So it is once again time for me to work on another preview/prediction article. Like always, I’m going to give you some background on the fighters and predict the outcome.
Since starting these write ups I’m 63 percent on my prediction which should be higher if it weren’t for UFC: 98 (I got only four right on that one).
So give me some feedback on this, because I work hard on these, and this one will take me something like eight hours to finish. When I come people, I come strong and with that here we go.
T.J. Grant vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Depending on which Dong Hyun Kim shows up will determine the winner of the fight. The “Stun Gun” has had some good showings and some not so good one in the UFC, and has potential promise in the Octagon.
He has a win over Matt Brown albeit controversial and a loss to Karo that was later overturned to a No Contest. What he has is very good standup and decent takedown defense which he will have to use against Grant.
For his part Grant’s biggest weapon in this fight is submission skills. Before his split decision win over Ryo Chonan at UFC 97 he had seven straight wins via submission and of his 14 wins 12 are from submission.
If 85 percent of your wins are from one method then you have to be good at it. This may be surprising but I actually think T. J. Grant can pull off the upset in this one. T.J. Grant wins via triangle choke in the Second.
Matt Grice vs. Shannon Gugerty
Grice has had an up and career in the UFC going 1-2. He is a wrestler out of Oklahoma and in his last fight was in a brawl against Matt Veach till getting caught with some hands by Veach. Gugerty like Grice has had some up and downs recently.
Gugerty’s last fight was a good one against Spencer Fisher, where he looked to be in the fight the entire time till he got lazy and left himself open for a triangle which Fisher was able to end the fight with.
I think a tough fight like that against Fisher will help Gugerty in this one with the confidence to know he was in there with such a good fighter. Shannon Gugerty wins via TKO in the First.
C.B. Dollaway vs. Tom Lawlor
It’s tough to get real excited about this fight, because this is nothing more than a lob pass for CB. Listen, I’m sure Lawlor feels that he is ready to make some noise in the UFC, but he has a win over Kyle Kingsbury in the UFC, and if you look at the rest of his record, it's full of .500 or lower fighters.
We all know who CB is and know that although he comes off as a cocky guy he has some skills to back it up. He is a great wrestler with developing striking and a team at ACS with world class fighter.
Don’t blink on this one because if it goes past the first three minutes of the first round I’ll be surprised.
CB Dollaway wins via TKO in the First.
Jon Jones vs. Jake O'Brien
This should be a real test for Jon Jones. Up to this point he has looked remarkably good against Stephen Bonner and Andre Gusmao. He has above average hands, very unorthodox kicks, and the takedown ability of an All-American wrestler. His biggest question mark is his cardio or thus far lack thereof.
Irish Jake O’Brien (no relation to Conan) is a wrestling juggernaut with good cardio. People forget that he has been in the UFC since 2006 with a record of 4-2 with his losses going to Andrei Arlovski and Cain Velasquez.
This is his first move down in weight to 205 which is surprising to me because he was easily 235 or more as a heavyweight. If he can make the cut well then I’m eager to see if he can get the fight to the ground and impose his will on Jones.
O’Brien is the best wrestler Jones has yet to face so if Jones can stuff the takedown he will have a big striking advantage over O’Brien. If not we could see an upset on our hands.
Still with all that I have to go with the better overall fighter and at this point in both of their careers its Jones. Jon “Bones” Jones wins via Unanimous Decision.
Mac Danzig vs. Jim Miller
This fight in my opinion should have been on a Main Card but this card is just too stacked. Regardless of all of the prelim fights this one is my favorite. This fight should be very competitive and honestly both men have similar skill sets.
Mac Danzig was TUF Six winner and since then they haven’t given him any real time to breath. With back to back losses to Clay Guida and Josh Neer, Danzig is in a must win situation. He has the vast experience advantage and has some of the best cardio at 155.
Miller also has seen his share of tough fights and is looking to rebound from a one sided lose to Gray Maynard. Previous to that loss Miller was on an eight fight winning streak and his only other lose in his career was to Frankie Edgar.
Miller is very good on the ground in particularly with submissions so he will be at ease if the fight goes there.
I like both fighters but to me the main issue I have is whether or not Miller’s cardio has improved because in the Maynard fight he looked gasses after the first round and could do nothing after it.
Danzig will not have that problem and should be able to outwork Miller in the third. For that reason alone I’m going with the man with the heavy metal name. Mac Danzig wins via Unanimous Decision.
Stephan Bonnar vs. Mark Coleman
This fight had me scratching my head when it was announced. I think we all love a good story and hall of famer Mark “The Hammer” Coleman has one but this may not end well for him.
The question in this fight isn’t if Coleman can take Bonnar down, it’s how long will his gas tank last before Bonnar either TKO him or submits him.
Bonnar for all of his ups and downs can still hit hard and is very underrated on the ground. Remember that Bonnar was a student of Carlson Gracie and achieved his purple belt before Gracie’s passing.
So this fights goes like this: Coleman shoots and gets the takedown for the entire first round.
Round two Coleman already looks gassed and get a takedown only to get submitted via arm bar in the second. Stephan Bonnar wins via second round Arm Bar.
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Alan Belcher—For some reason, people are sleeping on Akiyama, and that isn’t a smart thing. Akiyama is for real with wins over Melvin Manhoef, Denis Kang, and if you ask me, before the illegal soccer kick, he was beating Kazuo Masaki.
He has some sick submission and is good on his feet. And I promise he wasn’t brought here to just win some fights in the UFC and use him for a run in Asia, he is here to compete in the Middleweight division.
