UFC 106: Ortiz vs. Griffin 2 takes place this Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Headlining the card is a rematch between Forrest Griffin, and the person who gave him his first UFC defeat back at UFC 59 in April 2006, Tito Ortiz.

This will be Ortiz’s first fight after major back surgery, and after signing a new contract with the UFC. Both Ortiz and Griffin are coming into the bout on two losses. Both fighters need to make a statement.

We do realize Karo Parisyan has pulled out of his fight with Dustin Hazelett. UFC President Dana White said Karo had a “laundry list of excuses” as to why he “can not” fight. I wanted to go ahead and include our picks for the Parisyan vs. Hazelett fight, just to give you our opinions on why we think Parisyan would have lost anyway. White has stated Parisyan will never fight in the UFC again. So long Karo… and yes we do know who you are.

Forrest Griffin (16-6) vs. Tito Ortiz (15-6-1)

RICHARD MANN: Tito Ortiz is going to come out and look for takedowns. Even if he gets them, Griffin’s defensive guard is extremely improved. Look for Ortiz to get desperate for takedowns in rounds two and three and get picked apart on his feet. This fight is basically the same thing as their first fight except Ortiz won’t take round one in such dominating fashion.

DUSTY ADAMS: I still believe Ortiz is a top LHW fighter. His skills are just all around better than Griffin’s to me. In wrestling in particular is where I think Ortiz has a big advantage and he will use that to control Griffin much like their first fight. Ortiz by TKO.

JACK BRATCHER: I’m going to go with Tito. Of course Ortiz may have some ring rust coming into the fight, but I think he feels like he did years ago when he was dominating fools. He has a new back, he’s been training hard, and the only way I see that Forrest could beat him is by decision – but I don’t think that is going to happen. Forrest is not going to (T)KO Tito, and he won’t submit him, but Tito CAN submit or finish Griffin with strikes. I’m going with Tito second round TKO. Wow – I just looked at everyone else’s picks – looks like we’re on the same page basically.

JEFF HOWARD: A lot of unknowns in this fight… Is Tito improved as a fighter since his surgery? Has Forrest taken too many big shots and been in too many wars? I have to go with Ortiz in this one, and more impressively than the first time around. I have Ortiz winning via TKO (ground and pound) in the third round.

Josh Koscheck (13-4) vs. Anthony Johnson (8-2)

RICHARD MANN: Two weeks ago we saw what happens when Ken Pavia rushes one of his prospects into action too quickly as Brett Rogers met Fedor. This weekend we get to see the same thing all over again. There is a lot of hype around Anthony Johnson, but he can’t make weight and he got worked by Rich Celemnti. Koscheck has the better wrestling game and should dominate if he uses it. If he doesn’t the fight will be more interesting, but Koscheck will still win by avoiding haymakers and landing counters.

DUSTY ADAMS: Wow this is a great matchup to me. Even though Johnson has a wrestling background I still give that edge to Koscheck. Interesting to see how Johnson’s weight cut will effect him assuming he makes it. Johnson’s striking is better and I think he will bait Koscheck into a stand up fight which will earn him a victory by TKO 2nd rd.

JACK BRATCHER: This could be fight of the night. Wow – a hard one to call too. I’m going to have to go with Johnson. Dana’s new blog showed Johnson right on point for weight. He looks fired up and ready. Johnson’s stand up is too much for  Kos to deal with. Kos won’t look for takedowns which would be the only place he could maybe beat Johnson. Kos will stand and bang and probably get taken out in the first round, (T)KO.

JEFF HOWARD: I am surprised on the odds in this fight not being more in favor of Johnson. I see Johnson winning by another highlight reel knockout. Thiago showed Kos’s vulnerability and Rumble is the man to exploit it. Don’t forget people, Johnson comes from a solid wrestling background and can avoid the takedowns. Johnson by knockout late in the first or second round.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (17-3) vs. Luis Cane (10-1)

RICHARD MANN: Nogueira has not looked like himself since he got battered by Sokoudjou. He has gone 5-0 over that span, but the level of competition has not been very high. Cane is an up and coming fighter who knows solid combinations. He will land on Nogueira early in the fight, and make Nogueira look for takedowns. Cane will be able to defend the takedowns and continue to pick apart Nogueira on the feet. Hopefully with the win, someone will tell Rogan and Goldberg how to say his name.

