UFC 144 taking place LIVE from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan! This is a very stacked card from top to bottom, and for this event the UFC will have 7 Main Card (PPV) fights! I don’t know about the rest of you, but i am fuckin pumped!!
I will only do main card fights since there’s 7 of them.
First fight of the night we have Anthony “Showtime” Pettis vs Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon in what could be a fight of the night (maybe year) candidate in the lightweight division and possibly put the winner next in line for the title. I am VERY excited for this one, especially after i had the chance to watch both of these guys fight at UFC 136 in Houston. In his last fight against Jeremy Stephens, Pettis showed improved wrestling work, and as always his stand-up looked good, mixing up the kicks and punches very well, like he always does. As for Lauzon, he has always impressed me ever since watching him on TUF. And in his last fight his foot work and hands looked great, as a result, he was able to hit Melvin Guillard with a big shot, eventually submit Guillard. This fight is also exciting because Lauzon likes to take the fight to the ground, rough up his opponents and try to submit them, BUT Pettis does have a pretty good guard, so it won’t be easy to submit him, maybe even take him down. on the feet, i give the edge to Pettis, on the ground, i give it to Lauzon. Therefore, my pick is Joe Lauzon via Submission late in the 3rd.
Second fight is Hatsu Hioki vs Bart Palaszewski in a good Featherweight matchup, two good exciting fighters. Hioki the former Sengoku featherweight champ, big, fast, athletic guy. Bart will have a small size disadvantage as Hioki is kind of a big Featherweight. i see this fight being pretty much equal everywhere. So i give my pick to the Japanese fighter, Hatsu Hioki by decision.
Next fight is Yushin “Thunder” Okami vs Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch. A solid fight for both guys. Okami is coming off the loss to Anderson Silva at “UFC Rio”. Boetsch is coming off a win over Nick Ring at UFC 135. Both of these guys are VERY powerful, and both have power behind their punches. I have yet to see a complete ground game from Okami, but Tim has a decent ground game. I just see Okami overwhelming Boetsch with his power, so i’ll go with Yushin Okami by 3rd round KO(or)TKO.
Fourth fight is Yoshihiro “Sexy Yama” Akiyama vs Jake Shields. Akiyama is coming off 3 losses at Middleweight, so he is making his Welterweight debut. Jake is coming off his loss to Jake Ellenberger at UFC Fight Night back in September. Akiyama has a lot of power, as well as Shields. Akiyama has a pretty good ground game, but i think Jake might be a little better since he does train with the Scrap-Pack out in Stockton-Lodi, Cali. with The Diaz brothers, Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendes, and those guys train with Ceaser Gracie at Ceaser Gracie Jiu-jistu. I believe Jake might be a little better boxer than Akyama. My pick Jake Shields by Decision.
Fifth fight on the card is Cheick Kongo vs Mark Hunt in a scary heavyweight fight! Cheick coming off his win over Matt Mittrione and Mark Hunt coming off of a less than stellar win over Ben Rothwell. i think Cheick Kongo definetly has the advantage standing, which is why i think it’s a safe bet to say Hunt will do his best to try to get this fight to the ground and submit Kongo. I think Hunt will have an issue with his cardio like in his last fight, so i think Kongo will do damage in the later rounds. My pick Cheick Kongo by 3rd round KO(or)TKO.
Co-main Event of the evening is between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs Ryan “Darth” Bader. I don’t think this fight is getting as much attention as it should be. on one side we have the former Pride legend in Rampage against TUF winner Ryan Bader. This fight is intriguing because i def. think Bader is the better wrestler and Rampage is the better stand-up fighter. i don’t think Bader gets the credit he deserves for the power he has in his hands as well. Bader might be just a little bit faster than Rampage. This fight, my pick is Ryan Bader by KO(or)TKO late in the second round.
In our Main event of the evening we have the Light-weight championship of the world on the line! The fight between Frankie ‘The Answer” Edgar vs Benson “Smooth” Henderson. Frankie is coming off the spectacular knock out win over Gray Maynard at UFC 136. Where he overcame adversity in that fight just like he did in his 2nd fight with Gray (at UFC 125), and ended up Knocking out Gray Maynard to definitivley put an end to their rivalry. As for Ben Henderson, he is riding a 3-fight win streak since he lost the WEC belt to Anthony Pettis. He has not only won, but been VERY impressive while doing so, by just dominating his opponents. In This fight i could easily give it to Henderson just because he is the bigger fighter, BUT Edgar has fought bigger fighters, and beaten them. I could also say i give the ground game advantage to Henderson, but it’s also close there because of who Edgar trains with (Ricardo Almeida, Renzo Gracie, etc). And on the feet, i would say it’s even. Reason being, Ben has a lot of power, and is lengthy, but Frankie is very fast with his punches and movement. Edgar is basically a featherweight fighting at lightweight, which is why he is fast. Whether people think Edgar is “way” better than Ben just because he’s been in the UFC and Ben came from the WEC, or whether it’s because Ben is much bigger than Frankie; i believe this fight will be much closer than people think. That is for what it last. i see Ben using his size to out-do and out-work Frankie, rough him up on the ground if he has to. This fight is have Ben Henderson by 3rd or 4th round KO(or)TKO. And be crowned the new UFC Lightweight champion.
There you go! those are my picks for UFC 144 which will take place LIVE from Saitama, Japan. PPV starts at it’s regular time on regular day, at 10 P.M. eastern time. 7 P.M. pacific on saturday.