The UFC is hyping UFC 92 as the biggest card of the year. Here in the no spin zone, we tell it how it is… and this IS the biggest card of the year. Up and down this one has 3 of the biggest fights of the year. Two of which I believe have potential for fight of the year honors.
It’s tough to find a better fight card than the one we are looking square in the mouth here.
Cheick Kongo Vs. Mostapha Al Turk
Mostapha (or Mustapha) has been fighting in the Cage Rage promotion over in England for the past several years. For this reason, he is widely unknown to the US fan. Kongo on the other hand trains with Quinton Jackson and Michael Bisping and is a UFC veteran.
Kongo is very good and experienced. It seems, however, that he can’t get on a roll. His UFC record looks something like this; 2 wins 1 loss then 2 wins 1 loss and now he is coming off a win. If you like betting based on patterns than Kongo is your guy.
I’ve been waiting for Kongo to take that next step. I thought it was going to be with a victory over Heath Herring at UFC 82 but it was another mis-step for Cheick. This might not be a must win but it is if he wants to stay relevant.
The Pick: Kongo (TKO)
Wanderlei Silva Vs. Quinton Jackson
Next on the card is Silva-Jackson 3. Forget fight of the night, this one definitely has fight of the year potential.
Silva has beaten Jackson on two seperate occasions in Pride. In fact, Silva did not just beat Jackson he destroyed him both times. In both fights it was Silva’s mui tai knees that did Jackson in. The first time it was a TKO stoppage and the second one of the most spectacular KO‘s in MMA history.
You have to take a few things into account here. Jackson is a much better fighter than when he first met Silva. However, I want to know how Jackson is going to react to the Forrest Griffin loss and his legal troubles post Griffin fight. On top of that, Silva has beat Jackson twice and there is no debating that.
This is going to be a slugfest. Last December the Silva-Liddell showdown took down fight of the year honors in many circles. Potential for a repeat is there.
The Pick: Silva (Decision)
CB Dollaway Vs. Mike Massenzio
This fight is a break for us to catch our collective breath after the previous fight and before the heavyweight fight. As far as this fight goes, it was a tough one for me to pick. Both of these guys have wrestling background and both finished their last UFC fight with a submission.
CB put away Jesse Taylor and Massenzio put away Drew McFedries. I feel like McFedries is a better win and I cannot see CB stopping Massenzio while I can get Massenzio catching CB.
The Pick: Massenzio (Submission)
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Vs. Frank Mir
The clash of the two season 8 TUF coaches. The winner will face Brock Lesnar to unify the interim-heavyweight championship (currently Nogueira) and heavyweight championship (Lesnar).
Nog always gives you a scare in the first round and it looks like he is about to get stopped. I mean, he does this ALL THE TIME. Both of these guys have made a living out of catching lesser skilled heavyweights in submissions so something has to give. I do not believe that either has ever been submitted in their storied careers.
These are two of the most skilled heavyweights ever, in the history of the sport. Maybe the single two best ever.
Nog, does however, look to be slower and older each fight. Mirr is resurging after hitting a low point in his career post-motorcylce accident a few years back.
It is just so hard to pick against Nog but one of these fight has to be where the wheels come off. In his last two fight he survived early flurries (and knock downs) from Herring and Tim Sylvia and it seems inevitable that he will have to do the same against Mir. I do think Nog can pull out another win in this one but I do not think that Mir should be such a giant underdog.
The Pick: Nogueira (Decision)
Forrest Griffin Vs. Rashad Evans
It’s getting to that point, with both these guys, where you have ask yourself, ‘How do I pick against this guy?’ The problem is you kind of have to when they face off against each other. Evans has never been beaten in the Octagon while Griffin has amounted an impressive resume himself.
Both these guys certainly are not afraid to stand and throw but at the same time they have very well-rounded games. This is one of those match-ups where if they fought 10 times they could easilly go the ways of a 5-5 split.
My initial instict was with Evans although this was partially due to the fact that he was an underdog in regards to the betting odds.
I think that Griffin’s leg kicks will play a big role just as they did when he took the belt from Rampage. Still, I will stick with my initial instincts.
The Pick: Evans (TKO)
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