UFC 108 Main Card Predictions
UFC 108, one of the most maligned and injury plagued mixed martial arts cards ever put together comes to us live tomorrow night from Las Vegas.
Instead of lamenting about what could have been, I am going to go over what is being presented, which, when you think about it, is really not a bad card at all.
Junior Dos Santos vs. Gilbert Yvel: Heavyweights
Yvel makes his UFC debut against one of the fastest rising prospects in all of MMA. Junior "Cigano" Dos Santos burst onto the scene with a swift knockout over Fabricio Werdum at UFC 90 and has kept up his momentum ever since with knockouts over Stefan Struve and Mirko "Cro-Cop" Filipovic.
Yvel makes the jump to the UFC after stints in Pride, Affliction, and Rings. He possesses brute power and is capable of putting anyone flat on his back. His ground game leaves a lot to be desired and this may be the fight where we get to see if training under the Nogueira brothers has made Dos Santos a complete fighter.
Yvel has only gone to the scorecards four times in 51 career fights and Dos Santos made his first trip past the first round when he fought Cro Cop. Don't expect this fight to be any different, someone is going to be put to sleep.
Cigano is only 25-years old and seems to fight well beyond his years, demonstrating a maturity that befits a much more experienced fighter. He will use that to his advantage against Yvel.
Dos Santos via third round knockout .
Duane Ludwig vs. Jim Miller: Lightweights
Miller was originally supposed to fight Tyson Griffin, then Sean Sherk, but now that both men are injured, he will take on the battle-tested Ludwig.
Neither man knows the word quit and should put on an exciting fight. Miller will set a frenetic pace and will keep pushing the entire fight. He explains his style in an interview I conducted with him, check it out here .
Ludwig, also known as "Bang," has excellent hands but his ground game isn't in Miller's league. You can expect Ludwig to try and land the home run shot as he avoids being taken down the entire 15 minutes.
Miller may keep the fight on the ground for the majority of the time, but one thing is for sure, he will stay active. He is not content with lying on top of a fighter and grinding out a decision. He will try to finish the fight. I am not sure he does it here.
Miller via unanimous decision .
Joe Lauzon vs. Sam Stout: Lightweights
This is another exciting lightweight tilt that is thankfully placed on the main card.
Stout has seen some wars during his days with the UFC. He had two great fights with Spencer Fisher and battled Matt Wiman at UFC 97 in a bout that was awarded "Fight of the Night" honors.
Lauzon will be making his long-awaited return to the octagon after being on the shelf for nearly a year. He is well-rounded and will hold an edge if the fight hits the mat. Stout has the advantage in the power department and has a serious chin to go along with his "Hands of Stone."
While many fighters tend to fight cautiously when returning from a long layoff, I don't believe that will be the case with Lauzon. A matchup against a fighter like Stout will not afford him that opportunity.
This is my pick for "Fight of the Night."
Lauzon*via unanimous decision .
Paul Daley vs. Dustin Hazelett: Welterweights
Here we have another fighter returning after a long layoff. It's been almost 14 months since Hazelett has fought. The submission expert was last seen taking home his second*"Submission of the Night" bonus at UFC 91 last November. His last four wins have come by way of tapout.
Daley made an auspicious debut at UFC 103 in September. In his UFC debut, "Semtex" made quick work of top welterweight contender Martin Kampmann.*Daley is known for the power that he carries in his hands but his ground game is less than stellar.
If ever there was a case for the classic "Striker vs. Grappler" quote it would be here.*Hazelett has very good striking for a grappler as he showed in his loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC 82. He*has long limbs which he will use to keep Daley honest. It's just a matter of time before the fight hits the mat.
Hazelett via second round submission .
Rashad Evans vs. Thiago Silva: Light Heavyweights
The aggressive striking of Silva versus the counter-attacking/wrestling of Evans.
Rashad has hinted that he may go back to his roots and use the wrestling he seemingly had abandoned. Silva is no slouch on the ground as he holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
These two share the fact that their only loss has come at the hands of current division champion Lytoto Machida. They were both knocked out in brutal fashion. Either man is capable of knocking out the other so don't blink for a second.
It is my belief that Evans is the better all-around fighter. I think he has proven over and over again that he can hang with the best in the division. Silva rebounded nicely from his loss to Machida by knocking out Evans' teammate Keith Jardine at UFC 102.
In actuality this fight could go either way because of the power held by both fighters. I see Evans approaching this fight as if it's his last. He will pin Silva down and utilize his strong ground and pound to move back up the light-heavyweight ladder.
Evans via second round TKO .
So what has turned out to be the most cursed card in the history of the UFC in terms of injury, may very well turn out to be a fantastic way to ring in the new year.
There are some solid undercard fights as well, including the return of Dan Lauzon, the younger brother of Joe as he takes on Cole Miller. Kampmann looks to rebound from his loss to Daley as he battles Jacob Volkmann.
The two bouts can be seen on Spike TV before the main card begins.