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Fighter vs. Writer: UFC 117 Predictions

OAKLAND, Calif. -- It's been a while since my last spectacular fight picking failure, but with UFC 117 just around the corner, Fighter vs. Writer returns with Olympic silver medalist and MMA vet Matt Lindland.

As those of you who have been following this series already know, I have yet to win a single one of these prediction contests. Either that means fighters are all really great at picking fights, or I'm really, really terrible. I choose to think it's the former, and there's nothing you can say to convince me otherwise.

Below, check out how Lindland and I see Saturday night's fights going down.

Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen

Lindland's pick: Sonnen via TKO. No surprise here. "The Law" and Sonnen have been boys since way back, so Lindland is practically obligated to pick his buddy. Still, he insists Sonnen will wear Silva down and stop him in the third round of what will be "an incredible fight."
My pick: Silva via TKO. I don't question Sonnen's toughness, but I also don't think he can really threaten Silva. If he makes it out of the first, I'll be surprised.

Thiago Alves vs. Jon Fitch

Lindland's pick: Fitch via decision. Said Lindland: "I don't know, maybe I just like Jon Fitch. I think he's probably my favorite fighter in the UFC besides Chael. Has been for a long time. I'm a big fan of his."
My pick: Fitch via decision. I'm not quite as Fitch-crazy as Lindland, but I do think he'll control Alves on the matt and take the decision win here.

Roy Nelson vs. Junior dos Santos

Lindland's pick: Nelson via decision. Never one to be fooled by an unimpressive physique, Lindland says Nelson will "come hard" and surprise dos Santos.
My pick: dos Santos via TKO. I just don't think Nelson can get dos Santos down and keep him there, and I don't like his chances if it stays on the feet.

Matt Hughes vs. Ricardo Almeida

Lindland's pick: Almeida via submission. Lindland says the Big Dog is "kind of a wild card," but he's taking him anyway thanks to his jiu-jitsu skills.
My pick: Almeida via submission. Hughes is still a tough wrestler, but he doesn't pose much of a threat on the feet and his power and explosiveness has faded in recent years.

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