Welcome to another set of predictions for UFC 100, a card with no subtitle. Lines taken from bodog as always, and are presented in decimal form, which I'll explain, as always!
Odds are given as what your return would be for every €1.00/$1.00/£1.00 that you put down, so 1.53 means that for every 1.00 you bet, you get 0.53 in profit plus your original 1.00 back.
Matt 'The Real One' Grice vs. Shannon Gugerty
-Does not look comfortable striking
+Jiu Jitsu brown belt
+Some Muay Thai background
Grice could be thought of as a lesser version of Mitsuhiro Ishida or Gray Maynard, being a wrestler with good top control and little ability to finish a fight, except probably without the awesome submission defense, which is pretty crucial.
Gugerty has an advantage on the feet or on the ground, so he Grice is going to need a good strategy here.
Gugerty by sub, round one. Grice is a wrestler and nothing else.
CB 'The Doberman' Dollaway vs. Tom 'The Filthy Mauler' Lawlor
+NCAA All-American wrestler
+Passable striking and grappling
-Still one dimensional
+Shoots for takedowns fast
+Works hard enough from top position
+Persistent with takedowns
-One-dimensional without submission or striking skills
Lawlor is pretty much a wrestler, being a three-time National Wrestling Collegiate Association champion in college and an all state wrestler in high school. Bad matchup for him here, what with CB Dollaway being an All-American wrestler in college.
Neither have submission skills worth noting, but Dollaway has at least some striking, meaning he's better in the two areas where the fight will take place.
Dollaway by unanimous decision, by being better than Lawlor at his strength, wrestling, and by using better stand-up.
Dong Hyun 'Stun Gun' Kim vs. Jonathan 'The Road Warrior' Goulet
Dong Hyun Kim
+4th degree Judo black belt
+Extremely difficult to shake off in clinch
+Has a very good habit of taking the back
-Bad standup defense
-Very few successful submissions
+Jiu Jitsu purple belt
+Has the Basics of Muay Thai
-Bad takedown defense
-Guard not hard to pass
-Basic defense standing
The last minute replacement for Jonathan Goulet, Grant may have a small advantage standing but suffers from a very average sprawl.
I don't see a submission win, nor a knockout for either fighter.
I'll take Kim via unanimous decision, since I don't think Grant will be able to keep himself from being taken down.
Jon 'Bones' Jones vs. Jake O'Brien
+Junior College wrestling champion at Iowa
+Marvelous hip throws
+Good Thai Boxing
+Extreme reach advantage; stands at 6'4
+Confident enough to try rare techniques
-Inexperienced; may react badly to being hit
+Three time high school champion wrestler
+Good ground control
-Shots horribly telegraphed
-Too tentative when in an opponents guard
-No submission wins
-Below average striking
Jon Jones is being watched carefully by hardcore fans that believe they have found a prodigy, a future champ, after he ragdolled Bonnar and almost KO'd him on several occasions.
O'Brien is a three-time high school state wrestling champion, and has had a successful run at heavyweight, only to losing to Andrei Arlovski and Cain Velasquez, and having a good win over Heath Herring.
If Jones stops the takedown, he should take this, and with Jones being a Junior College wrestling champ himself, that should be very doable.
That's what I expect, but with Jones at 1.20 and O'Brien at 4.00, there is no real value on Jones, and there's always hope that O'Brien will take some benefits of experience to defeat Jones, such as cardio.
Jim Miller vs. Mac Danzig (155lbs/70kg)
+Aggressive striking and good hand speed
+Extremely slick sweeps and submissions off back
+Aggressive from top position
-Not much takedown defense
-Leaves himself open in stand-up defense
+Well rounded; possesses good sprawl, good striking and good grappling.
+Very aggressive ground and pound
-Does not excel in any one area
-Not good off back
Miller has only been beaten by Frank Edgar and Gray Maynard by decision, two great wrestlers with great sub-defense.
Danzig has a decent sprawl, but Mark Bocek took him down and was able to keep him there for a while. He will not want to repeat a performance like that against Miller.
Miller by unanimous decision, but since he's at 1.53, I would feel better backing Danzig at 2.55.
