Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is making a quick turnaround after a fun night of fights in its home base of Las Vegas, Nevada, with its mixed martial arts (MMA) debut in Phoenix, Arizona. That's where UFC on FOX 13 will go down -- inside US Airways Arena to be exact -- a little later tonight (Dec. 13, 2014) in prime time.
And considering it's free of charge, the line up is pretty damn sweet.
Leading the charge is former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, who returns from a lengthy injury layoff to throw hands with dangerous up-and-comer Stipe Miocic. In the lightweight co-headliner, disgruntled title contender Nate Diaz tries to rebound from a rough week in "The Grand Canyon State" by turning away the venerable Rafael dos Anjos.
Elsewhere on the four-fight main card, a pair of super-sized bouts will send two men back into the 265-pound "mix" while sending another two to the back of the line. After Brazilian goliath Gabriel Gonzaga jerks the curtain with Matt Mitrione, Alistair Overeem will attempt to halt his heavyweight free fall opposite the equally-troubled Stefan Struve.
Who reigns supreme and who shits the bed? Let's find out...
265 lbs.: Junior "Cigano" dos Santos (16-3) vs. Stipe Miocic (12-1)
Nostradumbass predicts: You know that guy who is holding the UFC interim heavyweight strap, Fabricio Werdum? Junior dos Santos knocked him clean out. The reigning division kingpin, Cain Velasquez? Knocked him out, too. He also KOed Mark Hunt, a former K-1 Grand Prix Champion.
What exactly is Stipe Miocic going to do to him?
Shane Carwin, widely considered the hardest hitter in the history of the division, couldn't stop "Cigano" and the only reason JDS has a technical knockout loss on his record is because of the mercy rule at UFC 166.
Miocic is a big, athletic heavyweight who is surprisingly agile for his size. But his biggest win to date is a unanimous decision win over the hot-and-cold Roy Nelson, where he basically did the whole run-and-gun thing for 15 minutes.
And I guess we should mention that Miocic was knocked out by Stefan Struve -- who was turned inside out by ... you guessed it, Dos Santos. You can argue the injury layoff may mess with the Brazilian's timing, and that he could, conceivably, be taken down and exploited on the ground.
But that's a stretch ... a long one ... because Dos Santos has faced -- and destroyed -- the best in the world. Without a marquee name to his credit, I can't envision a scenario where Miocic gets out of this in one piece.
Final result: Dos Santos def. Miocic via knockout
155 lbs.: Nate Diaz (17-9) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (22-7)
Nostradumbass predicts: There are couple of things that concern me heading into this fight, not least of which is the fact that Diaz came in five pounds over the lightweight limit and didn't even bother to attempt a second cut. That tells me he doesn't care much about this fight and based on what's been happening in recent weeks, I'm not sure he even wants to be competing under the ZUFFA banner.
I can't pick a fighter whose heart isn't in it, especially when he's fighting a hungry contender whose heart is set on winning the division title.
Diaz has great boxing and formidable jiu-jitsu, but Rafael dos Anjos is just as skilled on the ground and has come a long way in the striking department. He may not be capable of the rat-tat-tat offense like his opponent, but what he lacks in volume he makes up for in power.
In addition, Diaz has been out of the cage for over a year and the Brazilian has competed three times during that span against the top of the food chain, registering two finishes including a lights-out performance against ex-champion Ben Henderson.
Even if he was at full strength, this would be a very difficult test for Diaz. But he's not, and it will show, in what I expect to be a listless, half-baked effort that has him go down on points fairly convincingly.
Final result: Dos Anjos def. Diaz via unanimous decision
265 lbs.: Alistair "Demolition Man" Overeem (37-14, 1 NC) vs. Stefan "Skyscraper" Struve (25-6)
Nostradumbass predicts: So we have ourselves quite the conundrum here. Alistair Overeem has been knocked out in three of his last four fights, while Stefan Struve has been KTFO in five of his six losses. Clearly, these two towering heavyweights are a little too chinny to be throwing hands with reckless abandon, but they do it anyway.
That means someone is going out tonight on FOX.
As dreadful as he has looked over the past year or so, I still have to take Overeem. Struve is a talented fighter but he hasn't competed for well over a year. After having his jaw shattered by Mark Hunt, he was sidelined with a leaky ticker. "Skyscraper" battled back to get medically cleared, then fainted before his Matt Mitrione fight.
To my knowledge, "The Reem" has never been knocked out in the locker room, so he still has one up on his fellow Dutchman.
I would expect Overeem to come out with his usual surfer stance and assuming he doesn't get kicked in the face a la Travis Browne, he will walk Struve down and overwhelm him with strikes before "Skyscraper" has time to get his bearings.
Final result: Overeem def. Struve via technical knockout
265 lbs.: Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga (16-8) vs. Matt "Meathead" Mitrione (8-3)
Nostradumbass predicts: I -- and a lot of other people -- wrote Matt Mitrione off once he was clowned by Roy Nelson at TUF 16 Finale in late 2012. But he silenced his doubters by embarking on a 3-1 run, where all three wins came by way of knockout.
Including September's destruction of Derrick Lewis.
Not bad for a guy with just 11 pro fights. I favor him in this fight if the contest stays upright, because Gabriel Gonzaga has six of his eight losses coming by way of knockout. But as much as I favor "Meathead" on the ground, I give just as much advantage to Gonzaga on the ground.
But only in the opening frame.
"Napao" has some of the worst cardio in the entire division. It's bad -- even for a heavyweight -- and he once lost a bout in Jungle Fight due to exhaustion. If he can't seal the deal in the first five minutes, he's doomed, especially if Mitrione makes him work. I have to believe Team Meat knows this and plans accordingly.
Gonzaga has done some knocking out of his own, but his inconsistency worries me. I think he goes for broke early on -- and gets broken.
Final result: Mitrione def. Gonzaga via knockout
There you have it.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 13 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. ET, and then the remaining under card balance on FOX Sports 1 at 5 p.m. ET before the FOX main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.
To see who is fighting on the "Prelims" portion of the UFC on FOX 13 fight card -- including a full breakdown for each fight -- click here and here. For "Dos Santos vs. Miocic" odds and betting lines, click here.
What do you think? Now it's your turn ... let us have it in the comments section and share your thoughts and picks for tonight's event.