UFC on Versus 5 takes place on Sunday night in Milwaukee and we’ve got our full preview and predictions for the event for you below.
Dan Hardy vs. Chris Lytle
The main event of UFC On Versus 5 is slightly unusual in that it features two men who are coming off a loss, with Dan Hardy in particular in dire need of a win after three defeats in a row. Both he and Chris Lytle are well known faces in the UFC however and always do their best to deliver entertaining fights so there’s no complaints here.
Both fighters like to let there fists do the talking, and indeed that’s what they’ve both stated they are intending to do on Sunday night. Lytle is a former boxer, but he’s not always the most technical striker, instead liking to throw slightly wild and reckless looking for the big finish. Having said that he’s not a particularly big puncher, and given that he’s got an excellent chin that means his stand-up battles often end in a decision.
Hardy, like a number of other UK fighters, has good boxing abilities and tends to favor his left hook which can be an effective weapon – though he was caught with one coming in the opposite direction by Carlos Condit recently that KO’d him. He doesn’t have quite as much power as he’d like you to believe, but he does have enough to be respected and I believe has a slight edge over Lytle in that regard.
The trick Lytle has up his sleeve is that he’s actually fairly slick on the ground and on rare occasions has shown a nice line in submissions. Hardy has fairly decent submission defence these days though. The Brit’s main problem is that he can be outwrestled as the likes of GSP and Anthony Johnson has shown. It’s highly unlikely that Lytle would take advantage of that by attempting to lay and pray with him though, that’s just not his M.O.
Tough fight to call. I do believe that Hardy wants to win more at this stage due to his job on the line, while Lytle is currently eyeing life after MMA and it seemed to show in his last outing. With that in mind, and given that I don’t see Lytle drawing him into a protracted ground battle, I’m going to give Hardy the nod here by decision, but it could just as easily swing the other way.
Dan Hardy to win by decision.
Ben Henderson vs. Jim Miller
This battle between two of the lightweight division’s top contenders could easily have taken headline duties on this card, and has all the makings of a cracking contest.
Both of these fighters are well rounded, fight at a frenetic pace and will be content to fight wherever the battle takes them, either on the ground or standing. Striking isn’t either’s natural forte though, with each being solid rather than spectacular in that regard. Neither is a particularly hard puncher, but both can certainly take a punch. overall Miller appears to be the more fundamentally sound striker to my eyes.
Grappling is where the two men really shine and if that’s where the fight take place on Sunday night it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. Miller is a quintessential grinder with a terrific gas-tank, good control on the mat and black-belt level BJJ.
Henderson also has a terrific engine and should have no problem going full throttle for three rounds. He’s more offensive and unorthadox from top control, risking being caught in submission attempts at times in order to rain down some ground and pound. Part of what enables him to do this is that he has a remarkable ability to resist submissions and always seems to find a way out. It’d be risky to let someone of Miller’s caliber test him in that regard however.
More good match-making by Joe Silva here, but I have to give the edge to Miller. he’s tough as nails, has a knack of finding a route to victory and at the age of 27 he really seems to be coming into his own at this moment in time. While fun to watch I do think Henderson can take a few too many risks at times and leave himself exposed, particularly on the ground. I can see Miller taking advantage of that fact and finishing this fight to rightfully lay claim to No.1 contender status at 155lb.
Jim Miller to win by submission in Rd2.
Donald Cerrone vs. Charles Oliveira
Injury woes meant that Donald Cerrone had several changes in opponent for this bout, but everything worked out well in the end because he ended up with a quality opponent in Charles Oliveira in what could be a ‘Fight Of The Night’ worthy match-up.
This one really could be a barn-burner wherever it goes. Both men have a dynamic striking game that ensures we should see fists, feet, elbows and knees flying. Cerrone favors his hands and works well to the head and body, while Oliveria has a fast, flashy style that leans a little heavier on kicks.
Cerrone works well when transitioning from the striking to takedowns which he may well employ if he wants to test Oliveira on the ground. The Brazilian has made it clear however that he actually welcomes the opportunity to fight from his back and so that won’t be something that troubles him.
From his back Oliviera stays very active and will throw up submission attempts at the slightest opportunity. At the same time Cerrone is always busy on top and will also be looking for the chance to grab ahold of a limb so a grappling contest between these two should be anything but dull.
I’m really looking forward to this one, partly because it should be very competitive, although that makes it hard to predict. Oliveira is a very fast started and that could be to his advantage in the early stages as Cerrone can by his own admission be a little slow off the mark himself. Cerrone’s very experienced though and I think he can weather the early storm and come on strong in the later rounds. I also think Oliveira’s willigness to go to his back could be his downfall as Cerrone is savvy enough on the floor to stay out of danger. Even if he does lose I still think Oliveira is a serious prospect at 155lbs though.
Donald Cerrone to win by decision.
Duane Ludwig vs. Amir Sadollah
UFC Live 5’s main card kicks off with what should be a fun stand-up war between Duane Ludwig and TUF Season 7 winner Amir Sadollah.
Both of these men are muay thai afficionados and do a good job of throwing technical combinations of kicks and punches. Ludwig is the harder hitter of the two, with Sadollah not appearing to have natural KO power in his arsenal and so relying on the volume of his strikes doing the damage instead.
I’d say Sadollah is the fresher of the two at this stage, with Ludwig starting to slow a little and show the signs of all the wars he’s had over the years. If the fight goes into the later rounds that’ll be the TUF winner’s advantage as he has excellent cardio while ‘Bang’s’ has become slightly suspect.
If the fight hits the ground at any stage then you’d have to give the advantage to Sadollah. While he prefers to stand he’s got a decent top game and some submissions at his disposal which could pose problems for Ludwig who is susceptible to them.
Sadollah won’t be able to overcome Ludwig simply on the strength of his technical muay thai skills alone since that’s also Ludwig’s forte, but his superior cardio and the fact that he has a marked advantage on the floor if he needs to take it there suggests that this is a fight that leans in his favor. The question is whether he can get a finish…I think he can, but he might opt to stand and trade for a while before finally finishing things off with a sub.
Amir Sadollah to win by submission in Rd3.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
C.B. Dollaway vs. Jared Hamman
Joseph Benavidez vs. Eddie Wineland
Ed Herman vs. Kyle Noke
Ronny Markes vs. Karlos Vemola
Alex Caceres vs. Jim Hettes
Cole Miller vs. T.J. O’Brien
Danny Castillo vs. Jacob Volkmann
Edwin Figueroa vs. Jason Reinhardt