After every UFC event we here at Pro Fighting Fans love to play matchmaker. In this column we’ll tell you who we think the winners and losers of each fight should face next.  So check back with Pro Fighting Fans after a UFC event to see what we think the next step is.

Amanda Nunes (12-4)

Who she should face next: Holly Holm (10-1) or Julianna Pena (7-2)

Amanda Nunes is a legitimate contender in the women’s bantamweight division, there is no doubt about that.  However, since she’s right near the top of the pack at 135lbs, her future really depends on who new champion Miesha Tate faces next.

Dana White made it clear that Ronda Rousey would be Miesha Tate’s title defense.  But, as we know all too well in MMA, plans don’t always work out the way we want.  Maybe Ronda gets injured or retires and Holly Holm gets a rematch with Tate.  If Holly Holm doesn’t get the rematch, instead of waiting around for the winner of Tate vs. Rousey, she should face Amanda Nunes for the number one contender spot.

Let’s say Ronda doesn’t fight Tate next, then Nunes’ best option is to face another ranked opponent.  I think putting her up against Julianna Pena would make for an incredible matchup.  Both women are strong on the ground and neither of them ever seems to back down from a challenge.  The options are plenty for Nunes and let’s hope her next fight is against one of these two women.

 

Corey Anderson (8-1)

Who he should face next: Ilir Latifi (12-4)

Although Corey Anderson wasn’t overly impressive in his victory over Tom Lawlor at UFC 196, he is still on a three fight winning streak.  That alone should earn him an opponent near the top ten in the light heavyweight division.  However, Anderson only has nine professional fights, so matchmakers will likely keep in that in mind when they are booking his next fight.

Another guy riding a three fight winning streak is Swedish fighter Ilir Latifi.  It just so happens that Latifi fought right after Anderson on Saturday night and picked up a decent win of his own when he earned a unanimous decision over Gian Villante.  Anderson and Latifi are both headed in the same direction and a fight between them would separate the middle of the pack fighter from the contender.

 

Ilir Latifi (12-4)

Who he should face next: See above

 

Miesha Tate (18-5)

Who she should face next: Ronda Rousey (12-1)

Miesha Tate picked up the biggest victory of her MMA career at UFC 196 when she captured the women’s bantamweight title in thrilling come from behind fashion against Holly Holm.  It was a once in a lifetime type of win and one that won’t soon be forgotten.

Dana White has already said Ronda Rousey will get the first shot at Tate and there is no reason to argue with that.  Unless of course Ronda isn’t able to fight, or doesn’t want to and in that case Tate should give Holly Holm a rematch.

As we all know Tate and Rousey have a rivalry that goes all the way back to their Strikeforce days.  They’ve fought once since they joined the UFC and Rousey won both fights by submission.  However things become different when the title is around the other person’s waist.  Tate is now a UFC champion and the mentality that comes along with it could be what she needs to beat Ronda Rousey once and for all.

 

Nate Diaz (19-10)

Who he should face next: Eddie Alvarez (27-4)

Not many people gave Nate Diaz a chance at beating Conor McGregor when he stepped in on short notice to face the cocky Irishman.  He had less than two weeks to prepare for the fight of his life.  Diaz once again proved that he and his brother are usually at their best when they are put in terrible positions.  Diaz took everything McGregor threw at him and kept moving forward until he hurt the featherweight champ then submitted him with a rear-naked choke.

Dana White suggested that Diaz might get a welterweight title shot after his win Saturday night.  But let’s be realistic about this.  Diaz is a lightweight who was fighting a featherweight, at welterweight on short notice.  He really has no business jumping the line and challenging for Robbie Lawler’s welterweight title.

However, Diaz does deserve a big (lightweight) fight the next time we see him in the octagon.  Eddie Alvarez would definitely be a suitable opponent for Nate and if he could earn a victory he might be next in line for a lightweight title fight.  Anthony Pettis is another good option but he’s currently scheduled to fight Edson Barboza next.  So Alvarez vs. Diaz should be the fight that the UFC makes and they may as well make it a number one contender fight.  Because everyone knows, especially after UFC 196, that Nate Diaz is the man!

