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UFC 72: Preview and Predictions

Three weeks ago, when Rampage Jackson beat Chuck Liddell at UFC 71, it was the most hyped event in the history of mixed martial arts.

There is substantially less hype surrounding UFC 72, but that's OK: Some hard-core mixed martial arts fans were getting annoyed when they turned on their TVs and saw people who couldn't name a single UFC fighter besides Liddell acting like experts. UFC 72 is an event for the real fans. Here are the details:

What: UFC 72: Victory

When: Saturday, 3 p.m. ET

Where: The Odyssey, Belfast, Northern Ireland

How: Pay-per-view, $39.95 (high definition is $49.95), or just follow along with the FanHouse live blog.

Main event: Rich Franklin vs. Yushin Okami

Previews and predictions after the jump.
Main card bouts:
Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald vs. Rory "Outburst" Singer, middleweights
: This might be the matchup of the guy with the most unoriginal nickname in all of sports against the guy with the silliest nickname in all of sports. MacDonald was on a six-fight winning streak before getting stopped by Rich Franklin in March, and he should get back to his winning ways against Singer.
Prediction: MacDonald

Hector "Sick Dog" Ramirez vs. Forrest Griffin, light heavyweights: Griffin won the first season of The Ultimate Fighter and has been one of the most popular fighters in the sport since. He's coming off a loss to Keith Jardine at UFC 66. Ramirez (who could teach MacDonald and Singer a thing or two about nicknames) is also coming off a loss, to James Irvin at UFC 65. Both guys are desperate for a win to get back on track.
Prediction: Griffin

Tyson Griffin vs. Clay "The Carpenter" Guida, lightweights: Again, two fighters coming off losses. The ground-and-pound approach of the 23-year-old Griffin should be too much for the 25-year-old Guida in a match that will be a big step forward for one of these young fighters.
Prediction: Griffin

Rich "Ace" Franklin vs. Yushin Okami, middleweights: Franklin is a former middleweight champion who won his first three title defenses in dominant fashion before being pummeled by Anderson Silva at UFC 64. The 25-year-old Okami is just entering his prime and is on a six-match winning streak. The winner of this main event fight should get a title shot.
Prediction: Okami

Preliminary bouts:
Heavyweights Eddie Sanchez vs. Colin Robinson (Prediction: Sanchez)
Welterweights Dustin Hazelett vs. Stevie Lynch (Prediction: Lynch)
Welterweights Marcus Davis vs. Jason Tan (Prediction: Davis)
Middleweights Scott Smith vs. Ed Herman (Prediction: Smith)

More information:
Official web site
UFC 72 on Wikipedia
UFC 72 at UFCJunkie.com
UFC 72 at UFCMania.com

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