UFC 100 Main Card Bouts:
-Frank Mir (245) vs. Brock Lesnar (265)
-Georges St. Pierre (170) vs. Thiago Alves (170)
-Dan Henderson (185) vs. Michael Bisping (186)
-Yoshihiro Akiyama (185) vs. Alan Belcher (186)
-Jon Fitch (170) vs. Paulo Thiago (170)
UFC 100 Preliminary Bouts:
-Mark Coleman (205) vs. Stephan Bonnar (205)
-Mac Danzig (154) vs. Jim Miller (155)
-Jon Jones (206) vs. Jake O'Brien (206)
Winners in bold.
This is how I see the co-main events playing out:
Mir v., Lesnar
Mir is a much better technical boxer, has vastly more striking experience, and has appeared to have improved his MT and boxing greatly from the Rog Nog fight; however, the paper-advantage might not play out. Lesnar's right-jab has put or wobbled down every opponent he has faced, Mir included, within the first round. While Mir is technically leagues above Lesnar, it would be unwise for him to stand and trade with the Gorilla. Advantage: Lesnar
Nothing needs to be said. Advantage: Lesnar
Again, Mir is technically in another stratosphere, and has vastly more experience, but: as in the striking, it could come down to Lesnar's power and control. If he waves and becomes too excited - as he did against Mir the first time - Mir could easily catch him. Mir has historically been one of the most dangerous HWs in his guard, so Lesnar needs to keep the pace on the ground, posture up and throw big, driving shots, and avoid those little hammer fists. Advantage: Mir
The experience factor, a big intangible, is hard to gauge here: Mir has more Octagon experience, but Lesnar is a National wrestling champion and has competed in the limelight his entire life. I think the real intangible is whether or not the big man can control the short fuse of his he has displayed, particularly when talking about this fight. If Lesnar gets too angry, and too excited, the calmer and more seasoned Mir could catch him. Advantage: Mir
GSP v., Alves:
Much has been made thus far of Thiago's striking, and rightfully so: six of his seven consecutive wins have been stunning knockouts; and so, it is claimed, again rightfully so, that GSP has not faced a striker of Alves' caliber. What continues to get lost, though, is that Alves has not faced a striker of GSP's calibre. Going through Alves' opponents and tape, there isn't a single fighter who was quick enough to constantly have a jab in his face, disrupting his rhythm; as well, Thiago's favorite weapons - left low kick, left hook, right knee - all leave him susceptible to shots GSP loves to throw: right superman punch, and a stiff left jab.
I actually look for GSP to out kickbox Thiago in the first round to frustrate him with a varied attack, ala BJ, and then take him down after that. As Rodja said earlier, Thiago has a wide-open, Wandy-style MT that makes him very susceptible to crisp, lean jabs up the middle, and a technical KB'er is a poor match-up for him. What makes Thiago dangerous, though, is that he can end the fight at any time, a capacity Georges does not share. Advantage: Even (Georges' technicality and dynamism against Thiago's power)
I think Georges' wrestling advantage is just as much as Brock's over Mir, but this category requires some explanation. The key question here is obvious: is Thiago's TDD enough to nullify Georges' takedowns? The short answer: no. Looking back to Thiago's second last fight, Matt Hughes easily took him down in the first, and held him there for well over two-thirds of the round; if a wrestlers of Hughes' caliber took Thiago down and controlled him, Georges will certainly put him down. While I don't expect Georges to attempt open-cage doubles - he will probably MT clinch him, which is maybe why he was working with Skarbowski - he will still have to be diligent about varying his attack to confuse Alves, prior to the TD. When it comes down to it, Georges has taken down Kos, Hughes, Fitch and BJ at will, so Alves will not be any different. Advantage: GSP.
This comes down to Georges' Gracie Barra BB [although only his brown was awarded by Renzo] against Thiago's PB. in Hughes/GSP III, I think GSP showed his ability to use his strength to set up transitions and multiple sub., possibilities, and Thiago may not be able to contend with this. This being said, it is hard to judge Thiago's guard: the last time he was truly on his back and controlled was two years ago, against Fitch, and Hughes was inactive in the last instance he was in guard. If Thiago is to avoid any subs, he will need to keep a very active guard to disrupt GSP's thought process. I would expect to see Georges attempt to transition immediately to half-guard for some G n' P after a takedown, and then into his familiar side-mount. Advantage: GSP.
Is Georges' chin a concern? That is probably the biggest intangible. IMO: no, it is not. Georges has only been put on his back from strikes once, against Serra, and this spans into his TKO days [pre-UFC]. He showed his ability to take heavy damage without buckling against BJ/GSP I, and against every opponent since Serra I, he has quelled the "gun-shy" theory. As I see it, the biggest intangible does not lie with GSP, but with Thiago: can Thiago effectively assert his game-plan against a technical KB'er, and somebody who has historically brought an air-tight strategy to the fight? If Thiago gets frustrated and flustered early, as GSP can do to his opponents, he may regress ala Fitch and a G n' P will follow. Advantage: GSP