Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz
Everyone that I’ve heard talking about this fight says things like ‘Tito’s back” “Tito has that confidence again” and “Tito’s on a winning streak”. Seemingly, everyone is forgetting that the very last UFC, people were gambling that Tito would be dropped from the UFC after another loss. So what has changed? Not much really. Tito may have a lot of confidence, but he still has not made any major changes to his skills that led him to 3 straight losses. Evans is faster, stronger, and has better takedown skills. Evans is certainly better on the ground, so Tito better keep this fight standing. Still, I don’t see Tito winning.
Evans via submission, round 3
Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
This co-main event went through many changes, so you would expect neither fighter to be very prepared. Without a ton of preparation before going up against a striker like Belfort, Akiyama just doesn’t stand a chance. Akiyama does have outstanding Judo, but I simply don’t see the benefit if he can’t easily get a takedown against such a powerful striker.
Belfort via TKO, round 2
Dennis Hallman vs. Brian Ebersole
An interesting fight to put this high up on the card. Both fighters are very experienced, with 50 fights or so each. The biggest difference here is that Hallman is coming off an 8 fight winning streak.
Hallman via submission, round 3
Jorge Rivera vs. Constantinos Philippou
In his last fight against Bisping, Rivera looked every bit his age, tired and slow. There has even been some talk about retirement from him in the past. With that said, Philippou was given an opportunity with this fight, but he simply is not in the same league as Rivera.
Rivera via decision
Rory MacDonald vs. Mike Pyle
I think this will end up being one of the most interesting fights on the card. Many people are saying that MacDonald is on a roll, and that he will be a title contender. All too true, and he also finished Nate Diaz with ease. However, Nate is a natural lightweight, and may have been a bit out of his zone. MacDonald may have an advantage if this fight stays standing, but I don’t see it happening. Once the fight is on the ground, Pyle will take advantage of 1 small mistake and end it.
Pyle via submission, round 3
Matt Hamill vs. Alexander Gustafsson
This is possibly going to be the toughest fight to call on this card. Hamill is coming off a loss to Rampage, but previously looked very strong in a win against Tito. Gustafsson is the younger fighter, and is coming off a 2 fight win streak which may mean something in a fight this close.
Gustafsson via decision
Chad Mendes vs. Rani Yahya
At 10 wins, Mendes is undefeated in the UFC, and is looking for a title shot in the future. Mendes can clearly dominate this fight on the ground, but he doesn’t really need to. I don’t see Yahya having the tools for a win standing or on the ground.
Mendes via TKO, round 3