Frank Mir (16-8) looks to get back on track against Alistair Overeem (36-13) when the two meet at UFC 169 in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday, February 1, 2014.  Could it be the last fight for one of these heavyweight legends?

Frank Mir is hands down one of the greatest heavyweights to ever fight in the UFC.  With wins over Antonio Nogueria, Mirko Cro Crop, and Brock Lesnar on his resume, there is no room for argument.  Mir finds himself in an uncomfortable situation leading up to UFC169.  He has lost three fights in a row. Although those three losses have come against the likes of, Josh Barnett, Junior Dos Santos, and Daniel Cormier, a 4 fight skid could lead to either Mir parting ways with the UFC or retiring from the sport.

Mir is not the only one who could be in the hot seat after UFC 169.  Alistair Overeem, the man who sent Brock Lesnar into retirement, is also on a losing streak of his own.   He has been knocked out in his last two fights by Travis Browne and Antonio Silva.  Both of those losses came in devastating fashion.  The same argument can be made with Overeem as it can be with Mir; his opponents were top level heavyweights. What is even more interesting is the fact that Overeem has not won a fight since he tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.

There are many questions to be answered, and we’ll find out the answers on February 1st.  The UFC has put together a stacked card for UFC 169, but be sure to keep an eye on this fight.  It may be the last time we see one of these men step into the octagon.  And regardless of the outcome, it should be considered a loss to the UFC’s heavyweight division.

Keep checking back with Pro Fighting Fans for more coverage of UFC 169

For full fight card click here.

Chuck Woods

Pro Fighting Fans Staff Writer

To kick off 2014 RFA is bringing you Brian “T City” Ortega (7-0) vs. Keoni “Evil Genuis” Koch (5-0).  If the undefeated records alone don’t get you excited about this fight, maybe a look closer look will.

Koch is fighting out of one of the Midwest’s most elite teams, HardDrive MMA which also ome to fellow former RFA champion Jared Downings.   Downings isn’t the only HardDrive MMA member you might be familiar with, Steve Carl (WSOF champion) Cliff Wright Jr. (Bellator fighter) and Derrick Mehmen (WSOF fighter) also find themselves working alongside Keoni in preparation for battle.  Also pointed out in past interviews, Keoni is no stranger to Roufusport, where his younger brother Erik Koch trains.  Koch cross-trains with the guys at Roufusport multiple times a year, which may be helpful going up against Ortega who is no stranger to the ground game.

Brian Ortega trains out of Black House MMA, a team most MMA fans are familiar with.  Names like Anderson Silva or Glover Teixeira might come to mind when Black House MMA is talked about.

Ortega holds a professional record of 7-0 with 4 wins coming by way of submission.  Meanwhile, Koch is 5-0, with 4 submission finishes as well.  This has all the ingredients for a very exciting fight. Although submissions will be watched for throughout the fight, don’t expect anything but exciting, as both these men will look to do whatever it takes to earn that RFA gold come Friday.

RFA 12 will be held January 24th from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.  The main card, which is headlined by Ortega vs. Koch will air live on AXS TV at 10pm ET.  In the evening’s main event Ultimate Fighter 17 alumni Kevin Casey takes on UFC and Strikeforce veteran Eddie Mendez in a middleweight bout.

Chuck Woods

Pro Fighting Fans Staff Writer

Following the success of the last B.S. Predictions column for UFC Fight Night 35, I was excited to get right back to the magic.  This week we have another stellar free fight card from the UFC.  It’ll be headlined by a very important lightweight matchup between former lightweight champion Benson Henderson and Josh Thomson.  Of course Henderson lost his belt the last time out to Anthony Pettis, while Thomson shocked fans with a TKO of Nate Diaz in his return to the UFC.  Along with 3 other main card bouts this event will not disappoint, so let’s get to it.

