By Benjamin Bieker
Rani Yahya vs. Josh Clopton
This fight is Yahya’s fight to lose, because he has faced and beaten better fighters than Josh Clopton, and he possess nearly four times as many professional bouts. With Yahya’s grappling acumen he should be able to finish this fight by submission before the bell of the second round.
Ian McCall vs. Iliarde Santos
McCall needs a win in this fight, or he may be finding the future of his career on the regional circuit. The main advantage in this fight for McCall will be his wrestling credentials which will allow him to bring the fight where he wants it. Unfortunately, that will not bring him a win as Santos’ grappling will allow him to steal a close decision win.
Sergio Moraes vs. Neil Magny
Both of these fighters stalled out at the same point in their TUF careers, but Moraes was given a reprieve to enter the final and still lost. He picked up a submission win since then, and Magny finally made his debut beating Jon Manley. Magny takes this fight, because his size and overall skill wins him this fight as Moraes relies on his grappling too much.
Amanda Nunes vs. Sheila Gaff
Nunes gets a chance to fight in front of her home country, and Gaff gets a second shot at a first impression. Both of these girls have great striking prowess, but only one of them will be able to come out on top. Nunes needs to use her length and reach advantage to keep Gaff at bay. Nunes’ home field advantage will bring her to a TKO victory.
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Anthony Perosh
Perosh is a great ground fighter, but he has never faced someone like Magalhaes who showed his ability against a tough fighter like Igor Pokrajac. At 41 years old, Perosh will feel the affects of a year off when facing a fresh 29 year old like Magalhaes. Magalhaes will take away a win by stoppage in the third round after tiring Perosh by grappling in the first two.
John Lineker vs. Jose Tome
Lineker has the tough task of facing a fighter who has not lost in five years and 16 fights. Tome is a finisher too with 28 finishes in 33 career wins. Lineker will make this fight interesting as he did with Louis Gaudinot, but he will eventually get caught in a submission just like he did that night in the second round. Tome wins his debut.
Thales Leites vs. Tom Watson
A former number one contender returns in Leites, and he will be taking on a brash Brit in the form of Tom Watson. Leites has the advantage of never being knocked out which is Watson’s greatest asset, and Leites has even fought monsters like Anderson Silva. Watson has a weakness on the ground, and while he will not be submitted he will lose by decision by being out grappled.
Cezar Ferreira vs. Thiago Santos
Santos and Ferreira will end up battling standing, but it will not end up well for one of them. Both fighters are very young in their careers with less than ten professional fights, but it seems that Santos has proven himself a more dynamic striker so far. That will be his ticket to win as he uses knees, kicks, and punches to pick up a late TKO victory.
Lyoto Machida vs. Phil Davis
Machida is a hard puzzle for ever fighter to figure out. He has only lost three times and two of those times came from being finished with either a submission or a knockout. The jury on whether or not Davis has that ability to finish Machida is still out. Davis’ only loss came to Rashad Evans and that was in a fight where he could not seem to find his rhythm. Has he fixed that problem in three fights? The logical answer is no, and that is why Machida will side step his way into another decision victory.
Jose Aldo vs. Jung Sung Jung
Aldo is facing the fighter that he used to be, because since Jung has turned around his career he has found the finish wherever the fight has gone. Whether it is the seven second knockout of Mark Hominick, something Aldo could not do, or the fourth round submission of Dustin Poirier Jung has proven himself a finisher. As long as the near year and a half layoff has not hurt his cardio, Jung will find himself in a position to finish this fight. By the fourth round when Aldo generally tires, Jung will pick up the pace and finish this fight by submission.
What are your thoughts?