The UFC returns to Fox this Saturday with a very solid card headlined by a lightweight bout between Benson Henderson and Josh Thompson. Before Henderson and Thompson throw down on Fox, there will be a plethora of great fights on the preliminary card. Fighters like Eddie Wineland, Yves Jabouin, Alex Caceres, and Sergio Pettis will look to set the stage before the evening’s top four main card bouts. Who will walk away with victories on the preliminary card this Saturday? Take a look below to read our official UFC on Fox 10 Prelim predictions.
UFC Prelims on Fox Sports 1
Start Time: 5 PM ET/2 PM PT
Bantamweight Bout: Alex Caceres (9-5, 1 NC) vs. Sergio Pettis (10-0)
Breakdown: Headlining the prelims on Fox Sports One is a bantamweight bout between Alex Caceres and Sergio Pettis. Caceres is a veteran of season eleven of The Ultimate Fighter where he competed as a lightweight on Team GSP. After appearing on the show, he dropped to featherweight but lost his only two fights in the division. Since then, Caceres has dropped to Bantamweight and reinvented himself compiling a record of 4-1 with 1 no contest. Fans last saw him at UFC 165 where he picked up a split decision win over Roland Delorme. In that bout, Caceres was able to use his lenghty striking and slick transitioning to keep Delorme from mounting any significant offense outside of the first round.
One of Caceres’ weaknesses is that he tends to leave himself open for big shots in the stand-up. In the first round of his bouts with Delorme and Edwin Figueroa, Caceres was hit hard early and had to fight back from adversity. If he wants to beat Pettis this Saturday, he’s going to have to use his length and grappling skills to make him feel uncomfortable on the feet.
In his UFC debut against Will Campuzano, twenty-year-old Sergio Pettis showed the world why he’s one of the top prospects in all of mixed martial arts. Pettis showcased his striking prowess against Campuzano as he hit the UFC veteran with flashy punches, kicks, and knees. One thing of note from the bout was that Campuzano was able to land four takedowns against the savvy striker. Pettis’ striking offense is only noteworthy if he can stay upright which is something Caceres has to take into consideration. If Pettis wants to beat Caceres this Saturday, he’s going to have to stay off of his back and use the lauded striking that has made him so successful thus far.
Prediction: Pettis is a very solid prospect who will be competing in the UFC for years to come, but I think Caceres will be a bit too much for the twenty-year-old. Look for Caceres to open a lot of eyes on Saturday. My prediction is for Alex Caceres to defeat Sergio Pettis by decision.
Bantamweight Bout: #4 Eddie Wineland (20-9-1) vs. Yves Jabouin (19-8)
Also in the Bantamweight division is a bout pitting former WEC Bantamweight champion and recent UFC title challenger Eddie Wineland against flashy striker Yves Jabouin. Wineland is coming off a loss to current UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao but has nothing to be ashamed of about his performance. Wineland was one of the very few fighters to have success against Barao as he easily took the first round of their bout by utilizing great punching combinations and solid takedown defense. Unfortunately for him, Barao was able to land a spinning back kick out of nowhere to end the fight. If Wineland wants to avoid a similar fate against Jabouin, he needs to mix up his boxing attacks with some takedowns. Jabouin has been knocked out multiple times, so if Wineland can hit him hard, the fight could be end early.
Standing opposite Wineland this Saturday will be long time UFC and WEC veteran Yves Jabouin. Fight fans last saw Jabouin winning a controversial decision over Dustin Pague at UFC 161. In that bout, he was able to secure multiple takedowns but constantly found himself in deep submissions or being swept. A more appropriate bout to understand his skill would be his May 2012 spanking of Jeff Hougland. Jabouin hit Hougland with every kind of strike imaginable, but Hougland’s toughness kept him from being finished. When Jabouin is at his best, he’s fighting at distance and using his unorthodox striking. If Jabouin wants to pick up a victory on Saturday, he needs to keep Wineland guessing by attacking with his wide array of striking techniques.
Prediction: Jabouin is a great striker but his glaring chin issues will keep him from winning this bout. Look for Wineland to time Jabouin’s strikes before landing the kill shot. My prediction is for Eddie Wineland to defeat Yves Jabouin by knockout.
Bantamweight Bout: Chico Camus (13-4) vs. Yaotzin Meza (19-8)
Breakdown: Continuing the bantamweight theme, Chico Camus and Yaotzin Meza will meet in a bout that will propel one of them closer to a top fifteen division ranking. Camus worked his way into the hearts of fight fans with his last bout against Kyung Ho Kang. Heading into the third round tied 1-1, Kang took control of the round early by landing a takedown and smothering Camus. Camus fought back to his feet and dropped Kang with a left but was quickly taken down. With just seconds left in the bout and Kang still in top position, Camus landed an upkick that nearly knocked Kang out and ultimately won him the decision.
