Maurício Rua vs. Dan Henderson:
Doctor Law: Shogun vs Hendo. A hardcore fan’s dream fight. Being that “Decision Dan” hasn’t been seen in years, I expect this fight to be an absolute war. Both of these fighters like to stand up and both have chins that are made out of granite. It’s really a flip of a coin over who is going to take this one. I’m leaning towards Dan because of the fact that it’s a 5 round fight. Shogun has had conditioning issues in the past and I have more confidence in Hendo having energy in the later rounds. Henderson by 4th Round TKO
Kid Presentable: PRIDE never die! A fight fan's dream throwback fight, this fight should definitely lead to some memorable action and at least a few moments that make you jump up on your feet. Hendo, following in the path of Team Quest OG Randy Couture has been undergoing a career revitalization in recent years, but he now runs into a buzz saw who is being very undervalued because he like many before him, was wrecked by the Martian Manhunter Jon Jones, in Shogun Rua. Shogun's technical striking and power should find room to land against the current version of Hendo, who relies more on his power punching than his Olympic caliber wrestling. These two fighters historically have two of the best chins in the business, so I don't look for either fighter to be finished by strikes, but maybe look for Rua to sink in a sub after being able to rock, but not put out Hendo. Shogun by 3rd round Submission
DJ Mark with a “K”: This is a tough one to call. Both are coming off impressive wins and have the skill sets to beat the other. My gut is telling me to go with Shogun. I think he'll be able to slow down Henderson with low kicks and keep him at a distance. I also have a feeling that Shogun might even take Hendo down if he starts getting aggressive. With that being said, Henderson's right hand is always the wild card and his experience has taught him to be patient with. I'm picking Shogun but it's a tough fight to call. Shogun by Decision
Lavender Gooms: Welcome back to the UFC Hendo! As a reward you got to fight Shogun(from Feijo to Shogun…now that’s a jump in Brazilian competition). Rua looked dominant in knocking out former champion Forrest Griffin. Henderson had an impressive knockout of Fedor, but at this point who doesn’t beat Fedor. With a combination of leg kicks to set up his hands, Shogun puts Hendo’s geriatric ass away. Shogun by 3rd round TKO.
Picking Rua: Kid P, DJ Mark, Gooms
Picking Henderson: Dr. Law
Doctor Law: There are two ways of looking at Wanderlei’s chin: 1) it’s gone 2) it’s completely gone. Wand has been put to sleep in violent fashion in 4 of his last 8 fights. I’ve spent a few days coming up with a way I can justify picking in favor of the Pride Legend. This is what I came up with: Cung Le hasn’t fought in 17 months. The last time he had a lay off near this length, he got tired and KO’d by Scott Smith. Wow, I lack confidence in this pick. Silva by 2nd Round TKO. Pride Never Die!
Kid Presentable: I saw Wand at a churrascaria in Las Vegas. The man is a legend and an eternal favorite of mine in this sport. That said, his last showing against Chris Leben made me want to cry. Cung Le is more known for his flashy kicks than straight ko punching power, but leave no doubts that man can hurt you with his striking. I don't see this ending quite as abrupt as Leben ended it, but look for Le to put down Wand eventually. Oh well, at least I will get to hear Sandstorm in person. Le by 2nd round TKO.
DJ Mark with a “K”: Now this is a fun fight! Two extremely entertaining fighters with drastically different styles. My money is on Le getting his distance and timing down before Silva does. Silva always come straight at his opponents which can leave himself open to counters. I'm thinking Le will angle off and punish Silva with kicks to the body. Even if Le gets reckless and starts brawling I don't know how much Silva's chin can take. Le by 3rd round TKO.
Lavender Gooms: Ladies and gentlemen, we could be seeing the end of a PRIDE legend. I said hello to Wanderlei at a restaurant once and he waved back with what I’m assuming was skirt steak in his mouth. If I didn’t think he was the man before then, I did afterwards. I think Wanderlei still has something left in the tank and takes care of Cung Le. One way or another, there is no way somebody isn’t kissing canvas. Silva 2nd round TKO.
