UFC 106 - Ortiz vs. Griffin 2 , November 21, 2009 , Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas
Forrest Griffin (205) vs. Tito Ortiz (204) - I know that Griffin has improved leaps & bounds since their first meeting 3 years ago. I can't say that for Ortiz. Tito has said repeatedly that his back is healthier than it's been in a long time, & that's what was holding him back. I think his injured back may have been a factor but it seems that more than anything Ortiz is a limited fighter who's style stop being so effective once the sport began to evolve. I know that Tito has been working on his striking at Wild Card's with Freddie Roach, but I really can't say for sure how much improved his stand-up will be.
On the other hand, Griffin seems to be taking his first round loss to Anderson Silva terribly. I think Griffin should be doing what GSP did after the Matt Serra loss, & use that as the ultimate motivation to improve as a fighter, but the word out of Xtreme Couture is that he doesn't want to talk about it & is basically ignoring the embarrassing loss.
I would like to see Ortiz get the win here, because he's a great personality, he's a good guy, & I really don't like what a sore loser Forrest has turned into. I hope Tito proves us all wrong, but until then I have to pick Griffin by Decision.
Josh Koscheck (171) vs. Anthony Johnson (170) - Koscheck should win this fight. Anthony Johnson isn't great when guys can take him down & Koschecks wrestling can take Johnson down all day. My problem with picking Koscheck is that he seems to have the 'Jorge Gurgel Syndrome', where he is in love with his stand-up skills, & refuses to take it to the ground where he has the advantage. I don't trust Kos to try to wrestle with Johnson. He didn't do it with Thiago Alves (lost), Yoshiyuki Yoshida (won), Paulo Thiago (lost), Frank Trigg (won). Kos is gonna get hit & hit hard by 'Rumble'. Johnson by KO, rd 2.Paulo Thiago (169) vs. Jacob Volkmann (170) - I was pissed that we aren't getting the Dustin Hazelett/Karo Parisyan fight, due to Karo pulling out last minute. I really wanted to see Hazelett back in action & I thought the Parisyan fight was a great match up. On the plus side, Thiago vs Volkmann has been moved to the main card. Everyone seems to be on the Volkmann bandwagon. He's 9-0 coming into this fight & can apparently take anyone down. To be honest, I've never seen Volkmann fight before but it doesn't seem he's fought anyone at Thiago's level. I've been very impressed with Paulo in his 2 fights in the UFC, I am gonna take Thiago by Decision. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (205) vs. Luis Cane (205) - This fight has to be the saving grace of this card. With all the changes UFC 106 has gone through, I wouldn't be as excited as I am if not for this match up. I like Lil' Nog but I have to go with Cane (pronounced Con-eh, not Cane). I don't think Rogerio is the fighter his brother is & I see Cane getting the better of him on the feet, & being able to stay out of trouble if it does go to the ground. Cane by TKO, rd 3.
Amir Sadollah (170) vs. Phil Baroni (170) - Baroni is a joke. If Sadollah loses to him then he's an even bigger bigger joke. Sadollah by armbar, rd 2. On Spike:
Marcus Davis (170) vs. Ben Saunders (170) - I like Saunders & I think he is a great prospect, but he showed he was out of his league against Mike Swick in June, & I think the experience of Davis will also be too much for him. Davis by Decision.
Jake Rosholt (185.5) vs. Kendall Grove (186) - Grove has a weak chin & Rosholt has shown very improved striking, so even if Grove is almost a foot taller than Rosholt, it's still a recipe for deisaster for 'Da Spyda'. Grove was letting a gassed Ricardo Almeida take him down, so I don't see why Rosholt can't get takedowns & top position all day long. I think Rosholt will ground & pound Grove into a rd. 2 TKO.
Brock Larson (171) vs. Brian Foster (171) - Larson will prove too much for Foster. Larson by sub, rd 1.
Caol Uno (155.5) vs. Fabricio Camoes (155.5) - I'm taking the up & coming Camoes to get points for 3 rounds against veteran Uno. Camoes by Decision.
George Sotiropoulos (155) vs. Jason Dent (155) - Sotiropoulos by sub, rd 3.