BJ Penn vs. Sean SherK: BJ Penn of course!
Sherk had trouble with GSP and Matt Hughes because he had a shorter reach than these guys and because he couldn’t handle their strength. I believe BJ Penn has more core strength than Sherk (although they use it differently) and he has better hands than the “Muscle Shark.”
Wanderlei Silva vs. Keith Jardine: Silva
I believe their awkwardness nullifies each others fighting skills. Wanderlei is a better Muy Thai fighter and striker but Jardine’s unorthodox style catches fighters by surprise. Wanderlei’s tendency to throw “party punches,” to borrrow a phrase from Eric Apple, allows others to catch him with straight shots. However, Wanderlei’s ability to recover is what I think will save him.
Wilson Gouveia vs. Goran Reljic: Gouveia
Goeveia has talent and skill and I believe that he will easily overwhelm Reljic who appears to be a “bread and butter” fighter. He uses the basics and is keen on defense. I wish I had more info on Reljic but I give the nod to Gouveia who’s Muy Thai skills can give a novice fits..
Tito Ortiz vs. Lyoto Machida: Machida
Although I really want Ortiz to win, Machida’s style just doesn’t lend itself to being an easy victory for Tito. Machida will win the stand-up battle and he won’t give Ortiz the type of strikes he can expect from every other fighter he’s fought. Machida’s BJJ is also under-rated. Unless he can hold Machida down for three rounds he’s not going to win. Although I wish Ortiz would win because I believe that he is absolutely right about Dana White and so he can be very marketable when he leaves. It will give whatever organization he goes to a lot of credibility and will help break the UFC monopoly.
Thiago Silva vs. Antonio Mendes: Silva
Silva is over-rated (at least for the UFC). I believe he believes he is better than he really is (e.g., his victory “over-celebration” when James Irvin knee blew out). Although he is undefeated. However, I can’t find anything on Mendes so I will give Silva the nod based on familiarity and his propensity to win by luck.
Ivan Salaverry vs. Rousimar Palhares: Salaverry
Salaverry has been one of my favorite fighters, who never fights, ever since I saw him tap out Tony Fryklund. He is always gracious and a ‘class act.” His opponent is an unknown talent from Brazil. He’s rather short in comparison to Salaverry and Salaverry’s stand-up is pretty good so I have to go with Ivan.
Rameau Sokoudjou vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura: Sokoudjou
Nakamura’s Judo has not worked for him in a long time. He is also a 185 pounder at best. Sokoudjou has a good history of sending PRIDE fighters into parallel universes and with Nakamura’s penchant for wearing costumes, I am sure he has a spacesuit for his journey.
Rich Clementi vs. Terry Etim: Clementi
As much as I would love Etim to show “No Love” to Clementi and send him packing, he always manages to pull out the victory. I see no reason why Etim should win. Clementi’s after victory antics with Melvin Guillard and his refusal to tap gloves with Anthony “Rumble” Johnson rubbed me the wrong way. He’s one of those guys you love to mildly dislike ( It’s not that serious).
John Koppenhaver vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida: Yoshida
I am sorry but I cannot see Koppenhaver lasting long in the UFC.
Jason Tan vs. Dong Hyun Kim: Dong Hyun Kim
Kim fights like Lyoto Machida and he is 6″3″. I think he is going to give Jason Tan a ‘beatin.” They didn’t fly Kim in for nothing…