Champion Junior dos Santos vs. Frank Mir for the UFC heavyweight title
Kevin Iole: Junior dos Santos KO1 Frank Mir – This could just as easily be Mir by first-round submission, but since all fights begin on the feet, I will go with dos Santos by KO.
Maggie Hendricks: JDS KO1 Mir – Mir's only hope is to get this fight to the ground to avoid Junior's powerful stand-up. But as Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez learned, getting JDS to the ground is not an easy feat, and Mir won't succeed.
Cagereader's take: Frank Mir is an outstanding, decorated mixed martial artist. He can be dangerous on his feet and clearly on the ground as well if you look at his past submissions. His best bet is to figure out how he can get Junior dos Santos to the mat. The unfortunate part for Mir is that dos Santos possesses some of the best standup in the heavyweight division and I think Mir will struggle with those heavy-hitting fists Junior is going to throw. I love them both as fighters but my guess is dos Santos will win this one and retain his belt via TKO. – Roberto Garza
Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva
Iole: Cain Velasquez TKO2 Antonio Silva – I think Velasquez is the best heavyweight in the world and will prove it against Big Foot. Velasquez is a better version of Daniel Cormier and Cormier had his way with Silva.
Hendricks: Velasquez TKO1 Silva – Velasquez has had to deal with competitors bigger than him since he was was Division I wrestler at Arizona State. He's learned how to use his speed, takedowns and striking to handle the size disadvantage, and he'll do it again on Saturday.
Cagereader's take: Cain Velasquez by TKO. Cain will rebound nicely in this bout. We'll see him return to his stalking/aggressive fight style which will eventually lead to some ground and pound against Silva. Silva is a top heavyweight but he's not very quick. He won't have a quick enough reaction to keep Cain away. – Eddie Ledezma
Dave Herman vs. Roy Nelson
Hendricks: Nelson W3 Dave Herman – Not to just copy Kev, but I don't see a way this fight will end early. This fight will be the bout it IS OK to blink while it's happening.
Cagereader's take: Roy Nelson will win against Herman. He is all wrong for Herman. Iron chin, BJJ blackbelt, better striking. Standup or ground game, Nelson is clearly better. – Daniel Natividad
Stipe Miocic vs. Shane del Rosario
Iole: Shane del Rosario W3 Stipe Miocic – This is more of a hunch because I don't know which del Rosario will show up. He's been off for a year since an auto accident. Del Rosario is a budding star and if he's healthy, I like him to make a statement against Miocic.
Hendricks: Miocic W3 del Rosario – My heart says del Rosario because after the year he's had, he deserves a win. He was in a car accident with a drunk driver and even contemplated retirement during his trip back to the cage. However, Miocic's wrestling and striking will be too much.
Cagereader's take: I pick Miocic to win by decision. Del Rosario is the better and more experienced striker, but Miocic's wrestling ability will carry him to a decision victory. Miocic is confident in his hands, but he will eventually resort back to his bread and butter once he realizes the gap in striking ability between him and Del Rosario. Del Rosario has lacked in the takedown defense department before, and I expect him to have similar issues against the former NCAA Division I wrestler. Once on the mat, Miocic will land consistently from the top position, controlling the action and landing often enough to earn a decision win. – Robert MacDonald
Stefan Struve vs. Lavar Johnson
Iole: Struve SUB2 Johnson – Struve is susceptible to good strikers, but Johnson has a great vulnerability on the ground. I think Johnson has his moments, but look for Struve to take advantage of a mistake and end it with a submission.
Hendricks: Johnson KO2 Struve – Though Struve does have a dangerous ground game, he opens himself up to getting punched in the face too often. Johnson is really, really good at punching people in the face.
Cagereader's take: Johnson – I wanted to see Mark Hunt in this fight, but I actually see it going remarkably similar to how I would predict that one. Johnson has the style to wade in, get close, and do damage. That's enough to beat Struve. Struve's best option will be to pull guard and see if he can slap on a sub with his long limbs. I doubt he gets that chance, though. – John Wilcox
Thank you to everyone who submitted picks.
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- Frank Mir
- Cain Velasquez
- Junior dos Santos
- Dave Herman
- Antonio Silva
- Roy Nelson