The UFC has bounced back strong from an injury plagued 2012 with recent shows, the TUF Smashes finally and Henderson/Diaz cards were littered with great fights. With UFC 155 coming up this weekend I think Zuffa might have saved the best for last. Here are some of my thoughts on this weekend’s action.
First thing that catches my eye on this card is Perez Vs Bloodworth. Bloodworth made his debut in the UFC stepping in on short notice to fight Mike Easton. He looked really over matched in his 2nd round tko loss to Easton. Now he gets to prove himself against one of the hottest bantamweights in the UFC in Perez. Nothing says thank you for taking a short notice fight like getting Erik Perez in your next UFC fight. Perez is on a 7 fight win streak and coming off a 17 second ko win of Ken Stone. With the UFC making a push in the Latin market look for Perez to get favorable match ups until its title talk time. On a side note, UFC is holding an open tryout in Mexico City next month I hear. I pick the new poster boy for UFC’s Latino demo to win by tko late in round 1.
Wineland VS Pickett should be fireworks for as long as it last! This I can see being a fight that last three minutes but still win fight of the night. Both fighters like to box primarily with Pickett having technical superiority and Wineland having a huge height and reach advantage. I see competitive exchanges at the onset with Pickett getting the better of them. Wineland not having enough wrestling to neutralize Pickett will get overwhelmed. Pickett wins by tko round 1.
Costantinos Philippou VS Tim Boetsch I predict will be Philippou’s coming out party. For a while now I have been on the Philippou band wagon. Philippou has professional boxing level hands and takedown defense that reminds me of the Ice Man. Even when he is taken down he gets right back up. Facing a tough opponent in Boetsch who is coming off a huge win in his last fight with Hector Lombard, Philippou could steal all of Boetsch’s momentum. Even though Boetsch has proven to be durable he does get hit a lot and I tell people all the time that there is a huge difference between the strikes of an MMA fighter and a fighter that can make their living boxing or kick boxing. Philippou by KO as soon as he lands a good combination.
Miller VS Lauzon is a fight that should encompass every aspect of the great sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Both fighters are very evenly matched in all areas of the fight game with the one blaring advantage going to Miller in the form of his wrestling. Although I give Lauzon a slight edge in striking I don’t think it will be enough to end the fight on the feet. Miller and Lauzon both bring in black belt level ability in the grappling department, often this results in no submission. I see Millers wrestling giving him just enough control over the fight to squeeze out a split decision win.
Dos Santos VS Velasquez
Some may call me crazy but I think this fight is going to be very one sided in the direction of Velasquez. While I was living in Tampa for a brief period I trained BJJ with Rob Kahn at Gracie Tampa and something that always stuck with me was when he would stress that “strategy is just as important as technique and conditioning”. I think Velasquez with only 11 professional fights learned that the hard way in his loss to Dos Santos. Dos Santos brings to the cage some of the best boxing and takedown defense in the heavyweight division but will it be enough to capture another victory Velasquez? I for one don’t think so. Velasquez to me is the most dynamic heavyweight MMA has ever seen and has all the tools to deal with anyone in the heavyweight division. He has the wrestling and cardio to emulate a super sized Ben Askren, the striking skills to make high level wrestlers cower in fear ala Brock Lesnar and the submission defense to implement a ground and pond offense that ends fights against black belts; just ask Antonio Silva. I see Velasquez going back to his wrestling for this fight and getting a win via bloody GNP in round 3.
Thanks for reading my blog and enjoy the fights this weekend.