UFC on Fuel TV 7: An Early Breakdown of the Main Card
Fuel TV cards never get the marquee names but they always seem to get the most exciting matchups.
UFC on Fuel TV 7 is a prime example. Just take a look at this card and see for yourself. With Matthew Riddle facing Che Mills, Dennis Siver fighting Cub Swanson and Renan Barao defending his interim bantamweight championship against Michael McDonald, this fight card has a little bit of everything.
And if those fights don't get you excited, then you might not need to call yourself a fight fan any longer.
Because these fights are so intriguing, it's not too early to start hyping this fantastic main card. Let's pray that they stay intact.
Che Mills vs. Matthew Riddle
Che Mills is back on track after suffering a devastating loss to Rory MacDonald at UFC 145.
Mills defeated Duane Ludwig at UFC on Fuel TV 5 after Ludwig's knee gave out on him, and now he gets a chance to earn bonus money.
That's right. Anytime a fighter steps in to face Matthew Riddle, the Fight of the Night award is within reach.
Riddle's known for his scrappy style of fighting, and going against a great striker like Mills could produce a fantastic fight between two fighters willing to engage.
However, Riddle might take the smart approach to this one and use his wrestling to gain the victory. Look for Riddle to try and get the takedown and pound Mills out.
James Te Huna vs. Ryan Jimmo
Remember Ryan Jimmo?
It's understandable if you don't because he's spent a total of seven seconds inside the Octagon. In Jimmo's first UFC bout, he stunned Anthony Perosh at UFC 147 and tied the UFC's fastest knockout record.
Not bad for a debut, eh? Well, now Jimmo gets James Te Huna on a main card, so obviously this is a much bigger step forward.
Te Huna is hot right now. He's currently on a three-fight winning streak, with two of his wins coming by a first-round stoppage.
Is Jimmo up for this step up in competition?
Gunner Nelson vs. Justin Edwards
How slick is Gunner Nelson?
Seriously, watch this guy grapple for just a second and it doesn't take long to notice that he has some serious skills on the ground.
But in order for Nelson to follow up his submission win against DeMarques Johnson in his UFC debut with another victory, he'll need another fantastic performance.
Take a look at the intensity of that man in the picture above. Justin Edwards is a fierce competitor that is as scrappy as they come. He's also very good at jiu-jitsu and submissions. Of Edwards' eight wins, six have come by submission, while Nelson has submitted seven of his 10 opponents.
A battle between two submission aces? Let's hope this one goes to the ground in a hurry.
Jimi Manuwa vs. Cyrille Diabate
Do you like strikers?
Do you like strikers with slick Muay Thai? If the answer is yes (and come on, why wouldn't it be?), you're in for a show on Feb. 16.
Jimi Manuwa is an undefeated Muay Thai wrecking ball that will face a wily veteran in Cyrille Diabate.
Diabate's best weapon is his long limbs, and it makes his Muay Thai extremely dangerous. He's won two straight fights in the UFC, but he might be fixing to hit a brick wall.
Manuwa is a promising prospect, and an impressive win over a veteran like Diabate would certainly vault him up the rankings.
Dennis Siver vs. Cub Swanson
Come on, are you kidding me with this matchup?
This could easily be a Fight of the Year contender when it's all said and done.
Dennis Siver has never looked better than when he decimated Nam Phan at UFC on FOX 5. He looks incredible at featherweight with his constant pressure, mixed with kicks and punches.
Add in the fact that Cub Swanson has been on a tear, and we could witness a barn burner here, folks.
Should Siver employ the same type of pressure that he chose to use on Phan in his last fight, expect Swanson to use his counter striking to try and gain a victory. If you're a fan of kicks, please don't miss this one.
Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald
Hopefully, every MMA fan and their mother is excited for this one. Oh, it's a good'n.
Renan Barao stated his claim as one of the best fighters in the world with a convincing win over Urijah Faber at UFC 149 to win the interim bantamweight championship.
But now it's time to defend that title against a young, hungry new-school fighter—Michael McDonald.
McDonald has been nothing short of amazing since he debuted in the UFC, and after two highlight-reel knockouts in a row, McDonald might be ready to become a champion at 21 years old.
However, this is a completely different type of striker he's facing in Barao. McDonald has never faced a striker with this much clout before, but if this fight stays on the feet, it will be wildly entertaining for the fans.
Will Barao's heavy kicks wear down McDonald or will McDonald's slick head movement and combinations put Barao flat on the mat?