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UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller Preview/Predictions Prelims

UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller Preview/Predictions Preliminary Fights

Fresh of the heels of a great UFC 142, we are treated to a free event airing on Fuel TV and on FX.

It looks like it could be a very interesting card with intriguing match ups. There is no such thing as too much MMA/UFC to me so I'm fat and happy and spoiled with so many events airing. I'm going to break down the event and explain my picks once again because it's Sunday and I've got nothing else to do.

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Preliminary card (Fuel TV)

Bantamweight bout: Joseph Sandoval vs. Nick Denis

20110326112427_josephsandoval_jpg_medium_mediumvs. Nick_denis_medium_medium

Background: Sandoval is 6-1 and Denis is 10-2

-Joseph Sandoval - 25 years old - 5'6" - Reach: 68"
-Sandoval was born in Amarillo, Texas and has been a professional since 2010. This is his second fight in the UFC, the first being a losing effort against Walel Watson at UFC Live: Cruz vs. Johnson by TKO in under 90 seconds. He is 50% finisher with 2 KO/TKO wins and 1 submission win. He is a former Shark Fight Bantamweight Champion and has spent most of his career there. I looked up his opponent records, the competition he's faced has not been impressive, all of them having so-so if not losing records, save for Watson. He's a decent striker, but not spectacular. Only found one video of him, low quality but it showed his striking but not his ground game.
Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoZti8se6eo

-Nick Denis - 28 years old - 5'6" - Reach: ???
-Dennis was born in North Bay, Ontario, Canada and has been a professional since 2006. He has spent most of his career with King of the Cage(KOTC) but has also fought with World Victory Road: Sengoku. He is a great finisher, with 100% of his wins being finishes: 9 KO/TKO's and 1 submission. He has fought at both bantamweight and featherweight, with a 2-1 record at featherweight, his loss coming at the hands of 20-3 Bellator veteran Marlon Sandro. His other loss, (at bantamweight) is at the hands of 17-7-7 Pancrase vet Yuji Hoshino. His biggest win to date is over 23-8 (1 NC) Bellator vet Nick Mamalis by KO via slam. He is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a black belt in Kyokushin Karate. He is 4-2 in his last 6 fights.
Youtube links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnZUF2z5THI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo9urimI7t4

My Pick: This is the first fight on the card for a reason because both of these gentlemen are unknowns. After watching Sandoval's fight and based on what I've been able to find about him, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if he went 3 and out in the UFC. Denis on the other hand shows promise, this may be his UFC debut but he has more fights, has fought better competition and has a superior all around game. He was in trouble in his fight against Sean Quinn back in 2009 but came back and KO'd him in the same round. His last loss against Hoshino was interesting, with the first round being close but me giving it to Denis, then I was giving him the 2nd until Hoshino jumped into the guillotine and forced the tap. I'm picking Nick Denis to win by TKO in the 1st round, I don't think Sandoval will have anything for him. This will probably be his second TKO loss in a row and I say back to Shark Fights with him. Besides with a nickname like "The Ninja of Love", how can you go against Denis?

Featherweight bout: Daniel Pineda vs. Pat Schilling

20100531125502_danielpineda_jpg_mediumvs. 20101119124011_patschilling_jpg_medium

Background: Pineda is 15-7 and Schilling is 5-0

-Daniel Pineda - 26 years old - 5'7" - Reach: 68"
-Pineda was born in Dallas, Texas and made his pro debut in 2007. He's making his UFC debut but he's been around the block, fighting in Bellator, EliteXC, and Legacy Fighting Championships. He is another great finisher, with 100% of his wins coming before the end; 6 KO/TKO's and 9 submissions. He's been to the final bell only once in a losing effort to 12-1 Bellator/Shark Fights vet Roberto Vargas. However, Pineda has also been submitted 6 times in his career: the last being to undefeated 7-0 Chas Skelly at Bellator 19 in 2010. He had a terrible 2009, going 2-4 that year, but has rebounded and gone 6-1 since that time. Pineda is a former Legacy FC featherweight and lightweight champion and a purple belt in BJJ.
Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la9qlWmEWIs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cCrNsLGi6s

