This is another one the underrated cards that will surprise people at the end of it. There will be thrills, chills and blood will be spilled. There are better match ups than people realize that will produce some entertaining fights. I expect a couple of exciting KO’s and fights. Here are the picks, enjoy.
• Flyweight Title Bout: Johnson (C) vs Bagautinov
To put it simply, Demetrious Johnson is just too fast and technically sound for Ali Bagautinov. Johnson also has insane cardio while Bagautinov has not gone five rounds yet in the UFC. Bagautinov has serious power but not necessarily more than John Dodson. Johnson has a strong chin and recovers quickly when he does get caught.
It is difficult to see Bagautinov winning this fight. Coming from Greg Jackson’s camp he will have a good game plan but Johnson really has few weaknesses and is one of the most technically sound fighters in the UFC. Jackson had a similar situation last week with Benson Henderson versus Rustam Khabilov. Cardio played a big part in that fight as Khabilov started to slow down as the fight progressed.
If Bagautinov tries to pace himself, then Johnson will push it. Johnson dictates the pace of his fights. Instead, look for Bagautinov to be aggressive and make a mistake. Johnson capitalizes and catches him in the 2nd round setting up the rematch with Dodson. Right now Dodson might be the only one who has a legit chance to beat Johnson. There are other contenders emerging in this growing weight class but right now Johnson has been that notch above everybody else and just keeps growing as a fighter.
Johnson via TKO
• Welterweight Bout: MacDonald vs Woodley
While Dana White has said that the winner of Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown gets the next title shot we know this can change. A big win by either fighter in this one and a boring fight between Brown and Lawler and that title shot could come down to this fight. MacDonald cannot do that by just jabbing away at Woodley.
This fight answers the questions about each fighter. Since MacDonald stopped Che Mills in the second round in April of 2012 he has won 3 of 4 via decision and dropped one to Lawler. Another decision win will not get him the title shot and Woodley is going to be his toughest fight yet.
Woodley is aggressive and also won 3 of his last 4. The big difference is his have all come via KO/TKO’s. He is powerful and explosive. His aggressiveness was giving Carlos Condit trouble in their fight. The one loss for him was to Jake Shields via a SD.
To get the next title shot the winner either needs a finish or this needs to be FOTN. Look for Woodley to take the fight to MacDonald and impose his will on him early. MacDonald tries to respond and Woodley catches him clean getting the KO finish in first round.
Woodley via KO
• Light Heavyweight Bout: Bader vs Cavalcante
Ryan Bader is the type of fighter that gives Rafael Cavalcante trouble. Bader is big, strong and powerful. Look for him to use his wrestling and some standup to grind out a UD win.
Bader via UD
• Heavyweight Bout: Arlovski vs Schaub
Brendan Schaub gets to welcome Andrei Arlovski back to the UFC. Arlovski has a lot of heart but Schaub has a better overall game, Look for him to use it to take this fight to the ground and get the submission win in the second round.
Schaub via a 2nd round triangle
• Light Heavyweight Bout: Saint Preux vs Jimmo
Ovince Saint Preux is too well rounded for Ryan Jimmo who has strong striking. Jimmo does his best with fighters who are willing to stand and strike with him but are not as good in that area. Saint Preux will have an advantage on the ground or in the standup. Look for him to stun Jimmo in the standup and finish in on the ground.
Saint Preux TKO via ground and pound
• Welterweight Bout: Sarafian vs Kunimoto
I like Daniel Sarafian to use some strong striking to take a three round UD win over Kiichi. in a tough entertaining fight.
Sarafian via UD
Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Betourneau vs Phillips
Elizabeth Phillips is stepping up on short notice and takes on the powerful Valerie Letourneau. Look for Letourneau to use her better striking to get the win.
Letourneau via a three round UD
• Bantamweight Bout: Jabouin vs Easton
In this one Mike Easton gets back to his winning ways using his power. Easton needs the win and so does Yves Jabouin to a lesser degree. Look for Easton to take the fight to the ground and get a third round finish.
Easton via a third round TKO on the ground
• Lightweight Bout: Johnson versus Bang
Have to go with the guy named Bang in this one. Tae Hyun Bang will take advantage of Kajan Johnson’s case of the “octagon jitters.” Bang catches the likable Johnson and gets the win.
Bang via a first round TKO
• Bantamweight Bout: Delorme vs Tanaka
The veteran Roland Delorme welcomes undefeated UFC newcomer Michinori Tanaka. Delorme takes a three UD here 29-28 on all three cards.
Delorme via a UD
• Lightweight Bout: Saggo vs Snockley
Two debuting UFC fighters in Jason Saggo and Josh Shockley to start the night. Saggo is close to Sluggo and Shockley makes it seem like it would being shocking if he won. So, I am going with Saggo in the this one.
Saggo via first round TKO