Jason Black vs. Matt Grice
I’ve seen Jason Black maybe one time, and don’t know much about Grice. I’ll pick Jason Black just to make a pick, but I could be wrong.
Demian Maia vs. Ryan Jensen
Jensen is coming off a loss to Thales Leites and Maia hasn’t lost yet, but thena gain hasn’t fought anyone yet. I give experience to Jensen, but I pick Demian Maia to win in the second round.
Jorge Gurgel vs. Alvin Robinson
I don’t think Alvin Robinson can beat Jorge Gurgel. They are both solid fighters, but I pick Robinson to go 0-2 in the UFC.
Stephan Bonnar vs. Eric Schafer
This is a fight for Stephan to win and win easily. He hasn’t proven himself very well since TUF, or at least no where near the way Forrest Griffin has. I expect Stephan to win easily, especially if they stay standing. “Red” better hope to get on the ground.
Josh Burkman vs. Forrest Petz
Both gusy have had some good fights. Burkman’s losses came against top notch fighters (Jeremy Horn, Karo, and Jon Fitch). Petz beat Luigi Fiorvanti and had a loss to Marcus Davis. I have to pick Burkman to win, even though Petz will fight well. Burkman has fought with the best and I think he can beat Petz.
Kalib Starnes vs. Alan Belcher
If it matters both guys have lost to Okami. I’ll be quick and pick Kalib Starnes, honestly this is just by looking at who they have beaten. Starnes has beaten Leben and Jason McDonald. I always have thought Starnes is underrated.
Jason MacDonald vs. Yushin Okami
Both of these guys fight histories look like an all star cast. Especially Okami who holds wins over: Mike Swick, Rory Singer, Kalib Starnes, Alan Belcher, Nick Thompson and last but not least Anderson Silva. This fight is almost for sure going to be for a chance at the title. I pick Okami to win. I think he is too good for McDonald, and do not think McDonald can beat Silva or Franklin.
Tim Sylvia vs. Brandon Vera
This is an interesting fight. One year ago this would have been a HUGE fight, but Vera has taken a year off and Sylvia has been declining since loosing to Randy. I think this will still be a great fight. There are some unknowns. Will Brandon Vera be rusty? If Vera is in top shape and is as good as he was when he left he will beat Sylvia. I think Tim Sylvia’s reach will be a problem for Brandon though. Also, Sylvia is all together much bigger, and Vera is a small Heavyweight. I do not think we are far from seeing Vera get a title shot. With Randy retiring, people are saying the winner of this fight will get the winner of the Kongo vs. Nog. fight. Win or loose Vera will get a title shot. If he looses he may drop to Light heavyweight and get a shot if he wins he will get a shot. With all that said, I think Sylvia is on his way out and Vera who was once heralded the next big thing will step up. With Couture out the UFC needs a star at the Heavyweight divison, if Vera wins that will quickly solve that problem. I will go a step further, I believe Vera will be your next Heavyweight Champ, if he is in top shape and is not rusty that is.
Rich Frankin vs. Anderson Silva
Oh boy, this is a good fight. I love Rich Franklin. He would make my top 3 list of MMA fighters and he is good, real good. This is a much bigegr fight for Franklin than for Silva. He had proven he is no doubt the best 185-lb contender. None of the other guys can beat him, however, he can’t beat Silva. He needs to win this fight or he is in trouble. Anderson Silva is good, real good. I would say he is most likely to kill someone in the octagon. Rich Franklin cannot fight Silva like he did last time. He has to stay away from that Thai Clinch which killed him. This is in Franklin’s hometown, he will have the crowd. If he will ever beat Silva now is the time. He is an underdog though. People have to ask, what makes this different than last time? I think he has trained hard and is mentally tough. I am going to pick Rich to win. Why? I don’t know, I am going with my gut and going against all reason and logic, but they are my picks so thats okay. I have to say though that a Silva vs. Okami fight sounds good seeing as Okami beat Silva before, but it won’t happen if I am right.
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