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

 

 

 

On Saturday night Miesha Tate once again proved that with heart and determination you can accomplish anything you set out to do. In doing so, she also became the new UFC women’s bantamweight champion of the world.  It was no easy task dethroning Holly Holm and it was a roller-coaster of a ride in the co-main event of UFC 196.

The two women took the first round to get used to timing and tried to establish distance. They didn’t stand and trade much but Holm was definitely the aggressor and she took the round on all the judge’s scorecards.

In the second Miesha came out like a woman on a mission and attacked Holly from everywhere. With just over a minute gone in the round Tate got a huge takedown and immediately went to work.  Tate was trying submissions, landing big punches and overall just dominating the fight.  She never let the champ breath and kept it up for the remainder of the round.  All 3 judges gave the round to Tate 10-8.

The score was even heading into the third round. They started off similar to the first, where both women showed patience and it was a much slower pace. Halfway through the round Miesha looked for a takedown but Holly was able to stuff it.  That was the story for the rest of the round, Holly kept the fight standing was able to land shots on a frustrated Tate.  She never had Tate in trouble but Holm definitely won the third round.

In the 4th Holm continued to stuff Miesha’s takedown attempts and kept the fight at her preferred distance.  She kept landing side-kicks to the body and was doing just enough to win the round.  The champion was up three to one going into the fifth and final round.  One more good round and Holm would have secured her first successful title defense.

Apparently Miesha Tate had other plans in store for the final round. She came out quick and tried to establish herself as the aggressor.  However, for the first three minutes Holm was able to stuff numerous takedown attempts and land some good combinations of her own.  Then at the two minute mark Miesha Tate finally got the fight to the mat and this time she wasn’t letting go.  Holly tried to get to her feet and Tate just dragged her back down.  Miesha quickly took her back, locked in a rear naked choke and bit down on her mouthpiece.  Instead of tapping Holly Holm went to sleep and it was an epic moment in the career of Miesha Tate and women’s MMA overall.

UFC 196 ended up being a night of big upsets and Tate’s was arguably the biggest considering she was on her way to losing the fight. Dana White said afterwards that Ronda Rousey would likely be Miesha Tate’s first title defense and that seemed just fine with her.  For more coverage of UFC 196 keep checking back with Pro Fighting Fans.

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

Not many people thought Nate Diaz had a chance to knock off Conor McGregor on Saturday night at UFC 196. The Irishman was jumping up two weight classes and taking on a legitimate contender in Diaz, however it was expected that Conor’s quickness and accuracy would win him the fight.

In the opening frame McGregor looked great. He controlled the center of the octagon and was the aggressor for the majority of the round.  Conor was able to land some solid punches, he didn’t wobble Nate but he definitely gained the veteran’s attention.  That was also the case when McGregor opened up a cut over Nate’s right eye.

Unlike all of McGregor’s other UFC opponents Nate Diaz didn’t allow him to get into his head. Diaz stayed focused and got a late takedown to make the first round close but McGregor probably won it on the scorecards.

In the second Nate continued to pump a strong jab while blood ran down his face and his right eye was nearly swollen shut. Conor landed a few more decent punches but with just over two minutes left in the round all hell broke loose.

Diaz caught Conor with a right-left combination that stumbled him and right at that moment it became a matter of how and when Nate would win the fight. Conor never backed down and kept throwing shots of his own until he’d had enough and made a weak shot for a takedown which allowed Diaz to gain top control.  He is a BJJ blackbelt and McGregor isn’t, it was so obvious when the fight hit the mat.  Nate ran right through McGregor and with just a minute left in the second round he forced the featherweight champion to tapout with a rear-naked choke.

It wasn’t the outcome McGregor or most of the world had predicted and it sent shockwaves through the MMA community. With just eleven days worth of preparation Nate Diaz put on the performance of a lifetime and it likely earned him an even bigger payday the next time he steps into the octagon.  It was a great way to cap off a night of major upsets, including Miesha Tate winning the women’s bantamweight title when she came from behind to choke out Holly Holm in the fifth and final round.

For more coverage of UFC 196 continue to check back with Pro Fighting Fans.

