Preview: UFC 86

Michael ManiscalcoContributor IJuly 4, 2008

Fighthype Preview: UFC 86 Justin Buchholz vs. Corey Hill  In a lightweight battle, former Ultimate Fighter contestant Corey Hill makes his return to the octagon after defeating Joe Veres at Fight Night 12 in a great performance.

On the other side of the cage, Justin Buchholz had a disappointing UFC debut as he got caught in a rear naked choke and was forced to tap out to Matt Wiman on the same night that Hill won. 

As most people know, Corey trains with Miletech Fighting Systems with his most notable trainer being Jeremy Horn. I think Hill’s height and wrestling background will be enough for him to shut down Justin Buchholz. I say Hill wins this by TKO in the second round.  

Melvin Guillard vs. Dennis Siver  Former Ultimate Fighter contestant Melvin Guillard has not looked very hot in his recent fights in the UFC including two first round losses to Rich Clementi and Joe Stevenson. In his most recent fight Guillard managed to defeat Eric Regan at a Rage in the Cage event.

Melvin is a great wrestler and if he can maneuver his way into the proper positions this should be an easy fight for him. His opponent, Dennis Siver has recently lost at UFC Fight Night 12 against another Ultimate Fighter contestant, Gray Maynard.

However the German has great submissions and has a possibility of catching Guillard in an Armbar or Kimura. Guillard seems to experienced to lose this fight, he also realizes that this fight is do or die for him. He’s going to have to wrestle his way into mount and use his ground and pound to finish the fight.

I think he’ll end it in the third round and move on to working his way back to the main card.  

Ben Saunders vs. Jared Rollins  Both of these fighters are coming off the Ultimate Fighter 6. Ben Saunders managed to work his way into the quarter finals, but lost to finalist Tommy Speer. Jared Rollins didn’t make it past the preliminary round as he lost to George Sotiropoulos by knockout.

At the season finale, Saunders won his fight against Dan Barrera in a unanimous decision while Jared Rollins got TKO’ed by Jon Koppenhaver in the third round.

Ben Saunders trains with the world famous American Top Team and that could be his big advantage going into this fight. I think Saunders will use his striking ability to win this fight, but don’t be surprised if Rollins Jiu-Jitsu prevails.  

Cole Miller vs. Jorge Gurgel  I am really looking  forward to this fight and I’m hoping it makes its way onto the broadcast. Cole Miller is coming off a loss to Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 12, but had a victory over tough fighter Leonard Garcia before that.

Jorge Gurgel won his last fight against John Halverson on the undercard of UFC 82, but managed to let it go the distance.  Also keep in mind that Cole Miller has fought Takeshi Inoue in Shooto, Miller is also a trainee of American Top Team, but Jorge Gurgel trains with Team Extreme which is the home of former  UFC Middleweight champion Rich “Ace” Franklin. 

This should be a war on the ground, with the submission skills of both fighters. I think Cole Miller will walk away with the W in this one because of his top notch training and to get his career back on track after losing to Stephens.  

Gabriel Gonzaga v. Justin McCully  It is almost guaranteed this will be the fight shown on the broadcast after the main event pending time constraints. Gabriel Gonzaga is coming off two straight losses against Randy Couture and Fabricio Werdum in which both fights were ended by TKO’s. He is still ranked as one of the Top 10 Heavyweights in the world and I don’t see why they didn’t move this fight to the main card.

His great submissions and kicks are very good and this should be an easy fight for him. Justin McCully is coming off his UFC debut win against  Antoni Hardonk, but I don’t think that will be enough experience to be stepping in the ring with one of the top heavyweights.

McCully trains with Team Punishment and I’m sure they are trying to figure out how is McCully going to be able to come out victorious. I think Gonzaga is too strong and too hungry to give up this fight, I think he will use his striking power to end this in the early rounds.   Tyson Griffin vs. Marcus Aurelio  A win for either of these men could set up a future title shot. Tyson Griffin has won three straight fights after losing a war to Frank Edgar. He managed to beat Clay Guida, Thiago Tavares, and Gleison Tibau in his recent fights.

His opponent, Jiu-Jitsu specialist Marcus Aurelio, looked astounding in his last fight against Ryan Roberts as he submitted him 16 seconds into the fight at UFC Fight Night 13. Aurelio also holds a win and a split decision loss over one of the top lightweights in the world, Takanori Gomi.

