While this undercard as talent rich as UFN 21, UFC 112 undercard is pretty solid. In the last preview I did, I mentioned the better grappler will win each match-up. I do believe the better grapplers won in all fights. The theme for UFC 112 undercard is "a punchers chance." Each of these match-ups relies on the underdog to "catch" their opponent.
Phil Davis vs. Alexander Gustafsson
Gustafsson is coming off a stunning KO win over Jared Hamman. Well all know now that Hamman's striking defense is awful and
Rick Story vs. Nick Osipczak
Two major prospects facing each other in the Welterweight division. You may remember Osipczak from the Ultimate Fighter Season 9. Osipczak is 2-0 in the UFC against not so UFC caliber opponents (Frank Lester, Matt Riddle). Story has impressed fans in his last two outings against Jesse Lennox and Brain Foster. Story is the much better wrestler and he will want this fight to hit the mat early if he wants a win against Osipczak. Osipczak can crack and has good way of setting up his head kicks. Osipczak has the muaythai edge, so it will be interesting to watch these two in the clinch. Ultimately, Story is just too strong and a much better wrestler than Osipczak.
Paul Kelly vs. Matt Veach
Both fighters coming off losses in their last bouts, the winner is looking to stick around in the UFC. Kelly is much like his British counterpart Paul Taylor. Pretty decent striking, but poor wrestling. Matt Veach is predominantly a wrestler coming out of the H.I.T. Squad. In Veach's last fight, he was out-wrestling Frankie Edgar in the first round and got caught and finished in the second. Kelly has a puncher;s chance in this fight, Veach leaves himself exposed whenever he throws a right hand. Ultimately though, Veach will takedown Kelly and ground and pound his way to victory.
Paul Taylor vs. John Gunderson
Paul Taylor has an exciting kickboxing style with improving takedown defense ability. Taylor's power isn't overwhelming, but he can put together beautiful looking combos. Gunderson isn't a great wrestler by any means, but it is his best asset as a fighter. Gunderson likes to close the distance and clinch up with opponents. To me Gunderson is not a UFC level fighter, but he has a good chance of winning this fight, due to the favorable style match-up. I think Gunderson has poor striking defense and Taylor should be able to control the striking game.
DaMarques Johnson vs. Brad Blackburn
Brad Blackburn is a flake. That is all. DaMarques has shown some pretty good submission chops, he just has difficulty getting the fight to the floor. Both fighters are just mid-level fighters that are trying to earn a living in the UFC. Due to Johnson lack of striking defense, Blackburn should have the striking edge. Blackburn also has the better wrestling than Johnson, so all signs point to Blackburn winning this fight. However, Blackburn is a flake. If Johnson can get the fight to the floor he could submit Balckburn. I like Blackburn in this fight because he can wrestle and strike better than Johnson.
Jon Madsen vs. Mostapha Al-Turk
This is the only outlier in my undercard "punchers chance" theory. Madsen is a pretty good wrestler that will try to keep Al-Turk on his back. I haven't seen anything in Al-Turk's game that will give any trouble to Madsen. A pretty meaningless fighter here, Al-Turk should get his walking papers here. Madsen should wrestle his way to victory.