Saturday, September 22, 2012

UFC 152: Jones Goes Heel

Well ladies and gentlemen some said that this day would never come. For a while it looked like we were doomed to a life of Pacquio-Mayweather style waiting for a Rousey-Cyborg fight to fill our MMA desires.

But after 42 days filled with injuries, angry phone calls, press conferences and ultimately the first cancellation in company history the UFC is back this weekend with UFC 152. The debate of who to blame over the cancellation of UFC 151 will continue for years. At least now fans will have some fights to watch while we argue if Jon Jones has gone full heel.

The one plus of having a show cancelled is that all of the following cards are strengthened by the rescheduled fights. This card already had the inaugural flyweight title on the line but you add the best fighter on the planet in the main event and the card becomes a must buy.

I did have to dust off my prognosticating helmet but have no fear it still works and is ready for another great showing.

Now on to the picks....

Last Card: 4-1
Year: 59-35

When the WEC merged with the UFC, there were many fighters people were excited to finally see in the Octagon; Cub Swanson (17-5 UFC, 2-1 UFC) was not one of them. In his last four fights in the organization he was 2-2 without a career defining moment, except losing to Jens Pulver and Jose Aldo in a combined 43 seconds. After losing his UFC debut to Ricardo Lamas he has bounced back with two straight knock out victories. The heavy handed featherweight looks to continue his streak against a man I've dubbed “Must see TV.”

Every time Charles Oliveira (16-2, 4-2) steps into the cage fans are guaranteed for a show. Even in losses against Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone I wasn't able to turn away from the screen. Those losses inspired “Do Bronx” to drop down to featherweight where he has looked awesome. His calf slicer on Eric Wisely remains one of the most painful images I have seen.

There is only one way Swanson wins this fight and it is with his cinder block hands. Oliveira's chin is far from sturdy but I feel Do Bronx is too dynamic fir the veteran. I expect Oliveira to get tagged a couple times and quickly realize the fight needs to go the ground where he will lock in a submission. reverse triangle guillotine arm bar.

Oliveira Submission (Reverse Triangle Guillotine Arm bar) Round 2

I will admit that I have been a Hamill (10-4, 9-4) fan says his days on TUF. Who could root against a guy like him, especially when he teamed up with Tito Ortiz? Hamill is the clear superior fighter in this matchup but he was sitting on his couch retired. He remains the only man to ever beat Jon Jones, and don't give me the whole it was by DQ excuse. A win is a win even if Mazzagatti was involved.

Roger Hollett (13-3, 0-0) comes into his UFC debut riding a five fight win streak. The only fight I have seen of him is his last one where he earned a split decision win over John Hawk on a Bellator prelim. His record along with his finishing potential (11/13) makes him interesting but the only real reason he has this fight is because he is Canadian. Taking the unknown guy is always rewarding in MMA from a gambling perspective, Hollett is no exception coming in at +310 but you won't find me taking the dog in this one.

Hamill TKO Round 2

Bisping (22-4, 12-4) has had a long, successful carer but if I ask you to name his best performance, what would you say? He has finished eight of his opponents but the most impressive was against a very unimpressive Jason Miller. Thats another issue with Bisping, even when he is dominant, the public opinion is that the other guy did not train hard or the referee made a mistake. The Brit is hungry for a title shot, something he has never received in his long UFC career, and the only way he gets back to a title eliminator, likely against the Weidman-Boetsch winner is if he finishes the All-American.

The former marine/ WEC champion has come a long way in his fighting career. The drop to middleweight is where Stann (12-4, 6-3) has found the most success. He had three straight wins before being submitted by Chael Sonnen. I see Stann in this fight a lot like I see Swanson in the opening bout. Stann needs to land one of his bombs if he hopes to win. The key to beating Bisping is to not allow him to stay on the outside.

