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UFC Light Heavyweight Title: Mauricio Rua vs. Jon Jones
Top Prediction: Shogun via Round 2 TKO
Anton Gurevich: Jon Jones’ incredible physical abilities will be the main factor in this one. Jones will take the fight to the ground, and gnp his way to glory. Jones via TKO in Round 2.
Ryan Ventura: Shogun has the experience and has faced the best. Jones is still a baby in this game and I feel his shot has come too soon. Mauricio Rua 2nd round TKO.
Joey Santosus: Considering the knee surgeries and ring rust, there’s a lot of factors working against the champ in this one. “Shogun” won’t make it as easy as his previous opponents have, but I do expect to see a passing of the torch on Saturday night. Jon Jones via 2nd Rnd TKO.
Urijah Faber vs. Eddie Wineland
Top Prediction: Faber via Submission in Round 2
Anton Gurevich: Wineland has a rare knockout power for 135-pound fighter. He’s currently on a very impressive winning streak, and can surely surprise Faber. My pick is Eddie Wineland via TKO in Round 3.
Ryan Ventura: Faber wants to return in the championship picture and Wineland wants his title shot. Faber comes from a stronger camp has finished a big chunk of his fights via submission. Urijah Faber 3rd Round submission.
Joey Santosus: Wineland has the type of power that can end things early, but I have to agree with “The California Kid” when he says he is the more complete fighter. Faber’s comfortable at his new weight and I expect him to avoid being caught long enough to take things to the ground and capitalize on Wineland’s weakness. Urijah Faber via 2nd Rnd Submission.
Jim Miller vs. Kamal Shalorus
Top Prediction: Miller via Submission in Round 3.
Anton Gurevich: Jim Miller is a well-rounded Mixed Martial Artist who can finish fights from any given position. However, in light of Shalorus’ strength in wrestling, I believe this one will go to distance. Jim Miller via Decision.
Ryan Ventura: Jim Miller has been on a hot streak winning six straight and Shalorus is undefeated. However I believe Miller has the better ground game. Jim Miller 2nd round submission.
Joey Santosus: Shalorus is a powerful wrestler, and though he prefers to stand and trade with opponents, his grappling abilities will likely make him a tough match-up for Miller. With that said, Miller is a crafty veteran and I expect him to outwork the former Olympian to take another step towards title contention. Jim Miller via Unanimous Decision.
Nate Marquardt vs. Dan Miller
Top Prediction: Marquardt via Decision.
Anton Gurevich: I’m a keen admirer of Nate Marquardt’s abilities. “The Great” will use this fight to bounce back from defeat, and prove he’s a Top 5 Middleweight. Marquardt via TKO in Round 1.
Ryan Ventura: Dan Miller will have the hometown advantage in Jersey has very good ground game. Wrestlers however have been his kryptonite and I think Marquardt could win this bout. Nate Marquardt by Decision.
Joey Santosus: While you have to commend Miller for once again stepping in on short notice, I’m not sure it was wise against an opponent of Marquardt’s caliber. Miller is as tough as they come, so I expect him to stick around for the duration of the bout, but Marquardt’s striking advantage will likely give him an edge on the judge’s scorecards. Nate Marquardt via Unanimous Decision.
Brendan Schaub vs. Mirko Cro Cop
Top Prediction: Schaub via TKO in Round 3.
Anton Gurevich: Schaub will be too much for Mirko Cro Cop. “The Hybrid” is an aggressive fighter, and he will not do the PRIDE legend any favors. Schaub via TKO in Round 2.
Ryan Ventura: If Cro Cop 2006 shows up, Schaub will taste the canvas. However, Schuab seems very motivated going into this fight and I think his youth could play a factor too. Schaub by Decision.
Joey Santosus: As much as I love “Cro Cop,” the truth is he just isn’t what he used to be. Schaub, on the other hand, has looked impressive as of late, and appears to be developing into a well-rounded fighter. I don’t think he is stupid enough to play it fast and loose against someone as potentially dangerous as Mirko, but Schaub will tire him out and close in for the kill late in the fight. Brendan Schaub via 3rd Rnd TKO.
Photos HT: MMAMania.com