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(My picks are based off of lines from BetUS.com. It's the site I use for all of my online betting. For the latest UFC Odds and other random stuff, head on over and check it out. Don't forget to mention RearNakedNews when you sign up.)
Brandon Vera vs Michael Patt
Vera Wins by TKO and Goldberg makes a ridiculous statement along the lines of, "Look out Light Heavyweights! Brandon Vera is back!"
Gray Maynard vs Jim Miller
As always, I need to start by stating my love of Jim Miller. You should probably disregard everything I say about this fight, because unless Miller is facing BJ Penn, Kenny Florian, Sean Sherk, or Shinya Aoki, I'm picking him without giving it much thought. Anyways, Miller is gonna submit Maynard. I expect to see a typical Maynard gameplan, which involves lots of laying and praying. He will get Miller down and probably steal a round, but his strategy will come back to haunt him when he goes in haphazardly for a takedown and gets stuck in a guillotine. Miller Wins by 2nd Round Submission (Guillotine).
Matt Hamill vs Mark Munoz
Hamill doesn't have much trouble when he doesn't fear standing strikes. He loosens up and lets his hands go. Does Munoz have anything to make Hamill cautious? From the limited footage I've seen, he doesn't. Hamill should be able to trade with him and not worry too much about getting rocked. When he does that, he's a good fighter. This one will either be an exciting stand-up battle or fifteen minutes of hugging near the cage. Either way, I think Hamill Wins by Unanimous Decision.
Matt Brown vs Pete Sell
Brown has not impressed me since his stint on TUF. He's fun to watch, but that's about it. Sell should be able to submit Brown, as long as he doesn't get popped before the fight goes to the ground. Brown does have better chest hair, though. It's a toss-up between Sell's jiu-jitsu and Brown's chest hair. I'm going with Sell by 2nd Round Submission (Rear Naked Choke).
Gabriel Gonzaga vs Shane Carwin
I believe Carwin's legend has grown much larger than his skills. His knockouts are hiding the fact he's still very inexperienced. This fight reminds me of when Ogre faces Chong Li in Bloodsport. You have a relatively inexperienced fighter going up against a lifelong martial artist. While I don't think Carwin will get slaughtered in the cage like Ogre, I do feel like he's overmatched. He's only chance is a quick knockout and I don't like backing fighters with limited options. I'd rather take the proven commodity who happens to be a nasty black belt and built like a gorilla. Gonzaga Wins by 1st Round Submission (Arm Bar).
Quinton Jackson vs Keith Jardine
The public has really bought into Rampage's rebirth. He's so charming, it makes it difficult not to like the guy. In a world of boring athletes who say what they think people wanna hear, Rampage speaks his mind, even if it's often a little crazy. I think that has something to do with his -350 line, which is pretty high. We barely saw a glimpse of Rampage 2.0 at UFC 92 before the fight was over, albeit in spectacular fashion. Physically he did (and does) look in great shape. He seems to be in a better place mentally since his move to Wolfslair. The real test for his new and improved self will be when he has to dig deep in a fight. If Jardine can get through the first five minutes, this fight could get interesting.
I just don't see it happening. The one component Jardine lacks is power. He catches guys off-guard with strikes, but he doesn't have true Light Heavyweight power behind his punches. Rampage should be able to stand in close and deliver his hooks without fear of getting tagged. Get ready to see and hear Rampage howling within three minutes of the opening bell. Jackson Wins by 1st Round TKO.