Here are my predictions for the five fights that are scheduled to be on the PPV show.
Tyson Griffin over Marcus Aurelio by decision.
Josh Koscheck over Chris Lytle by decision. (If Koscheck lets his hands go, this could be the sleeper fight of the night. If not, might be the worst fight of the night.)
Joe Stevenson over Gleison Tibau by third round submission.
Ricardo Almeida over Patrick Cote by second round submission via guillotine.
Rampage Jackson over Forrest Griffin by third round TKO.
By the way, I suck at predictions, so take that for what it’s worth.
1. Tyson Griffin vs. Marcus Aurelio
The first minute was slow and the crowd booed them, but no one wanted to get going first. Aurelio went to his back and Griffin made him pay with some good shots. On the feet, Griffin is also winning with low kicks and high strikes.
Aurelio finally was able to get in a clinch with Griffin about a minute and a half into the round. Griffin got the take down, but Aurelio also got one and maneuvered himself to where he had a chance at his back. Griffin was back on top and though Aurelio had a chance at a couple submissions, Griffin was too strong on top. Both guys look strong going into round three, but Aurelio has swelling around both eyes.
Griffin kept the third round standing until a big take down with about one minute thirty seconds left in the round. He was fainting punches and throwing kicks and doing the opposite of that as well. Aurelio was trying for submissions on the bottom, but Griffin avoided them all. Has to be Griffin by decision.
Winner: Tyson Griffin by unanimous decision
2. Josh Koscheck vs. Chris Lytle
The first two minutes of the fight consisted of Lytle throwing punches and Koscheck dancing in and out. Nothing connected. Koscheck shot in and Lytle turned it into a guillotine, but he didn’t have all of it. Koscheck ended up on top and it was hump city. I’m kidding. Koscheck couldn’t get out of Lytle’s guard, but Koscheck was throwing some strong punches from the top, including the dreaded hammer fist. Koscheck’s round.
The second round was much like the end of the first. Koscheck went for the take down, got stuck in a guillotine, got out of it and ended on top, beating up Lytle from the half guard and giving him a crimson mask. Most of the round consisted of Koscheck pounding the bloodied Lytle with elbows. They’re going to have to clean up the mat. Rogan called Lytle’s wound similar to a “goat’s vagina”. Did he grow up on a farm? 2-0 Koscheck.
Lytle tried for a kimura and guillotine again, but Koscheck ended up on top pounding Lytle like the last round. Referee Yves Lavigne put them back in the middle and Lytle looked like a dead man walking. Koscheck tried to stay away from him, which looked like a horror film. You have the bloody and dizzy Lytle stalking Koscheck. And Koscheck was walking backwards. Lytle did get some good shots in but he couldn’t get his footing and kept slipping. It was near comedic at the end.
Winner: Josh Koscheck by unanimous decision
3. Joe Stevenson vs. Gleison Tibau
Tibau might be the biggest lightweight I’ve seen. He’s bigger than Tyson Griffin. The story of the first round was that Tibau sunk in an omoplata for the last 2 minutes of the round. It looked ugly, but Stevenson acted like he wasn’t in any trouble, even as his arm was contorted in a way that the arm wasn’t supposed to be.
Stevenson is still throwing the right hand but he’s holding it really closely to his body as if he’s babying it. Tibau went for the take down and Stevenson sunk in a guillotine and Tibau tapped out. That was quick.
Winner: Joe Stevenson by 2nd round submission
4. Patrick Cote vs. Ricardo Almeida
Almeida jumped on Cote and tried to sink in the guillotine right off the bat. And that was the most exciting part of the round. Almeida ended up on top of Cote for most of the round.
This is the most boring fight so far. Cote wants to throw. Almeida wants to grab onto him. Wash, rinse, repeat. Almeida wants to be on his back and Cote wants nothing to do with him there.
I’m not sure this fight helps either guy, no matter who wins. Terrible fight. I’m not sure what either guy did that round that’s even worth writing down.
Winner: Patrick Cote by split decision
5. Forrest Griffin vs. Rampage Jackson
Forrest was the most active, moving from side to side and in and out. He scored mostly with leg kicks. But Rampage scored the hardest blows. He buckled Forrest once and then put him down a second time. Forrest battled back near the end, but he definitely took the hardest blows. He’s lunging and is ripe for the uppercut.
The second round was a complete dominance by Griffin. He buckled Rampage with a leg kick and then got him in the clinch and finally got him down. He went for the kimura a couple times and then ended up in the full mount, but Rampage held on and defended well.
Great third round. Forrest was scoring with the leg kicks, but Rampage was throwing huge combinations landing uppercuts, left hooks, and a right to his ribs. Rampage wins the round, but Forrest is chopping down the oak tree with the leg kicks.
Rampage was again getting the better of the stand-up and Griffin tried to take him down. Rampage ended up on top and Griffin secured a triangle. Rampage picked him up and dropped him down, causing him to lose the triangle. This is a war.
(As far as the scoring is concerned, the 4th is vital. I’m not sure how the judges scored it. Griffin had the triangle on, but Rampage got the better of the stand-up. Tough one to call. By the way, I have Rampage winning rounds one and three, with Forrest winning round two. Is round two a 10-8 though?)
Championship round time. Griffin just outboxinged Rampage. He was in and out and beat Rampage to the punch. The last 30 seconds was a slugfest with both guys getting in big shots. Griffin probably did enough to win the round. However the 4th round was scored is probably going to determine the fight. Just a great fight.
Winner: Forrest Griffin by way of unanimous decision.
The scores were 49-46, 48-46 and 48-46. If I’m Rampage, I’m pissed. I had him either ahead by one round or the fight as a draw.