 

Donald Cerrone vs. Adriano Martins

On paper I think Donald Cerrone is the better fighter in this matchup.  However, when you take a closer look it’s not so clear cut.  Adriano Marins is a very talented Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and he did take out a dangerous striker in Daron Cruickshank when he made his UFC debut in November of last year.  It probably helped that Martins was fighting in his home country of Brazil, while he’ll be facing Cerrone on American soil.  But, the difference maker is going to be the level of competition Cerrone has faced thus far in his career.  He’s shared the cage with some very tough and talented fighters.  It might take “Cowboy” a round or so to get comfortable and when he does he’ll be able to easily outpoint Adriano Martins for a unanimous decision victory.

Prediction: Donald Cerrone via Unanimous Decision

 

Darren Elkins vs. Jeremy Stephens

Now here’s a striker vs. grappler matchup I can get into.  Darren Elkins is a grinder with the ability to wear down anyone in the UFC’s 145lb division.  Meanwhile, Jeremy Stephens hits very hard and he’s always looking for the finish.  Since dropping from lightweight to featherweight, Stephens has been on fire.  In his last bout he went into Brazil and absolutely destroyed Rony Jason.  The only trouble Darren Elkins has run into in his last 7 fights was when he was stopped by Chad Mendes, another hard hitting featherweight.  I actually have Elkins as a slight favorite in this one, but I’m going to say Jeremy Stephens will pull off the upset.

Prediction: Jeremy Stephens via TKO Round 2

 

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Stipe Miocic

The co-main event at UFC on FOX 10 is an interesting heavyweight bout between Gabriel Gonzaga and Stipe Miocic.  Other than a knockout loss to Travis Browne, Gonzaga is experiencing a career resurgence as of late with 4 wins in his last 5 UFC appearances.  However, Miocic looked ultra-impressive in his June 2013 victory over Roy “Big Country” Nelson.  He was able to avoid Nelson’s power punches and was the superior boxer inside the cage on that night.  Although Gonzaga is likely faster than Roy Nelson, I still think Miocic can out strike him and his defensive wrestling should be good enough to keep the fight standing.  Miocic will once again surprise many people on his way to a unanimous decision win.

Prediction: Stipe Miocic via Unanimous Decision

 

Benson Henderson vs. Josh Thomson

Josh Thomson shocked MMA fans when he defeated Nate Diaz in his UFC return.  It wasn’t so much the fact that he won that was shocking, but the way Thomson did it.  The former Strikeforce champion became the first man to finish Diaz by TKO, which is something his next opponent Benson Henderson was not able to do.  That doesn’t necessarily give Thomson an edge over Henderson, especially since Benson is coming off his first UFC loss.  It wasn’t just a normal loss either, it cost Henderson his UFC lightweight title and made him winless in two fights against Anthony Pettis.  It is definitely the kind of loss that stings.  We can expect “Smooth” to show up on January 25th with something extra to prove.  The winner of this fight could be next in line for a title shot, seeing as Thomson was originally scheduled to face Anthony Pettis for the title in December of last year before the champ pulled out due to injury.  Benson Henderson is my choice to get his hand raised at UFC on FOX 10, but it won’t come easily.  Thomson is going to give him all he can handle and it could very well end up being another one of those infamous split decision victories that Henderson has become known for in his UFC career.

Prediction: Benson Henderson via Split Decision

 

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Staff Writer

This Wednesday night the UFC will serve up another helping of mid-week fights when UFC Fight Night 35 takes place live from Duluth, Georgia.  It’s not a super stacked card, but for a Fight Night event it should be pretty entertaining.  The bantamweight matchup between TJ Dillashaw and Mike Easton is the one I’m most looking forward to, yet the main event between Luke Rockhold and Costa Philippou promises to be a good scrap.  So here are the predictions.

 

Cole Miller vs. Sam Sicilia

Miller has the hometown advantage in this one as he hails from Augusta, Georgia.  I really wish Miller would stop talking so much, especially about Conor McGregor, and just focusing on fighting.  Because when he puts his mind to it, Miller is a very talented competitor.  He definitely has a stiff test in front of him at UFN 35 when he faces Sam Sicilia.  The TUF 15 veteran is a legitimate knockout artist and has power in his hands.  If anything is going to give Sicilia trouble it will be the height and reach advantage that Miller brings with him into the octagon.  Cole Miller has also faced the much tougher competition and I think all of this will give him a victory on Wednesday night.

