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UFC Fight Night 59 'Prelims' preview and predictions, Pt. 2

More fights are coming to Fight Pass online digital network and FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sun., Jan. 18, 2015) when UFC Fight Night 59: “McGregor vs Siver” kicks off from TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. MMAmania.com's Alex Schlinsky continues the UFC Fight Night 59 "Prelims" party with the second (and final) installment of a two-part under card preview series.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

One more win, and a shot at gold is there for the taking.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) rising star, Conor McGregor will look to earn a UFC title shot against featherweight champion Jose Aldo this weekend (Sun., Jan. 18, 2015) when he takes on UFC veteran Dennis Siver in the main event of UFC Fight Night 59.

TD Garden in Boston, Mass., will also play host to a colossal lightweight trilogy fight between former UFC champion Benson Henderson and streaking contender Donald Cerrone. Fans will also be treated to Uriah Hall taking on short notice opponent Ron Stallings on the main card.

We looked at the first half of the "Prelims" under card matches yesterday right here. Today, we dig into the top four that will be featured on FOX Sports 1 below:

125 lbs.: Patrick Holohan vs. Shane Howell

Following a successful UFC debut that saw Patrick Holohan (10-1) defeat Josh Sampo by first round submission, the "Hooligan" looks to get back into the win column this Sunday after his first career loss to Chris Kelades this past October.

The SBG Ireland product showed flashes of brilliance his first time out, rocking Sampo prior to finishing him off with a rear-naked choke as the Irish crowd in attendance roared in support. In his encore, Holohan was beaten to the punch by short notice opponent Kelades, who certainly surprised the Irishman inside the Octagon.

If Holohan is to earn his eleventh career victory in Boston, he will have to stave off Shane Howell (13-8). In his Octagon debut this past June, Howell was clearly the victim of UFC jitters, as he was pasted by Ray Borg before being choke out in just over two minutes.

Howell made his debut after nearly two years away from the sport, and simply looked uncomfortable in all areas. In comparison, Holohan has been nothing but composed and enthralling in his UFC career thus far. Expect a big performance from the Irishman this weekend as he dominates all areas of the fight.

Holohan will utilize his superior movement, tag Howell on the feet, and then take him to the mat before submitting him early.

Prediction: Holohan via rear-naked choke

155 lbs.: Zhang Lipeng vs. Chris Wade

For Zhang Lipeng (9-7-1) to win his third straight UFC fight, he will need to go back to his bread and butter and control Chris Wade (8-1) on the mat.

Of course, that will be easier said than done for The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "China" winner, as Wade showed off his excellent grappling credentials in his utter destruction of Cain Carrizosa back at UFC 177.

While Lipeng has shown off his ability to dominate his opponents on the mat as he did to both Wang Sai and Brendan O'Reilly, none of his opponents had the track record Wade has. Considering Wade finished his UFC debut in just 72 seconds, I don't expect this fight to go much longer.

With Lipeng losing five of his seven career losses via submission, I would be shocked not to see Wade take Lipeng down quickly before finishing him in highlight-reel fashion.

Prediction: Wade via submission (armbar)

170 lbs.: John Howard vs. Lorenz Larkin

In a dream striker's matchup and potential "loser leaves town" match, knockout artist John Howard (22-10) will look to add savvy striker Lorenz Larkin (14-4) to his knockout victims' list this Sunday.

Since returning to the Octagon last August, Howard has gone 2-2 in four fights that went the distance, including an upset over Uriah Hall. Currently riding a two-fight skid at the hands of Brian Ebersole and Ryan LaFlare, "Doomsday" has been unable to uncork his violent power as of late, but you can expect a stand-up bangfest when Larkin hits the cage in Boston.

Heading into enemy territory, the "Monsoon" looks to shake off three straight losses and avoid the UFC pink slip this weekend. In a drastic career fall, Larkin is barely two years removed from a rousing victory over current UFC champion Robbie Lawler back in Strikeforce.

Since then, Larkin has been unable to find his groove, losing to Francis Carmont, Brad Tavares, Derek Brunson, and a knockout loss to Costa Philippou sandwiched by an uneventful victory over Chris Camozzi.

Making his welterweight debut, the California native hopes to turn his career around by forcing Howard to eat punches and kicks all night in a wild striking affair. Expect Larkin to have the distinct speed advantage, but one mistake and he could be waking up in a daze as the Boston crowd cheers on their hometown favorite.

Prediction: Larkin via unanimous decision

170 lbs.: Cathal Pendred vs. Sean Spencer

An Irish beatdown will take place in the "Prelims" main event this weekend in Boston.

Conor McGregor's close friend and SBG Ireland teammate Cathal Pendred (15-2-1) will look for his third career UFC victory as he takes on five-fight UFC veteran Sean Spencer (12-3).

Pendred, the former Cage Warriors welterweight champion, has looked a bit sloppy inside the Octagon thus far, but two victories over Mike King and Gasan Umalatov proved the Irishmen was worthy of his roster spot.

As for Spencer, the Virginia native has put together an uninspiring UFC run, although he has racked up three decision victories amongst two losses. Over his five fight UFC career, it has been evident Spencer's strongest attribute is his striking, while his weakest is his grappling defense. Although he may not be the most technical striker on the roster, he gets the job done in a variety of ways.

"Black Magic" will need to use everything in his arsenal to get by Pendred this weekend, as the "Punisher" has proven to be a very tough-out throughout his career in even the worst of positions. In nearly every bout, Pendred is hurt at some point before rallying to an impressive victory.

Considering his penchant for being hit prior to waking up and getting the job done, expect an early onslaught from Spencer prior to the Irishman taking him down and pounding him out for the victory.

Prediction: Pendred via technical knockout

That's a wrap!

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 59 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, and then the remaining under card balance on FOX Sports 1 at 7 p.m. ET before the main card kicks off on the same channel at 10 p.m. ET.

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