenal of deadly strikes. I believe Herman will upset here.
Glover Teixeira vs Fabio Maldonado
If you wanted to see a war, you got one here. Two strikers will go toe to toe, and I highly doubt this one will go to a decision. I’ve always liked Teixeira and wondered for years when he would be in the UFC, and I’m glad he is because he will become a fan favorite. Maldonado is one of the best body punchers I’ve ever seen, and has an iron chin. The only question I have here is that if it hits the ground, can he handle Teixeira who is a black belt? I doubt it but I think that this one is going to be a slugfest, and Glover is going to get the better of it and beat up Maldonado until the refs stops this one. Glover by TKO in round one!
Jon Fitch vs Erick Silva
Fitch will return to the octagon after recovering from injuries that have kept out of the octagon and avenging his shocking defeat to fellow welterweight contender Johny Hendricks. Fitch carries an impressive UFC record at 13-2-1, and although he is not a fan favorite, he knows how to win. Silva is on a tear, destroying his opponents early in the first round, and seems to be the next big thing in the UFC. His striking is crisp and lethal, and he has solid judo and Jui-Jitsu in which he holds black belts in. This is a tough fight, and I’m surprised Silva is the favorite. I know given his recent success, but Fitch has been in this game for a long time and until recently has enjoyed more success than. I think Fitch will put forth a battle in this fight, and although that might be shocking, I actually think he will put away Silva in the third round. I’m unsure of Silva’s cardio but Fitch is among the best, and I think he’s going to outlast Silva’s hype. Fitch will get his first finish in more than 5 years, and it will be shocking!
Phil Davis vs Wagner Prado
The first time these guys squared off it unfortunately ended in a no contest after Phil Davis accidently poked Wagner Prado in the eye, and was deemed unable to continue. Now they will meet again, and I’m pretty excited. The reason for my excitement is that Prado’s energy is insane, you can tell he loves this sport, and is ready to go. Davis doesn’t have the best striking but his ground game is really good, so it will be interesting to see where this one will take place. If Prado can keep it standing, I think he could take the upset here, but if Davis can get some takedowns in and try work his submission game, I believe Davis will take. With that said, Davis has more experience in the UFC, and although fighting on Prado’s turf, I think he will takedown Prado several times in route to a decision victory.
Demian Maia vs Rick Story
I’ve gone back and forth with predictions on this one, and boy is this really an awesome fight. Maia will look to build off his quick win over Dong Hyun Kim in his welterweight debut. Maia has always been a top ranked fighter, and was just a one trick pony with his submission game, but his striking has progressed well enough to be known now. Story will look to build off his decision victory over Brock Jardine that ended a two fight losing streak. While I like Maia and he obviously the favorite, I like what Story brings to the table. His lost over Brenneman is why people may be down on his but you have to realize that was put together basically the day before the fight, and that definitely if not sufficient enough time to gameplan against anyone. I think if they fought again, Story would have his way but I’m not going to get into that. Story can wrestle, and strike and if he puts together a gameplan similar to that of when he defeated Thiago Alves, he could upset here. His takedown defense, and inability to get back up has been his weak spots and Maia definitely can exploit that. But, I’m thinking he keeps this one standing and outstrikes Maia to a decision victory.