Alan Belcher vs Kalib Starnes
These two middleweight contenders will be battling this Saturday and what they both have in common is that Yushin Okami has defeated both of them. Belcher is a big middleweight with good kickboxing experience. He is a young fighter at 23. Starnes had trouble against the bigger Okami and could be in trouble again against the bigger Belcher. Starnes has been training hard on his boxing with Howard Davis Jr. out of Florida for this fight.
Josh Burkman vs Forrest Petz
Burkman is coming off a loss to Karo Parysian. This is Petz's biggest fight in his young UFC career. Petz wants to stay away from Burkman's slams.
Eric Schafer vs Stephen Bonner
Schafer has had 10 months to get better after recovering from a broken rib. These fighters know each other very well. Schafer wants to get this fight to the ground while Bonner is comfortable on both the ground and the feet.
Ryan Jensen vs Demian Maia
Jensen is fighting out of Team Quest from Oregon. Maia is a BJJ expert from Brazil. Jensen is coming off a loss to Thiago Leites. Jensen is a stand up fighter while Maia will want to take this fight to the ground.
Jason Black vs Matt Grice
Veteran Jason Black faces the young Matt Grice on Saturday. Both of these fighters want to take it to the ground as they both have wrestling backgrounds.
Alvin Robinson vs Jorge Gurgel
Gurgel is excited to fight in front of all friends and family when he takes on Alvin Robinson. Robinson was last seen losing to Kenny Florian a few months ago. Both fighters expect to push the pace and this could make for an exciting fight. Both of these fighters have a BJJ background but also like to stay on their feet as well.
Jason McDonald vs Yushin Okami
Whoever wins this fight could be in line for a title shot. McDonald has been training with bigger guys to prepare for Okami. Okami is one of the bigger middleweights in the UFC. McDonald plans on taking it to Okami by being aggressive and staying in Okami's face. Okami is still smarting after his decision loss to Rich Franklin and wants to ground and pound McDonald. Okami needs to watch out for McDonald's chokes.
Tim Sylvia vs Brandon Vera
This will be Vera's toughest challenge to date as he faces the 6'8 monster Tim Sylvia. Sylvia thinks he is too big for Vera and he could be right. Vera has not fought in 11 months and could have some cage rust. The winner will probably get a title shot against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira next year. If Vera loses, his critics will say he is too small to be a heavyweight.
Rich Franklin vs Anderson Silva
This is a rematch from their previous fight where Silva dominated Franklin and won by TKO. Franklin will have to do better in defending the muay thai clinch. Franklin has the home cage advantage as Silva will be in hostile territory in Cincinnati. Franklin is the underdog and will probably mount more offense than his last fight with Silva, but the champion will probably still find a way to retain his title.