UFC 111 is the best card the UFC has put on since the summer, a great lineup featuring a title fight, an interim title fight and several other intriguing matchups. If you only buy a couple of pay-per-views a year, this is one of the ones you should get, and we've got the full preview and predictions below.
What: UFC 111: St. Pierre vs. Hardy
When: The non-televised undercard starts at 7 PM ET Saturday, the Spike TV card starts at 9 and the pay-per-view card starts at 10.
Where: Prudential Center, Newark
Predictions on the five pay-per-view fights:
Georges St. Pierre vs. Dan Hardy
The welterweight championship is on the line, and in some ways Hardy seems like the guy to really give the champion a run for his money, for the simple reason that Hardy is a powerful puncher, and we've seen St. Pierre get beaten when someone hits him hard in just the right place. But we're not going to see it on Saturday night. St. Pierre isn't just better than Hardy, he's a lot better than Hardy.
Pick: St. Pierre
Frank Mir vs. Shane Carwin
I've gone back and forth on this one, which is for the interim heavyweight title and the right to fight Brock Lesnar in July for the "real" UFC heavyweight belt. Carwin is bigger and stronger than Mir and a harder puncher, and he has one of the most extraordinary records in all of MMA: 11-0, with no one even making it halfway through the first round with him. Having said all that, I think Mir, who has much more experience fighting at an elite level, will pull this one off.
Kurt Pellegrino vs. Fabricio Camoes
Pellegrino, a New Jersey native on a three-fight winning streak, will have the home crowd on his side against Camoes, a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Royler Gracie. I like Pellegrino to win a decision.
Ben Saunders vs. Jon Fitch
Fitch was originally slated to take on Thiago Alves in what would have been the best possible welterweight bout not featuring GSP in all of MMA, but this isn't a bad fight, either. Saunders looked like an absolute beast in beating Marcus Davis at UFC 106, and if he beats Fitch he could make a case that he deserves the next shot at the title. But I think Fitch is too good an all-around fighter for Saunders and will win a decision.
Jim Miller vs. Mark Bocek
This one will be a demonstration of high-level jiu jitsu. Miller is 16-2 with 10 wins by submission; Bocek is 8-2 with six wins by submission. I think Miller is a bit more of a complete martial artist and I like him to control the fight on the ground and win a decision.