Donnerstag, 10. Mai 2012

UFC On FOX 3 Predictions And Analysis

MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer</B><BR><BR>

The UFC is headed back to New Jersey this weekend, and after a few questionable FOX fight lineups, we’ve got ourselves one damn impressive event to take in. A pivotal lightweight match headlines the bill, but there are some extremely intriguing bouts that clutter the undercard. Two top flight welterweights will collide for a chance at a sizeable leap in divisional rankings, one of the most dangerous submission specialists at middleweight will meet an absolutely vicious striker and we’ve got a heavyweight tilt that’s all but guaranteed to provide extreme fireworks. On paper, UFC on FOX 3 is amazing, and I suspect Sunday morning will see forums abuzz with hysteria.<BR><BR>

<B>Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller:</B> I find this to be the most perplexing match on the bill. I’ve gone back and forth endlessly, analyzing and reanalyzing the style clash, and I’ll be damned if I haven’t picked each man to win a half dozen different times a handful of ways over the last week or so. Nate is so insanely rangy and persistent with his boxing (one of the few mixed martial artists who really exercises the jab as it should be) that it’s tough to see Miller solving the riddle. That said, Miller’s overzealous wrestling is hard to question, and he’s remarkably durable. To add to the mystique, Miller’s submission game may well be solid enough to avoid Diaz’s potent BJJ attack.<BR><BR>

My brain tells me that Miller finds a way to get inside, take this fight to the ground and grind out a hard fought decision win. My heart says Nate keeps Miller at bay with strikes, and avoids the attempted takedowns. As much as I love Nate as a fighter (I will admittedly be pulling for him in this fight), I think Miller’s resolve and tenacity sees him escape some hairy situations on the way to picking up a split decision victory. I wouldn’t be shocked in the slightest if this fight looked like a carbon copy of Diaz vs. Maynard.<BR><BR>

<B>Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks:</B> Here we have a bout that could prove remarkably thrilling… or extremely uneventful. Two elite wrestlers with big power in each hand makes for one of the most evenly matches I’ve seen in some time. I suppose the most significant factor in this fight will be will and pure desire. Josh Koscheck has been competing at this level for years, while Hendricks is relatively new to the grand stage, and that could make for the fights deciding factor: drive.<BR><BR>

“Kos” has apparently peaked. He’s been to the top of the mountain and come up short. He’s also faced just about every elite fighter to tip the scales at 170 pounds (sans teammates). Hendricks in contrast has yet to tangle with too many top five opponents, but he seems hungry, and eager to prove his worth within the octagon. Koscheck’s overhand right will be a hazard at all times, but Johny is no slouch, and he’ll anticipate that. More importantly, I don’t expect him to appear hesitant (which has been one of the few faults of Koscheck, at times). I think Hendricks gets in Josh’s face early, and doesn’t let up. Most predict a drawn out decision, but I foresee Johny taking some wild risks, that pay off big. Johny Hendricks, KO in round two.<BR><BR>

<B>Rousimar Palhares vs. Alan Belcher:</B> I love classic style collisions, and that’s what we’ve got here: striker versus grappler. Palhares has come a long way in regards to vertical fighting. He’s not exactly technical, but he’s a powerhouse who puts opponents down with brute strength. In addition to a developing striking game, Rousimar is one of the most lethal leg lock specialists competing today. If he manages to take this fight to the canvas, he’s lethal; no ifs, ands or buts. Belcher however is anything but a slouch on the ground and he’s the owner of devastating mauy thai. Alan manages to hit opponents with an absurd assortment of strikes, and if this fight remains upright, I’ve got all the reason in the world to believe Belcher handily out-strikes his Brazilian foe.<BR><BR>

Will Alan stop the takedown? I suppose that’s the most significant question looming over this bout. My bet is no, he doesn’t keep the fight standing. However, I think he’s savvy enough to escape Rousimar’s feared submissions. Belcher will be forced to tough through a few precarious moments, but ultimately, he ensures that the majority of this fight remains a striking affair. A winded Palhares succumbs to Alan’s strikes in the final frame of this fight.<BR><BR><!--more-break-->

<B>Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson:</B> One word describes this fight: explosion. There’s absolutely no question what these men aim to do: render the other unconscious. Both men possess extreme power in their fists, but Barry holds a significant advantage when it comes to his lower extremities. Pat’s leg kicks are devastating, but he’s battling a man that may be tall enough to be afforded the chance to evade any potential high kicks. Ultimately, the question is: will it matter?<BR><BR>

I expect these two to push a vicious pace early. Pat will likely attempt to showcase some patience, but once Lavar tags him with a punch, the beast will emerge and we’ll see a grueling brawl. Pat Barry has all the tools (despite the size disparity) to win this fight, but after he finds himself lured into a dogfight, it will be Johnson who moves his mark to 2-0 in the UFC. The end comes late in the first round after Johnson drops Barry and follows up with a barrage of strikes that prompts a referee stoppage.<BR><BR>

<B>Random Undercard Notes:</B><BR><BR>

I won’t delve too deep into the specifics of the evenings undercard, but there are some bouts that definitely deserve to be acknowledged, so here goes...<BR><BR>

TUF star, Tony Ferguson will meet fellow reality show alum, Michael Johnson, and unfortunately for Michael, I see this as a complete mismatch. Look for Tony to stuff some early takedown attempts and thoroughly batter Johnson. I don’t see this one lasting any longer than five minutes, but if it does, it’s curtains for Johnson in the second frame.<BR><BR>

Another TUF winner, John Dodson will see action on the undercard when he tangles with UFC neophyte Timothy Elliott at 125 pounds. The general consensus is that Dodson will run over Elliott, but I don’t see that happening. Elliott will likely come up short in this competition, but he’s going to make it competitive, and probably for a full three rounds.<BR><BR>

Look for John Hathaway to get back in the groove as he outworks Pascal Krauss for a few rounds before eliciting a referee stoppage late in the second frame; Danny Castillo is back in action against John Cholish, and this one should be watched closely. The masses expect a Castillo victory, but I’m leaning in Cholish’s direction. This man seems to have a unique understanding of mixed martial arts, and I suspect we’ll see a fantastic showing from the Renzo Gracie rep. Look for a third round finish.<BR><BR>

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