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

The UFC continues its torrid pace to begin 2016 with UFC 196 this weekend in Las Vegas. The MGM Grand Garden Arena plays host to a Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz welterweight main event.  Not to mention there is also the women’s bantamweight title fight in the co-main with Holly Holm defending her belt against Miesha Tate.  BS Predictions improved our record to 14-6 after last weekend’s UFC Fight Night 84: Silva vs. Bisping.  Hopefully the good times keep rolling this week.

 

Amanda Nunes (11-4) vs. Valentina Shevchenko (12-1)

Amanda Nunes started off her UFC career with two straight stoppage wins but then fell to former bantamweight title challenger Cat Zingano. Since that loss she’s come back with two more wins including a recent submission victory over Sara McMann at UFC Fight Night 73.

Valentina Shevchenko shocked the bantamweight division in her UFC debut with a split decision victory over Sarah Kaufman. She took the fight on short notice but her striking looked sharp and it will need to be Saturday night as well if she has any chance against Nunes.

Nunes has struggled against good strikers In the past but I think she’s hungry for a title shot and she’ll dominate Shevchenko to prove it.

Prediction: Amanda Nunes

 

Corey Anderson (7-1) vs. Tom Lawlor (10-5-1)

For the second straight time, Tom Lawlor will step inside the octagon as a member of the UFC’s light heavyweight division. The former middleweight returned after a two year layoff to earn a “performance of the night” victory over Gian Villante.  The size difference in the last fight was evident but Lawlor may be happier not having to cut weight, and happy fighters can be dangerous.

TUF 19 light heavyweight winner Corey Anderson is riding a two fight winning streak after a loss to Gian Villante. He’ll have a three inch height advantage and a five inch reach advantage.  But size doesn’t always matter.

I see Lawlor being able to get in close and make this an ugly fight. He’s able to generate power from the clinch and if he can do that against Anderson he might have an upset victory to add to his resume.

Prediction: Tom Lawlor

 

Ilir Latifi (11-4-1NC) vs. Gian Villante (14-6)

Ilir Latifi has gone 4-1 in the UFC since his debut, a short notice loss to Gegard Mousasi, with two straight knockout wins over Hans Stringer and Sean O’Connell. Saturday night will mark only the 2nd time Latifi has competed in North America.  It’s a big stage and Villante will not be beaten easily, this fight will give us a good idea of where Latifi stands in the light heavyweight division.

In his last fight Villante bounced back from a loss with a knockout of Anthony Perosh. Overall Villante has probably faced the tougher competition and he should be able to stop Latifi inside the distance.  Watch for Villante to make it a dog fight and he’ll be the one with his hand raised Saturday night.

Prediction: Gian Villante

 

Holly Holm (10-0) vs. Miesha Tate (17-5) (for UFC women’s bantamweight championship)

This might be the fight of the night. These two girls are going to bring it.  Holm will want to prove her victory over Rousey wasn’t a fluke and Tate wants it to be known that she’s still a factor at 135lbs.

Tate believes she has the perfect skillset to defeat Holly Holm, and I’m going to agree with her on that. Tate is a better striker than former champ Ronda Rousey, although “Rowdy” had been showing improvement.  Miesha should be quick enough to dodge the awesome striking of Holm, landing her own shots and always looking for the takedown.

Although Ronda Rousey couldn’t submit Holly Holm, I truly believe Miesha Tate can.

Prediction: Miesha Tate

 

Conor McGregor (19-2) vs. Nate Diaz (18-10)

Ok, so we’re not getting the champion vs. champion super fight we were promised, since lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos dropped out due to injury. What we are getting, is a unique experience in its own right.  145lbs champion Conor McGregor, who was supposed to fight for the 155lbs title, is moving up to 170lbs to face Nate Diaz.  It takes a second for that to sink in, but once it does it is all the more enticing.

It seems crazy that McGregor is jumping up two weight classes, however the name of the game is speed. McGregor’s speed will most definitely be too much for Diaz, it really comes down to a matter of when he’ll finish the fight.  I do expect Diaz to be able to take some punishment before the final blow is landed, what I’m more interested in is whether or not he’ll land any significant shots of his own.  McGregor all the way and don’t be surprised if he’s soon facing Robbie Lawler for the UFC’s welterweight title.

