Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bruce Lee's Birthplace
Five issues stand out here:
1. Has Rashad gotten over The Jones Thing - and for that matter, will he ever do so? (See Jens Pulver after BJ beat him, Ken Shamrock after Tito beat him, etc.).
2. Lil Nog is coming off a win, while Rashad is not only coming off a loss, but a potentially soul-stealing loss (see #1 above). Advantage Lil Nog - and BTW, only once in his entire pro MMA career has Rashad fought an opponent who was coming off a loss (when he fought Tito for the first time at UFC 73, as Tito had lost to Chuck at UFC 66 in his immediately prior fight). Betcha didn't know that!
3. Lil Nog outperformed Rashad against Tito, in consecutive fights for Tito (it's not as if the two fights were three years apart or anything like that) - and not just because he finished Tito faster: Did Lil Nog damn near get submitted by Tito?
4. Remember that when Shogun got injured, Dana White offered Rashad a fight vs. Lil Nog - and Rashad turned it down. Does this give Lil Nog "bulletin-board material" as they say in the NFL? I say it does.
5. Lil Nog has the advantage in camps. Don't take my word for that - ask Bigfoot, who left the Lackzilians (who are a combined 8-9 in the UFC, and not counting one specific fighter - Michael Johnson - they're 4-8) to join Team Nogueira, and commented that he was happy to be in a "real camp" again when he did! And remember that Bigfoot had been training with Rashad. What kind of inside info will he be able to pass on to Lil Nog?
Therefore, here is my concise prediction for this fight:
For the first two rounds, it will essentially be a carbon copy (showing my age, I know) of Rashad's fight vs. Thiago Silva at UFC 108; but then, in the third round, instead of merely rocking Rashad as Thiago did, Lil Nog will KO him.
Thus Lil Nog by KO, Round 3.
"Fighting is a sport; it is not a way to solve a problem" - Bas Rutten