So this card was originally one of my most anticipated of the whole year with the main event re-match of what's probably my fight of the year between Edgar and Maynard and Rampage in an exciting match up with an aggressive heavy hitter in Thiago Silva I was really expecting some fireworks. Unfortunately Thiago Silva was involved in steroids controversy and was replaced by the less exciting, wrestling based Matt Hamill. To make matter's worse Edgar and Hammil both had to pull out with injuries and there was no replacement main event with Rampage/Hammil getting promoted to the top slot. All being said the night of fights as a whole looks pretty solid with Thiago Alves in action against the highly legit Rick Story and a heavyweight pairing of Frank Mir and Roy Nelson. Anyway I thought I would do a quick break down for the main and co-main event and then just pick who I think will win for the rest of the match ups. Feel free to weigh in with your own predictions or come and berate me afterwards if I am completely off the mark.
Rampage vs HamillIn my opinion Hamill is out of his depth here, he does possess some power in his hands but he Rampage has always had an amazing chin and the way Hamill wings his punches is perfect for Rampage to counter on the feet. Hamill's best chance in this match it to take Rampage down and keep him there but that is easier said than done, Rampage is very strong and has great wrestling himself, I know Rashad took him down a whole bunch but that was due to his speed and explosiveness which is not something Hamill has quite so much of. When Rampage is in shape and taking a fight seriously there are few fighters in the world that can beat him, I do not believe Hamill is at his level yet. I see Hamill starting on the feet looking for take-downs and being denied, he will then end up getting drawn into Page's style of fight and end up paying for it with a heavy shot.
Rampage by KO, round 2.
Mir vs NelsonFrank Mir and Big Country are very evenly matched both the Vegas boys have black belts, good technical stand up and a whole lot of big fight experience. Despite his shape, Roy Nelson should not be underestimated, he even managed to defeat Frank by points in a grappling tournament many years ago. Roy comes into this fight very hungry for the win and in my opinion (though it may be hard to believe) he is better conditioned than Frank Mir. I see most of the fight staying on the feet, and I don't believe Frank has the power to drop him, Roy took massive bombs from Junior Dos Santos and still managed to survive which no-one else has done. I can see Roy getting a take-down early in the third, manoeuvring into position and finish Mir off with some big bombs.
Roy by TKO, round 3.
Now for some quick picks, I have highlighted in bold who I think will win.
Struve vs Brown
Story vs Alves - (Story is the perfect fighter to beat Alves, but if Alves is at his best and keeps it on the feet he could end up knocking Rick out.)
Santiago vs Stann - (Might by fight of the night)
Torres vs Johnson
Boetsch vs Grove
Tibau vs Oliveira
Cariaso vs McDonald