Once again, Jim starts us off with a prelim pick!
Jimy Hettes vs Marcus Brimage
For those who have not seen Hettes fight, you are in for a treat. This kid truly is a grappling prodigee. He’s currently 10-0 with 9 wins coming way of submission. In his last fight against Nam Phan, he simply outclassed Phan, who is a solid MMA veteran, in a one sided affair. Brimage is a TUF alum with pretty solid striking but I think he’ll be overwhelmed here. I think Hettes simply takes Brimage down, promptly takes his back, and looks to sink in a rear naked choke. Hettes wins via Submission Rd 1.
Lets get to the Main Card fights? Live and on PPV!
Charles Oliveira vs. Cub Swanson
Collin: This is the fight I’m looking forward to most on this card. Swanson and Oliveria are two of the most exciting fighters in the UFC, and both are uber explosive strikers. Swanson probably has an edge in sheer KO power standing, but Do Bronx is a killer on the ground. Someone is probably going to sleep or get tapped in this one, and I think that Cub may tire if it goes to the later rounds, when Do Bronx shines.
Jim: Collin stole my thinder a bit here in regards to this being the best fight on the card. This fight will be flat out awesome. I see this going two ways. One is Oliveira is able to get Swanson to the mat after limiting his standup with leg kicks. Maybe from clinch a trip takedown, and then Oliveira working for Swanson’s back, loosening him up a bit with strikes then sinking the rear naked choke in. Well, this is the way I was leaning, but after further consideration I see it going the other way. Oliveira gets hit way too easily for my liking. Cerrone clobbered him and Brookins, who has terrible standup, was able to hit him multiple times. Swanson brings some serious boxing and power into this match and I think his aggression will lead to him dropping Oliveira and finishing with strikes. Swanson is on a roll and it continues here. Cub Swanson wins via TKO Rd 1.
David: I understand the whole Cub bandwagon, but I gotta disagree here, I don’t agree that Cub hits THAT much harder than Charles, and Charles is more than capable on the ground. Oliveira should be able to get the fight to the floor pretty easily, and control him, possibly get the submission.
Matt Hamill vs. Hollett
Jim: Hammil is coming out of retirement and has been out of action for over a year, so we truly don’t know what kind of shape he’ll be in. If he’s in rather decent shape, he should take this fight no problem. Hollett has very powerful hands, but other than that doesn’t offer Hammil very much. His takedown defense is not the best, and he will be giving up 6 inches of reach to Hammil. Hammil will simply throw his jab out there and keep Hollett at bay. Once Hollett looks to get inside, Hammil will use his wrestling to dump Hollett on his back. This probably happens over the course of 3 rounds. I see a sloppy fight but in the end Matt Hammil should take care of business. Hammil wins via Unanimous Decision.
Collin: Matt Hammil is fighting who? I must confess that even as a pretty solid MMA fan I have never actually seen Hollet fight, although I have heard of him before. Doesn’t matter though, this is a showcase fight for Matt Hamill. Hamill could get caught off guard and KO’d, but I look for him to use his jab and looping lead hook to set up a few takedowns and get a decision. Hollet is a finisher standing though, where Hamill relies a little too much on his chin for my tastes, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he pulls off the upset here. And we’ve never really seen Matt tested on the floor by an offensive submission machine, so he could pull that off too. A boring, wrestling decision from Hamill seems far more likely though.
David: Someone explain to me what the great thing about Matt is. I think he’s a half clone of Matt Hughes, not as good a wrestler, little more power, not as fast. I’m excited about this fight why? I’ve yet to see a Hollett fight, but I know what I get with Matt. I’ll take Hollett, just because I’m not sure if Matt Hamill cares.
Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann
David: I like this fight, Stann, once again waving the American Flag vs the Evil Count.
I’m still a Bisping fan, always have been, but I’m not sure he’s going to put up an exciting enough fight to skip Weidman. He needs to drop Stann to avoid that number one contender fight. Thankfully, both Belfort and Sonnen are gone, even though he beat Sonnen, IMNHO. Bisping is going to do to Stann what he did to Sonnen, but Stann isn’t as good as Sonnen in the takedowns, but his chin is stronger. Bisping via borecision.
