UFC 108: "Evans vs Silva" PredictionsWith injuries creating havoc for the promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championship showcases UFC 108: “Evans vs Silva” tomorrow night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The shell-shocked event has undergone countless changes due to injuries and illness in recent weeks, but the UFC will try to begin the new year on a positive note.

UFC 108 is headlined by a light heavyweight bout between former champion “Sugar” Rashad Evans and top contender Thiago Silva. MMARising.com previews the card, which will hopefully remain intact overnight.


“Sugar” Rashad Evans vs Thiago Silva

While this fight lacks the big-name star power of most past UFC events and has already faced considerable criticism, both Evans (13-1-1) and Silva (14-1-0) prefer to end fights in decisive fashion and a knockout is all but assured here. Both came up short in fights with current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida and this will be Evans’s first fight back since Machida captured the title at his expense.

Both are competent strikers, but Evans is the more technical and disciplined. Silva’s often wild style has led him to success, however, as opponents have found difficulty in combating his aggression. Evans holds an edge in wrestling, but Silva is superior in jiu-jitsu. The fight will most likely stay on the feet unless one fighter is forced to try for a takedown after receiving a taste of his opponent’s power.

What may prove to be the deciding factor here is the strength of each fighter’s chin. Evans has taken solid shots in the past, but only Machida has been able to stop him to date. Silva has also been stopped just one time, but he was nearly upset in mere seconds by Antonio “Samuray” Mendes. That said, he survived the cinder block fists of Tomasz Drwal, who arguably hits harder than Evans.

This fight is considerably closer than some are predicting and it is by no means a sure win for the former champion, Evans. The Jackson’s MMA standout will be gunning for revenge on behalf of teammate Keith Jardine, however, and that will propel Evans to a first-round stoppage victory.


Evans by KO late in round one.


Paul “Semtex” Daley vs Dustin “McLovin” Hazelett

In a classic striker versus grappler matchup, the vicious punching power of Daley (22-8-2) meets the incredible submission skill of Hazelett (12-4-0) and the winner may find himself on a short list of future welterweight title challengers. It must be noted that Daley missed weight for this fight by one pound and was penalised 10% of his fight purse.

Daley is widely regarded as the hardest-hitting welterweight in mixed martial arts and his résumé makes a convincing argument. With 17 victories via a form of knockout, Daley is feared for a reason and he made the most of his UFC debut with a first-round dismantling of top contender Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann. However, Daley’s ground game has plagued him throughout his career and any mistake will be costly here.

Hazelett is an unassuming individual who also happens to be one of the most talented jiu-jitsu practitioners in the UFC today. With nine wins coming by tapout and many of those wins coming in spectacular fashion, those who dare to engage in a ground war with Hazelett are generally in for a painful evening. Hazelett will need to find a way to take Daley down immediately or it is all but assured that he will become just another one of Daley’s many dazed and confused victims.

While Hazelett is one of the top young prospects in the entire promotion and has an extremely bright future ahead of him, taking Daley down is no longer the simplistic task that it was years ago. Daley has worked diligently to improve his takedown defence and that will be enough to keep the fight on the feet here, which spells doom for Hazelett.


Daley by KO in round one.