What started out as a great lineup on paper has morphed into a collection of good fights, with the distinct possibility that this could be the fastest main card in company history. This also would have been the card of the summer had Overeem not pissed hot… but I digress.
Each of the five main card fights has the potential to be a Cain Vs JDS on Fox situation, where it lasts 30 seconds and 2 power shots. If any of these fights last into the third round, the viewer may be rewarded by two completely gassed 260 lb men winging one and done shots in between gasping for breath. But, it will be fun to watch anyway….
Main Event – Junior Dos Santos vs Frank Mir
I saw a quote from Junior’s trainer stating that he has better BJJ than Frank Mir. Ummmm, no. It may be that he has unreal BJJ, we have just never seen it because his hands are so good. But Frank just snapped Big Nogs arm, and has 2 of the nastiest subs I’ve ever seen under his black belt (Nog and Tim Sylvia), and it is safe to say if this goes to the ground, JDS will be in trouble. This is a stylistic clash in the most visceral sense imaginable: JDS has knocked out everyone, and needs to keep the fight standing, while Frank needs to survive on the feet long enough to take it to the ground. Juniors only loss on his record came via armbar. I honestly don’t know what is going to happen in this fight. Smart money is on JDS by KO, as Mir has 5 losses on his record, and all are by TKO or KO, and none of the fighters have hands like Junior. But Im going to against popular opinion, and back the underdog here and go with Frank Mir by armbar.
Cain Velasquez vs Antonio Silva
There was a time, not long ago (December of 2011) when Cain was the top HW in the land. That was before a JDS KO in 1:04 of the first round. Cain has perhaps the best wrestling in the HW division, and hands as well. But Bigfoot is a huge man who hits very, very hard. He also has wins over Fedor and Andre Arlovski. But it was the 2010 glass chinned Arlovski, and a Fedor that was still reeling from his “first loss.” Cain should make work of Silva, who I believe is a marginal fighter at best. Although he has a punchers chance, Silva just has not fought quality guys for very long, and he was embarrassed by Daniel Cormier in his most recent outing. Cain by ground and pound.
Roy Nelson vs Dave Herman
Dave Herman is another fighter who has spent time in multiple organizations. He is well rounded, but does not appear to excel in any one area. He has 3 losses on his record, but until recently had not fought a top 25 HW. He was beaten by Stefan Struve in his first real step up in competition this past February, and he could be facing more of the same against Roy Nelson. Roy is a BJJ black belt under Renzo Gracie. If this fight goes to the ground, Roy should have the clear advantage. But lately, it seems Roy is more content to stand and bang than grapple. Roy is 3-3 in the UFC, but his losses have come to top tier talent in the form of JDS, Frank Mir, and Fabricio Werdum. He and Herman have Struve as a common opponent, except Roy knocked out Struve quick to earn KO of the night honors. More of the same here, Roy by KO.
Shane del Rosario vs Stipe Miocic
This fight will not go the distance. Miocic is a gold gloves boxer and wrestler with an undefeated record. Del Rosario is a Muay Thai fighter with an undefeated record. Neither has fought anyone of note, but they are both decent prospects. I like the way Miocic fights, and so I will go with Miocic by KO.
Stefan Struve vs. Lavar Johnson
Lavar Johnson has heavy hands. He just recently beat the ever loving shit out of heavy handed Pat Barry with vicious uppercuts. If this stays standing, Johnson by KO. But Johnson also almost got tapped by Pat Barry in his last fight as well. He didn’t so much as “escape” the sub attempt as survive. Im going to go with Struve by guillotine. Another one that will not last long at all.
Quick Notes on the Undercard –
- Huge step up in competition for Diego Brandao in Darren Elkins. Brandao fought with anger and passion on the Ultimate fighter, lets see if he can keep it going. Brandao by KO.
- Edson Barboza is attempting to spoil the return of Jamie Varner, and I think he will. Probably not by another spinning wheel kick, but maybe by his hellacious leg kicks. Jaime Varner has been fighting the best in this division for a while now, with notable wins over Donald Cerrone and Drew Fickett, but since January 2010 he has lost 4 of 7. Barboza by KO, one way or the other.
- Jason Miller and CB Dollaway – CB has lost his last 2 fights, and Mayhem, well…. Lets hope he is in slightly better shape than he was for his last fight, where he was embarrassed by Michael Bisping and his own cardio. Miller by submission, just because he should win and on paper he is the better fighter.
- Dan Hardy vs Duane Ludwig – in a match up that is sure to stay standing, Dan Hardy will try to not lose 5 in a row, while Duane “Bang” Ludwig will try to finish the Englishman. I just can’t get excited for this fight, even though I want Ludwig to crush him, smart money is on Hardy, who has fought a who’s who of talent over the last two years. He has lost all of them, but the competition he has faced is light years ahead of Ludwig’s competition over the same time frame. GSP, Carlos Condit, Rumble Johnson, and Chris Lytle are Hardy’s last 4 opponents, which is why he is still in the UFC. Ehh, Ludwig by KO, I just can’t see Hardy winning again.
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