UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama Predictions

UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama
October 16, 2010
O2 Arena in London, England

Main Bouts:
Michael Bisping vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama

Luke Thomas: To me there is a similarity to the Wanderlei fight: it's easy to see how Akiyama could hurt Bisping, but it's hard to see how Bisping hurts Akiyama...except if he fatigues. And he's done that twice now against two fighters I also wouldn't pick to beat Bisping. Akiyama may have addressed these issues during camp, but we don't know that at this juncture. Bisping's the safe pick here. Bisping by decision.

Kid Nate: I initially picked Bisping until I looked at the CompuStrike comparison of the two fighters. Akiyama has a higher connection rate, rarely gets hit, lands just as many power strikes and has a huge take down advantage. Bisping will get to show off his good guard game but he'll lose. Akiyama by decision.

Brent Brookhouse: Bisping is too good standing and too hard to hold down. It's going to just be a slow, methodical picking apart of Akiyama. Look for Akiyama to have his moments, but ultimately come up on the wrong side of the card. Michael Bisping by decision.

Mike Fagan: This is a really bad style matchup for Akiyama. He might throw Bisping a couple of times, but the Brit is very good at getting back to his feet. And it's gonna be a stick-and-move clinic there. Michael Bisping by decision.

Chris Nelson: If Akiyama's fixed his stamina issues, that's great. If Greg Jackson's figured out a way to translate the term "game plan," even better. Sadly, neither will change the fact that Akiyama is an undersized middleweight, while Bisping is not. Bisping via decision.

Nick Thomas: Akiyama is always dangerous in the first round. But now that Akiyama is training with Greg Jackson, he'll be dangerous in the other two as well. Akiyama by decision.

Leland Roling: Well, I can't go against my Korean roots, the whole 1/4 of me that they take up. I don't think Akiyama actually stands a chance, but... WAR SEXYAMA! Akiyama via K-O!

Jonathan Snowden: Akiyama is the more skilled fighter overall, but Bisping has the particular skillset to win this fight. Expect Bisping to stall and brawl, hop and pop, or whatever we are calling getting on your bicycle these days, on his way to a decision. Bisping via decision.

Dan Hardy vs. Carlos Condit

Luke Thomas: I'd really like to see Condit remove Hardy's delusions of grandeur with a sound win, but Condit is probably not the guy to do that. Should be fun, though. Hardy by decision.

Kid Nate: Great great match up here. Hardy is tougher on the feet but Condit is far more well rounded. I don't think that will be enough though. Condit lives to force brawls but that's the wrong idea against Hardy. Hardy by decision.

Brent Brookhouse: Hardy is developing into having solid takedown defense (against guys not named Georges St. Pierre). His hands are good but they're made better by great striking timing. Condit wins if he can get Hardy on his back often enough to do damage but I just don't think he'll be able to put enough work in from on top. Dan Hardy by decision.

Mike Fagan: Fun fact: both guys have submission losses to Pat Healy on their record. This is gonna be a tough, back-and-forth affiar, but I think Condit's wrestling will be the ultimate decider. Carlos Condit by decision.

Chris Nelson: Condit's still a tough customer, but he's not the same guy we knew in his WEC or Pancrase days. Meanwhile, the abrasive Hardy's a better fighter than most would like to admit. I don't fully enjoy his hubris, but I've got to take Hardy via decision.

Nick Thomas: Love this fight. I have to give Hardy the slight edge on the feet, but I think Condit gets this to the ground and grinds this out. Condit by decision.

Leland Roling: I actually think Hardy's timing on the feet is a huge plus against Condit. That and I think Condit is still going to have a hard time working for takedowns and dominating Hardy on the ground. I'll take Hardy via decision.

Jonathan Snowden: God, I love this fight. Winner is me. Also winning? Carlos Condit by decision.

John Hathaway vs. Mike Pyle

Luke Thomas: Pyle might pull of the submission surprise, but that's highly unlikely. Good test for the Brit against a "high-level journeyman" in Pyle. Hathaway by TKO.

Kid Nate: This is a coming out party for Hathaway, the man most likely to be the first British UFC champ. Hathaway by TKO.

