UFC 123 Breakdown and Predictions Josh Davis May 23, 2011 Events, Previews UFC 123 is not the best card that the UFC has offered this year, but is still has the potential to be a night of good fights. Though there is not a title fight on this card, there are several fights that could have future title implications and one fight that will end one of the best rivalries in the UFC. In the main event, Lyoto Machida fights Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in a fight where the winner might get a shot at the title. Both fighters are coming off losses and will need to rebound here if they want to move back into a title contention. The loser of this fight will have a very rough road back to the top. Machida’s karate style has caused problems for every fighter that he has faced and will do the same thing to Rampage. The big question with Machida will be how he rebounds from his first ever loss. Jackson, on the other hand, needs to stay patient and pick his shots. If he chases Machida around the octagon and allows Machida to land his counter punches, it is going to be a long night for Rampage. However, if he can stay patient and pick his shots and counter Machida he could certainly land the knock-out punch. The co main event is the final chapter in the Matt Hughes-BJ Penn rivalry. Penn, in the first bout, ended Hughes’ run as middleweight champion at UFC 46 in 2004. Hughes avenged his loss, defending his title against Penn at UFC 63 in 2006. Now, four years later, they will finally have the rubber match. Penn is coming off two consecutive losses to Frankie Edgar and he is in a must win situation, a third straight defeat would be detrimental to his career. Hughes, on the other hand, is riding a three fight win streak and hopes that a win over Penn would put him back into title contention. The rest of the pay-per-view offers fans three fights that all could be fight of the night candidates. Joe Lauzon takes on George Sotiropoulos in a lightweight fight that will help shape out the top contenders in the division. Lauzon, who has never been able to break through to the top of the division, has another opportunity to do just that if he can get by Sotiropoulos. Sotiropoulos is undefeated in his MMA career and has stormed through his competition. A win over Lauzon will move him right into title contention in the lightweight division. Tim Boetsch and Phil Davis will battle in the light heavyweight division. Davis is certainly a star in the making and one of the more exciting fighters to watch. He is currently undefeated but he will certainly be tested by Boetsch. Boetsch is on a four fight win streak and believes that a fifth straight victory would have to put him near the top of the division. In a middleweight bout, Gerald Harris will put his ten fight win streak on the line when he welcomes UFC newcomer Maiquel Falcao. Main Event Lyoto Machida vs Rampage Jackson – Machida has had his with way with most of his competition and this fight should not be any different. This is a bad match up for Rampage. Prediction: Machida wins a decision Co-Main Event Matt Hughes vs BJ Penn – These two have given us two great fights and the third should be just as exciting. Penn has the edge on Hughes in the stand up and if Hughes cannot get this fight to the ground it could be a long night. Prediction: Penn wins by submission in the second round. Joe Lauzon vs George Sotiropoulos – Sotiropoulos has dominated his competition using his superior submissions skills. Lauzon will be able to match his submission skills, so this fight will come down to game plan and who can impose their will. Prediction: Sotiropoulos wins a split decision. Tim Boetsch vs Phil Davis – Both of these fighters are on the rise and want to continue their winning ways. Both fighters have good stand up skills along with a decent ground game. Prediction: Davis by second round TKO. Maiquel Falcao vs Gerald Harris – Harris is on a ten fight win streak and does not want to lose to a UFC newcomer. Harris has dominated every opponent he has faced and he plans to continue his winning ways. Prediction: Harris is going to win by first round TKO. Even though this card does not look great on paper, do not be fooled. UFC 123 will offer fans a night of fights that they will certainly not forget anytime soon.