When I first glanced at the UFC 103 card, I wasn’t nearly as excited for it as I had been in the past.  UFC 100 was great, and UFC 102 had Nogueira vs Couture.  Giving the card a second look, I did find a few points of interest.  I’ll mention those as I go through the predictions.

As always, My intention is to do predictions for each of the big UFC events – whether on Spike TV or on PPV. Once the event is over, I’ll update the entry and list who the winner was, as well as keeping track of the percentage I was able to correctly predict.

Preliminary card

Lightweight bout:
Efrain Escudero (Mexico) vs. Cole Miller (United States)
Point of Interest – Efrain Escudero won The Ultimate Fighter Season 8, and this is his first UFC PPV fight.
Point of Interest – I know a guy who is training with Cole Miller
Cole Miller beat Junie Browning back in April, which makes me a fan of his (at least to some degree)
I have to go with Cole Miller here, not only because of his UFC experience, but also because of loyalty to my friend.
Official Prediction: Cole Miller by Decision

Middleweight bout:
Drew McFedries (United States) vs. Tomasz Drwal (Poland)
McFedries has lost 4 of his last 7
Drwal has only lost 2 fights in his career, one of them was 5 years ago, the other was to Thiago Silva (an understandable loss).
Easy decision for me to make.
Official Prediction: Tomasz Drwal by TKO

Lightweight bout:
Jim Miller (United States) vs. Steve Lopez (United States)
Miller only has one loss in the past few years (to Gray Maynard by decision), and Steve Lopez doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page.
Another easy prediction sure to be wrong.
Official Prediction: Jim Miller by decision

Lightweight bout:
Rafaello Oliveira (Brazil) vs. Nik Lentz (United States)
Two guys making their UFC debut, so really I don’t have much to go on.  Nik Lentz has more experience, but Rafaello is Brazilian.  Nik Lentz replaces Dan Lauzon due to injury, and since Rafaello was the initial pick to fight on the event, I’m guessing UFC looks at him more highly than Lentz.  A Brazilian who knows Jiu Jitsui who the UFC wants to give a chance to prove himself?  Sure, that’s my pick.
Official Prediction: Rafaello Oliveira by Submission

Welterweight bout:
Rick Story (United States) vs. Brian Foster (United States)
I read a little bit about the history of both guys, and it would be tough to make any kind of informed decision.  Brian Foster is making his UFC debut, and since he’s fueled by anger over his brother’s death, I’m going to go with him as my prediction.
Official Prediction: Brian Foster by TKO

Light Heavyweight bout:
Eliot Marshall (United States) vs. Jason Brilz (United States)
Point of Interest – Eliot Marshall was a contestant on one of the seasons of The Ultimate Fighter that I watched.
Jason Brilz has a ton of fights under his belt (and has yet to suffer his second loss), but he has just as many UFC appearances as Marshall.
They seem to have similar submission skills.
Tough call.
Official Prediction: Jason Brilz by decision

Light Heavyweight bout:
Vladimir Matyushenko (Belarus) vs. Igor Pokrajac (Croatia)
Battle of the Eastern Europeans.  Nice.
Mild Point of Interest – Vladimir’s nickname is The Janitor
They’re both making their UFC debut, but Matyushenko was in Affliction and IFL before this fight, whereas most of Pokrajac’s fights have been in Croatia.
They’re both a long way from home in this one, but it’s probably going to matter more to Igor.
Official Prediction: Vladimir Matyushenko by decision

Lightweight bout:
Rob Emerson (United States) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (Brazil)
Rob Emerson loses one of every three fights he’s in, which isn’t bad.  He showed in his last fight that he’s suceptible to being submitted.
Rafael dos Anjos has lost his past two (which is kinda ironic, since “dos” means “two” in Spanish… even though Brazilians speak Portugese), but the first of those two losses was right around the time when his first child was born.
I think Rafael is going to take his skill which helped him submit a few people back in Brazil and win one for his daughter.
Official Prediction: Rafael dos Anjos by Submission

Main card

Lightweight bout:
Tyson Griffin (United States) vs. Hermes Franca (Brazil)
They each have recent losses to Sherk and Edgar.
Tyson Griffin has only lost to those two individuals.
Hermes Franca has a few extra losses
Mild Point of Interest – I keep hearing the name Tyson Griffin, and I think there’s probably a reason for that.  Not my strongest of reasons for a prediction, but I’ll go with it.
Official Prediction: Tyson Griffin by decision

Welterweight bout:
Josh Koscheck (United States) vs. Frank Trigg (United States)
Koscheck has lost three matches in the past two years to quality opponents.
Frank Trigg makes his return to UFC after being gone for four years, but before he left, he was fighting Matt Hughes and GSP, two of the sport’s best.
Mild Point of Interest – Frank Trigg spent some time with TNA wrestling, mostly hanging around with Kurt Angle, so I’m interested to see what he can actually do in the octagon.
Trigg is 6 years older than Koscheck, and only one of Trigg’s wins in the past three years has been without a judge’s decision.
Official Prediction: Josh Koscheck by decision

Welterweight bout:
Martin Kampmann (Denmark) vs. Paul Daley (United Kingdom)
The only loss I’d really credit to Kampmann’s record was to Nate Marquardt.
Paul Daley has a ton of fights to his record for only being 26, and two of his last five before his UFC debut at UFC 103 were losses.
I’m probably wrong, but my gut tells me what to say.
Official Prediction: Martin Kampmann by Submission

Heavyweight bout:
Mirko Filipović (Croatia) vs. Junior dos Santos (Brazil)
Point of Interest – I’ve heard a lot about both Cro Cop (Mirko) and Junior dos Santos, so I’m highly looking forward to watching them in action.
Cro Cop has been in a ton of fights, has tons of experience, but has probably also suffered quite a bit of damage.
Junior dos Santos hasn’t ever been out of the first round for one of his fights, so Cro Cop could show whether or not he’s a legit contender.
Official Prediction: Cro Cop by decision

Catchweight (195 lb) bout:
Rich Franklin (United States) vs. Vitor Belfort (Brazil)
Point of Interest – I’ve heard tons about Rich Franklin, but I’ve never seen him fight.  He’s a math teacher whose only losses are to Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, and Dan Henderson – three opponents who I hold in high regard.
Belfort’s list of losses is similar to Franklin’s, only his includes Couture, Liddell, Sakuraba, Ortiz, and Alistair Overeem.
Judging from how Franklin has done in the past, it seems like he’s got some intangiables that help him get victories.  It’s going to be tough, though, since this is Belfort’s first UFC match in 4 years and he’ll probably want a good showing.
Official Prediction: Vitor Belfort by KO