Prediction: Cole Miller via Submission Round 2

 

John Moraga vs. Dustin Ortiz

The last time we saw Moraga compete he was being submitted by UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.  It was only the second loss of his career and the first time he lost he came back to win seven straight fights.  The 25-year-old Ortiz is making his second appearance in the UFC and he’s coming off a TKO victory over Jose Maria Tome in his debut.  These two guys have very similar records, Moraga is 13-2 and Ortiz is 12-2.  I think Moraga has a slight edge, but I haven’t seen enough of Ortiz to be sure, so I’m guessing on this one.  I like Moraga for the TKO victory and it should put him back into title contention in a still very slim flyweight division.

Prediction: John Moraga via TKO Round 1

 

Derek Brunson vs. Yoel Romero

This should be a solid fight.  I’m not going to waste any time getting to the point.  I’ve loved what I’ve seen from Romero so far in his UFC career and I think he continues his impressive run with an early finish of the very game Derek Brunson.

Prediction: Yoel Romero TKO Round 1

 

TJ Dillashaw vs. Mike Easton

This is my choice for fight of the night.  Easton has lost two straight and is hoping to get back into the win column in impressive fashion.  Meanwhile, Dillashaw is coming off of his first loss since losing in the TUF 14 Finale to John Dodson.  This bout will be fast paced and obviously whoever can establish their game plan first will win this one.  Although Dillashaw has shown he can stand with his opponents, I expect he’ll look for a takedown against Easton.  Once this fight hits the mat it’s going to be all Dillashaw in my opinion.

Prediction: TJ Dillashaw via Submission Round 2

 

Lorenz Larkin vs. Brad Tavares

The co-main event is a middleweight clash between rising stars Lorenz Larkin and Brad Tavares.  When Larkin came over from Strikeforce in 2013 he had a perfect record of 13-0-1NC, but that came to a halt when he was stifled by Francis Carmont in his UFC debut.  Tavares on the other hand is riding a 4 fight win streak.  However those wins have come against less than stellar competition.  Even though Brad Tavares has more UFC experience, I think Larkin’s Strikeforce appearances were against tougher competition.  The UFC brass seems be grooming Tavares for bigger fights down the road, but I think they are all in for a surprise on Wednesday night.  Larkin will come in ready for a battle and get a hard fought unanimous decision victory.

Prediction: Lorenz Larkin via Unanimous Decision

 

Luke Rockhold vs. Costa Philippou

This is not exactly a title eliminator in the middleweight division, but it does carry significant importance in regards to the divisional rankings.  A win for both of these guys would be huge as they are coming off of losses in their last fights.  Philippou was out-grappled against Francis Carmont while Rockhold was knocked out by a spinning heel kick from Vitor Belfort.  Although Philippou is probably the more talented boxer, I think Rockhold is much more dynamic with his attacks.  I won’t go on too long about this one, in my books Rockhold will be bigger and stronger and will get a unanimous decision for his first UFC win.

Prediction: Luke Rockhold via Unanimous Decision

 

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Staff Writer

Despite the fact he is currently sidelined with an injury, UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will soon know who he is facing next.  After another impressive knockout performance at UFC 168 Travis Browne has earned himself a spot in a number one contender matchup against veteran Fabricio Werdum.  The two will square off at the recently announced UFC on FOX 11 event on April 19th, 2013.

The Brazilian Werdum last competed in the octagon against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC on FUEL TV 10 in June of 2013.  He won that bout by armbar submission to give himself three straight wins since returning to the UFC.  His other two victories came against Roy Nelson and Mike Russow.  Those victories were apparently enough to give Werdum number one contender status, however, instead of waiting for a matchup with Velasquez he’ll now take on Browne with the winner getting a title shot.