Picking Silva: Dr. Law, Gooms
Picking Le: Kid P, DJ Mark
Doctor Law: This fight will likely determine who gets the next shot at champion Dominick Cruz when he recovers from his broken hand. Faber holds the advantage in every area except punching power. Bowles certainly has dynamite in his fists, the question is: can he catch the California Kid, who will be constantly moving around. Unless Urijah gets caught, expect him to control Bowles on the feet and ground leading to a late submission. Faber by 3rd round Submission.
Kid Presentable: The California Kid vs. Brian Bowles and the Funky Bunch. Faber has been appearing to slowdown lately as unfortunately the UFC merger came just passed the prime years of his career, though in his defense he has been facing the cream of the lower weight divisions. But coming off a loss against Cruz, and not so strong showing against Eddie Wineland, I look for Bowles, who is one of the few bantamweights that carries legit power in his hands, to score an upset here. I see him rocking Faber a couple times, not enough to finish the infinitely tough Cali kid, but enough to score a close decision in his favor. Bowles by Decision.
DJ Mark with a “K”: This is a fight I think Faber should win. If he can get Bowles to grapple and roll with him I think Faber can catch him in a choke. If he stands with Bowles I still think he'll get the better of him because of his speed, but it’s a much more dangerous game. Bowles is a really strong, heavy-handed fighter, something Faber struggled with when fighting Mike Brown. However, I think Faber has enough skills to confuse and topple Bowles. Faber by 1st round Submission (choke).
Lavender Gooms: Does anyone else think Brian Bowles looks like Mark Walhberg from Boogie Nights? It can’t be just me….anyways, a possible title shot is up for grabs here. The Cali Kid has speed for days and his wrestling and chokes are superb. I see this being a close match. Faber by Decision.
Picking Faber: Dr. Law, DJ Mark, Gooms
Picking Bowles: Kid P
Doctor Law: I think Martin Kampmann is simply a better fighter than Rick Story. Story’s best chance of victory is to try to put Kampmann on his back and avoid a stand up battle. Martin’s a more well-rounded fighter and is a finisher. Here is the problem: Martin has been getting jobbed out of decisions lately and Story has never been finished. I expect Martin to control the fight on the feet and avoid Story’s takedowns. Here’s hoping the judges don’t screw over the Hitman again. Kampmann by Decision.
Kid Presentable: Though I am a fan of Martin, and personally believe he was somewhat robbed of decisions against Diego Sanchez and Jake Shields, the Horror Story presents just the kind of fighter that Martin tends to lose to lately. Though Kampmann has strong technical striking, good subs, and very solid grappling and takedown defense, he is also the type of guy who allows his opponent way too much time to dictate the area of the fight. The kind of guy who will stuff the takedown, but still let the guy press him against the fence for three minutes, Story was on a roll before he was outwrestled by the Spaniard. That won't happen here. Story by Decision
DJ Mark with a “K”: I personally don't have a lot of interest in this fight. For some reason neither of these guys gets me excited and I completely forgot they were fighting in until I started this write up. I have to go with Kampmann here. I think he's better all around and he seems to be a decent gate keeper to the upper tier UFC fighters at this division. Kampmann by Decision.
Lavender Gooms: I truly did feel bad for Martin Kampman. In his last fight against Diego Sanchez, Sanchez looked like he went five rounds with Tong Po while using his face to block and Kampman still lost the decision. Story was looking like a stud and people were talking after he beat Thiago Alves. Then Charlie Brenneman happened and all that went away. Kampman is the more overall skilled fighter and he should win, but Story’s ability to take a butt whuppin and keep going keeps him in the fight. Kampmann by Decision.
