If one thing can be said about the year of MMA in 2009, it will be this: The best is yet to come.
2009 has seen great fights, great defeats, contenders rise and fall, and the youth movement has kicked in. No, this hasn't just happened in the UFC. It's everywhere, and the rest of 2009 is sure to be just as good, if not better than the beginning.
The year has already showcased great fights like Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida, Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva, Martin Kampmann vs. Carlos Condit, Urijah Faber vs. Mike Brown II, Donald Cerrone vs. Jamie Varner, and recently Cerrone's loss to new Interim WEC Lightweight champion Benson Henderson. Yet, the year is still young. Literally.
What can MMA fans expect before year's end? Here's a few things to look out for before UFC 108 kicks the new year off:
Machida should retain his title, Velasquez gets a major step up in competition after his win over Rothwell, and "Rumble" Johnson settles back into his own after the eye poke incident.
Paulo Filho remains on track to return to good competition after win over Yoon, Alvarez continues winning ways; should defend Bellator title early next year.
Strikeforce (Early Nov.)
MMA rising star Luke Rockhold should secure win, his move to UFC imminent. Brett Rogers hands Fedor second loss in professional MMA...yes, you heard me correctly.
Great event overall, Brown succumbing to Aldo, Garcia defeats Gamburyan to come back into Featherweight picture.
UFC 105/Strikeforce (Late Nov.)
Both the Vera and Couture households will be on edge for a little over a week with two fights between the families. UK has a bad night as their mother country hosts losses to Bisping, Wilks, Winner, and Hardy.
UFC 106/TUF 10 Finale
Both events turn out to be great fights, as Tito returns to boos and a loss, Lesnar retains title, "Bones" Jones impresses again in win over Hamill, and Jon Fitch gives Dana White a tough decision to make with Swick's win last month.
Sanchez gets destroyed Hawaiian-style to the tune of BJ Penn's E a la E music, Florian rebounds off his butt-kicking to Penn, and Kongo shocks Mir with quick TKO.
Hope you all liked my predictions. Let me know what you think!