Stann must be careful because if he utilizes that approach he opens himself up for a takedown. Bisping is one of the few Brits who has the ability to execute a takedown and finish the fight on the ground. I'm excited to see the strategy in this fight and still hold out hope that Stann will come out to this.Bisping Unanimous Decision (30-27)

The co-main even is occupied by what may be the fastest matchup in UFC history. Benavidez (16-2, 3-0) has been unstoppable in his MMA career. The only man who has been able to defeat him (twice) is the bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. He pairs explosive wrestling with a slick guillotine to finish most of his opponents. His camp, Team Alpha Male, has never had a UFC champion despite having some of the biggest his names in the sport in the lighter weight classes. Many say the flyweight division was built for Benavidez and he proved that when he knocked out Yashuhiro Urushitani in second round in the opening round of the four-man tournament.

Johnson (15-2-1, 3-1-1) would love to continue the title drought at Team Alpha Male. Mighty Mouse is the fastest fighter in the UFC, most likely in the entire sport. While he has only finished one opponent in his last eight fights, his cardio is fantastic. This will be his third time making the weight cut and it was obvious to see how much better he looked in the second McCall fight.

In the four combined losses of the two fighters neither one has ever been finished. Johnson looked to be in trouble in the last round of the first McCall fight but I attribute that to problems with the first weight cut more than anything McCall did. When the fight starts I suggest getting a comfy seat because fans are in store for a 25 minute war that ultimately ends in a Team Alpha Male dance celebration.

Benavides Unanimous Decision (49-46)

Jon Jones (16-1, 10-1) has had a crazy month. He went from facing Dan Henderson to Chael Sonnen. HE was reportedly then set to face Lyota Machida before finally settling on Belfort. Public opinion has changed mightily on the light heavyweight champion, just ask one of his almost opponents. When all the drama came out, I supported his decision, why should the champion have to take a new opponent on short notice?

Whatever your opinion of Jones is, people have to admit hes borderline unstoppable. There is a reason he is such a huge favorite. His most recent victories are a who's who of the MMA world. His last four victories are all over former UFC champion sand only one went that distance.

The man tasked with the most difficult job on the planet is Vitor Belfort (21-9, 10-5). He has many things going against him in this fight. The most glaring being the fact is that he is not a light heavyweight fighter. Belfort will be giving up four inches of height and over ten inches of reach.

The Brazilian has been on roll lately. He has won seven of his last eight fights with the only loss being an Anderson Silva front kick. Luckily, Belfort recovered his head from the crowd and fought a Jon Jones sized fighter in Anthony Johnson.

Belfort has dynamite in his hands, the problem will be getting close enough to use them. Jones does not have an iron chin in my opinion, although it has not been tested that much besides a few shots from Rashad Evans. Watching Jones' fights he usually coasts through the first round. He finds his range and figures out how he wants to finish his opponent. Expect for the champ to do the same thing and for fans to quickly forget any drama from UFC 151.Jones TKO Round Three

Nike couldn't hook up Jones with better shoes?

As an extra bonus I have included the shorter, and error-filled picks of my co-host of Split Decision, Ryan Penney.  

We host a show on  that covers all the MMA news and plenty of nonsense too.  Hope you can like our facebook page, follow us on twitter and leave plenty of comments.  Make sure to vote on the poll to the right and enjoy the fights.
Wait... What is MMA? What is the UFC? It has been so long since we last saw a live card that Roy Nelson is now in shape... only kidding, he is still fat but has a great beard....
We start off with my candidate of FOTN with two of the most exciting "young-ins" in the featherweight division going toe-to-toe. Charles Oliveria and Cub Swanson matchup nicely and will give us fireworks early and often. I think Oliveria has more talent and is the favorite but sleeping on Swanson would be a poor strategy. Swanson has had two impressive victories in a row but i think that ends tonight..... Oliveira wins this by round 2 KO( head kick that makes ESPN top 10)

The only Canadian on the card, Hollett will try to earn his stripes against an always difficult Matt Hamill in the Light Heavyweight division. Hamill has lost two in a row, but lets not forget.. HE BEAT JON JONES(sort of.. i mean, not really.. but he did officially..... SO TAKE THAT!) Hamill has fought some of the best out there, and this will give Hollett a huge challenge. Hollett was the original matchup for Hamill, then was replaced and then stepped back in... did you follow that? Hollett is making his UFC debut against a savvy Vet and in his homeland, i think this proves to be too much for him. Hamill via 30-27 decision.