Travis Browne looked to be skyrocketing to the top of the UFC’s heavyweight division before he was stopped by Antonio Silva in 2012.  Of course, in that fight he tore his hamstring and that allowed Silva to capitalize and get the win.  Since that night Browne has been making serious statements left and right.  First he brutalized Gabriel Gonzaga with standing elbow strikes then front kicked Alistair Overeem into oblivion this past August.  The Overeem victory was most impressive as Browne was rocked early in the bout but was able to recover to finish his opponent in the second round.  Those two wins got Travis a date with veteran heavyweight Josh Barnett and it only took him a minute to get another knockout win.  Once again it was done with the same standing elbow strikes Browne used to stop Gonzaga and he will finally get a chance to earn a title shot.

Both Browne and Werdum are on impressive winning streaks and without a clear cut number one contender in the heavyweight division this seems like the best way to determine who is more deserving of a title fight.  On paper it would seem as though Browne’s athleticism could be too much to handle for Werdum.  But the crafty veteran should never be counted out of a fight, especially if he can get Browne to the mat where he could possibly showcase his world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills.

Werdum is definitely making the most of his second chance in the UFC, getting a title shot would certainly be a career highlight for the 36-year-old.  Browne is only 31 but as we all know, getting a title shot only gets tougher the older you get.  So this is Browne’s chance for the limelight and he will most likely show up on fight night looking to prove a point.

Also confirmed for the UFC on FOX 11 show is a women’s bantamweight bout between recent title challengers Miesha Tate and Liz Carmouche.  As stated above the event will take place on April 19th from Orlando, Florida.  Continue to check back with Profightingfans.com for more updates as they become available.

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Staff Writer

Once again the injury bug has struck, and unfortunately for UFC fans the victim is a familiar one.  Dominick Cruz hasn’t fought since October 2011, when he defended his UFC bantamweight title against Demetrious Johnson.  Since then Cruz has had multiple knee surgeries and looked to finally be on the mend and ready to compete.  He was scheduled to face Renan Barao on February 1st, 2014 in a title unification bout.  Well, as we now know, Cruz has a torn groin and he withdrew from the fight.  Because of this the UFC was forced to finally strip him of the belt and make Barao the official UFC bantamweight champion.  Instead of scrapping the fight altogether Dana White and company have found a replacement for Cruz, it is none other than “The California Kid” Urijah Faber.

Yes, Faber has fought Barao once before, in 2012 the two met for the interim bantamweight title.  In fact Barao is the last man to beat Faber.  Since that fight Faber has gone on an absolute tear through the bantamweight division, winning four straight, three of those by submission.  If there is no title on the line, there is a good chance Faber is going to win, as he’s never lost a non-title fight in his 36 fight career.  It’s the title fights that have given Faber all of the trouble in the past.  This time he looks to snap that pattern with a win over Renan Barao.

If you think Faber’s streak of winning non-title fights is impressive, then Barao’s current run should absolutely blow you away.  He hasn’t lost since his professional debut way back in 2005.  That is 32 straight fights without a loss, including 6 in a row since joining the UFC in 2011.  He’s the first man to defend an interim belt twice, defeating Michael McDonald and Eddie Wineland, all the hard work has paid off for Barao, as he is now the official UFC bantamweight champion.  It’s unfortunate that we won’t get to see him unify the belt against Dominick Cruz, but there is still hope that the bout will happen one day in the future.

When Barao and Faber met the last time it was a very close fight.  Barao won via unanimous decision, but Faber was never completely out of the fight.  Now that Urijah Faber is on such an impressive streak it will be interesting to see if he can figure out the Renan Barao puzzle and finally claim UFC gold.  Faber is arguably the best fighter to never hold a UFC title. That could change come February 1st; however, he is taking the bout on less than a month’s notice, so it won’t be the easiest of tasks.

For more updates on UFC 169, continue to check with Profightingfans.com.

