UFC on Versus 6 will bring a championship title fight to the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., live and free of charge tomorrow night (Oct. 1, 2011) on the Versus network.
Will "Mighty Mouse" save the day? Or is "The Dominator" here to stay?
In heavyweight action, fan-favorite Pat Barry will look to raze "The Skyscraper" in his titanic tilt opposite Stefan Struve. Can "HD" unleash his wicked leg kicks on the lanky Dutchman? Or find a way to get himself submitted just when the gettin' is good?
Rounding out the four-fight main card is a 155-pound rematch between Mac Danzig and Matt Wiman. Was the Vegan warrior's phantom tap the only thing stopping him from an ugly win over "Handsome?" Or will Wiman finish what he started at UFC 155.
Let's take a look.
Dominick Cruz vs. Demetrious Johnson is a fight that hasn't been generating much fan buzz, which is unfortunate, because the champion is one of the best fighters we have in the game today.
How does a mixed martial artist who is 18-1, who also avenged his only loss, get left off the pound-for-pound list? Is there some random 135-pounder Cruz has been ducking? Hasn't he beat the best his division has to offer?
That will show you the power of the finish.
Perceptually speaking, I suppose, since fans (and most media) don't subscribe to the old "a win is a win" theory. Cruz too, must also shoulder some of the blame. Don't call yourself "The Dominator" but then go to a decision in seven of your last eight fights.
Still, his talent is undeniable, as is the speed of Johnson, who brings a credible, if not overwhelming challenge to the Verizon Center.
Unfortunately Cruz has already shown in prior bouts that he has the footwork and timing to avoid not just speed, but a wrestling-based offense and when it does go south, there are few challengers who are able to keep him there.
This will not be a replay of Torres vs. Johnson.
But it wouldn't surprise me to see a replay of Cruz vs. Benavidez -- with a similar outcome. You can't outstrike the champ, you can't hold him down and you can't make him tired. I don't see much here to get excited about and five rounds of defensive striking and in-and-out action will likely bring out the boo birds.
Dominick Cruz def. Demetrius Johnson via unanimous decision
Pat Barry vs. Stefan Struve is a frustrating fight from a prediction standpoint, as two scenarios play out with similar ease: Struve gets his legs turned into firewood by the incomparable kicks from his brutish foe, or he tangles Barry up and exploits what could be one of the worst ground games in the entire heavyweight division.
I'm going with the latter.
It pains me, because I'm an "HD" fan, but I can't believe any fight corner worthy paying would allow their star prospect to enter the Octagon against the New Orleans striker with the idea that a feeling out process doesn't earn him a "Wheelchair of the Night" bonus.
Yes, Barry was put to sleep by Cheick Kongo, but I think based on past performances that was the exception and not the rule. He's also faster, stronger and while shorter, can probably walk through a rangy push-kick or long distance jab without the fear of getting iced.
What he does need to worry about is wounding his prey and then giving it away. Flashback to the Denis Stojnic fight to get an idea of what kind of heart the Dutchman has. If you hurt him, you have to finish him.
Look for Struve to get annihilated on his feet -- only to jump on Barry like a facehugger from Alien to strangle his way to an ugly submission victory.
Stefan Struve def. Pat Barry via submission
Anthony Johnson vs. Charlie Brenneman will bring a cruel end to the feel-good story of 2011. "The Spaniard" did something special when he overcame Rick Story back in June, but let's also remember that it was Rick Story. It's not like he submitted Nick Diaz or knocked out Jon Fitch.
And I believe the Anthony Johnson that stifled Dan Hardy walks through Brenneman in round one.
It's not that I was overly impressed with "Rumble's" wrestling, as it was well documented that he was a successful college wrestler (and Hardy is helpless on the mat), rather it was his conditioning -- something that has plagued the massive welterweight -- that finally looked to be mastered.
That kind of thing can be a problem when you cut from north of 200-pounds.
I don't want to make it sound out of the realm of possibility that Brenneman gets him down and submits him, but first he has to get inside and his striking is avegarage (at best) and Johnson is just too strong and too dangerous in the stand-up to fall early.
Johnson's striking > Brenneman's wrestling.
Simply put, it's a race against the clock: Brenneman has to keep from getting knocked out long enough to tire Johnson out. I don't see it happening.
Anthony Johnson def. Charlie Brenneman via technical knockout
Matt Wiman vs. Mac Danzig, a rematch from UFC 115, will finally settle the controversy stemming from their first bout when Danzig lost by submission despite never tapping to Wiman's guillotine choke or passing out.
Heading into D.C., Danzig is coming off a win, Wiman a loss. On paper this would seem like a close match-up but I think we shouldn't put a ton of stock in Danzig's one-hitter quitter over Joe Stevenson, who was in the midst of a four-fight skid that eventually saw him released from the promotion.
Since winning The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), Danzig has failed to impress and limped his way through 2008-09 after dropping three straight. He's got serviceable hands and a highly-rated ground game, but for my money Wiman is the more well-rounded fighter.
I don't think Wiman will finish what he started, but I do expect him to control this fight for the better part of three rounds and sweep the judges scorecards en route to a unanimous decision win.
Matt Wiman def. Mac Danzig via unanimous decision
Alright Maniacs, that's my best guess as to how the UFC on Versus 6 televised fight card will play out. What's yours?
Let's hear some predictions in the comments section below.