Mirko Cro Cop vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
Gonzaga is a world-class BJJ specialist. He recently won the Mundials, which is considered to be the top BJJ competition in the world, so he presents plenty of opposition for Mirko should this fight go to the ground. The main issue for Gonzaga in facing Cro Cop is that, should Mirko succeed in keeping the fight standing, Gonzaga will be facing a man who many believe is the best striker in the world. This fight should present more of a test for Cro Cop than his last fight with Eddie Sanchez did, but it will still end via knockout.
Winner: Mirko Cro Cop
David Heath vs. Lyoto Machida
Machida is an undefeated up-and-comer who can count a victory over Rich Franklin as one of his career highlights. He also came THISCLOSE to beating B.J. Penn, despite the fact that Penn was fighting two full weight classes above Machida during the bout. To me, this fight seems like one of those times where Dana White feeds a scrub to a shooting star in order to get the young guy a bit more exposure and heat. He’s not above doing it, as we’ve seen recently with Cro Cop/Sanchez, and since the original scheduled fight with Forrest Griffin isn’t happening here, it seems like this is just a fight to give Machida more of a highlight reel.
Winner: Lyoto Machida
Michael Bisping vs. Elvis Sinosic
See my notes on the Machida/Heath fight above. Bisping is going to absolutely murder poor Elvis, who is just about as close to a wrestling jobber as you’ll find in UFC. The hometown boy had to be on the card, and this fight is simply to showcase him and nothing more.
Winner: Michael Bisping
Fabricio Werdum vs. Andrei Arlovski
Werdum is a PRIDE heavyweight who only has two losses on his record, both to top-tier fighters. He’s beaten some of the biggest names in the sport, including Gabriel Gonzaga. A lot of people are picking Arlovski, but I’m going in a different direction. Werdum is going to shock a lot of people and instantly cement himself as a contender for the heavyweight title with a TKO victory over the vampire.
Winner: Fabricio Werdum