UFC 140 predictions

Jon Jones champion against Lyoto Machida  at the UFC presser Thursday December 8, 2011. (CRAIG...

Jon Jones champion against Lyoto Machida at the UFC presser Thursday December 8, 2011. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency MMA panel

, Last Updated: 6:22 PM ET

Our four-man panel of MMA experts ó Neil Springer, Dave Hilson, Jose Rodriguez and Chris (The Douce) Doucette ó predict the winners of UFC 140:

NEIL SPRINGER PREDICTS:

JONES VS. MACHIDA

Itís impossible to pick against Jones here. Machidaís elusive style is well documented, but he often sticks to the outside, which only favours Jones. It will be an interesting technical battle, but Jones will break him down.

* Jon Jones via fourth-round TKO.

MIR VS. BIG NOG

Rodrigo Nogueira may be healthier, but Mir is still a bad style match-up for him. Hopefully it will play out on the ground this time around, but if it stays standing, Mir will put on a repeat.

* Frank Mir via second-round TKO.

ORTIZ VS. LíIL NOG

Rogerio Nogueira has struggled with wrestlers in his last three fights, but heís shown defensive improvement. This will be the fight where he puts it all together and dictates the pace. Expect him to pick Ortiz apart in the striking exchanges.

* Antonio Rogerio Nogueira via decision.

PATRICK VS. EBERSOLE

Tough fight to call. As a late replacement, whose flown under the radar, Patrick has the tools to pull off the upset. But Ebersole has been around the game too long to underestimate an opponent. Plus, heís just downright crafty.

* Brian Ebersole via decision.

HOMINICK VS. JUNG

Chan Sung Jung showed remarkable restraint in his rematch with Leonard Garcia, opting for a more technical striking approach over brawling. But as clean and crisp as he wants to be, he canít go punch-for-punch with Hominick.

* Mark Hominick via first-round TKO.

DAVE HILSON PREDICTS:

JONES VS. MACHIDA

As much as I like Machida as a fighter, itís almost impossible to pick him over Jones. The light-heavyweight champ is just too long for Machida to handle. Expect this bout to be very technical with Jones eventually going on the attack and wearing down his smaller opponent.

* Jon Jones via fourth-round TKO.

MIR VS. BIG NOG

This one should be great. A slugfest grudge match. Mir still hasnít gotten over Nogueira saying he wasnít healthy the last time they fought and the American is out to prove that his victory wasnít a fluke. He should be able to do that.

* Frank Mir via second-round TKO.

ORTIZ VS. LíIL NOG

Ortiz says he hasnít felt this healthy in a long time and Nogueira has struggled against wrestlers of late. If the fight gets to the floor it will favour Ortiz. But the Brazilian still has the defensive skills to keep this fight standing, and he should come out on top of any striking exchanges.

* Antonio Rogerio Nogueira via decision.

PATRICK VS. EBERSOLE

Probably the toughest fight on the main card to call. Patrick has the skill-set to upset Ebersole, especially if he can keep the fight on the mat, but Ebersole is one of the most experienced fighters in the UFC and that should play out in his favour.

* Brian Ebersole via decision.

HOMINICK VS. JUNG

Both these guys like to slug it out, but thereís no way The Korean Zombie can go toe-to-toe with the Canadian. This time Hominick walks away from Toronto with a victory.

* Mark Hominick via second-round TKO.

JOSE RODRIGUEZ PREDICTS:

JONES VS. MACHIDA

A battle of unpredictable fighters but the young champ may have more creative ways to finish this fight than the Karate Kid. Look for a calculated stand-up battle with Jones inflicting the most damage.

* Jones by third round TKO.

MIR VS. BIG NOG

Two submission heavyweights whose stand-up games have improved dramatically. Nogueira is looking to avenge his loss to Mir at UFC 92. He has added motivation and is coming off a dramatic KO victory over Brendan Schaub.

* Nogueira by second round TKO.

ORTIZ VS. LíIL NOG

If you go by common opponents, Nogueira lost a decision to Ryan Bader and Ortiz shocked the world by submitting Bader in the first round. Like him or hate him, there have been shades of the champ he used to be in Ortiz. Nogueira, on the other hand, has looked more like a journeyman.

* Ortiz by decision.

PATRICK VS. EBERSOLE

Mississaugaís Claude Patrick has yet to lose after three fights in the UFC. But the unorthodox (read: zany) Ebersole may be his toughest test. The colourful Ebersole has wins over Chris Lytle and Dennis Hallman.

* The hometown crowd will carry him to the win. Patrick by decision.

HOMINICK VS. JUNG

This one has fight of the night written all over it. Neither of these guys has an off-switch. The spastic Hominick should earn the nod in the end. Thereís no way the London, Ont. native is losing two UFC fights in his own backyard.

* Hominick by decision.

THE DOUCE PREDICTS:

JONES VS MACHIDA

Jon Jones has been dominating the light heavyweight division, but Lyoto Machidaís karate could be the champís biggest challenge yet. The Dragon will have to somehow get by the longest arms in the UFC, something nobody has been able to do. Bones will likely stand back and pick Machida apart.

* Jones by TKO.

MIR VS. BIG NOG

Frank Mir and Minotauro Nogeuira have waited three years for this rematch. Mir is eager to prove his 2008 win over Big Nog was deserved and Nogeuira, who is coming off a huge win at home in Brazil, is anxious to redeem himself. This should a great heavyweight brawl, but Big Nogís experience may be the difference.

* Nogeuira by decision.

ORTIZ VS. LíIL NOG

Tito Ortiz and Antonio Rogerio Nogeuira are coming off losses and anxious for a win, but the Peopleís Champ looks hungrier. Ortiz is finally healthy and fighting in his third fight in six months. The former light heavyweight champís legendary ground and pound skills should give him the edge over Little Nog.

* Ortiz by TKO.

PATRICK VS. EBERSOLE

Claude Patrick and Brian Ebersole are both undefeated in three UFC appearances and both want to move up the welterweight ladder. Ebersoleís stand-up game and unorthodox style will be difficult for the Prince to overcome. My head says the Bad Boy takes this but my heart says Patrick will rise to the challenge in front of a hometown crowd as he did at UFC 129.

* Patrick by submission.

HOMINICK VS. JUNG

Despite losing to the featherweight champ at UFC 129, Mark Hominick has huge momentum going into his fight with Chan Sung Jung. The Machine is an amazing striker and the Korean Zombie can take a punch, so this one should be fast and furious. With the hometown crowd on his side and a huge heart in his chest, Hominick should win.

* Hominick by KO.


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