Tonight’s UFC Fight Night is in the DC area, and for reasons I won’t get into here, I decided not to get tickets to the event, but it’s not because I expect the card to be sub-par.  I’d love to see a UFC event live, but alas, not tonight.

Because I’m trying to predict all UFC events, I’m definitely including this one.  I have limited time to research, so I expect my predictions to be less strong than usual.

Main Card

* Lightweight bout:
United States Gray Maynard vs. United States Nate Diaz
Maynard is a wrestler & boxer, which always makes me wonder how he’d do against a good BJJ fighter.  He’s 8-0, though, with 6 wins in UFC going back 2.5 years.
Nate Diaz has amassed 3 losses in the span of time Maynard has been competing for UFC, but Diaz has a black belt in BJJ.  Diaz won the previous encounter between the two in the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter Season 5.
The experts say Diaz has a good chin, and since I’ve been burned in the past by predicting undefeated fighters, I’ll go with Nate for this one.
Prediction: Nate Diaz

* Lightweight bout:
Mexico Efrain Escudero vs. United States Evan Dunham
Evan Dunham’s record (9-0) is impressive, but Escudero has never suffered a loss in his 13 reported professional fights.
On more than one occasion I’ve made the mistake of thinking that Efrain Escudero wasn’t as special as his record shows, and just because I don’t want to be proven wrong on the same thing YET AGAIN, I’ll go Efrain.
Prediction: Efrain Escudero

* Middleweight bout:
United States Tom Lawlor vs. United States Aaron Simpson
The odds are in favor of this fight ending early – a trademark of both Simpson and Lawlor.
Given my choice, I’d pick a guy who gets quick submissions instead of a guy who gets quick knockouts… though I’m sure to be proven wrong with this fight.  It’ll probably be a win by decision for Simpson.
Prediction: Tom Lawlor

* Welterweight bout:
United States Amir Sadollah vs. United States Brad Blackburn
Even though I like the fact that Brad Blackburn’s Wikipedia page dares me to try to say “Bad Brad Blackburn” 5 times fast, I don’t like the fact that his past two fights had to go to decision.
Amir’s last fight also went to decision, but I really like Sadollah’s chances to grow as a fighter and keep showing improvement as he continues to go through the ranks in UFC.  He interviews well and appears to have good knowledge of his sport.  Plus, he’s from Richmond, VA, which is only about 2 hours from where the event is being held tonight, and that’s enough for me.
Prediction: Amir Sadollah

Preliminary Card

* Middleweight bout:
United States Chris Leben vs. Brazil Jay Silva
Jay Silva’s UFC debut back in September was a loss by decision to C.B. Dollaway, so he’s probably going to be working his ass off in this fight to make sure he has a good showing against his veteran opponent.
Leben has quite the resume, but his last fight – back in August – he lost to a guy who has since been cut from UFC’s roster.
Going with my gut on this one.
Prediction: Jay Silva

* Welterweight bout:
United States Rick Story vs. United States Jesse Lennox
I respect the fact that Rick Story was in the National Guard and was 2nd in the nation for amateur wrestling.  His record of 8-3 is not as good as Lennox’s 11-1, but the things I’ve been reading about Rick Story make me want to root for the guy.
It’s highly possible that Jesse Lennox is going to win, but I’ll take that chance in hopes of having the guy with the good “story” (pun intended) get the win.
Prediction: Rick Story

* Lightweight bout:
Brazil Thiago Tavares vs. United States Nik Lentz
Nik Lentz is undefeated going back nearly 3 years (a loss by Doctor Stoppage back in March 2007), though only one of his 9 wins was with the UFC.
Thiago Tavares has been with UFC since April of 2007, and anytime he fights someone who I’ve heard of, he loses – with a record of 4-3 over that span.
I’m going to predict that the UFC saw something good in Lentz, and that he’ll win the fight.
Prediction: Nik Lentz

* Welterweight bout:
United States Mike Guymon vs. Canada Rory MacDonald
Some people would say that Mike Guymon is the better choice.  At 35, he’s 15 years older than his opponent, but he only has a few extra fights on his resume.
“The Waterboy” Rory MacDonald is undefeated with 9 wins, but he’s never had a fight outside of Canada (though the weather in Fairfax, VA tonight might feel like Canada).
Hearing about a suicide attempt back in August makes me a little wary of Guymon, though it didn’t stop him from winning back in October.
Tough call, but I’ll have to go with the younger guy who’s already competed in two different weight divisions in his career – winning a title in one of them.
Prediction: Rory MacDonald

* Lightweight bout:
United States Kyle Bradley vs. Brazil Rafael dos Anjos
Getting pretty deep into the undercard, I won’t go into too much detail here.
Nothing Kyle Bradley has done in UFC has been impressive.
dos Anjos?  After his first 4 professional fights, he was 2-2, but then won 9 straight.  At that point he was 11-2, his wife was pregnant, so he lost at UFC 91 (probably distracted) and again 6 months later (new-borns are distracting, too).  Since then he got back on track with a win, and I predict he keeps moving on up.
Prediction: Rafael dos Anjos

* Middleweight bout:
United States Gerald Harris vs. United States John Salter
Both of these guys have good records, and both have finished their past 4 professional fights without  needing a decision.  It’s the UFC debut for both guys.
Gerald Harris has more professional experience and likes to finish fights off quick.  Overcoming the tragedy of his brother’s death earlier this year (finishing two fights in less than 2 minutes each since then), I predict Harris continues his winning ways.
Prediction: Gerald Harris

* Middleweight bout:
United States Nick Catone vs. United States Jesse Forbes
Jesse Forbes has gained some high praise from Ken Shamrock during The Ultimate Fighter, but all he seemed to do while associated to that show was lose.  He’s training with some good guys out in Arizona, and since the losses related to The Ultimate Fighter, he’s put together quite a few wins with only 2 losses.
Nick Catone has lost two of his three UFC fights – all within the past year, and he wasn’t even supposed to be Forbes opponent for this fight.
Seems to me like maybe someone saw something good in Forbes that had them decide to give Jesse another shot in the UFC, so I’ll pick him to win.
Prediction: Jesse Forbes