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UFC on Versus: Why You Should Be Excited

by on June 23, 2011

By Daniel Galvan

As the talks of which television channel will become the home of UFC continue, one of the most likely channels to become that station for the UFC will have its fourth UFC live event when Rick Story will return to the octagon after only a month after his last fight will take on Nate Marquadt who is making his debut in the welterweight division. UFC Live on Versus returns with a solid four fight main-card, and a loaded 8 fight under-card.  The main-event between the two top welterweight contenders isn’t the only fight to look forward two as two of the best strikers in the UFC will take to the octagon. Leg kicks should definitely be expected as the 36-year old Cheick Kongo returns to the UFC after almost a year-long lay-off faces Patrick Barry who is looking to finally get back-to-back wins in the UFC.

 

While the other two fights on the main-card aren’t exactly attention-grabbing, they still have some slimmer of interest. One of the gems of the The Ultimate Fighter Season 10, Matt Mitrione looks to continue his progression as he faces Christian Morecraft who is coming off a submission win over Sean McCorkle. I enjoy Mitrione fight because he really has the potential to become a UFC superstar because of his talking ability and charisma, but his talent is still not up to par with the elite heavy-weights. Mitrione has shown a lot of progression in each of his fights, so we shall see if that translates this Saturday on June 26th against Morecraft. Matt Brown is also a late replacement taking on John Howard. Granted it is not nearly as interesting as the former fight between Martin Kampmann and Doomsday, but the fight should still promise great action between both fighters’ history of exciting fights. A loss would be devastating for Matt Brown because this would be his fourth straight UFC loss. Brown may have some kind of immunity because of him taking this fight on short notice which would also bring up the possibility of him being one if not the only fighter to have lost five consecutive UFC fights. Nonetheless let’s break down the card.

Welterweight Bout
Nate “The Great” Marquardt (31-10-2) vs Rick “The Horror” Story (13-3)

            This is fight is similar to the Carwin/JDS fight in the sense that the replacement fight is much more interesting than the former fight. In my opinion this fight is more relevant to the welterweight division than the Marquadt/Johnson fight. Nate has decided to make the weight cut after not being able to beat the elite middleweights in that division. Marquadt is an extremely well rounded fighter who usually controls the fight by keeping it standing or on the ground depending on where he has the best chance of winning.

While Nate is a solid striker, he probably will want to take the fight to the ground as Story will have the speed advantage and is a good striker himself. Also something that has translated time and time again is how fighters usually are more successful after short breaks between fights, and that may be a good sign for Story coming off his UFC 130 win over Thiago Alves last month. Story has exceptional wrestling defense and is one of those guys who really surprises people with his wrestling ability after he out-wrestled Johnny Hendricks. I still think that Marquadt will be able to power his way to the ground with an explosive slam and pound on Story for three straight rounds.

I still expect some action on the fight as it will be a battle for Nate to take down Story, and Rick will probably be the aggressor, igniting a lot of combinations. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Marquadt wins some of the striking combinations with leg kicks and knees, but I believe it will only be a matter of time until Nate takes the fight to the ground.

My Prediction – Nate Marquadt def. Rick Story via Unanimous Decision

 

Heavyweight Bout
Cheick Kongo (15-6-2) vs Patrick “HD” Barry (18-6-1)

            I’m guessing the over-under for leg kicks in this fight is probably set at fifty, and nut shots at five. Aside from the illegal kicks that will probably take place more than once this fight should be an awesome striking fight. The thing that worries about Kongo is that he hasn’t really aged well at 36 years old, and he will not be as fast as Barry who looks to be in the prime of his career. Barry will look to chop the down the tree that is Kongo with his vicious leg kicks that has brought him success so far in the UFC. While this fight will probably be a striking battle, Kongo has some good wrestling and may try and take Barry to the ground and utilize his lethal ground and pound. I still will predict that youth, speed, and strength will prevail with Pat Barry picking apart Kongo and eventually finishing him with leg kicks.