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Staff Writer

It’s fight week again, and this time around it’s a big one.  One of the craziest moments of 2013, and probably all time, was Chris Weidman knocking out Anderson Silva.  It was insane.  The second Dana White announced the immediate rematch the MMA world has been waiting for December 28th.  As far as rematches go, this might be the biggest one ever.  But, UFC 168 is stacked from top to bottom with great fights, including another epic rematch between UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and her rival Miesha Tate.  Not to mention Poirier vs. Brandao and Barnett vs. Browne.  It should be a really exciting night, and a great way to cap off 2013.

Dustin Poirier vs. Diego Brandao

This could be a wild one!  Both guys are top level 145lb fighters.  They are also very well rounded; both can roll on the ground and have solid standup attacks. I think Brandao has the more devastating knockout power of the two, but Poirier does have five career victories by TKO.  Poirier is 2-2 in his last 4 and if he can put together two straight wins he’ll remain relevant in the featherweight division.  Meanwhile, Brandao has won three straight fights since losing to Darren Elkins and Poirier represents a definite step-up in competition.  It’s going to be Brandao’s punching power that decides the outcome of this fight.  Even though Poirier might get an opportunity to submit his opponent, he won’t be able to take too many big shots from Diego Brandao.

Prediction: Diego Brandao via TKO round 2

 

Jim Miller vs. Fabricio Camoes

This is a really good bounce back fight for Jim Miller.  While Fabricio Camoes does have a legitimate skillset, he won’t have an answer for Miller’s relentless pressure.  Plus, Camoes hasn’t fought in over a year.  Jim Miller is very well rounded and it will be his boxing that shines on Saturday night.  Miller will catch his opponent early and often, forcing a referee stoppage late in the first round.

Prediction: Jim Miller via TKO round 1

 

Josh Barnett vs. Travis Browne

This is a huge fight in the UFC’s heavyweight division, no pun intended.  Browne has been on a hot streak since losing to Antonio Silva, he’s won two straight, knocking out Gabriel Gonzaga and Alistair Overeem.  Then there is Josh Barnett, who finished Frank Mir in his return to the octagon after being away from the UFC for over 10 years.  Two very different fighters, there is no doubt about that.  Travis Browne is a very dynamic striker.  Josh Barnett is more of a submission artist, using his striking to get to a takedown.  If Barnett can get this fight to the mat he will dominate, I truly believe that.  Can he get past the striking prowess of Browne?  That’s the big question.  I like Barnett for the submission victory.  He’ll get a clinch early in the first round and secure a takedown from there.

Prediction: Josh Barnett via Submission round 1

 

Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate

Finally, after months of trash talking and flipping each other off (mostly Rousey towards Tate) these two arch-rivals will meet inside the octagon.  Rousey is going to win this fight, but she might have to take a few punches first.  Tate will go in there wanting to smash her, and that aggression will only get her so far, until she falters and Ronda takes that split second to get the fight to the mat.  Once there, obviously Rousey will try to break her opponent’s arm, and there’s a good chance that it happens.

Prediction: Rousey via Submission round 1

 

Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva

I have one piece of advice for UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman heading into his rematch with Anderson Silva; don’t try to prove what’s already been proven.  We know Weidman can knock Silva out so there is no reason for him to try and do the same thing a second time.  Let’s not forget, in the first fight he was able to take Anderson down almost immediately after the opening round began.  And, when he was in top position Weidman landed some pretty solid shots, his best chance of winning this rematch is to go back to the things that worked last time.  However, once you’ve knocked out the greatest pound for pound fighter in the history of the sport, there must be a ton of pressure to do it once more.  Unfortunately for Weidman I think he’s going to look to land another power punch, and it just won’t be there.  Silva is going to be on the attack, which won’t give Weidman many opportunities to take the fight to the ground.  In a perfect world, Silva wins this by knockout and everybody believes the first loss to Weidman was a fluke.  In a not so perfect world, Weidman wins and we’ll likely say goodbye to “The Spider” forever.

Prediction: Anderson Silva via 2nd round knockout

 

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Staff Writer

 

 

At a very young age we all begin to question the things around us.  Even MMA fans ask questions from time to time, and the better the event, the more questions there are.  That is certainly the case with Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 9 card, which takes place from Sacramento, California.  So many questions, so little time, let’s get to it!

