UFC 139 Full fight card and Predictions
What a weekend, MMA Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I couldn’t ask fora better 3 days. Tonight Is UFC 139 and Bellator 58. I will be watching both late late tonight or tomorrow morning after watching Monson vs. Fedor. Why you ask? I will be at Respect in the Cage covering the live event in Pomona, Ca. Thank you Nathan from Bound By Blood Management. I really couldn’t ask for anything better. Well, I could but I won’t.
What’s so important about UFC 139 you may ask? Let’s start with Miguel Torres vs. Nick Pace then jump to Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles then we will finish up with Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le (yeah, Cung ‘MohterF23Kin’ Le!) and Shogun Rua vs. Hendo. On paper this looks like the card of the decade. There are 16 or so fighters on tonight’s card with KO of the Night Potential in their hands and feet. We could potentially see 11 or more T/KO victories on a 12 fight card. Potentially, it is of course MMA, like the NFL, any given Sunday and all that jazz. The flip side of that coin is 12 boring decision victories. I do not expect that to be the case. While I hold some reservations about it being the fight card of the year, I do believe it will be an exciting card filled with submissions and T/KO’s, maybe not 11, but 3-4 quality finishes with 2-3 battles fought to decision. One can dream of a card where all 12 fights end by sub or T/KO, I will dream.
Feel free to leave your predictions in the comment area. My predictions are in green. As always, enjoy.
Preliminary card (Facebook)
- Lightweight bout: Shamar Bailey vs. Danny Castillo
Danny Castillo by Decision.
- Welterweight bout: Matt Brown vs. Seth Baczynski
Seth Bacyznski by Sub or T/KO.
- Bantamweight bout: Miguel Torres vs. Nick Pace
Miguel Torres was once the end all be all in the 135lb division, then Brian Bowles (who is fighting Urijah Faber tonight) KO’d him, possibly stealing his soul in the process. Miguel has not been the same fighter since that loss. Going 2-3 in his last 5 bouts. Torres changed his training camp, working with GSP’s camp among others, leading to a different fighter. His opponent is a TUF alumni Nick Pace, who is 6-2 overall having lost to Ivan Menjivar and Demetrious Johnson by decision as did Miguel (the difference is I feel Miguel won that fight from his back-don’t get me started on the glaring problems in MMA judging) in his last fight. I expect Miguel’s experience (38-4 officially, unofficially his record is 50 or 60 something fights, maybe more) to give him the edge, I also expect him to play it safe and ‘grind’ out a victory. Gone are the days of hands and mullets flying, we now have the calm, collected and dare I say, reserved Miguel Torres. Nick Pace is stepping up in competition, a win over Torres would put him in the mix of fighters trying to get that big win, and a title shot. Miguel Torres by decision (I am hoping for a vintage Torres KO or submission).
- Lightweight bout: Gleison Tibau vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Gleison Tibau is on a 2 fight win streak, Rafael dos Anjos is coming off a big victory over George Sotiropoulos. Both fighters are looking to make a statement in the lightweight division. Tibau’s win over Rafael Oliveira was also a big one for him, as like Sots, Rafael Oliveira was considered one of the divisions top prospects. A win for either fighter tonight puts them that much closer to a title run. With that said, I have to go with Rafael dos Anjos by decision. This fight has the potential to be the closest fight of the night.
- Middleweight bout: Tom Lawlor vs. Chris Weidman
‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor cracks me up, he shows up the weigh ins as a different ‘character’, this time he came as Steven Segal. Leather jacket, shooting glasses, complete with a front kick KO on stage before stepping on the scale. Hilarious, I tell you. His ring entrances are also legendary, too bad the UFC never shows them. Aside from his funny antics, Lawlor has solid stand up. Chris Weidman is 6-0 to Lawlor’s 7-3-1. Weidman has a more rounded game in my opinion, while Lawlor has more Octagon experience, making this a close fight to call as well. Lawlor is coming off a hard fought win over Patrick Cote while Weidman is coming off a win himself. I feel Lawlor’s win will give him the confidence to control Weidman en route to a decision victory.
Preliminary card (televised)
- Bantamweight bout: Michael McDonald vs. Alex Soto
Michael McDonald by decision. (this could very easily end in T/Ko by Soto, never count out an ex Navy Seal or dolphin trainer.)
