Nate Diaz (10-2-0) vs. Clay Guida (24-9-0)
On paper, this fight totally benefits Diaz.
Guida's striking isn't good enough to cause him much trouble in the stand-up exchanges and the chances of Diaz getting submitted are slim to nil.
Guida's best hope is to use his wrestling and earn a decision, but consistently going for takedowns against a BJJ practitioner as dangerous as Diaz is never a good idea.
Diaz may have to chip away at him for a little bit, but eventually he'll catch Guida and make him tap.
Prediction: Diaz by second round submission
Karo Parisyan (18-5-0) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (11-0-1)
The battle of the Judokas.
Following his loss to Thiago Alves, Parisyan revealed he had been diagnosed with panic attacks and was seeking help to control them. He subsequently pulled out of a scheduled bout with Yoshiyuki Yoshida due to injury. Needless to say, he's had a tough go of it lately.
If the aggressive Parisyan of old shows up tonight, this will be an exciting match and he should take a decision. If not, we could be in for a slower performance from 'The Heat. '
My fingers are crossed the former happens.
Prediction: Parisyan by decision
Stephan Bonnar (11-4-0) vs. Jon Jones (7-0-0)
I seriously can't believe this is on the PPV card, while Jon Fitch vs. Akihiro Gono is relegated to the prelims. I suppose the lesson here is: if the UFC slides a mysterious paper under your nose, you sign it. If not, it won't matter that you're a former UFC welterweight title contender.
As for this fight, Jones will most likely come out aggressive, but run into trouble with Bonnar's superior hands. He'll then probably attempt an ill-advised takedown. Bonnar will stuff it and submit him.
Prediction: Bonnar by first round submission
Lyoto Machida (13-0-0) vs. Thiago Silva (13-0-0)
Since Quinton Jackson is going to be busy with Keith Jardine at UFC 96, it looks like the winner here could earn a shot against Rashad Evans. For Silva, it may be a bit early for him to be fighting for the championship, but for Machida, it's long overdue.
Though his style isn't the most aggressive out there, Machida has beaten everyone the UFC has put in front of him. Tonight, expect him to keep the ball rolling.
Machida will take another decision and then receive a chorus of boos from the beer-swilling tools who think MMA is supposed to be Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots with humans.
Prediction: Machida by decision
Georges St-Pierre (17-2-0) vs. BJ Penn (13-4-1)
This has to be the most difficult prediction I've ever made. As a fan of both guys, I have no desire to see either lose here.
St-Pierre fans will argue that Penn has no chance. However, they seem to forget UFC 58, where Penn beat him in the stand-up exchanges and bloodied the French Canadian's face in the first round.
St-Pierre only received the judges' nod due to repeated takedowns against a gassed Penn. He did no significant damage in the fight. In fact, you could almost say he looked like someone who was concerned with survival more than finishing his opponent.
Penn fans will be quick to bring up the previous points, noting that this time 'The Prodigy' is taking his training seriously. He may be in the best shape of his life, but going 25 minutes with an athlete the caliber of St-Pierre is a whole different animal all together.
It's a total toss up, but this much can be said: if the fight ends early, it will most likely be Penn finishing St-Pierre. He is the superior striker and BJJ practitioner.
However, St-Pierre has the better overall MMA game and the longer it goes, the more it benefits the welterweight champion.
Prediction: I'll take the conservative approach -- St-Pierre by decision