Camus has displayed big heart and solid grappling in his UFC career, but has also shown some significant holes in his game. In his February 2013 bout against Dustin Kimura, he had issues with his cardio as he tired down before being submitted in the third round of a fight he was winning. If Camus wants to defeat Meza this Saturday, he needs to put Meza on his back and keep his cardio in-check.
Yaotzin Meza was starched by Chad Mendes in his UFC debut but looked more like himself in his sophomore effort against John Albert. Meza submitted a tired Albert in the second round of the back and forth grappling-fest. His strong point is his ground game, but he still found himself in some very bad spots grappling against Albert. Meza was nearly submitted by an armbar, triangle, and guillotine in the bout which could work to favor Camus. If he wants to win this fight, he needs to tire out Camus by using his takedowns and top-control before possibly earning a late stoppage.
Prediction: Camus cardio woes concern me but I think he has enough skill to pick up the victory. Look for Camus to show a bit of his striking in this bout but mainly stick with the grappling game plan that has got him this far. My prediction is for Chico Camus to defeat Yaotzin Meza by decision.
Bantamweight Bout: Junior Hernandez (13-5) vs. Hugo Viana (7-1)
Breakdown: Junior Hernandez and Hugo Viana had fights to forget in their last bouts. Hernandez was overwhelmed and submitted by Lucas Martins while Viana was TKO’d by TJ Dillashaw. Neither of these fighters have anything to be ashamed about as Martins and Dillashaw are quickly rising monsters in the bantamweight division. The best performance of Hernandez’s career came in April of 2011 when fought fellow UFC vet Drew Dober. In that bout, Hernandez looked very light on his feet and was able to knockout a very durable Dober in the first round. If he wants to win this fight, he needs to fight the same way he did against Dober: avoid the clinch and be the faster man to the punch.
Viana burst onto the UFC scene making it to the semi-finals of the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil. Since leaving the show, he’s gone 2-1 in his UFC career. Viana showed knockout power in his win over Rueben Duran, but don’t let that fool you. In a total of nine documented wins, he’s only picked up two TKOs and seven decision wins. Viana’s game is solid all-around but he’s not much of a threat to finish the fight.
Prediction: Each fighter reacts differently to being knocked out for the first time. I think that Viana will fight much more tentatively now but crumble when he gets hit with a hard shot. My prediction is for Junior Hernandez to defeat Hugo Viana by knockout.
Lightweight Bout: Daron Cruickshank (13-4) vs. Mike Rio (9-3)
Breakdown: Lightweights Daron Cruickshank and Mike Rio will look to stave off a UFC pink slip when they face each other this Saturday. Cruickshank was out-struck and out-grappled in his last bout with StrikeForce import Adriano Martins. Martins was able to find success in the southpaw stance against Cruickshank, leveling him with multiple straight lefts which led to him capitalizing on a stunned Cruickshank for a second round submission. Cruickshank will not have to worry about that against the wrestling of heavy Rio. If he wants to win this bout, he needs to have a performance like he did against Henry Martinez in 2012. He was able to keep Martinez at distance before leveling him with a vicious head-kick. The game plan for Cruickshank is simple: Stuff the takedown and go to work.
Mike Rio is in the midst of the longest losing streak of his career and is in desperate need of a win. Rio’s last bout against Tony Ferguson went about as badly as he could have imagined. Rio charged forward with takedowns early against Ferguson but was caught in a d’arce choke just one minute and fifty-two seconds into the bout. If Rio wants to walk away with a win this Saturday, he needs to clinch with Cruickshank and constantly work for the takedown.
Prediction: Mike Rio is a good wrestler but that’s about it. Look for Cruickshank to defend the takedown and light Rio up on the feet. My Prediction is for Daron Cruickshank to defeat Mike Rio by decision.
UFC Prelims on UFC Fight Pass
Time: 4:30 PM ET/1:30 PM PT
Heavyweight Bout: Walt Harris (5-2) vs. Nikita Krylov (15-3)
Breakdown: Two Heavyweights looking to erase the memories of their UFC debuts will open the card this Saturday as Walt Harris takes on Nikita Krylov. Harris made his UFC debut last November losing a unanimous decision to highly touted Jared Rosholt. He had success early nearly finishing Rosholt with punches, but he seemed to have tired himself out going for the finish as he was soundly out-grappled in the second and third rounds. His opponent, Krylov, had a UFC debut we all wish we could forget. Krylov and Soa Palelei engaged in a bout that embodied everything that is wrong with Heavyweight MMA. Luckily for the fans, Palelei was able to finish off a tired Krylov in the third round with strikes.
Prediction: Krylov is simply not UFC level while Harris showed some promise in his UFC debut. Look for this to be Harris’ “Big Ticket” to prime time. My prediction is for Walt Harris to defeat Nikita Krylov by knockout.
For all of your pre-fight predictions and news, visit SciFighting.com