Ultimate Fighter winners Michael (The Count) Bisping and (Sugar) Rashad Evans square off in the lamest main event of the year at "UFC 78: Validation." Who will leave with their unbeaten record intact and will I care?
No. No I won't.
Also, knock out artists (The Assassin) Houston Alexander and Thiago Silva throw down. Only one man will be left standing.
Event card and predictions
As always, I'm joined by Calgary Sun Editor-In-Chief and MMA expert, Jose Rodriguez.
Frank Edgar (7-0-0) vs. Spencer Fisher (20-3-0)
Neil: Fisher is an incredible stand-up fighter and I always enjoy seeing him compete, but this is a terrible match up for him. Edgar is a world-class wrestler with nasty ground-and-pound.
If Fisher can stay standing he just might be able to knock him out, but if he gets put on his back his goose is cooked. I think Edgar will ground-and-pound his way to victory, but Fisher will put up a good fight.
Prediction: Edgar by second round KO/TKO
Jose: Frank Edgar is in for the fight of his life. The new improved Spencer Fisher we saw win a decision over Canadian fave Sam Stout has plenty of tools in his arsenal. He's got good stand-up and he's deadly on the ground. He's known to throw a flying knee or two when the opportunity arises.
Prediction: Fisher by second round KO/TKO.
Ryo Chonan (14-7-0) vs. Karo Parisyan (25-4-0)
Neil: For those who don't know Chonan, he actually holds a submission victory over Anderson Silva back in Pride. Most of his wins, and losses, have come by decision.
Parisyan, on the other hand, is one of the toughest competitors in the welterweight division and pushes a pace few can keep up with. Chonan will have a very hard time controlling the tempo of the fight. Parisyan does have a nasty habit of not finishing, but his matches are always entertaining.
Prediction: Parisyan by decision.
Jose: Ryo Chonan has one distinct claim to fame. He's one of the few men to hold a victory over UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva. Sadly, every other major fighter he's faced since -- Dan Henderson, Paulo Filho and Phil Baroni -- have beaten him.
Saturday will be no different. Parisyan is one of the most exciting fighters in mixed martial arts. He's always good for a highlight reel judo throw. Finishing, however, remains a problem for him. Seven of his eight UFC fights have gone to decision. So will this one.
Prediction: Parisyan gets the judges nod.
Joe Doerksen (39-10-0) vs. Ed Herman (14-4-0)
Neil: I think Ed Herman is finally starting to find his footing in the UFC. After losing his first two fights to Kendall Grove and Jason MacDonald, he came back to score impressive victories over Chris Price and Scott Smith.
Joe Doerksen is a very talented, experienced competitor, but I think Herman's streak will continue.
Prediction: Herman by first round submission.
Jose: I'd love to see Winnipeg's Dirty Joe win on Saturday night, but Herman has too much to prove. On a two fight winning streak after losing two in a row, Herman is eager to prove to his UFC bosses that he can hang with the big boys and string together a consistent win streak.
Journeyman fighter Doerksen will take it to the second but not much further.
Prediction: Herman by second round submission.
Thiago Silva (10-0-0) vs. Houston Alexander (7-1-0)
Neil: Houston Alexander is quickly becoming one of my favourite fighters to watch in the UFC. So far he's knocked out both Alessio Sakara and Keith Jardine in less than two minutes combined.
It can be argued that Silva is his toughest opponent to date, however. A member of Brazil's infamous Chute Box, he is a devastating striker in his own right. What else would you expect from a camp that brought us Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio Rua and Murilo Rua?
Still, I think Alexander will take this one.
Prediction: Alexander by first round KO/TKO.
Jose: Thiago Silva has a perfect 11-0 record going into the cage. Too bad he's going in against the most exciting striker to hit the UFC in a long time.
Houston Alexander has two UFC wins under his belt and has yet to spend a full two minutes in the cage. He's knocked out Keith Jardine and Alessio Sakara, hardly no-names.
Prediction: Alexander by first round KO/TKO.
Michael Bisping (14-0-0) vs. Rashad Evans (15-0-1)
Neil: I admit it, I'm still fuming with Bisping over his "win" against Matt Hamill. He was dominated for two of the three rounds and after the inept judges gave him the nod, he acted as if he destroyed Hamill.
Evans' last performance against Tito Ortiz was disappointing to say the least. Had the Huntington Beach Bad Boy not grabbed the cage, Sugar would have a loss on his record. And the UFC calls this a main event? I really hope the winner doesn't get a shot at Quinton Jackson.
I think Bisping will charge forward like he usually does, but Evans will soon realize he needs to use his wrestling to keep him at bay.
Prediction: Evans by decision.
Jose: I'm still not convinced (Sugar) Rashad Evans is the real deal. Outside of a beautiful knockout kick on poor Sean Salmon, his fight style could be best described as tentative.
And Michael 'The Count' Bisping owes the fans a good outing after his disgraceful performance in the controversial win over Matt Hamill.
Prediction: Bisping by second round KO/TKO.
Since Jose began sharing his predictions a few months ago, I'm beating him two shows to one. Will tonight be his night to square us off?
Check back for the UFC 78 Blow by Blow Sat., Nov. 17 at 10 p.m. EST to find out.
Blow by Blow
Hey everybody; thanks for joining me tonight.
Bisping vs. Evans could be entertaining, but neither guy is even in the top five of UFC light-heavyweights. Just calling this a main event doesn't make it so.
Rumour has it the winner will face Quinton Jackson for the title, which, if true, is a total joke. In my eyes both Forrest Griffin and Keith Jardine are next in line, but even then they should get at least one more big win each.
