First I hate Getty. Their images suck something big. Now on to the predictions
For some reason Spike is labeling the fight card that MMA fans have been waiting for, and the truth is outside of the co-main events it’s an ok card. Personally I don’t even know if I’m getting this card, but who knows.
With all that said on January, 17 the UFC is back in Ireland and that is a good thing. If there is one country in the world who loves them some fighting it Ireland. By the way I’ve always wanted to be known as “Irish” Jaime Moreno. And on to the prelims.
Tom Egan vs. John Hathaway—so I know very little about these two guys except that I know that John Hathaway is from England, he is undefeated, and is a Cage Rage vet. I got nothing on Egan so with that in mind I’m flipping a coin...So Hathaway wins, and I’ll go with a Decision win.
Tomasz Drwal vs. Ivan Serati—Serati is making his UFC debut against Drwal who only fight in the UFC was a TKO loss to Thiago Silva. Serati is also a Cage Rage veteran who from what I have heard, has a decent chin and good punching power. Before the loss to Silva, Tomasz hadn’t loss since 2004 and is a solid fighter. Experience is going to be big in this one and my guess is that Drwal will be winning this one. Tomasz Drwal via TKO in the second.
Dennis Siver vs. Nate Mohr—Siver has had some serious bad luck in the UFC being 1-4. If he wants to fight in the UFC he desperately needs a win but Nate Mohr is a push over. Mohr’s last fight was over a year ago and for those of you who don’t remember, Manny Gamburyan tore up his knee with a nasty leg lock. Honestly Mohr should take this fight with just overall better skills. Nate Mohr via TKO in the first.
Antonio Mendes vs. Eric Schafer—this one is actually a good match-up between two guys who have futures in the sport. Eric Schafer is a BJJ fighter who now trains under Duke Roufus so I have to assume that his standup has gotten much better. Before the loss to Thiago Silva, Mendes had an 11 fight winning streak, and showed in that fight that he has some tremendous kicks.
The fight that I am drawing my conclusion on is a Schafer’s last fight against Houston Alexander. Schafer was able to avoid Houston’s attack and take it to the ground and finish him in the first. Now Mendes surely has a ton more ability on the ground then Houston Alexander, but I think the results will be the same. Eric Schafer via RNC in the second.
Alexandre Barros vs. Martin Kampmann—Kampmann is making his welterweight debut and honestly it’s about time. He was never a big middleweight and I’ve felt for some time that he should be in with the top of the welterweight division, but he has no easy task with Barros. Alexandre Barros has been around for some time in Brazil and trains with a very good Gracie Barra Combat Team, home of Renato Sobral.
From what I’ve seen of Barros he is a big 170 pounder with some very good standup skills. Both men are well versed on the ground with Barros having an advantage so look for Barros to try and take it to the ground. If Kampmann can keep it standing then, he should have success having better overall standup skills. Although I like Kampmann this is a bad start at this weight class and could be beat by a more experienced Barros. Alexandre Barros via Decision.
Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle—I’m really disappoint at this fight because I’m a believer in that Davis should be fighting top level guys in the welterweight division. Chris Lytle is a gatekeeper who has power in his punches but has very little gas in the tank after the first round. Davis on the other hand is a better boxer, and way better cardio then Lytle ever will.
I wish Joe Silva will put Davis in with someone like Koscheck or Karo next time. This is the easiest to call because Lytle only has a small punchers chance. Marcus Davis via TKO in the second.
Jeremy Horn vs. Rousimar Palhares—Jeremy Horn is coming into this fight a shell of his former self and find himself in with a guy who is much stronger and better versed on the ground. Palhares is a legit BJJ player and will likely be wanting to take this to the ground asap.
For Horn to have any luck he needs to use his wrestling to sprawl and brawl and hope to land enough shots to win by points. Horn however isn’t Dan Henderson and I think Palhares will be able to use his Jiu-Jitsu to get a submission. Rousimar Palhares via Armbar in the first. Submission of the night
Alan Belcher vs. Denis Kang—Denis Kang finally makes his UFC debut and I am so stoked for it. He is a top level middleweight and should have been here a lot sooner. I know that many people believe that his best days are behind him but the last year and then some have been tough on him. A divorce and a early exit in the Dream middleweight GP made people turn away from him but not me.
Alan Belcher is a good test for him in the UFC to get his timing back and show off some of his skills. With a win here look for Kang to be involved in some good matchups in 2009, maybe with someone like Leben or Cote. Regardless I see him being a force in the middleweight division. Denis Kang via RNC in the first.
Mark Coleman vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua—I have no idea why this fight is taking place but at least we get to see the return of Shogun. Coleman is making his return to the Octagon and has no easy task with a healthy Shogun Rua who doesn’t need any motivation to show the skills that had many ranking him as the top 205er in the world some two years ago.
In order for Shogun to have a chance at the belt he not only needs to win, but destroy Coleman which I feel he will. Look for Coleman to try and make this a ground war and here’s hoping that Shogun stuffs Coleman’s takedowns and mashes his face in. Can you tell that I’m not a fan of Mark “the steroid induced Hammer” Coleman. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua via face smashing in the second. KO of the night.
Rich “Ace” Franklin vs. Dan Henderson—many think that this fight will put Franklin in the mix at 205 but in the words of Lee Corso “not so fast my friend.” This fight is going to be very competitive and maybe the fight of the night. Henderson is very good on the ground, who was very aggressive against Anderson Silva and completely controlled him for most of the first round, something Rich was never even close to doing. Rich on the other hand has a decisive advantage in the standup with very technical boxing and kickboxing.
That’s not to say that Henderson can’t KTFO of people, just ask Wandy, it’s just that rich has very quick hands and has some really good leg kicks. For Franklin to win he has to keep his distance and use his very good jab, straight left combo working all night and hope to land something flush enough to hurt Henderson.
For Henderson to win he has to use his right hand to get in and force the fight to the ground where he can use his ground and pound to win. My guess is that Henderson will be able to enforce his will over Franklin. Dan Henderson via decision.