 

Johnson or Benavidez, who is the world’s best flyweight right now?

Out of all the questions I’ll ask in this column, this might be the toughest to answer.  I could easily make an argument for Demetrious Johnson or Joseph Benavidez.  They perform at very high levels and their title fight at UFC on FOX 9 might result in another close decision, just like their first fight.  However, my answer to the above question is… Joseph Benavidez and here’s why!  He is now under the tutelage of Duane “Bang” Ludwig who has proven during his time with Team Alpha Male to be a master at coming up with gameplans.  Keeping that in mind, if you re-watch their first fight it would seem as though a few slight adjustments are all it would take for Joseph Benavidez to be the UFC flyweight champion.  I think he’s going to make those adjustments and catch “Mighty Mouse” late in the third round.  That’s right; I think Joseph Benavidez is the world’s best flyweight, at this time.

 

Who will earn another shot at the UFC bantamweight championship, Faber or McDonald?

If I had to guess I’d say Michael McDonald, but Urijah Faber has never lost a non-title fight.  That is a big deal, seeing as that gives Faber a record of 18-0 in fights that were not for a title.  That is a tough stat to get by if you are Michael McDonald, who was only 12 years old when Faber began his professional fighting career in 2003.  The reason I’m saying McDonald will win is because I think it’s time for some new blood and that would mean Faber is destined to lose.  However, Urijah will be fighting in front of a hometown crowd and that could be the difference maker.  So, although I think McDonald gets the victory as well as another title shot, it’s quite possible the opposite will happen.

 

How many more guys does Chad Mendes have to smash before he gets another title shot?

The answer to this question is one.  Chad Mendes only has to beat Nik Lentz before the UFC can no longer ignore the fact that he is the second best featherweight in the UFC behind Jose Aldo.  And he will smash Nik Lentz, despite Lentz’s strong beliefs that he is the next in line.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Lentz, but he hasn’t fought anyone nearly as talented as Mendes.  Once he finishes Lentz, which he will, Chad Mendes should get a chance to avenge a 2012 title loss to Jose Aldo.

 

Can Team Alpha Male go unbeaten on Saturday night?

That really depends on who you ask.  Duane Ludwig and anybody else who trains with the team will say yes!  But for that to happen there are some pretty huge hurdles they’d have to clear.  Team Alpha Male has four members fighting on the UFC on FOX 9 card.  On the preliminary portion Danny Castillo will face Edson Barboza at lightweight, while Mendes, Faber and Benavidez all fight on the main card.  I think Faber and Castillo have the biggest challenges to get past, no disrespect to Nik Lentz and Demetrious Johnson.  I just don’t see Castillo beating the explosive Barboza and Michael McDonald seems destined for greatness on Saturday night.  If the team does find a way to go unbeaten it will definitely be a cause for major celebrations, as they would once again have a champion in their stable and a couple more guys on the cusp of title shots.

 

Will UFC on FOX 9 be the best free fight card of 2013?

If it is going to be the best free card of the year it will have to surpass 19 other events.  That’s a lot of free fights!  When the event was first announced there was no doubt it was going to be huge, but since then it has lost two big fights, Condit vs. Brown and Pettis vs. Thomson.  Even without those matchups UFC on FOX 9 still promises to be entertaining.  When it comes down to it, I should just stop asking questions and enjoy some excellent (free) fights!

 

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Staff Writer

 

 

Even with injuries that scrapped a lightweight title fight between Anthony Pettis and Josh Thomson, as well as Condit vs. Brown earlier this week, the UFC on FOX 9 card is quite stacked.  We are still getting a title fight, as Demetrious Johnson defends the flyweight title against Joseph Benavidez, plus Urijah Faber vs. Michael McDonald, both of these fights should live up to expectations.  The theme for the night is Team Alpha Male, because they have three fighters on a 4 fight main card.  It’ll be interesting to see if they go unbeaten or if one or more fall.  This is the kind of card that makes predicting fights enjoyable, so let’s not waste any more time.

