Kenny Florian vs. Takanori Gomi: Florian has better boxing and conditioning then Gomi, but that is it. If Gomi is truly motivated and cares about his legacy, there is no reason not to pick him in this fight. Gomi has never been a man that has gameplaned for opponents, but if he uses his wrestling and launches some GnP on Florian Gomi can take it. Florian has no power and his chin hasn't been properly tested. Gomi has a strong chin and power. Something tells me Gomi takes this one. Gomi Decision
Roy Nelson vs Stefan Struve: Until Struve learns how to keep distance and greatly improve his footwork I am not interested in him as a prospect. Roy Nelson can Box and Wrestle, two of Struve's glaring weakness. Nelson Rd. 1 KO
Nate Quarry vs Jorge Rivera: Two old guys fighting. Nate Quarry is slow and his boxing is not that good. Jorge Rivera has a really good clinch game, but awful wrestling. This fight goes one of two ways: Either Quarry will be able to take Rivera down from the clinch or Rivera will hurt him from the clinch. I'll go with Rivera. Rivera Rd. 2 TKO
Ross Pearson vs Dennis Siver: Siver has been spinning backing guys on UFC prelims lately. It will not continue here. Pearson is too good a boxer and will stay on the outside or clinched up against the cage punishing Siver. Pearson has the edge in wrestling, but Siver has a sneaky submission game. Overall i am disappointed we will be watching this fight rather than Ronys Torres vs Jacob Volkman. Pearson decision
Andre Winner vs Rafaello Oliveira: Great fight right here, should be a good style match-up between two developing strikers. Oliveira has a pretty good Muay Thai game, while Winner boxing is pretty good as well. I like Winner in this fight because he uses his range well and moves his head. Winner Rd. 3 TKO
Robert Emerson vs Nik Lentz: Emerson is going to get severely out-wrestled in this fight. Nik Lentz Decision
Yushin Okami vs Lucio Linhares: This is a terrible style match-up for Linhares, he can't use his reach in the fight and he is not a good enough wrestler to get Okami on the floor and work his grappling game. Okami gets an easy win here, maybe even TKO's Linhares. Okami Rd. 3 TKO
Caol Uno vs Gleison Tibau: This would be a good fight for Tibau to work on his striking game. Will he do it? Of course not, who wants to get better fight to fight? Uno is well past his prime and Tibau will have no trouble taking him down and working his grappling game on Uno. Tibau Decision
Jacob Volkmann vs Ronys Torres: Great fight here this is going to be a grappling war. Volkmann will most likely takedown Torres, but is he good enough not to get submitted? Can Volkmann withstand Torres' strikes? I am eager to find out. Volkman Decision
Jason High vs Charlie Brenneman: Brenneman is a wrestler, but he is not as good as High. High can do whatever he want to in this fight he can strike or grapple his way to victory. High Rd. 1 TKO
Gerald Harris vs Mario Miranda: I have never seen Miranda fight (shame on me) but he has beaten Rick Story and Joe Vedepo. So that would lead me to believe dude is no joke. Still Gerald Harris has good wrestling and serious power and I doubt Miranda can overcome that. Harris Rd. 2 KO
Kenny Florian over Takanori Gomi via decision
Roy Nelson over Stefan Struve via decision
Nate Quarry over Jorge Rivera via TKO in Round 2
Dennis Siver over Ross Pearson via TKO in Round 3
Andre Winner over Rafaello Oliveira via decision
Jacob Volkmann over Ronys Torres via wrestling
Rob Emerson over Nik Lentz via decision
Gleison Tibau over Caol Uno via size
Yushin Okami over Lucio Linhares via boredom
Gerald Harris over Mario Miranda via TKO in Round 2
Jason High over Charlie Brenneman via decision
-Nelson over Struve by TKO in the 3rd. I can't get hyped for this fight. Maybe it will be entertaining.
-Okami over Linhares by decision.
-Quarry over Rivera by TKO in the 3rd.
-Pearson over Siver by TKO in the 3rd.
-Tibau over Uno by submission in the 2nd.
-Brenneman over High by TKO in the 3rd.
-Harris over Miranda by TKO in the 2nd.
-Volkman over Torres by decision.
-Winner over Oliveira by TKO in the 2nd.
-Lentz over Emerson by decision.
Robert Downey Sr.:
Kenny Florian vs. Takanori Gomi:
Ever since Pride shut down, "The Fireball Kid" has lacked the flame that once made him one of the top lightweight fighters in the world. His lost to Satoru Kitaoka last year was just embarrassing, and before that he lost a split decision to Sergey Golyaev in Sherdog's 2008 Upset of the Year. And if Gomi held losses to top fighters like BJ Penn, Nick Diaz, and Joaquim Hansen, at least none of those are bad losses while he ruled the roost in Japan. Gomi is a stand-up fighter, a good boxer with once relentless agression. He was also one of the few Japanese fighters in the previous decade who tended to resort to ground and pound when the fight hit the mat rather than looking for a slick submission.
