On Saturday night, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will be holding an event in San Jose, CA for the first time.
Headlining the card is former Pride and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson, who will be making his return to the Octagon against former UFC light heavyweight champion "Shogun" Rua.
The co-main event will also feature a pair of former champions facing off, as Wanderlei Silva takes on Cung Le.
Rounding out the card, former WEC champions Urijah Faber and Brian Bowles will face off in a bantamweight bout, Rick Story will go up against veteran Martin Kampmann and TUF season one winner Stephan Bonnar will go toe-to-toe with Kyle Kingsbury.
On the eve of the event, let's make some last-minute predictions.
This is a match between two tough and rugged light heavyweights. Both have had some success inside the Octagon, but neither has been able to compete at a high level.
It would seem if one fighter had an advantage, it would be Bonnar with his ground game—which has led to more than half his victories.
Given how tough both fighters are, don't expect to see a finish in this bout. Expect to see Bonnar get the fight to the ground, and keep it there a majority of the time en route to winning a unanimous decision.
Rick Story will be returning to the Octagon for the first time since his loss against last-minute replacement Charlie Brenneman.
Kampmann, on the other hand, is coming off of two straight losses against Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez.
So, you have one fighter—Story—who is looking to climb his way back to the top of the welterweight division against a fighter—Kampmann—who could possibly be fighting for his job.
Story is very dangerous early, but if you can stifle his early offense, it has been shown that he can be frustrated. Kampmann has been around a long time and more than likely has noticed this.
When all is said and done, expect Kampmann to have his hand raised in victory after a hard-fought 15 minutes of action.
The winner of this bout could very easily be put into the bantamweight title contender picture. Both fighters are former WEC champions and are also very talented.
While Faber looked pretty good in his last outing against Dominick Cruz, it appears that "The California Kid" may have already seen his best days.
Bowles, though he is only one year younger than Faber, is much younger in fighting years.
With all of that said, you can never count Faber out of a fight; expect to see his hand raised in triumph after he earns a decision victory.
Out of all the fights on the card, this is the easiest to predict.
To make this short and sweet, Silva throws loopy punches and has a very suspect chin. Le throws straight strikes and has a solid chin.
You should be surprised if this fight sees a second round, as Le should win this one via first round knockout. Then the Silva retirement talks can begin.
We all know Henderson is going to come out looking to connect with his deadly right hand. The biggest question of this bout is which Shogun will show up?
Since his debut in the UFC four years ago, Shogun has had a roller coaster of a run with the promotion. There seems to be no middle ground; he is either really good or really bad on any given night.
If trends hold true, Saturday night will be an off night for Shogun. Add this to that the fact Henderson really wants a shot at light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, and this is going to be a bad night for Rua.
Rua may be able to use his footwork to avoid Henderson's bombs for a while, but Hendo will connect at some point and put Shogun to sleep.