You’d think that on a CBS card, Fedor would be in the main event and Dan Henderson would be the co-main eventer. But that is not the case. I’m not sure what the original plans were, but we’ll see what Dan Henderson’s name means 10 months after UFC 100 without the UFC name backing him. He faces Jake Shields for Shields’ title. The ratings are all going to be on this fight as none of the other four fighters are names enough to help the rating.
The FGB crew predict the top three fights. I’ll add Stevie J’s picks at the bottom. He didn’t have the time to go into depth, but did send me who he thinks wins.
Shinya Aoki vs. Gilbert Melendez
Duan: Aoki by 1st round submission
Alan: Melendez by 2nd round TKO
Cactus Jim: Aoki by 3rd round submission
GG: Melendez by decision
I have said it many times, I believe Aoki is the most innovative and effective submission specialist in all of MMA. What he lacks in physical toughness, he makes up for with sheer natural talent. This guy is an incredible performer. Once he latches on there is no way out. It’s tap or snap for Melendez.
Really looking forward to this. I was thinking it could have potential to be a boring fight, but then when I thought about it I realised that Gil is such a livewire that no matter what he won’t let it be boring. He’s a die on the shield kinda guy. I think in Japan, Aoki wins this. However in America, Gilbert takes it due to various (dodgy) aspects of Japanese MMA not being present.
Cactus Jim says:
Tough call on this one. Gil is a machine and has a great chance of catching Aoki on the feet, but I think Aoki is able to make something happen on the ground. Or maybe we’ll see a sick ass flying armbar. We can always hope.
Many times, when Japanese fighters, or those who fight overseas and come to the US, it takes one or two fights to completely feel comfortable enough with the US scene. Aoki can end this at any time, but I think that he’s going to have to adapt and he may be off his game a bit. Melendez is a bulldog and he will push the pace. I think he takes three rounds and wins a decision.
King Mo vs. Gegard Mousasi
Duan: Mousasi by 2nd round submission
Alan: Mousasi by 1st round submission or TKO
Cactus Jim: Mousasi by 2nd round TKO
GG: Mousasi by 1st round submission
Mo just hasn’t been in there with anything like the same level of competition as Mousasi. Like Alan, I do believe that Mo can dictate where the fight takes place. I just don’t believe he can win wherever that may be. Gegard has submitted and knocked guys out (ask Jacare) from his back. This is a championship fight; there’s no way Mo can stay out of trouble for five rounds.
I actually think Mo will get him on the ground. However he’ll over-commit to something once down there and Mousasi is good enough and clever enough to make him pay. I can see him either sweeping Mo and G&Ping him until the ref stops it, or catching him in an armbar from the bottom. No matter what the scenario, it happens near the end of the 1st.
Cactus Jim says:
Mo is in over his head. Mousasi takes it off in the 2nd.
I don’t believe they’re throwing Mo into the wolves so early. I just hope he can still come back because he’s got a great look, has tons of charisma and just needs more time. Mousasi is just way too good at this point and I think he stops the fight early.
Dan Henderson vs. Jake Shields
Duan: Henderson by decision (split)
Alan: Henderson by 1st round TKO
Cactus Jim: Henderson by 3rd round TKO
GG: Shields by decision
Common sense would suggest an easy nights work for Henderson. I don’t believe that Shields can last with him on the feet. Hendo is the better wrestler, he’s stronger in the clinch, and his submission defense is good enough that he shouldn’t get tapped from a dominant position.
I still remain somewhat hesitant on making this call; it’s possibly because I have underestimated Shields countless times in the past. I think it’s going to be close, and I will say Dan takes an unconvincing and controversial decision.
I am really struggling to envision any result other than Henderson by KO in the first round. The only way he loses this is by being really REALLY stupid. Dan Henderson is not stupid, he may be thick headed from time to time, but he’s NOT stupid.
How does Jake take him down? I don’t know.
How does Jake stand with him and not get KO’d by the big right? I don’t know.
Fight goes as expected.
Cactus Jim says:
Hendo should be able to minimize, although not stop, the takedowns. On the feet I think he has the edge and will catch Shields before Jake is able to catch him.
I’ve been backing Shields since talking to people around the Bay Area who told me that he was severely underrated and also that he’s much stronger than people know. People were looking at me funny when I said he’d beat Robbie Lawler. They’re probably laughing at me now. Shields is younger and there’s something about being the champion and being a huge underdog. I think he’s ready to shock a lot of people. I don’t see how Dan Henderson gets stopped, so I expect this one to be a little dull and boring. I think Shields takes the decision.
Stevie J from Angry Marks texted me his pics tonight.
Gilbert Melendez over Shinya Aoki by decision
Gegard Mousasi over King Mo by 2nd round TKO
Dan Henderson over Jake Shields by 1st round TKO
As you can tell, other than the Mousasi/Mo fight, we’re not in agreement all the way through. That means it should be a fun night.