For the first time, I, Adam D will be making my UFC picks. I’m fairly excited since this is the first show of the year, I get a fresh, clean slate and hopefully come out on top. UFC 93 will take place in the land of Guinness and red heads, Dublin, Ireland. Headlining the event will be a battle of top 205 pounds ‘King’ Rich Franklin vs. Dan “Hollywood, Hendo, Dangerous” Henderson with a co-main event featuring the returning Mark “The Hammer” Coleman and the always technical and tough Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. So let’s get started shall we…
Update: PICK OUTCOMES: 7-3
Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson: Like our head writer Gray D. stated accurately, I too am torn up about this matchup. I absolutely love watching Rich Franklin fight as he is one of the most pure and crisp stand up fighters in the world. His record proves that. Sure he has a few ticks against him via KOs from the already legendary Anderson Silva but Silva is in a league of his own. Now Dan, the veteran of the UFC and Pride has beaten many of the greats in the sport, including Wanderlei Silva and current heavyweight contender, Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira. This is a must win for Dan. So I have to disagree with Gray and say that Henderson will take the nod via a unanimous decision. Sorry boss =)
Mark Coleman vs. Mauricio Rua: This is a match that I am very very excited about due to the return of Mark Coleman. I’ve been a fan of his since I first saw him fight in the championship tournament at UFC 10. The Father of GNP (ground and pound) will be making his return after a 2 year absence in the sport and 9 years in the UFC. His age will come into play as he is up against a fighter almost twenty years his junior. Shogun is a tremendous stand up fighter who has a 16-3 record with 13 wins coming via (T)KO, however, this fight is at 205 so in my opinion it favors Mark who normally fights at 240+ I am being biased so I will say Coleman will take this fight via Ground and Pound in the 2nd round.
Denis Kang vs. Alan Belcher: I like this matchup a lot as well. This is a great fight with 2 very respected strikers each having multiple victories by way of TKO. If the fighters stay on their feet I see Belcher taking the win. However, if they decide or more accurately if Kang decides to take it too the ground I see Denis getting the victory. So, this is a tough choice as they are very evenly matched. I will give Denis Kang the victory by way of TKO in the 3rd round.
Eric Schafer vs. Antonio Mendes: This is the classic battle between a striker and a submission fighter. Schafer has fought very tough opponents in the UFC and is familiar with the Octagon. His submissions are top rated but is lacking a bit in striking. Mendes is a bit more all around fighter with 7 victories by TKO and four by way of submission. This will be very back and forth in my opinion but the victory will be given to Schafer by submission in the first round.
Nate Mohr vs. Denis Siver: Watching light weights fight in the octagon is always exciting and explosive. These two dynamite sticks will be no exception. Both have not been very successful in the UFC as they each have only 1 win in the organization. They definitely have something to prove if they expect to make an impact in the stacked lightweight division. From records alone I have to give this win to Dennis Siver simply because of experience. See Denis taking this fight in the 2nd round by way of submission. Nothing changes in the lightweight landscape.
Martin Kampmann vs. Alexandre Barros: Kampmann is coming into this fight as a welterweight instead of his usual middleweight size and wow does he look great. He is coming off of a loss to a re-tuned Nate Marquardt so expect Kampmann to make a big impact tonight. However, do not count out Alexandre Barros. He comes from a great submission camp in Gracie Barra Combat Team. With a respectable 13-5 record see Alexandre try to take this fight to the mat. However, Kampmann has more to prove so I expect this fight to end via decision in favor of Martin.
Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle: This is another great matchup that I am predicting to be fight of the night. Marcus Davis has only 1 tick against him in the UFC. He is on a mission for a title fight and I see him receiving one at the end of 2009. Davis’ hands will be no match against Lytle and with a decent ground game see Marcus taking this victory via TKO in the 2nd round.
Jeremy Horn vs. Rousimar Palhares: I have to agree with Gray on this fight. Jeremy Horn has the experience but doesn’t seem to have the drive. It’s similiar to how BJ Penns mindset was in the early 2000’s. His head is no longer in the game. Horn and Palhares are expert submission specialists so this will be a clinic on the mat. Palhares will take this fight by submission in the 3rd round. Another disappointment for Gumby.
Ivan Serati vs. Tomasz Drwal: I will call this matchup World War 2 redux. Serati from Italy, with a 10-2 record with majority of his wins via TKO makes his debut against The Polish Gorilla. At 14-2, Tomasz Drwal will look want to take this to the ground as Serati has decent standup. Tomasz in the end will will this fight with strong ground and pound in the 1st round.
Thomas Egan vs. John Hathaway: And finally The Battle of the Undefeateds. Thomas Egan and John Hathaway are making their UFC debuts with perfect records; Thomas at 3-0 and John with an 8-0 record. I’m not too familiar with these fighters so I cant really make a good predictions. However, they both have KO power so this fight should remain on their feet. Just to be a bit different I will give the W to Egan in the first round.
Stayed tuned for the results during the PPV.