+Came 7th in 1992 Olympics at the 100kg class; 2nd in FILA World Freestyle Wrestling Championship. Still one of the best wrestlers in MMA
-Years of competition and age have left him badly worn
-Ability to finish fights very suspect
Igor Vovchanchyn (2000)
Dan Severn (1997)
+Excellent heart and chin
+Good Jiu Jitsu
+Former Golden Gloves boxer
-Not much wrestling or takedown defense
Coleman is still one of the best wrestlers in MMA, but only for one round. Anymore than that, he simply is not able to continue, due to horrible cardio that will not likely improve at this stage of his career, certainly not now that we have to add weight cutting into the mix. It was amazing that Shogun took so long to TKO him, based on how horrible his movement was.
I expect this to be similar, but with Bonnar having the cardio that Shogun lacked in UFC 93. Coleman will likely score a takedown or two, fail to do anything with it, and Bonnar will use his BJJ to stand, and he will punish Coleman in the standup.
Bonnar by TKO, Round Three. Coleman has way too much mileage on him. Although even still, with Coleman at 3.85 and Bonnar at 1.27, it is sort of tempting to bet on Coleman.
Yoshiro Akiyama vs. Alan 'The Talent' Belcher
+Very good judoka; gold medalist in the 2002 Asian Games
+Slick enough with submissions
-Not light on his feet
-Does not have fast takedowns
+Competent Jiu Jitsu
+Knows how to KO
-Rudimentary takedown defense
-Poor boxing defense
Though Akiyama is a ground fighter, primarily, his inclination to strike and lack of explosive takedowns will probably mean that this stays a striking match. I give Akiyama an advantage in that department, as Belcher was being picked apart by Kang before Belcher got the guillotine.
Akiyama should have a decent advantage on the ground, but I wouldn't expect him to submit the BJJ purple belt, as Akiyama hasn't submitted a ranked opponent yet.
Akiyama by unanimous decision, both by outstriking the American and by outworking him on the ground. Like a lot of the favourites on the card, though, Akiyama offers little value at 1.34, but Belcher may be worth a small play at 3.30.
Jon Fitch vs. Paulo Thiago
+As much heart as any MMA fighter
+Jiu Jitsu black belt
-Not that hard a hitter
-Not a great offensive wrestler
Diego Sanchez (2007)
Thiago Alves (2006)
+Jiu Jitsu black belt
-Does not have good defensive head movement or footwork -Striking combinations basic
Josh Koscheck (2009)
This could be a pretty closely contested affair. Thiago was unknown to every MMA fan in the northern hemisphere until he got the TKO over Josh Koscheck earlier this year, sending him into the welterweight rankings.
Thiago has a great chin, as Koscheck dropped a heavy bomb on him early, which did not stumble him. Fitch's chin however, survived a war from Georges St.Pierre, and will not likely get KO'd.
He's unlikely to get submitted too, being a Jiu Jitsu black belt—he's probably a better wrestler than Thiago anyway, so it probably wont be an issue.
Thiago does throw hard, but was losing decisively to Koscheck before he got a TKO which was not conclusive. Fitch is understandably favourite for all these reasons, and after what happened to Koscheck, he won't take his opponent lightly.
Thiago does not have good striking combinations, and really, only KO'd Koscheck because Koscheck leaned into the uppercut. Doubtful he'll outstrike Fitch.
Unless Thiago lands a Manhoef style haymaker, Fitch will dispose of him easily. Fitch by TKO, Round Two.
There is little value in Fitch at 1.20. Thiago might be worth small money at 4.00, but that would probably just be throwing money away, really.
Dan 'Hendo' Henderson vs. Michael 'The Count' Bisping
+Olympian; qualified for the US greco-roman wrestling team in '92 and '96
+Big punching power
+Great sub defense
+Rock hard chin
-Tendency to stick head down and brawl
-Sometimes inaggressive when opponent is on their back
Rich Franklin (2009)
Rousimar Palhares (2008)
Wanderlei Silva (2007)
Vitor Belfort (2006)
Kazuo Misaki (2006)
Murilo Bustamante x2 (2005, 2003)
Ryo Chonan (2005)
Murilo Rua (2001)
Renzo Gracie (2001)
Renato Sobral (2000)
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (2000)
Carlos Newton (1998)
+Good technical counterstriker; uses Muay Thai and kickboxing combinations well
+Great use of Muay Thai clinch
-Poor submission skill
-Does not have one strike KO power
Henderson is a 38 year old former olympian, who still hasn't had a (T)KO loss in his 31 fight career. Bisping is a relative newcomer, but at 29 years old and having 18 fights, he is not green at all.
