UFC 127 is Saturday night, and as always, Bleacher Report is bringing you the best in live coverage for this event, but before we get to the fun stuff (the actual live coverage), we want one simple question answered.
Are you a band of gamblers, Bleacherholics?
If I were to give you my ten predictions right now, would you be so confident in your visions of these fights that you'd be willing to bet money on the opposite occurring?
Well, if it were me, I'd keep my cash, because I know I'd lose my bank on at least one of the fights, but because I'm one of the few writers who will go balls-out in predicting how certain events will transpire, I'll go ahead and give you my ten predictions for this Down Under card.
Just make sure to give me my cash up front when I get a few of these down right.
Special thanks to Nick Caron for these awesome graphics.
What you have here is a young rising Brit going up against an undefeated Pole in a war of two exciting lightweight prospects.
Warburton suffered his first career loss by decision in a UFC 122 bout with Spencer Fisher, while Maciej Jewtuszko defeated Anthony Njokuani at WEC 50.
Warburton has stopped the majority of his opponents, with one win by guillotine choke and one win by unanimous decision (a unanimous decision that occurred before Warburton's fight with Fisher, which also ended in unanimous decision, albeit as a loss for Warburton).
Meanwhile, "Irokez" has finished half of his opponents, including the knockout of Njokuani, by form of KO, and he's defeated the other half by submission with none of those submission wins coming by way of strikes.
Not bad for a purple belt.
He'll have a chance to delight the crowds in Sydney at UFC 127 this Saturday against Warburton, and don't expect to get any rest during this bout.
I should be enthused about the card from top to bottom, but even I'll admit that this heavyweight bout between the Super Samoan and the Rugby-born Crowbar doesn't have too much intrigue behind it considering both men are coming off of tough losses to youthful competition.
That being said, there are still some interesting points about the fight, even if this fight seems to be "just there" for a heavyweight bout.
For one, the PRIDE legend is looking to get back on the winning trail after suffering a loss to Sean McCorkle in his UFC debut, while Tuchscherer's path back to victory comes off of the heels of a UFC 116 bout with Brendan Schaub.
To many, this should be an easy fight for The Crowbar, but I doubt that Hunt will make it anything but easy.
As a matter of fact, if Hunt wins, it'd definitely be an upset to most pundits of the sport.
Almost everyone would be surprised... except for Hunt himself, his team and Bloodstain Lane.
Okay, maybe I wouldn't be either. I mean, if Cro Cop can beat a Pat Barry, I'm inclined to believe Hunt can beat Tuchscherer.
Don't count out Crowbar just yet though. Remember, Brock Lesnar may not be the best fighter in the world, but his DeathClutch camp still houses some brutal heavyweights.
Honestly, I'm not going to try and call the actual fight between "Kamikaze Camozzi" and Noke because I don't know who has the better stand-up between the two, and the only thing I think about this fight is that Noke is screwed royally if he hasn't prepped for a full fifteen-minute bout with Camozzi whereas Camozzi's likely screwed if Noke gets his neck.
As for Ring, however, I'm definitely saying that as much as I like the guy. It's really hard to hate a guy like Ring, who didn't want to bow out but would've rather done so than given less than his all in a bout because of an injury. He's likely to get finished by Riki Fukuda, who has showed that he isn't afraid to stand and bang.
The only thing that may hinder Fukuda is the fact that DEEP isn't known nationally and therefore, few can say anything positive about him other than "he's Japanese, so he must be at least humble."
Don't sleep on the Killer Bee, though. He may not be as well known or well respected in the States as some feel he should. I mean, the dude is 2-2 in fights on American soil, so unless you saw EliteXC, you likely don't know much about him. But even in his overseas efforts, he's proven that he's not afraid of any type of competition at all.
Now of course, Camozzi-Noke kicks off the main card, but if we see that fight go to a decision, don't be surprised to either check out ION TV's prelims or the PPV broadcast, which does sometimes show the pre-aired prelims, and see that Ring did get finished by Fukuda in stunning and dominating "KO of The Night"-type style.
I'm calling it right now in a move that will not be very relevant to the actual fight that Camozzi has with Kyle Noke on Saturday, but note the song from the "K.O.D." album put out by Aaron "Tech N9ne" Yates two years ago. The same one Camozzi came out to when he fought Dongi Yang at UFC 121.
When he came out to "Demons", he followed up on the wise choice of entrance music by edging out Yang and getting a split decision.
I say win or lose, this guy's coming out to this song--not sure if it fits him at all, but if you can be enough of a badass to come out to Tech N9ne, you must be at least some tough son-of-a-bitch.
Both The Real Deal and The King haven't been shy about their game plans: they're going to throw down when the round starts and they're going to try and implement whatever game plan they have lined up for the other.
Fisher won his last fight by unanimous decision and Ross Pearson lost his fight against Cole Miller, so Pearson's going to be looking to score a big win at Fisher's expense.
That being said, I would not expect a finish in this one, although I would not be surprised to see a finish also.
Expect this fight to have at least one round that's a real doozy, and really a round that can only be judged based solely on who you were backing in the fight.
