Nate Diaz will test those stellar BJJ skills of his once more when he tangles with the extremely well rounded Josh Neer. Clay Guida, a man who has proven he can fight with the elite of the lightweight division even if he often seems to fall just short, will take on TUF winner Mac Danzig. In addition, there are several more solid fighters on the card trying to make a name for themselves or looking to reemerge on the UFC's radar.
Nate Diaz (9-2) vs. Josh Neer (24-6-1): Nate Diaz isn't a very stocky or physically strong fight. Though his takedowns and takedown defense are very good, the aforementioned sometimes gets in his way of deciding where the fight will go. Unfortunately for would be opponents, that appears to be his only real weakness.
We're talking about a man with stellar Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills, particularly from his back. In other words, the second you hit the ground with him you're in trouble. What's more, like his brother, Diaz is simply as tough as they come. Finally, he possesses solid technical striking skills. That coupled with his long reach and ability to repeatedly hit home on opponents allows him to hurt people through cumulative effect (again, like his brother).
Diaz is a fun guy to watch.
Josh Neer is a tough guy that can do everything well?wrestling, jiu jitsu, and striking. He's also a pretty strong guy. He really doesn't have any significant weaknesses.
Still, he has lost three times by way of submission during his career, and those losses have all come within the last three years or so. So you would think that he's susceptible against an elite jiu jitsu guy.
Of course, he defeated Joe Stevenson, so that may not always be the case.
Prediction: Neer could conceivably ground out a decision victory here. On the feet, he has more power than Diaz even if the Gracie Jiu Jitsu fighter tends to do quite well there in his own way. Eventually, though, figure that this fight ends up on the ground with Neer on top. And once there, it only takes one mistake.
Nate Diaz wins via second round submission.
Clay Guida (23-6) vs. Mac Danzig (19-4-1): Former TUF winner Mac Danzig is a very well rounded fighter. Along with this, he possesses strong technical striking skills, a more than solid submission game, and has better than average takedowns and takedown defense. In the past, he's been beaten by strong competition like Hayato Sakurai and Kurt Pellegrino. But we've all seen how much fighters improve once they've been on TUF.
You've got to think that the same may have happened for Danzig.
Clay Guida is one of the most exciting fighters in MMA. He always comes to fight in great shape, keeps up a breakneck pace, and has outstanding wrestling skills, to include takedowns and takedown defense. Guida is also tough and possesses solid striking skills. He has, however, been submitted five times during his MMA career, so submission defense may sometimes be an issue.
He tends to fight throwing caution to the wind.
Prediction: This is a tough call. On the feet, Danzig has an advantage. On the ground, Guida should be able to control him to an extent. The problem for Danzig is that it's very hard to stop Guida from putting opponents on their backs.
Clay Guida wins via unanimous decision (ground and pound).
Ed Herman (16-5) vs. Alan Belcher (11-4): Ed Herman possesses some solid striking skills. However, his bread is always buttered on the ground where he has some very good offensive jiu jitsu capabilities and better than average wrestling.
That said, when he fights elite BJJ competition he tends to get submitted. That said, Herman is tough; in other words, knocking him out is a very tall order.
Alan Belcher is a very powerful striker with solid wrestling. His jiu jitsu has improved as well, as his four career submissions would seem to attest to. By the way, he's only lost once by submission and once by (T)KO.
Prediction: This is a very tough call. In the end, when you have a question it's usually better to go with the guy with the better grappling.
Ed Herman wins via unanimous decision.
Houston Alexander (8-3) vs. Eric Schafer (9-3-2): Schafer is better on the ground and will likely win if he ends up on top there. Alexander is a powerhouse that can drop you on a dime. It's always hard to call a Houston Alexander fight.
Houston Alexander wins by way of first round TKO in front of the hometown crowd.
Alessio Sakara (16-7-1) vs. Joe Vedepo (7-1): What Vedepo lacks in spotlight experience he may make up for in wrestling skills here.
Joe Vedepo wins via TKO (ground and pound).
Wilson Gouveia (10-5) vs. Ryan Jensen (11-3): Jensen is very well rounded but has not done well on the UFC stage in the past.
Wilson Gouveia wins via TKO in round two.
Joe Lauzon (15-4) vs. Kyle Bradley (13-5-1): Joe Lauzon is simply a very good fighter.
Joe Lauzon wins via second round submission.
Jason Brilz (15-1-1) vs. Brad Morris (10-3): When all else fails, pick the guy with the better record. On second thought. . .
Brad Morris wins via second round TKO.
Drew McFedries (7-3) vs. Mike Massenzio (10-2): McFedries may be the better technical striker here. In other words, he may connect first and doesn't tend to get submitted.
Drew McFedries wins via TKO in round two.
Dan Miller (8-1) vs. Rob Kimmons (21-3): Kimmons is tough as nails, but Miller is a BJJ wizard.
Dan Miller wins via second round submission.