Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (31-8) vs. Matt Hamill (10-2)
■ CLASS: Light heavyweight
■ LINE: Jackson minus-260
■ STORYLINE: Jackson has come into several recent fights looking a bit out of shape, but that doesn’t appear to be the case this time. He looks incredibly fit, usually a bad sign for opponents. Hamill is riding a five-fight winning streak, though that includes an incredibly fortunate disqualification win over Jon Jones. This might be a bit too much of a step up in class for Hamill, who comes off a win over an aging Tito Ortiz. Hamill will be in trouble if he tries to trade punches. If he does play to his strengths by trying to get the fight to the ground, Jackson has pretty good takedown defense.
■ PICK: Jackson by second-round knockout
Frank Mir (14-5) vs. Roy Nelson (15-5)
■ CLASS: Heavyweight
■ LINE: Mir minus-130
■ STORYLINE: Two native Las Vegans fight for hometown bragging rights. Mir, a Bonanza graduate, is a two-time UFC heavyweight champion. Nelson won the 10th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" and is a former International Fight League champion. Mir is known for his work on the ground and has improved his boxing skills. Nelson has underrated cardio and a powerful overhand right. He also has a surprisingly developed jiujitsu game. Mir’s striking might be a little sharper, but this should be very close. It just feels like a controversial call by the judges.
■ PICK: Mir by decision
Brian Stann (10-3) vs. Jorge Santiago (23-8)
■ CLASS: Middleweight
■ LINE: Stann minus-145
■ STORYLINE: The line is a bit surprising. Santiago makes his UFC return as one of the top-ranked middleweights in the world. He was 1-2 in his first UFC stint before being cut in 2006. He’s been on a roll since then, going 11-1 mostly in Japan. Stann can solidify himself among the top 10 in the world with a victory. Stann, who can win his third straight and remain unbeaten since dropping to middleweight, is a dangerous striker, but Santiago has nearly as many knockouts as submissions to his credit.
■ PICK: Santiago by decision
Stefan Struve (21-4) vs. Travis Browne (10-0-1)
■ CLASS: Heavyweight
■ LINE: Browne minus-140
■ STORYLINE: The tallest fighters in the UFC square off in what should start out as a slugfest. Struve, 6 feet 10 inches, has more tools than the 6-7 Browne, who will be looking to land one early knockout punch. Browne is capable, having gained five KOs inside of a minute. Struve is more accustomed to going deeper into fights and should have the edge if he survives the early onslaught. While Struve has shown knockout power in recent bouts, he’s more of a submission specialist and will have a big edge on the mat. Browne is off a disappointing and controversial draw against Cheick Kongo.
■ PICK: Struve by third-round submission
Thiago Alves (18-7) vs. Rick Story (12-3)
■ CLASS: Welterweight
■ LINE: Alves minus-200
■ STORYLINE: After an incredible 2010, Story fights for the first time this year looking to extend his UFC winning streak to six. He doesn’t have an easy assignment in Alves, who insists his weight issues are in the past. Alves hasn’t shown his customary finishing skills in recent fights, perhaps because of depleted strength from difficult weight cuts. Alves would like nothing better than to become the first fighter to finish Story.
■ PICK: Alves by first-round knockout
ADAM HILL/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL