Friday, August 27, 2010

UFC 118 Predictions

* Randy Couture over James Toney, R1, TKO
I'm nervously confident about this fight. Randy's just going to take him down in the first 10 seconds, and get an easy submission or ground-and-pound win, right? Right? Some fighters I believe might be dumb enough to stand against a pro boxer just to prove they're tough, but Couture isn't an idiot. He'll just do what needs to be done (nay, the only strategy that can be done) to get the win. I'm not sure why this fight is happening. Nobody believes in the "boxing vs. MMA" rivalry debate, since it's pretty clear that nine times out of 10, the MMA guy will just use a takedown and take the boxer totally out of his element. This isn't difficult. It's even less difficult when it's a washed-up guy like Toney looking for a paycheck. I find it hard to believe that Dana White would risk the slight chance of Randy Couture, one of the signature legends of the UFC, getting knocked out and embarrassed by a guy in his first MMA fight unless he knew for sure that Couture was going to easily win and have Toney eat his words. I don't care how hard Toney has been working on his TD defense, a guy who's been training for a few months hasn't trained long enough for a lifetime wrestler like Couture to easily get him on the ground. This one is a cakewalk. Right?

* Kenny Florian over Gray Maynard, decision
Florian, for all of his wins, may actually be one of the more underrated fighters in the game. Let's face it; if B.J. Penn didn't exist, Florian would be the UFC lightweight champion right now and would be on a mighty unbeaten streak. I just think Kenny is too good to be beaten by anyone right now, even the very impressive Maynard. Some might argue that Maynard (who holds a dominant win over Frankie Edgar from two years ago) should've gotten the first crack at the champion since Maynard is only 9-0 in his career and 7-0 in the UFC, but Maynard unfortunately is the LW division's answer to Jon Fitch. Dull decision after dull decision; it doesn't make for an impressive highlight reel. I see Florian keeping the fight standing or doing enough off his back going for submissions to counter Maynard's wrestling advantage, and getting the hometown decision victory.

* Demian Maia over Mario Miranda, R1, submission
This is Maia's first fight since "the incident," spoken about in hushed tones in the Maia household. It was just last April that Maia was made to look silly for five rounds by a clearly unmotivated Anderson Silva, and yet even while Maia looked outclassed to the nth degree, he won over some fans simply by keeping fighting while Silva dicked around. Miranda's pretty light resume makes this fight seem like a build-back-up fight for Maia. Could be another submission-of-the-night award in the offing.

* Nate Diaz over Marcus Davis, decision
Ugh, can both of these douchebags suffer a double knockout? If Diaz had a brain he'd take Davis down and tap him out, but I can see Diaz standing and trading pitty-pat shots for three rounds with Davis in an effort to 'make the fight exciting.' The only victory here will be if the Diaz crew can avoid another embarrassing post-fight brawl.

* B.J. Penn over Frankie Edgar, R2, submission
Good news, everyone! B.J. is actually going to try in this one! Yes, the great Penn has suffered one of his rare losses, and thus has temporarily rededicated himself to training and actually giving a crap about the sport he competes in! All right! So, expect Penn to win here, take a couple more victories and then lose another fight due to laziness. This guy is a broken record. Edgar figured this out in April when simply by dint of working harder than Penn, he eked out a razor-thin decision to win the title. This time, presumably Penn will be smart enough to actually take the fight to the ground instead of standing and trading punches with Edgar all fight long. There is really no way Penn should lose this fight, but then again, I thought the same thing back in April.

* Joe Lauzon over Gabe Ruediger, R1, submission, LOL at Ruediger actually being back in the UFC
* Nick Osipczak over Greg Soto, decision
* Nik Lentz over Andre Winner, decision
* Mike Pierce over Amilcar Alves, decision
* Dan Miller over John Salter, R2, submission

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