DUSTY ADAMS: Cane has looked pretty good in the UFC so far but hasn’t fought the competition that Nogueria has. Nogueria is a better all around fighter to me but Cane is very aggressive and no doubt has a solid chin as he seems to walk through punches. I think Nogueria will move around and outbox Cane though to win a unanimous decision.

JACK BRATCHER: This could also possibly end up being fight of the night. I’m very excited to see Lil’ Nog’s UFC debut, but he will have his hands full with Luis Cane. Cane is dangerous – no joke. Will Nog experience any first time UFC jitters? It’s almost a toss up for me. And it’s a very interesting match-up of styles. I’m going to go with Cane, not because I want him to win necessarily, but because he has been consistently aggressive in finishing his opponents. Cane by (T)KO in round 2.

JEFF HOWARD: Nogueira, like his brother, can take a punch. Cane is versed in jiu-jitsu and can avoid the submissions. I see this one going to a decision with Cane winning it.

Karo Parisyan (18-5) vs. Dustin Hazelett (12-4)

(replacement fight: Paulo Thiago vs. Jacob Volkmann)

RICHARD MANN: Parisyan’s time away from the game is not going to bode well for him in this fight. He has always had the ability to throw his opponents, but he does not hold position well and has no way to finish a fight. Hazelett is a far superior overall grappler, and he will win this fight due to positioning. Expect Parisyan to come out and throw Hazelett, but give up his back in the process.

DUSTY ADAMS: Been looking forward to seeing Dustin back fighting again. I don’t know that even with his superb submissions if he will be able to submit Karo. I do think he will keep Karo on the defensive all night and pull out a UD.

JACK BRATCHER: Hahaha stupid Karo. OK, sorry, I shouldn’t make fun of someone with an “anxiety disorder.” I would have picked Hazelett to beat him anyway via second round submission. In the replacement fight, I’m picking Paulo Thiago to win by (T)KO, cause I know nothing about Jacob Volkswagon or whoever.

JEFF HOWARD: Paulo Thiago vs. Jacob Volkmann has been moved up from the undercard to replace the missing Parisyan/Hazelett fight. I’m going to be honest, like many, I do not know too much about Thiago and nothing about Volkmann. Flipping a coin here and going with Thiago by KO in round one.

Amir Sadollah (1-1) vs. Phil Baroni (13-11)

RICHARD MANN: At this point it is extremely clear that Phil Baroni does not have the cardio to win fights at this level. Even if Baroni has his best fight in years, he will be spent by the time round two rolls around. Despite the fact that Sadollah is the most overrated fighter in TUF history, expect him to take the fight with a third round submission.

DUSTY ADAMS: He got hurt by the power of Johnny Hendricks and Baroni has more power than Hendricks in his punches. Still though Baroni hasn’t seemed to improve alot on his ground game and as we have seen before Sadollah can pull sub’s out quickly. Sadollah sub second round.

JACK BRATCHER: How could I possibly pick Phil Baroni to beat anyone in the UFC? I don’t even know why they brought him back unless they were scared his ring entrances would mesmerize a CBS audience into believing he was legit. Maybe Phil won a UFC contract from Dana in a poker game. Who knows? Not us. Amir Sadollah wins in the second round via submission. By the way, I am a Baroni fan. dou not love the guy?

JEFF HOWARD: This fight could go one of two ways, Baroni getting a lucky KO in an early barrage of punches or Sadollah weathering that storm and taking it down and getting the submission. I am picking Sodallah to make it through Baroni’s early flurry and to win via submission in the second round.

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