Despite my terrible predictions for the UFC Fight For The Troops 2 card a few weeks ago, I’m still keeping up my trend of making predictions for each event UFC produces.  Regardless of how accurate my predictions are, I at least try to provide a bit of my thought process for why I made various decisions.

Don’t take these picks to Vegas… and if you do, at least buy a GuysNation tshirt with your winnings.

Preliminary card

* Welterweight bout:
United States – Mike Pierce vs. United States – Kenny Robertson

Pierce has too many decisions on his resume, and Robertson is impressive at 10-0.

Prediction:  Kenny Robertson

* Light Heavyweight bout:
Brazil – Ricardo Romero vs. United States – Kyle Kingsbury

Prediction:  Ricardo Romero

* Lightweight bout:
England – Paul Taylor vs. United States – Gabe Ruediger

Prediction: Gabe Ruediger

Preliminary card (Facebook Stream)

* Bantamweight bout:
Japan – Norifumi Yamamoto vs. United States – Demetrious Johnson

Prediction:  Norifumi Yamamoto

Preliminary card (Spike TV)

* Featherweight bout:
United States – Chad Mendes vs. Japan – Michihiro Omigawa

Mendes has too many decision victories for my liking, and Omigawa seems to know how to finish.

Prediction:  Omigawa

* Lightweight bout:
United States – Donald Cerrone vs. England – Paul Kelly

Cerrone only seems to lose to the best in his weight class, and Paul Kelly doesn’t fit that description.

Prediction:  Donald Cerrone

Main card

* Bantamweight bout:
United States – Miguel Torres vs. United States – Antonio Banuelos

Torres has lost two of his last three but might be getting back on track after his 37-1 record was derailed by decision (which he followed up by losing by submission).  Antonio Banuelos has a decent record, but 7 of his last 8 wins were by decision, a record which makes me shudder with mild disgust.

Prediction: Miguel Torres

* Light Heavyweight bout:
United States – Jon Jones vs. United States – Ryan Bader

I’m highly anticipating this fight, as I really like both of these fighters.  Bader is 12-0 with 5 of those in UFC.  While he’s got 2 great knockouts to his credit in UFC, he’s also got 3 fights which went to decision, and we’re not talking top-tier opponents.  On the other hand, Jon Jones should be undefeated, but he got disqualified for some questionable elbow smashes.  Though two of Jon “Bones” Jones victories in UFC were by decision, his past 4 have been finished, his last two were by first round knockout.  I hate decision outcomes and Bader just has too many to make me comfortable picking him against a guy I consider to be a rising star.

Prediction: Jon Jones

* Welterweight bout:
United States – Jake Ellenberger vs. Brazil – Carlos Eduardo Rocha

Carlos Eduardo Rocha might be undefeated in 10 fights, but only one of those was in the UFC.  Jake Ellenberger has lost 5 fights in his career, but that only amounts to about 17% of his fights, and while he’s had only 3 fights in UFC, he’s had quite a few in IFL. Were it not for a split decision lost to Carlos Condit 16 months ago, Ellenberger would be enjoying a 7 fight win streak.  Bottom line:  I’m just not sold on Rocha yet, but this could be close.

Prediction: Jake Ellenberger

* Light Heavyweight bout:
United States – Forrest Griffin vs. United States – Rich Franklin

Some have questioned whether or not Forrest Griffin wants to continue as a UFC fighter.  He’s plenty talented, plenty tough, but his resolve has recently seemed shaky.  Rich Franklin Seems to be cut from a similar above-average-at-best mold, but he seems to step up his game against the tough opponents better than what Forrest can do.  I’ve been burned by picking against Franklin in the past, and oppositely I’ve had poor luck picking Griffin in his past few.  They’re both 2-2 in their last four fights, but they couldn’t be more different in their outcomes.  Forrest was schooled by a half-hearted attempt by Anderson Silva and got knocked out by Rashad Evans.  His wins came against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson by decision and a split decision win over a Tito Ortiz who only resembles the legendary fighter in name.  Franklin knocked out Chuck Liddell and got a decision victory over Wanderlei Silva, but lost to Vitor Belfort by knockout and was unable to convince enough judges that he had beaten Dan Henderson, losing via a split decision.

Prediction: Rich Franklin

* Middleweight Championship bout:
Brazil – Anderson Silva (c) vs. Brazil – Vitor Belfort

For those of you unfamiliar with Vitor Belfort, you should know that he only loses to the top competition.  50 months ago was his last defeat, and it was back in PRIDE when Dan Henderson was at the top of his game.  Earlier that year it was (current STRIKEFORCE Heavyweight Champion) Alistair Overeem, against whom he lost to twice in a 14 month span.   Prior to that, his losses were to Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Sakuraba and another loss to Randy Couture.  None of those losses has been in the last 4 years, though.  Though he doesn’t have any huge signature victories in that span, he is on a 5 fight win streak, winning four of those by knockout.  In fact, four of his last 7 wins have been by first round knockout.  His last two defeats were by decision, and it has been nearly 6 years since he was last forced to tap out.  That was the only time he has ever tapped out.

By now you should know of the legend of Anderson Silva.  13 straight victories.  A UFC record 7 straight successful defenses of the Middleweight Championship.  He only has four losses on his record.  One of those was a DQ, so let’s toss that out.  Another was by decision in his first professional fight, but that it occurred nearly 11 years ago we’ll toss that out, too.  That leaves two outcomes which decidedly went in his opponent’s favor.  Both were submissions.  That doesn’t fare well for Vitor Belfort.  Chael Sonnen did give Anderson Silva a run for his money back in August, but in the final moments of the fight, Silva found a way to make him tap out.

Prediction: Anderson Silva again retains the championship.