UFC on Fuel 5: Power Ranking Every Fight on the Card

Nathan McCarter@McCarterNFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2012

UFC on Fuel 5: Power Ranking Every Fight on the Card

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    UFC on Fuel 5 will air live on Saturday, beginning at 4 p.m. ET on Fuel TV.

    The main event will be a heavyweight clash between Stefan Struve and Stipe Miocic. Struve looks to make it four in a row inside the Octagon, and Miocic will hope to keep his perfect MMA record unblemished with a win.

    Also on the card, Dan Hardy battles Amir Sadollah, and John Hathaway meets John Maguire.

    The 11-bout card will excite Nottingham and the viewing audience. From top to bottom, the card is littered with young prospects, exciting fighters and even matchups.

    Here is a look at how each fight ranks and why you should most definitely tune in to watch the action.

No. 11: DaMarques Johnson vs. Gunnar Nelson

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    This fight begins the list because of DaMarques Johnson (16-11). I am not even entirely sure he should be fighting on this card.

    Johnson is coming off a knockout loss to Mike Swick in August, accepted the fight on short notice and came in out of shape and overweight. That is a recipe for disaster.

    Looking to make it a disaster is Gunnar Nelson (9-0-1).

    The Renzo Gracie black belt can extend his unbeaten record to 10 wins by stopping Johnson in short order. Johnson always comes to fight, but fighting so recently after being knocked unconscious is worrisome.

    In regards to fighter safety, I'd simply prefer this fight not take place.

No. 10: Andy Ogle vs. Akira Corassani

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    Andy Ogle (8-1) will make his official UFC debut in the featherweight division when he steps inside the cage with newcomer Akira Corassani (9-3, 1 NC).

    This will be Corassani's first fight in over a year and the first time back for Ogle since losing in The Ultimate Fighter Live's semifinal round against Al Iaquinta.

    Featherweights almost always deliver, and this fight should not be any different. Ogle and Corassani will have no qualms about standing and exchanging blows.

    It should make for a fun bout.

No. 9: Tom Watson vs. Brad Tavares

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    Tom Watson (15-4) makes his UFC debut against one of the up-and-comers of the middleweight division, Brad Tavares (8-1).

    Watson is riding a three-fight win streak, and Tavares looks to begin a streak of his own after defeating Dongi Yang at UFC on Fuel TV: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier.

    If this turns into a grappling match, it could get a tad tiresome real quick. Neither man is world class in that department. Both men have heavy hands, and that can always make for an exciting bout if they chose to exchange leather.

    The latter is more likely to happen, and that should make for a fine fight.

No. 8: Jason Young vs. Robbie Peralta

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    The night's opening bout has the formula for fireworks.

    Jason "Shotgun" Young (9-5) is coming off a decision victory over Eric Wisely and will face off against Robbie Peralta (15-3, 1 NC). Peralta is currently on a nine-fight unbeaten streak. In his last outing, his TKO victory was overturned due to an inadvertent headbutt versus Mackens Semerzier.

    This fight will be a good test for Young. The athletic 26-year-old has had mixed results inside the Octagon but has shown quality skills.

    Peralta, on the other hand, can nab an extention to his unbeaten streak and move to 2-0 with one no-contest under the UFC banner. It will go a long way to move him up the featherweight ladder.

    The young guns of the division have a chance to impress the Facebook audience on Saturday afternoon.

No. 7: Che Mills vs. Duane Ludwig

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    The opening fight on the Fuel TV card should be a barnburner.

    Che Mills (14-5, 1 NC) and Duane Ludwig (21-13) love to brawl. Expect nothing more in Nottingham.

    Sixteen combined knockouts in their careers, and that total will likely rise on Saturday.

    This is the kind of fight that can start off the televised card quite well—a firefight between two technically gifted strikers who want nothing more than to knockout their opponent. Do not expect many takedown attempts in this one.

    This is indeed a good choice to start off the Fuel portion of the card.

