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Picks for UFC 144

Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson

This should be an incredible main event. When fighting Henderson both Jim Miller and Clay Guida tried their best to to force their wills on Henderson and ultimately found themselves frustrated and beat up. Frankie most likely will not employ this guns blazing style but will instead work to pick his shots while implementing his footwork.

After seeing Frankie survive on the ground with Penn and come back from getting rocked by Maynard I can’t picture him being overtaken by Henderson. Henderson does push a very intense pace but I think Frankie will be able to handle it and walk away with a decision.

Quinton Jackson vs. Ryan Bader

After watching Ryan Bader get rocked by Tito Ortiz it’s tough not seeing Rampage do the same thing. I think Bader will try his best to clinch with Jackson and work some dirty boxing before trying to take Jackson down.

Jackson’s takedown defense is adequate and I think he will walk right at Bader solely relying on his hands before he lands a fatal hook and gets the TKO.

Rest of the card after the jump…

 

Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo

Kongo is labeled is being some elite kick boxer but we usually end up seeing him clinch with guys working to drag them to the ground before unleashing some ground and pound. Hunt surprisingly showed improvement on the ground against Ben Rothwell at UFC 135.

I’m worried that if Hunt ends up on his back he may not make his way back to his feet, but I think Hunt is going to clip Kongo and get the TKO.

Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields

I don’t think Shields has the best takedowns and primarily looks to grab a single leg. He also isn’t much of a threat standing up. Once he has his opponents on the ground he does have success controlling them and dictating the action.

I think Akiyama will be able to thwart Jake’s takedown attempts and will be the stronger man. I see Akiyama getting the decision win.

Yushin Okami vs. Tom Boetsch

Boetsch just had a descion win over Nick Ring…so what? Okami is a true grinder and before getting embarrassed by Anderson Silva he completely shut down Nate Marquardt and had a competitive win over Mark Munoz. He will take another decision win.

Hatsu Hioki vs. Bart Paleszeski

Hiko will push forward and get a trip takedown followed by a submission victory.

Anthony Pettis vs. Joe Lauzon

I think I may be most excited for this fight. I can’t picture it not being exciting. Pettis is the better and more dynamic striker but Lauzon did recently survive early shots from Melvin Guillard before slipping in a nice punch of his own. Lauzon will be looking to get this fight to the ground where he can work his aggressive jiu-jitsu.

Pettis is no slouch on the ground. Even when Guida was grinding Pettis, Pettis was trying for submissions.

I might be a little biased in my pick here as a fan of Lauzon but I think he can pick up the submission win.

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