UFC 113: “Machida vs Shogun 2” PredictionsOne of the most highly anticipated rematches in recent MMA history headlines tonight’s UFC 113: “Machida vs Shogun 2” event at the Bell Centre in Montréal, Québec, Canada. Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will once again square off for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

Also on the card, top welterweight contenders Paul “Semtex” Daley and Josh Koscheck will battle to determine the next title challenger at 170 pounds. MMARising.com previews UFC 113 with full fight predictions.


UFC Light Heavyweight Championship

Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida vs Mauricio “Shogun” Rua

In a rematch from one of the most talked about fights in the past few years, Machida (16-0-0) and Rua (18-4-0) will once again clash for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship; a title that many feel that Rua should already hold.

Machida and Rua first faced off for the championship at UFC 104 on October 24, 2009. After five hard-fought rounds, Machida was declared the winner with 48-47 scores across the board. Many, including MMARising.com (49-46), scored the fight in favour of Rua, who employed an excellent game plan consisting of leg and body kicks that kept Machida on the defensive. However, that fight is in the past and tonight’s matchup will hopefully determine the true champion in definitive fashion.

While the pair’s first fight was contested on the feet, some believe that the rematch may test the fighters’ skills on the ground. Both Rua and Machida have impressive submission skills and ground games, but UFC fans have not yet seen what either is capable of. Rua also possesses solid ground and pound from the top, while Machida prefers to take his time and work for chokes, as he did against Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at UFC 79. Having said that, fans could be in for another standup war that never hits the ground a single time.

Rua employed a near-perfect game plan in the first fight and, regardless of what outsiders felt, the effort was not enough to earn Rua the victory on the official scorecards. It remains to be seen whether Rua’s team can put together another plan of attack to keep the dynamic and unorthodox Machida off of his game. This rematch is likely to go the distance once again, which will put the burden on the cageside judges for a second time, but the correct result will be read. Rua will emerge with his hand raised and will, at last, be crowned UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.

Prediction: Rua by Unanimous Decision.


Paul “Semtex” Daley vs Josh Koscheck

In the co-main event, British knockout artist Daley (23-8-2) will take on heavy-handed wrestler Koscheck (14-4-0) in a pivotal grudge match that will determine the next challenger for UFC Welterweight Champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre.

There is no love lost between Daley and Koscheck, with Daley repeatedly mocking Koscheck and using (hilarious) fan-made Photoshopped photos of the standout wrestler to try to get under his skin. It has worked, to an extent, but Koscheck has proven in past fights that pre-fight trash talk is not enough to take him off of his game. He fought a smart fight against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, another one-punch knockout artist, and has used his wrestling to take down superior strikers.

However, Koscheck’s pride has gotten him into trouble in the past and it could again here if he decides to stand and trade strikes with Daley. Early takedowns are likely from Koscheck, who should capitalise on Daley’s questionable submission defence in order to quickly finish the fight while avoiding the Brit’s power. Expect Koscheck to take Daley down at least once, but if Daley can make it back to his feet, a single punch will be all that he needs to earn himself a crack at the title. Look for Daley to pick up the mild upset after surviving a tough first round.

Prediction: Daley by KO in round two.


Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout vs Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens

The next featured bout is a lightweight clash between talented strikers Stout (15-5-1) and Stephens (16-5-0), where a win will propel one fighter closer to title contention in the stacked 155-pound division.

Stout is coming off of the most impressive performance of his career thus far when he dismantled Joe Lauzon at UFC 108. Improving in leaps and bounds with each performance, Stout is no longer just a striker with a suspect ground game. He remains one of the most technically sound kickboxers in the lightweight division, but will need to be wary of the looping punches and hard strikes from Stephens, who rebounded from a pair of losses when he stopped Justin Buchholz at UFC Fight Night 19.

If Stout can put together another performance like the one against Lauzon, he should have little difficulty in getting past Stephens, but Stephens has a good chin and should be able to weather Stout’s strikes. Stephens has found great success when he is able to land one of his wild haymakers, but Stout’s technical kickboxing will keep the Iowan guessing for 15 minutes before the judges render a unanimous verdict in Stout’s favour.

Prediction: Stout by Unanimous Decision.


Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson vs Matt Mitrione

In his pay-per-view debut, former street brawler Ferguson (4-1-0) battles former football player and fellow TUF 10 alum Mitrione (1-0-0) in a fight that is sure to produce fireworks.

Ferguson rose to fame as an Internet sensation in viral videos featuring him in a series of boatyard brawls. He later gained added fame in mixed martial arts while competing for the now-defunct EliteXC, including two fights live on primetime CBS television. True to his word, UFC President Dana White forced Ferguson to fight his way into the UFC by competing on the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show and, while he came up short, Ferguson was victorious in his UFC debut last December.

Like Ferguson, Mitrione also competed on TUF 10 and won his pro MMA debut at the season’s finale event. The former football player possesses heavy hands and an improving ground game and will pose a tough test for Ferguson. In what will likely be a standup war, Mitrione should be able to weather the storm from Ferguson before knocking him out late in the first round.