These two are both hoping to get a shot at the Spider.... Both have lost to Chael Sonnen... both looked great at weigh-ins... Now to how they're different... Bisping has won big fights, Stann hasnt had that defining win yet... This could possibly be it! I think this fight will go 1 round and will be a "throw'em" type fight. Weigh ins made me believe these two are looking to impress the boss man and one way to do that is one-punch KO. I am taking the upset and the American-CUE HULK HOGANS "I AM A REAL AMERICAN" WALK OUT! Stann via RD 1 TKO.... USA! USA! USA!

FINALLY... the flyweight tourney is done and we are going to get a champion in the "little guy" division. Benavidez hasn’t fought since March after he ran through Urushutani. Now he is going against Demetrious "mighty mouse" Johnson in a fight that should excite. I don’t think either fighter finishes the other, but i think Benavidez picks apart Johnson. He wins this 49-46 on all three score cards and becomes the first UFC flyweight champion.


Jon Jones (c)
This fight makes zero sense to most. Jon Jones has dominated many at 205.... Belfort has been decent in the middle weight division.. so, let’s just go ahead and move him up.. wait.. huh? I am a Chael Sonnen fan boy, but doesn’t that make more sense marketing wise to have Chael/Jon Jones? This fight lasts 2 rounds.. I assume it will be boring in the first before Bones overwhelms Belfort and wins via RD 2 TKO.... He gets a lot of boo's from the angry Maple Leafs fan still upset about the lockout.

That sit for my predications. Look for our review show tomorrow as we go over this event with our in-depth insight!

Friday, August 10, 2012

UFC 150: No More Rematches Please

After the most successful UFC card on Fox history the organization carries the momentum into Denver for a card headlined by the lightweight title rematch between Ben Henderson and Frankie Edgar.

This card sums up an issue I currently have with the UFC. Right now fighters, especially the champions, have too much power in picking their fights.Frankie Edgar received this rematch because he refused to drop to 145. I understand he gave two rematches but one was because Penn is a legend and the other was because the fight ended in a draw.

Then, in the middleweight division Anderson Silva refuses to face Chris Weidman, the clear number one contender because wins over Demian and Maia and Mark Munoz are not impressive to his camp. If Silva will not fight Jon Jones or Weidman who is there left for him? His camp suggests Rich Franklin, seems like a guy who is more concerned about his legacy than actually challenging himself.

If there is a champion who has a right to complain about challengers it is Jn Jones. I won't get too much into it now, but if Jones does get bey Henderson, how is Machida the best Dana White 7 Co can offer to challenge him.

This weekend's card has plenty of story lines but the one thing we can be thankful is that DW learned from the Rothwell-Hunt “thriller and kept the big boys off this card in Denver.

Now on to the picks....

The pay-per-view portion of the card card starts with a featherweight bout that showcases the future of the division. Lawrence (4-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), at 22 years old, is the elder in this fight and comes from the most recent TUF season where he lost in the semi-finals to eventual winner Michael Cheisa. Lawrence bounced back with a two bonus performance when he knocked John Cofer out cold at the finale.

Holloway (5-1, 1-1), only 20 years old, bounced back from his first career loss against Dustin Poirier with a dominating decision over Pat Schilling in June. Holloway really impressed me in his last fight. After watching his performance against Poirier I felt that he needed more time to develop. His striking is explosive but he can get wild at times.

