Matt Serra (169.5) vs. Georges St. Pierre (169.5)

This should be the easiest fight on the card to pick. You look at these two on paper, and there’s no way GSP can lose. Except he already did.

There are so many questions. Is St. Pierre mentally prepared for the fight? Has Serra’s back injury fully healed? Can Serra handle the pressure of St. Pierre’s hometown crowd? Moreover, can St. Pierre handle the pressure of his hometown crowd? Was it all just a fluke or does Serra really have his number?

There’s been a hundred videos of interviews and hype for this fight. Serra’s relaxed, confident, and loves being the underdog. He says he feels no pressure. GSP has “trained to fight an army” but has the weight of Canada on his shoulders and no doubt the memory of what happened last time.

Does GSP come out and destroy Matt Serra like he did Matt Hughes at UFC 79, or does Serra shock the world twice? If you break down the fighter’s abilities, there’s no way you pick against St. Pierre. But I don’t think this fight is about that. This fight will be decided by the intangibles. I believe it comes down to Georges St. Pierre being mentally strong and focused enough to block out the past, block out the distractions, and just fight his fight. If he can do that, let all the pressure go and just go out there and be himself, he will win this fight.

But I have a feeling he won’t do that.

Serra by TKO in Round 2

Rich Franklin (185.5) vs. Travis Lutter (185)

This is another tough one to pick. You have the very good striker and well-rounded fighter in Rich Franklin taking on the jiu-jitsu specialist in Travis Lutter. It’s basically going to come down to who controls where the fight takes place. It’s hard to get Rich to the ground and that’s where Lutter has to win this fight. I suspect Lutter may be a little hungrier than Rich at this point. He truly believes he can beat Anderson Silva, and has a lot to prove after blowing his first opportunity by missing weight. Franklin isn’t going to get back to the top as long as Anderson Silva’s there. That’s a situation that would be hard for anybody to get motivated for.

I’m going to go out on a limb here.

Lutter by Submission in Round Two

Nate Quarry (185.5) vs. Kalib Starnes (186)

Starnes can take a shot as evidenced in his fight with Alan Belcher, but Quarry has power behind his hands. Starnes stand up game has improved but he’s not going to want to stand and trade with Quarry. I don’t see Starnes getting Quarry to the ground to submit him.

Quarry by TKO in Round Two

Michael Bisping (185.5) vs.Charles McCarthy (185.5)

These two have been taking verbal shots at each other the past few weeks. It’s Bisping’s debut at middleweight. McCarthy is a strong jiu-jitsu guy who could catch Bisping in a submission, but Bisping seems very prepared and ready.

Bisping by TKO in Round One

Mac Danzig (154.5) vs. Mark Bocek (154.5)

This will mark Mac Danzig’s first fight since winning The Ultimate Fighter season six. Danzig comes in with a lot of experience compared to Bocek. Bocek is a solid grappler and could make it a good fight, but I think Danzig’s experience will eventually overwhelm him.

Danzig by TKO in Round Two

Preliminary Card

Jason MacDonald (185) vs. Joe Doerksen (184.5) – Doerksen by Submission in Round Two

Alan Belcher (185) vs. Jason Day (183.5) – Belcher by KO in Round Two

Ed Herman (185.5) vs. Demain Maia (184.5) – Maia by Submission in Round One

Rich Clementi (155) vs. Sam Stout (155.5) – Stout by TKO in Round One

Brad Morris (225.5) vs. Cain Velasquez (235.5) – Velasquez by TKO in Round Two

Kuniyoshi Hironaka (170) vs. Jonathan Goulet (169.5) – Hironaka by Unanimous Decision