Pat Barry vs. Dan Evensen
If you’re at the MGM for this one, don’t blink. Pat Barry brings one of the most potent stand up games in all of MMA having competed in K-1 and high levels of kick boxing. Look for a 2nd round KO for Barry.
Ryo Chonan vs. Brad Blackburn
Chonan’s experience and his training at Team Quest should pay off with a decision victory. Blackburn has only been stopped once in his entire career and this time won’t be another. But he’ll get another loss.
Matt Hamill vs. Reese Andy
Antoni Hardonk vs. Mike Wessel
Wessel is a last minute replacement and that usually never goes well. Hardonk has excellent Muay Thai and some of the hardest leg kicks in MMA. If Wessel can take Hardonk down, he’ll have a shot. But Wessel needs more than 2 weeks notice to set up the proper game plan and Hardonk will take this with a second round TKO.
Yushi Okami vs. Dean Lister
Okami is one of the strongest in the world at 185. But he relies on taking guys down to the mat (and pounding on them). That’s exactly where the BJJ whizz Lister wants to be. Also Okami is coming off a bad injury that kept him out of a potential September match with Anderson Silva. I see this being the biggest upset of the night with Lister taking care of Okami with a 3rd round submission.
Cheick Kongo vs. Mostapha Al Turk
Kongo is a beast on the feet and he’s facing a relative rookie in the 6-3 Al Turk. Al Turk is much shorter, but actually outweighs Kongo by 3 lbs. However Kongo’s reach and experience advantage will win out in taking a decision win.
CB Dollaway vs. Mike Massenzio
Dollaway is well known from The Ultimate Fighter, but has shown a weakness on the ground. Massenzio is a ground wizard and it only took him a minute and a half to submit Drew McFedries in his UFC debut in September. Look for Massenzio to do work that again and pull off a 1st round sub in another upset.
Quinton Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva
This one is tough to call. Jackson is much improved since his Pride days and their first two fights were actually closer than most highlight reels give it credit for. But Jackson has dealt with a lot over the last 5 months and Silva has been focused gearing up for his title run for a while now. Look for this to be a very close fight, but Silva will pull out the decision win.
Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
It’s difficult to see Frank Mir winning this fight in any way. The only shot he has will be to keep a strong pace and seek out a decision. Does he have the gas tank? He hasn’t in the past. I see Nogueira using his superior boxing and Mir will wind late and the Brazilian will win via referee stoppage round 4 due to punches on the ground.
Rashad Evans vs. Forrest Griffin
Greg Jackson’s camp has put together incredible game plans for all his fighters lately. Run down the line of their fighters and they aren’t losing much lately. Griffin has a great gas tank, but he shown that his chin isn’t the best and Evans has knock out power. This will be a close fight, but Rashad will catch Griffin sometime in the 3rd and knock him out.