Brent Brookhouse: I really want to pick Pyle here just because I think he's going to go balls out trying to grab a limb. I'd probably have actually picked him if we hadn't seen Hathaway learn to use his length to outbox Diego Sanchez. Knowing that he's learning how to strike with his natural tools mean that he is going to get the TKO. John Hathaway by TKO, round 2.

Mike Fagan: If the Sanchez fight is any indication, Hathaway's going to run over Pyle. John Hathaway by TKO, round 2.

Chris Nelson: Pyle's certainly a live dog here, but I've got to go with the younger, quicker Brit. A win here puts him on the fast track to... eventually waiting for a title shot... at some point... maybe. Hathaway via decision.

Nick Thomas: This fight is all Hathaway as long as he doesn't get caught on the ground. Hathaway by decision.

Leland Roling: Pyle's only chance is on the ground, but I think he'll have a hard time getting it there. John Hathaway via TKO.

Jonathan Snowden: I don't really buy the Sanchez fight as an indicator of great things to come for Hathaway. Diego was not at his best mentally or physically for that fight. I'm going to go with my gut and call it for the Couture disciple. Pyle, submission.

Cheick Kongo vs. Travis Browne

Luke Thomas: I'm not really sure how Brown has more than a puncher's chance. Kongo by TKO.

Kid Nate: Not impressed by Browne. Kongo by TKO.

Brent Brookhouse: Kongo has developed decent enough wrestling that he'll have the advantage there, he's also a better technical striker than Browne and has more tools on the feet. Browne absolutely could pull off an upset, but I can't pick it. Cheick Kongo by TKO, round 1.

Mike Fagan: This fight screams upset to me. Travis Browne by TKO, round 1.

Chris Nelson: Kongo really only loses to elite guys and crafty veterans. While he could be one of the two down the road, I don't see Browne being able to overcome the Frenchman's strength or experience at the moment. Kongo via decision.

Nick Thomas: Kongo is going take Browne down at will. Kongo by decision.

Leland Roling: Tough call, but Kongo's more technical striking ability should prevail. Kongo via TKO.

Jonathan Snowden: Kongo, KO.


James Wilks vs. Claude Patrick

Luke Thomas: Patrick is better at everything in this game. Patrick by submission.

Kid Nate: Patrick is very promising. Wilks is more of a mixed bag. Patrick by submission.

Brent Brookhouse: Patrick is more consistent, and he is in a fight that benefits what he does well. Claude Patrick by submission, round 2.

Mike Fagan: Not only is he a favorite with the books, but he sounds like a hockey goon. Claude Patrick by TKO, round 1.

Chris Nelson: Wilks is a tough guy who, somehow, always seems on the verge of folding in fights. I think Patrick takes it to the TUF winner and catches a late submission. Maybe, I dunno, a guillotine? Patrick via submission, round three.

Nick Thomas: As always, I have to go with my fellow Canuck. Patrick will nullify Wilks on the ground. Patrick by decision.

Leland Roling: Patrick's clinch work and brutal ground and pound should do the job. Claude Patrick via TKO.

Jonathan Snowden: I don't think they made this matchup for Wilks to lose. Joe Silva is smarter than me so I'll go Wilks via submission.


Preliminary Bouts:

Cyrille Diabate vs. Alexander Gustafsson

Luke Thomas: I bet Gustafsson controls where the fight takes place with superior wrestling and routs the Frenchman here. Gustafsson by decision.

Kid Nate: Gustafsson should shut down Cyrille. Gustafsson by TKO.

Brent Brookhouse: I just don't know what to do here. I want to believe that Diabate is going to keep his roll going, but Gustafsson is a bad matchup for him. Alexander Gustafsson by decision.

Mike Fagan: The Cyrille Diabate Comeback Miracle Train stops here. Alexander Gustafsson by decision.

Chris Nelson: Regardless of how it goes down, this ought to be a great fight. Prevailing wisdom seems to be that Gustafsson will take "The Snake" down with ease, but Diabate's got an underrated ground game. He's also got crazy, lanky limbs with which to strike and potentially catch the Swede in a submission  Diabate via submission, round two.

Nick Thomas: Gustafsson can take this to the ground if he's not winning the stand up. Gustafsson by decision.

Leland Roling: Gustafsson via TKO.

Jonathan Snowden: Diabate by decision.

