Shane Carwin vs. Junior dos SantosLudo:
Your looking at knockout of the night here. It is almost garaunteed that this fight doesn't see the end of three rounds. With Junior dos Santos and Shane Carwin being two of the premier strikers in the heavyweight division this fight will be fireworks. Both pack some of the best power in the division, they also love to stand and bang. Two differences between these fighters are age and speed. Carwin being 35 years old while dos Santos is only 26, and Junior owns a distinct speed advantage. Cardio is another factor to look for. Despite the flukish circumstances we have only ever seen Shane Carwin out of the first round one time and he looked terrible. While dos Santos didn't exactly look like he was ready to run the mile after his decision win over Roy Nelson, he threw more shots than anyone in a long time has thrown at Nelson. Overall the striking edge has to go to Junior dos Santos for being just as explosive as Carwin with more speed and better technique to go along with it. Wrestling belongs to Carwin here but overall grappling is a mystery at this point. We have not yet seen Carwin attempt many takedowns with the intention of using wrestling offensively, at least not against anyone known for great takedown defense. We have yet to really see dos Santos' ground game despite his being a black belt in brazilian jiu jitsu trained by the nogueira's. We might assume that he is a great grappler but the extent we have seen is his ability to either stuff takedowns or pop up within ten seconds on the rare occasion he does get taken down. One last thing to consider about this matchup is that Shane Carwin is coming off almost a year long layoff after a back injury forced him out of training late last year. This one could truly go either way given that we are dealing with two power punchers in the heavyweight division who like to strike. I think dos Santos will make it apparent that he deserves his shot at Cain Velasquez though and score the knockout he needs to solidify contendership.
Prediction: Junior dos Santos by TKOBird :
Cant wait to see this one, I personally think that JDS is all wrong for Carwin, lets face it, Shane Carwin is huge, but has never been this great wrestler, he has landed 1 takedown in the UFC. Shane Carwin likes to stand and throw his big bombs. Junior Dos Santos likes to keep it standing and pick you apart with vicious combinations. I dont think Carwin can stand up to Junior Dos Santos' attack.
Prediction : JDS knockout 2nd roundKenny Florian vs. Diego NunesLudo:
In his first foray into the featherweight division Kenny Florian has his hands full here with Diego Nunes. I feel Nunes is being undervalued in this fight in sportsbooks everywhere. With Florian more than a three to one favorite. Nunes looked very sharp against Mike Thomas Brown when they fought in January. Florian meanwhile looked pedestrian at best against Gray Maynard in his last outing. Nunes lacks the experience Florian does but I have a feeling Kenny is cutting an obscene amount of weight. We can't be sure how that will effect his performance here. I also have a theory here that Florian will experience what I like to call the "Diego Sanchez effect" where when dropping a weight class a fighter loses that "pop" in his strikes due to the cut. I see this fight taking place on the feet mostly, Florian certainly has the tools to match Nunes' crazy spinning back kicks and flying knee's but can he match Diego's speed? I don't think he can, and I think the weight cut will catch up with Florian late in this fight given the frenetic pace Diego forces with the level changes and flashy strikes.
Prediction: Diego Nunes by decisionBird:
This is a very interesting match up, meaning its very hard to pick. On one end of the spectrum you have a guy that has never really looked like a elite fighter, but damn it, he wins the tough grind out decisions, and against good opponents (MTB and Assuncao). Kenny Florian on the other hand always looks newer and better than ever, only to lose when he steps up. Make no mistake about it, this is no easy welcome to 145 match for Florian like some might believe. I personally think this match will come down to 2 things. How well Nunes deals with Florians striking and how well Florian deals with Nunes takedowns.
