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UFC 106: Breakdown and Picks

For the first time ever in the Las Vegas Sun’s predictions contest, the UFC will be right here at Mandalay Bay Events Center rather than on the road. Who will give the best performance for the home crowd? It’s nearly dead even heading into Saturday, with the Sun’s Brett Okamoto (29-17) and Yahoo.com’s Kevin Iole (29-17) just slightly ahead of ESPN Radio’s Steve Cofield (25-21). Odds courtesy of The Venetian sports book, but subject to change.

Forrest Griffin

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6'3''
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 7-4
  • MMA record 16-6
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: -125

Tito Ortiz

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6'2''
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 14-6-1
  • MMA record 16-6-1
  • Out of: Huntington Beach, Calif.
  • Betting line: -105

Light Heavyweight Bout

Main Event

Last fight: First round loss by knockout to Anderson Silva at UFC 101.

Punch list: For the first time in his professional career, Griffin is coming into an event having lost two consecutive fights. He’s also riding a streak of three consecutive Fight of the Night honors, for unforgettable matches against Anderson Silva, Rashad Evans and Quinton Jackson.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Ortiz

Cofield: Ortiz

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 84.

Punch list: Ortiz has failed to record a win in his last three fights, but has said he never felt better than 85 percent. Arguably his last real impressive win, ironically, was against Griffin, where he dominated the first round and hung on for a split decision win.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Griffin

Anthony Johnson

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 6'2''
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 5-2
  • MMA record 8-2
  • Out of: San Jose, Calif.
  • Betting line: -155

Josh Koscheck

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5’10''
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 11-4
  • MMA record 15-4
  • Out of: Fresno, Calif.
  • Betting line: +125

Welterweight Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC 104.

Punch list: Yes, Johnson didn’t make weight in his last fight. But it’s hard to imagine the extra few pounds played that big a role into his 41-second knockout win over Yoshida. Johnson is a beast in the striking game, and has only gone the distance twice in his professional career.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Johnson

Cofield: Koscheck

Last fight: First round win by TKO over Frank Trigg at UFC 103.

Punch list: Koscheck is having a hard time working his way back to a title shot, but jumped at the chance to fight Johnson instead of fighting Michael Pierce at January as it was originally planned. Koscheck has said that a win over Johnson should jump him ahead of Dan Hardy, who just beat Mike Swick at UFC 105.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Johnson

Phil Baroni

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 5'9’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 3-4
  • MMA record 13-11
  • Out of: Long Island, N.Y.
  • Betting line: +170

Amir Sadollah

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 2-1
  • Out of: Richmond, Vir.
  • Betting line: -200

Welterweight Bout

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Joe Riggs at Strikeforce – Lawler vs. Shields

Punch list: Baroni last fought in the UFC in 2005 and has since fought for seven different organizations including PRIDE, Strikeforce and EliteXC.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Sadollah

Cofield: Sadollah

Last fight: First round loss by TKO to Johny Hendricks at UFC 101.

Punch list: Following a year-long layoff due to a leg injury, the TUF 7 winner had a rude welcome-back when he was lost by TKO to Johny Hendricks at UFC 101 in a controversial stoppage.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Sadollah

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’2''
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 17-3
  • Out of: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Betting line: -130

Luiz Cane

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6’2''
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 3-1
  • MMA record 11-1-1
  • Out of: Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Betting line: Even

Light Heavyweight Bout

Last fight: Third round win by submission over Dion Staring at Jungle Fight Ceara.

Punch list: ‘Lil Nog’ as he is sometimes referred to as isn’t quite as famous as his twin brother, but he’s no slouch either. Nogueira has beat the likes of Dan Henderson, Vladimir Matyushenko and took Mauricio Rua the distance in a 2005 fight..

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Cane

Cofield: Cane

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Steve Cantwell at UFC 97.

Punch list: Cane could be considered by most to be an undefeated fighter. His only loss came in his first fight with the UFC against James Irvin when he was disqualified for an illegal knee to head while Irvin was on the ground.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Cane

Dustin Hazelett

  • Age: 23
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 5-2
  • MMA record 14-4
  • Out of: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Betting line: OFF

Karo Parisyan

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 9-3, 1 NC
  • MMA record 26-5, 2 NC
  • Out of: North Hollywood, Calif.
  • Betting line: OFF

CANCELED Welterweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by submission over Tamdan McCrory at UFC 91.

Punch list: Hazelett will receive his full purse and winnings money even though his fight has been scratched from the card.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: N/A

Cofield: N/A

Last fight: No contest against Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 94.