-Pat Schilling - 23 years old - 5'8" - Reach: ???
-Schilling was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota and made his pro debut in 2010. He's another finisher, with 1 TKO and 4 submission wins in his 5 pro fights and. He looks like a good prospect but looks can be deceiving, only one of his opponents has a winning record... a 4-3 record at that, his last win coming over 0-7 fighter Cody Larson. He only has 5 pro fights but also went unbeaten as an amateur going 10-0. He has a wrestling base, wrestling for Minnesota State University, but he wasn't a standout, he only stayed in college two years. He claims to favor Muay Thai striking, the only video I was able to find was a fight from his amateur days, and it's difficult to tell what level he's at today.
Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGWH5WfJEpQ

My Pick: It's difficult to access how good Schilling really is: He has very little footage of him available, he only has a few fights and his opponents have been mooks. He could shock me and the world but defeating a very tough fighter in Daniel Pineda. I honestly think it's going to be a shock for 23 year old, he's going to be dominated bell to bell and get beat down by Pineda. Pineda by TKO in the 2nd round.

Welterweight bout: Charlie Brenneman vs. Daniel Roberts

Charlie-brenneman_mediumvs. Daniel-roberts_medium

Background: Brenneman is 14-3 and Roberts is 12-3

-Charlie Brenneman - 30 years old - 5'10" - Reach: 70" (Ranked 16th Welterweight)
-Brenneman was born in Holidaysburg, Pennsylvania and made his pro debut in 2007. Charlie had an up and down 2011, with a short notice upset victory over Rick Story at UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry. His next fight wouldn't go as well, losing to Anthony Johnson by head kick at UFC Live: Cruz vs. Johnson in what was probably a premature stoppage, regardless he was dominated by the much more powerful Johnson. He's a 50% finisher, with 5 KO/TKO victories and 2 submission wins. A high school and college wrestler, he uses his grappling to control fights, and has gone 3-2 in five UFC fights with all 3 wins being decisions and both losses coming by way of TKO. His stand up is basic and not great, you know his game plan coming in. He is 5-2 in is last 7 fights.

-Daniel Roberts - 31 years old - 5'10" - Reach: 74" (Ranked 43rd Welterweight - [Tapology])
-Roberts was born Rockford, Illinois and made his pro debut in 2007. Roberts is a submission finisher, with all of his stoppage victories; (9), coming by way of submission for a finishing ratio of 75%. He has been fighting in the UFC since 2010 where he opened with a decision loss to John Howard. He then went on a 3 fight win streak, including a Submission of the Night award at UFC 121. Since then he's lost back to back decisions to Claude Patrick and Rich Attonito. If he loses this fight, it's possible he'll be cut from the UFC. His striking leaves a lot to be desired but has a boxing base, he has competed at NAGA, ADCC and other jiu jitsu tourneys. He is also a former All American college wrestler and purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He is 4-3 in his last 7 fights.
Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkpxHyQVqTE

My Pick: Neither guy is a very good striker, so expect a grappling contest. Brenneman is the better wrestler, but Roberts is the better submission grappler so it could be interesting. Charlie has the better victories, opponent wise, but he doesn't finish the same way Roberts does. A lot of people are going to pick "The Spaniard" and I am going to as well. Expect a decision victory with Charlie avoiding the submissions of Roberts and landing shots. Brenneman by decision.

Lightweight bout: Kamal Shalorus vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Kamal-shalorus_mediumvs. Khabib_nurmagomedov_158105_large_medium

Background: Shalorus is 7-1-2 and Nurmagomedov is 16-0

-Kamal Shalorus - 39 years old - 5'8" - Reach: 68"
(Ranked 43rd Lightweight [Tapology])
-Shalorus was born in Khalkhal, Iran but later immigrated to Great Britain, he now lives in the United States. He made his pro debut in 2008. He has a wrestling based, with training abroad in both Turkey and Russia. He placed 19th in an Olympic qualification tournament for wrestling. He is a WEC vet, going 3-0-1 in the promotion before it was absorbed into the UFC. His lone loss is to Jim Miller at UFC 128 by TKO in his UFC debut. He likes to stand and bang, but is a brawler, not a technical striker. But he's a brawler with power. He has a decent finishing ratio; 71% with 4 TKO's and 1 submission. At age 39, I don't expect him to stick around much longer... and even with his good record and good athletic ability... I don't see a title challenge in his future.
Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNa0ijmd9gY

