via Bloody Elbow
Derek Suboticki: Davis by submission
I'm in a "changing of the guard" kind of mood. Really, most fighters that were successful in 2005 are probably underdogs in most fights against the top of the division today. That's not a knock on their previous success, skill level or heart - it's a testament to how rapidly the game is evolving. Davis has perhaps the most freakish physique in the entire sport, a Penn State wrestling pedigree and absolutely nothing to lose here. I think he'll put on a show.
Kaleb Kelchner: Davis by decision.
I fully suspect that Davis will use his wrestling to shut down Nogueira, probably from half guard, and work ground and pound throughout all fifteen minutes of the fight. If Nog can make Davis work for it, we may be in for a treat, but if not, it'll be a sad performance for the Brazilian.
KJ Gould: Phil Davis was known throughout college for his top control, and he can certainly get Nogueira down and at the least run down the clock while on top of him. He’s yet to show a devastating Ground’n’Pound game and frankly it’s risky against the ever active BJJ black belt. But even on short notice he’ll have been working with Alliance MMA and possibly Lloyd Irvin so I can see Davis just shutting down Nogueira on his way to a unanimous decision. by Decision.
Derek: Johnson by KO
Going out on a limb here. There's no surer indication of performance than a lengthy layoff, and it's not a positive one. Between Johnson's ability to make weight (hooray), wrestling skills and KO power - and the fact that I don't see how Hardy finishes him - I'm going to let the Rumble hype train draw me in one more time. All aboard!
Kaleb: Hardy by decision.
KJ: I just haven’t understood how a lot of people think Johnson is a better striker then Hardy. More power, sure, but I thought it was clear Hardy is the more technical and accomplished striker. I’d be surprised if this fight didn’t come down to Johnson’s offensive wrestling and Hardy’s ability to defend against it and from what I hear Hardy has been really focused on this area since the GSP fight. Training daily with Daley (ugh) should also mean Johnson shouldn’t have anything in his arsenal that could surprise Hardy though it will be interesting to see if his KO loss to Condit will make him conservative in this fight. by Decision.
Derek: Sadollah by decision
Johnson's impressed lately (read as "won fights he wasn't supposed to"), but he came in fat for the Riddle bout and will forever be the guy that lost a TUF contract to . Sadollah is still just a baby in the sport, and his losses are to the very legit and - let's see what he's learned since his last bout.
Kaleb: Damarques by decision.
KJ: Johnson has a great top game and Sadollah is good off his back. Assuming they end up neutralising each other if it goes to the ground it could come down to the stand up in which Sadollah has an obvious advantage. Sadollah by Decision.
Derek: Garcia by decision
Garcia by decision is just a safe pick, regardless of his opponent's soul searching. In the battle between Garcia and someone he's wrongly split-decisioned before - remember, the Zombie is replacing another victims of the Hypnogarcia charm - don't bet against fate.
KJ: I’d hope something like karma catches up with the luckiest Featherweight in the game today but Jung’s surprising KO loss to doesn’t fill me with confidence in this rematch. This fight could end up a carbon copy of the first encounter, but I’ll say fate favours the Korean Zombie this time around. Chan Sung Jung by decision.