UFC 82 Predictions
by Jef Latimer, the MMA Maniac - 02/28/2008
In case you haven't been paying attention, 2008 is "The Year of Incredible Fghts" in the cage, and UFC 82 will be no exception. We get 10 fights to watch, and more importantly, 10 fights to bet on! Let's break them down in our UFC 82 predictions.
John "The Hurricane" Halverson (+160) vs. Jorge Gurgel (-200)
Gurgel has shown his ability to go the distance. All four of his appearances in the octagon went to a judges' decision. Halverson got rung up by Roger Huerta in 19 seconds of the first round in his UFC debut.
Prediction - Gurgel hasn't been able to finish a fight by KO or submission and Halverson is looking to rebound. This is a good upset bet. Halverson by TKO.
John Fitch (-625) vs. Chris "The Professor" Wilson (+425)
Fitch is a monster. He should plow through Wilson. I wish I could call this an upset, but no.
Prediction - Fitch by submission.
Luke "The Silent Assassin" Cummo (-160) vs. Luigi Fioravanti (+130)
Cummo lives up to his nickname. He seems so unassuming, but don't be fooled. He kicks ass. FIoravanti has struggled in the octagon lately with back-to-back losses.
Prediction - No upset here! Cummo wins by submission.
Diego "Nightmare" Sanchez (-525) vs. David Bielkheden (+325)
"The Ultimate Fighter 1" winner Sanchez is coming off two disappointing decision losses to Fitch and Koscheck. He will look to make quick work of his opponent. This is Bielkheden's debut in the UFC. The BJJ black belt will have his hands full with Sanchez and the energy of The Octagon.
Prediction - The only way I see Bielkheden winning is if Sanchez completely loses his composure and gets caught in a submission. Sanchez wins by TKO.
Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski (-325) vs. Jake "Irish" O'Brien (+250)
Arolvski is trying to recapture the heavyweight title and a victory will put him in line as a top contender for Noguiera's belt. "Irish" is 10-0 but hasn't fought in The Octagon in over a year. His last fight was win over Heath Herring, but the fight was a bit lackluster as we watched O'Brien's "lay and pray" technique win him three rounds on the judges' cards.
Prediction - Here is the upset of the night! O'Brien by decison! CHA-CHING!
Yushin "Thunder" Okami (-220) vs. Evan Tanner (+170)
Tanner has been out of The Octagon since April of 2006! That's a long time! Okami's only loss in the UFC came at the hands of Rich Franklin in a tough fought three round decision.
Prediction - Too much rust on Tanner = Victory for Okami.
Josh "Kos" Koscheck vs. Dustin Hazelett
Hazelett won his last two fights with slick submissions. "Kos" was rocketing to the top before stumbling in his last fight against Georges St.-Pierre. Koscheck's power will be the advantage he needs to get back on track.
Prediction - Koscheck by TKO.
Chris "The Crippler" Leben (-165) vs. Alessio "Legionarius" Sakara (+135)
This is a tough one. Chris Leben is trying to shake off his bad boy persona and just be a great fighter. His last fight with Terry Martin ended with an incredible KO victory for Leben. Sakara is 3-3 in the UFC and coming off a TKO win over James Lee. Both fighters like to stand up and exchange punches. Whichever fighter can use the whole arsenal will come out on top.
Prediction - Leben by TKO
Heath "The Texas Crazy Horse" Herring (+145) vs. Cheick Kongo (-175)
Kongo has been an imposing figure in the UFC and may be best known for being the fighter to run Cro Cop out of the UFC. He is a nasty striker with improving ground skills. Heath Herring is still trying to find his stride in the Octagon. This might just be a "make or break" fight for Herring, who is 1-2 since coming to the UFC.
Prediction - UPSET ALERT!!! Herring will expose Kongo's weak ground game and get the submission.
Anderson "Spider" Silva (-160) vs. Dan "Hendo" Henderson (+130)
Anderson Silva is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Up to this point, he has made his opponents look silly in The Octagon. He's so damn suave! Dan Henderson came to the UFC with the weight of two Pride FC championship belts. The prospect of belt unification was huge when he fought and lost to Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, but not so much this time. At UFC 82 it will be about two great fighters squaring off and we all win!
Prediction - Silva will get taken to the limit, but will endure a five-round battle and retain his belt.