|Last time Boetsch and JDS were on the |
same card it didn't end well for them.
- Pague vs Horiguchi: Dustin Pague has an unimpressive 1-4 record in the UFC. I think the newcomer Kyoji Horiguchi gets the W in his debut. Horiguchi via decision.
- Fili vs Larsen: What Jeremy Larson lacks in talent he makes up for in heart, but he should have his hands full with Andre Fili, also a UFC newcomer. I don't really like Larsen's chances in this one but I also don't like when people miss weight. I think Larsen is too tough to put away for Fili, who will gas out after a tough weight cut. Larsen via 3rd round TKO.
- Rio vs Ferguson: Ferguson won The Ultimate Fighter and I don't particularly care for Rio. I think Rio is lacking a lot of heart and will give up when the going gets tough. Ferguson via TKO.
- Amagov vs Waldburger: TJ Waldburger has always been a favorite of mine. Like Joe Lauzon, he is an exciting and aggressive submission guy. Amagov has a 2 fight win streak from his days in Strikeforce with his only recent loss being to Robbie Lawler. This is a toss up for me but I think Waldburger catches an arm. Waldburger via armbar.
- Sotiropoulos vs Noons: Back when he was 7-0 in the UFC, Sotiropoulos was not far from getting a lightweight title shot. Since then, he has lost 3 fights in a row to some tough guys. Noons also is on a 3-fight skid so naturally both guys know their jobs are on the line. Even though the quality of his last 6 fights is really high, a 1-5 record just isn't cutting it for Noons. I also think this is a nightmare of a matchup for Noons as well. Noons is a boxer and he wins fights (at least he used to) doing just that. Sotiropoulos is a guy that puts you on your back and beats you up for 15 unless you tap first. I see The Aussie getting back in the W column on Saturday. Sotiropoulos via decision.
- Eye vs Kaufman: Jessica "Evil" Eye and Sarah Kaufman marks the only women's division fight on the card, but boy is it a good one. I was very excited for Kaufman to fight McMann in her UFC debut but that fell apart. Now she sees arguably the best flyweight in the world across from her. That is going to be one of many problems for Eye. She is a natural flyweight being forced to fight up a weight class because it is the only division the UFC offers. Also, Sarah Kaufman is one of the better strikers in women's MMA. Kaufman holds notable wins over Davis (twice), Tate, Baszler, Modafferi, Carmouche, and Smith. Adding Eye to that list will be a big one for her. Kaufman is a former Strikeforce 145 champ fighting a top 125er. This all just points to Kaufman winning, but don't expect Eye to go down without a fight. This is a fight that could steal the show on a stacked card. Kaufman via decision.
- Lombard vs Marquardt: Yes, Nate Marquardt and Hector Lombard are squaring off on a preliminary fight on FS1. Ridiculous. This fight on prelims just shows how stacked this card really is. I think Marquardt is being ridiculously under rated as well. He was knocked out by Jake Ellenberger in his last fight. Big deal! A lot of people don't see round 2 with Jake. And Tarec Saffiedine is someone who could be a top guy if he ever makes his UFC debut. Despite the 2 fight skid, Marquardt is still the former Strikeforce welterweight champ and the former middleweight top contender in the UFC. Lombard is the former Bellator middleweight champ but has disappointed so far in the UFC. Both men have a 1st round finish of Palhares and a decision loss to Okami. At 170, which Lombard made very easily, Lombard should be a stud. This has all the makings of a great fight and I am taking Nate the Great to win. He has too many weapons, Lombard has 1. Lombard could pull off a Ellenberger and KO Nate but I just see Nate being the superior fighter. Marquardt via decision.
