Punch Drunk Predictions: UFC 100

E. Spencer KyteSenior Analyst IJuly 11, 2009

Enough is enough.

For a guy who is looking to make a career out of his knowledge and insights into the world of Mixed Martial Arts, my record in the predictions department is pretty shoddy. Before leaving The Love of Sports to setup Keyboard Kimura two months ago, I was on fire, clicking at nearly 75 percent with my picks.

Now, I'm two wins above .500, barely breaking even and looking like I'm simply flipping a coin from fight to fight. But that all changes tonight, as UFC 100 will be my coming out party as a prognosticator...I hope.

Yoshihiro Akiyama (12-1-0, 2 NC) vs. Alan Belcher (13-4)
Normally, as the week leading up to a fight progresses, I continue to scrutinize the fights and waver in my thought process of how a bout will go down. That isn't the case here.
I still contend that this is a showcase fight for the UFC's latest Japanese acquisition, a means to further their presence in the Pacific Rim and build another challenger in the Middleweight division.

Not that Belcher doesn't have a chance; he's a quality fighter who has surprised in the past and we all know that anything can happen once the cage door closes. That being said, it's going to take an Akiyama mistake or Belcher catching him with something unexpected for the UFC (and me) not to get the result they're looking for.

Dan Henderson (24-7) vs. Michael Bisping (18-1)
The simple fact of the matter is this: Bisping has never faced anyone remotely as skilled and complete as Dan Henderson. Everything in the history of his career points to him coming out on the losing end of this fight.
His one loss is to a wrestler (Rashad Evans) and Matt Hammil, another wrestler, threw him around the cage only to end up on the wrong side of a very bad decision.

So why do I still have those lingering thoughts about Bisping having his hand raised at the end of the fight, with a ticket to a Middleweight title shot at UFC 105 in London ready to be punched?

Hendo has spent more time standing up since returning from Pride, but he's a savvy old vet and I would expect that it will only take a couple stiff jabs to the dome for him to realize that this fight needs to take place on the ground for him to win.

Jon Fitch (22-3-1) vs. Paulo Thiago (11-0)
Not for a minute have I thought anything different than my initial reaction to this fight announcement: Jon Fitch is going to bludgeon this guy.

Thiago was taking shot after shot against Koscheck before landing a serious uppercut and ending the fight, and there is no way that Jon Fitch and his iron jaw are going to be caught out in the same way.

Georges St-Pierre (18-2) vs. Thiago Alves (22-4)
Normally, the anticipation and build-up to a fight gets way to much and I start to lose interest in the fight itself. It's like looking forward to Christmas for the entire month of December only to be over it by Christmas Eve.

Not the case here. No amount of hype can take away from how much I am dying see this fight. Alves is the most unique challenge for GSP to date, and I'm a sucker for seeing what kind of gameplan Greg Jackson puts together for his fighters in situations like this.

What makes this even more anticipated for me is that I think it has the possibility to still be a catalyst for bigger and better things for Alves even if he loses. A strong performance in defeat against one of the best in the world is nothing to hang your head about and great fighters always get better after that first big loss.

Brock Lesnar (3-1) vs. Frank Mir (12-3)
Then there is this bad boy! I don't think I've looked forward to a fight as much as I am looking forward to this one ever.

Being that I am a proud supporter of Brock Lesnar, a win here would serve as not only validation of Lesnar's place atop the heavyweight division, but also as proof of my belief that he is the next evolution in the sport.

That being said, Mir can cement his legacy as a great heavyweight with a second win over Lesnar, reaching that upper echelon of fighters everyone believed he was destined for before the motorcycle accident interrupted his career.

Punch Drunk Predictions
Record: 36-34 (I don't want to talk about it...)

Preliminary Card
Shannon Gugerty over Matt Grice (Round Two, Submission)
CB Dolloway over Tom Lawlor (Round One, Submission)
TJ Grant over Dong Hyun Kim (Split Decision)
Jon Jones over Jake O'Brien (Unanimous Decision)
Jim Miller over Mac Danzig (Round Two, Submission)
Stephan Bonnar over Mark Coleman (Round Two, Submission)

Main Card
Yoshihiro Akiyama over Alan Belcher (Round One, Submission)
Dan Henderson over Michael Bisping (Unanimous Decision)
Jon Fitch over Paulo Thiago (Round One, TKO)
Georges St-Pierre over Thiago Alves (Round Four, TKO)

And in the Main Event of the evening...

Brock Lesnar over Frank Mir via TKO due to strikes, Round One.

Now touch gloves and come out swingin'...