UFC on Fox 6: Bleacher Report MMA Main Card Staff Predictions

McKinley Noble@KenTheGreat1Correspondent IJanuary 25, 2013

UFC on Fox 6: Bleacher Report MMA Main Card Staff Predictions

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    Finally, the UFC brings another free title fight to national television as two of the fastest men in the Octagon battle for the flyweight championship at UFC on Fox 6.

    This Saturday at the United Center in Chicago, Demetrious Johnson will make his first 125-pound title defense against The Ultimate Fighter 14 winner John Dodson. Both men have significant speed, but the real battle may come down to Johnson's wrestling vs. Dodson's knockout power.

    In the co-main event, the arguable "real star" of the show could be seeing his last UFC fight as MMA legend Quinton Jackson takes on Brazilian slugger Glover Teixeira.

    Additional fireworks are guaranteed in the next match on the main card, as Donald Cerrone battles in a lightweight title eliminator against Anthony Pettis. Both men are two of the sport's most exciting fighters and carry plenty of experience as former WEC champions.

    Finally, featherweights Erik Koch and Ricardo Lamas will be making their case for title shots in the 145-pound division, as they'll open the Fox broadcast on Jan. 26.

    Read along with the B/R MMA team as Jonathan SnowdenScott Harris, Sean Smith, John Heinis, Kyle Symes and McKinley Noble make their official main-card predictions for UFC on Fox 6.

Erik Koch vs. Ricardo Lamas

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    Jonathan Snowden: If it stays standing, and Erik Koch did a good job of stifling Jonathan Brookins' wrestling, I see Koch eventually landing a heavy shot and putting Lamas down.

    The good news for Koch is that if it does make it to the mat, he's more than capable of defending himself there—giving him additional chances to get back to his feet and pound Lamas out.

    Koch, KO, Round 3


    Scott Harris: Koch is decent on the ground, but Lamas is better. Unless Koch lands the big shot, that's where the fight will unfold. Simple as that.

    Lamas, Unanimous Decision


    Sean Smith: Koch has been on the shelf for a while, but he is getting a chance to re-earn a title shot that he lost due to injury with this matchup against Lamas.

    If he can keep this fight standing, and he was able to keep his bout with a more relentless wrestler in Jonathan Brookins mostly upright, Koch should be able to blast Lamas early.

    Koch, TKO, Round 1


    John Heinis: Lamas is likely one win away from a title shot, but the same can probably be said about Koch. If you recall, he was actually booked to face featherweight champ Jose Aldo twice before injuries, and Frankie Edgar derailed those plans.

    Lamas' wrestling and submissions can be suffocating, so I think he does enough to control the striker here.

    Lamas, Unanimous Decision 


    Kyle Symes: I've been a big supporter of Ricardo Lamas getting a title shot soon due to his resume. If he can defeat Erik Koch, he'll have a pretty darn good case. Of course, avoiding Koch's punching power is easier said than done, and I suspect we'll see a lot of Lamas' ground game.

    When you add in how long it's been since Koch competed, I have to go with the guy who's been more active and fought stiffer competition.

    Lamas, TKO, Round 3


    McKinley Noble: Koch has been nothing but impressive since his loss to Chad Mendes, but Lamas has looked just as good.

    This fight comes down to firepower and superior grappling, and Koch only has an advantage in the former. Still, I'll take him to edge out Lamas if he doesn't stop him early.

    Koch, Unanimous Decision


    B/R Staff Picking Koch: Snowden, Smith, Noble

    B/R Staff Picking Lamas: Harris, Heinis, Symes

Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone

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    Jonathan Snowden: I've circled around this prediction for days. In the end, it comes down to this: What is going to keep Pettis from imposing his will on Cerrone?

    Until Cerrone can answer that question, I have to go with Pettis. I know the Cowboy is tougher than a $3 steak, but Pettis is faster, stronger and fluid in all areas. Sometimes athleticism wins fights, and that makes this fight Pettis' for the winning.

    Pettis, Unanimous Decision


    Scott Harris: Everybody wins with this fight. Except for the losing fighter.

    I've gone back and forth several times on this one, but ultimately, I think Pettis is more creative. Cerrone has yet to step up in a big spot.

    Pettis, Unanimous Decision


    Sean Smith: Does anybody really care who wins this fight besides the fighters themselves? I mean, I'm just in it for the carnage that will inevitably ensue.

    If I must predict, though, I'll go against the fighter who has been out 11 months vs. an opponent who doesn't stop pushing forward.

    Cerrone, Unanimous Decision


    John Heinis: "Showtime" has been yearning for a chance to prove his WEC win over Benson Henderson wasn't a fluke. Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, who has lost to Henderson twice already, is the only thing in his way.

    While it may be anticlimactic for some, I'm going with the Greg Jackson product here.

