UFC 113 Machida Rua 2

UFC 113 Machida vs Rua Take 2

Just as I always do, I’m making predictions for UFC 113.  There are some really interesting fights on this card, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Main Card

* Light Heavyweight Championship bout:
Brazil – Lyoto Machida (c) vs. Brazil – Mauricio Rua
The reigning light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida was victorious in the first fight between these two, but this rematch was determined to be the next title shot for Machida because so many people considered the outcome to be questionable, including UFC President Dana White – who approached Rua right after the decision was announced and said that he had scored the fight in favor of Rua (though his “scorecard” wasn’t part of the official judging for the fight).
Just like last time, I like Lyoto Machida to win this fight.  I think he’s a better all-around fighter who wasn’t as prepared last time as he will be tomorrow night.  Rua found a strategy last time which was working against Lyoto, but now the champion has had plenty of time to prepare for it.  In fact, I don’t think this one will even go to decision.  I think Lyoto will get the knockout somewhere in the second or third round.
Prediction:  Lyoto Machida

* Welterweight bout:
United States – Josh Koscheck vs. England – Paul Daley
I’m almost sure to predict this one wrong.
I really like the knockout power that Paul Daley has shown in his past few fights.  I think he’s a great competitor who is only going to continue to increase his reputation the more he fights in UFC (with Saturday night being his third ever for UFC).
Josh Koscheck has a great reputation already, but he’s yet to get a championship fight in UFC.  The winner of this fight is said to get a chance to fight Georges St Pierre for the UFC Welterweight title in addition to being a coach on an upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter (with Georges St Pierre being the opposing coach that season).
I really want to pick Paul Daley, but Koscheck’s past few fights have shown that he’s able to get the job done against guys who have the ability to throw knockout punches, and in his career he’s fought some really tough opponents and will know how to prepare for Daley.
Prediction:  Josh Koscheck

* Lightweight bout:
Canada – Sam Stout vs. United States – Jeremy Stephens
When I first looked at this card, the name Sam Stout didn’t ring a bell for me, but something tells me that after UFC 113, I probably should know him.  His past 11 matches, 4 of them have been given Fight Of The Night honors – with Stout winning 3 of those fights (and three of the 11 weren’t eligiable, since they weren’t in UFC, so that’s an impressive 4 of 8 which won the honors).
Stephens doesn’t have the best record, having lost three of his last 5 fights, but the ones that he did win were awarded Knockout Of The Night honors.
Though we respect what Stephens has done, we just can’t pick him based on recent trends.  We are betting that this fight gets selected for Fight Of The Night honors, though.
Prediction:  Sam Stout

* Heavyweight bout:
The Bahamas – Kimbo Slice vs. United States – Matt Mitrione
I’m heavily anticipating this fight.  The MMA world will be split on who they want to win.  Kimbo has his fans and detractors, and I’m guessing that anyone who watched the Heavyweights season of The Ultimate Fighter is going to be hoping Kimbo wins.  Not only do I have respect for Kimbo after watching that season, seeing how humble and willing to learn he is, but I also don’t really like Matt Mitrione.  I’m sure he might be an okay guy, but from how he seemed on the show, I’d like to see him get knocked out – and hopefully Kimbo Slice is the one to make it happen!
Prediction:  Kimbo Slice

* Middleweight bout:
Canada – Patrick Côté vs. United States – Alan Belcher
I have all the respect in the world for Patrick Côté, who is the only fighter in MMA history to make it to the third round against the legendary Anderson Silva.  This was the last time Patrick Côté got into the octagon for a professional fight, suffering a leg injury which caused the fight to be stopped.  It will be very interesting to see what happens when Patrick Côté gets a rematch against Anderson Silva.
I also think very highly of Alan Belcher, whose last two fights I’ve really enjoyed – both winning Fight Of The Night honors (one of which was on a VERY stacked UFC 100 card).  His only loss in his last four outings was to Yoshihiro Akiyama by split decision in a fight where Belcher broke Akiyama’s orbital bone (in his face).
I almost flipped a coin to decide this one, but I have to go with the guy who is looking to rebound from injury after not fighting for more than a year.
Prediction:  Patrick Côté

Preliminary Card

Starting with my UFC 113 predictions, I’m only giving my reasoning for the predictions on the main card, and if there’s something particular I want to note about one of the preliminary fights, I’ll include that piece of information in addition to my prediction.

* Middleweight bout:
Canada – Joe Doerksen vs. United States – Tom Lawlor
This will be Joe Doerksen’s 7th UFC fight, though he’s only one once for the company before – back in 2005 against Patrick Côté.  He has won 43 fights for other companies, though.
Tom Lawlor I remember from The Ultimate Fighter: Mir vs Nogueira season.  I thought he did really well, and in his last two fights he’s earned Submission Of The Night honors and Fight Of The Night honors (the latter, albeit in a losing cause).
Prediction:  Tom Lawlor

* Welterweight bout:
United States – Marcus Davis vs. Canada – Jonathan Goulet
I have to go with the Irish Hand Grenade on this one, not only because I like his nickname, but because I’ve been impressed with the fights I’ve seen him in.
Prediction:  Marcus Davis

* Welterweight bout:
Canada – TJ Grant vs. United States – Johny Hendricks
Currently undefeated, Johny Hendricks looks like he could be the real deal.  Watch out for this guy.
Prediction:  Johny Hendricks

* Heavyweight bout:
Canada – Tim Hague vs. United States – Joey Beltran
Beltran has fought twice in 2010 already, and because they both went to the second round, that’s one fight too many.
Prediction:  Tim Hague

* Welterweight bout:
Japan – Yoshiyuki Yoshida vs. United States – Mike Guymon
Yoshida has lost two of the past three, and Guymon is coming off of a very tough spot in his life.  I seem to think UFC might be trying to throw him a bone to see if they can get him back on a winning track.
Prediction:  Mike Guymon

* Middleweight bout:
Canada – Jason MacDonald vs. United States – John Salter
MacDonald is a talented competitor when he’s on his game, and Salter faltered in his UFC debut.  MacDonald makes his UFC redebut after being gone from the company for the past year.
Prediction:  Jason MacDonald