UFC 150 Fight Card: Power Ranking the Preliminary Card Fights

Steven RondinaFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2012

UFC 150 Fight Card: Power Ranking the Preliminary Card Fights

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    While UFC 150's main card is totally stacked, it is somewhat lacking in name recognition down bottom. While it lacks in names, though, it makes up for it with a plethora of 135- and 145-pound talent.

    With two featherweight bouts, two bantamweight bouts and a pair of middleweights thrown in for good measure, fans are likely going to see fast-paced, exciting fights all over.

    So which bouts are likely to be the best?

    Find out right here with our power rankings for the preliminary fights of tonight's UFC 150 event!

5. Dustin Pague vs. Chico Camus

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    It's do-or-die time for Dustin Pague.

    Like many others, he earned stoppage after stoppage against lesser competition, but has not had anything close to that kind of success in the UFC.

    Granted, he actually fought twice in June this year, with a win at UFC on FX 3 against Jared Papazian and then a loss to Ken Stone (more on him later) two weeks after that. Still, the UFC's headtaker feels no sympathy for losers, regardless of the circumstances.

    He has a chance to right the ship against Chico Camus, a newcomer to the UFC from Roufusport. These are two young, well-rounded fighters who can make sparks here.  

4. Eiji Mitsuoka vs. Nik Lentz

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    This is the lone preliminary fight that actually features well-seasoned mixed martial artists.

    Eiji Mitsuoka is a Japanese mainstay who fought in Sengoku, Pride and Dream from 2001 until being signed by the UFC earlier this year. Nik Lentz has nine UFC bouts under his belt, and fought for a long time even before that.

    Both of these fighters, like so many on the card, are possibly fighting for their jobs here.

    Mitsuoka lost his UFC debut at UFC 144 against fellow Japanese fighter Takanori Gomi, who knocked him out in the second round. Lentz, meanwhile, is sitting on an overall 5-2-1 (1) UFC record, but those losses are his two most recent fights. We all know how the UFC feels about three-fight losing streaks.

    Both are savvy, for sure, and watch for them to show off their well-filed technical skills in a bout that will, unfortunately, probably end up having the two fighters cancel each other out, en route to a decision.

3. Ken Stone vs. Erik Perez

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    So, you like submissions? Then this is a good fight for you to watch.

    Stone has six of his 11 wins coming from submission. Perez has seven of his 11 wins from submission.

    Stone's first UFC win was a technical submission of Donny Walker with a rear-naked choke. Perez's first UFC win was a verbal submission from an armbar on John Albert.

    Stone has a bit more experience with Zuffa, with four total fights (one in the WEC, three in the UFC) but the two are comparably experienced. Watch for this to be a technical grappling match with both fighters trying to make the other tap.

2. Michael Kuiper vs. Jared Hamman

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    A blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a black belt in judo. A protege of Vladimir Matyushenko. A pair of middleweights probably fighting for their jobs.

    That is the best way to sum up Michael Kuiper vs. Jared Hamman.

    Kuiper is our BJJ and judo dude. The thing is, while you would figure he would be a grappling-focused fighter, he scored six knockouts in his 11-0 run in Europe before joining the UFC at UFC 143, where he lost to Rafael Natal by decision.

    Many before him have been cut after starting their UFC careers at 0-2 and Kuiper is certainly going to try and avoid that.

    Hamman, meanwhile, is our Matyushenko protege. He has more UFC experience than his opponent, for sure, debuting back at UFC 105 against fellow at-the-time newcomer, Alexander Gustafsson. He is currently sitting on a 2-3 record in the promotion, and is coming off a loss to Constantinos Philippou. Another loss, in all likelihood, will not be tolerated.

    The thing is, even though these fighters have not made much of a splash in the UFC, this bout could end up being a good one. Both fighters have serious knockout power, and Hamman, in spite of his record, has two Fight of the Night bonuses to his credit.

    Look for the added pressure to bring out the best in both of these fighters and watch as they likely combine for a great fight.

1. Dennis Bermudez vs. Tommy Hayden

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    Bermudez, a finalist from The Ultimate Fighter season 14, is best remembered for downright slapping around Diego Brandao before nearly having his arm ripped off by possibly the craziest submission UFC fans have seen outside Mir vs. Nogueira II.

    While that is certainly a bad memory for him, the talent is most certainly there.

    Brandao is a beast. Few would deny that. Bermudez came very close to beating him and owns NCAA Division I wrestling skills and knockout power in his hands. That is not something to shrug at.

    Neither, though, is Tommy Hayden's allergy to decisions. In nine fights (in which he is 8-1), Hayden has not once made it to the judges. He can submit guys. He can knock them out...and he can apparently get this one dude disqualified for an illegal knee.

    Anyway, exciting fight here.

    Hayden's coming off a loss, so expect him to be swinging for the fences as he tries to keep his job while Bermudez tries to claw his way towards the title picture of the featherweight division.