Who's going to be watching tomorrow? I will be, as I'm very excited to see the UFC debut of Shogun.
Here's my predictions:
Chuck Liddell vs. Keith Jardine
Jardine's a tailor-made fighter for Liddell to KO. Jardine likes to come straight at his opponents, while Liddell likes to circle, look for angles and counter punch when the opponent moves into position. Both guys are coming off of KO losses and there's always a question of how guys will bounce back after being KO'd. My feeling is that Liddell shows no ill-effects from the Rampage loss and blows through Jardine.
Prediction: Liddell by 1st round KO.
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Forrest Griffin
New fans of MMA likely haven't seen much of "Shogun" and that's a shame, because this guy is a stud. He can do it all. It's great to see him in the UFC. Forrest Griffin is certainly no pushover, as evident by his close loss to Tito Ortiz. But he did lose to Jardine and wasn't overly impressive against Hector Ramirez. Griffin will put up a good fight, but he's not on the level of "Shogun".
Prediction: "Shogun" by second round TKO.
Diego Sanchez vs. Jon Fitch
Sanchez suffered his first loss as a professional at the hands of rival Josh Koscheck. There were reports Sanchez had a staph infection going into the fight, which may explain why he wasn't his usual self that night. He's also left Greg Jackson's camp, so it'll be interesting to see how that affects him. Fitch is on a 13-fight win streak and he's also from AKA, the same camp as Koscheck, so you know he's been getting pointers on how to neutralize Sanchez. This could be the fight of the night if both bring their A game.
Prediction: Sanchez by unanimous decision.
Ryoto Machida vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura
Prediction: Machida by unanimous decision.
Jeremy Stephens vs. Diego Saraiva
Prediction: Stephens by 2nd round submission.
Scott Junk vs. Christian Wellisch
Prediction: Wellisch by 1st round TKO.
Matt Wiman vs. Michihiro Omigawa
Prediction: Wiman by 1st round TKO.