Joe Lauzon vs. Mac Danzig

Both of these guys have lost three of their last four fights, yet they are in completely different situations heading into UFC on FOX 9.  Danzig was obliterated by Melvin Guillard the last time he stepped into the cage and the time before that he lost a fight of the night split decision to Takanori Gomi.  If he loses on Saturday he could be in danger of losing his job.  Meanwhile Lauzon has lost back to back fights for the first time in his professional career.  However, two of his last three fights were definite “fight of the year” candidates against Jim Miller and Jamie Varner.  Lauzon is a showman, whether he’s on the losing end or his hand is being raised.  I can’t see him dropping another fight, not right now at least.  He’s going to be firing on all cylinders and will hopefully mix up his striking and ground game.  If he can do that Danzig won’t be able to predict his next move and that always makes for a long night. I’m taking Lauzon, it will be exciting, as expected and he will get a unanimous decision victory at the end of it.

Prediction: Joe Lauzon via Unanimous Decision

 

Chad Mendes vs. Nik Lentz

I like Nik Lentz, I really do, but there is no way he gets past Chad Mendes in this one.  Mendes deserves another shot at Jose Aldo and this fight will further prove that.  He is a step above most of the guy’s he’s been fighting and has smashed them all; Nik Lentz will be no exception.  Mendes won’t spend any time on his back, because his wrestling is too good.  He’ll be able to stop all of Lentz’s takedown attempts.  I see Mendes winning this by knockout in the first round.  However, I will still feel bad for Lentz, because he has such a great story.

Prediction: Chad Mendes via KO Round One

 

Michael McDonald vs. Urijah Faber

I can’t wait for this fight!  Faber and McDonald are at the top of the UFC’s bantamweight division, right behind Renan Barao and Dominick Cruz.  The winner of this fight could very well get a title shot, even if Faber has fought both champion and challenger already.  When I think McDonald is dropping off he comes out and puts on an impressive performance like the one against Brad Pickett in his last fight.  The way he moved on the ground was expert.  Can Urijah find success on the mat in this fight?  I’m not sure he’ll want to test it, but McDonald’s striking is no joke either.  It’s a matchup of two very well rounded fighters.  If Urijah Faber can keep up with the youthfulness of Michael McDonald he could win this fight.  If McDonald can remain cautious and aggressive at the same time the victory will be his.  I’m leaning towards McDonald by a hard fought unanimous decision, which will likely earn him another shot at the bantamweight championship.

Prediction: Michael McDonald via Unanimous Decision

 

Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez

I loved the outcome the first time these guys met in the octagon.  It was fast paced, exciting and overall a technical affair.  Expect much of the same this time around.  Johnson has defended the belt twice since then, defeating John Dodson and John Moraga.  Benavidez is now on a three fight win streak having won by TKO in his last two fights against Darren Uyenoyama and Jussier Formiga.  I really like Benavidez’s chances in this fight and I’ll tell you why, history.  It is history that shows us that since coming under the Zuffa umbrella Demetrious Johnson has never won more than four fights in a row.  It just so happens that the flyweight champion is currently on a four fight winning streak.  It’s going to end Saturday night, when Benavidez beats him to the punch over and over again.  Heck, we might even see some “Joe-Jitsu”, but either way I’m predicting Joseph Benavidez will be the new UFC flyweight champion after UFC on FOX 9.

Prediction: Joseph Benavidez via Unanimous Decision

 

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Staff Writer

Mark Hunt, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Julie Kedzie are all legends in their own right.  They are also all a part of Friday night’s UFC Fight Night 33 card, that takes place live from Brisbane, Australia.  Compared to some of the more recent free UFC events, this one has a fair amount of star power.  The main event, a heavyweight tilt between Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva should provide some fireworks.  If anything it gives me a chance to perfect my prediction capabilities, so let’s get to it.

