My preview of UFC on Fuel TV 6, which no one will watch because it airs Saturday morning at 9 AM.
Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le: Cung + 25 minutes = bad news. Luckily for him, it probably won’t get that far. I’ll give Cung some credit in his last fight as he was able to fight a little more reserved and have something left in the third round, but I put more of the blame on Patrick Cote, who just decided to stand in front of him and be a punching bag. Franklin isn’t going to do that. He’s going to do his usual thing where he throws a lot of kicks, gets in and out, and puts together some combinations. Franklin can be lazy defensively, but Cung isn’t a counterstriker with the ability to capitalize on Franklin’s poor habits. If Franklin wants to make this easy on himself, he just moves forward and throws power punches or gets a takedown and locks on a submission. But because he’s Rich Franklin and he likes to put on a show instead of making things easy, he’ll use his distance well, throw his usual strikes, and pick apart Cung. Eventually Cung will get tired from throwing his 500 million spinning attacks and taking a beating and Franklin will be able to put him away sometime late in the second or early in the third.
Prediction: Franklin, TKO, Round 2
Thiago Silva vs. Stanislav Nedkov: Nedkov hasn’t fought in forever, which is never a good thing, but he’s also not a great fighter, which isn’t a good thing either. He’s a sloppy striker, but he does have power, and Silva’s chin has been questioned before, so if Nedkov can close his eyes and wing a hail mary punch again, maybe he’ll shock the world and score a KO. Outside of that happening, he’s pretty much screwed in this fight. Silva is an aggressive boxer who hits as hard as anyone in the division, but his true strength is his ability to take guys down and beat the hell out of them with ground and pound. That’s what I expect out of Silva in his fight, who will be looking to get back on the winning track after losing his last fight and having his win over Brandon Vera taken away due to a failed drug test. Nedkov has never lost and his chin held up pretty well against Cane, so the stoppage might not be spectacular, but that won’t matter to Silva.
Prediction: Silva, TKO, Round 1
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Paulo Thiago: This would’ve been a good fight like two years ago. Now it’s just a fight that is happening and I’m not expecting much from it. Thiago is a good counter striker with heavy hands and Kim is a decent striker who moves well, but the strength of both men is on the ground. Kim has the better takedowns, but Thiago is the better grappler. The problem with Thiago’s grappling is that he gives up position way too easily. Kim’s grappling is top game oriented, so Thiago might be better off just staying in top position, not taking too many risks, and controlling position. For that reason, I think this could be a boring fight. Thiago will likely win the grappling battle, but Kim will play enough defense to avoid a submission. Even if the fight stays standing, I give Thiago the edge because he is the better overall striker with the power advantage. Either way, I have low expectations for this one.
Prediction: Thiago, Decision
Takanori Gomi vs. Mac Danzig: I really want Gomi to win this fight, because I’m one of those people who likes it when PRIDE guys do well. But it’s impossible to trust Gomi at this point. He’s the same fighter he’s always been, but his punches come much slower, he doesn’t attack the body as much, and his chin is no longer bulletproof. Now Danzig isn’t exactly a top level fighter, but he has good striking defense and should be able to see Gomi’s punches coming a mile away. Gomi has good takedown defense early, so Danzig will likely be forced to stand with him for at least the first five minutes. After that though, Gomi will get tired and Danzig should be able to take him down and lock on a submission. It’d be nice if Gomi could turn back the clock again like he did against Tyson Griffin, but it’s just not smart to put faith in him at this point in his career.
Prediction: Danzig, Submission, Round 2
Tiequan Zhang vs. Jon Tuck: Zhang has good submissions, but that’s about it. I don’t know much about Tuck except that he has an awesome nickname and plenty of power in his hands. Zhang was supposed to be the UFC’s big Chinese superstar, but then we found out that he’s not very good. He’s on this card because of his roots, but it could be his last time in the UFC for the foreseeable future. I think Tuck is good enough to keep the fight on the feet, connect with a big punch, and piss off the crowd.
Prediction: Tuck, TKO, Round 1
Jeff Hougland vs. Takeya Mizugaki: The man who ruined Miguel Torres’ career has traded wins and losses in his last 9 fights and he lost his last one, so obviously he’s going to win this fight. Hougland is a good grappler, but his takedowns aren’t anything special and even if he can get Mizugaki on the ground, it’s not like he’s incompetent there. No matter where this fight takes place, I give the edge to Mizugaki. But because he is who he is, he probably won’t finish the fight. So we could be treated to a lackluster one-sided bout.
Prediction: Mizugaki, Decision