Alan Belcher, on the other hand, is a real gatekeeper at 185 and is going to stay there for some time. He is very good standing with some good Muay Thai skills but the submission of Kang aside hasn’t really shown any mad knowledge on the ground.
Belcher is 5-3 in the UFC and again the Kang win aside he has beaten guys he should have beaten and lost to bigger, more well-rounded, fighters.
Akiyama is just that type of fighter who should school Belcher on the ground. Belcher may not want to be anyone’s stepping stone, but on this night he will be. Yoshihiro Akiyama wins via RNC in the First.
Jon Fitch vs. Paulo Thiago
Another fight that is being a bit hyped up a little more than it should is the fight between Fitch and Paulo Thiago.
Let’s be honest here, Thiago was getting owned in the fight with Koscheck till the stunning combo that took Kos out. Did Thiago win the fight? Yes, but how often would he win in 10 tries?
That one time and never ever again. I’m not knocking Thiago, because I think he is a serviceable welterweight but if Kos really isn’t in his league, Jon Fitch is light years ahead of him.
Fitch or as I like to call him “Iron Chin” is the cream of the AKA welterweight crop. He is still young, very athletic, has a long reach, and a black belt in Guerilla Jiu-jitsu under Dave Camarillo. Fitch is easily number three in the division and has stated that he wants another crack at GSP.
Now I’m not discrediting Paulo Thiago, but the UFC has really done him a disfavor here. A better matchup for him would have been someone like Marcus Davis or someone just under the top 10 not the third best guys at 170.
From what I’ve seen of Thiago the only way he wins in on the ground where he is a threat but Fitch’s takedown defense is good enough to keep the fight standing were I think he can use his reach to garner a TKO victory. Jon Fitch wins via TKO in the Second.
By the way, anyone at UFC 100, can you run the “Iron Chin” nickname by Fitch and see if he likes it.
Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson
Recently Michael Bisping has been feeling a little pissed off at how people are just discrediting his abilities. Many believe that he is nothing more than a decent fighter who the UFC is backing as the poster boy of UFC international.
Maybe he is and maybe he isn’t but the fact is that is has only one loss in the UFC against former Light Heavyweight Champ Rashad Evans and has looked very good against every middleweight he has faced.
Personally, I think he can be the future of the 185 division and can still be a real threat against Dan Henderson. I don’t like the guy but he is good.
We all know who Dan Henderson is and many of us love his style. The former Olympian and duel Champion in Pride FC at 183 and 205, Henderson is a tough as nails fighter with power in his right hand and world class level wrestling.
Henderson has one massive advantage in this fight and it’s his wrestling, and to win he has to not only get Bisping to the ground he has to keep him there, because of one major flaw in his armor. He has very telegraphed punches that can put you to sleep and leave you open to counter strikes, which Bisping can do.
I like Henderson in this fight but people need to stop sleeping on Bisping because like it or not, he can win this fight and I wouldn’t be that shocked. And if Bisping loses which I think he will, his stock isn’t going to fall that much so long as he stays in the fight and doesn’t look too overwhelmed. Dan Henderson wins via Unanimous Decision.
Champ Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves (for welterweight title)
I’ve already done an article for this fight, so I’ll spare you of rewriting it on here. For me, the fight is as easy as this. Who can impose who’s will on the each other.
If GSP can take the fight to the ground he has to keep it there and ground and pound his way to a win. If he doesn’t then I can see Alves out pointing him standing.
If it gets past round three then its GSP’s to win, but for the first time ever GSP will have a faster starter in front of him, who has the hand and legs speed to prevent him from just going out there and shooting.
The line has Alves at +260 which translate to be about 30 percent, which I feel is low for the weapons that Alves has. For the money, I’d take a small wager on it, but straight up I still think GSP should win this. Georges St. Pierre wins and is still Welterweight Champion via Unanimous Decision.
This rematch has been on the UFC hype machine for what feels likes six months and its getting better and better the closer it comes. I think that there is a mutual respect as fighters but I think they personally dislike each other.
Both feel that they are the rightful owners of the title, and both have something to prove.
Love him or hate him Brock Lesnar is the prototype heavyweight of the future. He can cut to 265, weigh in on fight night at over 280 and not have any ill effect from it. He is powerful, quick and can take a punch. He may not have deserved the title shot, but he got it and took a legend out in the process.
Frank Mir is a decorated BJJ practitioner, who has been polishing his standup and looked very good in his recent win over Nogueria. He is also a very big heavyweight and can move quickly in the Octagon.
Mir’s biggest question mark is and has always been his cardio. He at times has looked sluggish and out of shape in some of his fights, and although I doubt he will come in looking bad, I wonder if he can go all five rounds.
For Mir to win he has to end it early with his standup, because if the first fight is any indication, Brock will take Mir down and pound on him relentlessly. I know many will feel as though Mir can get another sub, but If you think that Brock hasn't been studying submission defense since the first fight you are sadly mistaken.
I highly doubt that Brock will leave a leg or arm out there for Mir's taking. I can also see Brock trying to take his time and get the fight to the later rounds which I think will be to his advantage. Mir’s stand up will be better but I don’t think it will matter.
Brock’s upper body is structured for the punishment with his massive neck and shoulders and square head (look at Cro Cop’s head and how it slims down at the chin giving him a point and how Brock’s doesn’t do that, Cro Cop’s head is not built for punishment).
Mir is the underdog in this fight and you’d have to be an uber fan to not understand why, and for my money I wouldn’t bet on him. Brock Lesnar wins and is unified Heavyweight Champion via Fourth round TKO.
FOTN—GSP vs. Alves