How's everyone's weekend going? Is it over already?
On this Sunday morning(where I'm located) I have the time to sit down and write a preview... maybe not the 3+ hours of researching I used to do because I was unemployed and college wasn't in session level but... still something for the hell of it.
So here's my predictions for UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort
Current Betting odds: Jones: -900 to Belfort: +550
Belfort's prime has passed but that doesn't mean he's not a top 5 middleweight or a top 15 light heavyweight (in my opinion). But Jon Jones has a million advantages in this fight as we all know: the reach, the age, the size, the schedule. He is the best fighter at 205lbs at this point unless I'm missing something.
What I want to happen, seeing as how I'm a fan of Belfort is for him to KO Jones in the 1st round. However, I fully expect Jones to control the distance and when he realizes striking is a little too dangerous he's going to take Belfort down and use his ground and pound to beat up Belfort in the 1st round, and most likely finish him in the 2nd round.
Jones by TKO in the 2nd.
Current Betting odds: Benavidez: -300 to Johnson: +230
The first UFC Flyweight title fight should have more luster and importance in my opinion. It deserved it's own PPV but... still an epic event and an excellent fight on paper.
Expect this fight to go very fast. Probably not a quick finish mind you, just very fast. Both fighters have decent wrestling but the edge goes to Benavidez, along with the strength and power. And though both men will be fast on fight night, Might Mouse will be faster.
Speed kills but when you're not that much faster and you don't hit that hard... Johnson hasn't finished anyone since 2010 and he's not known for great submissions or big power. He has good striking but not finishing ability. Benavidez however does have a bit of power in his hands and has good striking himself... not to mention 8 submission victories. Johnson will pepper Benavidez with strikes but the stronger shots will be landed by Joesph and and he'll control the timing and stand up and it's likely Johnson won't get a lot, if any takedowns if he attempts them.
Benavidez by unanimous decision.
Current Betting odds: Bisping: -135 to Stann: +145
Bisping is the better fighter. Crisp striking, good chin(one KO loss to Hendo's H Bomb as we all know) and a good ground game overall. Stann has a good chin(TKO loss to Steve Cantwell in 2008) but less than stellar takedown defense and a... even less stellar ground game. Stann has big power and is improving his Muay Thai.
I'm a Stann fan and though I don't want to go against him I feel this is a fight that will be dominated by Bisping's footwork and timed takedowns. "The Count" won't finish Stann but he'll survive a few shots and win a decision. Unless he decides to circle into the power hand(though Stann can knock out fighters with either hand) and Stann uses leg kicks to slow him down and doesn't rely on one shot... I see Bisping taking this fight.
Bisping by split decision.
Hamill hasn't fought in a year + and is coming off a "retirement" after getting mauled (pun intended) by Alexander Gustafsson. Vladdy was also destroyed by "The Mauler" back in December of 2011. Both have so-so striking and good wrestling though one could argue Vladdy's is better.
I have a feeling the time off will be good for Matt. He'll be 36 years old on fight night but Vladdy is almost 42. I think that Hamill will have the better stand up on fight night and the speed advantage. He might get the TKO but I'm expecting a mostly stand up fight with some clinching against the cage. The wrestling from either man will probably be nullified.
Hamill by decision.
Interesting fight actually. Swanson is on a nice little streak with two straight KO/TKO victories while Oliveira has two straight submission wins. Oliveria has reach but Swanson has power... this fight could turn out to be FOTN.
I think Cub can knock out Oliveira if the fight stays standing. I think if the fight hits the ground Oliveira can finish with a submission. I'm going with Cub, should be a good fight.
Swanson by TKO in the 2nd round.
Igor lost his last fight against Fabio Maldonado in my opinion but he took the decision. Vinny has improved a lot since his time on the Ultimate Fighter when he was 2-2. He has five straight wins all by stoppage.
Call me crazy, but I watched Vinny's last fight on youtube and I was impressed. He is 0-2 in the UFC but has had some quality wins the last couple years since his release. I'm calling for an upset of sorts.
Magalhaes by submission.
Not really impressed with Grant yet... despite his decent record. His fight with Carlo Prater was ugly. Dunham looked good in his last fight however, and has only lost to Sean Sherk and Melvin Guillard.
Dunham seems to be better in all areas except maybe wrestling. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm going with the guy who has looked better as of late.
Dunham by decision.
Pierson is coming off an uninspiring win over Jake Hecht while Benoist is coming off the first loss of his career. In both men cases their biggest win is over Matt Riddle. I thought Benoist looked good in his last fight and I didn't quite agree with the split decision loss.
I think Benoist takes this. I like his striking and his creative grappling and I'm not all that impressed with Pierson's last fight. Benoist is younger, hungrier and should be able to take the win.
Benoist by decision.
This fight will be fun to watch if you like slick and badass grappling. Hettes is an outstanding BJJ/Judo based figther and Brimage will have a speed advantage and the striking advantage.
If you saw Jimy Hettes' mauling of Nam Phan at UFC 141 you know what to expect: slick takedowns and accurate ground and pound and with 9 submission wins, "Judo Jim" looks like a grappling savant. I don't see Brimage being able to stay on his feet. At 5'4'' he may want to drop from 145lbs to 135lbs.
Hettes by submission early.
Both of these guys have a lot of submission wins, (10 and 15 respectfully) but Baczynski has been submitted 5 times in 8 losses and Thoresen has never been submitted. Thoresen looked excellent in his last fight at UFC on Fuel 2.
I think this is a step up and test for Thoresen. He is the one to watch in this fight. I don't know if he'll get the submission because of Baczynski's own talent in that area but I expect him to win via decision. Thoresen has been finished with strikes however and Seth has 6 KO/TKO's to his credit. Should be a good fight.
Thoresen by decision.
Mitch is a submission expert who though he ironically lost by rear naked choke in his UFC debut, is very dangerous on the ground. Watson has 7 submission wins to his credit but seeing as how he was easily handled on the ground by TJ Dillashaw in his last fight, I don't see it turning out well.
Watson has a huge reach advantage in this fight and he showed nifty submission defense against Dillashaw who did all but finish him. Gagnon will probably get this fight to the ground and grabbing up a submission and finishing it early.
Gagnon by submission.
Noke is fighting at welterweight for the first time and we don't know how the weight cut will affect him, but he's the bigger, stronger fighter by a long shot. Brenneman has never finished a fight in the UFC and relies on his wrestling to win his fights. They're both coming off losses, Noke losing to Ed Herman and Andrew Craig while Brenneman was submitted by Erick Silva in his last outing.
There are a lot of unknowns in this fight, and it goes against the conventional wisdom that I'm picking Noke. I think he's a finisher where Brenneman is not. Noke has good submissions and will have the size and strength advantage most likely on fight night so expect a rear naked choke submission in the first or second round.
Noke by Submission.