Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami
The last time these two fought, Okami walked away with a decision victory, but Silva was already clearly proving he is the better striker. The only real chance Okami has against Silva is on the ground then, and Okami is powerful on the ground and has good takedowns. However, his ground game is not on the same level as many of the other fighters Silva has faced, and came out victorious.
Silva via TKO, round 2
Mauricio (Shogun) Rua vs. Forrest Griffin
This will undoubtedly be a close, hard fought battle. Shogun will come out fast and furious, keeping the pressure on at the outset. But anyone who thinks that Shogun will be at his best is seriously mistaken. It wasn’t that long ago that Shogun reinjured that knee, you know, the one everyone claimed let Griffin snag a victory. In his last fight against Jon Jones, Shogun did not look at all to be in rare form. So what has changed? He can train hard for this fight, but in the end it will go to the ground again, where Griffin has an advatange.
Griffin via decision
Minotauro Nogueira vs. Brendan Schaub
Nogueira has taken time off for a year and a half, so ring rust will play in significantly. Nogueira has world class jiu-jitsu without a doubt, but the problem will be getting the fight to the ground. Of his last 3 fights, Nogueira has lost 2 of them by way of KO/TKO, so Schaub’s powerful striking will likely seal the deal on this fight.
Schaub via TKO, round 3
Ross Pearson vs. Edson Barboza
Barboza has shown a great talent for landing punches, and with his strong kickboxing background has shown incredible power with his kicks. Pearson’s best chances in this matchup would be to take the fight to the ground, which he seems capable of. However, I suspect Barboza has a good enough takedown defense so I don’t think this fight will last long enough for Pearson to pull anything off.
Barboza via TKO, round 2
Luiz Cane vs. Stanislav Nedkov
Here is another fight that will almost certainly not go the distance. Cane has seen a round 2 only twice in his career, so look for him to try to finish things early. Real early. Nedkov is primarily a wrestler, and takes his fights to the ground about half the time to snag a submission victory, so he is likely to not be as strong standing as Cane.
Cane via TKO, round 2
Thiago Tavares vs. Spencer Fisher
Fisher has fairly heavy hands, and doesn’t mind a brawl in the least. Tavares has a lot of strength in this matchup in his submission game. The big factor here will be who can keep their momentum going, and Tavares should not have a problem scoring takedowns.
Tavares via decision
Rousimar Palhares vs. Dan Miller
Both are seemingly evenly matched, both are black belts in bjj, and both have had some high profile losses lately. It will be a very tough call, while Miller has had less time to prepare, he also has faired better against the same opponents in the past.
Miller via split decision