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TUF 9 had some Chicago flavor to it. Local fighters Kevin Knabjian and Mark Miller fought to get into the house. And fan favorite Clay Guida is in the main event against Diego Sanchez. We offer up our predictions for the main card.

Kevin Burns vs. Chris Lytle

LJ: The fight of the night will come down between this fight and the Diego/Clay match. I know a lot about Lytle and little about Burns except that he can be knocked out. I am going with Lytle on recognizability.

Matt: I know that Lytle’s last 3 fights have gone to decision. If that happens again he will win. And I think it will. Burns’ place in history may be that his eyepoke-win over Anthony Johnson helped start the conversation about instant replay.

DaMarques Johnson Vs. James Wilks

LJ: There seemed to be this vibe Johnson was one of the tops on the show throughout the series.  I don’t know how good Wilks really is considering he beat Frank Lester twice.  Have to go with Johnson who it’s safe to say is the favorite.

Matt: I want Johnson to beat Wilks convincingly. National pride plus my desire to not hear Bisping crowing about a Wilks win. Plus Johnson seems faster and has heavier hands.

Nate Diaz vs. Joe Stevenson

LJ: Everybody seems ready to give up on Stevenson. Not me. Too many negative words being spoken about Joe on this. I think Joe can outwrestle Nate like Guida did and earn a victory.

Matt: The bad news is that “Daddy” has lost 3 of his last 4. The good news is that the losses came against Diego, Penn and K-Flo. With the possible exception of Clay, this is Diaz’ toughest test. I’m going with Stevenson too.

Ross Pearson vs. Andre Winner

LJ: Ross Pearson has that neat dislocated shoulder trick he can pull, a la Mel Gibson in the Lethal Weapon movies.  He’s also the better wrestler of the two, although Winner has length for the reach advantage. I feel corny picking Winner as the winner, so let’s say Pearson.

Matt: I think Pearson has more “brawler” in him and could potentially knockout Winner. But I think Winner has more size, speed and skill. My guess is it goes to decision and in that case I’m picking Andre Winner.

Clay Guida vs. Diego Sanchez

LJ: A lot of people seem to thinks this is going to a decision.  I’m going to have to agree.  Both guys are always candidates for fight of the night, this fight could be another one of those we’ll be talking about for a long time.  I’m going to go with Clay.

Matt: My heart wants to pick Clay. But there is a lot more pressure on him than in his previous fights. It’s the main event, a possible title shot is at stake and Diego is the best fighter he has ever faced. When you look at the top-level fighters Clay has faced, they’ve mostly been losses: Griffin, Huerta and Melendez. Diego has a slew of impressive wins: Florian, Nick Diaz, Daddy, Parisyan and more. His motor is equal to Clay’s and he definitely has more size. I hope I’m wrong but I have to pick Diego.

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