With last weekends UFC on Fox 5 delivering excitement and big names the following cards have lot to live up to. This weekend there is a lack of big names… however there is 2 cards in 2 days and hopefully a high chance for some exciting fights.
Firstly there will be UFC on FX: Pearson vs Sotiropoulos (or to those who have been watching it the TUF Smashes finale) followed 24hrs later by The Ultimate Fighter Team Carwin vs. Nelson Finale.
Most fans have not watched both seasons, TUF 16 has been derided as one of the worst seasons of TUF ever ( I admit to not watching it) and TUF Smashes has mainly been enjoyed by fans from UK and Australia. Combining the 2 cards together I think you can make a very entertaining card, but as I have learnt from watching MMA all this time, names don’t guarantee the quality of fight, as lesser known fighters are often looking to put on a show to get more exposure.
My combined card would look something like this:
(TUF Smashes) Mike Pierce vs. Seth Baczynski: Pierce has only lost 3 of his 10 fights in the UFC all against top 10 Welterweights, he is coming off his most entertaining fight to date in a dramatic come from behind KO against Aaron Simpson back in October, standing across the cage will be the “Polish Pistola” is undefeated at WW winning his last 6, with 5 finishes within the distance, a win for either of these fighters will put them in line for a fight against a top WW.
(TUF Smashes) Chad Mendes vs. Yaotzin Meza: Mendes has only lost once in his career. It was to Featherweight champ and top pound for pound fighter Jose Aldo, here he fights a late replacement, who has no wikipedia page and no picture on his Sherdog profile. In his last fight Mendes crushed over matched Cody McKenzie in 31 seconds. Expect Meza to catch a beating here, as Mendes is one of the best at 145.
(TUF Smashes) Igor Pokrajac vs. Joey Beltran: Pokrajac loves to stand and bang, and Joey Beltran will oblige anyone in that department. Only Lavar Johnson’s ridiculous heavyweight power has been able to stop him with strikes, after complaining about Vinny Magalhães grappling based attack in his submission loss at UFC 152, he will likely come forward with his heavy hands and Beltran will not be hard to find..
(TUF 16) Dustin Poirier vs. Jonathan Brookins: Poirier is an exciting high level fighter, Brookins struggles against the upper tier of the 145 division. Poirier is exactly that, with a solid all round game, which was on show in his last outing against Chan Sung Jung, a deserved fight of the night, that resulted in a heartbreaking loss for Poirier, his post fight interview showed just how much it meant to him. Expect him to return with a vengeance.
What better way to kick off the main card than with a freakshow fight.
(TUF Smashes) Lightweight Final: Colin “Freakshow” Fletcher vs Norman Parke: Whether you have seen the Smashes season or not, there is a good chance you have seen Colin Fletcher on a MMA site. Known for dressing up and painting his face like a clown; Fletcher is a tall lightweight at 6ft 2” and a crafty grappler with 7 of his 8 wins and 1 of his 2 wins on the season coming by way of submission. He takes on Northern Irishman Norman Parke who dominated in his 2 fights on the show taking 2 unanimous decisions. Outside the show Parke has the majority of wins by submission so watch out for the grappling exchanges in this one, between 2 of the best European lightweights in the game.
(TUF 16) Pat Barry vs. Shane Del Rosario:These heavyweights are extremely exciting on the feet and that’s where fans should be praying this stays. Pat Barry is one of the best kickboxers in the UFC but struggles if the fight heads to the ground, Del Rosario also has a pro muay thai record but has also shown a good submission game. If it hits the ground Barry is trouble, if it stays standing they will exchange bombs till one drops. The fans are the winners here. Keep an eye out for Pat Barry wearing our Revgear Samurai Shorts.
(TUF Smashes) Hector Lombard vs. Rousimar Palhares: The battle of the middleweights who could play the role of the Hulk, these muscled bound middleweights both need a win. Lombard entered the UFC on the back of a ludicrous 5 year 22 fight unbeaten streak. His first fight in the UFC was a lacklustre decision loss to Tim Boetsch, he needs to show here why he had so much hype, and inspired terror in the heart of his opponent. Standing across the cage will be Palhares the man who likes to take home his opponents legs home with him, 7 of his 14 wins have come by leg based submissions. Lombard a black belt in Jiu-Jistu and Judo will know what he needs to avoid but both fighters need a win to have any hope of getting back in the title hunt.
CO-MAIN: Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione: With Shane Carwin getting injured the coach vs coach dynamic went out the window, so Matt Mitrione has stepped in, Mitrione is at his best when he is on the move peppering opponents with his diverse striking. Many have tried to stop Nelson with strikes, including the champ Junior Dos Santos, and Fabricio Werdum smashed knees, punches and elbows into Nelson’s face and could not remove him from consciousness. Nelson has huge power in his right hand and will hunt for it on the feet, his grappling is far better than Mitrione’s and he should peruse it, however Nelson likes to go for the KO as evidence by 3 KO of the nights.
MAIN: George Sotiropoulos vs. Ross Pearson: I give this fight top billing as both coaches have made it to the season finale unscathed and have managed to build up a decent amount of animosity over the season. Although both are well rounded fighters, the fight comes down to a striker vs grappler fight in my eyes. Pearson will want to keep it on the feet and batter G-Sot on the feet, whereas the Aussie will want the Brit on the ground where he can use his Jiu-Jitsu black belt to hunt for the tap. A worry for the G-Sot will be his inactivity having not fought since he got KO’d by Rafael Dos Anjos. Pearson is coming off a KO loss to Cub Swanson at 145lbs who was too fast and accurate with his striking for the Brit, however his down time has only been 6 months compared to Sotiropoulos’ 17 month lay off.