With most of the fights from my previous 'Top Coming Fights' installment having passed, this is a great time to update the list and take a look at the top 5 upcoming fights once again.
Although some of these match ups are going to be more anticipated then others, they are listed in no particular order and all should be great for fans. Let's get to it.
1.) Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley/StrikeForce - Still feeling the aftermath of the sucker punch heard around the world, Paul Daley looks to get back in better standing with the UFC brass now that they own StrikeForce. Can you say awkward? On paper this is going to be a battle of two dangerous strikers. That said, I see Diaz winning by submission after Daley starts to gas as the fight progresses. Diaz has evolved with every fight seemingly getting better each time out while Daley has struggled on the ground. Throw in the fact Daley has missed weight 5 times in 11 fights and it spells L-O-S-S for him.
2.) GSP vs. Jake Shields/UFC 129 - In what will likely be the toughest test to date for 'Rush', Shields comes in with sick wrestling and BJJ in addition to also being a cardio freak like Pierre. Both of these being part of what makes this a great match up. That said, I believe GSP is still at another level and will be able to get Shields to the ground. In the end he will be too strong for Shields getting the win by via ground and pound TKO when the dust settles. Could we be one step closer to GSP vs. Silva after this night?
3.) Jose Aldo vs. Mark Hominick/UFC 129 - Similar to GSP in the fight above, this will likely be Aldo's toughest fight yet as Hominick is a pin-point accurate striker himself and will look to stand toe to toe with Aldo. Hominick has been on a run as of late and looks to secure his 6th win in a row over one of the sports best pound for pound fighters. Aldo hasn't lost since 2005 and has been tearing through the competition since his debut at WEC 34. As great of striker as Hominick is, look for Aldo to unleash some of his unorthodox strikes to get the KO win.
4.) Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Guida/UFC TUF 13 Finale - Wow. Fasten your seat belts for this one. After leaving a lasting mark in minds of fans with his highlight reel cage walk, Pettis will get the UFC part of his career underway facing 'The Carpenter.' After dropping two tough fought battles to Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez, Guida has won 3 in a row including a huge win over the legend in Gomi. Being both fighters are perennial 'Of The Night' winners, this is one you don't want to miss. And it's free.
5.) Lyoto Machida vs. Randy Couture/UFC 129 - 'The Natural' will attempt to defy father time once again taking on the once surging Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida. Until he retires, any fight with Couture in it will be a can't miss event. I can see this one going either way for a few different reasons but I believe it will come down to Couture's dirty boxing and prowess in the clinch eventually wearing down of Machida. At the time of this writing, Couture announced this likely will be his last time in the octagon. Could it be a story book ending for the legend?
*Honorable Mention Uriah Faber vs. Dominck Cruz UFC 132* - After losing to Jose Aldo and Mike Brown twice, Faber seems to have gotten back on track as he now looks for his third win in a row. Dominc Cruz will be trying for his 9th win in a row with his only loss prior coming at the hands of Faber back in 2007 at WEC 26. I see Cruz out pointing Faber in the stand up game, getting the win via decison and retaining the UFC featherweight strap.
Watch for my next MMANews post regarding the betting lines on these and other upcoming fights. If you follow Colorado or Wyoming Mixed Martial Arts check out this blog: http://colorado-mma-colorado-boxing.com.
See you at the fights!