clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UFC 184 'Prelims' preview and predictions, Pt. 2

New, comments

More fights are coming to Fight Pass online digital network and FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sat., Feb. 28, 2015) when UFC 184: “Rousey vs. Zingano” kicks off from Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. MMAmania.com's Patrick Stumberg continues the UFC 184 "Prelims" party with the second (and final) installment of a two-part under card preview series.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It's about time.

Almost two years after their proposed stint as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 fell apart because of injury, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Women's Bantamweight Champion, Ronda Rousey, will finally take on fellow finishing machine, Cat Zingano, in the main event of UFC 184 this weekend (Sat., Feb. 28, 2015) from Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

In the pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, female boxing standout Holly Holm will make her long-awaited Octagon debut, taking on former TUF 18 member Raquel Pennington with a potential crack at the main event's winner on the line.

But, before that, we have six "Prelims" bouts, the first half of which we looked at yesterday right here. Check out the remaining balance below:

185 lbs.: Mark Munoz vs. Roan Carneiro

Mark Munoz (13-5) bounced back impressively from his knockout loss to Chris Weidman, battering the durable Tim Boetsch on the card, UFC 162, where "All American" took the 185-pound title. "Filipino Wrecking Machine" has struggled to maintain that form, however, suffering first-round stoppage losses to Lyoto Machida and Gegard Mousasi in his last two appearances.

Six of his professional victories have come by form of knockout.

The inaugural Octagon run of Roan Carneiro (19-9) came to an end after a split decision loss to Ryo Chonan, the culmination of a 1-3 stretch. "Jucao" has won seven of eight since, most recently winning a BattleGrounds MMA 5: "O.N.E." one-night, eight-man tournament in Oct. 2014.

Nine of his professional wins have come via submission.

This fight baffles me. As far as I know, Carneiro has never competed above Welterweight. He’s not even a late-notice replacement -- it was booked at Middleweight from the beginning.

Why? I must know. It haunts me.

In any case, the outcome seems pretty straightforward. Munoz struggles to bring people to the mat, but God help anyone he can drag down. Against an undersized opponent like this, I fully expect to see his terrific ground-and-pound in action. Carneiro is in for a rough couple of rounds as Munoz scores takedowns and drops sledgehammers until the referee saves "Jucao" from further punishment.

Prediction: Munoz via second-round technical knockout

135 lbs.: Roman Salazar vs. Norifumi Yamamoto

Roman Salazar (9-3) entered UFC as a late-notice replacement for Rob Font, taking on Canuck powerhouse Mitch Gagnon in Halifax. Fighting in hostile territory,  "El Gallito" could not stop his opponent’s grappling assault, tapping little more than two minutes into the first round.

He stands three inches taller than Norifumi Yamamoto (18-6).

Once the scourge of the lower weight classes, injuries ravaged the Japanese superstar, who lost two straight after an Olympic bid was halted by a busted elbow. Though "Kid" won a tune-up soon after, he is winless in UFC, falling in his last three bouts.

Yamamoto -- who has knocked out 13 foes -- will compete for the first time in almost exactly three years.

At this point in his career, pretty much everything that made Yamamoto "Kid" is gone. The speed, wrestling and ferocity are nowhere to be seen. He’s not only struggled with injuries, he’s also 37 years old.

Luckily, what’s left should be enough.

Yamamoto figures to have a sizeable advantage in striking technique and should be the one dictating position. Though his degraded chin, likely a product of some sadist deciding to let him fight Mike Zambidis, is an issue, there’s too much in his favor elsewhere to keep me from picking him.

Prediction: Yamamoto via first-round knockout

170 lbs.: Dhiego Lima vs. Tim Means

Two straight submission wins sent Dhiego Lima (10-2) to The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 19 Finale, where teammate Eddie Gordon put a stop to his run via first-round knockout. Returning to Welterweight, Lima put his ground skills to use once again with a dominant victory over kickboxing veteran Jorge Oliveira.

He has stopped seven professional opponents ... four via submission.

A two-fight skid -- coupled with missing weight in the latter bout -- resulted in the removal of Tim Means (22-6-1) from UFC. Moving up to welterweight, two straight knockout wins earned "The Dirty Bird" another ZUFFA berth, where he has gone 2-1 at 170 pounds.

He has knocked out 15 of his professional foes.

Lima -- though extremely skilled in his own right -- lacks the kind of physicality and Earth-shattering power that makes his brother, Douglas Lima, the scourge of Bellator’s Welterweight division. His inability to impose his will on his opponents will likely bar him from the ranks of the elite, as it has so many striker/grapplers before.

Means hasn’t been the terror he was at Lightweight, but he still looks like the more powerful striker of the two and is unlikely to get dragged to the mat with any regularity. While he had difficulty with the similarly-lanky Neil Magny, I expect his superior firepower to carry him to victory over the Brazilian in a fun decision win.

Prediction: Means via unanimous decision

It ain't what it once was, but we've still got a few fun match ups in store.

See you Saturday, Maniacs!

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 184 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and then the remaining under card balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET before the PPV start time at 10 p.m. ET.

Current UFC "Prelims" Prediction Record 2015: 7-8