UFC Fight Night 30 predictions, preview and analysis

Copyright: Martin McNeil

The cast and crew of UFC are headed back across the pond, but hometown hero Michael Bisping (and his rotten retina) won't be joining them. Is this FOX Sports 2 event worth tuning in for? Find out below!

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has already swept the crumbs of last week's pay-per-view (PPV) event under the mixed martial arts (MMA) carpet, as it gears up for another British invasion this Saturday (Oct. 26, 2013) at the awful-sounding Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, England.

Great name for a mall kiosk. For a major sporting arena? Not so much.

Speaking of poor choices, this weekend's UFC Fight Night 30 event will air on FOX Sports 2, for no other reason than officials find it funny to imagine millions of fight fans pounding on their remotes five minutes before the show in a frustrating attempt to locate yet another new channel.

To make matters worse, it's on in the middle of the afternoon.

I have a new channel as well, it's called UFC on DVR. As a matter of fact, it will also show the Lyoto Machida vs. Mark Munoz main event, as well as the five other main card fights, only it does so at the date and time of my choosing.

Technology rules!

Anyway, let's get this over with.

185 lbs.: Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida (19-4) vs. Mark "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" Munoz (13-3)

Nostradumbass predicts: This is one of those "morning after" fights. Meaning, if I skipped the event altogether (tempting) and you called me the morning after, I wouldn't be surprised if you told me Mark Munoz humped and thumped his way to a unanimous decision win.

Nor would I be aghast if you told me he was laid out late in the opening frame.

This is a difficult fight to predict, simply because we don't know what type of fighter Lyoto Machida will be at middleweight. I'm not concerned about the weight cut because this is a man who drinks his own urine, I'm pretty sure he's got the discipline thing down pat.

But making the weight and performing at the weight are two entirely different animals.

Historically, he's been very difficult to get a hold of and who knows? He could be even faster and more elusive at 185 pounds. He could also be less powerful with his counterstrikes. That's a major contributor to his success and it will make or break this fight against Munoz, who will likely push for the takedown to avoid getting worked on the feet.

Make no mistake about it. "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" is not good enough to bang it out against "The Dragon."

Munoz performs his best when he makes his fights ugly. He was a collegiate stud, no question, but his wrestling has not translated well to MMA and his shots are hardly the stuff of legend. His best chance of getting out of Manchester in the win column is to get Machida to the floor -- or up against the fence -- and keep him there for a majority of the fight.

Better men than him have tried and failed.

Final prediction: Machida def. Munoz via technical knockout

155 lbs.: Melvin "The Young Assassin" Guillard (31-12-2 1 NC) vs. Ross "Real Deal" Pearson (15-6)

Nostradumbass predicts: Melvin Guillard is an entertaining fighter, but once you get into your thirties, I'm not sure you can refer to yourself as a "Young" anything. And if you judge by his fights alone (he's had nearly 50) he's a goddamn senior citizen.

Therein lies the problem.

Ordinarily, you would be optimistic about a fighter with his deficiencies. But he's not 24 years old with a 10-4 record. He's already had a staggering 20 fights inside the Octagon and is exactly the same fighter today as he was at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 2 Finale back in 2005.

Terrific striker, supremely athletic, putrid submission defense.

He's also experienced a boatload of personal problems outside the sport and has been changing fight camps like Adam Guillen's been changing diapers. If Ross Pearson has a brain in his head, he'll betray his hometown crowd and go for the takedown.

Not likely.

"The Real Deal" is a scrappy little Brit who loves to throw hands. Beating Guillard is an exercise in intelligence, not intensity, making the idea of riding a wave of hometown love into victory seductive, but foolhardy. Cole Miller had Pearson in trouble on the feet and Cub Swanson flat-out smoked him.

Imagine what Guillard will do.

Pounding out George Sotiropoulos and Ryan Couture was impressive, but they aren't what I would call elite strikers. Hopefully, Pearson is cognizant of this reality and mixes things up. But if he tries to dazzle the crowd with a British bangfest, he's going out like Geez.

Final prediction: Guillard def. Pearson via technical knockout

205 lbs.: Ryan "Big Deal" Jimmo (18-2) vs. Jimi "Poster Boy" Manuwa (13-0)

Nostradumbass predicts: A lot of fight fans have pegged this bout as an early candidate for "Knockout of the Night" and understandably so. Despite a hiccup against James Te Huna earlier this year in London, Ryan Jimmo has assembled a body of work on the international circuit to legitimize some of his recent hype.

He really is a "Big Deal."

Unfortunately, his record is telling in other ways, as well. While he may be tough enough to trade heavy leather with "Poster Boy," Jimmo has only finished two of his fights in the last five years and racked up seven decisions in the process, including a split against Marvin Eastman for MFC.

