With the Fightlinker vs Five Ounces bet days away, it’s time to unveil my picks for UFC 135. Those of you who have been around for a while know that I hate prediction posts, but I’ll break from the norm here in the interest of proving we’ve got bigger fight balls than this other punk website. So without further adieu, my psychic premonitions!

Jon Jones vs Quinton Jackson

“I bet you choke!” Those are the words of Quinton Jackson, repeated ad nauseum during the Ultimate Fighter commercial breaks. Funny, I was thinking the same thing about Rampage. What else can you call his fight against Matt Hamill but a choke? Jackson hasn’t knocked anyone out since 2008, not even the very knock-outable Keith Jardine. I’m not saying Quinton doesn’t have the power any more … he just seems unable to tap it during recent fights.

Maybe all this awesome training camp talk is true and Jackson will come in ready to rumble. Or maybe someone needs to hide the keys to his monster truck because he’s on the verge of another mental breakdown. You never know with Rampage. But we know what to expect from Jon Jones. He’s got the kind of confidence that comes with never suffering a brutal MMA ass whupping. We know he’s going to come forward and perform like he always does. Chances are even if Rampage does show up on Saturday night, it isn’t going to be enough.

Fightlinker’s pick: Jon Jones (Sub)

The rest after the jump!

Matt Hughes vs Josh Koscheck

Maybe if Matt Hughes had gotten a full training camp to prepare for Koscheck, I’d risk a wager on him. Two months is enough time to formulate a plan and catch Josh the same way he caught Ricardo Almeida last year. As it stands though he went from fighting a left handed brawler to a right handed wrestler. He’s also fighting Father Time and
Mama Hughes, aka his wife who wants him to retire.

Josh Koscheck would be a hard fight for Matt in the best of times. With one foot already out the door and retirement talk swirling, you’d be crazy to bet on Hughes. You can root for him though, like I’m gonna. Even if it costs me the bet, I’ll be smiling if Hughes wins. Because fuck Koscheck.

Fightlinker’s pick: Josh Koscheck (KO)

Travis Browne vs Rob Broughton

Sometimes a fighter appears on the main card and you have to wonder WTF they’re doing there. In Broughton’s case, he’s a sacrifice to the Norse Gods of MMA, and Travis Browne is the high priest set to send him to Valhalla. Rob is a UK fighter who’s only in the UFC because of international expansion. While UK heavyweights are entertaining enough when fighting eachother, they have a tendency to get their asses kicked once they step outside their country. Broughton’s only fight in the UFC was an ass whupping at the hands of Vinicius Queiroz. Fortunately for Broughton, his opponent gassed himself out punching Rob in the face so many times that Broughton was able to turn things around in the third and win. I’m not seeing that plan working out so well for him against Travis Browne…

Fightlinker’s pick: Travis Browne (KO)

Nate Diaz vs Takanori Gomi

With the UFC returning to Japan soon and Gomi having a chance to pseudo-avenge his loss to Nick Diaz, it’d be nice to imagine the Fireball Kid showing up and tearing through Nate Diaz. Unfortunately, Gomi’s days as a top contender are long gone. There’s a very good chance Nate Diaz is going to be stubborn / stupid / Diaz enough to keep the fight on the feet, but can Gomi capitalize on it? I wouldn’t bet on it.

Fightlinker’s pick: Nate Diaz (Sub)

Tony Ferguson vs Aaron Riley

I forgot how little I cared about the last season of TUF till I saw Tony Ferguson’s name and went “Who?” Oh yeah, the latest TUF winner. It’s hard to know how Tony will do outside the TUF fishbowl, but he’s got raw knockout power and that’s more than we can say for Aaron Riley, who usually has to take guys to decision. This one should be a pretty awesome brawl, though.

Fightlinker’s Pick: Tony Ferguson (KO)

Nick Ring vs Tim Boetsch

I haven’t seen much that’s impressed me from Nick Ring since his knee exploded for the umpteenth time on TUF. Since then he got a gift decision over Riki Fukuda and lay on top of James Head for three rounds. I don’t have a lot of nice things to say about Tim Boetsch either after his wall n stalling of Kendall Grove, but at least he was able to shut down a higher class of opponent. I’m expecting this one to be a pretty awful fight.

Fightlinker’s pick: Tim Boetsch (Dec)

Junior Assuncao vs Eddie Yagin

Assuncao is returning to the UFC at featherweight after a 1-2 run at 155 from 2007. Yagin is an on and off fighter who’s been around since 2000. He probably stole Joe Soto’s UFC call-up by beating him back in May. Other than that he’s got a lot of scrubs and journeymen on his record. It’s hard to say since there’s not a lot of film on Yagin, but based on their records I’m giving Assuncao the edge.

Fightlinker’s pick: Junior Assuncao (Sub)

Takeya Mizugaki vs Cole Escovedo

Escovedo is an oldschool bantamweight fighter – he became the WEC’s first 135 pound champ back in 2002 and held the belt until Urijah Faber knocked him off the top of the hill in 2006. A crazy staph infection that almost left him paralyzed kept him out of the sport for the next 3 years, but now he’s back and in the UFC.

Unfortunately, the bantamweight division evolves so quickly that I have doubts he’ll still be able to hang with the best. Mizugaki isn’t what I’d consider the best but given Escovedo’s tendancy to pull guard and spend rounds off his back, I have a pretty good idea of what’s gonna happen in this fight.

Fightlinker’s pick: Takeya Mizugaki (Dec)

James Te Huna vs Ricardo Romero

I’m not too impressed with either guy … Te Huna doesn’t have many tools other than some half decent ground n pound while Ricardo Romero has shown terrible standup and an inability to take a punch without flopping to the canvas. He is pretty slick once he gets there, but he takes too much damage while trying to work his jitz.

Fightlinker’s pick: James Te Huna (KO)

There we have it. Keep your eyes peeled for the comparison post coming soon that’ll line up our site’s predictions. On fight night I’ll keep a running score as to who’s winning throughout the prelims and main card. And in the end … victory! Glorious victory!