Happy Thursday Maniacs,
Here is a brief look at my picks for Fridays UFC card. I'll be doing the Strikeforce event later.
Preliminary card (Facebook)
Heavyweight bout: Oli Thompson vs. Shawn Jordan
Oli Thompson: 9-2 - 32 years old - 6'1"- N/A reach
Shawn Jordan: 12-3 - 27 years old - 6'0" - 74" reach
-Former "Strongman" Competitor
-Former UCMMA Heavyweight Champion
-Decent takedowns/grappling (5 wins by submission)
-Athletic/good wrestling/ fast heavyweight
-8 wins by KO/TKO
Jordan has faced better competition and is the younger, faster and more athletic fighter. Brute power will go to Thompson but I doubt he is the better grappler and he won't be able to deal with the speed of the younger Jordan. Expect Jordan to avoid the takedowns of Thompson and allow the former strong man to get tried en route to a late TKO victory for Jordan.
Preliminary card (Fuel TV)
Featherweight bout: Mackens Semerzier vs. Daniel Pineda
Mackens Semerzier: 6-3 (1NC) - 31 years old - 5'9" - 72" reach
Daniel Pineda: 16-7 - 26 years old - 5'7" - 70" reach
-WEC Vet (SOTN, FOTN wins)
-5 wins by submission(BJJ Brown belt)
-Good level of competition
-24th Pro Fight(6 KO/TKO, 10 SUBS)
-Well Rounded/good wrestling/submissions/striking
-Former LFC Featherweight Champion
Semerzier is a lot longer(despite only having a 2" reach advantage) but I don't think he'll have an advantage on the feet. The question is will Pineda be ready for what looks like a step up in competition, I think Pineda will get the better of the striking and win via TKO in the third round.
______________________________________________________________________________________Welterweight bout: TJ Waldburger vs. Jake Hecht
TJ Waldburger: 14-6 - 23 years old - 5'11" - 75" reach
Jake Hecht: 11-2 - 28 years old - 6'0" - 73" reach
-BJJ Brown belt (11 Submission wins)
-Former Shark Fights Welterweight Champion
-Chin? 5 KO/TKO Losses
-Never been finished
-Good Boxing/Golden Gloves Champion
-BJJ Purple Belt
I give the standup/striking to Hecht, but if he gets put on his back he seems to have issues getting up. He does attack from his guard, but his submissions are on the same level as Waldburger. Hecht does have good takedown defense, and Waldburger isn't a NCAA Div 1 wrestler like Hechts last opponent. I question the chin of Waldburger so I'm going with a TKO victory for Hecht providing he can stay off the ground.
______________________________________________________________________________________Middleweight bout: Kyle Noke vs. Andrew Craig
Kyle Noke: 19-5-1 - 31 years old - 6'0" - 75.5" reach
Andrew Craig: 6-0 - 26 years old - 6'1" - 76" reach
-Well Rounded/overall improvements
-Experienced/ good competition
-(6 wins by KO/TKO, 8 by submission)
-Undefeated: 2 KO/TKO, 1 Submission
-Former LFC Middleweight Champion
-BJJ Purple Belt
This is Craig's UFC debut, and though he is undefeated I don't think he's ready for what Noke will bring into the cage. I think he's going to be a tough out, but Noke will be too much for the newcomer and Noke will win by decision.
______________________________________________________________________________________Featherweight bout: Cole Miller vs. Steven Siler
Cole Miller: 18-5 - 27 years old - 6'1" - 73" reach
Steven Siler: 19-9 - 25 years old - 5'11" - N/A reach
-3x Sub of the Night, 1x KO of the Night winner
-BJJ Brown Belt(13 wins by submission
-First fight at 145lbs since 2006
-12 wins by submission
-TUF 14 Veteran
-Defeated Millers brother
-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs_tKMtrn0M oth have good submissions, both are lanky and can catch someone in a choke if their opponent isn't careful. I think Miller has had more success at a higher level. Miller has never been submitted while Siler has been submitted 5 times in his career,(last time was 2007). I think it will go to a decision in favor of Miller.
______________________________________________________________________________________Light Heavyweight bout: Anthony Perosh vs. Nick Penner
Anthony Perosh: 12-6 - 39 years old - 6'3" - 75" reach
Nick Penner: 11-1 - 31 years old - 6'0" - N/A reach
-2nd Degree BJJ Black belt (9 wins by submission)
-2 fight win streak(by by RNC)
-Karate based striking(Kempo brown belt) (so-so chin?)
