The UFC makes it’s first visit to Seattle tomorrow night, and they have put together one of the most stacked Fight Night cards ever for the occasion.
Check out our preview and predictions for the fights below.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Phil Davis
The original plan was for Tito Ortiz to fight Nogueira, but Phil Davis had to step in as an injury replacement and actually improves the competitiveness of this main event.
Of the two Nogueira definitely has the better striking, with a background in boxing and effective knees providing a significant offensive threat.
Davis on the other hand is still a work in progress in this regard, and doesn’t yet seem entirely comfortable on his feet. He does at least attempt to use his impressive 79 inch reach to his advantage though, and his kicks are improving.
The odds are Davis will want to take advantage of his wrestling to get this fight to the floor, and if that is the case a fascinating battle should ensue. Davis has a phenomenal base and when he’s in top control he’s almost impossible to shift. Lil Nog is an extremely talented BJJ practitioner though with excellent sweeps so ‘Mr Wonderful’ will have to be on his guard at all times.
At this moment in time I think Lil Nog has the better overall skill-set, but I’m picking Davis as his wrestling is the key to victory here. We saw Nogueira struggling with Jason Brilz recently and I think Davis is better than he is. He can’t afford to get into prolonged exchanges on the feet though or he might find himself in trouble. Stifling the Brazilian from top control and staying busy with ground and pound when neccessary should be enough for Davis to claim the win.
Phil Davis to win by decision.
Dan Hardy vs. Anthony Johnson
There’s no doubt both Hardy and Johnson love to strike, and they are both well equipped to do so. For my money Johnson is the more powerful puncher here, though technically Hardy is better and has good counters.
Physically Johnson will have a notable advantage, holding four inches in reach and two in height over the Brit. If ‘Rumble’ can keep the fight at range that could make life difficult for Hardy as he likes to get inside and throw his most powerful weapon – a hard left hook.
Ironically Hardy was knocked out by a left hook himself in his last fight so that may force him to change tactics and surprise Johnson by looking to take him down. That may be easier said than done as Johnson has the better wrestling, but from his back he is susceptible to submissions.
Cardio and ring rust could be in issue for Johnson here as a persistent knee injury means he hasn’t fought in well over a year. He’s also notorious for having weight issues and apparently he weighed 230lbs heading into his training camp for this fight.
I believe Johnson is the more dangerous fighter early in this fight with his punching power and reach, but if Hardy can drag him into the later rounds the table could turn. I believe Hardy will have a smarter gameplan her and will mix things up more than we’ve seen in his recent fights to earn a decision victory and get back to winning ways.
Dan Hardy to win by decision.
DaMarques Johnson vs. Amir Sadollah
Johnson steps in at late notice to take on another product of The Ultimate Fighter, Amir Sadollah in what should be a competitive match-up.
Sadollah has clearly established himself as a very competent muay thia fighter at this stage in his development and I do believe his combinations will give him the upper-hand in the striking. We haven’t seen much of his ground work lately, but he’s proven in the past that he’s not out of his depth in this regard and has some submissions in his arsenal.
Meanwhile Johnson is somewhat of a jack of all trades, master of none, with decent striking and reasonable offensive jiu-jitsu, though his defensive BJJ is questionable.
Interestingly the two are polar opposites in terms of finishing fights with four of Sadollah’s ending by decision, while Johnson has only gone to a decision twice in 20 career fights.
Like Sadollah to earn another win on the scorecards. He doesn’t have the power to stop his opponent, but he’ll keep pressing forward regardless and leave Johnson fairly beat up by the end of 15 minutes.
Amir Sadollah to win by decision.
Leonard Garcia vs. Chan Sung ‘The Korean Zombie’ Jung
An injury brings The Korean Zombie in as a late replacement and allows us to witness a rematch of these two’s ‘Fight Of The Year’ stand-up battle from last year in the WEC.
We know what to expect here. Both men like to swing for the fences throwing kicks, punches and whatever else is likely to do damage while simultaneously showing little regard for defensive tactics.
Jung has cleaner striking, a little more variety to his output, and the better cardio of the two, while Garcia often seems to make up the deficit with just sheer guts and determination.
Another slug-fest is undoubtedly on the cards here. While I think the Zombie should have won their first encounter, and probably will edge the action on this occasion too, Garcia has an uncanny knack of catching the judges attention with his wild and reckless output. That, combined with the fact Jung has already went through the war with Garcia and then suffered a head kick KO loss afterwards makes me hesitant to pick him here.
Leonard Garcia to win by decision.
Prelims: (Predicted winner highlighted in Bold)
Alex Caceres vs. Mackens Semerzier
Jon Madsen vs. Mike Russow
John Hathaway vs. Kris McCray
Edwin Figueroa vs. Michael McDonald
Sean McCorkle vs. Christian Morecraft
Mario Miranda vs. Aaron Simpson
Johny Hendricks vs. T.J. Waldburger
Nik Lentz vs. Waylon Lowe