UFC 145 Fight Card: Predictions You Can Take to the Bank

Vince Carey@@vcareymmaContributor IApril 17, 2012

UFC 145 Fight Card: Predictions You Can Take to the Bank

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    After a horrible 42-day drought with no UFC events, the promotion finally returned last weekend with UFC on Fuel 2.

    While the event was exciting and had a ton of intriguing fights it all seemed like a scrimmage before the big game, and the big game is this weekend’s UFC 145 event featuring the grudge match between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans.

    Jones and Evans are taking center stage for this event, having exchanged words in the press for over a year, and finally the two are set to exchange punches Saturday.

    Also on the card is a welterweight showcase featuring the hottest young prospect in the sport, Rory MacDonald, looking to earn his spot in title contention against Che Mills and a bantamweight clash between the quickly rising Michael McDonald and former WEC champion Miguel Angel Torres.

Mark Bocek Will Ruin John Alessio’s Return to the UFC

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    It took John Alessio nearly six years to make it back to the world’s best MMA promotion, and after winning 10 of his last 11 fights he has finally earned a shot in the big leagues for a third time.

    Alessio last fought less than a month ago, taking out Ryan Healy by unanimous decision, but when Matt Wiman was forced out of his UFC 145 main card bout against Mark Bocek, Alessio got the call to step in on short notice.

    Bocek is a tough fight under ideal circumstances, but with less than a month’s notice and a ton of pressure for his UFC return, Alessio is going to have a hard time winning this one.

    Expect a competitive fight from bell to bell, but Bocek’s ground game will be too much for his fellow Canadian opponent and though Alessio will make it close, Bocek will walk out of Atlanta with his second straight victory.

Mark Hominick Will Destroy Eddie Yagin in Impressive Fashion

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    After losing to Jose Aldo at UFC 129, Mark Hominick was looking to get back on track in convincing fashion at UFC 140, and he ran out and swung wildly at Chan Sung Jung to start their fight.

    Unfortunately for Hominick, he came out a bit too aggressive and was quickly rocked with a right hand from Jung, ending the fight in just 7 seconds and all of the sudden he had lost two in a row.

    Returning to the cage for the first time since the loss to Jung, Hominick has a lot of ground to make up if he wants to get near title contention again, and it all starts against Eddie Yagin this weekend.

    Yagin is a solid veteran and a former Tachi Palace featherweight champion, but he’s never fought anyone on Hominick’s level, and he will be obviously outclassed in his second UFC fight.

    Yagin may have a future in the UFC, but he’ll have to hope for one more chance after Saturday, as Hominick will take care of business and finish the fight inside the first round.

Miguel Torres and Michael McDonald Will Put on a Fight of the Night Performance

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    One of the closest fights on the card, Miguel Torres and Michael McDonald will go to war at UFC 145.

    Torres has long been considered one of the top fighters in the bantamweight division, having held the WEC title for 18 months back in 2008-09, and this fight will determine whether or not he still belongs among the sport's elite.

    While Torres has seen his stock fall slightly over the last few years, McDonald has done nothing but rise since he entered the UFC back in early 2011 and his current three fight win streak has fans calling him the future of the division.

    Even though he is 2-1 since entering the UFC last year, Torres has been called a shell of his former self in his last few fights, giving up his exciting go for broke style in favor of a more technical approach.

    But once McDonald starts throwing bombs his way, expect Torres to open up and become the fighter that was once one of the most popular in the WEC, forcing this fight to become a brawl.

    By the time this one reaches the judges scorecards there will be no doubt as to which fight will earn fight of the night honors, and Torres will have his change in approach rewarded with a split decision victory.

Brendan Schaub Will Knock Ben Rothwell out Cold and out of the UFC

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    It’s been a rough UFC run for Ben Rothwell, as he’s had tough fights against Cain Velasquez and Mark Hunt in his UFC career, and it’s going to stay just as difficult against Brendan Schaub.

    Schaub has the knockout power to put away nearly anyone in the heavyweight division, and his steadily improving takedown defense makes this a nightmare matchup for “Big Ben”.

    Rothwell is a tough fighter and will likely make it a fight against the younger and more talented Schaub, but his lack of cardio in his fight against Mark Hunt at UFC 135 was disturbing to say the least and if he is unable to end the fight quickly it will become a long night for the former IFL veteran.

    Look for Schaub to come out swinging early and often, putting a ton of pressure on Rothwell until the latter folds and succumbs to a late-round knockout.

    The loss will be Rothwell’s second straight in the UFC, and if he looks half as bad as he did against Hunt his roster spot will be in serious jeopardy. 

Rory MacDonald Won’t Run Through Che Mills, but He'll Get the Win

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    Even though it’s the co-main event of the evening, the bout between Rory MacDonald and Che Mills is mainly being looked at as a way for the UFC to showcase MacDonald in front of a large PPV audience.

    Most fans feel that MacDonald is one of the fighters that represents the future of the sport, and as he’s fighting an opponent whose only UFC bout came on the undercard of a free TV event, he’s heavily favored to win this one.

    However, Mills is no joke and should present MacDonald some problems as long as he can keep the fight on the feet.

    Mills has some serious standup skills, as evidenced by his first round shellacking of Chris Cope last November, and if Rory is over confident or looking past his opponent, he could easily end up eating a few big shots.

    I fully expect MacDonald to walk away from UFC 145 with the win and as a top contender in the stacked welterweight division, but don’t expect him to walk through Mills like he did Mike Pyle.

Jon Jones and Rashad Evans Will Live Up to the Hype, and Jones Scores the Win

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    After over a year of build up and some heavy advertising over the last few months, the UFC really needs Jon Jones and Rashad Evans to deliver on Saturday night.

    The last fight that Evans was in that had a ton of buzz behind it was his UFC 114 main event against Rampage Jackson, a fight that he won by decision after using his superior grappling to control Rampage.

    While Rashad was impressive in the fight against Jackson, his performance disappointed many fans as he seemingly played it safe against the heavy-handed Rampage.

    This won’t be the case against Jones.

    Evans may have the best wrestling technique in the light heavyweight division, but Jones is a close second and will be much harder to hold down than Rampage was.

    Jones’ reach may cause problems for Evans in the standup department, but Evans has the power to end the fight in an instant if he can land one on Bones's chin.

    In what will likely be the biggest test of his career so far, Jones will negate the wrestling of Evans long enough to gain a dominant position on the ground and will eventually lock in a fight ending submission.

    This fight is close in nearly every area, and the sheer intensity of the matchup will make it worth it for the fans.