This one's outcome is going to be one of the few decisions in MMA in which we can all definitely give the judges a free pass from the same ripping and tearing we always give them when we think they made an incorrect call.
This one's going 29-28 across the board, but it's going to be a split "D" this time out.
Note the expertly done (by Nick Caron) graphic of what was my original "Fight of The Night" pick before Carlos Condit got injured.
Condit's replacement is a tough cage veteran in Brian Ebersole, who feels he can find a method of victoryy regardless of what Lytle attempts to do.
Of course, when you think of guys who can wrap fights up from literally anywhere, you've got to be thinking of "Mr. Fight of The Night", Chris Lytle.
It's weird to think his fight will still be an FOTN candidate, even though this is clearly a fight that Lytle is not supposed to lose, despite the experience Ebersole has as a fighter (he's got eleven more fights than Lytle does), but the fact is that Lytle's fights never truly disappoint regardless of whether he wins or he loses.
I'd expect nothing different come Saturday night against Ebersole.
George Sotiropoulos has been on a roll, and many feel a win over Dennis Siver will earn him a crack at the winner of the Frankie Edgar-Gray Maynard bout.
Allow me to be in the minority that recognizes that earning the Submission of the Night in your home country merely because you won in your home country does a lot of things, but it doesn't make you the man that stands between a hungry prospect and the belt.
A win for Sotiropoulos is equal to the win Siver got over Andre Winner, but if G-Sot gets the Anthony Pettis-Clay Guida winner and defeats that man, then he'll have truly earned either Edgar or Maynard.
Maybe it's because I like Sotiropoulos, maybe it's because Siver never shone too brightly to me, or maybe it's because I think Siver's likely not going to be known for anything other than derailing Soti's hype train if he wins, but whatever it is, it's ominous for Siver.
Sure, it's possible that he beats Sotiropoulos and spoils George's chances of getting either the winner of Pettis-Guida or the winner of Edgar-Maynard III, but I don't believe Siver can or will be able to capitalize on whatever momentum he does pick up with a win over Sotiropoulos.
I'll make it this clear right now: it doesn't matter who Siver gets lined up against if he does beat Sotiropoulos, but this is MMA World, where the timeframe between fight cards by itself causes more short-term memory loss than does the prolonged usage of marijuana.
By the end of Siver's next bout, it won't matter how much of a hype train he gets rolling with a win over Sotiropoulos, but he's not going to get past his next opponent, no matter who he is.
As far as a win over Sotiropoulos goes, certain things are easy to get over and forget.
A win over the Aussie would fall under this category, like it or not, because then it'd be Siver who had the mounting pressure on him to earn his title shot and it'd be Siver who risk fading into obscurity by losing a fight.
Don't try telling Michael Bisping the myth of all Brits disliking the idea of an actual wrestling game, because I can assure you he'll say different.
He's actually taken down people before and he's used the takedowns to set up for finishes as well as grind them out, and unless your name is Dan Henderson, your only shot to win outside of a robbery on the cards is earning a decision by outstriking him or controlling him on the ground.
Neither of those things are things that Jorge Rivera will do this Saturday, though he will bang on the feet with the Brit in what could likely be the most epic non-title UFC middleweight fight since Scott Smith-Pete Sell.
He'll get a knockdown and he'll come close to wrapping the fight up, but Bisping will hang on and barely make it out of round one, but expect his conditioning and his takedown game to come into play in the later rounds.
I won't be surprised if Rivera wins, as most people are actually pulling more for The Count to fall short than they are for Rivera to win based on pure ability, but I do see Bisping doing what he expected himself to do the last time he was in Australia and win this fight against an opponent with dangerous striking ability.
Who are we kidding?
I mean, yeah, Fitch is supposed to face GSP again if he beats BJ Penn, but consider the option of Fitch living up to his word and actually finishing BJ, then ask yourself two questions:
1. Does Dana White really feel that Fitch will have earned his rematch with GSP, or did he just put the title shot as a stipulation just so people will pretend that the Welterweight division isn't mostly cleared out?
2. Is Fitch really going to get any more respect by finishing BJ Penn than he did from going three rounds with Thiago Alves?
Personally, my answer to that second question was "no", because no matter if Fitch does finish an opponent or not, he's never losing the reputation of being a "lay and pray fighter".
He could make us wonder if the guy he knocks out or submits was really BJ Penn or if that was really Fitch who got the "W", but it wouldn't matter because at the end of the day, people aren't going to be sold on the fact that Fitch can win a fight without taking it the distance.
They know that he's likely going to grind out other people, come out with a decision win, and in the case of BJ Penn, they'll pretend that BJ should call it a career when the truth is that he's still got enough in him to put on consistently good performances against the best Welterweights in the UFC.
Either way, Fitch is still going to be considered a lay-and-pray fighter regardless of how he wins against BJ.
Oh, and the title shot?
It'll be talked about, but he won't get it until he finishes off someone in the lower-tier that is overhyped to where we're supposed to believe they can actually beat Fitch.
My name is Dale De Souza, and I'm an MMA Arsonist as well as an MMA Anarchist who only aligns with Bleacher Report MMA and Sprawl N Brawl MMA, as well as Real Sports Net.