Hey again MMA fans, I’m back to close out 2008 with my picks for the upcoming UFC fight card, “The Ultimate” that takes place on Saturday, December 27, 2008 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. This event features two title fights, with a main even of Forrest Griffin defending his Light Heavyweight title against undefeated “Sugar” Rashad Evans. Let’s get things started.
Update: PICK OUTCOMES: 2-3
The first fight of the night is Cheick Kongo against Mustafa Al-Turk. While Cheick Kongo is a massive specimen for the heavyweight division, Al-Turk’s ground skills are no joke. Kongo earned a KO victory in his last fight in the octagon, but I believe that he will have a tough time defending Al-Turk’s takedowns because Kongo’s takedown defense is weak. I see this fight going Al-Turk’s way with a unanimous decision victory.
Next up is Quinton “Rampage” Jackson against Wanderlei Silva. Both of these men are very talented in the UFC’s premier division, Light Heavyweight. Silva scored two vicious KO’s of Jackson back in their days fighting for PRIDE, with both victories coming from the Muay Thai clinch and Jackson eating knees. Silva always wants to put on a show, and he will try to keep it standing. I think Jackson does not want to keep this standing and he has been working with his new camp in England and I believe he will try to keep this fight on the ground. Look for Jackson going for repeated takedowns, and Silva will win this fight with yes, another knee to Rampage that will shock him as he is going in for a takedown and Silva will win via TKO in the second round.
The third fight on this card is a very puzzling one. I have no idea WHY the UFC chose to put CB Dolloway against Mike Massenzio on the main card instead of Yushin Okami vs. Dean Lister. Knowing that CB’s strength is wrestling, look for him to take this fight to the ground and win this fight via submission in the first round.
The co-main event is the Interim Heavyweight Championship that features Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueria vs. Frank Mir. Both were coaches on Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter. Both are the best of the heavyweight division when it comes to submission skills, and this fight is sure to tell who has the better game plan for the ground. I believe that Mir will come out strong in the first round, and if he sees that Big Nog can last, he will then try to make this fight go the full 5 rounds. Mir’s strength has always been the very opening minutes of fights, and I believe that Nog will try to take this fight the distance if possible. I think that Nogueria will catch Mir with a hook in the 3rd round, and finish him there via submission.
The main event of the card is a very exciting match up in Forrest Griffin against “Sugar” Rashad Evans. Both were winners of TUF season’s 1 and 2, respectively, and both have followed a similar path to the title shot. Forrest has always shown that he has a great chin and can execute game plans to perfection. Evans is undefeated and has shown that he has knockout power in both his legs and hands. This will be Evans’ first true test and I believe that Griffin will try to take this fight the full 5 rounds. Look for Evans to go for takedowns and try to earn his first submission victory, and I see him winning this fight in the second round via TKO.
Thanks for reading everyone and I hope that ya’ll had a great holiday! Be sure to keep checking out 6th-round.com for your entire up to the minute news and opinion in the world of Mixed Martial Arts.
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.