It is less than one week before UFC 114, there are a lot of good fights on the card. For this article we will be taking a look at the preliminary fights. Let's look at the card.
Preliminary Card (Spike TV)
Amir Sadollah (3-1-0) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (12-0-1-1 NC)
Efrain Escudero (12-1-0) vs. Dan Lauzon (12-3-0)
Luis Arthur Cane (10-2-0-1 NC) vs. Cyrille Diabate (15-6-1)
Melvin Guillard (23-8-2-1 NC) vs. Waylon Lowe (8-2-0)
Aaron Riley (28-12-1) vs. Joe Brammer (7-1-1)
Jesse Forbes (11-4-0) vs. Ryan Jensen (14-6-0)
Fight No. 1: Jesse Forbes (11-4-0) vs. Ryan Jensen (14-6-0)
Jesse Forbes is looking to bounce back after his decision loss to Nick Cantone.
Forbes should look to take this fight into deep waters. Ryan Jensen has only been into the second round twice in his career. This statistic added with the fact the Jensen is a strong starter makes it crucial for Forbes to come out to a strong start.
If Forbes should falter early, that will spell the end of the fight, and most likely his stint in the UFC.
Jensen wants to get a win after his TKO loss to Mark Munoz.
Jensen has undoubtedly faced tougher fighters than Forbes in his career, he only has five more fights, but is the more experienced fighter. Jensen needs to come out to a strong start to win. If he should get taken to the shed early, that will likely be the end of Jensen’s chances. Out of all his fights, only two have reached the second round, and he is 1-1 in those two fights. It is crucial for Jensen to get off to a good start in this fight.
Prediction: I normally would go with the more experienced fighter in a fight like this. However, since 2009 Jensen has only fought twice. In that same time frame Forbes has fought a total of six times going 5-1 in those fights. My thoughts are if Forbes gets off to a good start that the fight will go into his favor the last two rounds, the first round is crucial for Forbes.
Winner: Jesse Forbes by decision (Round Three)
Fight No. 2: Aaron Riley (28-12-1) vs. Joe Brammer (7-1-1)
Aaron Riley is looking to bounce back after his loss to Ross Pearson. Riley has a vast amount of experience compared to newcomer Brammer. Riley has has over 40 fights, while Joe Brammer has only nine.
Riley should look to avoid the dangerous takedowns of Brammer. Brammer is a good wrestler and will be looking to put Riley on his back. This will make it crucial for Riley not to get sloppy with the stand-up, as this will leave openings for takedowns.
Riley will most likely look to sprawl and brawl with his perceived stand-up advantage. Riley may be able to submit Brammer, but I wouldn’t go three rounds on my back to try to catch him. Riley should be efficient in everything he does as a mistake will spell disaster.
Brammer wants to get his first win in the UFC. Coming off a loss to Mark Bocek it is crucial for Brammer to get a win if he wants to stay in the UFC.
Brammer should use his wrestling to put Riley on his back were the fight will be in Brammer’s favor. Brammer has good wrestling a BJJ to go with it.
If he should take it to the ground, he will need to avoid getting over aggressive in the ground and pound. Riley is no slouch on the ground, but if Brammer is the one on top, that will surely work against Riley.
Prediction: I think this fight is ripe for an upset. Brammer is a young fighter that has shown alot of talent. UFC 114 will serve as his platform to showcase his skills against a heavily skilled veteran.
Winner: Joe Brammer by decision (Round Three)
Fight No. 3: Melvin Guillard (23-8-2-1 NC) vs. Waylon Lowe (8-2-0)
Melvin Guillard wants to make the most in his recent stint in the UFC. He is coming off a victory over Nova Uniao fighter Ronnys Torres.
Fighting a UFC first-timer, Guillard will have the experience advantage over Lowe.
With that said, Guillard has enough tools to put together a gameplan to beat Waylon Lowe. Guillard should look to get the advantage wherever it should come. Guillard is talented enough to be patient in this fight, he shouldn’t force anything, only taking what is given to him.
Guillard is a talented fighter and will have to use all of his skills coupled with a good gameplan to get the win in this fight.
Lowe is fighting in the UFC for the first time. Fighting out of Joe Hands Boxing, he might want to stand and trade with talented Guillard. Nothing would make more of a statement than KO’ing a talented veteran like Guillard.
Lowe has a background in boxing and wrestling, this should be a tough combo for Guillard to deal with. Lowe will have to use every trick in his bag to keep the athletic Guillard off balance. I think that Lowe will have to sucker Guillard into fighting his type of fight.
Only time will tell if Lowe will be able to pull off such a task. I think he should try to get into the head of the immature Guillard, his Achilles heel has always been his temperament.
Prediction: This fight is a tough matchup for Guillard. This is fight is setup for him to fail. It is Guillard’s fight to lose and he shouldn’t fall into any traps or detours in his way to a win on Saturday. Lowe may be a crafty fighter, but he doesn’t have the skills or ability to win this if Guillard is on his game.
