UFC 101 predictions

At UFC 101, Forrest Griffin (left) will face his toughest opponent to date in middleweight champion...

At UFC 101, Forrest Griffin (left) will face his toughest opponent to date in middleweight champion Anderson Silva. (UFC photo)

NEIL SPRINGER -- SLAM! Sports

, Last Updated: 2:01 PM ET

Josh Neer (25-7-1) vs. Kurt Pellegrino (13-4-0)

Neer will no doubt look to keep this fight standing, while Pellegrino will do everything in his power to get it to the ground.

Though Neer's no slouch on the mat, he's been submitted before. Still, Pellegrino's superior wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu abilities will cause Neer trouble if he finds himself on his back early.

Pellegrino has never been knocked out before, but Neer will definitely test his chin tonight.

Tough call, but I see Neer controlling the tempo and landing his shots.

Prediction: Neer by decision.

Kendall Grove (10-5-0) vs. Ricardo Almeida (10-3-0)

Almeida needs to get this to the mat early, which will give himself time to work. However, to do this, he's got to get close to a striker who is six inches taller.

Also, simply putting Grove on his back won't guarantee a win as he has a very solid ground game. Even attempting to pass his guard could prove tricky.

If Grove can keep his distance and use his reach advantage to frustrate his opponent, he can take this. But I think Almeida will stay in close long enough to take Grove down and control him.

Prediction: Almeida by decision.

Amir Sadollah (1-0-0) vs. Johny Hendricks (5-0-0)

Like a lot of people, I have been waiting to see how Sadollah will fair in the UFC welterweight division following his win on The Ultimate Fighter.

Sadollah's post-TUF debut has taken a lot longer than expected -- he withdrew from UFC 91 due to a leg infection and a broken clavicle forced him from the Ultimate Fight Night 17 card.

He'll have his work cut out for him tonight, though. Hendricks is a four-time All-American wrestler with a good stand-up game.

Sadollah will have a tough time getting Hendricks down or knocking him out from his feet. His best shot is to grab a submission from his back.

This will be easier said than done. Expect Hendricks to bully him around.

Prediction: Hendricks by first-round KO/TKO.

Anderson Silva (24-4-0) vs. Forrest Griffin (16-5-0)

Following two lacklustre performances, it will be interesting to see if Silva comes out aggressively. If he hangs back too much, Griffin will stay at a distance and try to deliver kicks to his legs and body all night.

But since both fighters are good counter-strikers, neither may charge out with guns blazing.

It may be a crapshoot on how Silva will perform, but regardless of how it plays out, Griffin won't have the solution to his attack.

Prediction: Silva by second-round KO/TKO.

B.J. Penn (13-5-1) vs. Kenny Florian (11-3-0)

It seems that a lot of fans are forgetting just how dangerous and skilled a fighter Penn is. His BJJ and boxing skills are still some of the best in MMA.

Sure, he was dominated by Georges St. Pierre, but losing to arguably the top fighter in the world is hardly a justifiable reason to write him off. The subsequent 'greasegate' controversy also didn't do his image any favours, but Penn is still the king of the lightweight division.

He's one of the most decorated Americans in BJJ and Sean Sherk once told me that Penn hits harder than anyone he's ever fought -- and that includes St. Pierre.

Florian is a tough competitor and will provide a good fight regardless of where the match takes place, but at the end of the day, I see him being outclassed by a fired-up Penn.

I'm a fan of both fighters, though, and either guy has what it takes to hold the title.

Prediction: Penn by third-round KO/TKO.

Live coverage of UFC 101 begins Sat., Aug. 6 at 10 p.m. EST.


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