UFC 126 Predictions

 

Miguel Torres Vs Antonio Banuelos

 

For those UK fans who have never seen Miguel Torres fight, one could argue that he’s one of the greatest Mixed Martial Artists to live. Sadly, for us we never got to watch any WEC events on TV, but with the UFC merging with the WEC, we now get to see some of the great lighterweight fighters go head to head. Torres is one of the standouts of the bantamweight division and has a ridiculous number of wins via submission.

What the records don’t mention is that Torres, usually beats the crap out of his opponents before he submits them as his stand up is more than solid. Banuelos is no walk over, but I truly believe that Torres is back to his best, after being inconsistent in his last few fights and will win this fight

 

Jake Ellenberger Vs Carlos Eduardo Rocha

I was really impressed with Jake Ellenberger when he fought John Howard. Ellenberger is a strong wrestler who has some vicious ground and pound. Although Carlos Eduardo Rocha is a really good BJJ fighter, I don’t think he has fought anyone on the level of Ellenberger, who has the potential to make a huge leap into the elite welterweight fighters in the UFC in 2011. Ellenberger will probably stand with Rocha as he won’t want any of Rocha’s submission game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he took him down and tried to ground and pound him.

I feel that as good of a submission artist is, Rocha’s submissions will be nulified by the strength of Ellenberger, ultimately giving Ellenberger the win.

 

 

Jon Jones Vs Ryan Bader

Arguably the most anticipated fight on the card, one could assume that Jon Jones Vs Ryan Bader is a look at two potential future champions at the beginning of their careers and a battle to see who is truly ready to make the real step up in competition. Bader is unbeaten in his career and is a quality wrestler from Arizona State University (the home of Cain Velasquez and C.B Dollaway) so he’s got a fantastic wrestling base.

However, don’t think that Bader is going to attempt to lay and pray as he’s got knockout power in both hand and is constantly evolving. The one problem for Bader is his cardio and the fact that he has the tendency to gas in later rounds. If he was fighting anyone else, I’d most likely go with Bader, however he’s fight Jon Jones. Jones is any fighter’s worst nightmare. He’s fast, unpredictable, strong and most importantly still evolving. Both of them are young and could be champions in the future, but Jones has evolved further in his career compared to that of Bader. I’ll have to go with Jones for the win.

Forrest Griffin Vs Rich Franklin

Two UFC legends collide in a fight that has “absolute war” written all over it. Both fighters are looking for another win to take further up the ladder of the light-heavyweight division. Griffin hasn’t thought in well over a year, after getting surgery on his shoulder, and any momentum he had coming off his win against Tito Ortiz in 2009 has probably vanished. Franklin is coming off an impressive victory against Chuck Liddell, but let’s not forget that Franklin wasn’t looking to fantastic until the knockout of Liddell, who had already been knocked out a fair few times before the fight (see Rashad Evans vicious knockout).

Franklin has the advantage as he certainly hasn’t got as much ring rust as Griffin. However, I think that Griffin has the strength advantage and won’t be bullied by Rich Franklin who is usually bigger than his opponents. Griffin is a gym rat who wouldn’t step into the cage unprepared and I feel that with his skill set, he certainly has this fight.

I’ll just put this out there, winner of the Jon Jones /Ryan Bader fight vs. the winner of Forrest Griffin/Rich Franklin fight. Certainly possible…

 

Anderson Silva Vs Vitor Belfort

Many fights have been dubbed “Fight of the Century”, but when my mother who knows nothing about cage fighting asks me who Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort are, I have to truly wonder if this is the fight of the century. In his last fight, Anderson proved that even when he’s been heavily dominated, he can finish off fights and that’s an incredibly important trait for a champion to have. There wasn’t an MMA fan on the planet who didn’t think that Chael Sonnen was the new UFC Middleweight champion, until Anderson locked on that Triangle Choke. Vitor on the other hand is a completely different fighter to Chael, because where Chael had fantastic takedowns, his stand-up was weak. Yet he still managed to stand up with Anderson and knock him down a few times in the process. Vitor may not take Silva down, but his stand up is so good, that he isn’t afraid to let his hands fly and just unleash strikes on Anderson. Vitor is also an ex UFC Heavyweight and Light-Heavyweight champion, so like Anderson he knows and has what it takes to win. The main issue is that if Vitor is dropping down to 185, that’s a HUGE weight cut for him. He’s made it once and that was against Matt Lindland. You have to question his cardio and whether he could potentially last five rounds with Silva. I don’t think he can. If he can hit Silva hard, within the first round, then he can win this fight, but Silva is too elusive, too technical and too good at this game. According to some sources, Silva used to bully Belfort when they trained with each other in Brazil, many years ago. I don’t think he’ll bully Belfort on the fight, but I think he’ll pick up the win. Prediction: Silva TKO

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