No. 6: Dan Hardy vs. Amir Sadollah

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    Dan Hardy (24-10, 1 NC) gets to fight in front of his hometown crowd against Amir Sadollah (6-3) in the hopes of returning to the welterweight elite.

    Both men got back on the winning side of things in their previous outings, but it was Hardy who has the emphatic performance with a KO win over Duane Ludwig.

    This will be an excellent test for both men. The fans will get to see where each man is as they continue to work on their game and improve. 2012 could be the turning point in both of their careers.

    Can Hardy make another run at the welterweight crown? We will see it on Saturday night when he tries to put away Sadollah in front of his home crowd.

No. 5: Kyle Kingsbury vs. Jimi Manuwa

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    Jimi Manuwa (11-0) makes his UFC debut in Nottingham against Kyle Kingsbury (11-4, 1 NC).

    Manuwa has stopped all 11 of his opponents—10 by knockout and one via submission. That is impressive.

    Kingsbury seeks to get back on the winning track after dropping his last two fights to Stephan Bonnar and Glover Teixeira.

    The UFC veteran got battered the last time he introduced a newcomer to the UFC against Texieira but will hope to avoid that against the powerful Manuwa. The English powerhouse will try to send Kingsbury back to La La Land on the preliminary card.

    Both light heavyweights are strong men, and we may be treated to some vicious power on the preliminary card.

No. 4: Brad Pickett vs. Yves Jabouin

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    Yves Jabouin (18-7) has won three bouts in a row and will try to make it four against Brad Pickett (21-6).

    Pickett is 1-1 under the UFC banner with that one loss coming to interim UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao in 2011. Fighting in his home country, he will try to make a claim to get back in the discussion for being a potential contender.

    Jabouin seeks the same. And a fourth consecutive win will do just that. However, all three bouts were left in the judge's hands. He will want to avoid that against Pickett.

    The talented bantamweights can give the crowd an exciting fight, and Pickett will try to nab his third consecutive fight of the night performance.

No. 3: Paul Sass vs. Matt Wiman

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    Paul Sass (13-0) is something special on the ground. He has finished all but one of his opponents, and every single finish has been a submission. That includes nine triangle finishes. Amazing.

    Matt Wiman (14-6) will try and be the man to stop the streak. Wiman is coming off a decision victory over Mac Danzig.

    The winner of the bout will not be thrust into title contention, but it will go a long way to earning him a bigger fight in the vaunted lightweight division.

    Wiman is a four-time fight of the night winner, and Sass has two submission of the night performances inside the Octagon as well. The two 155-pounders have all the tools to make this a great fight for the fans.

No. 2: Stefan Struve vs. Stipe Miocic

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    The main event of the evening features Stefan Struve (24-5) and Stipe Miocic (9-0).

    This is an important fight in both men's heavyweight careers. A win will move them closer to a title shot, and a loss will set them back significantly as the division only continues to get deeper.

    Struve has been successful in his last three outings, and all have been finished. Miocic has also won his last three in the UFC. The all-heavyweight card of UFC 146 saw both men put on a show. Struve won submission of the night, and Miocic came back to TKO Shane del Rosario.

    Heavyweights have been exciting in 2012, and these two men are partially the reason. They come to fight. They come to finish.

    Expect another heavyweight clash to deliver on Saturday.

No. 1: John Hathaway vs. John Maguire

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    The best fight on the card is the welterweight clash between John Hathaway (16-1) and John Maguire (18-3).

    Hathaway made a name for himself when he spoiled Diego Sanchez's return to the division at UFC 114 but faltered in his next fight against Mike Pyle. Since then, he has won two fights in a row to put his name back in the mix of top welterweights.

    Maguire hasn't lost since 2010 and has won both of his UFC outings. Most recently, he submitted DaMarques Johnson at UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva.

    The two Brits will bring it in Nottingham. The evenly matched bout could be a three-round, back-and-forth war. It is on the fight of the night watchlist for a reason. The two 170-pounders are excellent at what they do and will work tirelessly for the finish.

    Hathaway and Maguire will bring the house down with an excellent scrap.