Tomorrow night, the fight I've been waiting for since May 8th finally goes down. Machida takes on Rampage to see who stays at the top of the 205 divivsion and who goes on a two-fight skid, legends BJ Penn and Matt Hughes go at it for a third time to see who walks away the winner of the Saga, and several prospects look to take the next step in their respective divisions.
For the Main Event, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida takes on Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Machida is coming off a nasty, horrible, disgusting, hard-to-look-at KO at the hands of Shogun. Rampage was outwrestled by Rashad in a unanimous decisions. Both are excellent strikers, and this is a guaranteed stand-up affair but I'm gonna say it already. Machida has this one in the bag. Rampage has become a one-dimensional fighter who's only threats are his heavy hands. He can KO pretty much anyone who stands and bangs with him but his style is practically taylor-made for Machida to showcase his skills. Machida's coming off a knock out loss, but it was given to him by a fighter much more diverse in his striking than Rampage. It was Shogun's speed and accuracy, coupled with his ability to cut off Machida with kicks when he was circling, that led to the KO, and aside from maybe accuracy, those are skills that Rampage does not possess. Rampage's only chance of winning is catching Machida with a haymaker, but without the fear of being taken down or even kicked, Machida is just going to be evasive, frustrate Rampage and outpoint him to a decision, with maybe a couple of sweeps when Rampage isn't expecting it. All this is of course coming from a huge Machida fan. We'll see.
For the Co-Main Event, BJ Penn takes on Matt Hughes for the rubber match. BJ Penn is coming off 2 losses to a smaller, faster guy than him. Hughes is on a 3-fight win streak over decorated Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners. The fight is going to come down to whether Hughes can take Penn down and if he can defend Penn's submission attempts once there. Penn has completely dominated both fights with his great take down defense and the advantage in the boxing department, though he gassed at the end of the 2nd round in the 2nd fight, which led to Hughes coming out victorious. Hughes seems to be getting better, but I see it going the same way the first 2 did, with Penn outboxing Hughes while defending the takedown and hopefully this time time he doesn't fade halfway through the fight or finishes it before then.
The rest of the card is stacked. George Sotiropolous takes on Joe Lauzon. Both have a killer ground game, but Sotiropolous' advantage in the stand up wins him this fight. Phil Davis takes on Tim Boetsch. Boetsch is a tough fighter, but Davis is a fast-rising star and Boetsch is just another stepping stone. Davis takes it by complete wrestling domination and possible submission. Miquel Falcao faces Gerald Harris. Harris is supposed to be the next big thing because of his slam KO, but I'm not impressed. He's lost to a welterweight in Amir Sodollah, and with Falcao's 23 of 25 victories coming by way of KO/TKO, I hope he takes it. The card is filled with crazy awesome match ups. Hopefully Machida wins me some money.