Here we go UFC 92 is finally here. Its a Pride FC inspired card with 3 former stars of the defunct organization co-headlining the event. UFC 92 is also a tribute to the success of the Ultimate Fighter reality TV show with season one and season two winners battling it out for the light heavyweight belt. Its by far the deepest card the UFC has put together this year. Before we start here are the latest UFC 92 lines.
Betting Lines from Bookmaker
Forrest Griffin -125 vs. Rashad Evans +105
Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira -325 vs. Frank Mir +250
Quinton Jackson +110 vs. Wanderlei Silva -115
Dean Lister +275 vs. Yushin Okami -350
Cheick Kongo -350 vs. Mustapha Al-Turk +275
Brad Blackburn +185 vs. Ryo Chonan -225
CB Dollaway -150 vs. Mike Massenzio +120
Matt Hamill -500 vs. Reese Andy +300
Dan Evensen +175 vs. Pat Barry -215
Antoni Hardonk -500 vs. Mike Wessel +300
A reminder for those looking to bet this stacked card. Sign up with the guys at Bookmaker.com my recommended MMA and UFC sportsbook. They have full lines up for UFC 92. If you're in Vegas the Venetian Resort casino also has full odds up. Now on to my complete picks and predictions.
Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans
Griffin has been given a lot of credit for his wins over Rampage Jackson and Shogun Rua. Perhaps a little to much credit. Even with those wins I don’t think Griffin is in the same league as the two aforementioned fighters. I don’t get me wrong Griffin is a great fighter whoever he has overachieved in the UFC given his skill and talent level. It wasn’t too long ago that Griffin lost via quick knock out to fellow TUF alumni Keith Jardine. Last year he struggled to finish Hector Ramirez in an uninspiring battle in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was on back of that victory that the TUF 1 winner received a shot against the then number one light heavyweight fighter in the world Mauricio Shogun Rua. The rest as they is MMA history.
Rashad Evans received a totally different reception from both the UFC and MMA community to that of Forrest Griffin. His style was and for the most part still is pretty one dimensional. On top of it all he was accused of poor sportsman ship when at times he showboated. Non the less he remained unbeaten throughout the first two years of his UFC career without raising a lot of fan fare. Though the odds makers see it as an extremely close bout I cant envision anything other than an easy decision victory for Rashad. The bout is almost guaranteed to go the distance. I predict a five round domination by Evans.
Quinton Rampage Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva
This is bout I’m looking forward to the post. These guys know each others game inside and out. Both poses knockout power while at the same time are very proficient on the ground.
Rampage is coming of a tumultuous time in his career and personal life. Not only did he loose the UFC belt, he came close to loosing his life and was lucky not to end up serving time for his hit and run incident. He makes his UFC return against arch nemesis Wanderlei Silva.
Silva holds a tremendous physiologically over the former UFC champion. Silva ground game is sold however mainly limited to stalling and avoiding damage when on the bottom. He still holds the slight advantage on his feet however Rampage has improved leaps and bounds in that department. Still if Silva can keep it on the feet, he should be good enough to ride out a close decision.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir
In the co-main event current interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira "Big Nog" will face comeback kid and former UFC champion Frank Mir. Both fighters have are coming off vital victories and are somewhat unlucky not to receive a title shot against Couture. Non the less the winner will face current champion Brock Lesnar.
Its strength vs. strength in his title shot eliminator. Both men poses some of the best BJJ in MMA. The general consensus is that Big Nog has the slight advantage on the ground. There is no doubt that the former Pride star has a clear advantage standing and clear advantage in conditioning. There are not many ways Mir can win this fight. Nog is deserving favorite and should control proceedings from start to finish. A round three TKO is my prediction.
While this may be a somewhat interesting match-up for the heavyweight division for me the main event at Affliction featuring Fedor vs. Arlovski is still the bigger match-up.