UFC on FOX 5: Final Predictions for the Preliminary Card Fights
UFC on FOX 5 boasts a load of highly intriguing preliminary fights. A solid handful of these gentlemen belong competing on the main card, which is just a testament to how stacked this particular event truly is.
Former title contenders, serious power punchers and well-versed prospects decorate this undercard, and picking a few of these fights is like predicting the weather from a windowless room.
Can Scotty Jorgensen put himself back in line at 135 pounds? Is Dennis Siver really a future contender at featherweight? What does Yves Edwards have left in the tank after 60 professional fights?
Scott Jorgensen vs. John Albert
Although I loathe his nickname, I like John “Prince” Albert. He’s a young guy with guts and talent, and he’s got plenty of room for further improvement. However, matching the man up with a guy as experienced as Scott Jorgensen may not have been the kindest gesture on the UFC’s part.
Jorgensen’s got about twice the experience Albert has, and he’s battled some of the best fighters south of the 155-pound mark. You don’t pick up wins over Brad Pickett, Antonio Banuelos and Jeff Curran if you aren’t a bona fide badass. However, he’s dropped two consecutive bouts and that’s left critics questioning his seating in the bantamweight division.
John Albert has earned one victory against two defeats inside the Octagon, and while one of those losses can certainly be called into question (there was some controversy and some suspect refereeing by the consistently inconsistent Kim Winslow during his collision with Erik Perez at The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale), it’s obvious that Albert hasn’t hit his prime yet.
The kid has a lot of talent and seems to be a well-rounded competitor. The problem is, he’s simply not prepared for an opponent of Jorgensen’s stature. Scott puts himself back on track with a second-round submission victory over the “Prince.”
Dennis Siver vs. Nam Phan
Nam Phan is a seasoned veteran of the game with a high-output approach to fighting. It’s quantity over quality for Phan, who’s earned a pair of decision victories inside the Octagon. He’s good with his fists, and he lets them fly frequently. The problem for the TUF alum is that he lacks knockout power and can be handily outmaneuvered on the mat.
Dennis Siver, in contrast, looks like a nightmare at 145 pounds. The man proved very capable at lightweight, and he hasn’t lost any pop on his punches since dropping to featherweight. In fact, he looks just as dangerous at 145 pounds as he did at 155 pounds. His spinning attacks and powerful punches are a lot to handle.
If Diego Nunes (a very impressive fighter in his own right) couldn’t out-duel Siver, Phan has no chance. Dennis Siver puts Phan away early with a savage combination. I’m calling first frame here.
Marcus Levesseur vs. Abel Trujillo
Trujillo has made a name for himself by outworking B-level opposition on the regional circuit. He’s a fairly well-rounded guy who’s capable of finishing a fight via submission or knockout, but he’s not particularly great fighting vertically or horizontally.
To be honest—and I mean no disrespect in saying this—I’m not sure what he’s doing inside the Octagon. From everything I’ve seen, Abel could use another handful of fights to properly prepare for such a leap.
Marcus LeVesseur, however, is a completely different animal. “The Prospect” has more than twice the experience of his foe, has beaten a few solid opponents in Carlo Prater and Dane Sayers and has already notched a win inside the Octagon. He's bringing a significant edge to the cage tonight.
Nerves and a lack of proper preparation will be too much for Trujillo to overcome. Levesseur scores a second-round knockout to push his promotional record to 2-1.
Daron Cruickshank vs. Henry Martinez
On paper Daron Cruickshank looks like a clear favorite in this fight. He’s a far more effective striker, and he’s got a solid punch that often carries him to victory.
Martinez isn’t quite as explosive with his fists, but he’s resilient and he’s proven difficult to finish.
Experience won’t play much of a factor in this fight: Daron’s got 13 fights on his résumé with a single UFC victory, while Martinez has 11 professional bouts under his belt with two UFC fights invading his ledger.
Cruickshank is the more recognizable of the two thanks to his stint on TUF, but my gut tells me Martinez has the tools to surprise many. Look for Henry to outwork Daron for three straight rounds.
Ramsey Nijem vs. Joe Proctor
This right here is a coin-flip fight, plain and simple. Nijem has the wrestling to grind his way to a unanimous decision nod, and Proctor has the submission savvy to end Ramsey’s night early. Both have ever-evolving striking games that likely mirror one another in terms of technical execution.
On paper, this has to be one of the most even matchups to be featured on UFC on FOX 5, and picking a winner isn’t an easy choice, as I’m basically going out on a limb regardless of what direction I lean.
I’ll say Nijem wrestles his way to a decision victory to make it three straight wins inside the Octagon, although I won’t be shocked if Proctor snatches a submission before the final bell sounds.
Raphael Assuncao vs. Mike Easton
Everything that Raphael Assuncao does well, Easton does far better, sans submission attacks, which will not come into play thanks to Easton's freakish athletic abilities; he'll be long gone from any danger zone before a submission hold is properly applied.
Assuncao is a fair striker with a solid Brazilian Jiu Jitsu base, while Easton is a dangerous striker with a memorable guillotine choke. And that's going to be the story of this fight...that and pure athleticism.
Athletically, Mike Easton is light years beyond Assuncao, and that will enable him to dictate the pace and position of this fight. Easton takes this tussle wherever he wants, and Raphael simply will not be able to keep up.
Too much speed, too much of that fancy fast-twitch fiber action and too much determination lead Mike Easton to a shockingly easy victory. He puts Assuncao away with strikes in the first frame.
Yves Edwards vs. Jeremy Stephens
Here’s a fight that every dedicated follower of this sport has been salivating over. Jeremy Stephens absolutely levels opponents with astounding power. Edwards leaves opponents completely befuddled by his vast array of strikes and impressive speed.
So, what attribute leads to ultimate success—power or speed?
I see Yves getting the better of Stephens early, using plenty of footwork and quick combinations to frustrate Jeremy. However, Stephens is one of those rare guys that you don’t really want to frustrate. His rage will drive him to attempt decapitation.
The way to take Stephens out of his comfort zone is to put him on his back and out-grapple him. Edwards won’t do that, and it’s going to cost him. As much as I’d love to see Edwards exit the cage with another win, Jeremy Stephens eventually finds the chin of Edwards and ends the fight in violent fashion.
Third-round KO for “Lil' Heathen.”
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