An awesome fight, even though Mir had to be shuffled into the main event with Overeem testing positive for high testosterone levels. But, we still got a good one in which JDS is one of the baddest men on the planet, and holds solid boxing skills with what seems like unlimited power. His ground game is still a question mark, given he’s never hit the mat but he trains with top notch BJJ black belts, so i’m sure he can hold his one. As for Mir, I think he has an underrated striking game. He’s hung in their and tagged some good fighters, and doesn’t get enough credit. Where he is best though, is the ground where he is the best BJJ black belt in the octagon, I’ve ever seen. The tale of this fight though will be if JDS can keep it standing, he should knock out Mir or if Mir can get it to the ground, in that he should submit JDS. I’m going with the first option, But I think it last 3 rounds until Mir finally is put away. JDS by knockout!
Cain Velasquez vs Antonio Silva
A solid co-main event that features one of the best heavyweights in the world/ex UFC champion, and the man who’s head is equivalent to an Easter Island head (Not kidding either). Anyways Cain will look to avenge his only defeat to JDS, which cost him his belt. Cain features a solid striking game but an even better wrestling/top game. He is very well rounded which is why he is at the top of the heavyweight division. An impressive fashion defeat here could catapult him back into the title picture. As for Bigfoot, he is finally in the UFC, and is coming off a loss in which Daniel Cormier knocked him out. But, Cormier is solid, so I don’t take anything away from Silva. Silva features a pretty good striking game but on the ground is where he is a killer. If he can manage to get Cain on the ground, and is in top control. Hammer fists will land, and that face will get messed up.Although the smart choice says go Velasquez here, I think Silva sweeps Velasquez, gets some ground and pound in, and then submits Cain at some point. I’m going upset here, Silva via submission!
Roy Nelson vs Dave Herman
Boy do the fight keep on getting better! Even for a card that has been shuffled more time then a card deck (bad joke), it’s still an awesome card. I love this fight too because whenever Roy’s in the cage, it’s a war. Although I do believe Roy is the better fighter here, I like Herman’s height and reach advantage here. Although it might not appear as much, I think Herman utilizes it along with some of his knee strikes. Roy can take everything including the kitchen sink, so i’m not sure Herman can knock him out. BUT, I hate to against Roy here because clearly he is the better fighter, but something about Herman excelling in short notice fights I like. I’m taking the upset and going Herman via decision.
Shane Del Rosario vs Stipe Miocic
An early contender for fight of the night here, as two of Zuffa’s top prospects will be swinging away at each other. I really like Del Rosario, and I think he has a bright future but between the car accident, and the year lay off I don’t think he will be 100%. Del Rosario’s muay thai is dangerous but Stipes wrestling game I believe can cancel it out to a degree. Stipe features a solid chin, power in his hands, and he can wrestle. I think he has the perfect base to take the Heavyweight division by storm, and I think he will put away Del Rosario in the second round.
Lavar Johnson vs Stefan Struve
What a way to start off this all heavyweight main card! You have in one corner, the fast rising KO machine in Lavar Johnson. In the other, the tallest UFC fighter standing at 6’11 that features an awesome submission game. I understand that so many people are going with Struve here because he should easily be able to put Johnson on his back and submit him, BUT Struve has always loves to fight and often inflicts too much damage. If he would implement a gameplan to utilize his submission game, he’d be at the top of the division but he doesn’t. I think Struve is going to fall into Johnson’s game, and once one of those uppercuts lands…it’s one big fall. Johnson by knockout in round 1!
Diego Brandao vs Darren Elkins
This is either a feast or famine type fight. We have the explosive Brandao who is carries some power in his hands, and is very well adapt to work off his back. Elkins meanwhile is mostly a wrestler, and usually is able to grind down his opponents. During his UFC stint, his wins are all by decision with the exception of the TKO victory over Ludwig due to the ankle injury. I really think that Brandao is way too much for Elkins to grind away at, and Brandao is going to swarm him early for a good night.
Jamie Varner vs Edson Barboza
Possible fight of the night right here, as this one should be all over the place. Barboza has taken the UFC lightweight division by storm, winning 4 straight, and winning in spectacular fashion over Terry Etim. Varner returns to the UFC on short notice but is still very dangerous. Varner features a good striking and wrestling game, where as Barboza is mostly noted as a solid striker. I like Barboza and his wide arsenal of strikes but I’m going with Varner here by decision as he will steal the fight with multiple takedowns.
Mayhem Miller vs CB Dolloway
I’m not going to over analyze this fight because I feel that Mayhem should easily be able to submit Dollaway. That’s no disrespect to Dollaway’s game but Mayhem looks like he seriously put in the work this camp, and I know how good he can be when he’s serious. His striking game is awful but based off some videos I’ve seen, it has improved somewhat. I like Mayhem to submit Dollaway in the second round after overwhelming him early.
Dan Hardy vs Duane Ludwig
A very fan friendly fight, in which it features two stand up bangers who will be looking to knock each others head off. Hardy will look to save his career in the UFC by avoiding 5 straight defeats, and Ludwig will look to bounce back after being overwhelmed by Josh Neer. I like Dan Hardy in this one, based off training with Mir, and his job is on the line. I got Hardy to end Ludwig’s night early.
Jacob Volkmann vs Paul Sass
An interesting fight, but also has the potential to be the most boring fight. Volkmann uses his wrestling often and well, but usually blankets his opponents. Sass is a submission artist, in which 11 of his 12 wins are via submission. Both don’t feature a strong striking game in which this one will mostly likely take place on the ground. The typical Wrestler vs the Grappler matchup, and I like Sass via submission at some point in the fight. Reason, I like Sass here is that Volkmann gasses late in fights, and leaves himself open to sweeps/submissions. Escudero almost had Volkmann, if that was Sass…it probably would have been over.
Glover Teixeira vs Kyle Kingsbury
Boy am I excited for Glover Teixeira to finally be in the UFC! It’s been a long time coming, and he is going to be a monster in his debut here. He’s got extreme power in his hands, is a BJJ black belt, and is a finisher. Kingsbury is pretty good striker and does most his damage in the clinch. Kingsbury though, slows down in the later rounds, and has a limited ground game. Besides the size advantage Kingsbury has, Glover is all around the better fighter here. Glover is going to knock out Kingsbury in round one, lock it in!
Mike Brown vs Daniel Pineda
A tough fight to call, considering how far Mike Brown has fallen. Once the very best Featherweight in the world, until Aldo beat him up, and since then he hasn’t been the same. Pineda is now 2-0 in the UFC, both wins coming by submission in the first round. While he is a decent grappler, and has a pretty good submission game, I think he has feasted on his opponents who have weaker ground games. Brown is still good enough, to cancel out Pineda’s game. Im going with Brown via decision.