Manuwa has stopped all 13 of his opponents and has yet to see a third round.

The X-factor in this fight is conditioning. Anytime you have big, muscular fighters swinging for the fences, you run the risk of getting a sloppy bar fight as the contest wears on. It will also be interesting to see how much wrestling Jimmo employs when the fists start flying.

Not enough, as I predict he goes down in a blaze of glory before Manuwa has a chance to gas.

Final prediction: Manuwa def. Jimmo via knockout

155 lbs.: "Stormin'" Norman Parke (18-2) vs. Jon "Super Saiyan" Tuck (7-0)

Nostradumbass predicts: So turns out Jon Tuck is from Guam, which I just found out is a real place. His signing probably has something to do with the promotion's expansion into Asia and not coincidentally, most of the "Super Saiyan's" wins have come over fighters from that part of the world.

He outlasted Zhang Tiequan last year in Macao, though "Wolf" is just 1-4 over the last three years.

I hate to pick against a guy who has competed at shows with names like Blood Wars, Back From the Dead, Fearless and Gorilla Warfare, but he hasn't really been tested in his still-young career and Parke -- also a work in progress -- has double the experience.

He also has a better ground game.

Tuck is no stranger to the ground himself and has a nice balance of wins by knockout and submission. What he doesn't have, is a black belt in judo (Parke does), so I'm not sure he will be in a postiion to dictate where the fight goes if the shit hits the fan.

It will, somewhere around the second round, when "Stormin'" Norman locks up a fight-ending submission.

Final prediction: Parke def. Tuck via submission

185 lbs.: Nicholas "Nico" Musoke (10-2-1) vs. Alessio "Legionarius" Sakara (15-10)

Nostradumbass predicts: I guess it just wouldn't be an Alessio Sakara fight if there weren't a bunch of bizarre circumstances surrounding it, including a late replacement for Saturday's card after Magnus Cedenblad was bounced from the event.

So instead of fighting a giant Swede, he gets a bloated welterweight.

I suppose it all evens out since Nicholas Musoke is also from Sweden, in some weird, cosmic way, but he gets the Ilir Latifi award for UFC newcomer most likely to get worked by an established veteran. That's not to anoint Sakara the next Gegard Mousasi, because he hasn't won a fight in over three years, but even "Legionarius" should be able to coast against a late replacement moving up in weight.

Or so one would think.

Sakara is an accomplished Italian boxer, but I'm not sure that means a whole lot, since the only Italian boxer of any merit in the last 20 years has been Rocky Balboa. Still, he has good combinations with deceptive speed, and probably would have beaten Cote if not for the hammerfist of doom.

Blame it on la cervicale.

Unless someone has a compelling argument for Musoke that negates all the usual talking points, including Octagon jitters, fighting UFC-caliber opponents and blah, blah blah, I'm sticking with what I know. Sakara may not be top 10, but he's at least been here before.

Final prediction: Sakara def. Musoke via unanimous decision

125 lbs.: Phil "Billy" Harris (22-10) vs. John "Hands of Stone" Lineker (22-6)

Nostradumbass predicts: I purposely waited until after the weigh ins to write this one up, because John Lineker has a spotty record when it comes to making weight. As expected, it's not just his hands that are full of stone, as the Brazilian once again came in heavy.

Three strikes and you're out (of the title picture).

The real question becomes, how hard did he try? If he damn near killed himself and couldn't get it done, he's going to be a hot mess tomorrow night. If, however, he knew well in advance he wasn't making the cut and instead opted to just pay the fine and come in heavy, then he will have a distinct physical advantage over Phil Harris, who had to sweat his ass off the last week or so.


Make weight or move up. It happens from time to time, but three times in his last five fights? The best revenge Harris can get is by tapping him out, something he's done 13 times in 22 wins. Unfortunately, he also has 10 losses, getting finished in nine of them.

"Billy" definitely goes out on his shield.

I think that's going to happen here, too, as Lineker barrels in with his usual bloodlust and starts pounding away, careful not to make the same mistake he did against Louis Gaudinot. Harris will try to implement his judo and look for a submission, but he'll be crushed before he even realizes he's in trouble.

Score one for the bad guys.

Final prediction: Lineker def. Harris via technical knockout

That's a wrap.

MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 30 card this Saturday (Oct. 26, 2013) right here, starting with the Facebook "Prelims" at 12:15 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 2-televised main card bouts at 3 p.m. ET.

For previews and predictions on the preliminary card fights click here and here. To see all the odds and betting lines for UFC Fight Night 30 click here and remember to come check us out after the show for all the latest results, recaps and coverage of "Machida vs. Munoz."

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.

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