As 2008 is now officially history many look back at the year in Mixed Martial Arts and have differing opinions on the sports success. I found this to be a great year in MMA but here are my 10 predictions for the upcoming year.
10. Although against the idea Dana White gives a contract to Gina Carano.
OK I will admit this is a long shot but I watched EliteXC for one reason and that was to watch Gina fight. Dana said he has no interest in this but this would be a great draw on a free card. Lets face it Gina is an amazing fighter and does draw people. Of course I give this a chance for one reason, Dana likes do things that attract attention to the sport.
If you would have ask me two years ago who would have been the Heavyweight Champion in the UFC I would have said ever Heavyweight I could think of and Brock Lesner's name would not have appeared. With that being said I give this prediction a 25% Chance.
9. Fedor Emelianenko gets his first loss.
I know his record shows a loss but that's a crock. Fedor will probably fight 3 times next year one of those fights being against Andrei Arlovski. Although very unlikely Fedor could lose this fight. I see Affliction sticking around for one more card on July 4, but will get crushed by UFC 100.
So if Fedor takes care of business against Arlovski he will likely fight Josh Barnett. Barnett has defeated an Emelianenko abut that was the younger brother Aleksander. So that leaves about six months left in 2009. So now that leaves it up to Dana White to get it done with Fedor. I can see Fedor fighting whoever is the UFC heavyweight Champ on the day after Christmas in Ultimate 2009.
So who will be the champ, well i can see Randy regaining the championship but i think whoever is the champ will defeat Fedor. Fedor will rebound and avenge his loss in 2010. So all that being said I give this a 45% Chance.
8. Josh Koscheck wins gold at 170.
Josh is the third best at 170 and I think he can beat Thiago if he is given time to prepare. Josh continues what he started in 2008 and blows through the competition and surprises the UFC universe when he wins gold late in the year. I give this a 50% Chance.
7. Deigo Sanchez claims the lightweight belt.
Deigo goes down to 155 and is a nightmare to Joe Daddy and knocks out Kenny Florian again. Next up is BJ Penn and I personally can't wait for this fight. Deigo gets it done and I give this Prediction 40% Chance.
6. Satoshi Ishii makes his UFC debut and does not disappoint.
For those who dont know who Satoshi is he won the gold metal for over 100kg at the Olympics this Summer and is negotiating with the UFC. Whether he fights at 205 or in the Heavyweight division I can see him becoming a legend. There are reports that he could make his debut with Heavyweights on the Tenth Season of the Ultimate Fighter, mostly to get a following with MMA fans. Look for him to train with Xtreme Couture. This is an almost slam dunk, 99% Chance.
5. Chick Liddell goes unbeaten in 2009 and becomes a contender.
It has been a bumpy road since Chuck lost to Rampage, but look for him to bounce back an avenge a loss or two in 2009. One of the fights of 2009 will be won by Chuck when he beats Anderson Silva. Chuck sets up for a title shot in 2010. This is only going to happen if Chuck changes it up a little. I give this a 40% Chance.
4. Urijah Faber regains his WEC title and makes his UFC debut.
Does anyone doubt that Faber will win back his title? After he again beats Jens Pulver, he reclaims his belt. Now to the UFC part of this prediction. Dana won't add 145 in the UFC so Faber moves up to 155 and tries to avenge his only other loss in a rematch with Tyson Griffin. Incidentally this earns Tyson his fifth Fight of the Night Bonus. This one I give 55% Chance.
3.Anderson Silva fights at 205 twice, but only wins once.
185 has no real contenders outside of Bisping, Silva moves up and fights twice at 205. He wins against a contender, like Forrest or Wanderlei. But when the dream match with Chuck Liddell happens his unbeaten UFC record gets its first blemish. Don't worry Silva fans he bounces back and knocks out Bisping. I give this a 65% Chance.
2. Tito Ortiz gets more CAT Scans than wins.
One of the most overrated fighters in MMA gets knocked out twice by relative nobodies. I can see one of his losses coming from Seth Petruzelli. This proves that Ortiz is nearing the end of his career. Don't worry if your a fan of Tito he bounces back by doing what he does best and that is beating someone more over-rated than him, Kimbo or Ken Shamrock. CAT Scans win 2-1 and this one has a 90% Chance.
1. UFC further proves it superiority of MMA organizations and signs a deal with ESPN.
Every single organization that has threatened the UFC has fallen, and Affliction is soon to follow. Shows like the Ultimate Fighter and Fight Night stay on Spike, but ESPN throws money down and get the rights to two UFC fights. ESPN broadcast their first fight in the fall and it is a huge success. This one has potential i give it a 85% Chance.
2008 gave us a great year full of interesting fights and even better story lines. Hopefully 2009 trumps it and gives us all more to talk about.