Ryo Chonan (Japan) vs. Anderson Silva (Brazil)
I can say without shame that Ryo Chonan is the ugliest human I have ever seen. He looks like a cross between a salmon and an albino kangaroo. Anderson Silva, on the other hand, looks like the guy in the condom commercials who smiles and winks at the camera as he’s getting into the limo with a supermodel. Both these guys have beaten Carlos Newton. Chonan beat him down with the crazed fury of an escaped genetic experiment stomping a street musician to death. Silva KO’d him with a flying knee that was timed so well, it was sponsored by Rolex. Who wins this one? Silva. Much to the frustration of Japanese geneticists, the superior striker will beat down their terrible mutant child. Silva will then go home with a Japanese babe while Chonan is sent back to the lab for further vivisection and possible sale to the special effects team for X-men 3. Mr. Classy beats Mr. Creepy.
Yoji Anjo (Japan) vs. Ryan Gracie (Brazil)
They may as well spray Anjo down with gravy and feed him to rabid pit bulls. Ryan is going to give him a beating worse than the one Tank gave him in UFC Japan but not quite as bad as the behind-closed-doors thrashing Rickson gave him. Anjo should climb into the ring blindfolded and smoking a cigarette because Ryan is going to mow him down with the searing fury of a machine-gun firing squad.
Paolo “Giant” Silva (Brazil) vs. Choi Mu Bae (Korea)
Silva will come tilting across the ring like a windmill on roller skates and will eventually fall victim to his own worst enemy - gravity. Once he is on the ground, he’ll lay there as helpless as a beached whale as Choi Mu Bae punches him in his enormous deformed face and people around the world shed a tear for the sad giant.
Stefan Leko (Germany) vs. Ikuhisa Minowa (Japan)
Leko came into his first MMA fight as unprepared as a university student stumbling drunk into a mid-term exam with the cellophane still on his textbook. When Ogawa armlocked him, Leko looked more surprised than the guy who shows up to shoot a porno and then finds out he’s the bitch. Will he do better this time? It’s possible. Minowa could be dumb/brave enough to step up to the plate with Leko and start swinging. If not, Leko will be on the fast flight back to Deutchland with his legs in the overhead compartment.
Makoto Takimoto (Japan) vs. Henry Miller (USA)
Henry Miller has done better than most sumo wrestlers in MMA, which is sad considering he has only one win and ever sadder considering that guy said his style was “Rugby”. I guess nobody threw Miller the ball. Now he’s fighting an Olympic Gold Medalist in Judo. My prediction? Takimoto will break Miller’s head like an enormous fortune cookie and choke him with the furious glee of a juvenile delinquent mugging the high school lunchroom cook.
Takanori Gomi (Japan) vs. Jens Pulver (USA)
Gomi will come forward, shooting doubles and punching. Pulver will back up, sprawling and trying to land his left hand. He’ll spend the whole fight avoiding Gomi and when it goes to the judges, he’ll be shocked to hear that Gomi has won for being more aggressive. Later, at the airport, Pulver will refuse to walk towards the plane and will insist that the cowardly plane come towards him. He will then back away from the plane.
Dan Henderson (USA) vs. Yuki Kondo (Japan)
The only way Henderson could have a harder right hand would be if he were to hit you with it from a passing truck. He blasts you with it and you wake up fifty years later in a buck-rogers-esque hospital coma ward with a robot changing your futuristic silver adult diaper. Kondo is like a rabbit with a jackhammer. He jumps up in the air and things get badly broken. Who’s getting the free ambulance ride? Kondo. Henderson will KO him with a right hand and then before Kondo even hits the mat, he’ll double leg his body through the canvas.
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (Croatia) vs. Kevin Randleman (USA)
Randleman and Cro Cop are scary for different reasons. Randleman is scary because you don’t know what he’ll do. Maybe he’ll slam you. Maybe he’ll punch you. Maybe he’ll break down like Oliver McCall and start crying. Nobody knows - but everyone knows what Cro Cop will do. He’ll kick you to death. You know it. He knows it. The guy in the third row with the goofy eyes and the super-big-gulp of Sprite knows it. Who wins? Cro Cop watches carefully for Randlemans’ left hook, but instead gets thrown onto his head Fedor-style and is killed.
Wanderlei Silva (Brazil) vs. Kazushi Sakuraba (Japan)
They say if you fall off the horse, you should get back in the saddle. But if that horse knocks you out, breaks your collarbone and fractures your skull maybe you’re a lot better off taking up bowling and leaving the horse the hell alone before it kills you. Sak will either beat Silva or die trying. News flash – Sak will not beat Silva.
Hidehiko Yoshida (Japan) vs. Rulon Gardner (USA)
Gardner has been training MMA for two months and probably thinks a kimono is a Japanese fish. Once this goes to the ground, Gardner will turn his back and Yoshida will choke him. In his victory speech, Yoshida will challenge Olympic gold medalists from rowing, floor gymnastics and synchronized diving to fight him.
Fedor Emelianenko (Russia) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Brazil)
You don’t want to be under some things. A steam-roller for instance or Bea Arthur. Fedor is also on that list but for some reason, Nogueira is content to lay beneath him and enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet of hammer-fists. Nogueira should box and I pray he does. But I’m fully expecting him to pull guard and lose a decision, while I stand in my La-Z-boy recliner screaming “get off your damn back” ‘til I pass out from hyperventilation.