Prediction: Conor McGregor

 

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

 

 

 

This week we’ll take a good look at the UFC 196 main event between Conor Mcgregor and Nate Diaz. We know the history, we know the talk, now we just want to see the fight.  Will McGregor run right through Diaz?  Or will Diaz use his length and strong boxing skills to keep out of harm’s way?  Each guy has things he can do in the cage that will give him a distinct advantage over his opponent.  The winner will be the one who puts together all of the keys to victory.

Nate Diaz:

  • Use a strong jab

When he is on, Nate Diaz is capable of beating anyone the UFC puts in front of him. When he’s off, like he was against Rafael dos Anjos, it can get ugly.  Diaz is a great all around fighter, but one of his biggest strengths are his boxing skills.  He has a great jab and that was evident in his last fight with Michael Johnson.  That matchup was southpaw vs. southpaw, much like the one on Saturday night, and Nate was able to keep Johnson honest.  Obviously McGregor is a completely different striker than anyone Diaz has ever faced, but if Nate can keep the fight at his preferred distance he would have a good chance of  earning a decision victory.

  • Be willing to look for a takedown at the first sign of danger

Both Nate and his brother Nick love to go toe to toe with their opponents, they rarely take a backwards step inside the octagon. However, Conor McGregor is not the kind of guy you can stalk around the cage.  His kicking game is on another level and Nate Diaz will definitely get hit on Saturday night.  The outcome of the fight will be determined by what Diaz does after he gets hit.  He needs to remember that his Judo and BJJ skills likely give him an advantage in those areas of the fight.  He can’t be afraid to it to the ground and look for submissions, it is probably his best option to win the fight.

  • Find the balance between trash talking and following the gameplan.

To be effective at welterweight against Conor McGregor, Diaz has to do what he does best, talk some smack. He just needs to make sure that he’s also focused on what he needs to do to win the fight.  It will be hard to resist the temptation to talk when McGregor is also trash talking.  But when McGregor is talking is when Diaz needs to stay focused and pressure the Irishman to make a mistake.

 

Conor McGregor:

  • Keep doing what you are doing, it is working

Maybe it’s his mysterious movement coach or his incredible ability to back up his talk but Conor McGregor is definitely doing something right every time he steps in the octagon. It’s likely a combination of many things, regardless it’s working and McGregor is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

  • Kicks, kicks and more kicks

“The Notorious” Conor McGregor might be the most creative kicker we’ve ever seen in the cage. When he’s throwing a kick his body is so fluid, the movements so natural yet completely unpredictable to his opponents.  He uses kicks as a jab to setup other strikes and it’s a gameplan that would likely work well against Diaz.  Plus, Josh Thomson knocked out Nate Diaz with a head kick and surely Conor McGregor kicks as hard as if not harder than “The Punk”.  It could be an early night for Diaz.

  • Have fun out there

March 5th was supposed to be the night Conor McGregor attempted to become the first man to hold two UFC titles simultaneously.  Instead lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos dropped out of the fight with a broken foot and once again the UFC was scrambling to find someone willing to step in the cage with McGregor.  Surprisingly there were a lot of volunteers but it was Nate Diaz who got the short notice call.  Now McGregor is going to be fighting two weight classes up from 145lbs where he is the current champion, and it’s against a natural 155lb fighter.  The fight means nothing, so there really shouldn’t be any pressure on either one of them, especially McGregor.  He has nothing to lose and he needs to fight that way, if he’s going to win he may as well make it entertaining.

 

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

        

After an excellent showing at last weekend’s UFC Fight Night 83, B.S. Predictions has an overall record of 11-5. This week we have another Fight Night installment and another opportunity to continue improving our record. Predicting these fights is just one reason why you should tune in Saturday afternoon, Anderson Silva is the other.

 

Brad Pickett (24-11) vs. Francisco Rivera (11-5)

This one is going to be a war, and the winner will be determined by who lands the big shot first. It’s not going the distance or to the ground, so what we’re left with is a one round stand up scrap. They are both coming off losses in fights where they had opportunities to win but ultimately fell short.

Pickett has lost 3 straight and Rivera has lost 3 of 4. Based on this and the fact that Pickett will be fighting at home, I see the Englishman landing the finishing blow early.

