While this weekend’s UFC On Versus 4 fight card may not be the most glamorous one you’ve seen this year, it is brimming with well balanced match-ups that should make for some close and entertaining scraps.
See below for our preview and predictions for the event, and stay tuned to https://mmainsight.com on Sunday night for all the results and analysis live as it happens.
Nate Marquardt vs. Rick Story
Marquardt, who’s long been considered one of the top middleweights in the UFC takes a trip down to welterweight to meet one of the division’s most impressive performers of late in Rick Story.
The cut doesn’t appear to have been too taxing for Marquardt and it’s going to leave him as the bigger, stronger fighter in this fight which will come in handy against Story who will be doing his best to bully him in the clinch and take him down if possible.
I think Marquardt can keep this one standing where his better striking and harder-hitting style should pay dividends, though he’ll find it difficult to stop the always-tough Story inside the distance.
Prediction: Nate Marquardt to win by decision
Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo
On paper this should be an entertaining scrap between two of the best kickboxers in the heavyweight division, but I have a feeling it might not pan out that way.
There’s no mystery to Barry’s game plan here. He’ll try to keep this fight in the center of the Octagon and blast away with his powerful arsenal of kicks, though he’ll struggle to land hands on Kongo given that the Frenchman has a big reach advantage here. While Kongo could look to best Barry at his own game and use his range to his advantage, I see him instead exposing ‘HD’s’ weak ground game and gradually wearing him down with ground and pound from top control.
Prediction: Cheick Kongo via TKO in Rd3.
Matt Brown vs. John Howard
These two middleweights step into the Octagon on Sunday night knowing that the loser is likely to be cut from the UFC’s roster.
Brown’s really strength has always been his toughness, while his desire to finish fights either by knockout or submission, has perhaps kept him in the UFC longer than some others on a three-fight losing streak. Throughout his career he’s struggled to emerge victorious against a certain caliber of opposition though, and I think Howard just about falls into that category. I don’t see any area that Brown is stronger than Howard here, and I think ‘Doomsday’s’ better conditioning will swing the fight in his favor in the later rounds.
Prediction: Jon Howard to win by decision
Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft
Heavyweight action rounds out the main card with both Mitrione and Morecraft looking to take the next step up the ladder with a win here.
Morecraft will be the bigger, stronger fighter on Sunday night, and on paper he should have an advantage on the ground, though we’ve not had much of a chance to see the progression in Mitrione’s own skills on the mat of late. I like Mitrione here though. He’s the better athlete, he’s taken to the striking aspect of MMA well and is demonstrating some good power in his hands now and decent footwork. If he stays wary of Morecraft’s takedowns attempts I think he can light him up on the feet and earn a stoppage victory here.
Prediction: Matt Mitrione to win by KO in Rd2
Prelims: (Predicted winners highlighted in bold)
Manny Gamburyan vs. Tyson Griffin
Joe Stevenson vs. Javier Vazquez
Joe Lauzon vs. Curt Warburton
Daniel Roberts vs. Rich Attonito
Nik Lentz vs. Charles Oliveira
Ricardo Lamas vs. Matt Grice
Michael Johnson vs. Edward Faaloloto