Forrest Griffin vs Tito Ortiz
This is a tough one to call because there are a lot of unknown factors: Tito's back surgery and being out of the cage for over a year. Was Tito's back problem really a factor in his last fight with Forrest? If so, how much? Is ring rust a factor for a veteran like Tito? Forrest taking the fight on semi-short notice and his loss against Anderson Silva. Is the Silva fight going to mess with his confidence or motivate him?
All these are huge x-factors in this fight. But if you give Tito the benefit of the doubt about his back and don't factor in ring rust and you give Forrest the benefit of the doubt and say the Silva fight is a motivator and he's a better fighter since the last time he fought Tito, it comes down to this:
If Forrest can fight a smart, strategic fight like he did against Rampage, he can win. He's gotta avoid Tito's takedowns and use a lot of strike/kick combos. Forrest's leg kick is a big weapon & he used it to cut down Rampage. Tito knows this and has said he'll take him down every time he throws the leg kick -which is a ridiculous statement but hey it's Tito. But that being said, Forrest wants to be careful not to telegraph the leg kick and perhaps throw it after a jab to avoid Tito's takedowns.
If Tito is able to take Forrest down at will, Tito will ground & pound his way to victory. If Forrest can keep it standing, I see Forrest's confidence growing as the fight goes on and capitalizing on a failed Tito takedown and ground & pounding to victory. I know decision seems to be the more obvious choice especially for a Griffin victory but I think that Forrest is going to have to worry about the takedown as long as the fight is standing and a good strategy would be to try and sprawl away from Tito's double leg takedown and get on top on him. Plus if Forrest makes it to the third round he's gonna look to erase the bad taste of the Silva fight with an impressive finish.
PREDICTION: Griffin via TKO (strikes) RD 3
Koscheck vs Johnson
Kos is great at coming in a pushing the pace and bullying guys. I think Rumble Johnson is even more aggressive and explosive and is gonna keep Kos in a counter or survival mode and take him out of his game.
Really tough fight to call though and Kos's experience could win out over Johnson's fury.
But I'm gonna give it to Rumble early in the second or late in the first.
PREDICTION: Johnson via KO (punch) Rd 2
Thiago vs Volkmann
Don't know much about Volmann but he seems like a tough dude. I don't think he'll get steamrolled but I'm gonna have to go with Thiago's experince on this one.
PREDICTION: Thiago via Decision (unan)
Cane vs Nogeuira
No idea. Cane is a bad ass but them Nog bros aren't easy to knock out. I'm gonna give it to little Nog and his big jujitsu.
PREDICTION: Little Nog via Submisson (Guillotine) Rd 2
Amir Sadollah vs Phil Baroni
This is another fight really hard to call. Sadollah's got the jujitsu and is a crafty fighter. then again, he's got a suspect chin and Baroni hits really fucking hard. I think Amir can win the fight if he uses his kick boxing to keep Baroni at bay, tire him out and wait for him to make a mistake that he can capitalize on (like leaving his arm out for an armbar like CB Dolloway did TWICE agaist Amir!) but that is a pretty big IF. Baroni's been training with a new camp which means maybe he'll come in with a strategy for once. Also Baroni's wrestling is underrated as is his endurance. Yeah, he doesn't hit as hard and furious in the 2nd and 3rd rounds but I think the perception that Baroni is worthless beyond the first round is very exaggerated.
I like Amir and I actually like Phil in the last year or so as he really seems to have been humbled by his many recent defeats but at the end of the day, I'm gonna say Amir will have a tough time avoiding Phil's haymakers for long enough to swing the advantage in his favor.
PREDICTION: Baroni via KO (Punch) RD 2
and without explaination he's 2 undercard picks:
Sanders vs Davis
Davis via TKO (strikes) RD 1
Grove vs Rosholt
Rosholt via TKO (strikes) RD 2
- UFC 106 - My Predictions