Frankie Edgar Vs. Tyson Griffin (Lightweight)
Edgar makes his debut in the UFC after amassing a 6-0 record in smaller shows. He trains with the Rhino Fight Team with UFC 45 vet Chris Ligouri. Frank has won by KO twice, submission twice and decision twice... difficult to say what he prefers. The only two guys he fought with winning records, the last two decisions, were both guys who train with BJJ schools, we have to assume that his submission defence is good, although his submission game is lacking.
Tyson Griffin won his first UFC fight by RNC over David Lee. Tyson continues to roll with a perfect 8-0 record. Griffin has KO wins over Urijah Faber, so we know that his sprawl game is good, and Duane Ludwig, so we know his stand up game is superb. Tyson trains with David Terrell's NorCal Fighting Alliance, so we know that he submission game is good.
While you can't really say that Frankie is being fed to the wolves in his first UFC fight, you can't say that they set him up with an easy fight. Tyson is just about as green in the UFC as Frankie, BUT the difference is in the quality of past opposition, and the strength of their teams. Tyson trains with the better team, and has had the better past opponents. To knock out Bang Ludwig is a great accomplishment. I don't think that Frankie is going to bring anything to this fight that Tyson has not seen before. Tyson by KO first round.
Terry Martin Vs. Jorge Rivera (Middleweight)
Terry Martin has had zero luck in the UFC. First James Irvin knocked him out with a crazy flying knee to start the second round of their fight. Then the ref had to pull Jason Lambert off of him the in second round the next time he fought in the UFC. Seems like the smart thing for Terry to do would be to try and keep the fight out of the second round. So, Terry did what most fighters do when they have difficulty in a weight class... they loose some weight. This will be his first fight in the UFC at 185. Out side of the UFC Terry has only lost one other fight, and that was to Stephan Bonner.
Jorge makes his return to the UFC after beating Edwin Dewees by KO on the TUF Final card. Jorge, a Team Elite fighter, is known for his good BJJ, and solid stand up game. He has beaten David Loiseau (Decision), Travis Luter (KO), and Dennis Hallman (Decision). He has been in there with the best, loosing to Anderson Silva (KO), Rich Franklin (Armbar), and Chris Leben (KO). Jorge's preferred method of winning is the knock out, and he gets them early and often.
I don't think that Terry will catch his break in the UFC against Jorge. Jorge by KO second round.
Sam Hoger Vs. Lyoto Machida (Light Heavyweight)
Sticky Fingers Hoger steps back in to the Octagon after loosing a decision to Rashad Evans way back in April. Sam trains at MFS, and is a very slick submission fighter. He has not yet been finished in an "official" fight (Forrest Griffin made him tap to strikes in the first TUF season) and has won by both submission and KO. He is 8-2.
Machida is one of those guys that you have never heard about, but who has beaten everybody. He is 8-0 and has beaten Stephan Bonnar by KO, Rich Franklin by KO, BJ Penn by decision in Penn's attempt in to the light heavies, and Vernon White by decision. Machida's style is very strange. He is a very active Shotokan Karate guy, along with being a very active BJJ guy... His stand up is just... weird. He stands almost squair to his opponent, almost in a TMA front stance. Yet from this stance he is able to be mobile, throw his kicks, and shoot powerfully. When he kicks he kicks with his arms wide open. Machida has a purple belt in BJJ, and trains with American Top Team. Interesting that a Japanese guy, from Brazil, trains at American Top Team... someone should check his Visa.
This is a bad match up for Hoger. Machida has a good sprawl, and I don't think that Sam can get him down. Machida also has a good rear hand punch (he switches his stance, and is equally good at landing the rear left and rear right) and I think that will spell Hoger's demise. Machida by KO second round.
Check out Machida working Bonnar http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8zTpAFFsQQ
Patrick Cote Vs. Scott Smith (Middleweight)
Cote is looking for his first win in the UFC after taping to a Travis Luter armbar in the TUF 4 finals. Patrick is a very tough guy from Canada, who just can't catch a break in the UFC. He made his debut against Tito Ortiz, and lost by decision. He lost his next fight by RNC to Joe Doerksen. Then Chris Leben out pointed him in his penultimate outing. Patrick sports a 8-4 record.
Scott Smith beat Pete Sell in the most dramatic win in UFC history. Pete hit him with a powerful body shot that made him double up, and with his last bit of energy before succumbing to the body blow, Scott managed to land a huge punch right on Pete's chin to knock him out, before collapsing. Scott lost his previous fight in the UFC tapping to a David Terrell RNC. Scott is 11-2.
Interesting match up, but I think that Patrick gets his first UFC victory. I don't think that either one of these guys has what it takes to finish the other, so I think it will be Patrick by decision.
