Yushin Okami vs. Nate Marquardt
While this is certainly not a blockbuster main event it’s certainly an intriguing one. Both fighters have proven time and again that they are amongst the best at 185lbs and they are fairly evenly matched, with each having good striking, strong wrestling and and imposing presence from top control.
I feel that overall Marquardt is the more complete fighter though, with a little more versatility to his output, a significant threat via submissions and more power in his striking. It’ll be close, but I think he can edge out the Japanese fighter to earn a second shot at the title.
Prediction: Nate Marquardt to win by decision
Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara
The easiest prediction to make for this bout is that it’ll get either ‘Fight Of The Night’ or ‘Knockout Of The Night’ honors – perhaps even both.
This should be a lot of fun with both men loving a stand-up war, and having the striking skills to do such a battle justice. Both hit hard and neither has a particularly strong chin so really it could go either way but I think Sakara’s superior boxing technique could pay dividends here.
Prediction: Alessio Sakara to win by TKO in Rd2
Dennis Siver vs. Andre Winner
Like Sakara Vs Rivera, Siver Vs Winner looks like being an entertaining stand-up fight. I’d give the stocky framed Siver the power advantage here, and his spinning back kick is lethal, but Winner is a classy striker with good movement and slick combinations, and like his fellow TUF 9 competitor Ross Pearson I think the UK fighter can live up to his name over three rounds of closely fought action.
Prediction: Andre Winner to win by decision.
Amir Sadollah vs. Peter Sobotta
Really Sobotta, who’s 0-2 in the UFC to date has no business being on the main card of an event like this, but since he’s German he gets the chance to make a name for himself against TUF winner Amir Sadollah.
Sadollah’s not going to follow in the footsteps of other winner of the show like Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans who’ve gone on to hold a title, but I think he’s got enough in his locker here to emerge victorious thanks to his ever-improving kickboxing and decent ground chops.
Prediction: Amir Sadollah to win by decision
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Goran Reljic
Following a long injury layoff Goran Reljic tried to move down to 185lbs, coming up empty handed with two losses, so he returns to 205lbs for this match-up with K-Sos.
Soszynski is a battler and could have an advantage if he attempts to outwrestle the Croatian, but instead it’s likely that he’ll look to stand and trade with Reljic. That could be a strategic blunder though as Reljic is the better striker and I think he’ll end up outpointing the Pole.
Prediction: Goran Reljic to win by decision.
Prelims: (Predicted winners highlighted in bold)
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Alexandre Ferreira
Pascal Krauss vs. Mark Scanlon
Duane Ludwig vs. Nick Osipczak
Kyle Noke vs. Rob Kimmons
Seth Petruzelli vs. Karlos Vemola
Kris McCray vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha