The two of us here at Lake Erie Soldiers are huge fans of the UFC and MMA. So what we will be doing, along with all of the other stuff, is previewing and reviewing each UFC Pay Per View event, starting with the upcoming UFC 106 on Saturday November 21st. From time to time I will also spotlight certain fighters who I think are up and coming or doing really well at the moment to get people interested in watching their fights and talking to us about them. We are all about feedback, so if you disagree with anything or want us to add anything or just let us know your opinions, please do.
Before we get into who I think will win each main card fight, I think it is important to talk about the state of things in the UFC right now. I was really looking forward to UFC 106 for the Brock Lesnar vs Shane Carwin fight that was originally scheduled. However, due to a freakish spell of bad health for Brock Lesnar and an injury to Carwin we will have to wait to see that humongous fight. We both, and every UFC fan, hopes to see Lesnar make a speedy recovery to full health and we hope that Carwin recuperates quickly and both are ready to fight next year. That being said, lets get into the card…
On the under card there are not many fights that really jump out at me as being must sees, however there are a few fighters involved that everyone needs to pay attention to. The first being Paulo Thiago, who boasts an 11-1 record thus far in his fighting career. The 28 year old Brazilian has impressed me a lot in his last few fights and is taking on UFC newcomer Jacob Volkmann in a 170 pound weight class fight. Look for Thiago to show off his impressive striking skills and his very good stand up defense and get another win. The other 2 fighters on the under card that I think are very worthy for everyone to take note of are Ben Saunders (7-1-2) and his opponent Marcus Davis (21-6). Killa B Ben Saunders and the Irish Hand Grenade Marcus Davis are two very strong fighters and very experienced. It is almost a surprise that this fight is an under card matchup as both of these men have had very solid UFC and MMA experience. It is another 170 pound weight class fight, but Saunders comes in at 6’3″ towering over the much shorter Davis who measures at 5’10”. This length advantage will help Saunders stay out of Davis’ wheel house, which will probably save him several big hits to the face. Look for this to be a great fight to watch if you get to see it, and I would assume that it will go all 3 rounds and end in a split decision for Davis. Getting to the main card we will get to enjoy the following fights…
Karo “The Heat” Parisyan (26-5-0, 2 NC) vs Dustin Hazelett (14-4)
This is a very intriguing fight, and it will be a great one. Parisyan is always entertaining and while I have not seen much of Hazelett, what I have seen has impressed me. Parisyan a great grappler who will continually try and get the fight to the ground with good judo skills. Hazelett is fighting out of Cincinnati, Ohio and comes in highly touted in the art of submission and has proven to be a very good at escaping grappling fighters like Parisyan. I predict that this fight will go 3 rounds and go to Hazelett in a split decision.
Luiz “Banha” Cane (11-1-1) vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
What I do know about Luiz Cane is that he is a very aggressive fighter, both in stand up and ground techniques and will endlessly rush at his opponent looking to score that pivotal hit or take down. Antonio Rogerio is definitely the wild card of the night. He is the twin brother of the heavyweight fighter, former champion, Minotauro Noueira, and he has faced many big time opponents in his career in Pride and elsewhere. He is a black belt in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and is making his UFC debut. I have seen some footage of his fights from the past, and he looks very impressive. I think he will make a huge splash in the light heavyweight (205 pound) weight class and come up with a big win, TKO in the 2nd round.
Amir Sadollah (2-1-0) vs Phil “New York Bad Ass” Baroni (6-5-0)
The third fight of the main card pits two more welterweights (170 pound class) against each other. Baroni is what his nickname suggests, a badass. He has the ability to end any fight with an impressive knockout and has the ability to get most of his opponents on their backs while preventing them from taking him down. Sadollah is a bit less experienced and a few years younger, but do not count him out. He is a tough fighter who will not go down without making the opponent earn it. I am picking Sadollah to take it with a split decision.
Josh “Kos” Koscheck (15-4-0) vs Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (8-2)
This fight is definitely my pick for FIGHT OF THE NIGHT. Both of these guys are amazing fighters, who can both bring it at a high pace and have the stamina and determination to make any fight go the distance. Koscheck is an amazing athlete with a great wrestling background, but do not let that fool you, he is an above average puncher and has proved in the past that he can knock anyone out. He is coming off of a quick and decisive win over UFC veteran Frank Trigg at UFC 103 and wants to continue his roll, looking beyond that however, his last 4 fights have been very tough and very up and down, going 2-2 with losses to Paulo Thiago and Thaigo Alves. Johnson is younger, 4 inches taller, faster and a far superior striker. He has won his last 3 fights, either be TKO or KO with all 8 of his wins coming by either of those finishes. Only 3 of his UFC fights have gone past the 1st round, so look for him to come out swinging early looking to catch Koscheck off guard and keep the fight standing up. This is definetly a fight that I want to see go all the way, but I am predicting that Johnson wins by TKO early in the 3rd round after a helluva fight.
Tito “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Ortiz (16-6-1) vs Forrest Griffin (16-6-0)
The headline fight of the night pits two very talented light heavyweights against one another. Both fighters are former Light Heavyweight champions with great credentials. Griffin, a Columbus, Ohio native, is looking to bounce back from the most embarrassing loss of his career to Anderson Silva. He has a dazzling mix of Muy Thai, Boxing and BJJ and can hit you from anywhere, or put you on the mat and submit you. Ortiz will look to counter with his wrestling skills and conditioning. Ortiz has a very powerful ground and pound and if he gets Griffin on his back he will go for it without hesitation. Ortiz has not fought since Lyota Machida easily beat him in 2008 at UFC 84 and is looking to reinsert himself in the Title hunt and go after Machida’s championship. Griffin is coming out of the worst stretch of his UFC career with back to back losses to Andreson Silva and Rashad Evans (who took the title from him) and is eager to re-establish himself as one of the best light heavyweights. They don’t come much harder to beat the Griffin and Ortiz will learn that the hard way, as one of the most despised fighters in the UFC will fall in a unanimous decision. Griffin will win this fight and put himself in the hunt for the UFC Light Heavyweight Belt.