UFC 92 ‘The Ultimate 2008’ Preview
After another solid event put on by the UFC at UFC 91, focus shifts to the biggest card of the year. UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008, will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. With two titles on the line, and part three of a vicious rivalry between Quinton Jackson and Wanderlei Silva, this card promises to deliver the goods.
Let’s take a look at the match-ups.
UFC 92 – Light Heavyweight Championship Bout
Forrest Griffin (16–4-0) vs. Rashad Evans (12–0–1)
Who saw this one coming? Didn’t think so. Dana White’s marketing dream. The winner of the first ultimate fighter, pegged against the winner of the second edition. After a stunning string of wins against Mauricio Shogun Rua and Quinton Rampage Jackson, Forrest Griffin is sitting on top of the MMA world. Crowned champion in arguably the UFC’s most stacked division, and being unanimously ranked as the number 1 light heavyweight in world, Griffin is well on his way to super stardom. Rashad Evans shocked the world at UFC 88, knocking out the most recognizable figure in UFC history, Chuck Lidell. Primarily known as a wrestler early on in his career, Evans has evolved under the tutelage of Greg Jackson in New Mexico, to become a fighter with a strong wrestling base with explosive power in both hands.
When looking at this fight strictly based on styles the advantage has to go to Griffin. Entering the octagon on fight day, Griffin weighs in at about 230 lbs and towers over Evans with his 6’3 frame. This size difference will make it hard for Evans’ to get inside and deliver that knockout blow. With his obvious reach and size advantage, along with his experience of going five rounds with Jackson.
I’ll take Griffin via unanimous decision.
UFC 92 – Interim Heavyweight Championship Bout
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (31–4-1) vs. Frank Mir (11–3-0)
I know this is MMA, and anything can happen, but let’s just say Mir has no chance. Nogueira, the heavily decorated Brazilian, known for his granite chin, boxing prowess, and arguably the best submission artist heavyweight history, should walk right through Mir. Nogueria’s only losses in the last 5 years have come at the hands of Fedor Emalienko, and Josh Barnett. Both world class fighters that possess tools that Frank Mir clearly does not have. I guess that’s enough Mir bashing.
I’ll take Nogueira by 2nd Round (T)KO.
UFC 92 – Light Heavyweight Bout
Quinton Jackson (28 – 7 – 0) vs. Wanderlei Silva (32 – 8 – 1)
Arguably the most intriguing fight on the card, Jackson vs. Silva III should deliver the goods. When a wrestler with the strength and striking of Jackson climbs in a cage with the relentless stalking of an Axe Murderer, your in for a treat. With two decisive TKO wins over Jackson, Silva should come into this fight as a clear favorite. Jackson has shown with the previous two fights that he is unable to defend the Muay Thai clinch of Silva, and in turn spends a few minutes eating knees until he crumbles to the mat. This fight is different then there previous two meetings as Silva is 1-3 in his previous three fights, while Jackson has just surrendered the UFC championship to Forrest Griffin. The winner of this fight should climb right back into title contention.
I believe Jackson will have no answer for Silva’s clinch, so I’ll take Silva via TKO in round 3.
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