Jim: Bisping is just a better MMA fighter. On the feet he holds a technical edge with his kickboxing. Bisping is also a very underrated wrestler and has a strong top game. Stann has shown that he is lacking on the ground. While Stann holds the power advantage, I see Bisping using his quickness and footwork to give Stann fits, and avoid that power. If Stann somehow starts to get the better of Bisping on the feet, I look for Bisping to work for a takedown and use his ground and pound on Stann. Other than Stann starching Bisping, I don’t see him winning this fight. To me Bisping is just better everywhere. Bisping wins via Unanimous Decision.
Collin: Like Jim said, the only real place that Stann holds an edge in this fight is in power. Bisping is better in the clinch, a better wrestler, and a more technical striker for sure. Bisping needs to mind his P’s and Q’s and make sure he doesn’t get dropped the way he did by Dennis Kang and Akiyama early in those fights, because Stann will murder him if he hurts him bad like that. Mike should use good solid movement here though to point strike and wall and stall his way to an easy decision.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson
Inaugural flyweight title
Collin: Flyweight fireworks! These two are finally finishing up the tournament bracket that was delayed by judging bluster and injuries, but it is finally happening. It is a great fight on paper, and it has some interesting style differences. Both are great wrestlers and talented strikers. Benivedaz has the power advantage, but DJ has a big speed and cardio edge. Should be 5 rounds of back and forth crazy fun.
Jim: Sorry, but I can’t see Mighty Mouse Johnson winning this fight. Maybe Johnson can fight the perfect fight and win a 48-47 decision but I don’t see. Whatever Johnson does well, Benavidez just does better. Johnson has good boxing but I think Benavidez has much more power and won’t be afraind of Johnson on the feet. Benavidez will also be the better wrestler and better submission grappler. Benavidez gave Cruz his toughest fight at 135 and he will be the fighter to rule the Flyweight division for quite a while. Benavidez beats Johnson everywhere in this fight and take the belt home. Benavidez wins via Unanimous Decision to become the inaugural UFC Flyweight champion.
David: Oddly enough, when the Brackets were let out, I told everyone in earshot that Mighty Mouse was going to win. I didn’t see anyone that was going to stop what I just saw MM do vs Also. 3 fights later? I’ve lost my faith in what I saw. 2 fights with Uncle Creepy, and Benny’s crushing of his cannon-fodder, and I just don’t see the power I saw at 145. I just don’t see how Mighty Mouse wins this over 25 minutes, as I don’t think he has the power to stop Benny.
Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort
Jim: I think this is a closer fight than the oddsmakers have it. Belfort has very quick and powerful hands and can end Jones night very quickly. He’s also a skilled grappler. Jones will need to avoid that power by using his gigantic reach advantage. If Belofort does close the distance, Jones will probably tie up Beflort, clinch him, and take him down. At that point, Belfort will be in a world of trouble. Jones will likely look to pass Belfort’s guard and drop elbows until the ref has seen enough. Jones wins via TKO 2nd round, ref stoppage, to retain the LHW belt.
Collin: I love seeing Vitor in this fight. Not just because he is one of my favorite fighters, but because this such an extremely interesting matchup. Get ready to call me insane, but Vitor Belfort will probably win this fight.
If Vitor is mentally in a fight the whole time, there are very few fighters who can beat him in any aspect. He is legit ADCC level grappler and one of the best boxers MMA has ever seen. He has viscous ground and pound as well, and his cardio has looked awesome since he moved to MW. Jon Jones could take him down and pound him out, sure. If he tries to stay on the outside and throw shitty side kicks and play patty cake like he did with Shogun, Rampage and Evans, he will get knocked unconscious. And I’m not sold on him succeeding where Heath Herring and Randy Couture failed many times at and take Vitor down. Look for Vitor to hurt him early and put it on him for the finish.
Belfort, TKO 1
David: This isn’t a close fight at all. Vitor has Heart, and Spirit. But there are a TON guys who have simply not had the tools to win. I can care all I want, but I’m not dunking on Alonzo Mourning. Jones has not shown to have a weak chin, and years of battles have not eroded what is there. Let me make one point to you, Vitor hasn’t beaten a top tier light heavyweight since RANDY COUTURE. And that was via a eye scrape. When Randy got his rematch, he beat the snot outta Vitor. Unless you call Rich Franklin a top guy. His power might me more, his handspeed might be faster, and he has tons more experience, but Jones can stop you in so many ways standing. Vitor’s only chance of winning this is to pop Jones early, before he gets his range and timing down, and get a stoppage, the longer the fight goes, the harder Jones is going to be to hit, and the more confidence he’s going to have. This is going to be a long fight for Vitor, until he goes down in Round4.
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