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UFC 135 Staff Predictions

UFC 135 takes place this Saturday in Denver, Colorado. The main event features one of the most highly anticipated fights of the year, with Jon Jones defending his Light Heavyweight Championship against former champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

This will be the first foray to Denver since the awesomely named The Ultimate Ultimate in December 1995.

While the card does bring the aforementioned championship fight to pay-per-view, judging by the staff selections, the main card is full of mismatches. Four fights on the night brought unanimous one-sided votes, and Jon Jones is currently a 7:1 favorite over Jackson according to Vegas fight odds.

The main card begins at 9 PM EST, while Spike TV will be airing two preliminary fights at 8PM: Nick Ring vs. Tim Boetsch, and Tony Ferguson vs. Aaron Riley.

The remaining preliminary fights will be airing live on Facebook.

Here are the UFC 135 main card predictions from the staff:

Jon Jones vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson:
Light Heavyweight Championship

Analysis from Justin Regier: Speed vs. power, that is this fight in a nutshell. Who to pick? At times I want Jones to win, and then I want Quinton to win. Can Jones handle Jackson’s power? How is Jackson going to deal with all the angles Jones is going to bring? I’m going to pick Quinton “Rampage” Jackson via stoppage.I wouldn’t be disappointed or shocked if Jones won by any fashion. I can’t wait for this battle. predictions: Jones 3, Jackson 2

Matt Hughes vs. Josh Koscheck:

Analysis from Chris Leslie: Koscheck is in many ways a product of the trend Hughes created in the 170 division years ago, becoming somewhat of a Hughes 2.0. That said, Koscheck is a better wrestler and has developed into a better striker. It does not help that Hughes has become an easier fighter to read over the years. Time has caught up to Hughes, and Koscheck is simply more skilled than Hughes. I expect Koscheck to overwhelm Hughes early and often in what is likely to be a retirement fight for the former UFC champion. predictions: Koscheck 5, Hughes 0

Travis Browne vs. Rob Broughton:

Analysis from Steve Barnes: For those people who like two guys to stand and wing punches at each other, and the first to fall loses, will likely not enjoy this fight. At some point, Broughton will likely take Browne down and then the fun begins. It will be a desperate fight for Browne to get back to his feet and utilize his vastly superior striking while Broughton will want to turn it into a grappling match. Obviously, a broken clock is right twice a day and Broughton could land a lucky punch and Browne could secure a choke/armlock, but probably not. predictions: Browne 5, Broughton 0

Nate Diaz vs. Takanori Gomi:

Analysis from Bryan Robison: This is probably my favorite matchup of the night, even more than Jones/Jackson. Nick Diaz/Gomi is one of the greatest fights in MMA history. Diaz won (yes, he won, Nevada State Athletic Commission). Nick is a better boxer and grappler than Nate, so Gomi certainly holds a chance to get revenge on that 209 area code he hates so much. Do I see it happening? Well, there’s always a fireball’s chance he does it. But I think his time has come and gone. Diaz wins this one via submission in the 2nd round. predictions: Diaz 5, Gomi 0

Ben Rothwell vs. Mark Hunt

Analysis from Eric Shapiro: Hunt most recently knocked out Chris Tuscherer to snap a 6 fight losing streak, but before that he got submitted from the top by Sean McCorkle. With a submission that could barely qualify as a submission. I just can’t get that out of my head. Rothwell via submission. predictions: Rothwell 5, Hunt 0

For complete pre-fight coverage of UFC 135 (including weigh-in results, a podcast, and a head to head previewof Saturday’s main card) stay tuned to MMAFrenzy.

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