    Cerrone, Split Decision


    Kyle Symes: Just like the rest of the panel said, everyone wins with this fight. It should be Fight of the Night without question given the styles of Anthony Pettis and Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone.

    This will be an interesting stand-up affair for the first few minutes, but I'd like to think Greg Jackson will remind Cerrone of his Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills and the lack of a ground game by Pettis.

    Cerrone, Submission, Round 2


    McKinley Noble: While Benson Henderson and Donald Cerrone are thriving with the step up in competition in the UFC, Pettis is taking longer to catch up.

    Although putting Joe Lauzon down is impressive, I'm not sure he'll be as successful against the tougher Cerrone. Notch a win for the "Cowboy" on Saturday.

    Cerrone, Unanimous Decision


    B/R Staff Picking Pettis: Snowden, Harris

    B/R Staff Picking Cerrone: Smith, Heinis, Symes, Noble

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira

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    Jonathan Snowden: Teixeira is a guy who's shown flashes of brilliance but hasn't sustained success against top competition over time. This is his proving grounds, and it's up to Rampage to get the last laugh in his ongoing battle with the UFC brass. 

    Conceptually, this bout is very similar to Tito Ortiz's fight with Lyoto Machida. It's the last bout on an iconic veteran's contract, one that UFC leadership wants desperately for him to lose. Unlike Tito, though, I see Rampage delivering disappointment in the form of a big left hook.

    Rampage, KO, Round 2


    Scott Harris: Do you guys know where I can get some more Glover Teixeira Kool-Aid? I drank all mine already.

    My respect for "Rampage" Jackson's cumulative work and massive cement head is the only thing keeping the knockout off the table.

    Teixeira, Unanimous Decision


    Sean Smith: Time and time again, I find myself buying into the idea that Jackson is fully motivated and in excellent shape. If he is just that against a promising yet unproven Teixeira, look out.

    If I'm reading "Rampage" wrong again, well, at least it will be the last time.

    Jackson, TKO, Round 2


    John Heinis: Honestly, it would be amazing if we saw some vintage "Rampage" here, but his head and heart clearly aren't in this.

    Glover has looked liked a killer ever since joining the UFC last year. No way the Brazilian loses this one. 

    Teixeira, TKO, Round 2


    Kyle Symes: "Rampage" is clearly done with taking MMA seriously and putting in the work to get a full training camp. Training camps are meant to hone a fighter's skills, not completely focus on getting  a fighter from "movie-making shape" to fight shape.

    I think Teixeira will have to weather an early storm, but in the end, "Rampage's" cardio will be his undoing.

    Teixeira, Unanimous Decision


    McKinley Noble: This whole fight relies on "Rampage" caring enough to show up and be willing to wrestle. That's pretty much it. That's also why I won't be surprised to see Teixeira pull off an upset.

    Teixeira, Unanimous Decision


    B/R Staff Picking Rampage: Snowden, Smith

    B/R Staff Picking Teixeira: Harris, Heinis, Symes, Noble

Flyweight Championship: Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson

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    Jonathan Snowden: This fight will be faster than a hiccup, causing hardcore fans to squeal with delight and many casual viewers to start searching for the clicker. I think Johnson is just a little bit better than Dodson in all areas.

    Johnson, Unanimous Decision


    Scott Harris: Dodson is fast, but Johnson's on a different level. The speed advantage will negate Dodson's power edge just as it did against Joseph Benavidez. Another footwork clinic, another outpointing.

    Johnson, Unanimous Decision


    Sean Smith: Everyone wants to water this fight down to Johnson's speed against Dodson's power, but Dodson is no sloth and Johnson isn't exactly the easiest fighter to hit.

    Instead, Johnson's wrestling, which he has used successfully against comparable grapplers of larger size than Dodson, will make the difference.

    Johnson, Unanimous Decision


    John Heinis: Dodson is a great talent with amazing power and speed, but Johnson is a better grappler. He's just a better fighter at this point in their respective careers.

    Classic case of too much, too soon for The Ultimate Fighter winner.

    Johnson, Unanimous Decision


    Kyle Symes: Everyone wants to hype John Dodson's power, and yes, he did KO one of the best at 125 pounds in Jussier da Silva. But don't forget about how dreadful that first round was.

    That's how this bout is going to play out, with Demetrious Johnson circling around the Octagon picking his shots while making Dodson miss. Another Dominick Cruz-like victory for "Mighty Mouse."

    Johnson, Unanimous Decision


    McKinley Noble: Returning to flyweight has really paid off well for Dodson. He's gained a speed boost while retaining his knockout power, two things he'll need to win the title.

    I don't think he's going to knock out "Mighty Mouse" early, but he should push the pace enough to win a decision.

    Dodson, Split Decision


    B/R Staff Picking Johnson: Snowden, Harris, Smith, Heinis, Symes, 

    B/R Staff Picking Dodson: Noble