'UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin' preview and predictions

In what is being billed the “biggest heavyweight fight in UFC history,” current champion Brock Lesnar and interim champ Shane Carwin will do battle in the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas to unify the organization’s heavyweight strap.

Lesnar has been out of action for almost a year, since manhandling Frank Mir — the same opponent that Shane Carwin disposed of in March. Carwin is undefeated — 12-0 — with all twelve of his wins coming in the first-round. Lesnar will look to change that pattern and use his superior wrestling to hand Carwin the first loss of his career.

The night’s co-main event is a bout between TUF alum Chris Leben and Japanese superstar Yoshihiro Akiyama. Leben took the bout on short notice having only stepped into the cage two weeks ago. Leben will be looking to stand toe-to-toe and trade with the man known as “Sexyama,” but expect the world class Judo player to tame the wild slugger and take the fight to the ground to do some easy work on Leben.

Also on the card are two rematches, Matt Brown vs. Chris Lytle and Stephan Bonnar vs. Krzysztof Soszynski, as well as an exciting lightweight bout that will put the winner in title contention between Kurt Pellegrino and George Sotiropoulos.

Here are the main card predictions:

* Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin (heavyweight title-unification bout)
PREDICTION: Brock Lesnar def. Shane Carwin via third-round TKO

* Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Chris Leben
PREDICTION: Yoshihiro Akiyama def. Chris Leben via first-round TKO

* Matt Brown vs. Chris Lytle
PREDICTION: Chris Lytle def. Matt Brown via unanimous decision

* Stephan Bonnar vs. Krzysztof Soszynski
PREDICTION: Stephan Bonnar def. Kryzysztof Soszynski via second-round TKO

* Kurt Pellegrino vs. George Sotiropoulos
PREDICTION: George Sotiropoulos def. Kurt Pellegrino via second-round submission

Tags: Brock Lesnar Chris Leben Chris Lytle George Sotiropoulos Heavyweight Heavyweight Title Kendall Grove Kurt Pellegrino MMA Predictions Preview Sexyama Shane Carwin Spike TV Stephan Bonnar UFC UFC 116 Yoshihiro Akiyama

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