2012 is a year ripe for change, with big things looming on the horizon and evolution seeming destined for MMA. But, what exactly could we see over the coming year? How might the MMA landscape look going into 2013?
It’s virtually impossible to know, but I’m going to predict the MMA future anyway, with an eye on claiming major bragging rights at next year’s New Year’s Eve parties. Or looking foolish. Anyway, fortune favors the bold.
Josh Barnett Captures UFC Gold
Alright, this one’s a tall order, but check it out: once-exiled Josh Barnett will win the UFC heavyweight title in 2012.
First, the 34-year-old will have to get past tournament alternate Daniel Cormier in the finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, which he’ll do, but barely. Though Barnett’s experience and time in the game eclipse Cormier’s, the American Kickboxing Academy heavyweight has years of elite level wrestling experience under his belt and has shown a remarkable propensity for the MMA game. Cormier will take Barnett into deep water, but the veteran will rally to pull out a classic submission victory.
With the win, Barnett will secure his spot on the UFC’s roster, despite the rough history he shares with UFC president Dana White. Once in the UFC, Barnett will take on Cheick Kongo, whom he’ll defeat via ground and pound to earn a shot at what is still Junior dos Santos’ title.
Barnett will go on to face the reigning and defending Brazilian champion and will shock the world by wrestling dos Santos to the mat repeatedly, eventually tiring him to the point that he opens up to a submission, which the seasoned Barnett will see, snatch and finish to earn the UFC heavyweight championship.
A knee injury will keep him from defending the title against Frank Mir before year’s end.
It’s going to happen exactly like this, so remember that you heard it here first and cut us in on whatever profits you make from putting up the family farm.