Rob Broughton vs. Vinicius Kappke de Queiroz

Luke Thomas: Really a toss up when you're dealing with one fighter who is limited and the other who is wild. I'll go with the safe pick. Broughton by decision.

Kid Nate: Queiroz by TKO.

Brent Brookhouse: I don't buy the Queiroz talk, which means he'll win. Queiroz by TKO, round 1.

Mike Fagan: One of these fighters has a Wikipedia page. Rob Broughton by decision.

Chris Nelson: "The Bear" is, without doubt, the better of the two fighters. He's faced much sterner competition, and he should win this. I just have a feeling the massive Chute Boxe product will come out on fire and go buckwild on Broughton. De Queiroz via TKO, round one.

Nick Thomas: This is going to be a close fight, so I'm going to give it to Broughton on experience. Broughton by decision.

Leland Roling: For some reason, this fight has a feeling of an upset. Mainly due to Queiroz's giant frame and reach, but Broughton's experience and toughness is hard to ignore. Queiroz is far from technical, so I'll go with Broughton via decision.

Jonathan Snowden: Vincinius Kappke de Queiroz is a great name. Queiroz by TKO.

Mark Holst vs. Paul Sass

Luke Thomas: Sass has way too much submission savvy to be upset here. Sass by submission.

Kid Nate: Paul Sass should get the finish on Holst. Sass by submission.

Brent Brookhouse: Sass will have Holst fall right into his trap. Paul Sass by submission, round 1.

Mike Fagan: If Nick Thomas isn't picking a Canadian, something's up. Paul Sass by decision.

Chris Nelson: Not sure if he gets his namesake submission here, but the "Sassangle" should be able to outgrapple Holst with ease. Sass via submission, round one.

Nick Thomas: Sass is dangerous on the ground which isn't good for the wrestler Holst. Plus Sass will have the hometown crowd behind him. Sass by decision.

Leland Roling: Holst just doesn't have the skills on the ground to stop Sass, and his takedown defense is just awful. Paul Sass via submission.

Jonathan Snowden: Timeout is the only way to stop sass or backtalk. Experienced parent talking. Sass by submission.

Spencer Fisher vs. Curt Warburton

Luke Thomas: Fisher shouldn't lose this. "Shouldn't" being the operative word. Fisher by TKO.

Kid Nate: Fisher is fading. Warburton by TKO.

Brent Brookhouse: Fisher is nothing special but he's a veteran and should win here. Spencer Fisher by decision.

Mike Fagan: Not sure if Zuffa's trying to feed an old vet to Warburton or give Fisher a bounceback fight. Spencer Fisher by decision.

Chris Nelson: I've seen next to nothing of Warburton, so I've got to go with the known commodity. Fisher via decision.

Nick Thomas: Fisher can take this to the ground if he's not winning the stand up. Fisher by decision.

Leland Roling: Warburton is a bit of a mystery, although some of the footage I've seen is promising. For now, I'll go with the veteran. Spencer Fisher via decision.

Jonathan Snowden: Fisher by name recognition.

James McSweeney
vs. Fabio Maldonado

Luke Thomas: I can't believe McSweeney is still fighting in the UFC. Maldonado by whatever.

Kid Nate: Maldonado should end McSweeney's UFC run here. Maldonado by submission.

Brent Brookhouse: McSweeny is REALLY nothing special. He's bad and almost certainly headed for a loss. Fabio Maldonado by TKO, round 2.

Mike Fagan: If James McSweeney hailed from the States, he wouldn't have a Zuffa contract. Fabio Maldonado by submission, round 1.

Chris Nelson: Maldonado has the boxing skills to beat McSweeney on the feet, and he's also the better of the two sub-standard ground fighters. Plus, I don't trust guys making weight cuts for the first time. Maldonado via TKO, round two.

Nick Thomas: McSweeney at 205 could be interesting. But since Maldonado trains with Black House, I have to give him the edge here. Maldonado by decision.

Leland Roling: Fabio Maldonado looks as if he doesn't care about fighting when he fights, and McSweeney simply tires himself out to a point in which he probably doesn't care. Strange fight, but Maldonado should win. Maldonado via decision.

Jonathan Snowden: McSweeney? There have been a ton of people at McSweeneys I've wanted to fight over the years starting with Dave Eggers. I'm all for Maldonado here. Maldonado via decision.

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