UFC 154 is set for the Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday, November 17.
The card will be headlined by a welterweight title unification bout contested by Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit, and will feature a strong supporting cast of preliminary and main card attractions.
The event promises to dazzle with a bevy of advanced talent, several competitive matchups and, more likely than not, a handful of impressive finishes.
In anticipation of tonight's action, I've made a final forecast projecting the winners of UFC 154's Knockout of the Night, Submission of the Night and Fight of the Night awards.
Top Three Candidates:
Cote vs. Sakara promises to be a slugfest. Since Cote has never been knocked out (his TKO defeat was a knee injury), and Sakara has been put out four times, I like the hometown boy's chances.
Though I'm picking Kampmann to win the bout, it would be foolish to discount Hendricks's chances of landing that big left of his in Round 1.
Kampmann has struggled out of the gate in his past two matches before recovering to score a pair of come-from-behind wins. If he sleepwalks through the first two minutes of his UFC 154 match, he'll find himself sleeping on the Octagon canvas.
Pablo Garza has never been knocked out, but that doesn't mean he never will be.
Hominick will try to avoid the ground like grim death at UFC 154. If he's effectively able to, he'll have a real shot at putting Garza away.
The Prediction: Cote
Cote's chin allows him to walk through the hardest shots from most fighters. And since Sakara rarely passes up the chance to brawl, Cote will likely have the opportunity to dole out as frequently as absorb at UFC 154.
There are several potential Fight of the Night winners for the event, but this match is all but guaranteed to produce a knockout. The chance that Cote is the one to produce it is pretty good.
My sub-prediction: Cote knocks Sakara out faster than Brian Stann did at UFC on Fuel TV 2 (2:26).
Top Three Candidates:
Carmont has looked outstanding during his three-fight UFC tenure and is quickly becoming an SOTN threat every time he takes to the Octagon. In his last two fights, the Frenchman has gone to choke techniques, an area that happens to be a defensive weakness for his UFC 154 opponent, Tom Lawlor.
Garza and Hominick will face off in a classic striker vs. grappler bout, one in which Garza will be submission-hunting all night long. Though Hominick is a submission threat in his own right, Garza's best chance at winning the match is to hand the Canadian his sixth career submission defeat in Montreal.
Siler has transitioned from The Ultimate Fighter to the UFC with glowing success thus far, sporting a 3-0 record. He will be looking for career submission number 14 at UFC 154.
The Prediction: Carmont
While this award is very much up in the air heading into UFC 154, I've got to go with the hot-hand.
Carmont is really coming into his own as a mixed martial artist (and submission threat), and he will face an opponent that has been submitted twice over his past four contests.
The matchup has all the makings of a Carmont victory via submission. The only question is whether or not the Frenchman can make it look pretty.
Top Three Candidates:
Carlos Condit vs. Georges St-Pierre
If Condit is as game as his supporters have claimed leading up to his UFC 154 run-in with Georges St-Pierre, Saturday night's main event could provide some real fireworks.
Both fighters are reputed for their varied arsenals of skills, so this bout could be one that features a little bit of everything, all coming at the highest level.
Johny Hendricks vs. Martin Kampmann
Though superficially a match between a striker and a wrestler, Hendricks vs. Kampmann will be contested between two well-rounded competitors.
Kampmann's technique versus Hendricks' speed, Kampmann's takedown defense versus Hendricks' powerful wrestling and Kampmann's sly submission game versus Hendricks' defensive grappling entail three intriguing storylines heading into this welterweight title eliminator.
John Makdessi vs. Sam Stout
What's not to love about a pair of Canadian knockout artists slinging leather at each other in front of some bi-supportive fans?
Makdessi vs. Stout promises to deliver some moments of explosive action, and the potential for a highlight reel knockout is very present.
The Prediction: Hendricks vs. Kampmann
Kampmann has exhibited some remarkable grit in each of his last two fights, and we know that Hendricks goes hard from bell to bell.
Unless one fighter pulls out a quick stoppage, I don't see this fight turning into anything but an epic struggle.
Not to mention, a welterweight title shot is a very realistic possibility for the winner.