Both fighters train with top notch camps as Tyson trains with Xtreme Couture and Marcus Aurelio trains with American Top Team. If the fight stays on its feet, Griffin will win it, but if it goes to the ground I see Aurelio using that world famous American Top Team Jiu-Jitsu to win.

For my prediction I think Griffin will win and work his way into a title shot against the winner of Huerta/Florian vs. Penn.  

Joe Stevenson vs. Gleison Tibau  After losing his Lightweight title shot to B.J. Penn, Ultimate Fighter Two winner  Joe “Daddy” Stevenson is looking to revamp his career and work his way back up the ladder and into a possible rematch for the title in the distant future.

Before losing to B.J. Stevenson, he had victories over Melvin Guillard and Yves Edwards. Gleison Tibau is coming off a loss to Tyson Griffin and I don’t know why they didn’t put Griffin in this fight and Tibau in the Aurelio fight.

However I don’t think Joe is taking this fight lightly at all because Tibau has been in the octagon with some tough fighters including Nick Diaz and he is yet another fighter on this card to represent American Top Team.  Both of these fighters have tough submissions and either of them could end the fight at any point.

I think Stevenson’s big fight experience will prevail over Tibau’s strength and he will walk out of Vegas with the win.   

Josh Koscheck vs. Chris Lytle

This could very well be the upset of the night, Josh Koscheck is coming off a win on the undercard of UFC 82 against Dustin Hazelett. Before that he lost to Georges St. Pierre in a decision, but he did put up a good performance. With a win in this fight he may be next in line for a shot at GSP once again, but for the title.

Chris Lytle won his last fight against Kyle Bradley at UFC 81.  If Lytle manages to get the upset in this one he could very well be throwing his name in the hat as a force in the welterweight division, his problem is that he has yet to come out victorious in a huge fight he has suffered defeats to Matt Serra, Matt Hughes, Thiago Alves, Joe Riggs, Karo Paryisan and Robbie Lawler.

I would say Koscheck is bettter then Riggs, but I don’t know about the other five. However it does prove that he has the top tier fight experience, but Koscheck has also been in the octagon with the UFC Welterweight champion and holds a victory over an Ultimate Fighter winner.

This is a big fight for both fighters, but I think Koscheck will walk away the winner by using his tremendous wrestling abilities. If Lytle keeps the fight standing up he may be able top pull off the upset.   

Patrick Cote vs. Ricardo Almeida  In a fight that decides who is next in line for Anderson Silva’s middleweight after Yushin Okami said Dana White, Canadian Ultimate Fighter finalist Patrick Cote takes on King of Pancrase Ricard Almeida.

Cote has won his last four fights against EliteXC Middleweight contender Scott Smith, Jason Day, Kendall Grove, and Drew McFedries. He managed to finish three of those fights in the first round and won the TKO Middleweight title by beating Day.

Since losing to Andrei Semenov at UFC 35 in 2002, Ricardo Almeida has been on a seven fight win streak including wins over top middleweights in Nate Marquardt and Kazuo Misaki.

Cote has proven to be a better fighter while he is on his feet delivering shots to the head and looking for openings, white Almeida uses Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Renzo Gracie and is a third degree black belt. If he gets the fight on the ground it will be in his favor of course.

If I had to pick a winner from this fight I would have to say Patrick Cote, because in his mind he knows all he really has to do is defend the take downs and he should walk away with the win. Almeida could very well win this fight if he gets it to the ground, but I think Cote will come in with a better gameplan.  

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin   In the main event, UFC Light Heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson is taking on the winner of the inaugural season of the Ultimate Fighter Forrest Griffin.

Both fighters are coming off of big wins in September of 2007, Rampage managed to defeat PRIDE middleweight champion Dan Henderson, while Forrest defeated the last man who beat Rampage Jackson, Maurico Shogun Rua. 

Jackson’s strength has to be his boxing and wrestling skills, he proved that by putting Chuck Liddell on the mat with one hook. He also managed to wrestle Dan Henderson pretty easily and he had some beautiful escapes in that fight.

Griffin, on the other hand, is known for his brawling and never say die attitude. Jackson has a big advantage by being a good Boxer and Wrestler because he can hit some tough shots on Griffin if he’s standing up and If he’s on the ground he can use his ground and pound to put away Forrest.

The only way I see Forrest winning the fight is if he catches Rampage with a kick and stumbles him and pounces on him to end it, but otherwise I see Rampage dominating this fight with punching combinations and ground game. There is no way this fight is going the distance because both men are looking to knock each other out.


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