Winner: Melvin Guillard by TKO (Round Three)
Fight No. 4: Luis Arthur Cane (10-2-0-1 NC) vs. Cyrille Diabate (15-6-1)
Luis Arthur Cane is looking to bounce back after his TKO loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueria. Cane is a highly rated light heavyweight and wants to move higher within the stacked UFC division. He will be facing UFC newbie Cyrille Diabate.
The strength of Cane has been his his well-timed striking and good chin. In his last fight he received an orbital fracture, I wonder how that injury affects him moving forward.
Cane will need to showcase the skills that made him a prospect, he will be facing a kickboxer with Muay Thai skills as well. This fight should be a good match-up for stand-up fans. I think that Cane should showcase his ground skills, should he not find an answer to the tall 6′6″ striker.
Diabate wants to make the most of his UFC debut. At age 36, his time as a legitimate contender is dwindling. He needs to make a statement against the highly regarded prospect Cane.
Diabate has the reach advantage, with his long limbs his should utilize his jab and a barrage of leg kicks to keep Cane off balance. Diabate will need to use his length to avoid the hard hands of Cane. Diabate is no slouch on the ground, but shouldn’t look to submit the BJJ black belt.
The time is now for Diabate, this is his biggest fight and will need to utilize a superior gameplan if he hopes to outfight Cane.
Prediction: This will be a good fight involving two very good strikers. I think the advantage goes to Cane because he has fought tougher competition and won. This will be Diabate’s first UFC fight and I won’t be shocked if he uses superior striking to find a way to win. I don’t think he will, as Cane has shown he has well-timed bombs he can throw with ease.
Winner Luis Arthur Cane by KO (Round One)
Fight No. Five: Efrain Escudero (12-1-0) vs. Dan Lauzon (12-3-0)
Efrain Escudero, winner of TUF , is looking to get his third win in the UFC. Escudero is coming off a submission loss to Evan Dunham.
Efrain is coming in as the favorite—and rightly so. I think everyone in the MMA community has heard about the troubles of Dan Lauzon. Escudero should look to mix up his strikes with takedowns to keep Lauzon off balance.
The only way Escudero gets in trouble is if he lets Lauzon scramble off of his back or the ground. Efrain should look to put Lauzon on his back and stifle any submission attempts. Escudero wants to advance position on the ground anytime Lauzon gives it up by going for those submissions.
Lauzon has his back into a corner. He is plagued by inadequate training habits, his brother, and his trainers “left him out to dry.” His camp left him with only weeks to go—we will see how Lauzon responds to the pressure.
The best chance for Lauzon to win is by letting Escudero get too aggressive. Lauzon should look to capitalize that aggressiveness by going for submissions while Efrain is attacking.
Patience will be the key for Lauzon, he doesn’t want to expend any wasted energy in putting away the dangerous TUF winner. Lauzon presents a handful of problems for Efrain should he be the fighter he is capable of being on Saturday.
I find myself always rooting for underdogs and I can’t help but root for Lauzon.
Prediction: Once the youngest fighter to ever compete in the UFC, it seems as if Lauzon has lost his way. I hope that he took whatever training he had left seriously. Escudero won’t hold back because you didn’t train well. I think that the conditioning and takedowns of Escudero will prove to be too much.
Winner: Efrain Escudero by TKO (Round Three)
Fight No. Six: Amir Sadollah (3-1-0) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (12-0-1-1 NC)
Amir Sadollah just wants to fight. Having been plagued with injuries, it has been a while since the TUF winner has seen consistent action.
Sadollah is coming off recent wins over Brad Blackburn and Phil Baroni. In those fights he displayed good Muay Thai skills in the clench. I don’t think that is good idea in this fight as Dong Hyun Kim is a skilled Judo player.
Sadollah should mix up his strikes with double-leg takedowns. If Kim is on his back he won’t be able to display his kickboxing skills. Kim has hard hands and Sadollah should move in and out not fighting in the pocket much.
Kim is also coming off a string of injuries. Having not fought since July 2009 will be a big hindering factor in this fight.
Kim has had conditioning troubles in the past due to traveling. This added lay-off only adds to the expectation that ring-rust will play a big part in Kim’s comeback.
Hard hands and experience in Judo, Kim should fight inside the pocket looking for throws and counters. Kim should look to avoid the takedowns of Sadollah as he is well-versed in wrestling.
The kickboxing of Kim will be the deciding factor of how the stand-up will be dictated. Kim should look to mix it up, and punish the legs of Sadollah to try to wear down over the course of the fight. If the stand-up fighting of Kim is ineffective, then his chances of winning have vanished.
Prediction: I think that if both fighters were coming off of no injuries then Kim would be the favorite. However, Kim has been plagued with injuries while Amir is on a two-fight win streak and hasn’t been injured as recently as Kim. With that said I think Sadollah will overwhelm Kim with all of his tools he has been working on.
Winner: Amir Sadollah by TKO (Round Two)
Well, that's the end of this portion of the UFC 114 preview and predictions. Tell me, what do you think?
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