Lyoto Machida vs. Rashad Evans
With each fighter being a counter puncher, this fight could turn out to be a bore, but I wouldn’t count on it. Look for Machida will use his incredible footwork and Evans to use his wrestling more than he has in his last two fights and for Machida to pepper Evans with punches and kicks. I see this fight going like the first two rounds in the Forrest Griffin vs. Evans fight – but for all five rounds. Machida will keep his distance and pick Evans apart and will score a takedown or two each round on his way to a loop sided decision victory that will be a masterful display of a complete martial arts fighter in Machida. I would suspect to see a few 50-45 on the judge’s scorecards.
Matt Hughes vs. Matt Serra
Hughes and Serra don’t like each other and for good reason. Serra calls Hughes a dick and Hughes says Serra is bad for the sport. This came to head when they faced off as coaches on Season 6 of TUF – 2 years ago. The question remains – does anyone care about this fight now that both are unlikely to be in the title picture ever again? I for one do and I think this will be a great fight by two guys who seriously hate each other and will show that Saturday night. I see Matt Hughes as a fraction of what he once was and Serra is probably the same fighter who knocked out GSP at UFC 69 19 UFC’s ago.
I see an upset in the making with Serra catching Hughes with a big right hand in the 2nd and winning by TKO seconds later from some ground and pound. Matt Hughes has been a great champ, but UFC 98 might be this dog’s last fight.
Drew McFedries vs. Xavier Foupa-Pokam
Professor X looked good in his debut at UFC 97 in Montreal against a very tough Denis Kang. McFedries has been up and down and lately down having lost 3 of 4 and now sports a 7-5 record. Both of these guys like to bang, but Pokam is the more refined striker and should end up on the winning side of a 1st round TKO.
Dan Miller vs. Chael Sonnen
Miller was originally to fight Yushin Okami in a match that would have set one up for an eventual title shot. Now Miller (11-1) has to face Sonnen, a tough Team Quest fighter who was last submitted by Demien Maia at UFC 93. Miller is an underrated talent and gets better each fight. Look for Miller to get the win by submitted Sonnen late in the second round when the Oregon fighter tires.
Sean Sherk vs. Frankie Edgar
This is a match between two great wrestlers with above average striking. Sherk has the big advantage in the wrestling and Edgar may have a slight edge in the stand up. Look for Sherk to be the better (and bigger) fighter come Saturday night when he decisions his way to a victory over the New Jersey based Edgar. Sherk should win unanimously and set up a fall showdown vs. Gray Maynard.