UFC 92: Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans Prediction

Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans

The main event of the evening is a Light Heavyweight title bout between two former winners of The Ultimate Fighter. Forrest Griffin will be looking to make his first successful defense after his shocking upset of Rampage Jackson, but to do it he will have to overcome Rashad Evans, riding a wave of momentum from his brutal knockout of Chuck Liddell.  Griffin -115/ Evans -115

Griffin, the current #1 Light Heavyweight in the world, is one of the sport’s most perplexing fighters. His wrestling is decent, but he is primarily a puncher who lacks knockout power. Normally, this would be a recipe for disaster, but somehow Griffin manages to overcome the odds every time he is in the ring. He was counted out against Tito Ortiz and then dropped an extremely narrow and extremely controversial split decision. Against Shogun Rua and Rampage, he was a drastic underdog, and yet he somehow controlled both fights and earned two huge wins and a championship belt. He may not be the most technically proficient fighter in the world, but Forrest Griffin is amazing at moving with the flow of a fight, exploiting openings and squeaking through the gaps to find ways to pick his opponents apart.

The challenger, “Sugar” Rashad Evans, had had a wildly successful run in UFC, sometimes looking lackluster and drawing the ire of the fans, but never yet tasting defeat. No one, though, could call his last fight lackluster, as he absolutely destroyed the jaw of former Light Heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell with a blazing power shot. Evans’ biggest strengths are his athleticism and versatility. A fast, accurate, and powerful puncher, Evans is also a powerhouse wrestler with a seemingly endless gas tank.

Both men have weaknesses that could be exploited by the other. Rashad’s biggest weakness tends to be inactivity during fights. Against someone who fights at Griffin’s frenetic pace, Rashad is going to have to push the action right back to stay competitive. Forrest’s biggest weakness is that he is a notoriously slow starter. On The Ultimate Fighter, Alex Schoenauer nearly levelled him at the opening bell with a rush of punches, and Keith Jardine rang his bell in almost the exact same manner. To have any chance at leaving with his belt, Forrest will have to come to fight from the very first second instead of waiting until he is hurt to turn on his offense.

In the end, Evans is my pick to win this fight. His superior wrestling, punching power, and conditioning should be enough to thwart Forrest’s offense. As notoriously crafty as Griffin is, Rashad has a better chance of finishing the fight standing and a better chance of controlling the action on the ground.

It won’t come easy, but in the end Rashad should have his hand raised after a grueling five round decision victory.