UFC 123 has some interesting match ups, as well as some that may just leave us speechless after the final blow is thrown. Four former champions on one card is something special. It’s even better when two of them have something prove and the other two have a grudge match. Throw in a sick lightweight contenders fight and you got all the trimmings for a early Thanksgiving feast. Well it’s gotta be better then UFC 122, right? Let’s hope so, here we go:
Lyoto Machida/ Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson
Phil Devine– I think Machida makes Rampage look bad here. Not as bad as he made Rashad look when he took the belt from him, but bad. Rampage is slower and more predictable and Machida will eat it up. Jackson says he won’t fight Machida’s fight, but once he hears some boo’s from the crowd, that will change. It can only end bad for him. Machida (TKO Rd 2)
Heidi Fang– Lyoto Machida needs to prove himself after his loss to ‘Shogun’ Rua. Rampage looked terrible against Rashad Evans and also needs to prove something. Two completely different fighters! This should be interesting to see, I can’t wait! Machida
Michael Evans -The thing here is that both are coming off loses. That means they each will be very motivated to get back into title contention. My opinion is that Rampage is historically a monster when coming off of a loss and he looked to be in incredible shape at the weigh in. Quinton Jackson by first round knockout.
Ron Patell– Machida
Billy Mira– Rampage by KO
Matt Hughes/ BJ Penn
PD– Hughes may have looked great in his last few fights but I think that ends here. Call me a BJ Penn nut hugger if you want but I dont think BJ has to worry about that much here. He can stuff Matt’s takedowns and he’s better in the stand up. Plus it’s only 3 rounds. That can only help BJ Penn. Penn (Decision)
HF– I love the saga of this trilogy. I hope this is fight of the night. When BJ and Hughes first met in 2004, it was Penn that made a name for himself in that win and that’s the Penn I wanna see in this fight. Penn
ME -BJ needs to win this fight badly. He has now on a losing streak. But, there are two reasons that Matt Hughes wins this rubber match tonight. One is that BJ Penn is been in too many wars to be going up and down in weight. We have seen this happen to boxers in the past and it holds true with UFC fighters as well. Fighters who move around in weight after their prime, and let us not forget that BJ is past his, suffer brutal losses. Matt Hughes has never left the 170 weight class and has never let himself get too far out of shape so that he cannot fight on short notice. The move up will prove to be the Achilles heel for the past-his-prime Penn. The other reason is that Hughes has found second life after his devastating losses to GSP and Thiago Alves. Hughes looked strong, seasoned and fast in his submission victory of Ricardo Almeida. I think Hughes will be too strong and his wrestling will overwhelm BJ. Hughes by submission.
Gerald Harris/ Maiquel Falcao
PD- Slam happy Gerald Harris is on a 10 fight win streak coming into this fight. He’s 3-0 so far in the UFC, 2 of those wins earned him KO of the Night honers. Safe to say, he’s fun to watch. If he can avoid the high kicks and heavy hands of the Chute Box KO machine, which I think he can, he’ll be ok here. Gerald Harris (3rd rd TKO)
HF– Honestly this was the toughest pick for me. All I know is I am expecting a lot of punches and more of a stand up fight. Falcao
Tim Boetsch/Phil Davis
PD– Big Tim Boetsch is a real tough dude. He has great stand up, heavy hands, a decent ground game and to top it all off, he’s not taking this fight on short notice. Unfortunately, none of that will help him here. If you look at ‘The Barbarian’s’ few losses, they’ve all come to tough wrestlers. Phil Davis is more then a tough wrestler. He’s a four time Division 1 wrestler from Penn St with good jiu jitsu and good hands. Davis by UD
HF– If he can avoid the striking of Tim Boetsch, Davis will be 8-0. Last time I saw ‘Mr. Wonderful’ fight he dominated and I have no reason to think he won’t do it again. Davis by unanimous decision.
ME -Boetsch is always a game foe, but the athleticism and wrestling prowess of Phil Davis is too good. Phil Davis by submission.
Joe Lauzon/ George Sotiropoulos
PD– I am really excited for this one. Lauzon is never in a boring fight and coming off that prison rape of Gabe Ruediger he’ll be looking to impress again. Sotiropoulos is mo slouch though and he could make it tough for Joe Lauzon to get anything going. Both guys have similar skills but I think George is a little better in all areas and will pull out the decision win. George Sotiropoulos
HF– All I wanna see in this one is Lauzon pull off another sick submission. Again, I repeat I wanna see Lauzon pull off a sick submission. Joe Lauzon
ME- I just think that George’s jiu-jitsu will be too much for Lauzon. I see it being a decision victory for Sotiropoulos.
RP– George Sotiropoulos
BM– Joe Lauzon