Over the years it's been questionable as to how either of these fighter would preform after layoffs or injuries, but I'm just going to assume that tomorrow night the best of both are going to show up. If that holds true it should make for a hell of a fight. H-bomb vs the onslaught - iron chin vs illusive attack. There are two big factors in this fight in my eyes, it's five rounds and Hendo apparently can't be knocked out. Now never say never when Shogun is coming at you, but if it comes down to who can take more abuse, Rua has wilted under pressure more than Dan. If Rua doesn't hurt Dan and get control of the fight early, Henderson will make it very rough to survive. Rua tends to fade in later rounds and with a list of GnP TKO's longer than his...it's not hard to imagine Rua looking like Fedor in his last bout with Hendo. Now if Rua comes in attacks Dan's legs early then attacks with fast illusive flurries he may be the first to break the granite chin of Dan. I don't see either looking at subs, but I do see some potential for a 5 round decision, but of course the most likely outcome will be a TKO and Dan has the edge there.
My pick: Dan Henderson.
Wanderlei Silva (+115) vs. Cung Le (-145)
Oh Wandi, we love you but you're becoming the next Chuck Liddell, I don't want to see you get hurt. I know these guys are warriors and want to go out on their sword, but Dana White is right to worry. I will say this is the biggest name that Cung Le has ever faced and the level of aggression and experience that someone like Silva brings to the cage always presents a real danger. However, When you match up Le's arsenal of kicks, Thai boxing, and takedowns, against Wandi's generally straight forward Axe Murdering style, Le has more weapons and a better defensive game as well. Cung has great throws from the clinch, and almost never follows his opponent to the ground. He prefers to throw them down and let them get back up in frustration. This frustration leads overly aggressive attacks that are met with mule like spinning back kicks and a right hand that's very accurate. If Lee had been in the UFC for a year or two his odds would be -300 in this fight. I think this fight will be an eye opener for the rest of the division.
My pick: Cung Le. Great odds on Le, he's not well know by squares and it's his first UFC fight.
Urijah Faber (-250) vs. Brian Bowles (+195)
Urijah is probably the most famous fight this division will ever produce, but it doesn't mean he's the best. Faber is 4-4 in last eight fights while Bowles has only lost once, was the division champ last year, and has great success against wrestlers. Perhaps Faber's experience and speed should make him a slight favorite, but 2 to 1 is ludicrous. Brian has enough speed to get control of this fight and avoid Faber's grappling, and when it's on the feet, Bowles can knock anyone out...Period. I don't want to make excuses for anyone, but he did have a broken hand and rib in his last fight, otherwise I think this would be a title fight.
My pick: Brian Bowles. Again the odds are great on Bowles, the public loves Faber, but this is a basically even fight, so you have to take the odds.
Martin Kampmann (+115) vs. Rick Story (-145)
This is a very close fight that could go many different ways, and almost no outcome is unfathomable. Because of the unpredictable nature of this match-up it's not the strongest betting opportunity. Over all I think Kampmann has learned his lesson in how to deal with wrestlers and has a great standup arsenal that chops opponents down like trees. While Story on the other hand is looking for physical direct pressure until an opening is presented, it's a very deflating process for his opponents. It's the style that has beaten Kampmann and tomorrow night we'll all find out if Martin's learned his lesson or who know maybe Story will look to keep it on the feet trying to prove his last fight was a fluke. Either way it comes down to will and sticking with a good game plan, which means it's a coin toss for me. I really like Kampmann's attitude and style so I'll put a very small bet on his side.
My pick: Kampmann.
Kyle Kingsbury (-150) vs. Stephan Bonnar (+120)
How can you not like a fighter like Bonnar. He had a couple of tough losses in 2009, but came back strong in 2010 and looked like the American Psycho of old. He's a very well round and big 205'r with a great gas tank, and I think that last item will be the difference in this fight. Kingsbury might be a little faster and a little stronger, but his heavily muscled physique causes him to fade after round one and you can't fade against someone with the experience and tenacity of Bonnar. Stephan might be the only one who thinks he could ever find his way to a title shot, but that belief will be enough motivation for him to push aside young guns like Kyle.
My pick: Stephan Bonnar
Miguel Torres (-340) over Nick Pace (+260)
Far too big of a step up in competition for Pace, unless of course he proves us all wrong. Torres should pick him apart.
You Wanna Make a Bet.......