This is the biggest event UFC has assemble to date, selling a mind boggling 55,000+ tickets and deserving so this is also one of the best MMA cards in recently memory and in my opinion going in it is the strongest card since UFC 100. What is also cool is that through Facebook, SpikeTV and the PPV every fight would be broadcasted. So let’s see…
Georges St-Pierre vs Jake Shields
Georges St-Pierre by Judges’ Decision
One of the guys in my local card store, Chameleon Comics is convinced that Jake Shields is the one to beat GSP. A year ago I would have agreed with him but now I am very skeptical. Shields had a very tough weight cut the last time around and looked sluggish against Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann. Jake Sheilds was quite fortunate the judges saw the fight for him. It would have put a huge damper of things if he lost. Anyways it almost universally agreed upon that GSP’s main weakness is his chin and Jake Shields main weakness is his striking so I don’t see him exploiting that. Plus GSP has beaten Jon Fitch and Josh Koschek already, both excellent wrestlers. GSP is going to use his own world class wrestling to keep the fight standing and get the better of the scrambles and use his boxing to take Shields out of his game. The only question is can GSP finish Shields.
Jose Aldo vs Mark Hominick
Jose Aldo by Submission in the Second
Aldo has been on a tear since joining the WEC and I don’t see him cooling off in the UFC. Mark Hominick has two things going for him. He may in fact be the best striker Aldo has ever faced in his career and he would definitely be the hometown favorite. But Jose Aldo is excellent in all areas of the MMA as he is always a threat standing, clinching or on the ground. In fact this is where we may actually see Aldo’s slick BJJ as taking him down and looking for the submission is the smart thing to do. If that fails, there is always plan B. Stand with Hominick, avoid big blows and take advantage of openings.
Vladimir Matyushenko vs Jason Brilz
Jason Brilz by Judges’ Decision
This is interesting matchmaking as this bout pairs up two fighters known mostly for their wrestling. Brilz may have actually caught a break when Phil Davis was moved up to face Little Nog as he would have been the heavy underdog. This fight a bit closer and I am not getting a strong vibe from either fighter but it think Brilz has more momentum going into this fight despite his “loss” to Little Nog.
Randy Couture vs Lyoto Machida
Lyoto Machida by Judges’ Decision
This is a fight Machida must win. He has lost two straight and looked mediocre up until the third round of the Rampage Jackson fight. Machida needs to maintain his distance from Couture utilizing his accurate strikes and elusiveness. This won’t be an easy match for him though. One of Machida’s weakness is the clinch and that is in fact Randy Couture biggest strength. If Machida is aggressive like again in the third round of the Jackson fight, this is his fight to lose but if he is passive and hesitant like in the Shogun fights and the first two round of the Jackson fight, then things may get dicey.
Mark Bocek vs Ben Henderson
Ben Henderson by Judges’ Decision
I am still a huge fan of Ben Henderson despite his loss to Anthony Pettis (which was my pick for the Fight of the Year BTW). Henderson is very well rounded and notoriously hard to submit which does not bode well for Mark Bocek.