Sonntag, 10. Juni 2012

UFC ON FX 3 PREVIEW: Penick's thoughts and predictions on "Johnson vs. McCall II" main card

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

The UFC heads back to FX on Friday for the second of three events on the network this month. The flyweight division will finally find the other half of its first UFC Championship bout when "Uncle Creepy" Ian McCall and Demetrious Johnson square off for a second time in the night's main event. After a failure in scoring calculation kept them from finishing things in March, the two flyweights get three more rounds to figure out who will face Joseph Benavidez later this year. Also on the night's main card are a couple of welterweight matchups, as well as a bantamweight bout between fighters in need of a win. Here's what's on tap for the FX event:

Ian McCall vs. Demetrious Johnson (Flyweight)

In their first bout in March, McCall got off to a really slow start in the fight. He tried to prove himself as the superior grappler, and in the process was out-struck through two rounds. The second round was an immensely close one, and then he took over in the third with a dominant performance that was close to deserving a 10-8 score.

The fight ended up as a draw, which should have led to a "sudden victory" round, put in place for the fight because of the mini-tournament aspect of the night, but the ringside officials counted incorrectly, announcing Johnson as a split-decision victory. The error was found out shortly thereafter, but it was too late to remedy that night, setting up this rematch.

McCall will likely benefit the most from this second fight. Johnson caught him off guard a bit through the first half of their last bout, but he adjusted midway through the fight and completely took over the action from there. This time around, he's not likely to let himself get behind in the same manner. I like "Uncle Creepy" to take this one in order to set up a fantastic Flyweight Championship bout with Joseph Benavidez later this year. McCall via TKO in the second round

Erick Silva vs. Charlie Brenneman (Welterweight)

Silva's two Octagon appearances thus far have totaled just 69 seconds of action. He blitzed through Luis Ramos in just 40 seconds in his debut last August, and was doing the same to Carlo Prater in January when he was disqualified after the fact for shots to the back of the head. That striking prowess makes him a very real threat to Brenneman, who has been knocked out in his two losses inside the Octagon.

However, Brenneman's wrestling game is superb, and if he can avoid the big strikes from Silva early on, he's got the top game to stifle the Brazilian en route to a grinding decision win. Still, Silva's a talented submission grappler in his own right, and 15 minutes on the ground is a lot of time for him to attempt to lock on a hold.

Silva's cardio may be a question after a couple of really quick fights, and Brenneman may certainly be the fighter to test that, but ultimately it's Silva with more weapons to finish this one off. Brenneman is likely going to emerge the victor if it goes to the scorecards, but he's got to survive a lot before that can happen. Silva via TKO in the second round

Mike Pyle vs. Josh Neer (Welterweight)

Neer has returned to the UFC in excellent fashion, winning two straight fights to move his winning streak to six. He's also won eight of his last nine fights dating back to his most recent release from the UFC, which came after a 1-3 mark through four fights in the Octagon in 2008 and 2009.

Pyle, meanwhile, has had a mixture of success and setbacks in the UFC's welterweight division since his late notice debut in 2009. Though he's been stopped thrice in eight fights in the Octagon, he's also had several highly impressive performances, including his quick first round stoppage of Ricardo Funch in January.

Pyle's got solid skills both on the feet and on the ground, a trait shared by Neer, making this a fairly even matchup. I'd expect it to be a close back and forth fight, with each finding some success in their striking game as well as on the ground. Both are tough to stop, and because of that we're likely in for a good 15-minute fight. Pyle via unanimous decision

Eddie Wineland vs. Scott Jorgensen (Bantamweight)

Two longtime WEC vets hope to get things on track in the UFC in this fight after some recent setbacks. Wineland, who ended his WEC run with a four fight winning streak, has lost consecutive decisions to Team Alpha Male fighters Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez.

Now, he'll take on their teammate in Jorgensen, who himself hopes to bounce back from a loss in his last fight. Jorgensen ended his WEC run with a decision loss to Dominick Cruz in the final WEC Title bout, which was also technically the first fight for the UFC Bantamweight Championship.

He bounced back from that loss with consecutive wins inside the Octagon before dropping a decision to Renan Barao in his last appearance. Wineland's got a well-rounded game, but Jorgensen is still a top ten fighter with speed, strength, and talent, and that combination makes him a threat to anyone at 135 lbs. He fell short against Cruz and Barao, but Wineland is the level of fighter that he's had success against for the last several years. Jorgensen via decision


Martinsh Egle Eric Butterbean Esch Efrain Escudero Rashad Evans Urijah Faber

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