I'm looking forward to this Saturday's UFC 104 tilt. Some great fights are on tap with Lyoto Machida leading the pack with a very tough opponent in Mauricio Rua. There are also some very interesting stylistic clash matches on tap as well (Bader vs. Schafer leaping out as one). There are also four fighters with perfect undefeated records putting them on the line (Machida, Velasquez, Bader and Gormley). Plus, as if you needed more awesome to seal the deal, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson is on the card and he's one of the most dynamic, fast and rising fighters in the game today. It should be an outstanding night of fights. Below are my predictions for how the night will shape up.
Because I'm running late, I'm posting what I've got for picks without reasons in the last few fights.
Summary: Machida, Cain, Neer, Fisher, Johnson, Hardonk, Sonnen, Rivera, Bader and Al-Hassan.
Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
Prediction: Machida by TKO in Round 3
Reason: Machida is crafty, intelligent, strong and knows when to strike. He has thus far been uncrackable by any opponent. Rua is a great fighter but I don't think he's going to be the one to figure out how to take out Machida.
Cain Velasquez vs. Ben Rothwell
Prediction: Velasquez by Unanimous Decision
Reason: A fight of big, big boys. One a wrestling phenom who's newer to the MMA scene in Velasquez and one a seasoned vet with a load of experience and alot of hunger.
Josh Neer vs. Gleison Tibau
Prediction: Neer by TKO in Round 2
Reason: Every fight I've seen of Josh Neer he's shown he's tough as nails and can never be counted out of any fight. I don't know Tibau too well but I'm going with Neer.
Joe Stevenson vs. Spencer Fisher
Prediction: Fisher by TKO in Round 3
Reason: Wow, this should be a great fight really. I'm not a big Joe Stevenson fan and I am a Spencer Fisher fan but both are good fighters and this should be a pretty dynamic fight.
Anthony Johnson vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida
Prediction: Anthony Johnson by TKO in Round 1
Reason: Johnson is one of the most exciting new fighters in the game
Antoni Hardonk vs. Pat Barry
Yushin Okami vs. Chael Sonnen
Prediction: Sonnen by submission (rear naked choke) in Round 2
Jorge Rivera vs. Rob Kimmons
Prediction: Rivera by Unanimous Decision
Ryan Bader vs. Eric "Red" Schafer
Prediction: Bader by TKO in Round 2
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Razak Al-Hassan
Prediction: Al-Hassan by TKO in Round 1
Update: I went 6 for 10 on my predictions which isn't too bad. There's an awful lot of controversy about Machida's win but these are the kinds of things that can happen if a fight is allowed to go to the judge's decision. I haven't seen it so I can't say one way or the other but many people who's opinions I respect and trust have said that Rua got robbed. But Dana White has already announced that there will be a rematch which should be epic!