Hopefully, Wanderlei Silva knocks out Chuck Liddell next month and we can have a third Silva-Jackson fight instead.
It seems they're having audio troubles. Sounds like the Spanish and English commentaries are blending together. Okay, now they're just playing generic rock music. How will I watch this if I can't hear Joe Rogan's expert commentary? How!?
They're back on track now. That was a close call.
Frank (The Answer) Edgar vs. Spencer (The King) Fisher
Edgar takes octagon control. They exchange a bit and Edgar gets a nice slam. He has side control and tries to work in a guillotine choke. Fisher manages to get him into his guard. They stand back up and Edgar takes him down again.
They're back in the guard and Fisher is doing a good job of controlling his posture. Edgar is trying to land some punches, but Fisher is defending well. Edgar passes to half-guard, but loses it.
They stand up and Edgar hits a knee. They're back down again. This is a very defensive match; not quite the action I was expecting.
Edgar stands up and lands some shots. He goes back down with him and hits some more punches. The round expires and that was all Edgar.
Edgar takes him down again and they're back to the guard. Edgar gets side-control, but Fisher gets up. Edgar just keeps taking him down, though. This must be very frustrating for Fisher.
Edgar takes side again, but gets caught in half-guard. Fisher is bleeding a little here, but not enough to stop it.
Edgar almost gets his back, but the round expires.
So guess what happens here? If you said, "Edgar takes him down," you get a gold star. Edgar takes Fisher's back and is trying a choke. Fisher is controlling the arm and they stand up.
Edgar takes Fisher down and presses him against the fence.
They stand up and Edgar ... takes him down. Edgar is trying to take his back, but Fisher locks him in the guard.
This was a very disappointing fight. My hat goes off to Edgar for dominating Fisher, but not much happened here. Jose and I are scoreless.
Joe (El Dirte) Doerksen vs. Ed (Short Fuse) Herman
They exchange jabs and Doerksen presses him against the fence. Herman trips him, but gets caught in the guard. Doerksen stands up and they're back on the fence. The ref separates them and Herman starts landing some punches and knees.
Doerksen is bleeding around the eye. Herman gets him down and lands some shots. Herman takes the mount, but can't keep it. He works some elbows, but the round expires. That was all Herman.
Doerksen tries a kick, but falls down. He recovers just in time to get swept to the ground. Nothing is happening so the ref stands them up.
Doerksen gets his back! He's trying a rear-naked choke, but Herman counters and takes his back! Doerksen is trying a kneebar, but Herman gets up and tries to take the back again. He starts landing some knees and punches, but they go back to the guard. Doerksen gets a triangle armbar, but the round expires! Man, that was close. I thought he was done.
Herman looks wobbly, but he lands a nasty left hook and Doerksen drops like a sack of potatoes! It's over.
Well, Jose and I are still scoreless.
Ryo Chonan vs. Karo (The Heat) Parisyan
Chonan tries a kick, but gets tripped for his trouble. Parisyan is caught in half-guard, but is landing some decent shots.
They stand up and Parisyan gets a takedown. He locks him against the fence and tries some elbows and punches. Chonan gets up, but Parisyan knocks him down and they're back in the guard.
They stand up and Chonan presses him against the fence. The round expires. Parisyan controlled the fight here.
They trade some punches and Chonan presses him against the fence. Chonan tries another kick, but gets taken down again. Parisyan lands a nice jab, but both fighters are somewhat tentative. Chonan tries yet another leg kick and gets taken down.
Parisyan tries a standing kimura. He can't lock it, so he just nails a takedown again. He hits some nice elbows, but the round expires.
Parisyan accidentally hits a low blow, but Chonan isn't too bothered by it. Parisyan trips him and hits a flurry of punches and elbows. Parisyan gets the mount, but Chonan sweeps him, but can't capitalize.
The crowd is booing a bit; both fighters are looking slow now. Parisyan presses him against the fence and hits an elbow. The round expires and Parisyan's won this. Jose and I have one each now.
Thiago Silva vs. (The Assassin) Houston Alexander
Alexander gets a great reaction from the audience. This event desperately needs an explosive fight.
They lock up, but get separated. Alexander is completely stalking him here. I think Alexander just hit a chokeslam! Silva takes him down now and gets mount. This is not looking good for Alexander.
Silva is landing some nasty blows here and Alexander looks like he's having trouble. It's over! Silva just completely exposed his ground game!
Michael (The Count) Bisping vs. (Sugar) Rashad Evans
They trade a little and Evans tries for a takedown. He gets it, but Bisping is back up. It took the audience less than a minute to start chanting "USA!" The technical issues continue as we get a black screen for 20 seconds.
They trade some more, but Evans gets him down. He takes side-control, but Bisping escapes. Evans lands an elbow and takes him down again. The round expires and Bisping looks a little tired.
Evans nails a very nice slam, but gets caught in the guard. He tries to work some shots, but the ref stands them up. Bisping seems to have got his wind back, but he needs to get something going. Evans is looking tired now.
Bisping gets the clinch and gets a nice knee. Evans shoots in and presses him against the cage. Bisping gets a takedown as the time runs out. It looks they have a round a piece.
Evans looks really tired, but he gets another takedown. They're in the guard and Bisping is trying hard to stand up. He gets up and puts Evans on his back! They stand up and Evans trumps a takedown.
Evans hits a nice combination and takes him down again. They stand up and Evans keeps trying for the takedowns. Evans hits another nice combination and takes him down as the round expires.
Evans should win this. We have a split decision for ... Rashad Evans!
Well, this was a disappointing event to say the least. I end at two for five and Jose finishes at one for five.