Quinton Jackson Vs. Marvin Eastman (Light Heavyweight)
RAMPAGE in the UFC!! Quinton makes the jump to the UFC after fighting in PRIDE for many years. His last fight was a split decision win over the much smaller Matt Lindland in the WFA. Quinton likes to slam you. Over and over and over again. After slamming you a few times he likes to pound on you until you go to sleep or until the ref tells him to stop. Quinton's stand up is excellent, he was able to beat Chuck Liddell on his feet, and took out Kevin Randleman the same way. The only chink in Quinton's armor is his clinch defence. The boys from Chute Boxe showed that Jackson can not defend knees from the Thai Clinch. Both Silva and Shogun Rua knocked Quinton out with knees from the clinch.
Marvin Eastman is a kickboxer turned MMA fighter... that said, Mavin has no ground game to speak of. He has no sprawl to speak of, he has no submission game to speak of. Marvin is in there to knock you out standing, and no other way.
Great match up for Quinton's debut. Marvin will run at him and try to clinch up right away. Quinton will shoot slam him down, and pound him out for the win. Quinton by KO on the ground first round.
Mirko Cro Cop Vs. Eddie Sanchez (Heavyweight)
Cro Cop to the UFC!! Mirko is by all accounts the number 2 or 3 heavyweight in the world. He has improved his takedown defence to the point that he is one of the most difficult men in the world to take down. His ground game has improved to the point that he can not be easily submitted, and has passed out a submission win on his own. His stand up is legendary, and his big left leg needs to compete in its own division it is so feared. His record is 21-4-2.
Eddie Sanchez is a heavy handed wrestler out of California's Team Magnitude. He made short work of Mario Neto at UFC 63, knocking him out in the first 17 seconds of round two. Eddie is currently 7-0 vs less than stellar opponents. Eddie uses the KO to win his fights, only one of his fights ended a different way (he caught Anthony Ruiz with a triangle choke).
I give Eddie no chance. His only hope is to rush Mirko and get him up against the fence where Mirko will be in unfamiliar territory. Take him down, keep him against the fence and pound out a decision or a cut stoppage. Not likely. What will happen is that Eddie will rush after Mirko get caught with a few punches, then the head crushing left leg will end Eddie's night. Mirko Cro Cop by KO (Graveyard) first round.
John Halverson Vs. Roger Huerta (Lightweight)
Halverson is a Midwest kid making his debut in the big show. We last saw John way back in the VFC Lightweight Tournament in 2003 when he lost to Kendrick Johnson by choke in the first 30 seconds of their first round fight. Kendrick went on to loose to Jay Ireland. Anyway, he has done well for himself since then, amassing a record of 15-4 winning by KO and submission.
Huerta is on an 11 fight winning streak. His last fight was a decision victory over Jason Dent in his debut UFC fight. Huerta is known for his preferred submission the RNC, but has gotten the job done by KO as well. He is 20-1-1.
This fight I don't seeing going the distance, nor do I see John coming out on top. Huerta by RNC second round.
Anderson Silva Vs. Travis Lutter (Welterweight)
In just two fights Silva turned the UFC on its ear. His complete domination and destruction of Rich Franklin and Chris Leben put Brazil back on the map of the UFC world. Silva is known for his razor sharp Muay Thai skills, and his ability to get the KO from almost any direction. Silva is a BJJ black belt, yet he has never won a fight via submission (submission from strikes don't count). He knocks you out or wins a decision. Anderson is 17-4.
Travis is the winner of TUF 4 Middleweight division. He won the title in spectacular fashion tapping out Patrick Cote with an armbar. Travis is a BJJ black belt and certainly looked the part on TUF, tapping out Scott Smith and Cote, and controlling Pete Sell to get the G&P win. Outside of the show Travis is 9-3, with his biggest win being over Cote. Travis likes to win on the ground, but, as Marvin Eastman found out, he has the ability to knock people down.
Of Anderson's 4 (really three, one loss was a DQ due to kicking a down opponent) losses, half were by submission. One was by far the slickest heel hook ever throw in MMA competition ever (check it out: http://www.dailymotion.com/relevance/search/ryo%20chonan/video/x8buh_ryo-chonan-vs-anderson-silva?from=rss ), the other time he just walked in to a triangle choke (Daiju Takase). He can be submitted, that is for sure, however can Lutter get him down to do it? Of Lutter's three losses, one was by KO (Jeorge Rivera), one by submission (Matt Lindland g uillotine), and one decision (Trevor Prangley). I do not think that Travis will have the ability to ground Silva, let alone submit him. Silva by KO first round.