UFC on Versus Jones vs. Matyushenko is almost upon us, which means it's time to break down the main events on the card.
Let's start with the main event, not many people are giving Vladimir Matyushenko much of a chance against the UFC's most hyped and exciting prospect Jonny "Bones" Jones. I should mention that Jones is my second favorite fighter after the Mighty JDS, but I think he's going to have a much harder time dealing with "The Janitor" than people are expecting. Every article I've read about this fight so far, starts with the idea that somehow this is a step back for Jones.
I could not disagree more. Matyushenko, like Jones, is a wrestler. Like Jones, he was a Juco champion, and more than anything else, he's a scraper and a tough S.O.B. Matt Hamil may have been a better wrestler, and Stephan Bonner may be tougher, but Jones has NEVER faced a guy with a combination of those traits like Matyushenko.
Prediction: Jon Jones by unanimous decision
The second most interesting fight to me on this card is Mark Munoz vs. Yushin Okami. Mark Munoz is obviously an incredibly accomplished wrestler, as evidenced by his 2001 National Championship. However, he hasn't really ever beaten a "name" opponent with his most impressive win being against the always underwhelming Kendall Grove.
Yushin Okami, on the other hand, holds wins over Mike Swick, Alan Belcher, and Rory Singer. Okami is currently the No. 8 ranked Middleweight in the World. He also has fought a best of the best list in the Middleweight division, including Jake Shields, Rich Franklin and Anderson Silva. Simply put, Okami has too many weapons for Munoz to defend against.
Prediction: Okami by unanimous decision
Next up is Jake Ellenberger vs. John Howard in another showcase of up and coming UFC fighters.
John Howard's most impressive opponent was Jason Miller to whom he lost, while Jake Elleberger defeated Mike Pyle. I'm going to go by their records and Howard has one less loss than Elleberger in nine less fights. I think the trend continues.
Prediction: Ellenberger by TKO in the second round
The last event on the main card is one the most fun fighters to watch Tyson Griffin and the dangerous Japanese fighter Takanori Gomi. This is my early pick for fight of the night.
Griffin has a strong background in wrestling, as well as great hands. He's also fought some of the best small fighters out there. He holds wins over Urijah Faber, Hermes Franca, and Clay Guida. He's a five-time Fight of the Night award winner, so we should expect some fireworks, as well as his always entertaining entrance to "Eye of The Tiger."
Gomi, on the other hand, is a former champion at both Welterweight and Lightweight in the Pride Organization as well as a four time champion at Japanese Combat Wrestling. Gomi lost his last fight to Kenny Florian.
Prediction: Griffing By Ko in he second round
Those are my thoughts, be sure to leave a comment with your own predictions or things you're excited on this fight card.