A huge problem presents itself for Bisping, and that is how to stop Henderson's takedowns. He could probably win the standup simply by pulling the Misaki strategy and sticking and moving, but sooner or later, he is going to have to sprawl.
Considering Bisping/Hammil, it's hard to see how he'll deal with Henderson; one could only hope that Rampage was training wrestling with Bisping 24/7, but even then Bisping does not have Rampage's strength.
Bisping also is not known for submissions, and if Hendo puts him on his back, expect the American to use much more aggressive techniques than his usual mouth covering. Bisping is going to have to do what he did to Leben to win, stick and move, be elusive and above all else, avoid clinching.
I expect this to look like Henderson/Franklin, with the American winning the first two rounds, putting the Englishman on his back, using some GnP and landing one or two big punches, and possibly gassing and losing the third, but doing enough to win convincingly and getting the unanimous decision.
Henderson enters at 1.43, while Bisping enters at 2.90. But Henderson is pretty much everything Matt Hammil is but much better. Henderson is a safe bet.
Georges 'Rush' St-Pierre vs. Thiago 'Pitbull' Alves
+Olympic calibre wrestling
+Excellent blend of Kyokushin karate, boxing, and Muay Thai
+Switches from striking to takedowns superbly
+Great training camp with brilliant gameplans
+Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt
+Ferocious ground and pound
-May have trouble fighting under pressure
-Possible lack of heart
BJ Penn x2 (2009, 2006)
Jon Fitch (2008)
Matt Serra (2008)
Matt Hughes x2 (2007, 2006)
Josh Koscheck (2007)
Karo Parisyan (2004)
+Ferociously powerful striker
+Excellent Muay Thai combinations
+Probably the largest welterweight in the division
+Very good at countering takedown attempts with knees
-Questionable cardio which may be worsened if he has difficulty making weight
-No submissions - only submission win was by 'punches.'
-No offensive wrestling
Josh Koscheck (2008)
Matt Hughes (2008)
Karo Parisyan (2008)
Thiago Alves is the one man in Georges St. Pierre's way before he really has cleaned out the welterweight division, but it just so happens that this will likely be the toughest matchup there is.
Alves has a wonderful sprawl and very dangerous striking, meaning that he could cause GSP a ton of problems, and this should come down to whether Alves sprawl is better than GSP's takedowns or vice versa.
If Alves has enough confidance in his sprawl, he may open up with his Muay Thai, in which case he could do severe damage, but if he is put on his back successfully, and takes some GnP, then GSP will likely put him off balance, making him weary of being taken down, and thus fight defensively, and I could easily see GSP at that point outstriking him.
Another thing that has to be noted is that GSP has a black belt in BJJ, so there is a huge possiblity that Alves could get subbed on the ground, himsef being at purple belt level.
If Alves outsprawls St.Pierre, he'll probably win, but if St.Pierre outwrestles Alves, he'll probably win. At the moment I am leaning towards Alves, and at 3.60 he is a solid underdog. Very little value in betting at GSP at 1.29.
Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir
+Excellent wrestler; 2000 NCAA Heavyweight champion
+Extremely dangerous punching power
+Very athletic; 285lbs frame, but still moves very explosively
+Huge reach advantage
-Questionable sub defense
-Basic boxing footwork or head movement
Randy Couture (2008)
Heath Herring (2008)
+Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt
+Excellent killer instinct
-Not fast on feet
-Still rudimentary striker
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (2008)
Brock Lesnar (2008)
Tim Sylvia (2004)
This will likely be a boxing match for the first round or two, as Lesnar will likely be unwilling to risk fighting in Mir's guard, and Mir will not likely try to take Lesnar down in the early rounds, blowing his load early.
The striking is pretty even, with Mir probably having slighting cleaner and more technical kickboxing, and Lesnar being the harder and more explosive hitter, with one-punch KO power.
Whoever wins the striking will likely win the fight. If Lesnar wins it, Mir will be forced to try to take him down, maybe through pulling guard, and if he's losing the standup, he likely will be too rocked and gassed to succeed. If Mir gains the edge, Lesnar will be forced to take him down, where Mir will have a great chance of subbing him.
Lesnar may have an edge in standup, and he should be able to keep it off the ground. At 1.40, there's very little value in backing Lesnar.
But at 2.90, Mir is tempting. His standup looks good enough to damage Lesnar, and his ground game should be good enough to sub him if Lesnar reverts to wrestling instincts. At 2.90, Mir is a solid bet. Lesnar enters at 1.40