UFC on Fuel TV 7: A Fan's Guide to Barao vs. McDonald Fight Card

Jake MartinCorrespondent IIIFebruary 13, 2013

UFC on Fuel TV 7: A Fan's Guide to Barao vs. McDonald Fight Card

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    Fans from England implore the UFC to bring exhilarating fight cards back to the U.K. With the UFC on Fuel TV 7 event taking place in London, it's safe to say the company heard the Brits' cries.

    Before you get your panties in a wad, don't be fooled by the Fuel TV tag attached to the event's name.

    This card is fantastic, nothing short of it. The main event features an interim title fight between two of the best up-and-coming fighters the UFC has to offer in Renan Barao and Michael McDonald.

    Follow that up with striking battles, hungry, young contenders and a matchup between Dustin Poirier and Cub Swanson, and you got yourselves a card worthy of pleasing England's high expectations.

    Here's a fan's guide to every fight on this exciting main card.

Let's Start out with a Bang!

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    Do you like watching two guys slug it out for three full rounds? If your answer is yes (of course it's yes), don't miss Matthew Riddle vs. Che Mills.

    The UFC kicks off this card from London with a fight that's sure to satisfy everyone.

    Both Mills and Riddle love to stand and trade strikes with their opponents, which positions this fight to take home Fight of the Night honors.

    But that's only if Riddle decides to stand and trade strikes with Mills. Riddle has an advantage with his wrestling and will be able to take it to the ground any time he wants.

    The only question is—can Riddle overcome the temptation of standing and "banging" with Mills? Mills wants to use his Muay Thai skills and have a stand-up war, will Riddle oblige?

The Return of Ryan Jimmo

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    Jitters are expected when one steps into the Octagon for the first time.

    The lights are bright, much brighter than any other scene in MMA. It causes some fighters to freeze up and not perform to the caliber of their skill set.

    UFC newcomer Ryan Jimmo debuted on July 21, 2012, against Anthony Perosh. Cue the butterflies, cue the hesitation.  

    Surprisingly, the moment didn't phase Jimmo. Instead, he made history. Jimmo placed his name in the record books, tying Duane Ludwig's fastest knockout record in the UFC at seven seconds.

    How do you follow that up? Well, Jimmo gets to face hard-hitting James Te Huna. Should we expect another Jimmobot?

The Second Act for Gunnar Nelson/Third Time's the Charm for Jorge Santiago?

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    Jimmo isn't the only fighter to have dazzled in his debut though.

    Gunnar Nelson turned heads with his first-round rear-naked choke victory against DaMarques Johnson on the UFC on Fuel TV 5 card.

    Nelson's jiu-jitsu is off the charts, but he's moving a step up in competition when he takes on Jorge Santiago.

    Though Santiago's UFC career can be summed up with a 1-4 record, he's still a veteran in the sport who's had success in various organizations.

    This is Santiago's third stint in the UFC, and he's reaching the point in his career where it's do or die. It's sink or swim time. Too bad he has to get into the pool with a future shark.

Muay Thai Showcase

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    Who doesn't like a little shin-to-chin action?

    When 12-0 Jimi Manuwa steps into the Octagon against MMA veteran Cyrille Diabate, kicks are expected, lots and lots of kicks.

    Styles make fights, and when two great Muay Thai technicians face one another, a great striking battle is almost guaranteed. 

    Expect nothing less from Manuwa and Diabate here. Diabate's long limbs may give him an advantage, but Manuwa claims the power advantage.

    Will Diabate be able to keep his distance and pick Manuwa apart from the outside, or will Manuwa close the curtains on Diabate's two-fight win streak in the UFC?

Lion vs. Lion

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    Dustin Poirier vs. Cub Swanson is an incredible matchup.

    This is a bout featuring two former contenders searching for a second opportunity of getting a title shot. Swanson resurrected his MMA career with three straight impressive victories against stout competition.

    Poirier, on the other hand, regained momentum with a victory against Jonathan Brookins after losing his first fight in the UFC to Chan Sung Jung last May.

    So here we are. Swanson holds the striking advantage, while Poirier poses an advantage on the ground. Therefore, Swanson will likely try to keep it standing while Poirier shoots for the takedown.

    There's a fork in the road for both fighters. Both fighters tasted No. 1 contendership and fell short in their MMA careers. The winner elevates his name toward contendership again in the featherweight division, while the loser embarks on a long journey back to the status of elite.

Can Barao Defend/McDonald Become Youngest Champion in UFC History?

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    Jon Jones became the youngest champion in UFC history when he defeated Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at the age of 23.

    Michael McDonald has a chance to win his first UFC title at just 22 years old. Granted, it's an interim title.

    Can McDonald make history? Well, with his tools, it's hard to count this kid out. McDonald is a complete fighter with slick head movement and crisp combos.

    The same can be said about his opponent and current UFC bantamweight interim champion, Renan Barao. Barao may possess a greater skill set than McDonald, but don't count out McDonald's chances of slipping and ripping. His foot movement and head movement are that effective.

    Regardless of who wins this bout, this has the makings of a great championship fight between two of the most exciting fighters at 135 pounds. Can you say crowd-pleasing main event?