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Ultimate Fight Night 17 Predictions: The Main Card

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We hit you with the undercard predictions on yesterday, and we are back the main card predictions on today.  MMA4Real contributor Charles Walker is joining me to give his take on how he sees everything playing out.  I'd also like to mention that MMA4Real will be here on tomorrow night with the LIVE open thread as usual.  So make sure you join us here as we talk smack and discuss the fights as they go down.  A big ups to all those guys that have been joining us since we starting doing them, and bring a friend along with you tomorrow night.  Let's get to the fights:

Luigi Fiorvanti vs. Anthony Johnson

Luigi FioravantiAnthony Johnson

Kelvin Hunt-The difference in this fight will be Johnson's natural ability.  He'll be stronger, quicker, and we know he has KO power.  While a tough guy, I don't see Luigi posing any significant threats in this match up.  I think Johnson will strike, then soften Luigi up with a take down or two.  Then catch him with a Street Fighter II dragon punch or something. Johnson via TKO. 

Charles Walker-This should be a good fight, point blank period.  This is a huge step up in competition for Johnson and a solid opponent for Fioravanti and luckily it was bumped up to the televised card.  Both guys have huge question marks in their game.  After his fight with Diego Sanchez, can Fioravanti afford to stand and bang with someone like Johnson?  Can Johnson handle a big welterweight like Luigi, who loves to clinch?  One of those questions will be answered and I think it’ll be ‘Rumble’ Johnson’s power that’s the key here.  I think Luigi will play it safe and close the distance early, much like Kevin Burns did but I think Johnson can deal with it and eventually create enough space to land one of his bombs late in the second round for a TKO victory.

Mac Danzig vs. Josh Neer

Mac DanzigJosh Neer

Kelvin Hunt-For some odd reason I'm not overly enthusiastic about this fight.  I guess it's because they are evenly matched and will probably cancel out one another's offense so to speak.  Neer has had some problems outside the cage as of late so I'm wondering how that's affected his training camp.  I'm going with Danzig via decision because he can't afford to lose this one.

Charles Walker- I’m not a big Danzig fan as he’s basically his own hero.  Neer will be a tough opponent for him, having just barely lost to Diaz at the last Fight Night.  Danzig usually has a pretty good gameplan and an all around skillset to pretty much do well wherever the fight goes.  I think Danzig is the better striker and will probably use that to back Neer up and impose his will.  I doubt this one will end in a finish as both guys are very tough to put away, but even with Neer’s reach, he’ll end up getting beat up on the feet and outpointed as Danzig takes a unanimous decision and gets back on track.

Cain Velasquez vs. Denis Stojnic

Cain Velasquez

Kelvin Hunt-It's evident that Zuffa is grooming Velasquez as future contender.  This fight is basically a showcase fight to the masses, as well as a way to get additional highlight footage.  Velasquez will win this one via destruction.

Charles Walker-Could they have given Cain an easier assignment.  Seriously, Stojnic is a kickboxer and Cain being a wrestler will eat him alive.  This one will likely end quick and in brutal fashion as Cain rushes Stojnic, puts him on his back and commences to pound his skull into the Harley Davidson logo.

Joe Lauzon vs. Jeremy Stephens

Joe LauzonJeremy Stephens

Kelvin Hunt-This fight is more interesting to me than the Franca fight.  I didn't see Hermes being able to catch Lauzon with those bombs he throws.  I didn't see him being able to stop Lauzon's take downs either.  Stephens may not be as adept on the ground as Franca, but he's a scrapper.  I think this could be a back and forth fight if Stephens can keep the fight on the feet.  However, I think Lauzon will be able to get it to the ground and grind him out.  Lauzon via decision. 

Charles Walker-Lauzon called Stephens an easier fight and I don’t think I agree with that but I do think it’s a less dangerous fight.  While Stephens packs huge power standing, I think Lauzon can control if and when it goes to the ground.  There, the Lauzon brothers are known for their aggressiveness when in top position.  I think Lauzon will likely take a beating in the first and part of the second much like he did against Kyle Bradley but from there he’ll secure a takedown and relentlessly attack Stephens, Jeremy will give up his back and Lauzon will sink in the hooks for a second round submission via rear naked choke.

Who are you guys picking?