It’s a busy Saturday in the world of MMA with both the UFC and DREAM putting on cards.Let’s GET IT ON!
Matt Mitrione (-145) vs. Joey Beltran
First and foremost, Mitrione is responsible for running Kimbo Slice out of the UFC. So I’m automatically a fan of his. He is green, as this is only his 3rd MMA fight. I never saw him on The Ultimate Fighter, but it’s pretty obvious that his main game plan is usually ground and pound. Joey Beltran has an impressive resume with wins over Houston Alexander, Wes Combs and Tim Hauge. The BJJ blue belt will likely be good with being taken down and working Mitrione into his guard. He certainly has the hands to throw with Meathead if he wants.
C.B. Dollaway (-325) vs. Joe Doerksen
The Ultimate Fighter 7 runner-up Dollaway is coming off of back-to-back wins over Jay Silva (who Bellator middleweight champ/beast Hector Lombard KO’d in 8 sec.) and Goran Reljic. The former All-American Sun Devil wrestler is now training with Ryan Bader at Lion’s Den Arizona. He’s put away some impressive-looking middleweight prospects and was the first guy in the UFC to successfully use the Peruvian Necktie. Half of his wins have come by KO, but don’t underestimate his ground skills. Doerksen is on a 7-fight winning streak, and has taken 33 of his 46 wins by submission. To say that his BJJ veteran is comfortable on his back is an understatement. Dollaway will have to be very careful to stay out of Doerksen’s chokes, his favorite weapons.
Melvin Guillard (-170) vs. Jeremy Stephens
Guillard has a rocky past, including a suspension for cocaine use. But his heavy heads and well rounded ground game will give anyone in the lightweight division trouble. Stephens is strongest when he can clench and use his powerful muay thai strikes. He’s got two KO of the night awards under his belt. He also has a deep background in BJJ and is as well-rounded as Guillard. If there was such a thing as an even fight at 155, this is it.
Sean Sherk vs. Evan Dunham (-220)
The former lightweight champion takes on an up-and-comes in a fight to determine whether or not he can still go. Sherk hasn’t fought in over a year and is coming off a loss to the current UFC lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar. Most recently, he’s ground out most of his fights, using his wrestling and ju-jitsu. Dunham is relatively unknown to casual MMA fans and could get overlooked here. The BJJ black belt trains at Xtreme Couture and has an unblemished record. He’s coming off of wins over contenders Efrain Escudero and Tyson Griffin. Expect to see ground submissions, 6 of his 11 wins have come by tap out.
Matt Serra vs. Chris Lytle (-140)
A battle of veterans looking to stay relevant at 170. A loss by either man will likely relegate them to gatekeeper status at welterweight. Lytle has faced most of the UFC WW roster over his career and there’s no doubt that Lytle would like to avenge his loss to Serra in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 4. However, he has been more active than Serra recently. Serra last beat Frank Trigg back in February. The former welterweight champion hasn’t shown the skill that brought him to the title, but he showed glimpses of his former self against Trigg. In a showdown of BJJ black belts, this may be the darkhorse pick for fight of the night.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueria vs. Ryan Bader (-165)
Little Nog is a black belt in both BJJ and judo, so it’s pretty safe to say that he’s ok with this fight going to the ground. His boxing is strong and is coming in with a 7-fight win streak. His signature win probably came when he bet Alistar Overeem to the point that he couldn’t answer the bell between rounds at Pride Critical Countdown Absolute. TUF 8 winner Bader is undefeated at 11-0 and is coming off a KO of Keith Jardine that lead to the Dean of Mean’s release from the UFC. He has strong hands, knows how to finish fights, and his the wrestling background to hold his own on the ground. Bader is looking to propel hiself into the title picture at 205, while Lil Nog is trying to justify his controversial decision win over Jason Brilz.
Frank Mir (-290) vs. Mirko Cro Cop
This was originally supposed to be Mir vs. Big Nog 2. Unfortunately, Minutaro had to pull out because of an injury. Cro Cop was rumored to be pulling out of the fight due to being poked in the eye during has final sparing session during training, but he has been cleared to fight. Cro Cop’s kicks are well known and even in the twilight of his career, he is a knockout artist. The issue that’s been raised recently is his confidence and desire coming into a fight on 5 weeks notice. Mir has had to deal with confidence issues of his own after losing 2 of his last 3 fights. He is a BJJ black belt and is well known for what he can do out of his guard. We’ve heard for a long time that Cro Cop has a solid ground game and it will likely be tested in the main event.
|Dollaway vs. Doerksen||Dollaway||Dollaway||Dollaway|
|Mitrione vs. Beltran||Mitrione||Beltran||Mitrione|
|Guillard vs. Stephens||Stephens||Guillard||Stephens|
|Sherk vs. Dunham||Dunham||Dunham||Sherk|
|Serra vs. Lytle||Lytle||Lytle||Lytle|
|Bader vs. Nogueria||Bader||Bader||Bader|
|Mir vs. Cro Cop||Cro Cop||Mir||Mir|