-Good finisher(4 KO/TKO, 5 Submissions)
-BJJ Purple Belt
-Canadian Kickboxing/Muay Thai titles
Grappling goes to Perosh(no surprise there), but striking seems to go to Penner in his UFC debut. I question Perosh's chin and if Penner isn't stupid about following Perosh to the ground I think he can catch the slower, older fighter later in the fight providing he keeps this bout standing. Penner by KO in the third round.
______________________________________________________________________________________Light Heavyweight bout: James Te Huna vs. Aaron Rosa
James Te Huna: 13-5 - 30 years old - 6'2" - 75" reach
Aaron Rosa: 17-4 - 28 years old - 6'3" - 78" reach
-Boxing/Kickboxing (9 KO/TKO wins)
-Good wrestling(not great), good takedowns
-Good striker(6 KO/TKO wins)
-Weight jumps around(205lbs-265lbs)
-Decent submissions(4 wins by submission)
I think Te Huna is the better striker, or a the very least faster. He has a reach disadvantage but I don't think it will have a huge affect on the striking exchanges. I think Rosa will have a disadvantage in the grappling as well... but I see this fight staying up right with Te Huna catching Rosa late. Te Huna by TKO.
Middleweight bout: Court McGee vs. Constantinos Philippou
Constantinos Philippou: 9-2(1 NC) - 32 years old - 5'11" - 73" reach
Court McGee: 13-1 - 27 years old - 5'11" - 76" reach
-Bronze Medalist European Boxing Championships(5 KO/TKO wins)
-Pro Boxing( 2 wins by KO/TKO) (overrated?)
-BJJ Blue Belt(7 wins by Submission)
-TUF 11 Winner
McGee is the betting favorite, and is always praised for his boxing. I honestly think Philippou is the better boxer and the more powerful puncher. McGee has a lot of wins by submission, but Philippou trains under Matt Serra and I think that is going to be nullified this fight. I don't think McGee's questionable chin(I realize he's never been finished but Dongi Yang gave McGee as much as he could handle until he gassed) won't stand up to the striking of Philippou. Second round KO win for the overlooked Philippou.
______________________________________________________________________________________Flyweight bout: Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall
Demetrious Johnson: 14-2 - 25 years old - 5'3" - 66" reach
Ian McCall: 11-2 - 27 years old - 5'5" - N/A reach
-6 wins by submission.
-Former TPF Flyweight Champion
-7 stoppages(4 KO/TKO, 3 submissions)
Johnson is a really big favorite in this match up. I think his speed and his takedowns will be too much for McCall(I'm switching my pick here) and Johnson will win the decision.
______________________________________________________________________________________Flyweight bout: Joseph Benavidez vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani
Joseph Benavidez: 15-2 - 27 years old - 5'4" - 65" reach
Yasuhiro Urushitani: 19-4-6 - 35 years old - 5'5" N/A reach
-8 wins by submission
-Decent striking(surprising power) (3 KO/TKO wins)
-Good Judo/boxing(likes to counterstrike)
-Former Shooto 123lbs Champion
-Decision machine(14 wins by decision, 6 draws)
Everyone, including me is expecting the finals to be Johnson and Benavidez. I think the fact that it's Urushitani's UFC debut and he's never fought out of Asia before will play a factor. He's only fought 4 times since 2008 which may be why he hasn't lost since 2008. Benavidez will probably be too strong for the Japanese man and will control the fight until he submits him. But...but... but: I am going to make an insane underdog pick! Urushitani by decision!
______________________________________________________________________________________Welterweight bout: Thiago Alves vs. Martin Kampmann
Thiago Alves: 19-8 - 29 years old - 5'9" - 70" reach
Martin Kampmann: 18-5 - 29 years old - 6'0" - 72" reach
-Muay Thai! (8 wins by KO/TKO)
-Improving grappling (BJJ brown belt)
-Weight? (post prior to weigh ins: rumors of Alves being overweight)
-Underrated ground game(BJJ brown belt)(6 submission wins)
-Dutch/Danish Kickboxing style(7 KO/TKO wins)
-Issues with wrestlers
This is close fight, I think it will be a good one. The only people that Kampmann has lost to in the UFC are men who challenged for either a UFC or StrikeForce title. I'm not calling him a gatekeeper because he's better than that, but he always seems to fall short of winning against upper level guys. Thiago seems to be a hot and cold fighter. I wouldn't be surprised if this stays mostly standing, though I think Kampmann has an advantage on the ground, and because of that, I see him getting caught in the second or third round by one of Alves's powerful punches and getting TKO'd.