UFC 123

Quinton Jackson vs Lyoto Machida

Rampage Jackson and Lyoto Machida are two fighters who’s style are completely opposites and it should make for a very interesting fight. Both fighters are coming off losses yet they’re still a threat to take the title in their division and win for them will easily put them back into contention.

Rampage’s raw strength and power that can end the fight at any point. And Shogun recently proved that as elusive as Machida is known for he can still be knocked out. Machida’s counter attack style has stifled and frustrated many opponents and Rampage will be another victim of that tactic. Like with his previous fights Rampage is either dominant for the entire fight or he finds himself struggling round by round. Machida’s hit and run tactic will no doubt frustrate Rampage, and as it goes further into the rounds Rampage will only be more gun shy and prone to make mistakes.  It’ll be a competitive fight, but I see Machida getting the nod from the judges at the end of the night.

BJ Penn vs Matt Hughes

For these two, the score is tied with each fighter having a win over each other. This is a hard decision for me to choose who will win. Not because both fighters are equally experienced and they’ve had wins against each other, but that it’s difficult to know which “BJ Penn” will show up. Is it the relentless and merciless Hawaiian with World Class Brazilian Jujitsu that will step in the cage or will it be the shy island-boy whose unwilling to tap into his full potential? If it’s the former, then that BJ Penn is favored to win against almost any opponent. The latter? Not so much.  Matt Hughes has a long career of smashing his opponent with his wrestling and ground and pound, but in his last two fights he has show he’s much more diversified. I’m sure his KO win over Almeida was a surprise to all MMA fans who have followed him. The question is how much improved is Matt Hughes compared to their last fight? Penn was easily winning the first two rounds of their last fight only to get stopped in the third due to either a rib injury or bad cardio (pick one). We know that skill-wise BJ Penn is as well-rounded as an MMA fighter can get. If Penn can tap into that potential of his he can end the fight before his cardio should start to matter. I’ve been a fan of Matt Hughes for the longest time, and as much as I like to believe that his last two fights have showed that he has improved I don’t think it’s enough to stop the Prodigy.

My picks:

Lyoto Machida beats Quinton Jackson
BJ Penn beats Matt Hughes
Gerald Harris beats Maiquel Falcao
Phil Davis beats Tim Boetsch
Joe Lauzon beats George Sotiropoulos
Karo Parisyan beats Dennis Hallman
Edson Barboza beats Mike Lullo
Mark Munoz beats Aaron Simpson
Tyson Griffin beats Nik Lentz

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