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UFC 74: Preview and Predictions

The heavyweight championship of the world is on the line at UFC 74 Saturday night, but the event doesn't seem to be getting quite as much attention as the last few UFC shows have. Maybe it's because the sports world is more focused on other things, or maybe it's because champion Randy Couture and challenger Gabriel Gonzaga aren't engaging in any hype-producing trash talk.

But lack of media hype aside, UFC should put on a very good show Saturday night. Here are the details:

What: UFC 74: Respect

In addition to the Couture-Gonzaga main event, other fights on the main card are Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck, Joe Stevenson vs. Kurt Pellegrino, Patrick Cote vs. Kendall Grove and Roger Huerta vs. Alberto Crane.

When: Saturday, 10 p.m. ET

Where: Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas

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

Predictions after the jump.

Randy Couture vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
To be the UFC heavyweight champion at age 44 is an incredible feat, and Couture should be a bigger star than he is. But Gonzaga is 16 years younger and 20 pounds heavier than Couture, and, at this point, he's a better fighter than Couture. I said on Monday that I thought it would surprise most UFC fans if Gonzaga won, but based on the feedback I heard, I'm not so sure about that anymore. I know it wouldn't surprise me.
Predicted winner: Gonzaga

Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck
St. Pierre is coming off an upset loss to Matt Serra at UFC 69, and Koscheck is, frankly, a step down in class for him. St. Pierre won't lose two in a row.
Predicted winner: St. Pierre

Joe Stevenson vs. Kurt Pellegrino
Stevenson is a popular fighter thanks to his appearance in The Ultimate Fighter 2, where he won the welterweight division. Pellegrino has won his last three fights with first round submissions, but he hasn't fought anyone in Stevenson's class.
Predicted winner: Stevenson

Patrick Cote vs. Kendall Grove
The Hawaiian Grove won The Ultimate Fighter 3 and has won both his fights since then. UFC seems to want to bring him along slowly, and he should pad his record against Cote.
Predicted winner: Grove

Roger Huerta vs. Alberto Crane:
Huerta signed with UFC less than a year ago, and this is already his fifth fight. So far, he's 4-0 in UFC and 20-1-1 overall in MMA. Huerta is such a huge favorite over Crane that it's a little surprising that this fight is on the main card.
Predicted winner: Huerta

More information:
Official web site
UFC 74 at Wikipedia
UFC 74 at UFC Mania
UFC 74 at UFC Junkie
Full betting odds at Bodog

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