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UFC 96 Predictions

February 25, 2009 |

By: James Denly

After coming off the heels of a very successful event aired for free on Spike, the UFC will host another event in just 10 days with UFC 96 live from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH.  This star-studded card features 10 great bouts including Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Shane Carwin, Gray Maynard vs. Jim Miller, and in the main event, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson takes on Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine.  These are my predictions for all 10 bouts.

Quinton Jackson over Keith Jardine

Jardine maybe a very awkward fighter and be tough for his opponents to figure out, but his chin has been very suspect in the past.  His last three losses inside the octagon have all been by way of knockout.  Rampage is known for being a devastating puncher and has a few knockout wins on his resume.  If Rampage cannot let Jardine’s unique style confuse him and can get close enough to land that solid right hand of his, he should be able to get the knockout.

Gabriel Gonzaga over Shane Carwin

Gabriel Gonzaga suffered a minor setback in his career with back to back losses to Randy Couture and Fabricio Werdum, but has bounced back with back to back wins over Justin McCully and Josh Hendricks.  Shane Carwin is undefeated and a real threat in the Heavyweight division, but he hasn’t fought anyone nearly as talented a Gonzaga.  Gabriel has awesome striking and excellent jiu-jitsu and I think he’s going to be a little too much for Carwin to handle.  I got Gonzaga by submission.

Pete Sell over Matt Brown

Matt Brown is tough opponent for anyone. He’s got good striking, a good ground game, and a ton of heart.  However, Pete Sell has awesome punching power. He trains with Matt Serra, so we know he has a solid submission game and he has shown that in the past.  Sell has definitely fought tougher opponents than Brown has and I believe that that experience factor will come into place.  I’m taking Pete Sell via unanimous decision.

Matt Hamill over Mark Munoz

Matt Hamill is a very explosive fighter.  He’s very big and very strong for a Light Heavyweight.  His wrestling is excellent and his striking is greatly improved.  Munoz is a good wrestler with very good muy-thai skills.  He may be the better striker, but Hamill’s wrestling is far more superior.  Hamill should be able to take Munoz to the ground and finish him from there.  I’m going with Matt Hamill via TKO.

Gray Maynard over Jim Miller

Maynard is going to be the bully in this fight.  He’s going to try to push Jim Miller around and put him bad situations.  Miller has really good cardio and a solid submission game, but Maynard has great wrestling and solid striking.  Either way this one goes it is sure to be full of fireworks.  With that said, I got Gray Maynard winning a split decision.

Tamdan McCrory over Ryan Madigan

Ryan Madigan will be making his UFC debut that night.  Fighters making their first appearance in the UFC often get a case of what Joe Rogan calls the “octagon jitters”.  Fighters are usually so nervous their first time in the cage that they usually don’t perform to the best of their ability.  Ryan Madigan will most likely have the octagon jitters that night and Tamdan McCrory will take advantage of that.  McCrory has been in there enough to feel comfortable and he is very well rounded.  I see McCrory finishing this in the first round with a submission.

Kendall Grove over Jason Day

Both Kendall Grove and Jason Day are explosive fighters.  Both are well rounded and have good conditioning.  However, Kendall is 5 inches taller than Day.  That reach advantage should play a big factor in this fight.  If Grove can keep Day on the outside, then he should be able to pick him apart.  I’m going with Kendall Grove via knockout.

Tim Boetsch over Jason Brilz

Tim Boetsch is a very tough guy.  He has good wrestling and his striking is very solid.  Jason Brilz is also a solid fighter with good wrestling and solid striking.  The only real difference that I see is that Boetsch has a little more experience in the octagon and his striking is tough to handle.  I think it will be a close fight, but I’m going with Tim Boetsch winning a unanimous decision.

Brandon Vera over Michael Patt

Brandon Vera is in serious need of a win.  He has the skill set to be a world champion, but his head hasn’t seemed to be in the right place recently.  I think this is the fight where we will see the old Brandon Vera who finished his opponents in an exciting fashion.  Michael Patt is coming off a tough TKO loss to Tim Boetsch and it will be interesting to see how he bounces back.  I don’t think Patt has much of a chance in this one and I’m going with Brandon Vera via knockout.

Shane Nelson over Aaron Riley

Shane Nelson is a protégé of BJ Penn, so we know that he has a solid ground game.  He is also heavy handed.  Aaron Riley has a ton of experience and a chin made of granite.  However, I think that Nelson is going to be better standing up and better on the ground.  I just don’t see any particular area where Riley is going to be the better of the two.  Shane Nelson should be able to win a unanimous decision in this one.


UFC 96 Predictions

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