UFC 106 Main Card Predictions
So here we are, just days removed from UFC 105 and days away from UFC 106. Throw in the Strikeforce card featuring Brett Rogers and Fedor Emlianenko on Nov. 7 and this will be the third straight week that MMA fans have had a major show to watch.
December doesn't slow down, either, as Strikeforce will feature the return of Cung Le on Dec. 19.
The UFC will run The Ultimate Fighter 10 finale on the Dec. 5, followed by UFC 107 airing just a week later. Last but not least, we close out a great year with WEC 45 which will run head to head with Strikeforce on Dec. 19.
On to my main card predictions.
Karo Parisyan vs. Dustin Hazelet:* Welterweights
Both men are coming off of long layoffs so expect some cage rust early on in the bout. Parisyan has been inactive since the end of January.
He defeated Dong Hyun Kim, but that decision was later overturned because of a failed drug test.
The past few years have not been kind to "The Heat," he was diagnosed with an anxiety order, knocked out by Thiago Alves, and forced to withdraw from a bout at UFC 88 just one day before due to a back ailment.
Hazelett's layoff was caused by a knee injury he incurred while training for a bout with Ben Saunders that was scheduled for UFC 96.
The submission wizard is one of the UFC's brightest young fighters and will be looking to capture an unprecedented third submission of the night bonus.
On top of the two bonuses he has captured for his stunning submissions, he was also awarded a fight of the night bonus against Josh Burkman at The Ultimate Fighter 7 finale.
Parisyan was at one time the No. 1 contender and was scheduled to face Matt Hughes until he was sidelined with an injury. He never regained that status and has been up and down ever since.
Hazelett is young, hungry and fearless. This will be Parisyan's third fight in the last two years. For "McLovin," it will his fourth, which leads me to believe the bout will be somewhat sloppy. I'm going with the youngster here.
Hazelett via unanimous decision
Phil Baroni vs. Amir Sadollah - Welterweights:
Yeah, the NY Bad Ass is back in the UFC! Does anyone really care? I know I don't and I am usually very loyal to NY fighters and athletes. All of his drama and childlike antics have helped hide the fact that he is just not that good of a fighter.
Yes, he does have power in both hands and could knock out anyone with one punch but other than that what does he have?
Sadollah is another guy whose personality has helped hide the fact that he is not a great fighter.
I realize it's way too early in his career to judge him just yet, but he just seems too timid to be a successful mixed martial artist.
Maybe training with Xtreme Couture will help him, but I really don't see him going very far.
This fight is really simple, if Sadollah can hang around and get the bout into the second round, he will win. Baroni is notorious for his poor cardio.
He usually gasses somewhere around the middle of the first round. He will look to rush Sadollah and land one of his trademark knockout blows. I flipped a coin. Baroni by first round knockout .
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Luis Cane - Light Heavyweights:
Welcome to the jungle, Lil Nog!!! Minotauro's twin brother makes his octagon debut against a fellow Brazilian who hits hard and who is looking to use Lil Nog as a stepping stone toward a title shot.
Cane is on a three-fight win streak and has looked very impressive during his tenure in the UFC. A high-profile win against a fighter on Nogueira's caliber will put Cane one step closer to the top.
Nogueira is an impressive 17-3; he has beaten Dan Henderson, Alistair Overeem (2X), Kazushi Sakuraba and Vladimir Matyushenko.
Much like his twin brother, Nogueira possesses solid boxing skills and is a terror on the ground. This is an opportunity for him to make a huge splash in a crowded and talented light heavyweight division.
Cane has serious power and has shown that he has a solid chin. He is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but nowhere near the level of Nogueira.
Cane's only loss was by disqualification and Lil Nog has only been finished once in three career losses. I see Cane becoming the second man to finish him on Saturday night.
Fighting in the cage is much different than a ring and Cane will use it to his advantage by punishing Nogueira against the fence.
Cane by second round TKO.
Josh Koscheck vs. Anthony Johnson - Welterweights:
This is the fight I am looking forward to the most. Johnson will be fighting for the second time in four weeks. He disposed of Yoshiyuki Yoshida in just 41 seconds at UFC 104.
Yes, he came in overweight and it cost him a $60k knockout of the night bonus, don't count on it happening again.
This will be the stiffest test for "Rumble," he is facing a top five welterweight in Koscheck. Both men have solid wrestling backgrounds with Koscheck being the more accomplished of the two.
If Koscheck sticks to the same game plan that he has utilized in his last few fights, we can expect to see a slug fest.
Someone is getting knocked out here unless Koscheck goes back to his wrestling roots and tries to incorporate some solid ground and pound.
It is my belief that an impressive win here may catapult either fighter, especially Johnson, over Dan Hardy to be the next victim of Georges St. Pierre.
This is an opportunity for Johnson to redeem himself for the weight issues he had last month. He is fast, powerful and exciting.
He is the type of fighter the fans want to see in a main event; he is the young gun that the fans would love to see challenge GSP for welterweight supremacy.
This is an opportunity that I don't see Johnson letting slip away. He wins and wins in impressive fashion.
Johnson via first round knockout
Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin- Light Heavyweights:
Ortiz was looking for an easier fight to mark his return to the organization after an 18 month layoff but unfortunately Mark Coleman got hurt and the fans were rewarded with a better match-up.
These two are very familiar with each other as they fought an exciting three round war back in 2006.
The first round saw the old dominant Tito as he took Griffin down and pounded him with elbows and punches. Griffin rebounded nicely over the next two rounds and lost a very close split decision.
Ortiz has said ever since their first bout that he had problems with his back and his knees.
Griffin used that fight to show the fans and his fellow mixed martial artists that he was to be taken seriously. Griffin heads into the fight on the first two fight losing streak of his career.
After being embarrassed by Anderson Silva at UFC 101, you can expect Griffin to come into this fight looking for blood.
It will be interesting to see how Ortiz looks after such a long layoff, he had back surgery that supposedly corrected the problems he had been having.
At 34 years old, how much is left in his gas tank? He is not facing the same Forrest Griffin that he fought at UFC 59, Griffin is more mature and has been through the fire plenty of times.
He no longer is the inexperienced kid just trying to put on a good show, he desperately wants to win.
It's hard for me to imagine that Ortiz will be able to turn back the clock here. Griffin wins here by squashing takedown after takedown. Griffin via unanimous decision.
There it is! Should be a good one, I am really looking for Johnson to make a statement here. I hope he knocks Koscheck into next week and gives the UFC a better option for GSP.