Rear Naked Blogging: UFC 102 Predictions

5oz’s of Fury is now REAR NAKED BLOGGING. And for the return of my weekly MMA ramblings, I give you my predictions for UFC 102: COUTURE VS. NOGUEIRA.

Minaturo Nogueira (31-5-1) vs. Randy Couture (16-9)
This is going to be an interesting fight. Both cats are true legends in the sport and two fighters you never count out, but Couture is coming off a disappointing decimation by the hands of Brock Lesnar, and Minaturo physically looked like his heart was broken when he lost the title to Frank Mir. All things being equal, I think time might have finally caught up to Randy, while Nogueira might be a little hungrier.
WINNER: Minaturo Nogueira

Nate Marquardt (28-8-2) vs. Demian Maia (10-0)
This is the fight I’m most looking forward to. It’s funny how similar the two fighters careers have been, because Marquardt racked up a four fight win streak before his first title show against Anderson Silva, and did so without people having any idea who he was. Similarly, Maia has gone through his past five UFC opponents…making each of them tap out. While Maia has been impressive, Marquardt has just been sick against everyone he’s fought since the title fight (I still say he was robbed against Thales Leites) and has one key element in his corner that Maia doesn’t have. Greg Jackson.
WINNER: Nate Marquardt

Keith Jardine (14-5-1) vs. Thiago Silva (13-1)
If I’m being honest, this fight really doesn’t do anything for me. That said, while I’m indifferent to Silva, I actively dislike “The Dean of Mean.”
WINNER: Thiago Silva

Jake Rosholt (5-1) vs. Chris Leben (18-7)
This will be Leben’s first fight back after his six month suspension for a banned substance, and he will be performing in front of his home town crowd. Considering that I’ve always been a fan of his and have no idea who or what his opponent is…
WINNER: Chris Leben

Krzysztof Soszynski (18-8-1) vs. Brandon Vera (10-3)
I’m looking forward to this fight as well, because I’m a big fan of Soszynski’s since “The Ultimate Fighter.” He defeated Brian Stann with the Submission of the Night, and then fought again THE NEXT MONTH as a late replacement where he beat Andre Gusmao with the Knockout of the Night. Vera had looked like he was going to be one of the elite fighters in the heavyweight division, but after a contract dispute he hasn’t looked the same since his return. He’s had a lackluster 2-1 since dropping down to light heavyweight.
WINNER: Krzysztof Soszynski


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