UFC 128 Predictions

Alright just under 24 hours left before UFC 128 happens (at 6PM now, not 7PM), so here’s a breakdown from a nerd. I’m sure you guys really want to hear my opinion so let’s get to it.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (205) vs. Jon Jones (205)

This is a very interesting match-up. Many odd makers have Jones as the favorite and with good reason. If you watch his past fights, he has destroyed all his opponents in very convincing fashion, including names like, Ryan Bader and Brandon Vera. His only loss was a disqualification loss to Matt Hamill, a fight he was dominating. In this fight his advantages are his reach, unorthodox style and wrestling. Shogun has the edge in submission and experience.

Many people are giving Jones the striking advantage because of his reach, but Shogun has fought opponents that were similar in body structure (Overeem and Diabate) and finished both of them. If you watch those fights, Shogun came in very aggressive and gets tagged with straights. Shogun then proceeded to take the fight to the ground where he finished both by TKO. These two are better strikers than Jones, but they are nowhere near the wrestler Jones is. I don’t see any scenario where Shogun takes him down but I can see him reversing positions and being on top, though that does seem doubtful given other fighters had no success.

This fight will come down to who will dictate the pace of the fight. With Jones being such a strong wrestler, he will no doubt be able to take Shogun down but will he be able to keep him there and elbow the bejesus out of him? Shogun isn’t like the other fighters Jones has faced where they were primarily wrestlers. In his fights with Hamil and Bader, he put them on their back and the only danger he faced was that they might get back up on their feet. With Shogun, he has to be careful of any loose limbs, mainly his legs, that are left out there in many wrestling transitions (ex. Randleman). Jones is the bigger fighter out of the two but the competition they have faced are worlds apart. Shogun has fought a who’s who of MMA to win the PRIDE Grand Prix.

The biggest name that Jones has faced is Stephan Bonner or Vera. His resume consist of mostly wrestlers, that aren’t that comfortable on the feet exchanging strikes. Vera was probably the most complete fighter he has faced, but posed no real threat on the ground. Shogun is all around solid fighter with good strikes, ground game and aggression to boot.

There are 2 major X factors in this fight. The first is that Shogun is recovering from surgery. This could be a problem coming back against someone that’s been active for all this time against top competition. He has had many surgeries before and came back fine, but it’s still something to be wary of.
Another big X-factor is Jones seems to have bought into his own hype. He has been seen signing “UFC Champion Johnny Bones Jones” to the fans. This is what happened to many young prospects such as Brandon Vera.

Even though the odds are against Shogun on paper, I feel his experience and skills will help him pull through this match. He seemed excited and motivated to fight Jones. I think it will be a tough 3 rounds for Shogun with Jones controlling him with his wrestling but I feel a knee bar or ankle lock somewhere late in the 4th or 5th round.

Urijah Faber (135.5) vs. Eddie Wineland (135.5)

This is a battle of 2 former champions. This is Urijah debut in the UFC as a 135lber and I feel it is a great fight for him. He should be able to stand with Wineland long enough to set up a take down and pound him out.

Faber by TKO.

Jim Miller (155.5) vs. Kamal Shalorus (155)

Arguably the #3 guy in the lightweight division Miller has been on a tear only losing to #1 ranked Edgar and #2 ranked Maynard. Miller is a strong wrestler with good submission skills. He should be able to avoid the telegraphed bombs from Shalorus and score a victory.

Miller by Decision.

Nate Marquardt (186) vs. Dan Miller (185)

This is an interesting fight. Both fighters are great on the ground and are decent striker. Marquardt may want to keep this standing and muscle his way to victory by pressing miller up against the fence and to tire him out and then open up with strikes later on. He has the submission ability to neutralize miller on the ground and stay away from danger.

Marquardt by Dec.

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (229) vs. Brendan Schaub (245)

This fight should be kind of sad. Crocop is a shadow of his former self and has been losing a lot since his grand prix victory run. He doesn’t seem to have the desire anymore to fight and I feel he is being fed to a younger Schaub.

Schaub by TKO.

Luis Artur Cane Jr. (205.5) vs. Eliot Marshall (205)

Eliot is back in the UFC and needs to make a statement. He was cut last time and stated that he felt he was cut because he was a boring fighter. He’ll try to make a statement in this fight by controlling Cane and winning a Decision.


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