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UFC 144 Fight Picks from Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report’s UFC 144 Fight Predictions


UFC 144 Predictions: Winner for Every Fight on the Card

Pettis vs. Lauzon

Anthony “Showtime” Pettis will look to improve upon his 12-2-0 record against Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon who enters the fight with a 20-6-0 record.

Pettis is an excellent stand-up fighter with a complimentary ground game. Lauzon is known more for his submissions, winning more than hald of his fights via submission.

Although Pettis is less experienced, he is more well-rounded than Lauzon and will ultimately come out on top.


Hioki vs. Palaszewski

Hatsu Hioki will undoubtedly be the fan favorite heading into a bout against Bart Palaszewski, as he will be fighting in his native homeland.

Look for Hioki to use his technical skill to prevail over the powerful Palaszewski.

Okami vs. Boetsch

Yushin “Thunder” Okami will also have the support of the home crowd as he takes on Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch.

Okami has used his ground-and-pound approach to notch 26 victories in his career. Boetsch is less experienced with only 14 victories but is known for his wrestling technique and tremendous heart.

This will assuredly be a physical, demanding fight, but I give the edge to Okami based on experience and an overall better game.


Akiyama vs. Shields

Yoshihiro Akiyama has a weight advantage of 15 pounds on fellow competitor Jake Shields, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll win this fight.

Akiyama will probably use his knockout power, coupled with his judo technique to try to takedown Shields, who will counteract Akiyama with his grappling ability and proven endurance.

Ultimately I look for Shields to put relentless pressure on Akiyama and take the victory.


Hunt vs. Kongo

Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt boast an impresive 25-lb advantage on Cheick Kongo, but standing at 6’4″, Kongo will have the big advantage in reach over the 5’10” Hunt.


Hunt has struggled early in his career, posting an unimpressive 7-7 record. Kongo is more seasoned, and he has an admirable 27 victories.

I see Kongo using his size and athleticism to out-match in hefty Hunt. Kongo will wear Hunt down and capitalize on Hunt’s lack of stamina.


Jackson vs. Bader

One of the most intriguing bouts of the night will feature Rampage Jackson and Ryan “Darth” Bader squaring off in the octagon.

Both competitors are pretty much equal in the tail-of-the-tape, but Jackson is much more experienced, earning 34 victories to Bader’s 14.

This co-main event has the makings for a slug-fest and if that is the case, I give the advantage to Rampage in a tight one.


Edgar vs. Henderson

Frankie “The Answer” Edgar will take on Benson “Smooth” Henderson in tonight’s main event in Tokyo. Henderson will be looking to take the lightweight title away from Edgar and be only the second fighter ever to beat Edgar in the UFC.

Both competitors have similar records with Edgar having 14 victories to Henderson’s 15. Likewise, both fighters are good wrestlers and are strong in their takedowns.

At the end of the night, I see Edgar retaining his lightweight title and adding to his impressive career resume by defeating Henderson in an epic battle.


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