Mark Hominick vs. Chan Sung Jung
The biggest question surrounding this bout is how will Hominick bounce back from the tragic loss of his trainer Shawn Tompkins? Will he be able to maintain his focus without his longtime friend and coach in his corner, in front of a home crowd no less?
The general consensus is that Hominick should be able to tool the Korean Zombie on the feet but on the ground it’s a very different story. Jung has shown he is a whiz on the mats and willing to use unorthodox methods to coax a submission (see his twister win over Leonard Garcia).
This should be a spirited battle with both fighters having their moments, but a resilient Hominick will draw strength from the crowd to pull off a dominate third round in order to nab a decision.
Prediction: Mark Hominick by unanimous decision
Patrick has quietly won three fights in a row in the UFC and thirteen in a row since 2005. The caveat there being that they were all against low-level competition. He does possess an excellent ground game and has looked good in his UFC career so far.
Ebersole is quite a wild card. Despite not being exceptional in any one area, he is very well-rounded, has an iron jaw and an inspiring ability to slip out of submissions.
He was able to beat both Chris Lytle and Dennis Hallman using constant pressure, unorthodox striking and a lot of scrambling on the ground. Patrick is a good fighter, but on relatively short notice this is too steep of a jump in competition.
Prediction: Brian Ebersole by third round TKO
Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Both men are fading stars badly in need of a win to keep their careers alive. Of late Ortiz has struggled to win largely because he’s slowed down, he’s gotten away from his wrestling-centric attack and a litany of injuries have kept him from performing at his peak.
Lil Nog on the other hand has dropped his last two (and almost last three) because he can’t wrestle for shit and his cardio sucks. While his takedown defense looked good against Phil Davis early, it drained him of all his energy and he was not able to use any of his vaunted boxing ability. Against Bader, same story. Hell, Jason Brilz was able to keep him on the mat for much of their fight.
This fight will unfold in one of two ways. It stays on the feet and Lil Nog picks Ortiz apart in a depressing display of how far the former champ has fallen a la Ortiz-Griffin 2 and Hamill-Ortiz. Or, Ortiz takes Lil Nog down every round and grinds out a boring split decision win.
The smart money is on Ortiz to come up short, but it never feels good to kick someone when they are down.
Prediction: Tito Ortiz by split decision
Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Big Nog did not look good when he beat Brendan Schaub. He was very slow and he got hit cleanly, a lot. The fact that he knocked out Schaub had more to do with Schaub being a very green fighter than any sort of ‘Big Nog is back!’ rumours you may have heard.
While Frank Mir hasn’t looked like a world champion either lately, he did lay waste to Cro Cop and Roy Nelson with relative ease in his last two fights and last night at the weigh-ins he looked like he was in fantastic shape compared to his flabby opponent.
Mir’s jiu-jitsu might not be at Big Nog’s level, but the Brazilian wasn’t able to tap Randy Couture so I doubt he’s going to catch Mir. On the feet? Mir matches his power, plus he’s quicker, more diverse and his chin isn’t completely shot.
Look for Mir to avoid the ground at all costs and box his way to an easy TKO.
Prediction: Frank Mir by second round TKO
Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida
Jon Jones is good at everything, has a ridiculous reach advantage and is much bigger than every other light heavyweight in the division. If this fight stays on the feet look for the champion to take the centre of the Octagon and counter Machida as he darts in and out of range. When Machida realises he can’t get anywhere near Jones from the outside he will attempt to clinch where Jones will take him down and methodically beat the tar out of him. He’ll probably throw an illegal strike in there or two, openly mock Machida and generally come off like an arrogant bully.
Machida’s best chances are probably to try and take Jones down using his fancy foot sweeps and using his superior BJJ skills to work him over from the top. Unfortunately I don’t see that happening…
Prediction: Jon Jones by 5th round TKO
- Sam Stilson (76-41)
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