UFC 148: Forrest Griffin and Biggest Locks to Win at Marquee Event

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2012

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 08:  Anderson Silva (R) throws a right punch to Forrest Griffin during their light heavyweight bout at UFC 101: Declaration at the Wachovia Center on August 8, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

UFC 148 is set to take place on Saturday from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and while there are several intriguing bouts on the card, many of them appear to be quite predictable as well. All of the bouts on the main card are pitting a couple of big-name fighters against each other, but that doesn't always result in a high-quality tilt.

Anything can happen in UFC, but many of the fights that are receiving top billing look pretty predictable on paper. That doesn't mean that the fights won't be entertaining, but few of them are evenly matched. This appears to be one of UFC's most stacked cards in a while, but it may not translate to a great event.

Here are the biggest locks to win on Saturday night at UFC 148.


Forrest Griffin

Forrest Griffin has had mixed results in his fights over the past few years, but he is considered a huge favorite in his light heavyweight bout with Tito Ortiz on Saturday.

Ortiz was once a dominant fighter in his own right, but he has lost five of his last six decisions, including a defeat at the hands of Griffin three years ago. That fight was split on the scorecards, but Ortiz hasn't done anything to suggest that the result will be different this time.

Griffin was knocked out by Mauricio Rua in his last contest, but he picked up an impressive win over Rich Franklin before that, so there is no doubt that he has all the momentum. Griffin is four years younger and Ortiz looks as if he is nearing the end of the line. Another loss to Griffin could spell the end of Ortiz's career, and I believe that is what we'll see at UFC 148.


Anderson Silva

If UFC fights were won with words, then Anderson Silva would be in big trouble against Chael Sonnen. There is no bigger trash talker in the sport than Sonnen, and while he often is able to back it up, that won't be the case when he faces Silva.

Conventional wisdom says that Silva should be slowing down at the age of 37, but he is the UFC middleweight champion and is as dominant as ever. In fact, Silva has won a remarkable 15 straight bouts and will look to make it 16 on Saturday.

Sonnen has performed well as of late too, with just one loss in his past six fights, but that loss was against Silva. The two stars locked horns at UFC 117 and Sonnen was forced to tap out in the fifth round due to a triangle armbar. Sonnen put up a good fight, but Silva was in control throughout.

Silva may not be able to walk over Sonnen, but he will ultimately have his hand raised at the end of the night.


Chad Mendes

Chad Mendes is a rising UFC star, and although he is coming off a tough loss against Jose Aldo, he is a huge favorite in his featherweight bout against Cody McKenzie.

The 24-year-old McKenzie has a spectacular record of 13-2, but he has lost two of his past three contests. Mendes is just 27, and his record stands at 11-1. Those statistics would seem to suggest that Mendes and McKenzie are relative equals, but Mendes has faced much stiffer competition thus far and is battle tested when compared to the younger McKenzie.

Mendes is considered by many to be a future UFC Featherweight Champion and if he is going to reach that level, then he has to fend off guys like McKenzie. Both of these guys are very hungry to prove that they are ready to make the leap and face top-level talent, but only one fighter can do that, and I expect it to be Mendes.


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