A wise man once said, “he who doth not partaketh of free MMA action shalt bear the shame of his peers for all eternity.” A wise man also said, “bacon doth rock harder than all other cured meats – no, than all other THINGS which hath been had.”
Enough about that – we gots thine fights and shit to tend to.
Heavyweight Championship Bout: Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos
Perfect fight for the UFC and FOX to start their whirlwind romance with. Expect lots of punching – LOTS of punching – and most likely some bruising and bleeding. The fighters are pretty evenly matched on their feet, but I see Cain having two big advantages here:
1) Cigano’s ground game and grappling are not as polished and fierce as Cain (despite what some training partners might say), and;
2) Cain is just bigger and stronger. It was what allowed Brock Lesnar to be such a force, and we see what Velasquez did to him.
No matter what though, it won’t be easy. I could think of many worse ways to spend $16,000,000.
Preliminary card (Facebook and FoxSports.com)
Lightweight Bout: Clay Guida vs. Ben Henderson
We know Clay as a crack wrestler, and naysayers may even call him a stereotypical lay-n-pray artist. But let’s not forget the fact that 3 of the wins on his current 4-fight win streak came via submission (guillotine, arm triangle, and that sick head-and-arm-control tap he got from Rafael dos Anjos). Ben Henderson has some pretty smooth moves (see what I did there?) on the ground, and I don’t think overall that he’s a worse fighter than Clay is, but stylistically this match-up is all Guida.
Featherweight Bout: Dustin Poirier vs. Pablo Garza
This may be a surprise bid for Fight of the Night. Combined, these gentlemen are 21-2 with 7 KOs and 10 subs between them. 17 finishes in 21 fights? Yes please. Very evenly matched fighters, so let’s go to the metadata:
NICKNAME: Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier vs. Pablo “The Scarecrow” Garza. Easy choice.
NOTABLE WINS: Dustin took out one-time FW title heir apparent Josh Grispi, while Pablo beat solid vet Yves Jabouin most recenly. Tie.
FIGHTING OUT OF: Dustin in Lafayette, LA; Pablo in Fargo, ND. Again, easy choice.
Based on my totally-scientifical analysistering, Dustin Poirier will totally win the fight. Totally. This should also put the winner in the mix to get a crack at Jose Aldo or Chad Mendes with another win.
Featherweight Bout: Cub Swanson vs. Ricardo Lamas
Cub seems to be doing okay as long as he’s not fighting one of the top dudes in the division. He’s 4-3 over his last 7, with those losses coming to Jens Pulver and the aforementioned Aldo and Mendes. Luckily, Ricardo Lamas isn’t even close to those 3. Should be no problem for Cub to cut through Lamas, but how do you give a man elite competition when he loses every single time? I would like to see Cub with at least 2-3 more wins before he gets another chance at a solid fighter.
Welterweight Bout: DaMarques Johnson vs. Clay Harvison
Yes, DaMarques Johnson pulled a Nick Diaz and drove Mike Guymon to retire after a savage body triangle early last year. But what else have you done for me lately, Darkness? You have a chance of dropping to 1-3 over your last 4, and 0-2 over your last 2. Harvison should be a pushover, but you know how these trap fights go. I’m taking the underdog.
Bantamweight Bout: Norifumi Yamamoto vs. Darren Uyenoyama
People with age-based nicknames should have to lose the nickname once they reach the age at which it’s no longer relevant. You’re not a “kid” anymore at 34, Norifumi. You also haven’t had a quality win since ’07, or ANY win since ’10. That streak will continue, thanks to Uyenoyama.
Bantamweight Bout: Alex Caceres vs. Cole Escovedo
Bruce Leroy is back! In his first fight after the shocking (to everyone but me) loss to Jimy Hettes, Caceres finds himself 0-2 in the UFC, and 1-4 in his last 5. Desperation much? Yeah, desperation much. Oddly enough, Cole Escovedo is in the same exact spot (0-2 in UFC, 1-4 in last 5). Experience will be the key here: Escovedo has almost twice as many wins as Cacares has total fights. Sorry Bruce, but the ride is over.
I’ll clean this up in a bit, but to at least put it out there:
– T.J. has Cain Velasquez, Ben Henderson, Dustin Poirier, Cub Swanson, DaMarques Johnson, Kid Yamamoto, and Cole Escovedo
– Casey has Cain Velasquez, Ben Henderson, Dustin Poirier, Ricardo Lamas, DaMarques Johnson, Kid Yamamoto, and Cole Escovedo
– Armondo has Cain Velasquez, Clay Guida, Dustin Poirier, Cub Swanson, Clay Harvison, Darren Uyenoyama, and Cole Escovedo