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UFC 92: Preview and Predictions on Griffin, Evans, Mir, Nogueira, Rampage, Wanderlei

UFC 92 is the best mixed martial arts card of the year, one with three fights that could be main events on pay-per-view shows: Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans for the light heavyweight championship, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir for the interim heavyweight championship, and Wanderlei Silva vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in what looks likely to be a Fight of the Year candidate.

Here are all the details.

What: UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008

In addition to Griffin-Evans, Nogueira-Mir and Wanderlei-Rampage, the other fights on the televised portion of the card are Cheick Kongo vs. Mostapha Al-turk and C.B. Dollaway vs. Mike Massenzio. There are some good fights that might or might not be televised, including Dean Lister vs. Yushin Okami and Matt Hamill vs. Reese Andy.

When: Saturday, 10 p.m. Eastern

Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas

How: Pay-per-view, $44.95 ($54.95 in HD), or just follow along with our FanHouse UFC 92 live blog.

Predictions after the jump.

C.B. Dollaway vs. Mike Massenzio
Just like Wanderlei vs. Rampage, this is a rematch. Well, kind of: Dollaway and Massenzio wrestled against each other in college. Dollaway won that time, and I think he'll win this time as well. Although he twice got caught in Amir Sadollah arm bars during his time on The Ultimate Fighter, I consider the 25-year-old Dollaway to be a very talented up-and-coming fighter who has a bright future ahead of him. Massenzio looked good in submitting Drew McFedries in September, but Dollaway is more athletic and more skilled.
Predicted winner: Dollaway

Cheick Kongo vs. Mostapha Al-turk
Kongo is a big and strong heavyweight who needs some work on his submission game but is a fairly impressive fighter. Al-turk, the former Cage Rage heavyweight champ, is making his first appearance in the Octagon, and although he has some solid submission wrestling skills, I have a hard time seeing him beating Kongo.
Predicted winner: Kongo

Wanderlei Silva vs. Rampage Jackson
I've gone back and forth on this one. I think Jackson is a better fighter than he was when Silva beat him in 2003 and 2004. And Silva, who at 32 is two years older than Jackson, probably isn't as good a fighter as he was then. And yet I still believe that Silva is going to come into this fight with a game plan that will give Jackson fits. I think the fight will look a lot like Silva's fight with Chuck Liddell a year ago -- except that Silva will win this one.
Predicted winner: Silva

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir
I've long maintained that Nogueira would beat both Mir and the Brock Lesnar-Randy Couture winner to become the unidsputed UFC heavyweight champ, and I still haven't seen any reason to change my mind. I like Mir a lot and think that if he's as well conditioned as he says he is, he could win a five-round decision. But the more likely result is that Nogueira shows why he's one of the legends of the sport and submits Mir.
Predicted winner: Nogueira

Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans
This is the main event of the stacked card, featuring two former Ultimate Fighter winners competing for the belt of the UFC's most talent-laden division. Evans was a very good college wrestler who has demonstrated real knockout power, and I'm tempted to pick him. But I think Griffin is going to show off his underrated Brazilian jiu jitsu and win this fight on the ground.
Predicted winner: Griffin.

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