UFC 92: The Ultimate of 2008 Predictions
In the final UFC event of 2008, UFC 92, we get to see battles betweeen two Ulimate Fighters (season one and two), two submission superstars, and two long-time rivals. Although this PPV doesn’t have the best fight card we’ve seen so far this year, the three great main events should be entertaining enough to get your attention. Here are my predictions below.
Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans
The reigning UFC light heavyweight champion, Forrest Griffin, will finally have his first title defense against the undefeated Rashad Evans. I’ll admit it. I wasn’t impressed with Forrest’s last two victories. Even now, I still can’t believe he’s a title holder, and I highly doubt he’s going to show us anything different this time. But this doesn’t mean Rashad Evans has what it takes to take out Forrest Griffin for sure. After defeating Michael Bisping by split decision, and knocking out Chuck Liddell in the first round by luck or not, his ability is still questionable. This will be a good test for both fighters to prove that either one deserves the title. If the fight goes beyond the second round, I’d expect Forrest picking Rashad apart. Will Forrest be the first to put an “L” in Rashad’s record? We’ll find out on Saturday.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir
Nogueira, arguably one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, in my opinion, is the toughest dude on the planet. The scariest thing about “Minotauro” is not his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it’s his heart, his belief of never giving up until the time runs out. Just number how many times you see him get beat then submit. Believe it or not, if you put him and Fedor Emelianenko in a fight with no time limit, the winner will be Nogueira.
Don’t count Frank Mir out though. Compare the first time you saw him after his motorcycle accident and now, you can clearly tell that big beer gut is gone. In his last fight against the now UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, he won the fight in Nogueira’s style. Frank is a very talented and intelligent fighter. When in shape, he’s a dangerous threat to many top heavyweight contenders. However, like the majority, my money is on Minotauro simply because he’s been around for too long and has fought all the toughest dudes around the world. Even though Frank Mir comes out to this fight as a heavy underdog, we should expect an all out submission war between the two BJJ wizards.
Quinton Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva
These two exciting fighters will clash the third time on Saturday, with Jackson coming back from his title lost to Forrest Griffin by unanimous decision and Silva coming back from his first win over Keith Jardin by KO after three straight losses. My prediction is Silva is going to win the third time by TKO based on three reasons. First, I have a feeling that “Rampage” is not mentally ready for this fight after his last defeat. Second, I really like Silva’s new training regimen and I think it’s going to work out for him. Third, watching how Silva performed in his last fight shows that he’s more motivated than he’s ever been before. Expect to see the good old Wanderlei Silva in “Axe Murderer” mode, but it’s not going to be as easy as the first two times as the rules in UFC are different from Pride.
Yushin Okami vs. Dean Lister
Hopefully this time the Japanese warrior can give us an interesting fight like he did in his last fight against the deceased MMA veteran Evan Tanner. If he’s able to get by the submission expert Dean Lister with a non-decision win, then Dana White shouldn’t have anymore excuses for not granting him a title shot against the invincible Anderson Silva. Okami by TKO.
Matt Hamill vs. Reese Andy
After a devastating lost to Rich Franklin in UFC 88, I really hope Hamill would come back and kick some ass this time. The one-dimensional Greco-Roman wrestler that we saw in the Ultimate Fighter Season Three has become a pretty good boxer in the past couple years. However, as we’ve seen so far, his gas tank has been his biggest reason for his losses. Let’s wish he’s done some extensive cardio training for this fight. If he doesn’t gas out, he should TKO the former IFL star Reese Andy before the end of second round.
Cheick Kongo vs. Mustapha Al-Turk
Kongo should either KO or TKO Al-Turk in a stand-up game assuming there won’t be any surprises.