Rafael Assuncao vs. TJ Dillashaw
Assuncao is a good fighter, but his best shot at winning this fight comes on the ground. Unfortunately, Dillashaw is a former NCAA 1 fighter who trains at the famed Team Alpha Male camp, and right now it seems that camp is untouchable. This will continue in this fight as Dillashaw earns a TKO in second round after picking Assuncao apart in the first.
Rousimar Palhares vs. Mike Pierce
Why Pierce is fighting Palhares makes no sense when looking at where both are at in their fighting careers. Pierce has only been beaten by the best of the best in Jon Fitch, Mark Munoz, Johnny Hendricks and Josh Koscheck. Pierce has knocked out two of his last three opponents while Palhares has been knocked out in his last three losses. The trend will stay the same when Pierce finishes Palhares in the third round after avoiding some trouble in the first.
Fabio Maldonado vs. Joey Beltran
This is a bout between two brawlers, but it is hard to brawl with someone that is technical as well. That is the problem that Beltran will encounter when Maldonado and him find themselves in exchanges. It will not be a n easy win for the Brazilian, but he will win the majority of the exchanges. Beltran just does not have the knockout power or the skill to overcome Maldonado.
Thiago Silva vs. Matt Hamill
Hamill and Silva both do not have the skill that their hype once convinced us they did. Silva still has power in his hands but back problems have decreased his movement and killed his cardio. Hamill has not fought in a year, and the constant problems with over 25 years of competition have broken down his body. As long as Hamill can avoid the power shots and not tire out he will win a decision in this fight. Hamill needs to force the fight against the cage and on the ground to take Silva out.
Erick Silva vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Kim is a good fighter, but he is not a finisher. The problem with fighters that do not finish is that when you face someone dangerous you cannot make any mistakes. The issue with Kim is we have already seen him make mistakes whether it was with Condit or with Demian Maia. Silva is a dangerous fighter who will capitalize if Kim gives him the chance. Look for Silva to earn a submission victory in the first round.
Demian Maia vs. Jake Shields
Does Shields even have a chance in this fight? Maia is an aggressive, grinding fighter who does not tire out. He controlled and took down Jon Fitch for 15 minutes straight, and became the first person to submit Rick Story. Shields may have better standup than Fitch, but it is not anything Demian Maia has not seen before. This is a man who faced off with a prime Anderson Silva after all. Maia will once again show his dominance earning a decision victory in this fight.