My Prediction – Pat Barry def. Cheick Kongo via 3rd TKO

Welterweight Bout
John “Doomsday” Howard (14-6) vs Matt “The Immortal” Brown (11-10)

            The bottom line with this fight is that John Howard is just the better fighter. A loss here will put Brown at .500, and Howard will be able to dictate the pace of this fight and get himself back on the winning track. Nonetheless this should still be an awesome fight because Brown usually brings the fight to his opponents, and while it may not be the best game-plan Brown will make sure that the fight is not dull which may be his saving grace on why he is still in the UFC. The first round will be Brown’s best chance to win as he usually starts quick with some wild punches, but John should stay away from the brawls and use his superior technical striking skills to win the combinations.  I think that Howard will play it safe and get take-downs on Brown and eventually utilizing his jiu-jitsu to submit the former Ultimate Fighter contestant.

My Prediction – John Howard def. Matt Brown via 2nd Sub.

Heayweight Bout
Matt “Meathead” Mitrione (4-0) vs Christian Morecraft (7-1)

            This is another good stepping stone for Meathead as Morecraft is another solid heavyweight fighter. Christian should probably still be undefeated after he completely beat up Stefan Struve in the first round of their round fight, but ended up on the receiving end of a Struve KO. Morecraft needs to be pretty careful with Mitrione as Meathead packs a helluva lot more power than Struve. I think that Mitrione’s will be able to keep the fight on the feet and pick apart Morecraft until he catches Morecraft with a couple of big punches in the first.

My Prediction – Matt Mitrione def. Christian Morecraft via 1st KO

Featherweight Bout
Tyson Griffin (14-5-1) vs Manny “Pitbull” Gamburyan (11-5)

            The theme of this show must be cutting down to featherweight as Griffin finally cuts down to the weight class that fits him the best. As far as striking goes Tyson is definitely the better striker as far as technique and speed goes. Manny does contain a lot of power and could definitely test the chin of Griffin with a couple of big hooks and over-hands. A loss here would be pretty devastating to Griffin, but I am predicting that Gamburyan will finish Griffin with a brutal KO. Manny has good enough take-down defense to keep the fight on the feet, and I think he will use that to catch Griffin on the feet.

My Prediction – Manny Gamburyan def. Tyson Griffin via 1st Round KO

Featherweight Bout
Joe “Daddy” Stevenson (31-13) vs Javier “Showtime” Vazquez (15-5)

            Stevenson is on the verge of becoming another TUF winner to be released by the UFC, and he has a tough fight in his featherweight debut. This is a very hard fight for me to predict, because of Vazquez’s age sort of scares me. Vazquez is definitely the better striker of the two, and Joe Daddy could find himself on the canvas if he fights like the way he did against Danzig. I don’t think that they still stand for two long as I predict that Joe will use his better wrestling and game-plan and take-down Vazquez all three rounds and neutralize any sub attempts from Vazquez. I think Stevenson will play it safe because he is on the cusp of a UFC cut.

My Prediction – Joe Stevenson def. Javier Vazquez via Unanimous Decision

Lightweight Bout
Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon (19-6) vs Curt Warburton (7-2)

            It’s good to see Lauzon back in the octagon as he is a very exciting fighter who leaves it all in the cage although that has been his weakness. In his last couple of fights he has looked tremendous in the first round, but seemed to have lost a step in the rounds following that one. I don’t think this will matter in this fight. Sure Warburton is a scrappy fighter, but I just think that Lauzon will overwhelm Warburton with punches early and eventually find himself on top of Curt, pounding his way to a TKO victory. If Curt survives the first round then Warburton could potentially steal the latter two rounds with take-downs and effective grappling.

My Prediction – Joe Lauzon def. Curt Warburton via 1st Round TKO

 

Welterweight Bout
Daniel “Ninja” Roberts (12-2) vs Rich “The Raging Bull” Attonito (9-4)

            This is probably the end of the road for Attonito who has definitely over-achieved in his UFC career. After watching his season of the Ultimate Fighter I didn’t really think that Attonito had to much of a hope to stick around in the UFC too long, but he impressed me with his win over Rafael Natal. Nonetheless Roberts is just too good for the American Top Team product. While Attonito may have the wrestling advantage Daniel is the superior striker and grappler. I look forward to every Roberts fight because I think that he has a lot of potential and could be a top welterweight in the future. The way for Rich to win this fight is by clenching Roberts against the cage and out-pointing him, but I don’t foresee that happening. I think that Daniel will hurt Rich on the feet, and then tap him out on the ground with his superior jiu-jitsu. Even if Roberts has bottom position he has the ability to sweep his opponent and get in a significant position.