Julie Kedzie vs. Bethe Correia

Thanks to a late scratch this fight will now be a part of the main card and it could be an interesting one.  It pits WMMA veteran Julie Kedzie against undefeated newcomer Bethe Correia.  Kedzie is on a three fight losing streak for the first time in her career and she desperately needs a win to keep her job.  This will be the biggest challenge of Correia’s short 6 fight career; she’ll want to impress her new boss with a big win.  I think Kedzie has one more win left in her and I see her grinding out a unanimous decision.

Prediction: Julie Kedzie via Unanimous Decision

 

Dylan Andrews vs. Clint Hester

These guys were teammates on season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter, though they never fought on the show, this is an interesting matchup.  I’d have to say Andrews is probably the more technical striker, but Hester has a ton of raw power.  In his UFC debut Hester knocked out Bristol Marunde with one of the nastiest standing elbows I’ve ever seen.  However, in this fight I think Andrew’s experience will prove to be too much for him and Clint will lose a frustrating unanimous decision to the New Zealander.

Prediction: Dylan Andrews via Unanimous Decision

 

Pat Barry vs. Soa Palelei

Somebody is getting knocked out in this fight, I guarantee it!  Barry is 2-2 in his last 4 fights and all of them were ended by TKO or KO.  Meanwhile, Palelei has won 9 straight fights all by TKO, including his return to the UFC against Nikita Krylov in August 2013.  Soa Palelei will have a significant size advantage, something Barry is used to since he is a very small heavyweight.  I like Pat Barry, he’s an entertainer and unfortunately he is also incredibly inconsistent.  He lost his last fight to Shawn Jordan, so he’ll want to get back in the win column.  I just don’t see that happening tonight, Soa Palelei is going to finish him and he’ll do it quickly in front of a hometown crowd.

Prediction: Soa Palelei via Knockout Round One

 

Ryan Bader vs. Anthony Perosh

Perosh is coming off a big knockout victory over Vinny Magalhaes in August.  But does anyone think he can actually beat Ryan Bader?  One thing I know about Bader is that he excels against mid-level competition and Perosh is no superstar.  It will probably be a lot like his fight with Vladimir Matyushenko.  Bader got that fight to the ground quickly and submitted his opponent with a guillotine choke.  The same thing is going to happen this time around; unfortunately for Ryan Bader a victory proves absolutely nothing.

Prediction: Ryan Bader via Submission Round One

 

Mauricio Rua vs. James Te Huna

Dana White has made it very clear that he thinks a loss for “Shogun” will force the former light heavyweight champion into retirement.  I feel the same way, although this should be a very winnable fight for him.  James Te Huna is usually game, however he is not a top ten fighter and that was proven in his bout with Glover Texeira.  He might be able to take a punch, but he was no match for Texeira, who will get the next shot at 205lb champion Jon Jones.  Te Huna’s best chance of winning this fight would be to survive the first round and wait for Rua to tire before pouncing.  I don’t see it getting out of the first, because I believe Rua will show up ready to prove the doubters wrong.  Antoher fight or two and retirement will be the best choice, but for now Rua has what it takes to come out on top Friday night in Australia.

Prediction: Mauricio Rua via TKO Round One

 

Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva

Antonio Silva has one positive on his side heading into UFC Fight Night 33; he’s not fighting Cain Velasquez!  The current UFC heavyweight champion is the only man to have defeated Silva since he came over from Strikeforce in 2012 and Cain has done it twice.  Of course, you can’t have a positive without a negative and unfortunately for Silva it’s a pretty big negative.  He just happens to be fighting in Australia, which is close enough to Mark Hunt’s birthplace of New Zealand that the crowd will be cheering for the “Super Samoan”.  Not only that, but Hunt has ridiculous power as well as an iron chin.  If Silva really wants to win this fight he’ll need to wear Hunt down and his best chance of doing that would be to utilize a Muay Thai clinch.  If he can hold on to his opponent, battering him with knees, Silva will get the victory.  Everyone knows I love me an underdog, so I’m actually going the other way with this one.  I think Mark Hunt is going to end this fight in devastating fashion in the very first round.

Prediction: Mark Hunt via TKO Round One