UFC 118 is nearly here and it’s another card that I’m really looking forward to. First off before we review the upcoming PPV, lets look at the updated main event for UFC 119.
Antonio Nogueira is out of his fight against Frank Mir at UFC 119 and in steps Mirko CroCop. Now first off, I’m a big fan of Mirko CroCop. I’ve watched a ton of CroCop highlights over the years and he was unquestionably my favorite fighter in Pride. That being said he isn’t the Mirko of old and his UFC career has been poor at best. I suspect this fight to go very well for Frank Mir and very poorly for Mirko. Just days ago Mir announced his strategy to fight Mirko would be to make sure he pressured Mirko and didn’t back away from him. Now that sounds ridiculously simply, yet when looking at his last few fights, you can clearly see it’s the perfect thing to do.
Mirko’s wins against Anthony Perosh, Eddie Sanchez, Mostapha Al-Turk, Tatsuya Minuzo , Eddie Sanchez and Pat Barry all had one thing in common. Mirko’s opponents were all (for the vast marjority of the fight) back peddling or simply not moving foward against Mirko. In his losses to Gonzaga, Kongo, Dos Santos and Overeem (who was clearly beating Mirko before the N/C was ruled) Mirko was on his heels and ended up being soundly beaten. I suspect Mir will do the same; move forward, take away CroCop’s time and space and make him uncomfortable until he can eventually land a KO shot or simply enough strikes to win via decision.
BJ Penn vs Frankie Edgar for the Lightweight Title
I unfortunately missed the first fight between these two, but I’m going to pick BJ to submit Edgar via Rear Naked Choke in the 2nd round. BJ is going to come out extremely motivated after loosing the first fight and I suspect we’ll see the Prodigy in near perfect form. My prediction is that this fight will be dominated so completely by BJ, there won’t be a rubber match between the two.
Kenny Florian vs Gray Maynard for the #1 Contender Spot
This should be a really good fight. Does Ken-flow get his third titleshot, or will Gray do what Gray does best; pull his opponent to the ground and wrestle the life out of him. I’m torn on this one. Kenny walks, talks and breaths MMA. He’s very respectful and normally puts on a decent show. At the same time he’s lost two title fight all ready and I’m not sure I see anything that would make me think he can beat BJ. As for Maynard, I’m not a huge fan, but it would be nice to see some fresh blood in the title picture. It might be a good chance to see if BJ can win against a pure wrestler, something he didn’t handle well against a much bigger Georges St.Pierre.
James Toney vs Randy Couture
I’m looking forward to this fight, but not expecting much at the same time. Toney might make it into the second round, but only if Randy doesn’t go all out to keep a little bit of gas in the tank. I think the potential for Toney to catch Randy with a punch is pretty minimal, but at the same time, should he catch Randy with either a left or right, I think it’s game over for Couture. Prediction: 30 seconds into the fight, Toney is going to be put on his back, and Randy should win this without too much trouble.
Demian Maia vs Mario Miranda
To be honest, I’m not a big fan of either fighter. I suspect Maia will once again win via submission, which might set up a future fight against Okami, Marquardt or possibly even Vitor Belfort. On that note, I think Belfort needs at least one fight before taking on Andy Silva, who I suspect will beat Sonnen when they compete in their rematch.
Marcus Davis vs Nate Dias
I’d really like to see Davis win this fight, but I think Father Time has caught up with him. If Diaz is smart, he’ll take Davis down at the first opportunity and use his long arms and legs to secure a submission victory. If he’s not so smart, he’s going to keep the fight standing and try to pick Davis apart with his awkward but seemingly effective striking.
Should be a good PPV again, we’ll recap and see how I do with my predictions after Saturday night.
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Written by aboveaveragesportfan