Just as I do for all of the UFC events, I’m making my predictions for UFC Live on Versus coming up on Sunday night.  If you’re not necessarily a huge fan of MMA yet, this is a great time for you to get more into it, as UFC presents a card on the Versus network.  If you don’t have the Versus network, you’re probably not a sports fan… or you have a pretty crappy cable company and you should move.  Today.

Main card

* Light Heavyweight bout:
United States – Jon Jones vs. Belarus – Vladimir Matyushenko

Rob’s analysis:  Vlad Matyushenko might be on a three fight win streak, but only two of those fights were in UFC, they all went to a decision, and his last fight back in March was a SPLIT decision.
Jon Jones on the other hand, has won 4 of his last five fights in the UFC, his one loss coming from illegal elbows, and he’s sporting a 10 inch reach advantage.  The last time Jon “Bones” Jones was in the octagon back in March, he won Knockout Of The Night honors for his first round dispatching of Brandon Vera (who took Randy Couture the distance and nearly won).
Rob’s Prediction:  Jon “Bones” Jones

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* Middleweight bout:
United States – Mark Muñoz vs. Japan – Yushin Okami

Rob’s analysis:  I don’t know what it is about Mark Munoz, but I really think he could be a future Middleweight champion in the UFC.  He has won his past three fights since joining the division, recently beating Kendall Grove (a fight which won Fight Of The Night honors), and depending on how this fight goes, Munoz could easily find himself in a top contenders fight before 2010 is over with a title shot on the line.  Yushin Okami is a very experienced veteran, though, and his only losses dating back to 2004 were to Rich Franklin, Chael Sonnen (current top contender in the division) and (former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion) Jake Shields.  Did I mention that Okami is the last person to beat Anderson Silva?  Yeah, that bares mentioning.  This one’s tough, but I’ll go with my gut, because Okami has quite a few decision outcomes (5 of his last 7) and not a lot of fights in the past 3 years.
Rob’s Prediction:  Mark Munoz

* Welterweight bout:
United States – John Howard vs. United States – Jake Ellenberger

Rob’s analysis:  Jake Ellenberger has won 5 of his last 6, the only loss being to Carlos Condit, but only two of the fights were actually in UFC.  John Howard has won his last 7, four of those coming in UFC.  Howard won Fight Of The Night in his UFC Debut, and his last fight back in March earned Knockout Of The Night honors as he leveled Daniel Roberts in the first round.  I’ll be watching Ellenberger closely, but I don’t think he’ll win.
Rob’s Prediction:  John Howard

* Lightweight bout:
United States – Tyson Griffin vs. Japan – Takanori Gomi

Rob’s analysis:  Tyson Griffin has 2 wins and 2 losses over the past 24 months, but the losses were by decision (Evan Dunham and Sean Sherk), with two Fight Of The Night honors in that span (one coming in the loss to Sherk).  Gomi arrived in UFC with a great reputation, main eventing the March 31st show against Kenny Florian in a losing effort.  In the 37 months prior to showing up in UFC, Gomi was 4 – 2, with 2 decision wins, a decision loss, a win by knockout, a loss by submission, and a victory by TKO due to a cut sustained before the first round was over.  It’s tough to say which of these veterans will win, but I have to think that Dana White brought Gomi to UFC for more than just his reputation, so I’ll go against the other clear-cut signs I’m seeing.
Rob’s Prediction:  Takanori Gomi

Preliminary card

Keep in mind that after I’ve predicted five or so fights, my analysis starts to wane, so these predictions might not have as much weight behind them.  I can’t speak for Chad.  In fact, I wouldn’t blame him if he skipped some or ALL of these predictions.  A lot of sites only do the main card and possibly one or two from the Prelims.

* Lightweight bout:
England – Paul Kelly vs. United States – Jacob Volkmann

Rob’s analysis:  Paul Kelly is 2 – 1 since moving to Lightweight, with that loss coming as he was surprised by a spinning back kick.  In total, Kelly is 10-2, as is Volkmann.  Jacob, on the other hand, recently got back on track with a victory at the end of March after having lost two in a row since joining UFC.  The split decision victory against Ronnys Torres isn’t impressive enough for me, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Volkmann gets his walking papers after this fight is over.
Rob’s Prediction:  Paul Kelly

* Welterweight bout:
United States – DaMarques Johnson vs. United States – Matthew Riddle

Rob’s analysis:  Yes, DaMarques Johnson lost his UFC debut, at the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 9, but he followed that up with a Submission Of The Night victory, then in his most recent fight he won Knockout Of The Night honors.  Matt Riddle has amassed a record of 4-1, all 5 fights happening in the UFC, but none of them ended prior to the third round and aside from the first three fights ending in decision victories for Riddle, he might’ve lost his last two if it weren’t for a DQ win after sustaining an illegal upkick back in the end of March.
Rob’s Prediction:  DaMarques Johnson

* Light Heavyweight bout:
United States – James Irvin vs. Croatia – Igor Pokrajac

Rob’s analysis:  “The Sandman” James Irvin continues his return to fighting after a near two-year layoff where he battled injuries and prescription pain killer addiction.  He lost his return bout back in March and has since decided not to stay at Middleweight as he was attempting, instead moving back up to Light Heavyweight.  I think Irvin is going to get back on track after his last two losses (to Alessio Sakara and Anderson Silva before that), as I don’t see much about Pokrajac that impresses me:  he has lost his last two over the past year – his only UFC fights.  Dana White likely has a pink slip ready.
Rob’s Prediction:  James Irvin

* Middleweight bout:
United States – Brian Stann vs. United States – Mike Massenzio

Rob’s analysis:  Maybe it’s because Mike Massenzio has lost two of his last three, or because I’ve enjoyed the three Brian Stann fights I’ve seen, or because I can appreciate Stann’s military service, but this one’s not a hard pick for me to make.
Rob’s Prediction:  Brian Stann

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* Lightweight bout:
United States – Darren Elkins vs. Brazil – Charles Oliveira

Rob’s analysis:  I wouldn’t be surprised if this one ends up on the broadcast as a time-filling extra.  Oliveira is totally undefeated, Elkins only has one loss, and both of them like to finish things before the first round is over.  Sherdog is high on Oliveira as one of the top 3 Brazilians to watch… so I’ll go with that, though my heart is with the guy from the United States.
Rob’s Prediction:  Charles Oliveira

* Middleweight bout:
United States – Rob Kimmons vs. United States – Steve Steinbeiss

Rob’s analysis:  Neither of these guys seems too impressive to me.  Steinbeiss has lost his last two and Kimmons has a history of ending fights.
Rob’s Prediction:  Rob Kimmons

Next time around, I’m taking things to the next level this time as I bring in a very special guest predictor.  If you live in the Washington D.C. area, chances are good that you know Chad Dukes from his work on the radio.  Whether it was WJFK, WHFS or now 106.7 The Fan, Chad Dukes puts a great radio show on the air, and regardless of where you live, you need to check it out.  If you can’t listen live for whatever reason, at least check out the podcasts.  He’s currently teaming up with former NFL star LaVar Arrington in the afternoons from 2 pm until 7 pm, and if there’s a story in the news, sports or not, they’re talking about it.  If there’s a guest to bring in to talk about a situation?  They’re trying to bring that person in.

Chad formerly worked with Oscar Santana on “The Big O & Dukes Show” before a format change split up the long-time on-air duo.  To my understanding the two are working on podcasts together right now, and with their history of creative awesomeness, you can expect great things.   Their hordes of fans all over the internet will attest to that.  If you haven’t heard of the Main Street Mafia, you’re going to want to do a Google search and find some of their videos.   Chad’s site, TheFukerton.com, has plenty of entertaining entries in itself.