185 lbs.: Michael Bisping (16-1) vs. Chris Leben (18-4)
Main card (Televised)
205 lbs.: Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (5-2) vs. Luis Cane (8-1)
170 lbs.: Chris Lytle (25-16-5) vs. Paul Taylor (9-3-1)
Let’s get it started at the first bout of the night, Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” vs Paul Kelly. Kelly brings an undefeated record into this fight, but I’m still not convinced that he’s going to have what it takes to beat Davis. Davis has shown the capability to beat his opponents by KO or Submission, so I’m going with Davis by TKO in the second round.
Chris Lytle vs Paul Taylor: Lytle was dominated in his last fight against Josh Koscheck, and I’m sure he’s eager to get back in the Win column with this bout against Taylor. Taylor has no wins over top tier opponents and doesn’t have the experience Lytle does. I’m going with Lytle via KO in the first round.
Sokoudjou vs Luis Cane: This is an interesting fight, with both fighters just getting their feet wet in the UFC. Sokoudjou lost to Machida before getting his first win the Octagon against Nakamura at UFC 84. Cane got his first win in the Octagon against Jason Lambert, which isn’t impressive by any means. Look for Cane going for takedowns, and I think he’s going to catch a knee to the grill while doing so. I’m going with Sokoudjou via KO in the second round.
Brandon Vera vs Keith Jardine: Plain and simple, both of these guys need this win badly. Jardine is coming off a devasting loss to Wanderlei Silva, in which he lost in 36 seconds. Vera is coming off a VERY unimpressive decision win over Reese Andy. Granted, Vera’s fight against Andy was when he dropped in weight class. I like the face that Jardine trains with Greg Jackson, but I cannot stand the way he fights. If Vera can get back to his old self where he just lets his Muay Thai go, I think Vera will win this very decisively. Jardine will stand with Vera to get the fight started, then start going for takedown attempts. I’m going with Vera via TKO in the third round.
Michael Bisping vs Chris Leben: This is a very interesting fight, where as one fighter is very un-orthodox and the other is very technical and precise. Leben relies on his awkward striking to win fights, and I think he’s going to see that it doesn’t work against world-class strikers. Bisping is a relative newcomer looking to make a statement in the 185 lb division and I think he will do so by easily dispatching of Leben in this fight. I would hope that if Bisping wins this fight, that he would be a coach for TUF 9 and then get a title shot against Anderson Silva. I’m very happy that Leben has been able to turn around his life and is now the head coach at Icon Fitness, but I just don’t think he has the tools to deal with Bisping. I’m going with Bisping via TKO in the second round.
Thanks for reading and look for my picks for UFC 90 next week!
Tommy H. pens his event picks column, here at 6th-Round.com before most major fight cards. Look for his articles to be featured, as he fulfills his role as contributing writer to the site. He can be contacted at tommyh[at]6th-round[dot]com , welcomes all feedback. Tommy is 24-25 in his overall picks record, here at 6th-Round.com.