I’m posting this a little late. I’m on my Blackberry, so I didn’t have the option to add the UFC image.
It’s the end of the year and we get to have one bad-ass fight card. Having two title fights and a highly anticipated grudge match between two very exciting fighters is a great way to cap off 2008.
Let’s start with the Evans v. Forrest. These guys came from obscurity to highly touted fighters in their division. Say what you want about these TUF alumni, but they proved that they deserved to be in this position with every fight they won. This fight proposes an interesting match up. Evans is a great wrestler that has developed into a striking machine and coming from a Greg Jackson camp only adds to his credibility. On the other side of the octagon Forrest is a machine that is almost unbreakable. His impressive wins over Shogun and Rampage catapulted him to the top of the rankings.
Evans has proved he has knock out power and Forrest is as well rounded as a fighter can get. But I see Forrest giving Evans his first loss. Forrest has been in hard fought-battles and came out as the victor. Forrest’s reach advantage and technical striking will keep Evans at bay. As the fight progresses to the later rounds Forrest will have the cardio and experience to shutdown him down.
A grudge match that has been in the making for half a decade is one of the most anticipated fights this year. Rampage will get the opportunity to avenge his two losses from Wanderlei Silva, a fighter who has given Rampage two of the worst beatings in his career. But since those losses Rampage has reinvented himself and in the process won the Light Heavyweight title and defended it against Dan Henderson.
Wanderlei has the mental edge coming into the fight because he has already beaten Rampage twice. Rampage ditched is old trainer and opt to train with Wolf’s Lair. That should definite help his game, but it won’t be enough to stop the Axe Murderer.
Mir and Noguiera’s title fight will be a true battle of attrition. They are both seasoned veterans who had a debilitating accident in their past and has come back against the odds to title contention. Before Mir’s motorcycle accident he was considered one of the top heavyweights in the world, but his road back in the UFC was less than stellar to put it mildly. Noguiera has been in it with the best there is in MMA. His experience and list of victory easily puts him in the hall of fame of the sport.
Mir has his young age to his advantage, where as Noguiera’s long history of being in those brutal battles may have taken its toll. Noguiera is not has fast and nimble as he was 2 years ago. It was obvious in his Heath Herring fight and Tim Sylvia fight. I see Mir coming in and throwing lots of kick to slow Nog down. Mir will keep the fight standing as long as possible and will hold Nog on the ground for a decision win.
Forrest Griffin beats Rashad Evans
Frank Mir beats Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera
Wanderlei Silva beats Quinton Jackson
Cheick Kongo beats Mustafa Al Turk
CB Dollaway beats Mike Massenzio
Yushin Okami beats Dean Lister
Matt Hamill beats Andy Reese
Ryo Chonan beats Brad Blackburn
Antoni Hardonk beats Mike Wessel
Dan Everson beats Patrick Barry