When the cast for TUF: Live was announced many picked Lawrence as the guy to beat. He was a highly successful amateur kickboxing champion and is a two-time St. Louis Golden Gloves boxing champion. (Thank you Wikipedia). I'll take Lawrence here collecting another bonus.

Lawrence KO Round 2

Roberts (12-2, 1-0) is a Team Jackson product receiving a huge opportunity in this bout. He defeated Caio Magahalhaes in June by decision. The win did not set shockwaves throughout the division but due to a couple of injuries he is now in a fight with all upside for him.

Okami (26-7, 10-4) needs a win after losing straight to Anderson Silva and Tim Boetsch. After originally scheduled to face Rousimar Palhares, Okami should be glad to get a guy like Roberts. It gives hims a chance to get back on the winning track on a PPV main card. Three losses in a row will damage any fighter so the best thing for Okami is to go out and do what he does best. Don't get too wild, move around, and sprinkle in some take downs. He will not earn any new fans with this performance but at this point all Okami needs is a win.

Okami Decision (30-27)

At first glance this looks like a huge mismatch. Shields (27-6-1, 2-2) has been a champion in nearly have organization he has competed in and has notable wins over Yushin Okami, Carlos Condit, Martin Kampmann and Dan Henderson. After going 2-2 in the Octagon, Shields is set to make his UFC middleweight debut, a weight he has not fought at since April 2010. He is a submission ace, but his cardio has been questioned since coming off to the UFC and it will be interesting to see how how getting back to this weight effects him.

Herman (20-7, 7-5) is in the middle of a career renaissance. He has a three fight winning streak, all finishes, but no one near the caliber of Shields. Herman's best chance in this fight is to avoid going to the ground. Despite being a black belt himself, there is no doubt the best chance for him to win is keeping the fight on his feet.

I expect to see a vintage Jake Shields out there. The first round will feature some awkward stand up exchanges before Shields gets top control in the second and finishes it.

Shields Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 2

A lightweight battle between two friends is the co-main event. The build up to this fight has been more about Cerrone (!8-4, 4-1) calling out Anthony Pettis rather than talking about his scheduled opponent. Cowboy is coming off a clear-cut decision win over Jeremy Stephens and is looking to jump to the front of the lightweight division. Cerrone is dangerous wherever the fight goes but loves finishing his opponent on the ground. (13 submission wins)

In October of last year Guillard (30-10-2, 11-6) was on his way to a title shot. An upset by Joe Lauzon and a submission loss to Jim Miller through ice on his hot streak. But after a decision win just over a month ago against Fabricio Camoes, Guillard took this fight on short notice to get back to the top.

Guillard appears to be in trouble. Nine of his ten losses have come by submission and as mentioned before, Cerrone loves that. The two promise a brawl but despite his gentlemanly drawl I expect Cowboy to go for the submission early and end this thing.

Cerrone Submission (Triangle Choke) Round 1

Frankie Edgar (14-2-1, 9-2-1) aka the king of the rematch looks to regain his title in the main event. Honestly, I am not that excited for this fight. It pains me to say that because there are so many great match ups to make in the 155 pound division. Edgar possesses some of the best footwork in the UFC and above average wrestling as well. No one will show more heart in a fight than the New Jersey native but is that enough to take out the much bigger Henderson (16-2, 4-0)?

In their first fight Edgar looked like a featherweight and Henderson was competing at 170. Smooth has been on a roll since dropping the WEC title to Anthony Pettis in December 2010. The first fight he went toe to toe with Edgar and at the end of the fight looked like he could go five more rounds.
After reviewing their first fight again I still like Henderson in this one. If he throws less kicks and lands another one of those upkicks, he should be able to control the action and defend his title. Just don't expect him to finish Edgar.

