Just a week after the last UFC in manchester, we are back in the states for UFC106. After losing it’s original huge (literally!) main event of Lesnar vs Carwin, this card still manages to be pretty solid with some great matchups. Unfortunately it’s looking like we won’t be seeing Cock Chestnar on a UFC card for some time as he apparently has a pretty serious illness and has undergone surgery on his intestine. Looks like he may have to change up his pre-fight diet of raw grizzly bear that he hunted down and killed with his own bare hands!
Very recent developments have seen one fight struck completely from the Main Card. Karo Parisyan seems to have had another of his panic attacks and dropped out of his fight with Dustin Hazelett yesterday. This moves the Paulo Thiago fight up to the main card and leaves Dana White mega-pissed at “the heat”, resulting in Karo most likely never fighting in the UFC again. No great loss in my opinion, a good fighter but an utter utter arsehole. I’ve really disliked him ever since the “Don’t you know who I am” incident in TUF. Bye Bye Karo.
There are some really hard fights to pick on this card that could go either way, so I’m prepared to take a bit of a hammering here. So far in my UFC predictions, I’ve got 56% overall on picking the winner but am utterly hopeless on ways to win and round and don’t expect that to improve based on this event. As usual if you are a betting man (or woman), please don’t rely on my tips to be making your millions with – cos I suck!!
Just for shits and giggles, I have littered my picks this time with Roganisms. Play along and see if you can spot them, I know it’s tough but give it a try. 😉
Let’s get straight into it shall we??
George Sotiropoulos 10-2-0 vs. Jason Dent 19-9-0 – Lightweight
Sotiropoppi-hoppi-polla looked pretty good last time out and his grappling was slick. Jason Dent was a whiney little bitch in the TUF9 house but didn’t look too sloppy in his fights and obviously did enough to impress Dana and get his contract. Dents best chance here has to be on the feet, as I’m not convinced sotiro-whats-he-called-ododopdopoulus has a striking game that compares. At some point in time this fight is going to hit the floor and I expect to see George unpronounceable-surname going through his guard like a knife through butter. George to pick up a submission win late on in rd 2. Dent is a tough, durable guy though and my backup pick (i know it’s cheating – sue me!) is to see Dent take a TKO win late on.
Caol Uno 25-12-4 vs. Fabricio Camoes 10-4-0 – Lightweight
Uno is a legend pure and simple, I thought he did enough to nick the win in his last fight against Spencer Fisher and was surprised the decision was unanimous, it was a much closer fight in my eyes (that is why I am not paid to be a UFC judge I guess). UFC debutant Camoes is a jiujitsu stud and a second degree blackbelt under Royler Gracie. Uno’s only ever lost 3 times by submission in his entire career, even Aoki couldn’t sub him! All his most recent losses have been by decision to tough tough guys… so we all know Uno is a tough dude who is hard to beat outright. However he has been prone to the odd KO right on the button a few times though – I’ve never seen a Camoes fight so can’t say definitively that he is a good enough striker to do that, but my internet research says he is a well rounded fighter. He apparently is able to use muay-thai and wrestling well and doesn’t rely soley on his elite level jiujitsu. I’m a big fan of Uno but I think I’m going to take Camoes as my underdog pick, via Sub in round 2. He is on a 7 fight tear with 6 of them coming by 1st round sub. I don’t think he’ll catch Uno quite as quick but he will catch him.
Brock Larson 26-3-0 vs. Brian Foster 12-4-0 – Welterweight
Both fighters are coming off losses in their most recent UFC outings, Foster was in a fight of the night against Rick Story, Larson took a surprise decision loss to Mike Pierce. I don’t expect the same to happen in this event and am fully expecting Larson to dry-hump his way to a decision win. That’s pretty much all I have to say about that other than “meh”.