My Prediction – Daniel Roberts def. Rich Attonito via 2nd Round Submission

Welterweight Bout
Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman (13-2) vs TJ Grant (16-5)

            This a fight that is going to be really awesome, but guys always come to fight and are skilled in almost every aspect of the game. While Charlie maybe the better wrestler, but TJ has super take-down defense. Grant’s striking will be the factor as I anticipate that this fight will be on the feet for the most part. If Charlie takes the fight to the ground Grant has good defense from the bottom position, and be able to not to get finished but he won’t be able to utilize any good offense off his back. I do think that TJ will be able to out-point Charlie what could be an awesome fight on the under-card. Hopefully the loser of this fight is able to stick around in the UFC.

My Prediction – TJ Grant def. Charlie Brenneman via Unanimous Decision.

Lightweight Bout
Nik “The Carny” Lentz (21-3-2) vs Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira (14-1)

            Charles was talked about as being a future lightweight champion after he ran through Efrain Escudero and Darren Elkins in his first two UFC fights, but after his loss to Jim Miller it seems as though nobody is talking about the 21 year-old Brazilian. It will be pretty ironic how many people will jump on this guy’s band-wagon if he has an impressive performance against Nik Lentz. Charles definitely has a lot of potential to become a future lightweight or featherweight contender. Lentz is definetily at tricky fighter who is very easy for someone to overrate because of how lackluster his fights are. The funny thing is because of those boring fights Lentz may be the first fighter in the UFC cut after having a four fight winning streak or a six fight non-losing streak in the UFC. Lentz will look to clench with Oliveira against the cage, but realistically that is the only place that he has the advantage. Charles is exceptional off his back, and if you think I’m joking you should call Darren Elkins. Oliveira also has explosive, unorthodox striking and remarkable speed. I think Charles will overwhelm the Carny in this fight and get an eventual finish.

My Prediction – Charles Oliveira def. Nik Lentz via 2nd Round Submission

Featherweight Bout
Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas (9-2) vs Matt “The Real One” Grice (13-3)

            Both guys are scrappy fighters who are making the cut down to featherweight. Both guys are solid wrestlers, and I think that Grice will look to take it down because Lamas has the striking advantage. I do think that Ricardo will be able to stuff the take-downs of his opponent and pick him apart standing. I could see a  KO here, but Grice is a tough guy.

My Prediction – Ricardo Lamas def. Matt Grice via Unanimous Decision

Lightweight Bout
Michael “The Menace” Johnson (8-5) vs Edward “Falo” Faaloloto (2-1)

            It’s clear that UFC wants to protect the Ultimate Fighter runner-up giving him a tomato can who trains out of Chris Leben’s school. I don’t mean to sound condescending or rude, but at this point in his career Faaloloto is just not a UFC caliber fighter. To be brutally honesty Johnson isn’t either so I still wouldn’t be shocked if Edward pulled off some kind of upset. Either way I think that Johnson will play it safe and take-down Faaloloto and ground and pound him to a TKO victory.

My Prediction – Michael Johnson def. Edward Faaloloto via 1st Round TKO.

 

So those are my picks, but something I’d like to do is see how I did on previous events and a keep a running tally on my accuracy. One the Strike-force card I didn’t fare to well as I batting .500. I’m still a bit rusty on analyzing fights and what not lets see what I can do on this card and Bellator card that I will preview later this week.

 

My Record – 3-3-1
Strikeforce: Werdum vs Overeem Picks – 3-3-1

 

By Daniel Galvan
Send me an EmailDgalvanmma@yahoo.com
Follow me on Twitter@DanielGal

 

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