The UFC has the prestigious honor of launching Fox Sports 1 Saturday night with a wicked card from top to bottom. From the opening bouts on, every fight on this card is chalked full of talent.
Bleacher Report has been putting out prediction pieces all week, however leading up to zero hour, let's take one final look at the card. This is a send off to what could be an amazing night of fights.
Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Johnson
A couple of Ultimate Fighter veterans look to try and get back in the win column when hometown boy Joe Lauzon meets Michael Johnson. This is a must-win fight for both men if they want to secure their spots in the UFC.
The biggest part of both men's respective games is their submission games. Lauzon is a masterful submission artist that has grabbed numerous fight-night awards for his tapout ability. Johnson has shown some holes in his game, as seen in his loss to Paul Sass.
On the feet it is somewhat even, though I feel that Lauzon knows the ground is where he wants to take this fight. He will get the fight down and use his superior grappling en route to a submission win.
Uriah Hall vs. John Howard
Striker vs. striker highlights a potential Fight of the Night when late replacement John Howard returns in his home base to take on Uriah Hall. I fully expect this to be a striking fan's delight.
Hall made his name on TUF when he kicked Adam Cella's head clear off his shoulders. That was spectacular, but he doesn't get a novice on the feet this time, as Howard is a Muay Thai fighter.
I doubt we see any ground work here. Hall is a nasty striker, but Howard has a helluva chin on him. Expect Hall to have a coming out party, but won't be able to finish the durable "Doomsday."
Mike Pyle vs. Matt Brown
Matt Brown has spent his recent time letting fans know he hasn't gone anywhere. The resurgent Brown has been a domination machine in recent outings, putting his name at the upper end of the division.
However, the biggest knock on Brown has been submission defense, something that will be tested against long-time veteran Mike Pyle. Pyle is a well-rounded machine that, if he comes in with the correct game plan, he will plant Brown and look to tap him out.
Urijah Faber vs. Yuri Alcantara
When not in title fights, Urijah Faber has shown to be unstoppable at this point in his career. He has had a lot of exotic challenges in his long career, but his bout against Yuri Alcantara should be one of the bigger challenges he has faced recently.
Alcantara has been successful in multiple weight classes and now brings his high-octane game to 135, where he has been dominant so far. His striking will rival Urijah Faber's, but there is one thing that he will need to watch out for.
Faber is a great wrestler with underrated submission ability. This also is not the most difficult fight of his career, showing his experience is going to be a huge factor.
The more well-rounded man should win here. That distinction lies in the corner of the Team Alpha Male competitor.
Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne
You like heavyweights, you say? The co-main event will be right up your alley.
Both strikers, Alistair Overeem and Travis Browne will ensure fans that no judges will be called on for this fight. Both men like to get it going and throw hands with the best of them.
Browne is more of a boxing, clinch striker, while Overeem is a kickboxer that works well from a distance. This should be a chess match as to who gets closer or stays on the outside to work their striking.
When it's all said and done, higher level of striking will win. That means Overeem will earn the stoppage with his hands.
Chael Sonnen vs. Mauricio Rua
The main feature sees future middleweight returnee Chael Sonnen take on the aging, yet still dangerous Maruicio Rua. This will be a grappler vs. striker affair.
Sonnen will do what he does best: Grab Rua's legs and attempt to smash him to the mat. That is the formula that has carried him throughout his career.
Rua needs to pepper Sonnen's legs and make this a kickboxing match. He has slowed down in his career, but he still has knockout power.
Sonnen's formula is too proven at this point. He will grab Rua's legs and grind him into oblivion en route to decision.
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