Contained herein are my predictions for tomorrow night's UFC 102 fights. Where I have strong feelings and/or knowledge I will provide my reasoning for making the prediction, if there's no reason then I'm going with either my gut or the bookies (likely the bookies).
265 lbs.: Randy Couture vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Prediction: Couture by decision
Reason: Couture is still going pretty strong and comes into fights both in the absolute best condition he can but also with a winning game plan. Time is catching up with Noqueria quickly.
205 lbs.: Keith Jardine vs. Thiago Silva
Prediction: Silva by TKO Rd. 2
Reason: Jardine is tough as hell but Silva is a caged animal in the ring and I think his hyper-aggressive style is going to just be too much for Jardine to deal with.
185 lbs.: Nate Marquardt vs. Demian Maia
Prediction: Marquardt by TKO Rd. 2
Reason: Maia is scary awesome on the ground but Marquardt's a cagey fighter who will have an answer to Maia's jiu jitsu. I think Nate will keep it off the mat and will wear him down with his better striking until Maia gets a little desperate and goes for a takedown when he'll get caught.
205 lbs.: Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Brandon Vera
Prediction: Vera by TKO Rd. 3
Reason: This fight will turn on how "on" Vera is. If he's on his game then Soszynski is going to have a very tough night. If he's off his game then Soszynski will pick him apart.
185 lbs.: Chris Leben vs. Jake Rosholt
Prediction: Rosholt by Submission Rd. 2
Reason: I like Chris Leben but he isn't evolving with the sport so much. He gets in the cage and throws fists and, sometimes, gets lucky with his heavy hands and knocks the other guy out. Rosholt is well aware of Leben's style and will have a plan to counteract it. He's got great wrestling and will use it to take Leben down and out.
185 lbs.: Ed Herman vs. Aaron Simpson
Prediction: Herman by Unanimous Decision
Reason: I don't know Aaron Simpson but I've seen a whole bunch of Ed Herman's fights. He's a tough dude with a good camp and a strong will to win. If he can do it, he will even if I tend to think Ed Herman, the person, is a bit of a douchebag.
265 lbs.: Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Chris Tuchscherer
Prediction: Gonzaga by TKO Rd. 2
Reason: Gonzaga's a monster, he's a great character who has big power, big skills and a will to win. I'm not familiar with Tuchscherer so we'll see what happens but I think Gonzaga's going to be fired up for this fight and he's like a pissed off bull.
265 lbs.: Mike Russow vs. Justin McCully
Prediction: Russow by Unanimous Decision
265 lbs.: Todd Duffee vs. Tim Hague
Prediction: Hague by TKO in Rd. 1
205 lbs.: Nick Catone vs. Mark Munoz
Prediction: Catone by Unanimous Decision
155 lbs.: Marcus Aurelio vs. Evan Dunham
Prediction: Aurelio by Unanimous Decision
So there we go. The rundown looks like this: Couture, Silva, Marquardt, Vera, Rosholt, Herman, Gonzaga, Russow, Hague, Catone and Aurelio. Check back to see how I ended up doing. And hey, if you're making predictions, leave a comment and I'll come and check yours out.
Update: I got 6 out of 11 fights correct on the winner and did quite well in the UFC Fantasy scoring in the top 100 (#90) with 167 points. Not bad but I would have been happier calling a few more fights the right way.