Prediction: Brad Pickett

 

Tom Breese (9-0) vs. Keita Nakamura (31-6)

Tom Breese is undefeated, fighting at home and training out of Tristar Gym in Montreal. He’s fighting someone with way more experience but the advantages end there for Keita Nakamura. Breese wins this one and makes it look easy.

Prediction: Tom Breese

 

Thales Leites (25-5) vs. Gegard Mousasi (37-6)

This will be a matchup of saavy veterans. For most of his career Leites was a BJJ type fighter, since he returned to the UFC he’s become a well-rounded fighter with a much improved striking game. Mousasi is capable of finishing a fight no matter where it goes.

I see this one going the distance and the busier fighter will get the nod. Seeing as Leites says he’s learned from the mistakes he made against Michael Bisping, I’m going with the underdog in this one.

Prediction: Thales Leites

 

Anderson Silva (33-6) vs. Michael Bisping (27-7)

I like the underdog in this fight too. Michael Bisping has wanted this matchup for a really long time and he’s never lost a professional fight in the U.K. As long as Bisping can keep busy and push the pace he should be able to keep Silva from moving forwards.

Silva is definitely near the end of his legendary career but regardless of that he’s not getting easy fights. Unless he can create some distance and get a crazy knockout I really believe Michael Bisping has his number today.

Prediction: Michael Bisping

 

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

 

 

After every UFC event we here at Pro Fighting Fans love to play matchmaker. In this column we’ll tell you who we think the winners and losers of each fight should face next.  So check back with Pro Fighting Fans after a UFC event to see what we think the next step is.

Donald Cerrone (29-7-1NC)

Who he should face next: Thiago Alves (21-10)

Donald Cerrone made a successful welterweight debut, but the one thing we must keep in mind when thinking about who he should face next is just that, it was his debut in a new weight class. Cerrone was a longtime lightweight contender, however he could never seem to win the big and one get that belt around his waist.

So let’s be realistic, he beat Alex Oliveira, a guy who is nowhere near the top ten in either of the weight classes he fights in, lightweight or welterweight. That being said Oliveira was a short notice opponent and that should mean something, plus Cerrone is always to fight anyone. The UFC should give him someone in the top 15 in the welterweight division and Thiago Alves seems like a perfect candidate. The Brazilian returned last year after a long layoff and lost an exciting fight to Carlos Condit. If he and Cerrone met in the octagon it would probably be a standup war, and neither guy has ever backed away from one of those.

 

Derek Brunson (15-3)

Who he should face next: Uriah Hall (11-6)

Derek Brunson has won five of six fights since joining the UFC, yet he is somehow still flying under the radar in the middleweight division. After a fourth straight win and third straight by stoppage, Brunson is oh so close to the top ten. That should mean that next time out he should get an opponent who is also close to or in the top ten.

Uriah Hall has been up and down in his UFC career. He’s coming off a loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC 193 but one fight before that he got the biggest win of his life, beating Gegard Mousasi by TKO. Sometimes Hall has been accused of lacking a killer instinct, Brunson is someone who would force Hall to bring his best if he wishes to come out on the winning side.

 

Cody Garbrandt (8-0)

Who he should face next: John Lineker (26-7)

Cody Garbrandt’s original opponent at UFC Fight Night 83 was supposed to be John Lineker. Unfortunately Lineker had to withdraw from the bout due to injury. There isn’t much need for an explanation, this fight should still happen. Garbrandt made it look pretty easy against short notice opponent Augusto Mendes, but he still needs a signature win before he’ll be taken seriously in the UFC’s bantamweight division. A win over Lineker would be a big statement, the UFC needs to make this happen.

 

Dennis Bermudez (15-5)

Who he should face next: Charles Oliveira (21-5)

After two straight stoppage losses to Ricardo Lamas and Jeremy Stephens, TUF 14 veteran Dennis Bermudez was in desperate need of a win against Tatsuya Kawajiri at UFC Fight Night 83. Bermudez wasn’t able to get a finish but it was still a dominant win and it keeps him around the top ten of the featherweight division.

Charles Oliveira is a UFC veteran and has faced a who’s who of top fighters in both the lightweight and featherweight divisions. Oliveira is coming off an impressive win over Myles Jury and is likely hungry to put together a winning streak. Bermudez tends to rely on his grappling when he’s in the cage against tough opponents, it would be interesting to see how he would handle a submission ace like Oliveira.

