Friday, February 8, 2013

UFC on Fuel TV: Barao VS McDonald

Interem Bantamweight Champion Renan
 Barao kicking Scott Jorgensen in the head.

I am not going to go into too much depth for this Fuel TV card, but here are my picks for Saturday, February 15th in London:
  • Che Mills defeats Matt Riddle via TKO
  • James Te-Huna KO win over Ryan Jimmo
  • Gunnar Nelson gets a RNC win over Jorge Santiago
  • Two talented strikers will go at it at 205.  I am taking Jimi Manuwa to KO Cyrille Diabate.
Cub Swanson and Dustin Poirier are some of the best fighters in the UFC today, and the most exciting.  It is impossible to hate either of these guys for their entertaining fights.  Swanson has piled up a few losses in his career, but with Lamas, Mendes, and Aldo as the only guys to better him in his last 10 fights, you cannot say he is doing too bad.  He has crazy KO power for a 145 lb fighter and will look to stand and exchange with Poirier.  Dustin has crazy finishing ability through submissions, although he is not afraid to stand and bang either.  The Korean Zombie is the only one to beat him in the UFC and he took home Fight of the Year honors in that loss.  These guys will stand toe to toe and go at it for a potential title shot, or top contender fight with Ricardo Lamas.  I think Dustin will be able to avoid getting tagged in the standup exchanges and take this fight to the ground for a submission finish.  Poirier by arm triangle.

The battle for the UFC Interim Bantamweight Title will feature a 22 year old on an impressive 8 fight winning streak versus a talented Brazilian on a 29 fight unbeaten streak (28 wins, 1 NC).  Barao outclassed Urijah Faber for 5 rounds in Calgary to take the interim title.  He is a machine training with Featherweight Champ Jose Aldo.  I love this guy and see him potentially dethroning Dominick Cruz when he comes back from his knee injury.  Barao has not really even been in danger in his brief UFC career so it seems like the only way to beat him is to grind out a decision.  McDonald has been a finisher in the past, but this is a huge step up in competition.  I find it unlikely this youngster can handle the pressure of the title fight and the skills of Barao.  He also has rarely gone deep into fights, so 5 rounds could be trouble for him.  Despite cardio never being an issue in his past, it can be seen that even the best conditioned athletes gas in their first title fights.  John Dodson at UFC on Fox 6 is the perfect example of someone with seemingly endless cardio gassing in the championship rounds.  I do not think McDonald will retire without getting a UFC belt, however it will not be this soon.  Barao should outlast him and eventually sink in a submission.  4th round RNC for Renan Barao.

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