UFC 144 takes place tonight in Saitama, Japan, as UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar puts his title on the line against Benson Henderson. Rampage Jackson fights Ryan Bader in the co-main event of the evening. Here is how I see the main fights shaping out.
Frankie Edgar vs. Benson Henderson: This is one of the hardest selections that I have had to make. Edgar has proven that he has a great chin and outstanding cardio. Edgar does not tire in the championship rounds and is almost impossible to finish. Henderson, is unlike anyone that Edgar has faced. He uses his unusual striking skills to keep his opponents off balanced. He uses kicks and knees to inflict damage on his opponent, and has vicious ground and pound. This fight as all the makings of "Fight of the Night" as both of these men fight at high paces. My final prediction: Henderson via close unanimous decision
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Ryan Bader: Bader has looked terrible in big fights. Last February, he was dominated by Jon Jones, and in July of 2011, he was submitted by Tito Ortiz. Bader wrestled at Arizona State and has three career knockout victories in the UFC. The biggest question mark for Bader is his competition, Bader's biggest win came against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, when he faces top competition he has had his worse showings. Rampage Jackson has faced some of the top fighters in light heavyweight division. However he has not knocked anyone out since Wanderlei Silva in 2008, and we know Rampage does not like to take fights to the ground. Bader as a distinct advantage on the ground and he has to use that to his advantage if he wants to get the win. Bader needs to get Jackson to the ground and dominate the fight there. My final prediction: Bader via unanimous decision