This decorated trip back to Brazil for the UFC is a monumental event, and promises an exciting night of fights. The middleweight contender, Yushin Okami, faces, who Dana White claims to be "the best mixed martial artist ever" for the title in their long "awaited" rematch. Forrest Griffin takes the stage of the co-main event in what he feels to be an "owed" rematch with Shogun Rua. Griffin stunned the world by stopping Rua via rear naked choke at UFC 76, and looks for his second victory over the brazilian saturday night. The Schaub is an up and coming heavyweight that possesses extreme athleticism, and promises an exciting fight against Big Nog. Two other brazilians, Luiz Cane and Edson Barbosa are returning home with the UFC, and are both facing tough opponents that will provide solid match ups.
Okami vs. Silva:
Yushin Okami is one of the most physically strong and powerful 185 pounders in the world. His striking is top notch, and he possesses the scary ability to fully control his opponents on the ground. Okami has great wrestling, is able to overwhelm his opponents by smothering them. At UFC 117, Silva was outwrestled and out-struck by Chael Sonnen who took "The Spider" down and ground and pounded his way to almost winning the title. In order to win, Okami must close the gap with Anderson on the feet, and fight off submissions when on the ground using his relentless power, which seems to be an overwhelming game plan against such a tough fighter. Not only does "The Spider" possess a festive homecoming pride irking him to bring home a win, but after the beating he took from Chael, I dont think Silva will be stopped. At least not yet. The champion will stay at his comfortable distance, and out-strike the Japanese middleweight.
Silva by TKO (round 4)
Griffin vs. Rua:
The last time these two fought, whether or not you believe it, Rua was battling injuries, and in my opinion it showed. I believe that Griffin has not seen Rua at his best. This is in no way taking anything away from Griffin, as he not only defeated but stopped the former champion before. Griffin has planned to "weather the storm" against Rua this time around, and as we all know that this kid can take a punch, we also know after losing his belt that "Shogun" is now hungrier than ever. I see this fight being fight of the night, with much toe to toe action as Griffin will show a 'TUF Finale 1 display of heart 'and once again reign supreme.
Griffin by Unanimous Decision (FOTN)
Schaub vs. Nogueira:
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has been fighting since his new opponent was a child, and the two looked like father and son at the weigh-ins. Despite the vast age difference, Schaub has been on a tear, taking down some of the most highly respected beasts in the heavyweight division. His hands have shown to possess devastating power, and his wrestling and jiu-jitsu are above average. Schaub controls his large body with more control than most his size are able to, and I believe that Big Nog is outmatched in all aspects of this fight.
Schaub by TKO 3rd round (KO of the Night)
Pearson vs. Barbosa
Ross Pearson since winning The Ultimate Fighter has gone 3-1 only losing to the submission expert, Cole Miller. He goes into this fight very hungry to finish it, as his last three fights have gone to a decision. If he decides to take down Barbosa, and control him he still needs to worry about being submitted. Barbosa on the other hand, has the advantage on the feet, and a scary ground game. And he's returning home.
Barbosa by TKO (2nd round)
Cane vs Nedkov
I see Stanislav Nedkov getting gassed really easily, and having trouble keeping the fight on the ground. When a wrestler is big and swollen with muscle, the blood tends to pump through quicker, therefore fatiguing them faster. Bigger wrestlers are often a victim of this. In addition, I think Luiz Cane has smoother standup. Cane will win the decision in his return home.
Cane via Unanimous Decision