 

Chris Camozzi (23-10)

Who he should face next: Josh Samman (12-3)

In the fall of 2014 Chris Camozzi found himself being cut from the UFC roster after four straight losses. But when the UFC was looking for a replacement opponent for top middleweight Jacare Souza, Camozzi was willing to take a rematch with him on short notice. He lost the second fight with Souza faster than he did the first but because he stepped up the UFC gave him another shot. He’s since won two straight against Tom Watson and Joe Riggs.

Camozzi will likely never be a UFC champion, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be used as a measuring stick for up and coming fighters. Josh Samman is coming off his first UFC loss, to Tamdan McCrory, but he’s been impressive enough so far that job security isn’t an issue just yet. Samman should be put up against another veteran to see if he’s ready for bigger things, and Chris Camozzi is the perfect option.

 

James Krause (23-7)

Who he should face next: Alex Oliveira (12-4-1)

James Krause has finally put together a winning streak in the UFC after a unanimous decision victory over Canadian Shane Campbell at UFC Fight Night 83. He showed a lot of promise after a debut win over veteran Sam Stout but then stumbled against the likes of Bobby Green and Jorge Masvidal. A fight with Alex Oliveira would give Krause a legitimate chance at a three fight winning streak.

Oliveira did the UFC a huge favour by taking a short notice fight with Donald Cerrone in a weight class he thought he had left behind. It’s likely that “Cowboy” will move back down in weight now and Krause would present a well-rounded challenge for the Brazilian. It also doesn’t hurt that the two are on the same schedule after they both fought last week.
Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

After his first seven professional fights it would have been acceptable to give Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (29-7-1NC) the nickname “The Triangle King”. Five of his first seven victories came via the triangle-choke submission, but before Sunday night he’d only used it twice since 2007.  Well it was definitely worth the wait.

Cerrone met fellow “Cowboy”, Alex Oliveira (14-3-1-1NC) in the main event of UFC Fight 83 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was Cerrone’s welterweight debut while the bout marked a return to the weight class for Oliveira after dropping to lightweight for his last appearance.

Although Cerrone is often known as a slow starter it was expected that when the two met in the octagon there would be fireworks. They certainly didn’t disappoint and wasted no time getting down to business.

After a brief exchange in the Thai clinch, that saw both men land some knees, Donald shot for a takedown. His wrestling has always been underrated and he was able to get Oliveira to the mat without much trouble.  Cerrone established top control and was very methodical in his approach.  Once he found the opening he made a beautiful transition into mount then almost immediately he locked in the triangle choke.  Oliveira quickly tapped and before three minutes had gone by in the first round the fight was over.

It was a spectacular welterweight debut for “Cowboy” Cerrone and it also earned him a performance of the night bonus. Now it will be interesting to see where Cerrone goes from here.  It’s conceivable that he could bounce between both the lightweight and welterweight divisions, as he’s always been known as a guy who’s willing to fight anytime, anywhere and against anyone.  Donald made that very clear in his post-fight interview when he said “If anyone at 170lbs wants to get hurt, I know a guy”.  The victory was also the perfect rebound for Cerrone after a failed attempt to capture the UFC lightweight title last December against current champ Rafael dos Anjos.

For further coverage of UFC Fight Night 83 and everything MMA keep checking back with Profightingfans.com

 

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

 

 

Thanks to a decent effort with our UFC Fight Night 82 predictions, BS Predictions is now 6-4 since returning to the world of MMA journalism. This week we have another opportunity to improve that record when UFC Fight Night 83 rolls into Pittsburgh with a main event featuring Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone taking on Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira. So let’s rustle up some predictions and see how we do!

Shane Campbell (12-3) vs. James Krause (22-7)

Canadian fighter Shane Campbell has an impressive kickboxing record of 62-9, but when he’s standing across the cage from James Krause at UFC Fight Night 83 it’s going to be a whole different story.

Krause has been inconsistent since joining the UFC however he’s coming off a submission victory over Daron Cruickshank and will be looking to keep the recent success going. Campbell won a unanimous decision over Elias Silverio this past August so he too will want to put together a winning streak.

