UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008 Predictions

Michael BairCorrespondent IOctober 27, 2008

Although in the distant future at two months away, UFC 92 holds a special place in my heart, as it will be my first MMA event attended.

My 21st birthday is in just less than a month, the day before Thanksgiving and when my parents asked me what I would like to do, UFC 92 was my first choice.

Luckily for me they were willing and I purchased two tickets to UFC 92 today and will be making the five-hour drive from Phoenix to Las Vegas on December 27th for the event.

It is only fitting that I mark the occasion and try to vent some of my overflowing anticipation by previewing and predicting the outcomes of the three marquee fights that will anchor UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008.

In the third main event, my personal favorite as a Rampage Jackson fan, is the third meeting of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Wanderlei Silva.

These two light heavyweights met twice before in the PRIDE organization with Wanderlei taking both fights via knockouts by knees.

While Rampage has gone 3-1 in the UFC and won the Light Heavyweight championship, Wanderlei has gone 1-1 losing to Chuck Liddell on last New Year’s card and knocking out Keith Jardine at UFC 84.

I expect Rampage to take this fight probably by way of being a Rampage fan, however, I don’t expect Rampage, who I still personally consider the top light heavyweight in the world to drop such a crucial fight.

Rampage will be focused to prove that he can finally conquer Wanderlei and is recovered from his breakdown following losing the title to Forrest Griffin and the legal problems that ensued.

The more restrictive kneeing rules of UFC with respect to PRIDE will work in Rampages favor and I see his two years of youth and athleticism advantage to be too much for Wanderlei to overcome in this fight and Rampage will be able to place himself right back into title contention.

In the next headliner, UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera will take on his fellow Ultimate Fighter coach Frank Mir.

I expect Minotauro to overwhelm Mir in this bout by way of his superior striking and undeniable toughness. While Mir is a skilled submission artist, I feel that his days as a UFC Champion have passed.

Minotauro should retain his interim belt and set himself up for a future unification bout with the winner of the Randy Couture—Brock Lesnar fight at UFC 91.

In the main event of the evening, Forrest Griffin puts his UFC Light Heavyweight Title on the line against fellow The Ultimate Fighter alum
“Sugar” Rashad Evans.

While I have great expectations for Rashad Evans, I feel Forrest Griffin has the experience and skill to retain his title against Evans.

Griffin defeated Rampage Jackson to win his belt, who I feel is in a way a more talented and skilled Rashad Evans.

I do not want that to be construed as a comparison based on the fact that both are African-American, I simply feel that they are similar based on their striking power, wrestling prowess and athleticism.

I feel that if Griffin has the ability to pull out a decision against someone of Rampage Jackson’s ability, he will not lose to Rashad Evans unless Evans catches him with a shot similar to the one he dropped Chuck Liddell with.

All in all given only the three headline matches, I feel that UFC 92 has the ability to live up to its label as “The Ultimate.”

I look forward to hearing others predictions for this event and am anxiously anticipating December 27th.