Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back, yet again, with another network televised fight card, this time storming the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida, to bring us . 3
Headlining the card will be flyweight fisticuffs between Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall, who have a score to settle after a controversial draw kept Joseph Benavidez waiting around for a 125-pound title fight.
Will the "Mouse" be "Mighty" enough to overcome the "Creepy" combat of "Uncle" Ian?
Also getting their hands dirty in "The Sunshine State" will be a handful of welterweights. Erick Silva tries to leapfrog Charlie Brenneman on his way to the 170-pound title hunt while Josh Neer hopes to extract a silver lining from the mandible of Mike Pyle.
Who gets it done and who goes kersplat?
Follow me after the jump and I'll be sure to let you know.
Nostradumbass predicts: What's interesting about the UFC flyweight division is how exciting it is with just a handful of qualified combatants. Having to run this fight back puts Joseph Benavidez on the shelf for an extended period of time, just as it delays an eventual 125-pound title fight, but that will only give the promotion more time to beef up these ranks.
That's a good thing.
Until then, we have Johnson vs. McCall part two, complete with sudden death, designed to avoid the pitfalls of the controversial first go-round. That means Johnson can avoid the same pitfalls that plagued him, as well.
I won't pretend he's leaps and bounds ahead of McCall in the talent department, but he was ill-prepared to compete as a flyweight in their initial encounter and I believe his revamped diet and pre-fight planning, overhauled for this edition of FX fights, will lead him to victory.
I know the dominant third round by "Uncle Creepy" back in March has swayed a majority of the pundits in picking the rematch, but I watched that fight too, and I saw "Mighty Mouse" win the stand-up battle across the first two frames. Assuming Johnson is in better shape, as he contends, I expect him to win rounds one and two (again) and stay off the floor in the third.
Picking McCall seems to be what all the cool kids are doing, but I just don't see it.
Prediction: Johnson def. McCall via unanimous decision
Nostradumbass predicts: At 15-3, it's easy to look at Charlie Brenneman on paper and think "Whoa." Unfortunately, if you dig a little deeper, you'll find there isn't much to get excited about. Like many of today's top welterweights, he's a fantastic wrestler and comes from a great camp (AMA Fight Club), but it's very hard to make a case for "elite" status when he hasn't finished a single fight inside the Octagon.
Except for when he's on his back, staring at the lights.
That doesn't bode well for tonight's match-up against Erick Silva. I've heard rumblings from people "in the know" (which is what I'm calling the voices in my head these days) that tell me "Indio" is going to be a heart attack for anyone in the 170-pound division. The one knock on the Brazilian, to date, is that he doesn't have a "name" on his resume that screams "contender."
Beating "The Spaniard" might not change much, but it would be a hell of a good start.
I think Silva gets it done and finishes his foe in the process, but I won't call this a lock. Ask Rick Story what happens when you try to use Brenneman as a stepping stone. If the takedowns are not met with resistance or come frequent enough to disrupt the rhythm, there's the possibility that Silva goes down on points.
Prediction: Silva def. Brenneman via submission
Nostradumbass predicts: Josh Neer is one of those mixed martial artists who is not only talented, but also a hell of a lot of fun to watch. There is no playing it safe with "The Dentist" and I can appreciate a guy who goes for broke from bell-to-bell.
But he needs favorable match-ups to win.
He doesn't get one here, faced with a veteran of equal grit who's likely to exploit Neer's ineffectiveness on the ground. I know that's hard to accept, considering his level of jiu-jitsu and multiple triangle chokes, but typically he's a silver platter submission specialist.
The tap comes -- so long as you serve it to him on a silver platter.
If you don't, you get performances like you did against Kurt Pellegrino and Gleison Tibau. That's going to put him in "Quicksand" against Pyle, who did exactly that against John Hathaway and should do that here if he doesn't want to get lit up on his feet.
Expect Neer to play pinball with Pyle's head to start things off and when the latter starts taking too much punishment, which won't be long, he'll resort to wrestlemania and grind out a decision.
Prediction: Pyle def. Neer via unanimous decision
Nostradumbass predicts: Urijah Faber, Joseph Benavidez and Scott Jorgensen? Wow, who did Eddie Wineland piss off at the ZUFFA front office? While each new fighter is a downgrade from the last, it's not by much -- and you can argue they are three of the division's best, especially when it comes to grinding out decision wins.
That's unquestionably the play here for "Young Guns."
Wineland has already proven in the aforementioned contests that the takedown isn't a foregone conclusion and with his kind of power, Jorgy needs to pick his shots carefully. A messy stand-up brawl would not surprise me but this fight is won or lost on the mat.
If Jorgensen can get it there, he wins. If not, he's dogmeat.
The reason I'm picking Scotty to squeak one out is because outside of Renan Barao and Dominick Cruz, who may one day fight for the 135-pound title, the Boise bantamweight has been perfect inside the cage. Wineland hasn't exactly been stinking up the joint either, but his body of work hasn't held up as well in recent years.
Final prediction: Jorgensen def. Wineland via split decision
That's a wrap, folks.
Remember: MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire card tonight (June 8, 2012) starting with the Facebook Prelims, which are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET, as well as the FUEL TV Prelims at 6 p.m. ET, and the main card, which is slated to air at 9 p.m. ET on the FX Channel.
For previews and predictions on the preliminary card fights click here and here. To see all the odds and betting lines for UFC on FX 3 click here and remember to come check us out after the show for all the latest results, recaps and coverage of "Johnson vs. McCall."
What do you think? Now it's your turn ... let us have it in the comments section and share your thoughts and picks for tomorrow night's event.