Prediction: Mitrione by KO in round one.


Patrick “The Predator” Côté vs Alan “The Talent” Belcher

The final main card bout pits granite-chinned striker Côté (13-5-0) against Muay Thai practitioner Belcher (15-6-0), who is coming off of a big win in his most recent fight.

Côté makes his return in this fight after a lengthy layoff following a knee injury suffered in his title bout with Anderson “The Spider” Silva. Prior to that, he had won five straight fights, with three coming by knockout. The heavy-handed French Canadian took Silva’s best shots and was unfazed before the knee injury ultimately forced the end of the fight and dashed his title hopes. He will look to get back into title contention, but must first dispatch of Belcher, who has won five of his last seven.

Belcher has shown glimpses of brilliance and has also faltered at key times, and that inconsistency has prevented him from attaining a legitimate contender status at 185. He picked up his biggest win to date when he rallied to submit Denis Kang at UFC 93, but dropped a close decision to Yoshihiro Akiyama on the big show at UFC 100. Now coming off of a stoppage win over Wilson Gouveia, Belcher needs a dominant victory tonight to prove that he has what it takes to compete among the best. Unfortunately for him, that won’t happen.

Prediction: Côté by TKO in round two.


Undercard Fights:

First up on the undercard is a middleweight matchup between the always comedic “Filthy” Tom Lawlor (6-2-0, 1 NC) and late replacement Joe “El Dirte” Doerksen (44-12-0). Doerksen, who has already competed for and been cut by the UFC multiple times, returns again on short notice to take on the talented and charismatic Lawlor. However, this is not a good matchup for Doerksen, whose chin has been an issue in the past. Lawlor should have little difficulty wherever this fight takes place and will ultimately finish Doerksen off in the later stages of the first round. Lawlor has the potential to be a contender in the division. Prediction: Lawlor by TKO in round one.

Next is a welterweight bout between “The Irish Hand Grenade” Marcus Davis (16-6-0) and the returning Jonathan “The Road Warrior” Goulet (22-10-0, 1 NC). Davis is coming off of a brutal knockout loss against Ben Saunders, but he has heavy hands and should be able to exploit Goulet’s notoriously weak chin with ease. Goulet’s best hope is to take the fight to the mat and look for an early submission before Davis can build any momentum, but Goulet has not fought in 17 months and ring rust will play a factor. Look for a big knockout here. Prediction: Davis by KO in round one.

Moving on, we have another welterweight fight between the unbeaten Johny Hendricks (7-0-0) and Canadian prospect TJ Grant (15-3-0). This is one of the most interesting matchups on the card, as Hendricks’s takedowns and aggression meet Grant’s submission mastery on the ground. Grant has lost just one time in his last seven fights, while four of Hendricks’s wins have come by knockout. Grant has a good chin, however, and this back-and-forth battle should make it to the judges. Hendricks will take a razor-thin decision over a very game Grant. Prediction: Hendricks by Split Decision.

In a heavyweight tilt, Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran (11-3-0) takes on late replacement Tim “The Thrashing Machine” Hague (10-3-0). Hague gets a second chance in the UFC after his controversial loss to Chris Tuchscherer and a pair of fight cancellations in non-UFC bouts. He will be in tough against Beltran, who has knocked out ten of his opponents to date. This is a difficult fight to call, particularly after Hague’s impressive showing against Tuchscherer. However, Beltran’s power should prove enough to get him a stoppage win, though a Hague victory would not be the least bit surprising. Prediction: Beltran by TKO in round one.

Next is a welterweight bout between Yoshiyuki “Zenko” Yoshida (11-4-0) and Mike “Joker” Guymon (11-3-1). Both fighters need a big victory in order to ensure that they remain in the UFC, but Yoshida has more to lose. Given the rocky state of MMA in Japan, a return to his native country could be devastating to his career, while Guymon will surely have a home in King of the Cage, where he was previously a titleholder. Yoshida knows what is at stake and will come out aggressively against Guymon before trapping the veteran in a submission. Prediction: Yoshida by Submission in round two.

The final fight on the card is a middleweight matchup between yet another late replacement, Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald (24-13-0), and John Salter (4-1-0). MacDonald has won three straight fights and makes his return to the UFC on short notice. The submission ace should have little trouble in scoring a victory in his Octagon return, which will send Salter walking from the promotion in the process. Salter has the ability to land a big punch that hurts MacDonald, but MacDonald’s ground game is simply too much for the veteran of just five fights. For MacDonald, hopefully a win here will be a sign of things to come. Prediction: MacDonald by Submission in round one.


UFC 113: “Machida vs Shogun 2” takes place tonight beginning at 10:00 P.M. Eastern time, 7:00 P.M. Pacific. The event airs live on pay-per-view and MMARising.com will be providing live play-by-play.


(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)

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