Henderson Unanimous Decision (49-46)
Win or Lose, let's promise to not fight each other again
If you liked this article please leave a comment below and vote on the poll to the right.  Also, I started a weekly podcast called Split Decision on with my friend Ryan Penney, needless to say it is pretty awesome so you check that out too.

Friday, August 3, 2012

UFC on Fox 4: This is the Best 205 Can Offer?

Let’s face it. UFC 149 was a total flop.  Not only did I have my worst predictions of all-time, the fights in general were awful. After a phenomenal preliminary card, Matt Riddle and to a certain extent Renan Barão were the only fighters to show up.

The only thing stranger than the Kongo-Jordan fight and Hector Lomabrd’s debut was news that broke earlier this week.  At the press conference for UFC on Fox 4 Dana White announced the winner of the Brandan Vera-Shogun Rua fight would receive a title shot. (My initial reaction).

After hours of social media outrage good ole DW changed his mind and decided that if the winner co-main event between Ryan Bader and Lyota Machida wins in more impressive fashion than Rua or Vera than that person would receive the title shot. (Revised reaction).

There are many issues with this decision in my opinion.  First off, Vera is 1-2-1 in his last four fights and was originally scheduled to face James Te-Huna.  How does he go from a Fuel card against a mid level fighter to a main event #1 contender fight against a guy who has lost 2 of his last 3? Dana you make my head do this.

I’d much rather see Phil Davis, who is on the under card, or Alexander Gustafson get a shot than any of the four mentioned above. At the very least give Jon Jones a rematch against this guy.

Now on to the picks…

Last Card: 1-4
Year: 52-33

Mike “Quick” Swick vs. DeMarques “Darkness” Johnson

The main card kicks off with the return of Mike Swick (14-4 MMA, 9-3 UFC)  to the Octagon.  He has not fought in two and a half years and is riding a two fight win streak.  They are his first two losses in the division after winning his first four at 170.  A season 1 TUF alum Swick burst on the scene with 5 wins (4 finishes) and projected to be a champion one day.  Unfortunately, injuries have derailed his career.  Ring rust will be an issue and who knows if his hand phenomenal hand speed has slowed down.

Joe Silva did not do Swick any favors by matching him up with Johnson (16-10 MMA, 4-4 UFC) in his first fight back.  The TUF Season 9 runner-up is known for his brawling style.  He is very aggressive and will push Swick as soon as the bell wings. While, Darkness has put on many entertaining fights his style has proved to be his downfall as he has been caught on multiple occasions.

This fight is a huge opportunity for both fighters.  Being able to kick off the main card on Fox gives the winner of the fight a ton of momentum in the crowded welterweight division.

Swick Round 2 Submission (Guillotine)

Last fall, no one would believe these guys would be facing off against each other.  Joe Lauzon (21-7 MMA, 8-4 UFC) just submitted Melvin Guillard in less than a minute and was heading to a potential title eliminator fight against Anthony Pettis. Varner (20-6-1- MMA, 2-1 UFC), was not even in the UFC. In fact, he lost to Dakota Cochrane, a guy who could not get into the TUF house, on a regional show.

Since that loss, Varner has seen a resurgence in his career.  The former WEC put together two wins in the XFC promotion before stepping in against Edson Barboza at UFC 146.  No one wanted to face Barboza at that time but Varner rose to the occasion finishing the Brazilian in the first round. This is technically his second stint in the UFC but he is a far superior than his first time. Three of his six losses are by submission so he will need to be on the top of his game against the dangers Lauzon.

J-Lau is a difficult fighter to judge in the lightweight division. Since his debut against Jens Pulver in 2006, Lauzon has proven he can hang with anyone in the division.  He does everything fairly level, but is elite when he comes to his submission game.  His guard has caught a number of fighters in his career.  The one issue for J-Lau is his cardio.  He starts so fast and at such a great pace that if he does not get a finish early he is trouble in the later rounds.