Ben Saunders 7-1-2 vs. Marcus Davis 16-5-0 – Welterweight
We all know what happened to Marcus Davis last time out and he is probably still crying about his loss to Dan Hardy. He and Saunders both share a loss to a common opponent in Mike Swick, which was the only loss of Saunders’ career. This should be a win for Marcus Davis who is game on the feet and no slouch on the ground on the ground either. His aggressive style is a crowd pleaser and 2 fight of the night, 1 KO of the night and 1 submission of the night bonus are testament to that. I would invoke the shite nickname rule in my predictions for this fight but seeing as they both have crap ones it’s hard, although “Killa B” is marginally more dire than the ill-chosen “the irish handgrenade”. I think Davis will take this either by TKO late on or via decision. Can’t make up my mind but for purposes of my own scoring i’ll go with a decision
Kendall Grove 10-6-0 vs. Jake Rosholt 6-1-0 – Middleweight
Rosholt is coming off a good win against Chris Leben which won him submission of the night honours in his last fight. Grove took a loss to Ricardo Almeida and will be looking to get back to winning ways. Groves rangy style may pose problems initially but I’m expecting Rosholts wrasslin’ skills to see him through this fight. He’ll need to be careful of Grove if/when he gets “Da Sypder” on his back as those long legs could easily catch a triangle or help secure an armbar. Provided he has done his homework, I think Rosholt could give Grove his second loss in as many fights. Rosholt via decision
The Main Card:
Paulo Thiago 11-1-0 vs. Jacob Volkmann 9-0-0 – Welterweight
Another elite level jiujitsu player Thiago is coming into this fight off his first career loss to Jon Fitch via decision. Volkmann is making his UFC debut and this is tough first fight in the octagon for him. The master of the sneaky choke, Thiago also has power in his hands as his KO of Josh Koschek showed. I know next to nothing about Volkmann other than he has a ridiculous fight name (“christmas” !! Well it’s semi-seasonal I suppose) and his record suggests he is another good submissions guy. This could be a great MMA grappling match, but as ever when two great grapplers go at it, this may end up being a match decided on the feet. Nothing in Volkmanns 9 fight undefeated record suggests he can put people away with this hands or feet. That’s not to say he can’t and I guess we’ll see on the night. If it does stay upright , you have to favour Thiago. This is MMA and anything can happen though. I’m still gonna go with my gut and pick Thiago TKO rd 2
Amir Sadollah 1-1-0 vs. Phil Baroni 13-11-0 – Middleweight
Sadollah is the guy who waltzed through TUF then got injured and has a long lay off. He has only had 2 fights in the UFC and so his record looks iffy going in against a guy with Baroni’s fight CV. That said Baroni doesn’t appear to have improved much, sure he still has power but he isn’t a great striker, doesn’t seem too bothered about the ground game and looks to be quite open when he’s punching too. This is the fight that will prove whether Sadollahs TUF success was just a flash in the pan or if he really can start racking up the wins on the big show. If he can avoid the big shot and take it into the later rounds this should be all Sadollah. Sadollah TKO rd 3
Luiz Cane 10-1-0 vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 17-3-0 – Light Heavyweight
Little Nog joins his big bro in the UFC and as one of the top LHW in the world has added more interest to the one-time marquee division of the promotion. I think we could have the very real possibility of having both the nogs as UFC champs at the same time in the not so distant future, but first Nog minor has to get past Luis Cane, who is on a 3 fight tear right no. Cane has not faced the level of competition that Nogueira has though and I cannot see this going his way. On the feet he probably is the more powerful, but if Nog can get him down into his world then we’ll see Cane’s wrestling skills tested as he will want to stay off his back. This should be an awesome fight and I can’t decide how it’s going to end other than with Nogs hand raised But since that defeats the object of this post, I’m going to pick Nog to pick up the decision here
Josh Koscheck 13-4-0 vs. Anthony Johnson 8-2-0 – Welterweight