I think Krause has faced the better competition and he’s superior in all aspects of the MMA game. Whether it’s on the feet or ground Krause wins this fight.

Prediction: James Krause

 

Chris Camozzi (22-10) vs. Joe Riggs (41-16-1NC)

Both of these guys are currently in their second stints with the UFC. Riggs had been away from the octagon since 2006 when he finally returned in 2014.  Camozzi was only gone for less than a year before he took a short notice fight against Ronaldo Souza last April and lost by first round submission.  He’s since bounced back with a unanimous decision win over Tom Watson. Riggs first fight back in the UFC was against Ben Saunders at UFC on FOX 13, he was on a six fight win streak before losing to Saunders that night.

Two of the three fights Joe Riggs has had in his UFC comeback have ended in odd fashion. The loss to Saunders was due to a neck injury suffered by Riggs, while his most recent win over Ron Stallings came via disqualification when Stallings used an illegal upkick.

This fight is not going to end in a weird way. Camozzi is the better fighter.  Riggs is at the end of a career that never quite reached its potential and he won’t have much to offer against Camozzi.

Prediction: Chris Camozzi

 

Dennis Bermudez (14-5) vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri (35-8-2)

Bermudez has won five post fight bonuses since he joined the UFC in 2011 as a member of the Ultimate Fighter 14 cast. He lost in the finale to Diego Brandao and then went on a 7 fight winning streak beating some solid competition including Max Holloway and Clay Guida.  Kawajiri on the other hand lost to Clay Guida via unanimous decision.  He’s since won two straight against Dennis Siver and Jason Knight.

I think that despite Bermudez’s wild striking style this could end up being a grappling heavy affair. Kawajiri might be the stronger of the two and if he can get top position he’ll likely grind out a victory against Bermudez.

Prediction: Tatsuya Kawajiri

 

Cody Garbrandt (7-0 vs. Augusto Mendes (5-0)

This will be a battle of young undefeated fighters trying to make an impression on the UFC brass. Cody Garbrandt UFCGarbrandt was expected to face John Lineker, a big step up in competition, now he’ll face UFC newcomer Augusto Mendes.

Mendes was supposed to make a short notice debut in January, but two days after taking the fight he dropped out due to an injury. Now he’ll make his first octagon appearance against Garbrandt, who is on the cusp of breaking into the UFC bantamweight division’s top 10.  Another factor in this fight is the fact that Mendes didn’t make weight for this bout.

Garbrandt will make quick work of Mendes and most likely he’ll get a top ten opponent the next time we see him.

Prediction: Cody Garbrandt

 

Derek Brunson (14-3) vs. Roan Carneiro (20-9)

This will be the second time Carneiro will step into the UFC’s octagon since being away from the organization for almost 8 years. In his return he took out Mark Munoz in the first round at UFC 184.  He’s now on a six fight win streak and Brunson has won three straight including two straight TKO victories over Sam Alvey and Ed Herman.

Derek Brunson is actually 5-1 since he became a member of the UFC, he might be ready to break through the fog and enter the top ten in the UFC’s middleweight division. Roan Carneiro will put up a good fight but Brunson should be able to keep the distance and keep the fight standing on his way to a decision victory.

Prediction: Derek Brunson

 

Donald Cerrone (28-7) vs. Alex Oliveira (14-2-1-1NC)

Originally Donald Cerrone was supposed to make his welterweight debut against Tim Means in the headliner of UFC Fight Night 83. Means was since dropped from the card due to a failed drug test so he’s being replaced by another “Cowboy”, Alex Oliveira.

I expect this to be a wild one, Oliveira loves to push the pace and Cerrone loves to stand and bang. Cerrone is one of the most exciting fighters on the UFC roster and he never disappoints. He’s looking to rebound after a failed title bid in 2015 when he lost to lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos.  Oliveira has won three straight and seems to be ready for a bigger challenge.

Well Oliveira will definitely get a challenge against Cerrone but I don’t think he’s ready for this one. Donald Cerrone will be patient and calculated, one way or another he’ll finish this fight on the feet.

