UFC 132 The Axing! aka Cruz vs. Faber Predictons
I’m calling it UFC 132 ‘The Axing’ because this fight card will determine the future employment of a few fighters. No need to mention names, you know who you are (Tito Ortiz). As per usual, my picks are made through an alcohol-fueled haze. We do not suggest using these predictions for betting purposes.
Preliminary card (Facebook)
Bantamweight bout: Jeff Hougland vs. Donny Walker
I’m not familiar with these two, so, I’m gonna take a shot and point….the winner is Walker.
Lightweight bout: Anthony Njokuani vs. Andre Winner
Here is a hard fight to call, at his best Njokuani is a talented fighter with solid stand up. He’s been a bit inconsistent since joining the UFC. Winner is on a 2 fight losing streak. His last performance was far from good in the eyes of Dana White. Njokuani by decision.
Middleweight bout: Brad Tavares vs. Aaron Simpson
Tavares is coming off of a TKO of ‘The New York Badass’ Phil Baroni. Simpson is coming off of a win over somebody (I don’t remember and I’m too lazy to look it up) after losing to Mark Munoz. Both fighters are hungry and looking to prove they belong in the division’s upper echelon. Simpson takes this one.
Bantamweight bout: Brian Bowles vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Bowles is coming off a loss to current champion Dominick Cruz while Mizugaki is coming off losses to the upper echelon of fighters who have since lost to Cruz. I feel Mizugaki is in over his head based upon his past performances. Bowles by sub (based upon averages)
Preliminary card (Televised)
Lightweight bout: George Sotiropoulos vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Sots is coming off a loss, as is dos Anjos. This is definately a step up in competition for dos Anjos. Sots has been consistent against higher competition. I’m picking Sots.
Lightweight bout: Melvin Guillard vs. Shane Roller
How can anyone count out ‘the young assassin’? Melvin Guillard is one of my favorite fighters: his work with Jackson’s has been amazing as of late. If he stays consistent I see a title shot in his future. Shane Roller’s no pushover: with a his recent wins, look for him to try and confuse Guillard, trying to take him out of his game plan. I still gotta give the edge to Guillard. His dynamic athletic ability is the edge.
Lightweight bout: Dennis Siver vs. Matt Wiman
With wins over two others on the card, Siver is on quite a roll. Wiman is having a solid run as well, this fight is a toss-up (as such, I’m gonna flip a coin). Wiman it is.
Welterweight bout: Carlos Condit vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Condit is following up a highlight reel KO of Dan Hardy with a bout against Stun Gun Kim. Kim is following up his win over Nate Diaz with this new challenge. This fight could be a de facto #1 contenders fight. The winner facing the winner of Diaz vs. GSP. (I’m praying for Diaz BTW). I expect both fighters to put it all on the line for a finish. I’m going with Condit for the win by KO/TKO (this is a wish, as it will probably go to decision)
Light Heavyweight bout: Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader
I’ve stated many times, I have hung out with Bader (he went to school with my brother’s cousin, Long story short is I’m adopted) he’s a cool guy, likeable, down to earth, and funny as hell. Ortiz is in the worst do or die situation of his entire career. Dana White says Tito does his best work when his back’s against the wall. I agree, but Bader is a big strong, brick wall. I don’t see the ‘Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ overcoming this obstacle. Bader by decision (a KO/TKO would be a highlight Bader would relish for years I think)
Middleweight bout: Wanderlei Silva vs. Chris Leben
Two of my top 5 fighters. I have spent many, many years watching these two fighters go to war (I’ve spoken to Leben in line at the Airport, he seemed like a deer in headlights when I recognized him) and I’m at a real difficult point. I don’t want to pick one over the other. I know I must, I have to be objective. Still, it’s like picking which child you would sacrifice if given the ultimatum. (Sophie’s Choice anyone?) In this case, I have to pick Leben. He’s younger, has taken less damage (hell, the space shuttle Challenger has taken less damage than Wandy!) and will come in with a game plan designed to win. I know the game plan will go out the window as soon as the Octagon door closes, yet I’m giving he edge to Leben.
Bantamweight Championship bout: Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber
Next to Silva vs. Leben this is the hardest bout to pick. Cruz is the Champ, with good reason. Dominant victories over the class’ elite, and a style which stumps even the savviest opponent. Faber on the other hand is looking to re-establish himself as the pre-eminent force in this division, as he once was in his previous weight class. The question will be if Faber can ‘catch’ Cruz. Cruz’s frenetic style has the ability to stifle most opponents’ game plans. Faber was the most innovative lighter weight fighter in the US for several years. Has the sport moved past ‘the California Kid’? My heart wants to go with Faber, but my gut says Cruz will win by decision. I have to go with Cruz by decison. (I hope Faber wins).