The longer this fight stays on thee feet, the better it is for Varner.  His goal needs to be to weather the storm and push this fight to the later rounds.  After his performance against Barboza he will not be taking anyone by surprise.

Varner Decision (29-28)

This sort of, kind of, possible number one contender fight between two fighters who in their last four fights are a combined 3-5 is a hard one to predict.  Bader (14-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) is coming off a dominating decision win over Rampage Jackson that sounds a lot more impressive than it really is. (Sorry buddy)

The first match up against Jones was too much at the time for Bader. However, I think he learned a lot more in his next fight, a loss to Tito Ortiz than he did against Jones. His key in this one is no shocker, his wrestling. Machida (17-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) is a great counter puncher and the best way to avoid this is to stand and trade with him as little as possible.

The dragon was most recently seen unconscious on the mat with Jon Jones walking away like a true BAMF.  While many people will remember the ending sequence, they forget how great Machida looked leading up the submission.  He challenged Jones more so than anyone and actually tagged Jones a couple times.  Machida has been criticized by being too passive at times, but if he fights like he did against Jones this weekend, it will be a shot night for Bader.

Machida KO Round 2 & earns #1 contender spot

The main event is one of the most uneven fights to headline a card in years. Rua (20-6 MMA, 4-4 UFC) is a former light heavyweight champion who only losses in the past 9 years are to current or former UFC champions as well. Vera (12-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC), on the other hand, is coming off his first win since August 2009.

Shogun’s last fight was considered by many to be the fight of the year.  He proved that going 5 rounds will not be an issue for him and I doubt Vera will be bale to push him as much as Henderson did in that bout. Despite being a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu has only one submission win in his entire career.  When healthy, Shogun has the hands to knock out anyone and never puts on a boring fight.

No one is more shocked to see in Brandon Vera in this position than me.  I remember the days when people were talking about Vera being a champion in two different weight classes. (I’m not lying, look it up). Call me crazy, but I don’t think a win over Eliot Marshall deserves a number one contender fight.  Also, while many people point out Vera is 1-2-1 in his last four fights, the two losses are to Jon Jones and Randy Couture, certainly no shame in that.

Vera is pumped about this fight.  We have seen many times where a fighter comes out of nowhere and takes advantage of a huge opportunity. I do not think this fight is one of those times.  I expect Shogun to take this early and without working too hard. 

Rua KO Round 1 & earns #1 contender spot
I know what you're thinking, how can their be TWO number one contenders?!?!  The way I see it, none of these four men deserve a chance at Jon Jones, if he beats Henderson, with a single win at UFC on Fox 4. I expect the winners of these two fights to go up against each other for an interim title/number one contender fight while Jones takes a fight at heavyweight.  It won't be against a top guy, my best guess would be a Ben Rothwell/Cheick Kongo type.  That way Jones gets an intriguing fight and the 205ers have a chance to build some momentum before getting stomped by Jones again.

Could these two beat Jon Jones in a handicap match?
Credit: MMAmania

If you liked this article please leave a comment below and vote on the poll to the right.  Also, I started a weekly podcast called Split Decision on with my friend Ryan Penney, needless to say it is pretty awesome so you check that out too.

Friday, July 20, 2012

UFC 149: Who's Number Two?

This weekend was supposed to be the third match between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber.  After splitting the first two matches then coaching opposite each other on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter the end of this rivalry seemed imminent.

Of course, the UFC did not take into account one of the worst injury bugs ever to effect a card.  Originally, Erik Koch and Jose Aldo had their championship fight scheduled for UFC 149 and was going to be one of the rare times the lighter weights would main event a pay per view card. 

Not counting the main event, the UFC also botched the announcement of signing Bibaiano Fernandes, one of the top bantamweights in the world.  Instead he ended up signing with One FC and we are left with Francisco Rivera against Roland Delorme.

There is also a lot less sexiness on the card after Akiyama dropped out due to injury in training.  Also, a fight between former light heavyweight champion Shogun Rua and Thiago Silva was scrapped and eventually to UFC on Fox 4.