Prediction: Donald Cerrone

 

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

When Bellator officials announced the main and co-main events for Bellator 149, we as MMA fans had to know what was coming. It was Kimbo Slice taking on a guy going by the name of Dada 5000, as if Kimbo Slice wasn’t silly enough. Then you had Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie refusing to admit it’s no longer 1993. We really couldn’t have expected anything different than what we got, complete chaos.

Thankfully there were a couple of decent fights to round out the main card, as we all know, too much chaos isn’t good for the MMA fan. While the last two fights saw the decline of cardio and greatness among other things, the other fights followed a consistent trend of decline.

We saw Daniel Pineda fall to Emmanuel Sanchez by split decision. Pineda continues to falter on MMA’s bigger stages as he’s now lost 5 of 6 fights between his Bellator and UFC appearances. Four years ago when he burst onto the big stage Pineda showed a lot of promise, winning his first two UFC fights by submission. Then he lost 4 of 5 and that saw booted from the UFC and he went back to the regional scene. In last night’s fight with Sanchez it looked like Pineda was on his way to a victory, but as the fight went on he lost any real momentum he may have had and was beat up for the remainder of the night.

In the evening’s next fight Emmanuel Newton looked to come out on top in his rematch with Linton Vassell. When the two met in 2014, the Bellator light heavyweight title was on the line and Newton choked out Vassell in the 5th round. The fight last night was only scheduled for three rounds, and it went the distance this time. Newton came out on the wrong side of the win column, losing a unanimous decision, and it was his 3rd straight loss inside the Bellator cage. It’s a far cry from just a couple of years ago when Newton looked like the next big thing in the light heavyweight division.

Melvin Guillard also continued on his post UFC career decline. He’s lost 3 of 4 fights since leaving the UFC and the lone victory came in a fight where Guillard failed to make the lightweight limit of 155lbs. After an unsuccessful Bellator debut against Brandon Girtz, an opponent Guillard hand-picked, Melvin was hoping to bounce back against Derek Campos. In true “Young Assassin” form, Guillard came out swinging against Campos, and in the end that was his biggest mistake. Less than a minute into the 2nd round Campos unloaded everything he had and was able to force the referee to stop the fight due to strikes.

The end of the Guillard/Campos fight marked the beginning of the circus at Bellator 149. The promotional team billed it as a “street fight in the cage” when it was announced that Kimbo Slice would meet longtime nemesis Dhafir “Dada 5000” Harris in the evening’s co main event. It’s unclear if what took place could even be considered a “street fight” but regardless, by the time it finally came to an end in the 3rd round, you could hear the collective sigh coming from Houston through the television.

Both men were completely exhausted halfway through the first round, the punches were laced with quicksand and the lack of preparation was embarrassing. When Kimbo hit Harris with one last punch it might have been obvious to everyone but Kimbo that the fight was over. Thankfully Slice moved out of the way and that allowed for Harris to faceplant into the mat, ending his Bellator debut and hopefully his Bellator career at the same time.

The night could have ended after the co main event debacle and no one would have complained, but unfortunately fans were treated to one more sideshow before it was all over. 52 year old Ken Shamrock was looking for revenge 23 years after a controversial loss to Royce Gracie at UFC 1. Gracie, who is 49 himself, actually showed a solid kicking game in the opening moments and it was a surprise that he didn’t immediately try to take the fight to the ground. His striking was limited to kicks though, as it was made known during the broadcast that Gracie asked to not have his hands wrapped for the fight. Surprisingly the athletic commission overseeing the event allowed that, which could have caused Gracie to break his hands, seeing as there was nothing protecting his hands from Shamrock’s granite forehead. The fight ending strikes actually came from some knees thrown in the Thai clinch, what was not obvious at first glance was that the original knee landed low on Shamrock. For some reason Ken didn’t find it necessary to bring the low blow to the attention of the referee until it was already too late. After the bell Shamrock exploded with anger, only to eventually calm down once he realized the low blow wasn’t intentional.

Needless to say Bellator 149 was a tragic mix of disappointment and decline. But there is no doubt that people were still watching when Royce Gracie had his hand raised, and long after Dada 5000 fell flat on his face. If people keep watching, Bellator will keep putting on crazy fights no one is asking for. For further coverage of Bellator 149 and everything MMA keep checking back with profightingfans.com

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer