UFC 134: Predicting Who Will Win Fight, Submission and KO of the Night
UFC 134 is less than 24 hours away and it has all the potential to be the UFC's most exciting event this year.
The event is taking place in Rio de Janeiro, marking he first time the UFC has held an event in Brazil in more than a decade.
Naturally, the UFC has stacked the card with some of Brazil's top talent and all of these fighters will be looking to put on an impressive performance in their homeland.
We can expect a lot of fighters to come out trying to give the best performances of their careers and that should make for a lot of wildly exciting fights and some brutal finishes.
The UFC likes to encourage fighters to put on a good show and finish their opponents by offering bonuses for Fight, Submission and Knockout of the night.
Which fighters will walk out of Rio with a little extra money in the bank?
Let's take a look...
Submission of the Night: Raphael Assuncao
Raphael Assuncao will be fighting Johnny Eduardo on the events undercard.
He was originally thought to be fighting Darren Uyenoyama, but due to contractual issues with Shooto, the fight was never finalized.
Eduardo is sort of a replacement opponent for Assuncao and is definitely not the most threatening opponent Assuncao has faced.
Having fought the likes of Urijah Faber, Diego Nunes and Yves Jabouin, Eduardo is used to being in the cage with some of the best fighters in his weight class.
So, he should be absolutely ready for anything Eduardo can bring to the table.
Assuncao will be the much more relaxed competitor in this fight and, given the guys he's been fighting lately, this will feel like an easy fight for him.
With nine submission victories under his belt, Assuncao is known for his submission game and that will be how he wins this fight.
Despite there being a lot of fighters on this card with good jiu-jitsu, I'm not expecting very many fights to end by submission and I think Assuncao will be the man to snag the Submission of the Night bonus.
Knockout of the Night: Anderson Silva
Considering that Anderson Silva is the best striker in all of mixed martial arts, it's kind of hard to bet against him for Knockout of the Night.
Yushin Okami has all the right tools to give Silva a run for his money, but I think it's just a matter of time before Silva catches him with something and wins the fight via TKO.
Once Silva starts landing shots repeatedly, I think Okami will freeze up a bit, like he did the first time these two fought —and that just makes Silva's job that much easier.
Though I see Silva winning this one by TKO, I don't think it will legitimately be the best knockout of the night.
I'm thinking that either Thiago Tavares vs. Spencer Fisher or Luiz Cane vs. Stanislov Nedkov will end with a knockout more devastating than Silva's, but Silva will be given the nod for Knockout of the Night because of the significance of his victory.
For the record, I believe Okami will put up a better fight than some are expecting. It's going to take Silva until near the end of the third round to put him away.
Fight of the Night: Rousimar Palhares vs. Dan Miller
This fight has "three-round war" written all over it.
Palhares is the more technically skilled fighter, so I don't see Miller finishing him and I don't see Palhares finishing Miller because no one has ever finished Miller.
Both these guys are talented jiu-jitsu artists, so I'm expecting a really back-and-forth battle on the ground, with Miller just sneaking out of a few dangerous submission attempts.
Most of the fight will likely be contested on the mat, but I expect the few stand up exchanges that will take place to be quite exciting.
Neither man is known as a skilled striker. I think at times they will let there hands go a bit and it will be a pretty sloppy display. That's fine, though. There's few things fans like more than a slug-fest.
All in all, I think this one will be a good competitive fight and that both fighters will stay active, no matter where the fight goes.
The ground work will be the highlight and it'll be one of few fights there have been where even the casual fans really appreciate the grappling portions of the fight.