- Light Heavyweight bout: Ryan Bader vs. Jason Brilz
Both Ryan Bader and Jason Brilz are coming off back to back losses, making this fight important for both of their careers. Bader was at one time widely considered a future champion, his recent losses to Tito Ortiz (yes, you read that correctly) and Jon ‘Jones’ Bones have since put him in the precarious position he sits now. Brilz is coming off a KO loss, he also has stated he has no desire to fight fulltime. Which leads me to give Bader the edge in this bout. Bader’s loss to Jones was a great learning experience, as was his loss to Tito, if he can keep the mental game together I see Bader making a run at the title in 2-3 fights. Ryan Bader by decision.
- Light Heavyweight bout: Stephan Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury
Stephan Bonnar has been a different fighter as of late, rejuvenated even. Kyle Kingsbury is a tough opponent. This fight could easily go either way, if Bonnar starts off the way he has in his last 2 bouts, I expect to see a T/KO victory for him. If not, Kingsbury takes the decision. I’m going for Stephan Bonnar by T/KO.
- Welterweight bout: Martin Kampmann vs. Rick Story
Martin Kampmann is coming off a 2 fight losing streak, Rick Story is coming off a loss himself, making this a more important fight for Kampmann. Losing 3 fights in the WW division could easily lead to an early release from the promotion. I’m leaning towards Story, despite the pressure Martin is under, or because of it, I have to pick Rick Story by decision.
- Bantamweight bout: Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles
Urijah Faber is coming off a decision loss to current Bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz while Brian Bowles is coming off a decision win over Takeya Mizugaki. Bowles only loss is to Cruz. Urijah is a legend in the featherweight class already, yet many fans and media alike are questioning his many title shots. I expect him to come out and put on a dominant performance, proving his place as the number 1 contender once again. Bowles on the other hand is not gonna just let Faber walk in and take the fight from him, expect a back and forth war from 2 of the divisions best all around fighters. Faber’s size and strength, plus his experience will be what I believe gives him the edge in this fight. Still, Bowles could easily take this fight out from under Faber. I’m going with Faber by dominant decision, and I’m gonna be bold and call this one Fight of The Night!
- Middleweight bout: Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le
Wanderlei Silva is a legend, a true legend. His Pride run was spectacular, his style was ferocious and dominating. Sadly, those days are behind him. Hard fights, and even harder training at the legendary Chute Boxe gym have taken their toll on the once feared Axe Murderer. Cung Le is spectacular, truly spectacular. He can throw kicks from angles most think are impossible except in Kung Fu movies. He is lightning fast, unpredictable and most importantly has not incurred the damage Silva has in his career. Cung Le is considered the favorite by most, I agree. That is not to say it’s a foregone conclusion Le will win. Silva has the heart of a fighter, and the experience not to mention the level of competition he has faced his entire career. Expect this to be a grueling battle or it ends in the first round. I’m going with Cung Le (as hard as it is for me to go against Wand) for the win by T/KO.
- Light Heavyweight bout: Maurício Rua vs. Dan Henderson
I am in the major minority here. I don’t really have a desire to see this fight. It doesn’t make sense to me, I know Shogun recently lost the belt to Jones, I don’t understand how that makes him the one to face the StrikeForce LHW champ. Also, if Hendo wins, he is most likely in line to face Jones for the UFC LHW title, that makes no sense to me. Why not put Hendo in with the #1 contender instead of Shogun? I get the logistical problems, most of the LHW’s were tied up, still. If Shogun wins, where does that put him? He’s not gonna leapfrog Evans (unless Evans’ loses) who’s left? It’s a big mess to me. Okay, enough complaining, regardless if my disinterest, I’m gonna watch 2 Pride legends battle for the first time in their careers, this part I’m interested in. Shogun is known to fade in the later rounds, while Hendo has superior cardio, yet has floundered in previous title shots for some odd reason. Both have heavy hands, and great BJJ, Hendo has the wrestling edge, yet I expect them to keep this one standing. Hendo also has a win over Ninja Rua, Shogun’s brother, adding another exciting element to the bout. I have to give the edge to Hendo, his wrestling, cardio and heavier hands will be the deciding factor after the 1st round is over. As long as he can weather Shoguns initial onslaught, I’m giving the win to Hendo by T/KO.
Rumble young man Rumble