-Khabib Nurmagomedov - 23 years old - 5'10" - Reach: ????
-Khabib was born in Makhachkala, Russia and made his pro debut in 2008. He has never fought outside of Russia and this is clearly his UFC debut. He is a good finisher, with a ratio of 75%: 6 KO/TKO's and 6 submissions. He has good striking from the videos I've found but his grappling is his strong suit; he is a 3 time Combat Sambo champion in Russia. He, like Kamal, has fought in both the welterweight and lightweight divisions. His opponents haven't been the highest level, but he's been dominate in his victories, so he might be ready for the big stage. Not much is know about this prospect, but based on the vids I found I'm interested in seeing what he can do.
Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPpRTGxUNkY

My Pick: UFC/WEC fans are familiar with Kamal. We know him for having a good chin and being really old. He has wild striking that makes for exciting fights, and doesn't seem to use his very good grappling to win his fights. American fans, including myself have never heard of "Alphabet" Nurmagomedov but I'm excited to see how he does in his UFC debut. He hasn't fought great fighters over in Russia, but he's someone to watch now that he's in the UFC. I don't know who to pick here honestly. I think it will be a good fight, but my gut says to call Alphabet by decision, (Nurmagomedov).

Middleweight bout: Jorge Rivera vs. Eric Schafer

20091027123159_jorgerivera_jpg_mediumvs. 20091027012212_redschafer_jpg_medium

Background: Rivera is 19-9 and Schafer is 12-6

-Jorge Rivera - 39 years old - 6'1" - Reach: 73"
(Ranked 31st Middleweight [Tapology])
-Jorge Rivera was born Framingham, Massachusetts and made his pro debut in 2001. He is a long time UFC fighter, making his debut with the promotion in 2003 with a win over David Loiseau. He's been in and out of the UFC since then, including a fight with Anderson Silva in 2005 at a Cage Rage event. He has wins over Kendall Grove, Denis Hallman, and Nate Quarry. He has losses to Silva, Rich Franklin, Lee Murray, Martin Kampmann, Michael Bisping, and Constantinos Philippou. He has good striking, with 13 wins via KO/TKO. He has a powerful right hand, and he likes to keep his fight standing because of it. He is a purple belt in BJJ, but hasn't submitted anyone since 2005 and really isn't the best off his back or on top, he was easily taken down by Michael Bisping in their UFC 127 fight. He most recently lost to Philippou by split decision at UFC 133, his second in a row. He's 4-3 in his last 7 fights. This may be his last chance to keep his career going and stay in the UFC, another loss will likely spell another ousting from the promotion. His finishing ratio is 78%.

-Eric Schafer - 34 years old - 6'3" - Reach: 76.5" (Ranked 88th Middleweight [Tapology])
-Schafer was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and made his pro debut in 1998. He is a long time veteran with losses to Michael Bisping, Stephan Bonnar, Ryan Bader, and Jason Brilz. He has wins over Houston Alexander, Antonio Mendes, and Jason Guida. Primarily known for his jiu jitsu, he has 8 wins by submission, 2 by TKO and 1 by decision, his finishing ratio is 91%. Schafer is 4-3 in his last 7, his most recent fight being a decision loss to Aaron Simpson at UFC 136. Schafer is a long time black belt under Pedro Sauer and it shows in his fights as he hasn't been submitted since 2002 and hasn't been finished since 2007.
Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUpefQzrIHw

-My Pick: Both men are coming off losses, but "Red" Schafer is the younger, and seems to me, more hungry fighter. Rivera is better on the feet but I expect Schafer to capitalize on Riveras weakness, the ground game. It may be time for Jorge to retire and after he's submitted by Schafer early in the 2nd round, he may announce his retirement. Red wins by submission.

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