UFC 102 Main Card Predictions

Justin CheungContributor IAugust 29, 2009

PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 28: UFC heavyweight fighter Randy Couture squares off with UFC heavyweight fighter Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at the UFC 102: Couture vs. Nogueira Weigh-In at the Rose Garden Arena on August 28, 2009 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

It was just three weeks ago when Anderson Silva annihilated Forrest Griffin's self-esteem at UFC 101.  Now UFC 102 is already upon us!  Let's get straight to the main card predictions.


Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Brandon Vera

This should be a hell of a fight, but Vera has more to lose.  Vera hasn't been impressive since he came back from his hiatus and a loss to a mid-tier guy like Soszynski will set him back even further.  With that said, though Soszynski will be able to put up a fight, he's not as technical as Vera.  Therefore, I will go with Brandon Vera via TKO in Round Two.


Keith Jardine vs. Thiago Silva

This should be an exciting fight also.  Both coming off a loss, although Thiago Silva's loss was way more devastating.  Like most would expect, Silva's best bet would be to take Jardine down and work his GnP.  If he really wants to get the fight to the ground, he could try to pull guard although I don't see him doing it. 

"On paper," if this fight stays standing, Jardine should have an advantage, but I call that BS.  Jardine being primarily a striker doesn't mean that he is the better striker in this fight.  I think the Techno Viking is too awkward and he's been overrated although some will disagree with this assessment.  In the end when it's all said and done, Thiago Silva will win via TKO Round One.


Chris Leben vs. Jake Rosholt

To be honest, I have never seen Jake Rosholt fight and I have never been impressed with Chris Leben but looks like this fight won't go to the judges.  Since I don't like Leben, I will go on a limb and pick Rosholt via KO in Round Three.


Demian Maia vs. Nate Marquardt

This fight has a lot of significance since the winner is very much in the mix for title contention.  Nate is a great all around fighter probably with a strength advantage.  Maia is so good on the ground that he can do whatever he wants there.  I look at Maia as somebody like Machida in that you shouldn't bet against him. 

So, though I see Marquardt surviving the first round and possibly winning the round, Maia will win by Submission in Round Two.


Randy Couture vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

Honestly, this fight doesn't excite me for some reason.  I think this fight will be very technical and tactical but not with a lot of passion.  Most people pick Couture to win.  I disagree.

I think Nogueira is a bad matchup for the 46-year-old Captain America.  While Randy seems to be ageless, but I think that perception comes from the fact that he was almost just as slow when he was young as he is now.

Therefore, since his movements haven't slowed down too much, people just assume that age has not caught up to him, but the thing is he was slow to begin with.  On the other hand, Nogueira isn't known for his quickness either, but that won't be a problem is this fight. 

On paper, Randy is a way better wrestler, but unless he can get Nogueira up against the cage, there is nothing he can do to hurt Nogueira.  Standing up, Couture has decent head movement but Nogueira is the more technical striker. 

One thing they have in common, though, is that neither one of them seems to throw a lot of kicks.  On the ground, as long as Noguiera is not on his back and against the fence at the same time, he will be fine.  I see this fight going to the judges and I don't mind that this fight is only three rounds. 

Therefore, I am going with Nogueira via Decision (Unless Randy plans to lay on him for three rounds).