If Shinya Aoki is Japanese Lightweight 2.0, Gomi was 1.0, and I'm not sure that system is out-dated just yet. I think it needs a little system check. And Gomi will certainly get that in Kenny Florian, who might just be the 2nd best LW in the world. Florian is an ace MMA kickboxer, so this could be a really fun match on the feet. If it gets to the ground, Gomi can survive but I just think Florian is more in tune to where the game is right now. If Gomi comes ready to throw and game for a war, he can certainly win this. The UFC thinks he can, throwing him in the deep water immediately and hoping to have a fresh contender to BJ Penn. The safe money is on Florian though, as well it should be. Kenny Florian by TKO, Round 2
Roy Nelson vs. Stefan Struve:
Although Struve technically has more experience than Nelson, most of Struve's fights were on small European shows against unknowns. Nelson has been tested in the fire of America's stronger MMA scene. He was winning against then top-5 fighter and former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski in 2008 before an iffy stand-up and getting caught by the Belarussian's power. His other previous loss is a decision to Jeff Monson. Nelson currently rides the wave of moment he get swept up on by cruising through the last season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Struve's game is submissions, with his long 6'11" frame creating freakish leverage opportunites. After getting stopped by Junior dos Santos in his UFC debut (which is difficult to hold against the 22-year-old Dutchman), Struve has strung off three straight wins. Two were good subs, with a rear naked choke on Denis Stojnic and a triangle choke on Chase Gormley. The win over Gormley was followed by a very lackluster victory over Paul Buentello, who at times find room inside to hit Struve. Roy Nelson won't fear anything Struve can do on the ground, with ADCC credentials and a Grappler's Quest submission of Frank Mir on his resume. Nelson is a Renzo Gracie black belt, even if his belt has a few extra notches on it than normal.
I don't think striking will be a big part of this fight, but if it is I'll take Nelson's decent boxing and good power over whatever "Dutch pedigree" Struve might have that I haven't seen. Look for Nelson to use his surprising agility to gain momentum and get Struve down. He'll lay on the lanky youngster, maybe get into a mount and then that'll be it. Roy Nelson by Submission, Round 1
Nate Quarry vs. Jorge Rivera:
Jorge Rivera has never really done anything against decent competition (unless you count Kendall Grove as decent competition). Nate Quarry is decent competetion with KO power. If it turns into a brawl, and it likely will, it will be Quarry that wins most of the exchanges. Rivera is too old and has taken a few too many KO's. Quarry is a better fighter than Chris Leben, and Leben wrecked Rivera in 2006. Perhaps Mark Dellagrotte and the guys at Sityodtong have sharpened his kickboxing enough to make this highly competitive and I think it could be a very fun match, but I think Quarry takes this one. Nate Quarry by TKO, Round 3
Ross Pearson vs. Denis Siver:
Pearson, the lightweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom, looked great against his last opponent, Aaron Riley. The Brit trains with the guys of Team Rough House, which has emerged as the other top MMA camp in England alongside Wolfslair and featuring Dan Hardy, Paul Daley, and Pearson.
In Siver's first UFC run, he lost decisively to Gray Maynard and Melvin Guillard before being cut. Upon his return, he's found success with a 4-0 record including a solid win over Paul Kelly at UFC 105. Siver is a very stout and strong kickboxer, with two wins coming in large part to vicious spinning back kicks including the Paul Kelly TKO. This is an interesting fight, as Pearson has good potential and Siver just brutal with his kicks. I like Pearson's camp, so I'll give him the edge, but Siver can win this one faster than you can blink. Ross Pearson by Unanimous Decision.
Okami beats Linhares
Ronnys Torres beats Jacob Volkmann
Andre Winner beats Rafaello Oliveira
Gleison Tibau beats Caol Uno
Florian vs. Gomi
Ultimately, I have a hard time seeing how Gomi wins this fight looking at his performances over the past couple of years. Once an athlete loses that drive to compete at the highest level, it VERY tough to gain that mindset again. I also have a question about Gomi's gas tank, and while he seemed to look good at the weigh in's, Florian will have no cardio issues. I think Florian is the more technical of the two standing and is better on the ground. Can Gomi catch Florian with a big shot? Sure, but Florian's pretty fluid in his movements now. I think Florian submits Gomi via RNC.
Nelson vs. Struve
As I wrote in the preview yesterday, I don't like the match making in this one. Nelson should be able to win this one fairly easily as he is much more seasoned and fought better competition. Nelson via TKO in Rd. 2.
Quarry vs. Rivera
As I wrote in the preview, this fight will come down to chins and power. Quarry has the better chin and has the power to put Rivera away. I like Rivera as a fighter and he does possess big power as well. But I'm roll with Quarry via TKO in Rd. 2
Pearson vs. Siver
I like Pearson a lot. Son is grimey with it! While Siver is primarily a stand up guy, he won't get to exhibit much of it in this fight as Pearson is going to close the distance and bust him up in the clinch against the cage and may even take Siver down to the mat. His pace is exhausting. I'm go with Pearson via UD.
Tibau vs. Uno
Tibau is going to dwarf Uno in regards to size and while the savvy veteran is more than capable of holding his own, I think Tibau's size is going to be the main factor here. Uno will probably have trouble taking Tibau down, not to mention Tibau is a blackbelt level grappler. Tibau via UD.
Torres vs. Volkmann
I'm really torn about this one. Volkmann is a very good wrestling and grappler, but his standup is pretty bad with a cardio problem as well..not to mention this will be Volkmann's first fight at 155. Torres is a huge LW and a very good grappler. He is relentless and I think that he will be able to wear Volkmann down over the course of this fight. Torres via Split Decision.
Okami vs. Linhares
Okami via UD
Winner vs. Oliveira
Classic striker vs. grappler match up here. Whichever is successful in imposing their will is going to win basically. I think Winner will be able to keep it on his feet enough to put Oliveira away in Rd. 2.
Harris vs. Miranda
Harris via TKO in Rd. 2
Lentz vs. Emerson
I've been burnt by Emerson a couple of times...with that said...Lentz via UD.
High vs. Brenneman
High via decision