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UFC 123 Predictions

Rampage Jackson will fight in the main event of UFC 123.For the first time since Dan Severn beat Ken Shamrock at UFC 9, the Octagon is back in the Detroit area, with four former UFC champions in the main event and co-main event at UFC 123 on Saturday night.

What: UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida

Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan

When: Saturday, the undercard begins at 7:30 PM ET, the Spike TV card begins at 9 and the pay-per-view starts at 10.

Predictions on the five pay-per-view fights below.

Rampage Jackson vs. Lyoto Machida
It's a battle of former UFC light heavyweight champions, and I think it's a battle that's tailor made for Machida: His elusive, counter-striking style is just about perfect to beat the hard-charging, hard-punching Rampage. Although Shogun Rua did show in May that it's possible to hit Machida and knock him out, I just don't think Rampage is going to be quick enough to deal with Machida's in-and-out style, and I see Machida winning a decision, 30-27 all the way around.
Pick: Machida

Matt Hughes vs. B.J. Penn
Penn took the welterweight belt from Hughes by first-round submission at UFC 46, then Hughes won the rematch by third-round TKO at UFC 63. In the rubber match, I have a feeling that Hughes is going to be better conditioned and more aggressive, and I expect Hughes to eke out a close decision.
Pick: Hughes

George Sotiropoulos vs. Joe Lauzon
The UFC loves Lauzon because he always puts on a show, with submission, knockout or fight of the night bonuses in six of his eight fights in the Octagon. But I don't think he's quite ready for a grappler like Sotiropoulos, who I expect to out-work Lauzon on the ground and get closer to a shot at the lightweight title.
Pick: Sotiropoulos

Gerald Harris vs. Maiquel Falcão
Falcao is a great striker who's built up a record of 25-3 while fighting mostly in Brazil, but in his UFC debut I think he's going to get hammered by Harris, who has really come on of late and is looking for his fourth win in the UFC in 2010. This one won't go the distance. Expect a barn-burner between two hard hitters.
Pick: Harris

Phil Davis vs. Tim Boetsch
Davis was an NCAA wrestling champion at Penn State and is now 7-0 in his professional MMA career, and I think he has very big things ahead of him inside the Octagon. Boetsch is on a four-fight winning streak, and he has a good enough ground game that he can threaten Davis, but I don't think he'll be able to last 15 minutes, and I see Davis winning by TKO.
Pick: Davis

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