Quick Breakdown of the Main Card
Rich Franklin returns to the middleweight division, where he is 7-2 with the only losses coming to the Middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Cung Le is coming off his first UFC win over Patrick Cote, and this would mark his 2nd fight in four months. This fight is very interesting because it has the making of being a barnburner, although I think each fighter has an edge depending on what round it reaches. Le’s arsenal of kicks has been a rare sight in MMA, and is truly exciting to watch. Franklin is a legend, and always has an exciting fight for the most part. The longer this fight goes, Franklin’s cardio could prevail him to a decision or late stoppage but I believe that Le will put it on early and finish Franklin.
When looking at the co-main event, at first I was leaning towards Stanislav Nedkov but Thiago Silva has more to lose in this fight, and I like a desperate fighter. Nedkov is also a pretty small light heavyweight, and before landing the knockout blow to Luiz Cane, he was getting picked apart on the feet. I think Silva does the same as Cane but his heavy hands will get the job done in the first round.
Paulo Thiago since that knockout win over Josh Koscheck hasn’t lived up to that potential he showed, and I really can’t see him defeating Dong Hyun Kim. Kim is a grinder, although he has improved his standup game, and if he takes this one to the floor, his top control will take over this fight. Thiago needs to come out aggressive early, and when the fight hits the ground constantly throw up submissions. Unfortunately I see him getting smothered en route to a decision victory
The “Fireball Kid” returns, and I think this fight will provide fireworks. Takanori Gomi is a banger, and Mac Danzig is a gamer…which in other words means a potential fight of the night. Gomi definitely has shown signs of his career winding down, he doesn’t quite have the same striking game he made a career off of. As for Danzig, it’s been a bumpy ride for the TUF 6 season winner. Danzig has never put together a win streak to catapult himself from the bottom of the division, and that has made him an overlooked TUF winner to say the least. I think this fight will be a back and forth fight, and I think the “Fireball Kid” will have something left in the tank to knock out Danzig in the second round.
I can’t say I know much about Jon Tuck but from what I’ve seen he is a really well rounded fight, and packs some heavy hands. His 8 second knockout win over One FC title contender Eduard Folayang only proved that. Tiequan Zhang who is the only native chinese fighter on the card has a tough fight on his hands. He really is a one trick pony with his excellent submission game but I can’t see that working here. I think Tuck is going to end this one fairly quick, and Zhang’s career in the UFC will come to an end unfortunately.