Picking Kampmann: Dr. Law, DJ Mark, Gooms
Picking Story: Kid P
Doctor Law: Kyle Kingsbury’s arsenal skills have been improving leaps and bounds with each fight in the UFC, but I think he’s gonna have a tough time with Bonnar. Bonnar hasn’t really improved his game much in his time in the UFC, but he is good at drawing opponents into his type of fight: a brawl. I expect him to do the same to Kingsbury. Unless Kingsbury can avoid the slugfest, he will lose. Bonnar by 3rd Round TKO
Kid Presentable: In what could be a fight of the night worthy brawl, barring Bonnar needing to appear on TV and thus take a tactical approach The Fannypack Man Kingsbu should be able to use a more technical array of striking skills to outpoint the often times wild, but entertaining Bonnar. Kingsbu survived the precise boxing of the vastly underappreciated and underrated Fabio Maldonado, so he should be able to handle whatever Bonnar can give him. Kingsbury by Decision
DJ Mark with a “K”: It's tough for me to pick Bonnar against any real legit contenders in the UFC and I think Kingsbury is pretty legit. I'm choosing Kingsbury more so because of his opponent then his own skills. When you lose to an aging Mark Coleman it's hard for me to pick you, even if he had some decent performances recently. Kingsbury by 2nd round TKO.
Lavender Gooms: Crowd favorite Bonnar brings his brawler style to San Jose. While he’ll never contend for a title, God do I love watching this wild, awkward SOB fight. Unless a cut is involved Bonnar doesn’t get stopped. Kingsbury brings some skills to the table that make this an interesting matchup, but Bonnar wins this fight by decision. Bonnar by Decision
Picking Bonnar: Dr. Law, Gooms
Picking Kingsbury: Kid P, DJ Mark
Doctor Law: Brilz gained a lot of good will with his hard fought loss to Lil Nog. All of that went away when he got knocked out Matyushenko in 20 seconds back in April. Ryan Bader hits much harder than The Janitor and is arguably a better wrestler than Brilz. He’s also fighting to stay relevant in 205-lb division. Unless Brilz can pull off a Tito Ortiz-like fluke, Bader will take this one. Bader by 2nd round KO.
Kid Presentable: Ryan Bader has no excuse to not win this fight, he is simply a better version of everything Jason Brilz can do. That said, if Bader refuses to walk out to March of the Empire, I will have no choice but to violently cheer against him. Bader by 2nd round TKO
DJ Mark with a “K”: Bader has really lost a lot of his momentum he had earlier in the year. Brilz seems like a very beatable opponent on paper for Bader and I think he'll be able to finally get a W here. I think Bader is too strong, too good at wrestling and has heavy enough hands to give Brilz everything he can handle and more. Bader by Decision.
Lavender Gooms: Both of these guys have lost two in a row. Bader was on the path of the Jon Bones Jones train and jumped into Tito’s fist so I can’t really fault him too much for his losses. Bader has better standup and wins if it stays there. Watch out taking it to the ground though Ryan, Brilz just might submit you if you do. Bader by 2nd round KO.
Picking Bader: Dr. Law, Kid P, DJ Mark, Gooms
Doctor Law: To be honest, this pick is being made mostly out of lack of information about Alex Soto. He has had 7 fights against people I’m unfamiliar with. Wikipedia is also unfamiliar with them which normally doesn’t say very much for their skill level. Combine that with this being a short notice fight and McDonald fighting at home and you get a good chance of Mr. Soto losing his UFC debut. McDonald by Decision
Kid Presentable: In what should be a showcase fight for McDonald, I see the young prospect taking a unanimous decision. Touted as one of the next generation of fighters who trains everything from the start, the young prospect has yet to show he excels in anything that all particularly well, taking a closer than it should have been decision against a munchkin like Chris Carisao. McDonald by Decision
DJ Mark with a “K”: McDonald by Who Cares
Lavender Gooms: I am all about young, fast rising prodigies. Undefeated in the octagon before you can drink? I love it. At the ripe age of 20 McDonald is already on his third fight in the UFC, while old man (27….damn I’m 26) Soto is just starting his UFC career. Both go for it in their fights, which is great. McDonald is a future star and has solid striking so I’m jumping on the bandwagon while it isn’t very crowded. McDonald by 1st round TKO.
Picking McDonald: Dr. Law, Kid P , DJ Mark, Gooms