“UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort” takes place tonight at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. A couple of the preliminary bouts will air live on Spike TV beginning at 8 p.m. CT / 6 p.m. PT and the main card will air live on pay-per-view beginning at 9 p.m. CT / 7 p.m. PT.
As always, the PROMMA.INFO staff has come together to give you our predictions on the fights.
TYSON GRIFFIN vs. HERMES FRANCA
- Jeff Howard: Franca has been under the radar as of late, except for his out of the Octagon troubles. Griffin has shown amazing stand up in his last couple of fights, and will win via ref stoppage in the 1st round.
- Eddie Constantine: Griffin by decision in “rinse and repeat” performance of Tyson taking him down, Hermes getting up. Trying to land a big shot and Tyson takes him down again.
- Richard Mann: This is starting to seem like a conspiracy. Tyson Griffin always gets matched up with fighters who rely on their Brazilian jiu jitsu. He has the perfect skill set to defeat them. His anti-jiu jitsu will lead him to another decision victory here. Griffin via Decision.
- Dusty Adams: Griffin. Griffin is always in an exciting fight as well as Franca. Both are solid on the ground but Griffin is the more technical striker and should win a unanimous decision.
- Jack Bratcher: Hermes had to have this fight moved to 159 lbs. That tells me he is not in as good shape as he should be. If you aren’t 100% for Tyson Griffin, you’re in trouble. Tyson is known for grinding out those decisions so, I have to go with Tyson Griffin by unanimous decision.
JOSH KOSCHECK vs. FRANK TRIGG
- Jeff Howard: This is an interesting match up, with both being outstanding wrestlers. This fight will go one of two ways, quick and exciting or long and boring, no question. On paper, Koscheck would seem to have a slight edge, being younger and quicker than Frank Trigg. With that said, Trigg is a big welterweight, and has an outstanding camp with Xtreme Couture. Koscheck has shown a vulnerability to effective striking, and that is where I feel Trigg will win this fight. Frank Trigg via TKO round 2.
- Eddie Constantine: I love Frank Trigg. having said that, Kos really is Trigg 2.0 and wins a decision.
- Richard Mann: Frank Trigg is able to win fights when he puts pressure on his opponents with his wrestling. Koscheck will have the advantage in the clinch and on the outside. Trigg will put up an admirable fight, but in the end he willl come up short. Koscheck via decision.
- Dusty Adams: Koscheck. I don’t care for his arrogance but Koscheck is the better fighter. Hope Trigg wins but I don’t see how. Koscheck by dare I say rear-naked 2nd rd.
- Jack Bratcher: ^^^^^ low blow — Koscheck’s wrestling for MMA is no better than Trigg’s. In fact I give Trigg the wrestling advantage. I don’t see Koscheck out-striking Trigg or out-wrestling him and he sure as hell won’t submit him. Trigg is being underestimated by everyone. And Denny was supposed to put a bill on Trigg for us and I know he didn’t and I’m gonna kill him when Trigg wins this damn thing. Trigg will win. Submission in round two.
MARTIN KAMPMANN vs. PAUL DALEY
- Jeff Howard: Daley hasn’t done anything of any consequence in some time, showing a lack of conditioning in his last couple of fights. Kampmann definitely has the advantage in the stand up department. I have the Hitman winning via TKO round number 1.
- Eddie Constantine: Kampmann has been prepping for a very tough Swick so he should dispatch a tough Daley by submission in round 2.
- Richard Mann: As technical as he is, Martin Kampmann is lacking in the power department. In this fight it would be a bad idea for him to try to match strikes with Paul Daley. Kampmann will take this to the ground early and finish with a submission. Martin Kampmann via submission.
- Dusty Adams: Kampmann. I would like to see Daley win but Kampmann is so much better all around. i wouldn’t sleep on Daley because he really has nothing to lose and that is a dangerous fighter, still I pick Kampmann by TKO 2nd rd.
- Jack Bratcher: Kampmann wins this one fairly easily. Kampmann is one of Trigg’s training partners by the way (Another reason I pick Trigg is his top notch training partners). Kampmann via TKO round one.
MIRKO CRO COP FILIPOVIC vs. JUNIOR DOS SANTOS
- Jeff Howard: Crocop is aging, and has been KO’d in the past. Dos Santos will easily walk through Cro Cop by knockout early in the fight, round 1.
- Eddie Constantine: Dos Santos by KO in spectacular fashion. 1st round KO.
- Richard Mann: Despite his UFC highlight reel, Junior dos Santos is still an unproven commodity. However, Cro Cop seems to have really faded. Even during his last win, he did not look impressive against Mostapha Al-turk. It is also bad form to pick against prospect, especially in the heavyweight division. Junior dos Santos via decision.
- Dusty Adams: Dos Santos. Cro Cop is overrated to me. I now he has big wins but he’s beaten no one of value since 2006 (Barnett). Dos Santos maybe isn’t the striker Mirko is but he’s good and has heavy hands. Plus he trains with Nogueria. I know it was 2003 when he beat him but Mirko’s game hasn’t changed a lot either. Dos Santos by submission 1st rd.
- Jack Bratcher: I’m going to be the odd man out here. I still love Cro Cop. He came to the weigh ins wearing a PRIDE shirt and I think that is indicative of the old Cro Cop we’re going to see Saturday night. Things haven’t gone as expected when he came into the UFC. I’m still holding on to the faith that Cro Cop could still do some big things in the UFC. I’m picking Cro Cop by first round head kick KO (I know, it’s crazy).
RICH FRANKLIN vs. VITOR BELFORT
- Jeff Howard: As much as I like Franklin, and his loyalty to the UFC by changing weight, etc. I see Belfort continuing his streak of KO’s in this one. Belfort via TKO in the 2nd round.
- Eddie Constantine: I see Belfort looking good early but fading when Franklin is still standing after the first few minutes. As much as I love Vitor I think Franklin wins a unanimous decision
- Richard Mann: Although he has been extremely successful in his MMA career, Rich Franklin has trouble with superior strikers. Vitor Belfort on the other hand, mostly struggles with better grapplers. Belfort should have a technical advantage in the boxing, and a power advantage. Expect Belfort to work around Franklin’s footwork and land the more meaningful strikes en route to a unanimous decision. Vitor Belfort via Decision.
- Dusty Adams: Belfort. I’m a longtime fan of Belfort and at times it can be frustrating rooting for him. Franklin is underrated to me. i mean he’s 25-4 and his losses have come to the P4P best fighter in the world A.Silva, LHW Champ Machida, and a close split decision to Henderson. Still though I pick Belfort because I’m a fan and I think his hand speed will be a little much for “Ace” to handle.
- Jack Bratcher: Vitor Belfort first round KO. Never been a big fan of Franklin. He’s good and can hang and beat most of the top tier guys. However, I still think a great striker like Vitor is his biggest weakness. Vitor’s hands will be too much for Ace Ventura and will knock him out within the first five minutes.