Thursday, July 3, 2008

Butch's Picks for UFC 86

Corey Hill Vs. Justin Buchholz

Neither of these guys are particularly experienced and I am not familiar with either. Hill looks to have better stats according to Sherdog (both fights won were stoppages). Hill via TKO round 2.

Melvin Guillard Vs. Dennis Siver

Guillard lost his last two UFC fights to Rich Clementi and Joe Stevenson, both excellent fighters. Siver on the other hand is 1-2 in last two UFC fights and lost both fights via submission. Neither appear to be submission artists and will look to bang it out. Guillard via KO round 1.

Jorge Gurgel vs. Cole Miller

Gurgel appears to be the better fighter on paper, but Miller fights with American Top Team and I am going on hunch here. Miller via split decision.

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Justin McCully

Gonzaga has fought some big boys in the UFC (Couture and Werdum) recently and lost, but he has 20 pounds on McCully and McCully hasn't fought in over a year. Gonzaga via armbar round 2.

Marcus Aurelio vs. Tyson Griffin

Aurelio will spend the entire fight looking for a submission, while Griffin will inflict punishment. Griffin's defense will hold up. Griffin via unanimous decision.

Joe Stevenson vs. Gleison Tibau

Both of these are young fighters that have dropped from welterweight to lightweight. Stevenson most recently lost a great battle to BJ Penn and Tibau also lost his last fight to Tyson Griffin. Both will be looking to rebound. I expect Stevenson to take this fight to the mat and go with a ground and pound strategy. Tibau will look to use his BJJ for submission. I expect this fight won't be too exciting with
Stevenson winning via unanimous decision.

Patrick Cote vs. Ricardo Almeida

Patrick Cote is riding a 4
fight win streak with signature TKO wins over Kendall Grove and Drew McFedries. Cote's punching power cannot be denied. Almeida has fought both in PRIDE and in Pancrase in Japan. He is a second degree black beat in BJJ and not surprisingly most of bouts are won via submission. This quite troubling for Cote whose last lost was due submission by Travis Lutter. Almeida could easily dust Lutter. I suspect this fight will be quick. Almeida via rear naked choke round 1.

Josh Koscheck vs. Chris Lytle

Josh Koscheck is former NCAA national champion wrestler and has won six of his past seven fights in the UFC. His only was unanimous decision loss to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 74. Lytle has lost three of his past five fights in the UFC, to Matt Serra, Matt Hughes, and Thiago Alves. All are very good opponents and Lytle is definitely a veteran fighter, but I see Koscheck utilizing his wrestling skills and dominating this fight. Koscheck via TKO round 2.

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiits time for five rounds in the UFC light heavyweight division...

Quintin "Rampage" Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin

Is it me or does it seem like this card and this fight especially is not being hyped as much as it should. This fight pits two excellent fighters that are crowd favorites. Rampage has won his last 6 fights including 3 in the UFC with wins over Marvin Eastman, Chuck Liddell, and Dan Henderson. Griffin has a two fight win streak including a victory over the last fighter (Shogun Rua) to beat Rampage. Rampage has distinct advantages in punching power, wrestling, and top game control. Griffin has highly underrated BJJ skills and a huge heart. He can take a beating and keep going. Griffin will look to take this fight into later rounds and exploit Rampage's perceived cardio issues. I believe Rampage will show again that he is well prepared and ready to rumble. Rampage via TKO round 4.

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