MAIN EVENT: FRANKIE EDGAR 13-1-1(c) vs GRAY MAYNARD 11-0-1 III FOR THE UFC LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE
You can basically flip a coin with these 2 fighters, because it is so difficult to pick a clear-cut winner in this one. There 2nd fight for the UFC Lightweight belt at UFC 125 was a “Fight of the Year” candidate, and I expect this rematch to maintain the same energy and intensity as that fight. Maynard comes in with more desperation, as he knows that this is his last chance at Edgar and the belt. He also realizes that if he were to lose this fight, then he would go to back to the end of a very long line of contenders in the lightweight division. He definitely believes that he has Frankie’s number, and so do I. He already owns 1 victory over the champ, and you can make a good argument that he should have come away with the win in their 2nd encounter. However, the same case and argument can be made for Edgar because that’s how close their last fight was. I believe the first fight these 2 had was a better indication of the kind of fighters they are against one another. Also, let’s not forget that Maynard dominated round 1 of their UFC 125 fight as well. Gray is bigger, meaner and will utilize that advantage and make better decisions then at 125, and walk away the new Lightweight Champion. Don’t be surprised if this fight goes the distance again. Edgar is a fighting champion, and won’t go down easily.
Prediction: Gray Maynard by TKO in round 4
JOSE ALDO 19-1-0(c) vs KENNY FLORIAN 16-5-0 FOR THE UFC FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE
I do not believe that Kenny Florian is a choker. He has that stigma surrounding him due to his poor performances in past title fights. He just seems to turn away from the game plan that got him title opportunities in the first place, and try something new when the bright lights are on him, though it never seems to pan out. This will be his 3rd chance at a title when he challenges Aldo for the Featherweight belt. Florian has only had one 145 lb fight and yet he is still receiving a chance at Jose. Florian is getting up their in years at 35 years of age, and Jose Aldo is at the top of his game. The drop to 145 will not be Kenny’s saving grace, as I fully expect Jose to dominate this fight and retain the championship
Prediction: Jose Aldo by submission in round 2
CHAEL SONNEN 26-10-1 vs BRIAN STANN 11-3-0
It appears that the winner of this bout will be next in line for Anderson Silva and the UFC Middleweight championship. Sonnen has been out of action for 16 months due to a suspension, and it remains to be seen whether or not he will have any cage-rust at all. Brian Stann will be the fan favorite in this encounter. How can you not like a guy who fought for his country in the marine corps? And let’s face it, Chael Sonnen is an ass to say the least. He definitely buys into his own hype, that’s for sure. He did put up a tremendous performance against Silva, dominating the champion for 5 rounds before getting caught with the triangle choke. I just believe his overall skill set is superior to that of Stanns, and despite his long absence, Sonnen should be ready for a fight and walk away with the victory. It isn’t GSP/Silva, but who wouldn’t be intrigued by a Silva/Sonnen II match?
Prediction: Chael Sonnen by submission in round 2