Normally I’m not big on predictions since it’s better to sit there silently and look wise rather than reveal that you think Michael Bisping is going to win and look like a total fool. But half the fun of the fight game is guessing who you think will win and how, and I like fun. So for the first time ever we’ve gotten together a bunch of the FL writers to give their predictions for UFC 100. We hope you’ll join us on our magical trip through the main card!
Frank Mir vs Brock Lesnar
Ryan: I consider this one a bit of a toss up but if I were to take a guess I’d say Brock Lesnar since fights start on the feet and Frank Mir has a history of pussing out after getting hit hard. But I’m not about to count Mir out because he has the jiu jitsu on his side, and that’s a powerful weapon indeed against someone like Brock Lesnar. All Brock needs to do is make a small positional error on the ground and he could wind up in another fight-ending leglock pronto. Long story short, both guys have these giant Achilles heels and whoever exploits one first is going to win.
Shawn: Lesnar by complete physical domination. While Mir looked outstanding against an injured Nogueira, it’s not enough to sell me on him being the heavyweight phenom many once pegged him as. Lesnar’s strength, size, wrestling, and ability to learn quickly will decide this fight. He won’t make the same rookie mistakes he did the first time around. The fight will be finished by the former WWE wrestler before the end of the second stanza.
Rodriguez: I just watched the UFC 100 countdown show and can safely say Frank Mir has completed a heel turn. If I had to compare it to a similar one, I’d go with Randy Orton in 2003: Extremely Cocky, gets cheered, beats up all the legends, had some career-threatening injuries, was world champion at a young age; all that’s missing is the nepotism. But like any good feud, the babyface will win. If I was so inclined I’d copy and paste my still-pertinent prediction for their first fight (but I’m not). Brock gets a takedown, punches Frank into a pulp and wins. You can’t put much stock into Mir’s win over Nog since the Brazilian has always shown a distinct lack of adaptation to his opponent’s offense. Frank was able to ride his quickly-found exploitation into the win column in that one. Brock has a very big advantage in this fight though: Frank still doesn’t take him seriously. He crushes Mir but makes a mistake, demolishes Herring and smashes Randy, yet they’re all flukes to Francisco and many other fans. “This isn’t WWE!” says one of Mir’s training partners. Obviously it isn’t, because Frank didn’t get all of that blood on his face during the first fight using a razor. Mir comes in on July 11th like he owns the world and leaves humbled with an imprint of Brock’s fist on his head.
Jake: I hate Frank Mir, but I also hate Brock Lesnar, so the outcome of this fight leaves me somewhat indifferent. Personally, I think Mir had a lucky break with his ankle lock in the first fight, and I have reason to suspect that Lesnar has been training extensively in submission defense. If the fight is kept standing, Brock’s insane reach should be more than enough to knock Mir’s fat face in. On the other hand, if by some miracle Mir somehow knocks Lesnar out, then I’ll swear off my hatred for the man and will be a Mir fan forever. It’s not bloody likely to happen, so I’m calling this one for Lesnar by TKO.
Clint: Hmmm. I can see this going down one of two ways. Mir gets a sub on Lesnar while he is fisting … er hammer fisting Mir with the speed of a locomotive, or Mir will try the sub only to fail and be beaten to death.
Georges St Pierre vs Thiago Alves
Ryan: I’ve got Georges St Pierre routing Thiago Alves with his wrestling, using some strikes to set up a takedown and just going to town on Alves the same way he did with BJ Penn. It wouldn’t surprise me if Alves still lasts the five rounds, but I’m expecting him to weaken enough in round 4 for GSP to force a ref’s stoppage via ground and pound.
Shawn: GSP by TKO via ground and pound. Alves has a real chance to win this fight in the clinch, but GSP’s athleticism and pure wrestling ability will dictate where the fight goes. His striking is good enough to stand with Alves and if he has any problems he’ll take it to the ground where it isn’t close. Hughes, Koscheck, and Parisyan are all tough opponents but GSP is on an entirely different level. My money says the Canadian mounts the Brazilian before the end of the third round and pounds his way to a stoppage, putting himself at the top of many pound-for-pound lists.
Rodriguez: St-Pierre takes this one easily. I’ll say it. I’m sick of everyone being so PC; all-like “Yeah, Alves has a chance.” He doesn’t. I find it challenged that people will use the Serra loss as a reason GSP will lose but conveniently ignore Chris Lytle lighting Alves up. (And Spencer Fisher choking him out. And Fitch KOing him twice in about three seconds.) Alves is a guy who relies on his striking power to deal damage out, but he’s got the perfect foil here. Unlike Thiago’s last opponents, GSP will not stand or be idle in top position – something he’ll get at will. Georges has dealt with everything Alves has and then some. Thiago’s wrestling better than Sherk or Koscheck’s? Jits better than Mayhem or Penn’s? Those are rhetorical questions. Here’s another one: can you name a time Alves has even gone for a takedown? I can’t remember ONE. Thiago is not dangerous off of his back and George will put him there immediately. GSP has nothing to prove by standing with Alves; he knows that, we know that. It’s going to be a drubbing with another defense by the Canadian Superman.
