Man, it's been awhile since the last UFC. Combine that with a great card and I'm really looking forward to Saturday.
Main Card Bouts:
Randy Couture vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
My favorite fight of the evening. The betting lines all hover around 50/50. Ask someone how Couture will win, though, and you almost certainly get an appeal to his supernatural mystique. And for good reason. First off, if you handed me some clay and had me make a perfect heavyweight frame, it would probably come out looking like Napao. He's big, wide, strong, fast, flexible, lean, really just a nearly perfect body for the heavyweight division. His submission credentials are top notch, and anyone who follows the sport will no doubt recall that Randy has failed poorly against large, skilled submission grapplers in the past. He was stopped by both Josh Barnett and Ricco Rodriguez when he was unable to keep them on their back (the sweet spot of his game). On the feet, Gonzaga has heavy hands, and much to everyone's shock, he apparently can kick like a goddamned horse. Even if Randy is able to outbox him, Gonzaga more than has the ability to put Randy on his ass and dominate the fight there. I really see no way Randy will win this fight, but then again that is when he is at his best. The fight ends with Gonzaga smashing Randy curled up against the fence. TKO Round 3.
Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck
Another great, great fight. Where is GSP's mind? Is Koscheck ready for a title shot? Lots of questions will get answered here. GSP certainly has more to lose than Kos. Merely a good showing is enough to keep the wind in his sails. A loss for George's however, puts him way back in the standings in a weight class bottle necked with guys ready to fight for the belt. I think this motivation will be enough to erase any doubts from the Serra loss and have GSP fighting with laser focus. If Kos tries to play kickboxer with GSP, like he sucessfully did against a staph riddled Diego, he will get beat up. Kos needs to put GSP on his ass and hump him there for 15 minutes to win. I don't think he will able too, and GSP will be able to keep this fight up (and give Josh trouble from his back) and take every round cautiously. GSP UD.
Joe Stevenson vs. Kurt Pellegrino
Not much to say really. Should be Stevenson's fight. If Joe Daddy wins, he will probably be facing BJ Penn later this year. If Sherk loses his appeal, that fight will probably be for the title. If not, it will probably be the match to fight Sherk for the title. Joe Daddy, second round sub.
Kendall Grove vs. Patrick Cote
Grove by lankiness and reach, unanimous decision.
Roger Huerta vs. Alberto Gonzales Crane
Huerta by shit stomping.
Marcus Aurelio vs. Clay Guida
If this fight doesn't get on the PPV, I will be incredibly pissed. The fact that it isn't on the main card to begin with puzzles me, because everytime Guida steps into the ring it's a potential fight of the year. Marcus is a beast on the mat, and while Guida will probably be able to put him on his back he will have his hands full controlling the sizeable and strong Aurelio. An even fight in my book, but given the poor showing's by some other Pride guys in their first UFC appearance's I will have to pick Guida by UD.
Renato "Babalu" Sobral vs. David Heath
Do or die time for Babalu. This is a lobbed up softball for Babalu to turn his streak around. Getting arrested a few weeks ago might have hurt his focus. But I think, and hope, he can't screw this one and score a second round submission.
Antoni Hardonk vs. Frank Mir
Hardonk sucks balls on the mat, and Mir needs desperately needs a win to remain anything other than an MMA footnote for snapping Sylvia's arm. Frank by first round sub.
Thales Leites vs. Ryan Jense
Leites by first round stoppage, way too much for Jense to handle. I'm excited for all of Thales potential.