I really, REALLY suck at making MMA predictions because when I decided to go with my brain instead of heart, my heart picks win. When I go with my heart, my brain picks win. So tonight I say SCREW IT. I'm a tad bit drunk and watching preseason football has worn me down to the point that I'm going to give this another go and DAMN THE CONSEQUENCES. Sad gibberish after the jump.
Let's start with the prelims. Why? Why not?
Marcus Aurelio vs Evan Dunham
Aurelio is the very definition of a seasoned journeyman. He has fought all over and has had some epic battles with the likes of Takanori Gomi and Clay Guida. He is a solid pro and is always dangerous with his submissions. Oregon native Evan Dunham is very much Aurelio's polar opposite, having had all of 8 fights in his brief career. He is coming off of a successful UFC debut back in February when he scored a first round TKO against Per Eklund. Having seen so little of Dunham and knowing how old Aurelio is makes this one kinda tough to call, but I'm going to go with youth on this one.
FEARLESS PREDICTION: Evan Dunham via decision
Nick Catone vs Mark Munoz
This is a battle of former collegiate wrestlers. Catone is seeing his first action since being submitted by Tim Credeur back in April. Munoz himself is coming off a loss as well, a devastating KO via Matt Hamill head kick. This fight has the makings of a "loser leaves town" sort of deal, and I expect both guys will come out looking to throw down. A brawl is precisely what Munoz wants, so I'm going with him.
FEARLESS PREDICTION: Mark Munoz via TKO R1
Tim Hague vs Todd Duffee
Hague enters the bout with a nice 10-1 career record and is currently riding a 5 match win streak. He won his UFC debut back in May by submitting Pat Berry in an upset. The 23 year old Duffee is making his UFC debut with a record of 4-0. He hasn't fought since September of last year when he picked up a TKO victory over former King of Pancrase Assuerio Silva. I know nothing of Duffee, but beating Assuerio Silva isn't that big of an accomplishment so I'm going with Hague.
FEARLESS PREDICTION: Tim Hague via Decision
Justin McCully vs Mike Russow
I REALLY, REALLY HATE Justin McCully. He's boring, uninterested and really shitty. I will never forgive him for the Eddie Sanchez and Antoni Hardonk crap fests. Mike Russow beat Jason Guida one time, so that's good enough for me.
FEARLESS PREDICTION: Mike Russow via KO R1
Gabriel Gonzaga vs Chris Tuchscherer
Now we're talking. Gonzaga is in need of a big win to stay employed. It kinda sucks for him, being that his only career losses have been to Fabricio Werdum (twice), Randy Couture and Shane Carwin. Tuchscherer has built a fairly nice record fighting a who's who of heavyweight cans. Branden Lee Hinkle, Travis Fulton, Travis Wiuff, Tuchscherer has fought them all. I don't see this one going well for him.
FEARLESS PREDICTION: Gabriel Gonzaga via submission R2
Ed Herman vs Aaron Simpson
Ah, Ed Herman. One of the most entertaining dudes to ever step in the cage. Ed (like just about everyone else on the prelim cards these days) needs a win pretty badly. His unanimous win against David Loiseau wasn't much of a statement. He needs to put Simpson away, and the earlier the better. Simpson is a serious puncher and there's no way in hell this thing goes the distance.
FEARLESS PREDICTION: Aaron Simpson via KO R1 (sorry Ed)
and now, on to the MAIN CARD
Brandon Vera vs Krzysztof Soszynski
The UFC is banking pretty heavily on Vera. He is their main guy for their planned expansion into the Filipino market. His last fight saw him chop Mike Patt down with a series of brutal leg kicks. He seems to be hitting his stride as a light heavyweight and might be at the peak of his career. Soszynski is 3-0 in his UFC career, collecting two Submissions of the Night and a nice 1st round KO along the way. This is an intriguing matchup as both guys match up pretty well with each other.
FEARLESS PREDICTION: Krzysztof Soszynski via submission R3
Nate Marquardt vs Demian Maia
OK, my pick on this fight is a purely selfish pick. This match could very well provide a next challenger for Anderson Silva's middleweight title, and Nate has already had that chance and failed miserably. I want to see Maia vs Silva. Peace out, Nate.
FEARLESS PREDICTION: Demian Maia via submission R2
Chris Leben vs Jake Rosholt
Leben pissed hot for roids after a fight where he got completely schooled by Michael Bisping in a fight that had to be rescheduled to work around Leben's incarceration for DUI. Awesome. Jake Rosholt is coming off a submission loss to one of the Miller bros. Not so awesome.
FEARLESS PREDICTION: Fatherless Bastard via TKO R1
Keith Jardine vs Thiago Silva
Jardine has always just kinda been there. Doesn't really stand out, wins a big fight here and there, but is pretty much a big ol' bag of meh. Thiago Silva is coming off a KO loss to champ Lyoto Machida in January. Silva has something to prove and needs to get himself off the snide with a big win and I expect him to show up big time.
FEARLESS PREDICTION: Thiago Silva via decision
Randy Couture vs Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
This is a fight I really wanted to see about 5 years ago. A lot has happened since then. Randy is an old, old man. He looked like utter shit against Brock Lesnar and I don't see how him being older now is going to help that. Nog is chronologically younger than Randy, but has more miles on him. Nog is a noble warrior who has fought literally every top notch heavyweight in the world... except Randy. Nog was absolutely murdered by Frank Mir in his last fight, and staph infection or not, he looked old and slow. I have the feeling that Dana is going to push the loser of this match into the retirement home. A loss by Nog would not do much of anything to tarnish his legacy. A loss for Randy might be a little more serious. It would drop him to 16-10 for his career. That's not really what you'd expect from a Hall of Famer. The main question about this fight is "Who has the most left in their tank?" I believe Nog is the correct choice.
FEARLESS PREDICTION: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira via submission R3
There you have it! What are your predictions?