Jake: Alves poses an interesting challenge for GSP. He’s never been up against such a fear striker, so it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts to getting punched really hard in the face. I don’t think that Thiago is really prepared for the kind of pace that Georges is going to set, nor do I think his takedown defence is enough to stop GSP’s awesome wrestling. I expect Alves to be taken down, and his little face smashed in. GSP win via TKO.
Clint: I see GSP basically dry humping a bloated Alves for like 3 rounds like he did against Serra. By the 4th, Thiago’s roided body will have been sucked dry of all its energy after taking a beating with knees to the body. He will be UD’d by GSP. Or I could just not like bloated tan midgets.
Dan Henderson vs Michael Bisping
Ryan: Call me crazy, but I’ve got Michael Bisping edging Dan Henderson in a decision. Expect him to play counter striker and just frustrate the shit out of Dan Henderson, except when Dan Henderson manages to get his hands on Bisping and whollop him. But in the end I think Bisping will earn one of those decisions that half the MMA community will call ‘smart’ and the other half ‘chickenshit’.
Shawn: Bisping for the upset over Henderson. Henderson is one of the best fighters in the history of the sport, but he’s getting older at the same time that Bisping is reaching his peak. People scoff at many of his unimpressive opponents, but the kid has still remained nearly flawless in 18 fights which is extremely impressive in and of itself.
Rodriguez: Bisping has nothing for Hendo. His only chance of winning is to pull a vintage Machida gameplan and get on his bike. This is a mismatch of epic proportions and I’m shocked nobody is calling the UFC on it. Get real people; Pride Welterweights > TUF Middleweights. Bisping can beat up guys like Sinosic, Schafer, McCarthy (who’s been TKOed by a 155er before) all he wants but he’s nowhere near Dan’s level. Do you think Bisping would last against Arona, Wand, Rampage, Franklin, Belfort, 2005-era Bustamante, Nogueira, Babalu or Gilbert Yvel? If so, you’ll spend your remaining years hooked up to a machine. Which is sad, as it’ll be the kind that checks e-mail and sends out texts. Troll. Henderson by a wonky decision.
Jake: Dan Henderson is the most level headed fighter I’ve ever seen. The guy rarely loses his cool, or his fights, for that matter. Dan has fought the best in the world, and although I actually thought he lost to Franklin, he’s never been knocked out. Apart from the beating he recieved from Anderson Silva (I would even say he won the first round), he’s always looked good in the Octagon. Michael Bisping, on the other hand, has fought mostly tomato cans, and he’s about to get a very fucking rude awakeining. Expect Dan to wrestle the shit out of him, and pound Mike’s cocky face in.
Clint: Hendo vs Bisping Hendo will win via KO or TKO … the end.
Jon Fitch vs Paulo Thiago
Ryan: As awesome as it would be for Paulo Thiago to knock Fitch out with the exact same punch, I see Fitch taking Thiago down and methodically mopping the octagon with him until Thiago gives up his back and gets choked out in the second round.
Shawn: Fitch over Paulo Thiago. This one won’t be close. Fitch will smother Thiago for the entirety of the fight and walk out with a unanimous decision. A victory should set him up for a number one contender bout sometime in the future.
Rodriguez: FITCH ALL DAY! GAME OVER SUCKA! THERE’S ENOUGH THIAGOS IN THE UFC ALREADY!
Akiyama vs Alan Belcher
Ryan: Sexyama via Sexyama.
Shawn: Belcher is a talented kid and could pull off the upset again, but the bouts that stand out in my mind are the ones against Kang and Herman. Kang is not the same fighter he was when he went on a 20-something fight win streak yet he was still dominating Belcher before getting caught. “The Talent’s” fight with Herman is also telling because it could have gone either way, even though Herman has proven himself to be nothing more than a tough gatekeeper. Akiyama is on another level than both Kang and Herman and should have little problem putting Belcher away in impressive fashion.
Jake: On paper Akiyama is the favorite and for good reason: he’s got some sick judo and ground skills, and Belcher is your run of the mill gatekeeper. With that said, every Japanese guy that comes into the UFC seems to leave humiliated and defeated, with the only excpetion being Yushin Okami, who can’t seem to stay healthy enough to actually fight. So Belcher has that fact plus a puncher’s chance, but not much else. Akiyama win by submission.