Man it seems like these things come around like once or twice a month. And we couldn’t be happier.
Light Heavyweight Championship: Jon Jones (c) vs. Quinton Jackson
With Jones’ size, speed, power, technique and raw skill, there are only 2 people that could possibly beat him: Anderson Silva and Anderson Silva. Don’t get me wrong, ‘Page has looked great over his past two fights, specifically his ability to stick with a game plan and fight to win (not just to KO), and he hasn’t looked as sluggish as he did against Rashad Evans. But even with all the experience in the world, it’s impossible to contend with Jones’ quickness and strength, not to mention his 212″ reach.
Welterweight bout: Matt Hughes vs. Josh Koscheck
45-8, with 35 finishes. Held WW title from 11/2001 to 01/2004. Oh and from 10/2004 to 11/2006 too. Yeah, he suffered that quick loss to BJ Penn, but I think that was less a case of being the inferior fighter and more a case of just getting caught. Regardless, this is a TERRIBLE style match-up for Koscheck… Hughes is a better wrestler, a better striker, and pretty skilled with the subs to boot (more sub victories than KOs/TKOs, including an innovated anaconda choke variant). Plus he’s coming off of a 9-month dormant period, to make matters worse. Unless Kos has learned some new tricks, he’s got as much chance of winning this fight as Palestine has of entering the UN. (Sports news AND topical humor. We bring it at the Bang.)
Heavyweight bout: Travis Browne vs. Rob Broughton
You know the deal: go with who you know. Rob Broughton is a decent fighter with some decent wins who hasn’t fought in almost a year. Travis Browne is one of the hottest prospects at 265, with 9 KOs amongst his 11 victories, and a quality win over fellow prospect Stefan Struve. Plus he’s Hawaiian, so he probably mobs with Dog’s crew, which has to be worth something.
Lightweight bout: Nate Diaz vs. Takanori Gomi
Old vs. Overrated. Fireball Kid vs. 209 All Star. AKA vs. CGJJ. Who cares? I guess I shouldn’t complain though; even though this is gonna be a snoozer, at least it’s not…
Heavyweight bout: Ben Rothwell vs. Mark Hunt
…oh. Well this is much worse. I think we’ve found the cure for insomnia.
SPIKE TV PRELIMS:
Lightweight bout: Tony Ferguson vs. Aaron Riley
Asshole Douchebag Sinclair III – that’s Ferguson’s new nickname, courtesy of the Bang. ADS3 for short. Love him or hate him though, he’s got some great, fearsome striking, and should make short order of Aaron Riley.
Middleweight bout: Nick Ring vs. Tim Boetsch
Besides that sick kimura variation from Phil Davis, Boetsch has looked solid the last couple of years. A recent win over also-ran Kendall Grove has done well to pad Boetsch’s resume. Nick Ring’s record speaks for itself, but is devoid of anything but cans. I can’t buy him being able to stay competitive with a fighter the caliber of Boetsch. (Not saying that Boetsch is great, but he would still destroy anyone that Nick Ring’s beaten to this point.)
Featherweight bout: Junior Assunção vs. Eddie Yagin
Assunção is the odds-on underdog for some reason. Yagin has beaten former Bellator FW champ Joe Soto, but Assunção has won his last 6 and looks great.
Bantamweight bout: Takeya Mizugaki vs. Cole Escovedo
Takeya Mizugaki is a WARRIOR, as we discovered during his title tilt against Miguel Torres a few years back, but has gone 3-3 since then, unable to take out the best fighters that he faced during that time (Scott Jorgensen, Urijah Faber and Brian Bowles). Escovedo is 1-3 in his last four, including his most recent fight, a loss to DRotW extraordinare, Renan Barão. Escovedo is certainly gone if he loses, and The Miz might be too.
Light Heavyweight bout: James Te Huna vs. Ricardo Romero
After getting destroyed by Kyle Kingsbury, Romero is hoping for a strong showing. Unfortunately, James Te Huna is no cupcake. Expect this fight to not go the distance. (UPDATE: It certainly did NOT go the distance. James Te Huna wins via KO @ 0:47 R1. So there’s that.)
Picks and outcomes to be included with the wrap-up.