Friday, March 25, 2011

UFC Fight Night 24 Predictions

I am beyond excited for this event.  After this event the next UFC event will be UFC 130 in Toronto which I will be attending.  Hopefully these fights on Saturday, and then the Strikeforce card in two weeks with Paul Daley and Nick Diza, can sustain me until then.

My predictions for UFC 128 were perfect as I went 5/5.  Then again it was a pretty easy card to pick as there were no real shockers (maybe the way Jon Jones dominated Shogun could be considered a shocker but not the fact that he won).  So I am putting that streak on the line again as UFC has their 24th Fight Night live for free on Spike TV.

Here are my predictions:

Antonio "Lil Nog" Rogerio Nogueira (19-4) vs. "Mr. Wonderful" Phil Davis (8-0)

I am actually kind of pissed about this fight because Phil Davis was supposed to fight on the Toronto card and I was really excited to see him fight as he was being mentioned alongside Jon Jones as one of the best prospects in the UFC.  Now due to a number of injuries Davis will be fight Lil Nog and trying to prove he has the reputation and hype to main event a card.

As for the fight itself there is a lot on the line.  If Davis can beat Lil Nog in a convincing fashion he should make the jump into the upper echelon of Light Heavyweights and put himself one step closer to a future title shot.  As for Nogueira he has not been impressive so far in his first 2 fights in the UFC and if he puts up another dud Dana might have to consider letting him go.  He is already 34 and this may be his last chance to make a run for a title.

Phil Davis has crazy good wrestling and has shown he has some sick submission skills but really lacks a polished striking game so he will no doubt look to take this fight to the ground.  Nogueira has unreal Jiu Jitsu and has a solid boxing background so one would think he would be comfortable on the ground and standing but he can't match Davis' size and if the fight goes to the ground I think he will get overwhelmed.

Prediction: Davis via Decision

Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy (23-8) vs. Anthony "Rumble" Johnson (8-3)

After 17 months Anthony Johnson is finally back inside the octagon.  Before his fight against Josh Koscheck many people were looking at Johnson as a possible contender in the welterweight division but due to his lengthy layoff he has really faded in the minds of most fans.  The biggest test for Johnson won't be on Saturday night it will be Friday afternoon at the weigh-ins as rumors have been circling that Johnson was walking around at 230lbs not more than 10 days ago so that weight cut will be insane.

As for the fight itself it is my early favorite for both 'Fight of the Night' and 'Knockout of the Night' as both of these guys like to stand and throw bombs.  In his last fight Hardy got put to sleep by Carlos Condit which makes it 2 straight losses for the "Bad boy for Britain" (yes I felt really lame just writing that) so the pressure will be on him to perform and get back to his winning ways if he wants to stay relevant at 170lbs.

I am a fan of Johnson and would love for him to pull off the victory but 17 months is a long time to be away from fighting and dropping 50lbs is no joke and I think that's going to kill Johnson.

Prediction: Hardy via KO

Leonard Garcia (15-6-1) vs. "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung (10-3)  

This is a rematch of one of the greatest fights of the year, well at least one of the most exciting.  The last time these two guys met in 2010 it was a one of the craziest fights ever as both guys were swinging for the fences the entire fight showing no signs of technique.  I don't expect a repeat performance this time around however as sequels rarely live up to the original.

Neither guy has real knock out power so I think this one goes to the judges scorecards.  In fights like these I usually side with the guy who trains at Greg Jackson's gym just because he does such a great job coming up with solid gameplans and having his fighters implement them.

Prediction: Garcia via Decision

Amir Sadollah (4-2) vs. Damarques Johnson (17-8)

Former TUF competitors face off in a fight where Sadollah's potential opponent has changed 3 times.  It was originally supposed to be kickboxer Duane Ludwig but then he got hurt, then submission wrestler James Wilks was slated to take the fight but also got hurt while training and now Sadollah ends up fighting Johnson who is predominantly a boxer.  That means that in preparing for this fight Sadollah has been training all aspects of his game and not leaving anything out which I feel is a big advantage for him.

Both guys are looking to string some wins together and become mainstays on main cards before their 15 minutes of fame they earned on TUF comes to an end.  Sadollah is a better all around fighter and works with randy Couture which means if he gets into trouble he will clinch and outpoint Johnson which is what I expect will happen.

Prediction: Sadollah via Decision

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