UFC 88 - Preview & Pics

My UFC Preview is back with a vengeance. The Ultimate Fighting Championships invade Atlanta for UFC 88. Here's my take on how the ten scheduled fights are going to play out. Actual mileage may vary.

Chuck Liddell (21-5-0) vs Rashad Evans (16-0-1)
Three of Liddell's five losses ended with him looking up at the lights, knocked the fuck out, due to his desire to stand and throw. Evans has three victories by knockout. Chuck has 13. I see leather. Lots of leather. I see Rashad getting dazed and confused by the counterpuncher.
Liddell by knockout, second round.

Rich Franklin (25-3-0) vs Matt Hamill ( 6-1-0)
Rich Franklin is at a crossroads. He's been demolished by middleweight champ Anderson Silva, twice, in brutal fashion. There's no way he's going to dethrone Forrest Griffen at light heavyweight, and he;s too big to go down to welterweight. So he's left to languish high on the card but not at the top. Matt Hamill is still a work in progress. He's strong, like Silva, and will manhandle Franklin, but can he take a punch? That's the real worry, but not that big of a worry. Franklin is fighting for paychecks now, Hamill is hungrier.
Hamill by decision.

Karo Parisyan (26-5-0) vs Yoshiyuki Yoshida (10-2-0)
Yoshiyuki Yoshida is a stud. Karo will need a full tank and a better gameplan than he's had in his last couple of outings (loss to Thiago Alves via KO and a decision win against Ryo Chonan). While I don't see Yoshida slapping the anaconda choke on Parisyan like he did with Jon "War Hammer" Koppenhaver, leaving the TUF alum passed out on the cage floor at UFC 84, I do see a great match between the judo of Parisyan and the unconventional style of Yoshida.
Yoshida with his wicked elbows in the third round.

Dan Henderson (22-7-0) vs Rousimar Palhares (17-1-0)
I'm a huge Dan Henderson fan. Palhares has mad ju-jitsu and put a clinic on against Ivan Salaverry, going from a left-armed choke to a right-armed choke to the arm bar that retired Salaverry ... all in 2:36. He's fast, and if he can get Henderson down, and keep him there, it's over. Henderson, however, is a world-class greco-roman wrestler (was in two Olympics and and has won countless international events), so he's difficult to take down. Didn't stop Anderson Silva though. My heart is with Henderson, but my head isn't.
Palhares by submission, third round.

Martin Kampmann (13-1-0) vs Nate Marquardt (29-8-2)
This one will bring down the boos but could be the technical match of the night. Both are submission specialists but Marquardt has the more impressive list of victims including Jeremy Horn, Dean Lister, Joe Doerksen, Ivan Salaverry and a half-dozen submission wins in Pancrase bouts, including breaking the arm of Kazou Misaki 29 seconds into the bout.
Marquardt via compound fracture in the second round.

Thiago Tavares (17-2-0) vs Kurt Pellegrino (17-4-0)
Both fighters are 1-2 in thier last three bouts. Tavares was knocked out by Matt Wiman at UFC 85; Pellegrino tapped out to Nathan Diaz's triangle choke. Recovering from a your first knockout is always tough.
Pellegrino, submission, first round.

Tim Boetsch (7-2-0) vs Michael Patt (15-2-0)
Tim "The Barbarian" Boetsch (look at him and you'll see why) needs to win or he's likely done in the UFC after a loss to Matt Hamill (KO, round 2). Patt is making his UFC debut and has beaten a list of no-names in a series of unknown and failed promotions (Bodog, VFC, ETC).
Boetsch by KO, first round.

Dong Hyun Kim (10-0-1) vs Matt Brown (10-6-0)
Dong Hyun Kim is a star in the making and will impress. There's a huge thread on Sherdog about how bad this beating is going to be. Despite Matt Brown being on TUF, and a nice guy who hung out at BW3's in Columbus during the season to watch the show, in the cage he is a mystery. He looks so good one minute, then his brain is beamed into space and he's a human punching bag for the next several. Then he recovers. And looks great. Apply, lather, rinse, repeat. His fight against Amir Sadollah in the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter showed that, but he was fighting with a very injured shoulder. Regardless ... five of Brown's six losses are via submission, but there's not much for him to fear from Kim in that respect ... Kim has one. Kim likes to stand and throw, which Brown likes as well, but Matt needs to watch out for the slam that Kim used to knock out Hasegawa (who was the champ in a non-title bout) at DEEP 31 (YouTube brings the pain at the 9:40 mark!) and his fast, furious and heavy hands ... look at the beating he delivers AFTER the slam and the diving save the ref makes. That was a statement.
Kim via strikes in the second round.

Jason Lambert (23-8-0) vs Jason MacDonald (21-10-0)
I love MacDonald for exposing Ed Herman, but hate his nickname (The Athlete). And he lost to Kalib Starnes. Jason Lambert, The Punisher, has a much better nickname, but has lost three of his last four fights ... and was punished and knocked out. But he KTFO'd Renato Sobral and Terry Martin, so he has the power to do it against MacDonald. This is a tough one to call, but MacDonald is better at submissions (16 of his wins).
MacDonald, submission, in the second.

Roan Carneiro (12-7-0) vs Ryo "Piranha" Chonan (14-8-0)
I love Ryo Chonan, if for nothing else than for the beating he took from Anderson Silva before submitting him with an AMAZING flying sccissor heel hook at Pride Shockwave 2004. Check it out ... this is beautiful, and from the speed of the tapout and the look on Silva's face, pretty painful, too. Roan Carneiro is at a make or break stage with the UFC. He's 2-2 having lost to Jon Fitch and Kevin Burns, both via submission.
Chonan, with PRIDE, submission, first round.

Check back Monday to see how well I did, or join me Saturday at UFC 88 as I watch from BW3's on Campus View. UFC starts at 10; Music Trivia starts at 8:30.

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