UFC 124

Georges St. Pierre vs Josh Koscheck

The trash-talking bad boy Josh Koscheck is looking to take the Welterweight Title from the current kingpin, Georges St. Pierre, and he’ll be doing it on enemy territory. You can forget about their last fight  more than 3 years ago as Koscheck was in the midst of becoming a fledging well-rounded fighter in the sport.  Koscheck has transformed himself from a wrestler-only fighter to a dynamic knockout artist that has racked up several big wins. Now that their coaching stint is done for TUF 12 it’s now for them to face off.

In my book GSP is the #2 pound for pound fighter (A. Silva being #1), and he has fought and beat guys who are one of the top practitioners in each in the varied martial art aspect of the sport; Jon Fitch/Matt Hughes (wrestling), Thiago Alves (Muay Thai), Karo Parysian/Matt Serra/BJ Penn (Judo and BJJ). So Josh Koscheck will not bring anything that GSP has not already faced. To beat GSP you have to be better than him in every aspect of MMA. If Koscheck wants to win he’s going to have to wait for GSP to make a mistake and catch him with a KO or a submission something that is very unlikely to happen.

Thiago ‘The Pitbull’ Alves vs John Howard

Whether you’re a casual or a hardcore fan this bout will surely be a fantastic fight. Thiago Silva and John Howard are two fighters with tremendous power that loves to stand a slug it out. This kind of fight will likely end in a brutal KO/TKO  and is one of the candidates for knockout of the night, if not, fight of the night.  But for tomorrow night I give the edge to the Pit Bull. He has more technical striking and has been in the cage with the top fighters in the Welterweight Division.  If Howard wants to win he’ll need to KO him (easier said than done) or take the fight to the ground from the get-go use wrestling to control Alves on the ground like GSP and Fitch did. There really isn’t any strategy for these guy to really come and execute. It’s all about who’s going to get knocked out first.

My Picks:

Georges St. Pierre beats Josh Koscheck
Sean McCorkle beats Stephan Struve
Jim Miller beats Charles Oliveira
Joe Stevenson beats Mac Danzig
Thiago Alves beats John Howard
Mark Bocek beats Dustin Hazelett
Dan Miller beats Joe Doerksen
Ricardo Almeida beats beats TJ Grant

UFC 106


Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin

Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin are back at it again and this time it’s to finish what they started. Tito has been out of the cage for quite sometime. His last fast was in May of 2008 against the now Champion Lyoto Machida. For the past few years Tito’s back has been plaguing his ability to train properly, and now he’s all healed and is looking for a run at the title. Last time we saw Forrest he got clobbered by pound for pound king, Anderson Silva. Forrest is always evolving his game and always comes back stronger than before. It’s been about 3 and a half years since he fought Tito and Griffin as matured into as one of the top fighters in the division even holding the Light Heavyweight title for a short while.

When the fight was announced I had no doubt that Forrest would take this fight. But after seeing how in shape Tito is in. He looks great in the UFC Countdown and at the weigh ins. The big mystery is that is he really healed from his back surgery. I sat back and thought about Tito’s past fights and he has always been a dominating fighter that takes his opponent down at will and usually controls the fight right from the beginning. I believe if the Tito of old is back he will take this fight. If you look at it objectively, Forrest has been busy fighting top fighters and has been getting better and better. You’re only as good as you’re last fight and both of these guys are coming off losses, but in the end I see Forrest with his hands raised.  As much as I like Tito Ortiz I would love to see him have another good run at the title and win it.

Josh Koscheck vs Anthony Johnson

I’m more excited about this fight than the main event. Both guys are from my hometown, San Jose, and it’s great to see the two of them representing in this event. Anthony Johnson has been making a name for himself by smashing his opponents with ease, but this time he’s facing one of the top guys in his weight division.  Koscheck is a great wrestling with the ever improving standup. Koscheck might want to stick to his bread and butter and use his wrestling to nuetralized Johnson’s reach. I see Koscheck taking Johnson down and pinning him against the cage for some ground and pound, and as long as he sticks to that game plan he’ll get the win.

My Picks:

Forrest Griffin beats Tito Ortiz
Josh Koscheck beats Anthony Johnson
Paulo Thiago beats Jacob Volkmann
Luiz Cane beats Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Amir Sadollah beats Phil Baroni
Marcus Davis beats Ben Saunders
Jake Rosholt beats Kendall Grove
Brock Larson beats Brian Foster
Cao Uno beats Fabricio Camoes
George Sotiropoulos beats Jason Dent