Michael Bisping vs Rashad Evans
Both fighters have fifteen wins and no losses coming into this fight.
The odds makers are giving Rashad the nod by a wide margin. I don't blame them. While not being a particularly entertaining fighter, Rashad always finds a way to win. My former coach, Tom Murphy, from Rail City MMA who fought Rashad on the Ultimate Fighter says that Rashad is a great tactician. He always comes into the ring with a plan unique for each opponent.
Bispings strength is his striking and his avoidance. He's tough to submit or ground and pound. A negative for Bisping is his size. He is a small light heavyweight. He could easily diet down to 185. Rashad on the other had used to be a heavyweight and dropped a weight class.
Rashad's wrestling is far superior to Bispings. He also has a rock hard chin. I've seen him take blows to the head that would kill a lesser man and he didn't even stagger. I've never seen Rashad rocked. On the other hand, I've seen Rashad knock over guys even when he was a heavyweight. Rashad has serious knockout power.
Rashad is bigger, stronger, hits harder, has a better chin and far superior wrestling. The only way Bisping can win this fight is that this is definitely the year of upset. Its happened too many times this year to ignore. On paper though, Rashad has this one in the bag and I see a brutal second round stoppage in the future for Bisping.
However, If I was going to bet any money on this entire card, I would bet it on Bisping. The guy is 15-0 and a huge underdog! Never count out a guy who is 15-0 who has knocked out or submit ed 14 of his opponents. Only one of his fights has ever gone to the judges. Every other one of his fights was stopped.
Thiago Silva Vs. Houston Alexander
Houston Alexander is on a tear. In the UFC, he's knocked out both of his opponents in the first round and made it look easy. The man is a monster. A beast. He's facing a guy who also likes to stand and bang. Houston's first loss in the UFC will probably come from a grappler. If you want to stand and bang with Houston Alexander, you're going to wake up five minutes later, wonder where you are and who that guy Joe Rogan is interviewing. And why you're bleeding.
Joe Doerksen Vs. Ed Herman
Ed Herman's got skillz and determination. Anxious to prove himself after only making ripples in the UFC so far, he's luckily being fed a guy with a mediocre record, Herman will roll right through him. (I'll admit, I don't know much about Doerkson but I don't think a guy with a 39-10 record is going to have what it takes to stop Herman on Saturday night.)
Ryo Chonan Vs. Karo Parisyan
Chonan has fought some of the best guys on the planet so maybe you can excuse his 14-7 record. He does hold a win over Anderson Silva so he has to have some combat prowess but will it be enough to stop "The Heat?"
No way in Hell.
Already impressive, the last time Karo fought he looked like a new man. He looked almost as impressive as GSP does in every one of his fights. He was in shape, pushed the pace from the first second to the last, his stand up was improved and he destroyed a very good fighter like he was nothing. Karo is clearly sick of being a gatekeeper to promising welterweights and wants to advance up the ranks. If he comes in to this fight the way he came into his last fight, I imagine we'll be seeing Karo get a title shot soon.
Add to the fact this is another "Pride" fighter coming into the UFC and you have a recipe for disaster. Pride fighters have had a rough year and it's going to continue with Chonan getting thrown around like a pit bull with a baby.
Frank Edgar Vs. Spencer Fisher
This one is a toss-up. Fisher has the will and the experience to beat anyone. However, his strength is in his stand up and Edgar is a ground and pounder. If Spencer can escape Edgar's take-downs, he'll win the fight. If he can't, Edgar will will a split decision.
Jason Reinhardt Vs. Joe Lauzon
Reinhardt sports an impressive 18-0 record but I never count Joe out of anything. I won $700 off his startling first round KO of Jens Pulver.
I like Joe's style, his aggressiveness and I respect his skills.
Reinhardt has three negatives going for him.
1) He's never fought anyone of note.
2) He's a tiny 155 pounder., usually weighing in at 135 lbs.
3) He's 38 years old. Nearly dead.
Lauzon by Ref Stoppage.