I’m getting a little winded here as we have another MMA card on tap for the month of March. This is the fifth Zuffa card in five weeks, but that doesn’t mean the action is getting stale. Another great card is offered Wednesday with two high profile matches. One is a matchup of two top 10 caliber lightweights and the other is a carnival sideshow that has me hoping for a truly captivating three rounds.
I bombed the undercard of UFC 111, but am 13-2 over the past 3 UFC events main cards, so if you’re going to be on these fights, ignore my undercard thoughts—or lack thereof.
Kenny Florian Vs. Takanori Gomi:
The Hype: Few people can questions the intelligence level Kenny Florian brings to an MMA match. He may not be the most physically talented guy I’ve ever seen, but he makes the most of what he’s got and always seems to improve one step at a time. So we might as well throw him into the ring with a relentless striker in Takanori Gomi.
Gomi is fun to watch. He’s usually going to throw a boat load of punches and if he can land with any consistency he’ll win the match.
The Match: The problem for Gomi is that his dominance is usually showcased when he fights a smaller competitor. A guy like Jens Pulver he can dominate. With a guy like Florian, it’s a different story (watch the first round of the Nick Diaz fight). Florian is another MMA guy too, meaning he possesses skills in multiple disciplines, where Gomi is all takedowns and strikes. On paper, Gomi has everything going against him. He’s naturally cocky too, but I’m going out on a limb here and say that the North Carolina crowd won’t be cheering him on.
Prediction: Florian, Unanimous Decision
Roy Nelson Vs. Stefan Struve:
The Hype: I’m a bit concerned that I won’t be able to keep track of who’s who in this fight. Both fighters are amazingly similar looking, so don’t feel bad if you get confused as well.
This really is a shark jumping match, but both guys are experienced and you kind of knew they’d cross paths at some point. I have a good feeling it will be a decent fight, heightened by the amazing contrast in physical dimensions of each fighter.
The Match: Nelson is not a “big” guy. He’s only 6’0’’ with a 74’’ reach. Those are middleweight numbers and even if you’re not a fan of stats like this, when you go against a guy who is almost a foot taller with a nine inch reach advantage, you have to believe Roy is going into this fight with one strike against him. Don’t be surprised to see Roy wind up and nail Struve square in the “fellas,” causing a five minute stoppage, because of the height discrepancy.
Struve is not a power puncher, but can measure his opponents pretty well. He’s also decent in the clinch, but proximity is in his favor here and he should not let Nelson move in close.
Roy needs to look for a close fight (duh) otherwise he’ll never be able to get any shots in. With regard to the ground game, Roy’s “Squish & Dish” style won’t be effective enough because Struve defends well in the guard and his size advantage enables him to go for a submission that a smaller man would not be able to apply.
There are only two possible outcomes to this match. Struve by triangle or Struve by unanimous decision.
Prediction: Struve, Round Two—Submission (Triangle Choke)
MAIN CARD (Predicted winner in bold )
• Nate Quarry vs. Jorge Rivera
• Ross Pearson vs. Dennis Siver
• Rafaello Oliveira vs. Andre Winner
• Ronys Torres vs. Jacob Volkmann
• Rob Emerson vs. Nik Lentz
• Gleison Tibau vs. Caol Uno
• Lucio Linhares vs. Yushin Okami
• Gerald Harris vs. Mario Miranda
• Charlie Brenneman vs. Jason High