UFC 157: Predictions You Can Take to the Bank
On Saturday night, the UFC brings us their second pay-per-view offering of 2013, and it is headlined by the first women's fight in organization history.
The UFC has taken a tremendous gamble by forcing the new division into the spotlight without having any real indication as to how receptive the pay-per-view audience will be.
Some things about UFC 157 are hard to predict, such as the buyrate or the winner of a co-main event between Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida. However, there are some things that are essentially predetermined before the Zuffa team rolls into California.
Here is a look at five predictions about UFC 157 that you can take to the bank.
Brendan Schaub or Lavar Johnson Will Win KO of the Night
It's not often that we can guarantee that Knockout of the Night honors will be passed out before the main card kicks off. However, when heavyweights Lavar Johnson and Brendan Schaub square off in the featured contest of the FX preliminary card, there is no doubt that one of them will be waking up with a ringside official shining a flashlight in his eyes.
This fight was originally expected to take place at UFC on Fox 5 back in December, however, a groin injury to Johnson (no pun intended) postponed the fight for two months.
Johnson has never been to decision in 23 fights and holds knockout victories in 15 contests. Schaub has only gone to the scorecards once, and seven of his eight wins and all three of his losses are by way of KO.
Mark my words, this fight will end in spectacular fashion, and the victor is taking home a fat bonus check.
Josh Koscheck Will Derail the Strikeforce Momentum Train
At UFC 156, the fighters who formerly competed in the Strikeforce cage decided that it was time to start making an impact in their new home. Tyron Woodley, Bobby Green and Isaac Vallie-Flagg pulled out all the stops to earn victories against UFC veterans Jay Hieron, Jacob Volkmann and Yves Edwards.
On Saturday night, that momentum is going to be completely negated when UFC standout Josh Koscheck takes on Robbie Lawler, respectively.
Koscheck is a dangerous welterweight who has knockout power in each limb and an excellent wrestling pedigree. The bleach-blonde bad boy greets a returning Lawler in the first fight on the main card.
While Lawler has fought for world titles in the past, we're talking about a guy who has nine years since his last UFC appearance and has lost five of his last eight contests.
Author's Note: It's quite possible that the Strikeforce momentum train gets derailed earlier in the evening when Sam Stout takes on newcomer Caros Fodor. However, Stout has been outworked in recent appearances, and I would not be surprised to see Fodor pull off the upset in that contest on the FX preliminary card.
Urijah Faber Will Beat Ivan Menjivar... and No One Will Care About It
Urijah Faber might be the most popular fighter in WEC history, but there is no denying that The California Kid has been nothing but a disappointment to his supporters who still think he is the best in the world.
Faber has been granted more world title shots in the last four-and-a-half years than any other fighter on the planet, all while putting together a paltry 5-5 record in the same time frame.
The popularity of Faber affords him the ability to challenge for whatever title needs a credible challenger at the time after only a win or two. That's not his fault, but few would argue that a win over Raphael Assuncao makes you immediately worthy of skipping the line and fighting for gold all over again.
On Saturday night, Faber meets No. 10-ranked Ivan Menjivar in a rematch from 2006 that absolutely nobody was asking for.
It's a better matchup than the rumored fight (via Brazilian news outlet Tatame, h/t MMAFighting.com) with Vaughan Lee, but still, not a fight that has any real relevance within the division, so long as there are two champions and no clear-cut contenders.
Faber will defeat the overmatched Menjivar on the main card, but at this point, it won't mean anything for his career.
Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida Will Determine the Next Title Contender at 205
This one might seem like a no-brainer. After all, the battle between Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida sees the UFC's self-ranked No. 1 and No. 2 contenders squaring off in a fight between former world champions.
However, Dana White has only specified that Dan Henderson will be next in line for a light heavyweight title shot.
Aside from that, the UFC president has also discussed Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson as being worthy. But why those fighters instead of Machida, who reportedly earned a title shot at UFC on Fox 4?
Dana White (via MMAFighting.com) feels that Machida wasted his opportunity by not stepping in to fight Jones on short notice at UFC 152.
Machida] should have taken the fight. We've seen it, history always repeats itself. Look how long it took Rashad (Evans) to fight for the title again. So you wanted to fight Jon Jones, you climbed up to the title fight and you don't take it. Now you're fighting (expletive) Dan Henderson. Now you might not even get to the (expletive) title again. You lose to Dan Henderson you're not anywhere near Jon Jones.
You jump on opportunities when they're available. You get a shot at the title, the biggest money fight you can be in, the highest profile fight you can be in. And if you win that (expletive) fight, the whole world changes overnight.
Regardless of what some websites are speculating, the winner of this fight will be squaring off against either Jon Jones or Chael Sonnen come summertime. Bank on it.
Ronda Rousey Will Defeat Liz Carmouche Via Armbar
Say what you want to about Ronda Rousey, but the former Olympian judoka is incredibly efficient inside the cage, regardless of the level of competition she faces.
In every fight of her career (professional and amateur), Rousey has used her impressive judo skills to earn a takedown before snatching up an armbar and a first-round victory.
On Saturday night, Rousey isn't fighting the top contender for her 135 pound women's championship. Instead, she is fighting Liz Carmouche, a woman who ranks eighth in the division according to FightMatrix.
Former Rousey opponents include world champions Miesha Tate and Sarah Kaufmann, neither of which were able to fend off the submission that they knew was coming. Why should we believe that Carmouche will be any different?
"Rowdy" Ronda is going to have no trouble asserting her dominance on Saturday night.