Punch list: Parisyan pulled out of the contest the day before the weigh-ins with, ‘A laundry list of excuses’ according to UFC president Dana White.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: N/A

Marcus Davis

  • Age: 36
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 8-3
  • MMA record 21-6
  • Out of: Bangor, Maine
  • Betting line: -200

Ben Saunders

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6’3’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 3-1
  • MMA record 7-1-2
  • Out of: Orlando, Fla.
  • Betting line: +170

Welterweight Bout

Last fight: Split decision loss to Dan Hardy at UFC 99.

Punch list: You can bet we’ll see a motivated Davis following a tough loss against Dan Hardy. That fight had turned personal after a lot of talk between the two and Davis believed he had clearly won the fight.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Davis

Cofield: Davis

Last fight: Second round loss by TKO to Mike Swick at UFC 99.

Punch list: Saunders had a very unusual start to his professional career — back-to-back draws. It didn’t help that they were only two-round bouts, but still an awkward thing to have a record of 0-0-2 to start.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Davis

Jacob Volkmann

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 9-0
  • Out of: White Bear Lake, Minn.
  • Betting line: +140

Paulo Thiago

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 11-1
  • Out of: Brasilla, Brazil
  • Betting line: -170

Welterweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by submission over Kevin Knabjian at Bellator Fighting Championships 6.

Punch list: Volkmann doesn’t have much of a reputation yet with UFC fans, but he’s got an impressive background. Volkmann was a three-time All-American wrestler from the University of Minnesota and was a stud in grappling tournaments before starting his professional MMA career.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Volkmann

Cofield: Volkmann

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Jon Fitch at UFC 100.

Punch list: Thiago submitted seven of his first eight opponents but showcased his standup with an explosive knockout win over Josh Koscheck earlier this year.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Thiago

Jake Rosholt

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 6-1
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: -165

Kendall Grove

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6’6’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 5-3
  • MMA record 12-6
  • Out of: Maui, Hawaii
  • Betting line: +135

Middleweight Bout

Last fight: Third round win by submission over Chris Leben at UFC 102.

Punch list: Rosholt lost his UFC debut to Dan Miller but rebounded nicely with a Submission of the Night victory over Chris Leben at UFC 102. A similar win over Kendall Grove could really elevate the former collegiate wrestler’s stock in the middleweight division.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Grove

Cofield: Rosholt

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Ricardo Almeida at UFC 101.

Punch list: Grove saw how good B.J. Penn looked at UFC 101 and ended up bringing on trainer Marv Marinovich to help him prepare for the endurance he’ll need facing a top shelf wrestler.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Rosholt

Brian Foster

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5'10’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 14-4
  • Out of: Granite City, Ill.
  • Betting line: +325

Brock Larson

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 7-3
  • MMA record 27-3
  • Out of: Brainerd, Minn.
  • Betting line: -450

Welterweight Bout

Last fight: Second round loss by submission to Rick Story at UFC 103.

Punch list: Foster’s day job used to be working in a bed factory, loading trucks. He did the gig for about four years before quitting when his brother died in 2006.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Larson

Cofield: Larson

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night: Diaz vs. Guillard.

Punch list: Larson, ‘the other Brock from Minnesota’, is looking to come back from a decision loss in his last fight in which he complained Mike Pierce caused little damage..

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Larson

Fabricio Camoes

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 10-4
  • Out of: San Diego, Calif.
  • Betting line: +140

Caol Uno

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 5'7’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 3-4-1
  • MMA record 25-12-4
  • Out of: Kanagawa, Japan.
  • Betting line: -170

Lightweight Bout

Last fight: First round win by submission over Torrance Taylor at Strikeforce – Challengers Series 1.

Punch list: Camoes has rung off seven straight wins and is highly qualified in Jiu-Jitsu after receiving training from Royler Gracie.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Camoes

Cofield: Uno

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Spencer Fisher at UFC 99.

Punch list: Uno has already shown he can bang with the best of them — he fought B.J. Penn to a five-round draw in 2003 — but he needs to return to form after losing three of his last four fights.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Uno

Jason Dent

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 1-2
  • MMA record 19-10
  • Out of: Mentor, Ohio.
  • Betting line: +375

George Sotiropoulos

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 3-0
  • MMA record 10-2
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: -550

Lightweight Bout

Last fight: Fist round win by submission over Cameron Dollar at TUF Finale: Team US vs. Team UK.

Punch list: Fans should recognize Dent from his appearance in TUF 9. He looked impressive at the TUF 9 Finale where he choked out Cameron Dollar in the first round.

Staff picks: Yahoo.com and ESPN Radio

Iole: Sotiropoulos

Cofield: Sotiropoulos

Last fight: Second round win by submission over George Roop at UFC 101.

Punch list: At 32, Sotiropoulos is quietly cruising through the lightweight division. Through three UFC fights, Sotiropoulos has finished every opponent he’s faced.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun

Okamoto: Sotiropoulos