Prediction: yall know I am a man of history, and I believe history repeats itself, ya dont bet on Phil Mickelson until he actually wins the big cahuna, you dont bet against Floyd Mayweather Jr until he actually gets beat. I play the numbers. Diego Nunes via decision.Demian Maia vs. Mark MunozLudo:
Two seemingly rising stars in the middleweight division square off in the form of Mark "The Phillapino Wrecking Machine" and Demian Maia. Both come from extensive grappling backgrounds, Maia being a jiu jitsu ace who has won first place at ADCC and the world championships for jiu jitsu while Munoz is a former all american and national champion in the big 12. As far as the fight goes both have clear paths to victory. Munoz packs tons of power in his hands, albeit his technique leaves something to be desired. Maia has shown improved striking on a more technical level but has not shown the brute force that Munoz has standing, his footwork is superior to that of the Phillipino. On the ground Munoz has an advantage in his scrambles but thats about it. Maia has shown the ability to turn the tides on high level wrestlers before using Judo throws and sweeps. I honestly don't think it bodes well for Munoz to go to the ground with Maia at all. Even if he is on top Maia is at such a high level he will probably hit a reverse or sweep to get on top. I see this fight playing out standing for a little while before Maia looks for the takedown to avoid some of Munoz' power. He should be able to get the takedown in some fashion or another and either score points or end the fight with a submission. He'll have to be careful of Munoz' wild and powerful punches though.
Prediction: Demian Maia by SubmissionBird
: well this one is simple. Munoz knocks out Maia or gets submitted more than likely.
Prediction: Im rolling with the latter, Maia by sub.Donald Cerrone vs. Vagner RochaLudo:
This is a pretty cut and dry fight here. Rocha is the technically superior grappler but he lacks the kind of game required to win a fight with Cerrone. Cerrone typically doesn't lose grappling matches to anyone who isn't an ultra slick wrestler and Rocha just doesn't fit the bill. Standing it's no question Cerrone is far and away the better striker in all aspects. If Rocha can't get it to the ground he's going to have about a 3% chance at winning this fight. I don't feel he can take Cerrone down because to do so he has to get inside of those long kicks and punches and then he has to hold him down long enough to set up a submission because he likely can't hold Cerrone down for three rounds. I see Cerrone winning with a highlight reel style knockout.
Prediction: Donald Cerrone by KOBird
: no need to waste my breathe
Prediction: the fucking walking Cowboy stereotypeYves Edwards vs. Sam StoutLudo:
This is certainly an interesting matchup. The well travelled all around veteran against the hard hitting UFC veteran. The Thugjitsu master takes on Hands of Stone this time around. It's hard to give a clear advantage standing to either fighter here. Edwards has more diversity to his striking game but Stout hits harder. On the flip side of that Edwards has only ever been knocked out twice in his career. On the ground Edwards has the more diversified game as well as more experience being either on top or on the bottom. I think Stout will want to strike and I don't see Edwards having any aversion to that early on. This fight is likely to take place mostly on the feet and despite the power advantage I can see Edwards outworking Stout for three rounds while using footwork and kicks to open things up.
Prediction: Yves Edwards by DecisionDustin Poirier vs. Jason YoungLudo:
Two up and coming fighters square off in what should be a decent scrap. Poirier was the guy who upset Grispi before George Roop exposed him just last week. Jason Young is inexperienced and taking a big step up on competition in his debut at the "big show". Poirier will have the grappling edge, though I don't think it's going to have much weight in this one. Poirier will likely force a stand up fight where he will eventually overwhelm Young and force a stoppage to the fight by strikes.
Prediction: Dustin Poirier by TKODarren Elkins vs. Michihiro OmigawaLudo:
Michihiro Omigawa is in a must win situation after the performance he had against Chad Mendes in February. Darren Elkins is likely looking for redemption after being submitted in under a minute by Charles "Robot Chicken" Oliviera. Neither is especially skilled standing but both have top control grappling games. Elkins is a decent wrestler while Omigawa is a black belt Judoka. Omigawa has a way of wearing down on his opponents through his takedowns and ground and pound. Elkins is a young prospect with alot of upside, but I don't think he's quite ready for such a seasoned fighter like Omigawa. Look for Omigawa to use his Judo to tie Elkins up and put him on the ground enroute to a ground and pound stoppage there.
Prediction: Michihiro Omigawa by TKO
Post your own predictions below or here!