Alistair Overeem (34-11) vs Fabricio Werdum (9-4)
This is a fight between the best striker in the heavyweight division (Overeem) and the best grappler in the division (Werdum). These two fought years ago with Werdum coming out on top. But Overeem is a completely different monster now, with 30 lbs of muscle packed on and a K-1 World title on top of his Strikeforce title. Overeem’s striking has been polished to perfection, and I have a hard time believing anyone in his division can stand toe to toe with him. Werdum is coming off of the submission heard ‘round the world with his victory over Fedor, but that was over a year ago and I think some ring rust might rear it’s head. I think Overeem embarrasses Werdum only a little less than he did to Brett Rogers. Prediction: Overeem by 1st round TKO.
Josh Barnett (29-5) vs Brett Rogers (11-2)
Barnett is the favorite coming into this fight and his experience far outweighs Rogers. But Barnett has only two fights in the past two years against less-than-stellar opposition. Rogers is an up-and-comer whose only losses have come at the hands of elite fighters Fedor and Ubereem. If your betting on any fight, I would put money down on this one and on the surprise TKO win for Rogers. Prediction: Rogers by 2nd round TKO.
KJ Noons (9-2) vs Jorge Masvidal (21-6)
Noons is fighting for the first time this year after a busy 2010 had him go 3-1 with his lone loss to the Strikeforce champ Nick Diaz. Masvidal impressed a lot of people by dominating Billy Evangelista, but I don’t think his boxing is near the level of Noons. Neither has knockout power, so expect the winner to be the one with the better combinations. Prediction: Noons by decision.
Daniel Cormier (7-0) vs. Jeff Monson (42-11)
Cormier is an Olympic caliber wrestler, he was on the 2004 and 2008 teams and was the captain in 2008. His MMA career is still young, though, having just started in late 2009 and only seven bouts to his name, three within a month of each other. Monson is the definition of seasoned veteran and the majority of his victories have come via submission. Cormier will probably try to get this to the ground and grind Monson down, but I have a feeling the submissions expert will pull a trick out of his bag on the newbie. Prediction: Monson by 1st round submission.
Valentijn Overeem (29-25) vs. Chad Griggs (10-1)
Valentijn is Ubereem’s less successful brother, with a completely unremarkable record and his last notable wins over Renato Sobral and Randy Couture being over ten years ago. To give him credit where it’s due, that neck crank over Ray Sefo earlier this year was pretty nice. Griggs is a solid fighter with 9 of his wins coming by way of KO or TKO. However, Overeem trains with his brother at Golden Glory, and I have a hard time giving anyone the edge over a Golden Glory boy in the striking department. On the other side of that, Valentijn doesn’t take a punch as well as his brother, and Griggs has heavy hands. Prediction: Griggs by 2nd round KO via muttonchops.