Wednesday, January 23, 2013

UFC on Fox 6 Picks

             UFC on Fox 6 is a very special event for many reasons.  For me, this will be the first UFC fight I attend live!  This Saturday night I will be among the capacity crowd of the United Center in Chicago watching the upcoming battles unfold.  The preliminary card features many big names and many finishers, but most of them are submission specialists rather than knockout artists.  FX will televise these fights from 5-8pm on Saturday.  After that, the UFC is doing their 6th broadcast on Fox.  For the second time in a row, the UFC is putting a big name title fight on free TV.  In addition to this title fight, two of the top contenders in the lightweight division will fight each other for their title shot.  Rampage Jackson will make his UFC farewell against a beast on a big winning streak.  Also on Fox, two 145lb fighters will fight for a potential shot at the winner of Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar.  This portion of the fights will be aired on Fox from 8-10:30pm.

Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson vs John "The Magician" Dodson:
                This will be the fastest fight in UFC history, and yet it will probably be the longest.  There is a tremendous amount of speed between these two fighters and they will put on an expo on how the little guys can throw quick hands effectively.  If it goes to the ground it will be because of the explosive takedowns of these speedsters.  However most fans do expect this fight to be a long 25 minute decision, which probably will be the case.  TUF winner John Dodson has some crazy power despite being a 125lb fighter, but Johnson has yet to be finished in his MMA career.  His only losses came by way of decision to Brad Pickett due to his crazy supplex slams and bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz who used his wrestling to control Johnson for 5 rounds.  There was a time when Dom was the fastest most elusive fighter in the UFC and his bizarre striking and speed dictated fights.  Johnson overcame this by being faster so Cruz had no choice but take the fight to the ground, where Johnson was slippery but not sneaky enough to escape the champ.  Now, both of these guys have faster and more elusive strikes than Cruz and will have an exciting technical striking matchup.  One of them could get clipped and knocked out but there is a good chance this goes to a decision. Either way it should be exciting and both of these very likable guys will put on a show for the capacity crowd at the United Center.  Despite many people expecting a decision victory for "Mighty Mouse" Johnson, I am leaning Dodson on this fight because of his power. 4th round TKO victory for Dodson.

On a side note, the 145, 135, and 125lb divisions have been under scrutiny for their lack of ability to finish fights, however their success as a division and PPV draws should not be judged by their finishing ability.  Jose Aldo, Dustin Porier, Renan Barao, Dominick Cruz, Demetrious Johnson, Urijah Faber, Michael McDonald, John Dodson, and others are some of the most exciting and talented fighters in the UFC today.  The Korean Zombie and Dustin Porier fight has been viewed as Fight of the Year in 2012 by many MMA writers.  Aldo and Homminick had a 5 round war in Toronto that amazed fans, only to be followed up by a boring fight between much bigger PPV draws GSP and Jake Shields. The Benavidez vs Johnson fight and the Faber vs Barao did not necessarily help the view that the lower weight classes have trouble finishing.  This does not mean that next time out we won’t see fireworks from all of these guys.  Aldo vs Edgar could be one of the most exciting fights the UFC has put on in a while.  With such a dangerous guy like Aldo (who just knocked out Mendes in the first round) fighting such an exciting fighter like Frankie Edgar, the 145lb division is headlining a card with big stars Rashad Evans and Alistair Overeem on it.  UFC on Fox 6 (Johnson vs Dodson) and UFC 156 (Aldo vs Edgar) main events could decide the future of the lighter weight classes’ success going into the future.  They need to put on a show for the fans who will all be hoping for a finish, but a decision does not guarantee a boring fight.  I am a big fan of the old WEC fights with Cerrone, Aldo, Faber, etc. and so I am pulling for the lighter weight guys to gain some respect and these next 2 events will play a big role in their future with the UFC.