This past week my genius showed once again. If you count my bonus Strikeforce picks I finished 8-2.  Now too shabby if I say so myself.

Now on to the picks…

Last Card: 5-1Year: 51-29 

This is a surprising bout to kick off the main card in my opinion. It made more sense to me to put Court McGee and Nick Ring to kick off the show. However, this is a fight that should entertain the Calgary fans.

Clements debuted (11-4, 1-0 UFC) debuted wit ha split decision win over Keith Wisniewski at UFC 145. The Menace, who owns the fastest MMA KO in history at 3 seconds, looked wild in my opinion. His striking is far from technical but when he was able to avoid the clinch he was able to throw bombs.

Riddle (6-3. 6-3) is a life time UFC fighter. He debuted on TUF season 7 and has been in the Octagon ever since. His submission game has improved over this time and consistently puts up entertaining fights. Deep Waters has only finished one opponent in his career and has lost 2 of his last 3.

This is a case where I think fighting in front of his native fans will hinder Clements’ performance. I think he comes out looking to finish the fight early and Riddle survives long enough to get him down and stay on top.

Riddle Unanimous Decision (30-27)

I am very surprised to see Ebersole (50-14-1, 4-0) on this card. He defeated TJ Waldburger a month ago at the Guida-Maynard FX card. After the fight, he announced a desire drop to lightweight but instead he has an opportunity to move to 5-0 at welterweight before he moves to 155.Ebersole has not lost since 2007 (11 fights) with the only loss to Hector Lombard, the guy in the co-main event. The man fans call “The White Anderson Silva” has the experience and skills to win this fight wherever it goes.  My one concern is that there is little for him to gain here besides a paycheck and maybe a bonus. 

James Head (8-2, 1-1) looks to play spoiler in this welterweight match up. After a submission loss to Nick Ring in his debut, a drop to welterweight proved successful as Head submitted Papy Abedi in the first round. Head should prove to be less of a test than Waldburger on the ground for the veteran Ebersole.

Ebersole Submission (Arm Triangle) Round 2

Kongo (17-7-2, 10-5-1) should change his name to the Ultimate Heavyweight gate keeper. He beats Pat Barry, Matt Mitrione and Paul Buentello but loses to Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez and most recently, Mark Hunt. A four fight unbeaten streak was snapped with when he was KOd in the first by the already mentioned Hunt.  Kong is well-rounded and despite all the crap I give him when I discuss his fights is capable of putting away any fighter.

Jordan (13-3, 1-0) steps in for Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and is presented with a huge opportunity.  HE announced his arrival in March with a second round TKO over Oli Thompson.  An unknown to many, Jordan will look to take advantage of Kongo’s questionable chin and get another knockout. 

This fight is a toss up for me.  Both guys are strikers who have been Kod in the past.  In this fight I expect Kongo to use his wrestling to wear down the young Jordan, if he doesn’t Kongo could find himself on a Fuel card soon.

Jordan TKO Round 1

This is a fight that every single middleweight in the world should be watching.  Lombard (31-2-1, 0-0) is making his UFC debut and is #6 in my rankings. A impressive win likely pits him against Anderson Silva. There is a logjam in the division. Between Lombard, Weidman, Stann, Bisping and Belcher Joe Silva's job gets much easier with a KO win by Lightning. Lombard has done all he can outside the UFC to make a name for himself and now is his chance to step up and make the most of his opportunity.

The one man who can throw a wrench into everything is Tim Boetsch (15-4, 6-3). Thats no problem for him because he has been doing that since dropping down to middleweight. Three straight wins over Kendall Grove, Nick Ring and his massive comeback against Yushin Okami. Boetsch took a lot of shots in that fight and showed resiliency.

