UFC 136 comes to us on Saturday from Houston. A great card headlined by two title fights. This event is worth the cost of the PPV, so tune in and enjoy these fights. Here’s how I see the action in the Octagon going down.
Demian Maia (14-3) vs. Jorge Santiago (23-9)
Maia is as strong as anyone on the ground with his jiu-jitsu and should use his Octagon experience to work the ground game to a victory here. I doubt this fight gets exciting but the rest of the card should make up for it.
THE PICK: Maia via submission in Round 2
Anthony Pettis (13-2) vs. Jeremy Stephens (20-6)
These two are great fighters to watch and should push the pace in this one. It has fight of the night written all over it as these two could trade toe-to-toe in the center of the Octagon. I look for a real stand-up battle and I think Pettis will get the better of it and pull out a close decision.
THE PICK: Pettis via decision
Leonard Garcia (15-7-1) vs. Nam Phan (16-9)
Another outstanding matchup that could steal the show. These two guys can go all out and bang. It’s a great matchup featuring a couple fast fighters that will entertain. I don’t see either doing huge damage to the other so it’ll go to the judges.
THE PICK: Garcia via decision
Melvin Guillard (29-8-2) vs. Joe Lauzon (20-6)
Guillard has been a different fighter since training with Greg Jackson. Lauzon is a guy who always comes prepared to fight and is very skilled, but I think he’ll have a tough time with the bigger Guillard. I look for Guillard to land some big shots and make the referee stop this one.
THE PICK: Guillard via TKO in Round 2
Chael Sonnen (25-11-1) vs. Brian Stann (11-3)
Brian Stann takes a big step up in competition as he will take on Chael Sonnen, who returns to the cage following a suspension for failing a drug test after hi nearly upset Anderson Silva. Sonnen’s a beast in the Octagon and I think he will be far too much for Stann to handle. Sonnen’s aggressiveness will lead to ground and pound and a finish in the third round.
THE PICK: Sonnen via TKO in Round 3
Jose Aldo (19-1) vs. Kenny Florian (15-5)
Aldo is tremendously skilled and Florian has great experience. Florian will be one of the bigger fights Aldo has faced but Florian hasn’t seem many fighters with the speed of Aldo. I think this is a fight that will be an upset. I look for Ken-Flo to come with a game plan to outmanuever Aldo and take his belt.
THE PICK: Florian via decision
Frankie Edgar (13-1-1) vs. Gray Maynard (10-0-1, 1 NC)
These two had an epic clash in January that finished in a draw. Maynard dominated early but Edgar recovered and charged back forcing the decision. Both are great all-around fighters with outstanding skills on feet and the ground. I think the nine-month wait will fuel Maynard and he’s leaving the Octagon with the belt this time.
THE PICK: Gray Maynard via decision
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