Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs Chael Sonnen
This one’s not exactly an easy fight to call. On the feet, years ago, Shogun would have smoked Chael. But these days Rua tends to plod forward, flatfooted, throwing wildly. Sonnen has had fantastic boxing in his last few fights where he had the chance to show it, and it’s hard to make a call on the feet. If Chael chooses to use his grinding wrestling style and exhaust Shogun with top control, he will have to be extremely careful because Rua has a very underrated submission game.
Prediction: Sonnen by decision
Travis Browne vs Alistair Overeem
Travis has been nothing but impressive in his UFC career, beating all but one fighter placed in front of him. While Overeem is very hard to judge, due to inconsistent performances and lack of aggression. These are two hard hitting monsters, and either could end the other’s night on a moments notice. If Overeem shows up looking like he did in the Brock fight and all of his Strikeforce fights, than he will make quick work of Browne. If Overeem shows up the way he did in the Bigfoot Silva fight, Travis will capitalize and TKO the Demolition Man.
Prediction: Overeem by TKO
Urijah Faber vs Iuri Alcantara
Not a lot of people really know or understand what an animal Iuri is in the cage. He has finished 24 of his 28 wins, which is an incredible feat at bantamweight where the finishing rate is so low. He is very capable on his feet, or on the mat. Urijah has won every fight in the UFC that wasn’t for a title. His imposing wrestling game I feel will still be too much for the Brazilian, and I don’t think that Iuri will be able to keep up with him.
Prediction: Faber by decision
Matt Brown vs Mike Pyle
Both fighters have seen a career resurgence of as late, putting together impressive strings of victories. Pyle came very close to submitting Rick Story in his last bout, and even at 37-years old he is capable of hanging with anyone in the division. He stepped up on short notice to replace Thiago Alves, and looks to earn his 5th straight victory against the gritty veteran Matt Brown. Jordan Mein was viewed as one of the prime young contenders in the welterweight division, but was brutalized by Brown back in April. “The Immortal” has looked more impressive in each of his last five victories, and if he can put away Mike Pyle he should finally be able to put his name in contention. I see each fighter taking damage, but Brown being able to get the better of the scrambles and striking exchanges.
Prediction: Brown by decision
Uriah Hall vs John Howard
Hall has not looked nearly as impressive lately, like he did on The Ultimate Fighter. Howard on the other hand has been cutting through competition knocking out 4 of his 7 opponents since his exit from the UFC. Now that John is back, Uriah will be forced to be on his game. When things get rough for Howard though, he tends to crumble. I think Uriah will be able to stay on his feet and impose his game, taking the win by decision.
Prediction: Hall by decision
Joe Lauzon vs Michael Johnson
This is probably the easiest fight to call on this card. Though he has been impressive in the past, Johnson recently has not looked great on the mat. He has been held down or submitted in his last two outings unable to impose his will. This is the worst possible time to give him someone like Lauzon, who can absolutely handle anything Johnson has to offer on the feet, and can submit him fairly easily if this fight is to end up on the ground. This fight will be exciting nonetheless and, if it does not go to a hard fought decision, Lauzon will earn the submission.
Prediction: Lauzon by submission
Conor McGregor vs Max Holloway
This is a prelim fight and normally I wouldn’t mention it in the preview, but Conor McGregor just begs to be talked about. The guy is an absolute savage in the cage. Every one of his ten wins is a finish, most in the first round by knockout, many in the first minuet. His style is extremely unique, he is very aggressive on the feet with great take down defense. We have seen him enter the octagon a single time, resulting in a knockout of Marcus Brimage in a minuet and seven seconds. Max Holloway has excellent striking and a significant reach advantage, but i just do not see him being able to implement his game against the Irishman.
Prediction: McGregor by knockout