UFC 116 Predictions: Lesnar to Retain; Sotiropolous to Continue Ascent

Posted on July 2, 2010

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Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin
(UFC Heavyweight Championship)
PREDICTION: LESNAR via TKO, R2

My gut tells me that Lesnar is going to win, but he’s coming back from a pretty severe ailment that quite literally almost killed him. And, even though we’ve all crowned him the undisputed King of Heavyweights after Fedor’s loss, he still only has five fights on his record and this is his first against a skilled striker. As scary as Lesnar has been, we still don’t know how he takes a punch. It’s going to be a really interesting fight to say the least, and regardless of who wins, it’s a safe bet this isn’t going into the 3rd Round.

Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Chris Leben
(Middleweight Bout)
PREDICTION: LEBEN via UNANIMOUS DECISION

Leben stepped in on just twelve days notice – and two days after a surprising victory over Aaron Simpson on The Ultimate Fighter Finale – to replace the injured Wanderlei de Silva. Akiyama expressed hesitation towards taking the fight, and for good reason: he’s exactly the sort of unpredictable, swing-for-the-fences fighter that gives him trouble. I’m not sold on Akiyama as a contender stateside, so I’m picking an upset, with the caveat that it’s probably really not all that much of an upset.

Chris Lytle vs. Matt Brown
(Welterweight Bout)
PREDICTION: MATT BROWN via TKO, R1

These two met previously under the UFL banner in 2007. Lytle won that fight with a choke, but three years can be an eternity in MMA. The irony, though, is that Brown is once again coming off a submission loss due to a choke. Thing is, that was against Ricardo Almeida, who is one of the best practitioners of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in MMA. I don’t think he’s going to get caught again here.

Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Stephan Bonnar
(Light Heavyweight Bout)
PREDICTION: SOSZYNSKI via SUBMISSION, R1

These two fought back in February, with K-Sos taking the controversial TKO win after a doctor’s stoppage in the third round resulting from an illegal strike. As wrong as that decision was, Bonnar was en route to a decision loss before it occurred. I don’t see anything changing this time around, which is unfortunate, because another loss will probably spell the end of Bonnar’s fight career. That career has taken some rather unfortunate turns in the last couple years, but he’ll always have his place in history as a participant in the most important fight in MMA history (the first ever final of The Ultimate Fighter against Forrest Griffin).

George Sotiropoulos vs. Kurt Pellegrino
(Lightweight Bout)
PREDICTION: SOTIROPOULOS via UNANIMOUS DECISION

Sotiropoulos has been impressive in his last few fights, and looked like a world beater against former Lightweight contender Joe “Daddy” Stevenson. A win over Pellegrino – the most underrated fighter in the UFC at 155 – will definitely put him on the fast track for title contention. I fully expect this to win Fight of the Night honors.

PRELIMINARY BOUTS
Brendan Schaub vs. Chris Tuchscherer* (Heavyweight Bout) PREDICTION: Schaub via TKO R1
Seth Petruzelli vs. Ricardo Romero* (Heavyweight Bout) PREDICTION: Petruzelli via TKO R1
Kendall Grove vs. Goran Reljic (Middleweight Bout) PREDICTION: Reljic via Submission R2
Gerald Harris vs. Dave Branch (Middleweight Bout) PREDICTION: Harris via TKO R1
Daniel Roberts vs. Forrest Petz (Welterweight Bout) PREDICTION: Petz via Unanimous Decision
Jon Madsen vs. Karlos Vemola (Heavyweight Bout) PREDICTION: Madsen via Unanimous Decision
*will be broadcast live on Spike TV at 9:00pm

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