Originally contributed to Sanchoplata.com
Well, here it is. It is time to make the official predictions for UFC 106. This should be a very fun card to watch with the return of Tito Ortiz against the always exciting Forrest Griffin in the main event. The card also includes the promotional debut of "Lil Nog," former TUF winner Amir Sadollah and a very important fight in the welterweight division between Josh Koscheck and Anthony "Rumble" Johnson. The card starts LIVE on Pay-Per View at 10 P.M. ET.
Main event: Forrest Griffin (16-6) vs. Tito Ortiz (15-6-1)
Forrest Griffin will look to avenge his first loss in the octagon, which many people thought he had won. When the two fighters first met three years ago, Tito Ortiz walked away with his hand held high after a split division victory that was very controversial. Since that fight Forrest has stayed active and has fought consistent competition while Tito has been on the shelf with a serious back injury and he hasn't fought in over a year. I respect Tito Ortiz for coming back and he seems very humbled now with this new opportunity, but Forrest is the much better striker and his grappling skills are incredibly underrated. Tito will definitely have some cage rust and that will prove to be his downfall. You need to be at the top of your game against a guy like Forrest, and Ortiz just isn't there yet. I expect Tito to gas out near the end of the second round and Forrest should be able to capitalize.
Prediction: Forrest Griffin def. Tito Ortiz via submission (3rd-round)
Josh Koscheck (13-4) vs. Anthony Johnson (8-2)
Josh Koscheck is used to overpowering opponents in the welterweight division. He is a very aggressive fighter who has thrown his wrestling on the back burner as he now prefers to stand and bang with his opponents. If he decides to use this strategy against Johnson, who has an edge in power and a huge advantage in reach, Koscheck will be going to sleep quickly. Koscheck needs to take this fight to the ground at all costs. Unfortunately for him, the fight stands on the feet and Johnson will come out quickly. Johnson will use his explosive striking to put Koscheck away early in this fight.
Prediction: Anthony Johnson def. Josh Koscheck via TKO (1st-round)
Amir Sadollah (1-1) vs. Phil Baroni (13-11)
It is obvious that Baroni has the advantage when it comes to experience. What that also means is that Baroni's time has come and passed. Baroni still has a recognizable name and that is being used against him in this case. Baroni has nothing left to offer as evidenced in his last fight. He looks lost and he prefers to display little to no defense. Expect the former TUF winner Sadollah to have an impressive showing after he waited so long for his return to the octagon in August only to have the fight ended on an early stoppage. I expect Sadollah to wear down Baroni and when Baroni realizes he has nothing left on his feet, he will try to take the fight to the ground where Sadollah will use his slick jiu-jitsu to grab his second win in the UFC.
Prediction: Amir Sadollah def. Phil Baroni via submission (2nd-round)
Luis Arthur Cane (10-1) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (17-3)
The twin brother of MMA legend Minotauro Noguiera is making his UFC debut. "Lil Nog" is facing a very worthy and dangerous opponent in Cane in what is a favorite for Fight of the Night. Cane has an advantage on the ground, but if Nogueira can get his hands on Cane and drag him to the mat the fight enters dangerous waters. Noguiera has decent stand-up himself so if the fight stays on the feet he can hold his own, however, Cane has never really shown what he can do on the ground and he could be overwhelmed by the world-class skill of a grappler like Nogueira. In a very entertaining fight, I think Lil Nog will do everything he can to start off his time in the UFC with a W.
Prediction: Minotoro Nogueira def. Luis Cane via unanimous decision
Paulo Thiago (11-1) vs. Jacob Volkmann (9-0)
This fight was originally on the undercard, but after the Karo Parisyan fiasco it was promoted to the televised card. Both of these fighters are incredible jiu-jitsu players, so I would expect a beautiful display of grappling. Of course, they could both try to stay away from each others strengths and turn the fight into a slugfest, but I expect the former. This is a big step up in competition for Volkmann, who is also making his promotional debut. Thiago has gone 1-1 in his last two fights against top welterweights Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck. This experience should really favor Thiago who is looking to rebound from his loss to Fitch. In a grappling clinic, Thiago should stay poised on way to victory.
Prediction: Paulo Thiago def. Jacob Volkmann via unanimous decision
Marcus Davis (16-5) over Ben Saunders (7-1-2)
Kendall Grove (10-6) over Jake Rosholt (6-1)
Brock Larson (26-3) over Brian Foster (9-12)
Caol Uno (25-12-4) over Fabricio Camoes (10-4)
George Sotiropoulos (10-2) over Jason Dent (19-9)