|UFC 134 Picks & Predictions: Forrest Griffin vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua|
|Written by Drew Sharper|
|Saturday, 27 August 2011 14:00|
Shogun vs. Griffin Free Pick
According to oddsmakers, Shogun is the favorite to win this second contest with odds of -285. Griffin has a money line of +225. UFC 134 takes place from the HSBC Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and will air live on Pay-Per-View at 9PM ET.
WHY PICK RUA
Rua (19-5) is still one of the top fighters in the world. He is coming off a loss to Jon Jones, where he lost the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in a lackluster showing, but he tends to fight better after a loss. In the first fight with Griffin, Rua struggled with his conditioning and was unable to put up much offense late in the fight. This time around, he appears to be in better shape and should be more aggressive. Rua has the edge in striking and knockout power and he also has the edge in submission fighting. Griffin hasn’t shown the ability to really land a KO punch, so Rua won’t be afraid to come forward and get into a fist fight. Rua will also have the support of the crowd, with this event being in Brazil.
WHY PICK GRIFFIN
Griffin (26-5) already owns a submission win over Rua back at UFC 76 in 2007. Griffin was able to out-grapple a tired Rua in the later rounds and score a choke in the final minute. Griffin is a scrapper and a fan favorite, as he isn’t afraid to leave it all in the cage. In this fight, Griffin will look to push Rua to a fast pace in hopes of tiring him again. Griffin will have to use his boxing skills to stick and move in the striking and not let himself get caught with a big knee or kick. Griffin should have the wrestling edge, so he may also look to mix in takedowns. Rua really has only looked impressive in his fights with Lyoto Machida, so it is hard to know just where he stacks up against someone like Griffin.
WHO TO PICK?
People point to Rua having a long layoff and a knee injury in his first fight with Griffin as to the reason he lost, but I think that Griffin just may have more heart than him. Rua may come out like a mad man early, but that will lead to him tiring early again, which will set up Griffin to win again. I look for this to be another war, but Griffin will control the fight on the ground and pull out a decision in an upset.
UFC 134 FREE PICK: FORREST GRIFFIN +225