SI.com analysts Ben Fowlkes, Steven Marrocco, Jeff Wagenheim and Jon Wertheim provide their predictions for UFC 135 on Saturday in Denver.
Jon Jones vs. Quinton Jackson
FOWLKES: Jackson won’t even get within hooking distance of the faster, lankier Jones. If he lasts as long as Rua did before getting rolled up, I’ll be slightly amazed. Jones by TKO.
MARROCCO: Jones has three dimensions to Jackson’s two. Jackson fancies a knockout, but it’s doubtful he’ll ever get close enough to land. Jones by TKO.
WAGENHEIM: “Rampage” trash talks a good game, but when the jawing stops and the jostling starts, “Bones” will have his say … and have his way. Jones by TKO.
WERTHEIM: Feels a bit like Evans-Tito (and Jones-Shogun): a versatile contender versus a thirtysomething name far from his prime. Jones is too young, versatile and athletic. Jones by TKO.
Matt Hughes vs. Josh Koscheck
FOWLKES: I just don’t see what tools Hughes has to threaten Koscheck with at this point. He’ll get out-Hughes’d in what could very well be his final UFC fight. Koscheck by TKO.
MARROCCO: The urgency isn’t there for Hughes, and his speed and power are on the decline. Could be curtains on Saturday. Koscheck by TKO.
WAGENHEIM: Five years ago, fighting Hughes would have meant a long night for Kos. But at this point he should make short work of the past champ. Koscheck by TKO.
WERTHEIM: Long layoff for two veterans and wrestling-based fighters. Though coming on short notice, Koscheck is younger and faster. Koscheck by decision.