UFC On FOX 13 takes place tomorrow night and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic
Apart from his convincing losses to current champ Cain Velasquez, no other heavyweight has so far been able to get the better of dos Santos who has excellent boxing, good movement and strong takedown defense.
Miocic has also been taking out his fair share of heavyweight competition with crisp, composed stand-up, good athleticism and solid wrestling. He’s also been more active of late with JDS having been out for over a year, so he’ll be hoping ring rust plays a factor here.
THere is a case to be made for Miocic here, particularly if he can take the fight to the later rounds, but he’ll struggle to get his wrestling going against JDS and while he could be somewhat competitive on the feet he doesn’t wield the same kind of power as the former champ and I think that he’ll get caught with something he can’t recover from.
Junior dos Santos to win by TKO in Rd2.
Nate Diaz vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Diaz’s year-long self-imposed exile comes to an end tomorrow night and he finds himself right back in the thick of things against the high-flyind dos Anjos.
Diaz has a well documented skill-set revolving around an accurate, high volume boxing approach, a chin that’s very hard to crack and an aggressive submission game.
Dos Anjos has really evolved as a fighter and has become a real handful on the feet as well as the mat where he tended to excel in the past. He’s quicker than Diaz and has more versatility with kicks likely to play an important role for him here.
It’s tough to pick against Diaz, but dos Anjos is on fire at the moment and I think his speed, ability to move in and out quickly chipping away at Diaz while also mixing things up with his wrestling will pay dividends here over the course of 15 minutes.
Rafael dos Anjos to win by decision.
Alistair Overeem vs. Stefan Struve
Straight off the bat I have to say I’m not a fan of this match-up with Overeem seeming like the wrong choice for Struve after his well documented heart condition and then panic attack episode backstage prior to his last fight which resulted in it being cancelled.
Overeem’s form is poor, but he’s still a very powerful, dangerous striker and that rings an alarm bell for Struve who’s chin isn’t the best and is often left exposed due to a less-than-satisfactory defense.
Struve’s best bet is to get this fight to the mat where his lanky submission game could pose problems for his opponent, but Overeem has solid takedown defense and I think he keeps this one standing and puts Struve to the sword sooner rather than later to earn a stay of execution from the UFC.
Alistair Overeem to win by KO in Rd1.
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Matt Mitrione
Gonzaga has shown in recent times improvement in his striking and has been finishing opponents, but his submission skills are still his best asset and he’d do well to remember that in this fight.
Mitrione is one of the more mobile strikers in the heavyweight division and also packs a mean punch, so in a straight stand-up battle he may well have the edge here.
The former TUF fighters ground game is suspect though and if Gonzaga can get him down then I suspect a submission finish won’t be far behind it.
Gabriel Gonzaga to win by submission in Rd1.
Willie Gates vs. John Moraga
Claudia Gadelha vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Joe Riggs vs. Ben Saunders
Drew Dober vs. Jamie Varner
Derek Brunson vs. Ed Herman
Bryan Barberena vs. Joe Ellenberger
David Michaud vs. Garett Whiteley
Henry Cejudo vs. Dustin Kimura
Anthony Birchak vs. Ian Entwistle