UFC 114 will provide a lot of answers to a couple of burning questions.
Predictions are as follows...
Diego Sanchez vs. John Hatha way
After Kenny Florian lost big to BJ Penn, Sanchez was the only hope for the lightweight division ending Penn's reign as champ. Even though Sanchez showed heart, he still lost badly.
Sanchez is known for his explosive combinations and high energy. However, his opponent at UFC 114 will not be easy to beat.
Hathaway is undefeated—and in the Octagon he's 3-0—though two of those matches ended in decision. He often chooses to stay standing, but he does have submission capability.
Against Sanchez, though, Hathaway is sure to have a tough fight. Expect fireworks because neither of these men want to go down, and it's likely that neither will until much later in the fight.
Prediction: Sanchez by unanimous decision.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Jason Brilz
Little Nog hasn't had as many fights as his twin brother, but he's just as versatile in his fighting. He can knee in the clinch, he has punching power, and of course, he has submissions.
Jason Brilz, a fill-in for Forrest Griffin, is 18-2 with most his victories by submission. Needless to say, this will be a ground battle.
Prediction : Brilz will win by split decision. This won't be an easy match, but Brilz's wrestling should help nullify Nogueira's power for the last couple of rounds.
Todd Duffee vs. Mike Russow
Duffee has a lot to prove in the UFC. Granted he holds the UFC fasted knockout record, but we want to see him go the duration. Will Russow be the one to push him?
Russow's a tough fighter. He has a great ground game, and at 12-1, he's no slouch.
If Russow can get Duffee to the ground, it will be interesting—but far from over. We would get to see Duffee's wrestling capability and how truly versatile he is.
Prediction : Duffee wins in Round One by TKO.
Michael Bisping vs. Dan Miller
Michael Bisping started his UFC career with a bang. After winning TUF 3 as a light heavyweight, Bisping went on to defeat Eric Schafer, Elvis Sinosic, and Matt Hamill, although the Hamill victory was controversial.
Bisping went on to lose to Rashad Evans, win a few more fights, and then get knocked out in what was probably Dan Henderson's best playmaker highlight reel punch, which the world will never forget.
Bisping then won over Denis Kang, and though he looked to be back to his old self, Wanderlei Silva stopped his momentum at UFC 110. This fluctuating record makes Bisping somewhat unpredictable, though to his credit he hung in there against Silva until the very end.
Dan Miller is in a similar position to Bisping, which is probably why they are facing each other. Miller has lost his last two matches, although they were against two of the top middleweights: Demian Maia and Chael Sonnen.
Before then, Miller won a few fights by decision, but his real danger is in his submissions. When Miller has won by submission, each victory has been in the first round.
Prediction: Bisping needs to keep this fight standing and he should be able to. Bisping wins in Round Three by TKO.
Rashad Evans vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
Rampage has relied on talk this past year. A bunch of talk of how he's been training at a world-class gym for over a year. That's why he had time to film a movie and get that gut?
A lot of people have pointed out that Rampage is more powerful than Evans, that he used to slam people in Pride and that's he's a wrestler at heart. What these people should realize is that this was in the past.
Nobody can predict how Rampage will perform. Evans, on the other hand, will for sure be fighting at the top of his game and with peak conditioning.
At best, Rampage will be the same he was in his last fight, and that won't be good enough for Evans. Rampage's last couple of fights went to decision, so people shouldn't pretend that this is the same Rampage of Pride.
In a training comparison, Greg Jackson has stellar fighters at his facility. Evans wrestles Shane Carwin, the centaur himself, after he's already exhausted.
Evans spars with Nate Marquardt and he has spent time wrestling with GSP. Rampage, on the other hand, goes to the same camp that Bisping does...and that's about it.
From what we know, Evans is faster, hungrier, better at wrestling, is more fit, and can slip and counter while staying out of the clinch and simply wants it more.
Prediction : Evans will easily come out on top. Evans by Round Two KO.
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