- Boetsch vs Dollaway: Yes, Tim the Barbarian is also on prelims. Stacked card. If the original match of Boetsch and Rockhold stayed intact I would be begging for the fight to be on the PPV. But against CB Dollaway, I'll allow it to be on prelims. Dollaway is a fun fighter who is taking a big step up in competition in Boetsch. Tim, unfortunately, is on a major skid. Maybe he is just not as good as I once thought him to be. Yushin Okami dominated him for 2 round before Tim beat him in the 3rd. Since then he has a controversial split decision win over Lombard and now 2 straight losses. Oh and Costa lost to Carmont in a boring fight which means Boetsch lost to a guy who also was not as good as we thought he was. Enough about me rambling though, Boetsch should annihilate CB if he brings his A game. Boetsch via barbarian TKO.
- Dodson vs Montague: Even though many people have no idea who Darrell Montague is, he is widely considered to be a top 5 flyweight. Meanwhile Dodson is coming off a very close loss to the current flyweight champion. He had 2 knockdowns in the second round of that title fight but was unable to finish the talented champ. I expect this to be an absolute war of a striking match with Dodson's speed and power giving him a slight edge. I think he learned a lot from his loss to DJ and will be more well rounded as well. Also, props to Dodson for taking a picture with the Octagon girls during his weigh in. He certainly is quite the character but he is a stud of a fighter too. Dodson via KO.
- Jordan vs Gonzaga: Shawn Jordan is one of the quickest rising stars in the heavyweight division. Gonzaga is a resurgent star looking to build off of a 17 second KO in his last fight. I think Jordan has the chin to handle the best of Gonzaga's striking and Gonzaga has a questionable chin in my opinion. However, Gonzaga does have that nasty submission game that Jordan has never really seen in his UFC career. This is a toss up for me but I am leaning Jordan to get a KO win that really helps him climb the ladder into heavyweight title contention. Jordan via KO that should be on prelims instead of Marquardt vs Lombard!
- Melendez vs Sanchez: Gilbert Melendez enters his fight with Diego Sanchez as the biggest favorite on the card and rightfully so. He is still the #1 lightweight on the planet in my eyes. I think he beat Benson Henderson and I also think he would destroy Anthony Pettis if/when they fight for the title. Right now, he is a fight or two away from being the #1 contender. Diego Sanchez used to be a top tier lightweight, but has fallen off considerably since then. He is tough enough not to get finished by Gil, but boy oh boy is he in for a beating. Should be FOTN worthy and a treat for the fans. But also, a showcase for Gilbert to demonstrate his talents. Gilbert 30-27 on all scorecards.
- Cormier vs Nelson: Daniel Cormier is the best wrestler in the UFC right now. He is currently in a transition from heavyweight to light heavyweight. Nelson seems to be in a transition himself, looking lighter than ever at the weigh ins. People forget he is a submission guru on the ground because he prefers to knock people out. I am actually not buying into the hype on this fight. I think DC is boring and has no punching power. He will likely impose his cage control strategy that he used on Mir to grind out a decision. With his lack of power and Nelson's stupid chin, there is no way he gets a finish. Nelson COULD land that one shot to end it, but I am not expecting anything. DC via boring decision that lets us down in the co-main event yet again.
- Cain Velasquez vs Junior Dos Santos: What more is there to say about the main event? It is the biggest fight in heavyweight history. Junior has the chin to handle the heaviest punches of Velasquez, Hunt, and other hard hitting heavyweights. Cain has made literally 1 mistake his entire MMA career when JDS caught him with an overhand right. Cain is seriously perfect with exception to that one punch. Will Cain get the job done in the 3rd fight? I have no clue. I think he is a superior fighter to JDS but those X factors make me wonder. Can Cain finish him? Is Cain's chin questionable? Is JDS's chin indestructible? Is Junior more confident? I really don't know. But as far as making a pick I guess I have to go with the better fighter. And that is without a doubt Cain Velasquez. There are reasons why Cain might lose, but I feel relatively confident Junior doesn't land a finishing blow on Cain in this fight. Cain via 5 round beat down again.
FOTN: Marquardt/Lombard (maybe Eye/Kaufman)
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