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UFC 80 Is Upon Us: Bonus Predictions

Start gathering the beer and microwavable pizza rolls: “Rapid Fire” goes down tomorrow night in Newcastle (3 p.m. ET, noon PT). We’ll be liveblogging the event with round-by-round updates, so be sure to swing by if you don’t want to shell out the money for pay-per-view.

Speaking of money, we’d like to be the first in the MMA blogosphere to make official predictions on who will be taking home the UFC’s traditional end-of-night bonuses, which were a hefty $50k/apiece at UFC 79. To refresh, here’s the lineup:

MAIN CARD
B.J. Penn vs. Joe Stevenson (lightweights)
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Fabricio Werdum (heavyweights)
Marcus Davis vs. Jess Liaudin (welterweights)
Jason Lambert vs. Wilson Gouveia (light heavyweights)
Kendall Grove vs. Jorge Rivera (middleweights)
PRELIMINARY CARD
Antoni Hardonk vs. Colin Robinson (heavyweights)
Paul Kelly vs. Paul Taylor (welterweights)
James Lee vs. Alessio Sakara (light heavyweights)
Per Eklund vs. Sam Stout (lightweights)

Fight of the Night: Expect a relentless, violent war from Marcus Davis and Jess Liaudin. Not only are both men total sluggers, but they’re both riding significant win streaks that they’ll want to protect at all costs. One more win for Davis and he’ll start getting higher-level competition. One more win for Liaudin and people will finally know who he is. And it’s never a good idea to bet against Kid Bonus. Dark horse: Gabriel Gonzaga and Fabricio Werdum, if they’re firing on all cylinders tomorrow night. Both are coming off of terrible performances in embarrassing losses, and are looking to prove themselves. As for the main event, we see it going one of two ways: Penn wins by early submission (likely), or Stevenson grinds out a relatively boring decision (somewhat less likely). Either way, it won’t be Fight of the Night.

Submission of the Night: Penn, probably. Though if he beats Stevenson with just a simple armbar or rear-naked without any flash to it, the bonus may go to James Lee, a King of the Cage veteran who’s making his UFC debut at “Rapid Fire.” In his last 11 fights, Lee has racked up 10 wins with one no contest, and nine of those wins have been by submission. Known primarily as a boxer, his opponent Alessio Sakara will almost certainly be eating a tap-out loss.

Knockout of the Night: They don’t call him “Hands of Stone” for nothing. Though Sam Stout’s UFC record has been spotty, he was known for his knockouts in the Canadian MMA organization TKO, and we see him coming out on top of Eklund. Dark horse: Gabriel Gonzaga. If he could murder Cro Cop with a headkick, he could do it to anyone.

Make sense? Shoot us your own predictions in the comments section…

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Turdburglar- January 20, 2008 at 3:02 am
damm, i must be psychic
Mike Fed- January 18, 2008 at 12:32 am
''BIG CHRIS Says:

January 18th, 2008 at 10:45 am
I think fight of the night might actually be the main event on this one….I think Penn and Stevenson are going to go to war…..and Penn is going to walk away with the belt…..Marcus Davis will have Knockout of the night….Gonzaga will have submission of the night, via arm triangle in the second round…

Jason Lambert could have the Knockout of the night though but that is what is (unlikely). As far as Kendall Grove though I think that fight will end in a decision.''




first off, i think fight of the night will go to Gonzaga and Werdum.

and second off.. if you disagree.. watch the first fight.

INSANE.

and i think werdum will outclass him on the ground and standing..

no one gave a crap about gonzaga until he beat a unfocused CC... now hes the king of the fucking world.

Werdum has been through more and has shown more
BIG CHRIS- January 18, 2008 at 12:17 am
No....this should have been free on Spike....
Turdburglar- January 18, 2008 at 12:05 am
should UFC have charged for this card?
Turdburglar- January 18, 2008 at 12:02 am
joe's going to get handled. submission in early rounds

gonzaga vs Werdum pronounced Verdum - boring decision to who cares.

Davis via ko over jess.

rivera vs grove - decision to rivera. team punishment sucks, i dont know what their teaching people over there.
Chris- January 17, 2008 at 4:31 pm
Per Eklund is coming out on top, not a problem.
BIG CHRIS- January 17, 2008 at 3:45 pm
I think fight of the night might actually be the main event on this one....I think Penn and Stevenson are going to go to war.....and Penn is going to walk away with the belt.....Marcus Davis will have Knockout of the night....Gonzaga will have submission of the night, via arm triangle in the second round...

Jason Lambert could have the Knockout of the night though but that is what is (unlikely). As far as Kendall Grove though I think that fight will end in a decision.
maud- January 17, 2008 at 3:16 pm
Penn better be in top condition, Joe "Daddy" has the endurance of a work horse, and im sure hes looking to follow the trend and bring the fight into later rounds.

Still going with Penn, but its gonna be a close one imo.
Olie- January 17, 2008 at 3:10 pm
Yeah I'll take that. I think The Prodigy will take the sub bonus. Probably from his back. Triangle maybe.
MattyLight- January 17, 2008 at 2:45 pm
Five bucks says Kendall Grove is taking that submission bonus. Any takers?
Olie- January 17, 2008 at 2:41 pm
I think the night will be a let down. Hope I'm proven wrong.
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