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs Glover Teixeira:
                Glover has gained some serious hype since joining the UFC but he is definitely in for his toughest test yet.  Rampage is a former dominant champ of the UFC and PRIDE, but seems to have lost his desire to fight at an elite level.  He WAS a dominant wrestler at some point in his career, but Jones and Bader exposed him as a subpar wrestler in MMA.  He said he knows Glover wants to immediately take this fight to the ground which greatly angers him.  He does not like fighters who just control people on the ground with wrestling, and most fans agree with him.  Trouble is that is exactly what should happen on January 26th in Chicago.  I think Rampage is a great fighter and I will miss him in the octagon.  That said, he will get dominated by a better fighter who wants it more than he does.  Glover has a bright future and Rampage had a brilliant past.  He lost his desire to be great and he will fizzle out of the UFC with a subpar performance against a tough guy in Glover.  Teixeira via decision.

Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone vs Anthony "Showtime" Pettis:
The winner of this fight will take on Ben Henderson…..oh what’s that? Nevermind.  These top 5 lightweights have to take a backseat to Gilbert Melendez when it comes to getting their UFC title shot, but that does not diminish the importance of this fight.  Whoever comes out victorious will be the #3 guy in the lightweight division behind just Gil and Benson.  Gray Maynard, Jim Miller, and Eddie Alvarez are also near the top, so the winner might fight one of them in a top contender bout going into the future.  As for now, you have 2 exciting guys that do not like each other going at it with a ton on the line.  They both are great strikers with sick leg kicks.  They both can hang with some of the best wrestlers in the division.  They both have plenty of solid submission skills, including both being dynamite off their back with armbars and triangle chokes.  There is no limit to what either of these guys can achieve in their fighting careers.  Although they have never fought, they share a common opponent in Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson.  Cerrone is 0-2 against him in the WEC with a razor close decision loss in a Fight of the Year performance, and a 1st round guillotine choke loss in the rematch.  Pettis beat him to win the WEC Lightweight Championship to be the last WEC champion.  I like both guys and would love to see either of them get a title shot at Henderson, but I think Pettis is on a mission.  I love Cowboy, but he does not have as much to prove and Pettis.  Pettis was given a title shot but the draw between Edgar and Maynard threw the whole division into a loop.  Pettis should come out of this victorious whether it be by submission, KO, or decision.  This is a matchup that could be as fun as the Lauzon vs Miller fight.  Get ready for some exciting fights at 155 because there are few boring fighters in this division!  My prediction: Pettis via submission, guillotine.

Erik Koch vs Ricardo Lamas:
                Unfortunately, I do not know much about these 2 guys because they have been on the under card for most of their fighting careers.  They are going to try and make their main card appearance a lasting impression as they kick off the Fox portion of this event.  Koch was originally scheduled to fight Aldo at UFC 153 but was replaced by Edgar when he sustained an injury.  Aldo then got hurt and rescheduled for UFC 156 against Edgar, not Koch.  Rather than be disgruntled and whine about it, he decided to fight another top 10 guy in Lamas to prove he deserves that title shot.  An unimpressive win gets him nowhere, but a knockout or submission in an exciting fight on national TV could make him a big enough PPV sell to take on the winner of Aldo/Edgar in the next 145lb title fight.  If he loses or is unimpressive in a win then Mendes, Jung, Porier, or even the Hioki/Guida winner could jump him in the title picture.  Koch has only 1 career loss and it was to Chad Mendes.  Lamas has a lot to gain from a win as well.  If he wins then he is looking at another top 5 guy in his next fight.  Both of these guys are young and have bright futures.  Hopefully they know what is on the line and come out swinging to put on a show.  I’m taking Koch via submission. (leglock??)

Preliminary Card on FX:
TJ Grant defeats Matt Wiman via submission (armbar)
Ryan Bader defeats Matyushenko via decision
Hatsu Hioki defeats Clay Guida via submission (RNC)
Mike Russow defeats Shawn Jordan via KO
Mike Stumpf defeats Pascal Krauss via submission (RNC)
Sean Spencer defeats Rafael Netal via decision
Preliminary Facebook fight:
Simeon Thoresen defeats David Mitchell via submission (RNC)

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