Saturday, November 21, 2009

UFC 106 Predictions

Paulo Thiago vs. Jacob Volkmann

Paulo Thiago got tossed into the deep end following his shocking debut against Josh Koscheck, holding his own against Jon Fitch in a three round decision loss at UFC 100.

Volkmann enters his UFC debut undefeated at 9-0, with his largest exposure coming earlier this year at Bellator 6. Of the Minnesotan's nine wins, six have come by way of submission, and he'll find by far his toughest opponent in Thiago on Saturday night.

With both fighters excelling in the ground game, conventional wisdom suggests we may see a stand up battle in this one. This is tough to call, but I'll give Thiago the benefit of the doubt after his fights with Fitch and Koscheck and he'll take a hard fought decision.

Prediction: Thiago via TKO

Amir Sadollah vs. Phil Baroni

We've got the return of "The New York Badass" to the UFC, and after last being seen losing to Joe Riggs in Strikeforce Phil Baroni will be looking to make this one a triumphant return.

Sadollah finally made his Octagon debut in August after a series of illnesses and injuries kept him out of action over a year, though it was a quick night for the wrong reasons for Sadollah as Johny Hendricks took him out.

Baroni's shot in this one is to hit hard, hit often and finish Sadollah in the opening round of the bout. If it goes past there, Sadollah is crafty and can pull submissions out of his ass; and with Baroni not having the biggest gas tank this sport has ever seen Sadollah would be the late round pick. I'll take Sadollah to get the late second round submission victory.

Prediction: Sadollah via Submission

Luiz Cane vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

"Lil Nog" makes his UFC debut against hard striking light heavyweight Luiz Cane on Saturday, and we've got a hell of a light heavyweight bout on our hands in this one. Cane has lost just one bout in his career, and that was by DQ, while Nogueira comes into this debut fight on a five fight win streak.

Both fighters are highly capable of stopping the other in this one, but I'm giving the nod to Cane in what should be a very good fight.

Prediction: Cane via Decision.

Josh Koscheck vs. Anthony Johnson

Someone's getting knocked out here. That's all there is to it, unless Koscheck decides to actually go back to utilizing his wrestling in this bout.

Johnson first has to make weight just weeks after he failed to at UFC 104 last month, and then it's down to which of these very hard hitting fighters can connect with the right shot first.

Koscheck is nearing the verge of his first Title shot, and he needs to win this fight to stay on that track. For Johnson, a victory over an arguably top five welterweight helps catapult him up the ladder as well. But despite how impressive Johnson's been on his UFC run so far, I like Koscheck in this one with a second round TKO.

Prediction: Koscheck via TKO

Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz

It's Tito's return to action for the first time in eighteen months, and Forrest's chance at redemption after two TKO losses straight, not to mention the follow up sprint out of the arena after the loss to Anderson Silva in August. This is two former Champions facing off for the first time in three years, with both likely very different fighters than they were at that time.

We all know the story of that first bout, but the story of this one will be how rusty Ortiz is, along with how well he has recovered from his back surgery.

Forrest is highly capable of winning this fight, make no doubt about that. There will be those that write him off after the KO losses to Silva and Rashad Evans, but Tito doesn't have the striking and knockout ability that those two possess, and he's not going to outstrike Forrest in this fight.

Quite the contrary, actually, as Forrest should be the one to outstrike Tito in this fight with kicks and punches while he's on his feet. That right there is the key phrase for the entire fight: "while he's on his feet." If Tito can keep this fight looking like the first round of their first encounter then this could be a great return for "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy," but I don't think he'll be able to keep Forrest down for three rounds.

I've gone back and forth on this one for the last three weeks in terms of who I see taking this one, and one day out I've settled on Griffin to win this one. I'd like to say he'll get his first TKO since defeating Elvis Sinosic, but he'll outstrike Tito on his way to a unanimous decision victory to avoid three straight losses.

Prediction: Griffin via Decision

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