The problem is that the Barbarian has never faced anyone with the power of Lombard. If he gets hit anywhere near the number of times he did against Okami it is going to be lights out for him.Lombard KO Round 1

The interim bantamweight title is on the line for these two tough competitors. Barão (28-1, 3-0) is on an absolute warpath. He is unbeaten in his last 29 fights and has not been in trouble in any of them. Also, Barão is the favorite by oddsmakers despite being Faber's (26-5, 2-1) popularity.

Faber was the king of the WEC before it was taken over by the UFC. He was the face of the company and has had titles in every organization he has fought in. Faber does not surprise you much with his game either. He is an aggressive fighter with incredible cardio and one of the best guillotines in the sport.

Barão will need to adapt his training partner, Jose Aldo's, fighting style, to win this fight. Aldo picked Faber apart with leg kicks (proof) en route to a decision win. If Barão can utilize his length to avoid power shots he should be able to work his stand up game.

Faber's number one goal should be to survive the first two rounds. If he can win either of them its even better. Barão is unbeatable when the bell wing but last time we saw him against Scott Jorgensen he slowed down. The championship rounds will definitely be the California Kid's if it lasts that long.Faber Decision (48-47)
There can only be one champion...
unless you count that Cruz guy
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Chris “The Menace” Clements vs. Matt Riddle
First fight in the main card features the only syrup lover on the main card with Clements hailing from Ontario . The Menace (no Dennis) is 1-0 in the UFC with a decision victory his last time out. Clements has had his opponent changed a few times due to injuries, and now gets a new puzzle.. Or Riddle?(bad attempt at humor). Matt Riddle gets the call. Riddle is coming off a big win in his last fight against Henry Martinez in February. I see this fight being a bit boring….. I hope I am wrong, but I will give the Canadian (Clements) the edge in his native land via Decision.  
Brian Ebersole vs. James Head
I love hilarious facial hair… hilarious body hair makes me uncomfortable… mainly because I cant grow it in order to design it… Ebersole is a late replacement after injuries forced Claude Patrick out. Ebersole had decision victory less than a month ago, so his training camp wasn’t hurt too bad being shortened. Head got a big victory in Sweden over Papy Abedi to go 1-1 so far in the octagon. I think Ebersole looked great in his last fight, but didn’t put TJ away, and wont put Head away… which will hurt him and come round 3 Head will lock in a guillotine choke for the submission victory.
Cheick Kongo vs. Shawn Jordan
Who knows which Cheick will show up? This guy looks tough as hell and sometimes even fights that way.. other times he looks like he could careless. I am a big Shawn Jordan guy from what I have seen and I think he has a chance to at least have a say in title match ups, but wont get there himself (definition of a gatekeeper). I think Kongo gets rocked and Jordan beats the hell out of him to get a stoppage in round 2.
Hector Lombard vs. Tim Boetsch
Lombard doesn’t want Silva next… He wants Munoz(apparently the trash talk angered the newest UFC’er)He might not get his wish with a dominating performance though… I think if he impresses, he gets Silva next (Chris Weidman disagrees). Boetsch had a  great comeback victory last time out… was down on the scorecard, and came out and won it… Sadly, I don’t think this gets close to the 3rd round. Round 1 TKO for Lombard and a date with Weidman… winner gets the Spider!
Urijah Faber vs. Renan Barao
Urijah Faber had a tough test in Cruz…. I think he has an even tougher test with Renan Barao. Barao has a winning streak that most UFC fighters will never get near… Barao was going to get a title shot sooner rather than later, an injury sped things up…. I think Barao wins this thing if Urijah tries to get cute and finish him… Barao will struggle when this thing gets to the championship rounds. Barao’s cardio has been questioned, and I think that might be the one chance Faber has to win it. Sadly, I don’t think this thing sees the championship rounds. Barao catches that famous chin in round 2 and ends it with an armbar to get the interim belt.
That’s it for me. Enjoy the fights and tune in on Monday to Split Decision!