My preview of UFC on FX 6: Sotiropoulos vs. Pearson, which might be the worst UFC card of the year.
George Sotiropoulos vs. Ross Pearson: After a failed stint at featherweight, Pearson is back to lightweight to continue to be mediocre. Most people were high on Sotiropoulos until he lost a couple of fights and was out of action for a year and half. This is a pretty winnable fight for him though. Pearson is a solid boxer with power and Sotiropoulos is very hittable, but the same can be said in reverse. The ground is where there is a huge disparity though. Sotiropoulos has an excellent top game with some of the best guard passes in MMA. Pearson isn’t clueless on the ground, but he’s no match for his opponents control. The problem for Sotiropoulos will be getting the fight to the ground. He doesn’t have a great shot, but he is good at getting takedowns from the clinch, which is where Pearson likes to fight. I think Sotiropoulos will be able to get enough takedowns and, given five rounds to work with, will eventually submit his opponent.
Prediction: Sotiropoulos, Submission, Round 2
Robert Whittaker vs. Brad Scott: I have one simple rule when it comes picking Ultimate Fighter Finale fights: pick the dude who had the most impressive performances on the show. Since I didn’t actually watch TUF: Smashes, I’m relying on recaps to not let me down. Scott won two decisions, Whittaker knocked out two dudes. So I’m going with Whittaker.
Prediction: Whittaker, TKO, Round 1
Colin Fletcher vs. Norman Park: Park won two decisions on the show, Fletcher won a decision and submitted a guy. I feel even more confident in this pick as I’m getting my advice from the always trustworthy Stewart Lange. So blame him if I’m wrong.
Prediction: Fletcher, Submission, Round 2
Hector Lombard vs. Rousimar Palhares: This is actually a good fight. Lombard was one KO away from getting a title shot earlier this year and Palhares is always fun to watch because you never know what kind of wacky thing he’ll do. Both of these guys are really dangerous in the first minute. Then it gets a little slow. Palhares’s leg locks are basically KO punches and Lombard’s fists are KO punches. I expect Palhares to dive for Lombard’s legs early, but Lombard has a strong base and good takedown defense. Lombard can definitely end Palhares’s night quickly, but if he doesn’t put him away with the first or second flurry, he’s going to fight cautiously, especially given the grappling threat of Palhares. I think this fight could look a lot like Dan Henderson vs. Palhares, where Palhares goes for a lot of takedowns, gets a few, and does nothing with them while Lombard easily gets the better of things on the feet but fails to put his opponent away. It won’t be terrible, but it won’t be all that memorable either.
Prediction: Lombard, Decision