UFC 135 Predictions
Fight day is upon us, and I couldn’t be happier. As a matter of fact, there’s 3 pay-per-view events in the next month or so, very good news. My record of being horrible at predictions remains intact. Actually, I’ve gotten considerably worse at this.
I got 2 fights right at UFC 134, along with calling Fight of the Night correctly. My Ultimate Fighter predictions didn’t even make it into the house. So, my apologies to the fighters that I choose to win. I’m going to choose winners for the Spike prelims, along with the entire main card.
Tim Boetsch vs Nick Ring
This fight is an unpredictable one, because while Ring has looked great, he hasn’t fought the toughest competition. Sure, he beat Court McGee in The Ultimate Fighter show, but is that a big win? We really don’t know if McGee is that good yet.
Meanwhile, Boetsch has looked great in a couple of fights, and lackluster in others. In his wins over David Heath and Kendall Grove he looked like a barbarian. Against Matt Hamill and Phil Davis he looked not so great. Granted, nobody has looked good against Phil Davis, because that man is a monster. He’s a future champion, mark my words. So Ring looks great against mediocre competition, and Boetsch looks so-so against stiff competition.
My prediction: Boetsch via unanimous decision. (Fight of the Night)
Aaron Riley vs Tony Ferguson
Aaron Riley is a tough dude, but he’s a journeyman. He always comes to fight, but you shouldn’t expect much out of him. I liken him to Dan Miller, all heart, and not much else.
Tony Ferguson is another TUFer who looks pretty good. He comes from the season that I didn’t see much of, because honestly, the talent pool has gone down considerably over the years (this season will be great though). From what I’ve seen from Ferguson though, he is impressive. Only one of his wins was by decision, which is what I love to see from a fighter.
My prediction: Ferguson via first round KO/TKO.
Robbie Broughton vs Travis Browne
Robbie Broughton is a fighter that I admittedly know little about. He’s a big heavyweight, and I’ll go ahead and see that as a bad thing, because most large men are sloppy fighters with no gas tank. I’m sure he hits hard, and looking at his record he might have submission skills, but you never know with these guys.
Travis Browne looked pretty good in his last fight, against Stephan Struve. He landed a beautiful superman punch that put Struve to sleep. He may be a decent midrange heavyweight in years to come, but what does that mean really? The division is lacking depth right now, but hopefully the Strikeforce talent that has been coming over will help that. I’m thinking this fight might be a snoozer.
My prediction: Browne via unanimous decision, while the crowd boos.
Takanori Gomi vs Nate Diaz
Gomi was great in Pride. He was one of the brightest stars in an organization that had many. Unfortunately, being great in Japan does not equate to being great in the US. He’s been unimpressive thus far in the UFC, with his one bright spot being a knockout of Tyson Griffin. Gomi just turned 33 on Thursday, just like me. We were born on the same exact day, which isn’t a good thing.
Nate Diaz is not Nick Diaz. While he has the chin and submission game, his standup isn’t all that great, and he’s had some real problems with fighters who are able to take him down and avoid a submission. Luckily for him, Gomi can wrestle, but doesn’t have a size advantage.
My prediction: Diaz via second round submission.
Mark Hunt vs Ben Rothwell
This fight pits a heavyweight who was good in Pride vs one who was good in the IFL. Hunt had one of the best chins of all-time during his Pride days, surviving head kicks from Cro Cop that would have killed a normal man. He’s a big guy who is a decent striker, even competing in K1. His ground game is lacking though.
Rothwell is another one of those heavyweights who is in the UFC solely because there’s not enough talent to have him cut. He looked great in the IFL, but what does that mean really? So did Chris Horodecki. He’s a moderately well-rounded fighter though.
My prediction: Rothwell via unanimous decision.
Josh Koscheck vs Matt Hughes
Man, I’m really looking forward to this fight! Koscheck is one of the best wrestlers in MMA, and his standup game is always improving. He has a big right hand, and he throws a decent head kick. He’s the younger fighter, but the age difference isn’t really all that huge.
Matt Hughes… What really needs to be said? I’m not his biggest fan, but I respect the hell out of this man’s fighting ability and accomplishments in the cage. If there was never a GSP, he’d still be the greatest welterweight ever. His standup isn’t great, but his wrestling and submission game pick up the slack. He may retire after the fight, but I don’t think he has to. He’s still got some fight in him. Sure he got knocked out by BJ Penn, but there is no shame in that whatsoever.
My prediction: Hughes via second round submission.
Quinton Jackson vs Jon Jones
Alright, main event time! Quinton Jackson is a great fighter, but I just don’t see how he can win this fight, outside of him landing a bomb. Sure, if he connects, Jones is going to sleep. Jackson’s punches can knock out anyone, in any division, so there’s always a chance. His wrestling is great, and he looks like he’s in great shape. I wish I could believe that he will win this fight, because he’s a fighter that I enjoy watching.
Taking my personal feelings out of this, Jon Jones is a phenomenal fighter. This guy has all the skills that it takes to be a legend. His striking is unpredictable, his takedowns are superb, and he does have a submission game, along with lethal ground and pound. His chin hasn’t been tested yet, but that’s because nobody can get a shot off before he’s all over them. I’m not going to get carried away with him yet though, because I want to see him fight Machida and Rashad, especially Rashad.
My prediction: Jones via first round KO/TKO. I’d love to be wrong though…
Those are my predictions. I really try to make the right calls, but it seemingly never turns out that way. I’d love to be wrong about the main event especially, but I doubt I am. I bet with my heart on the Koscheck/Hughes fight, because my head is usually wrong anyway. Enjoy the fights, I know I will.