This is a VERY interesting fight. Both have good all round skills and KO power although Johnson definitely has the more deadly firepower in his hands . Although Johnsons striking is far from world class in terms of technique, it is VERY dangerous. He also has a massive reach advantage as he is a huge welterweight and has had troubles making weight in the past. Koscheck has it all to do to get inside and do some damage and will almost certainly have a difficult job getting there without eating some shots. If he does get past Johnsons hands he will then be faced with chimp strength in the clinch and Kos will really need to get back to the old school wrestler he started out as to take this fight. Visions of his match against Thiago keep flashing before me and although old pube head will no doubt be saying to himself over and over that it won’t happen again, Rumble Johnson is a bad guy to face off against when trying to prove it. I’m going with Johnson to knock Koscheks head into row Z sometime in the round 2. This is in spite of this awesome quote I found on sherdog via UFC.com: “I’ve sparred with Anthony before. He was afraid to get punched and he got really aggressive and came back swinging whenever I got in his face and put any pressure on him. A win will put me one step closer to my goal of becoming the UFC welterweight champion. When I whip this kid’s ass, I’m calling out Georges St. Pierre next.” Good luck with that Josh!Johnson TKO rd 2
Tito Ortiz 15-6-1 vs. Forrest Griffin 16-6-0 – Light Heavyweight
Tito’s still a big draw despite not fighting in a year and half. Forrest is a nice guy and is still awesome despite getting humiliated against Anderson Silva. This is a fight for the fans. A rematch of a previous encounter where Ortiz edged a decision, there is quite a lot at stake for both guys here. For Griffin a loss takes him to 0-3 in his last 3 fights in the UFC. A situation he has never found himself in before and one that see’s hardly any fighters being allowed to stick around in the UFC after getting into. That said you can’t imagine the UFC without Forrest. Everyone loves Forrest! He’s even the face of the UFC game!
Ortiz is an unknown quantity, he’s been injured, had back surgery and his missus had twins while he’s been away. Has he been able to evolve in that time as much as he really needs to if he’s to get back on top of the MMA game? Forrest has some serious mental fortitude and concentration issues and makes far too many mistakes when fighting. He even admits this.
This, for me, is the hardest fight to pick. I just don’t know how it plays out. Part of me says, we will see the Forrest who beat Shogun and Rampage back on form and part of me just remembers the Forrest who ran crying out of the octagon after Silva beat him up. But then when I think about Ortiz winning I just think back surgery and a game-plan everyone knows before he even steps in the octagon. Will the power and drive from the old days be back in his shoot? Will he once again be able to dominate Forrest with his GnP? It really could go either way.
I’m just gonna go out on a limb and say that I think this plays out pretty much the same as the first match. The early part of this fight will play straight into Ortiz hands, but as the fight goes on and Forrest warms up, Ortiz will slow and Griffins gas-tank and durability will see him through. This one could go the distance but for Ortiz first fight back after such a layoff, I think a late finish from Griffin could be likely. Forrest TKO rd3 Maybe we will see the old Tito back (I’ll bet my house Rogan says something like this on the night), but I think it’s more likely we will see a re-focussed and determined Griffin. Either way this should be an awesome scrap and a great main event!
****** UPDATED WITH RESULTS **********
George Sotiropoulos vs Jason Dent – My Pick: Sotriopoulos Sub Rd2. Actual: Sotiropoulos Sub rd2
Caol Uno vs Fabricio Camoes – My Pick Camoes Sub Rd2. Actual: Majority Draw
Brian Foster vs Brock Larson – My Pick: Larson Decision. Actual: Foster Submission via strikes
Marcus Davis vs Ben Saunders – My Pick: Davis late tko/decision Actual: Saunders KO knees rd 1
Kendall Grove vs Jake Rosholt – My Pick: Rosholt decision Actual: Grove Sub rd 1
Amir Sodallah vs Phil Baroni – My Pick: Sadollah TKO rd3 Actual: Sadollah decision
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs Luis Cane – My Pick: Nogueira Decision Actual: Nogueira TKO rd 1
Paulo Thiago vs Jacob Volkmann – My Pick: Thiago tko rd 2 Actual:Thiago decision
Anthony Johnson vs Josh Koscheck – My Pick: Johnson TKO rd 2 Actual: Koscheck Submission rd2
Forrest Griffin vs Tito Ortiz – My Pick: Griffin TKO rd 3Actual: Griffin Decision