I'm so excited for UFC 117, I'm surprised I've been able to sleep.
I've shared way too many of my opinions about Chael Sonnen and the buildup of the main event, so I'm going to save my thoughts on that fight until the end.
This is one of the most stacked cards in recent memory and I love the fact that the UFC is presenting this as the US vs Brazil for Mixed Martial Arts superiority.
Though I'm sure some idiot on here will say I'm racist because I like that angle.
If you're that idiot, I suggest you check out the Olympics and see if you think that's racist. I'd suggest the World Cup but even if you are an idiot, I don't want to subject you to soccer.
So let's start with one of my other favorite fighters, the always entertaining (and bloody) Clay Guida vs Rafael Dos Anjos.
Dos Anjos has not really displayed the skills that got him into the UFC since joining the organization; he's coming off a submission of the night at UFC 112.
Guida is also coming off a submission of the night victory at UFC live Jones vs Vera. I think Dos Anjos is tougher than people give him credit for as his record in Brazilian XFC would reflect.
Prediction: Dos Anjos by submission in the second round.
Next we have Matt Hughes vs Ricardo Almeida. I tend to side with Matt Serra when he said Matt Hughes was "a talented dick." Unfortunately for Hughes, he's now an old, past his prime dick.
Almeida, on the other hand, seems to be getting better with every fight. I personally think Hughes is being fed to the young lion here, which is a theme for this fight card we'll see again.
Prediction: Almeida by submission in the first round.
The co-main event presents another interesting matchup of styles in the rematch between Thiago Alves and Jon Fitch. In my humble opinion, Jon Fitch is the MOST overrated fighter in the world. He NEVER finishes anyone, is boring as hell, and thrives in what I consider the weakest division in the UFC.
He has negative stand up and his wrestling is maybe third in his own division after the master of"riddum" Georges St Pierre, and his AKA teammate Josh Koshcheck.
Thiago Alves, on the other hand, had been riding a hot streak before the brain issue that kept this fight from happening earlier this year. In their first matchup, Fitch dominated and actually finished (note that this was about four years ago when Alves was 20 years old), but this is NOT the Thiago Alves from a couple of years ago.
Prediction: Alves by second round KO.
Now we come to the fight I'm most excited about, starring none other than my favorite UFC fighter, The Mighty Junior Dos Santos, vs one of my favorite personalities in all of MMA: Roy Nelson.
This is a tough fight to predict; Roy Nelson is an EXTREMELY skilled fighter with great jiu-jitsu and extremely impressive stand up. The only black mark on his record is a questionable KO loss to Andrei Arlovski.
Junior Dos Santos is on the biggest tear the UFC has seen in awhile. While people made a big deal about known quitter Shane Carwin's streak of ending fights in the first round, no one has mentioned the fact that JDS' last five opponents haven't made the second round, including Gabriel Gonzaga and Mirko Cro-Cop.
The question mark with JDS is his ground game, which we haven't really seen. Another issue is the weight differential, which favors Nelson considerably.
Prediction: Dos Santos by second round KO.
Finally, we arrive at the main event: Chael Sonnen vs Anderson Silva.
This is a tough one for me to predict, based on my love of Chael Sonnen and my absolute hatred of Anderson Silva. However, my personal feelings towards each of these fighters doesn't change the matchup.
While I think it's possible Sonnen can take Silva down, avoid getting submitted, and grind out a five-round decision, I also think there are WAY too many ways Sonnen can lose this fight. He can lose standing up, he can lose on the ground, and he can lose in the clinch.
While Silva is a head case and the UFC's version of Kobe Bryant, there's a reason I watch his stand up training videos. The guy is the best fighter in the World P4P, just like Kobe is the best basketball player in the world.
Unfortunately, I think we'll see the best version of Silva on Saturday, which we should thank Sonnen's trash talk for bringing out.
Prediction: Silva by TKO in the third.