It's fight week once again and I need your full attention for a moment. Rather than a Wednesday or Saturday show, this week's UFC Fight Night is set to take place this FRIDAY, so don't show up a day late.
As far as Fight Nights go, this is certainly one of the better lineups. With an intriguing preliminary card headlined by Julie Kedzie's chance at redemption against an undefeated and promising Bethe Correia, making her UFC debut, and a stacked main card, there is a lot to look forward to in this one. If you caught my "TUF 18 Finale Preview" last week, then you know by now that our predictions are as good as gold. So here we go again. Check out my main card predictions below and place your bets accordingly. Enjoy!
MAIN CARD PREDICTIONS:
1st Fight: Dylan Andrews vs. Clint Hester
Fellow TUF 17 competitors and budding UFC stars, Dylan Andrews and Clint Hester are true up-and-coming talents in the middleweight division. With similar size and style, this is an intriguing matchup, no matter how you look at it. I could honestly see this going either way, but I think Andrews will have a slight edge being from the neighboring country of New Zealand. He will certainly have the support of the Aussie crowd, and in a razor close matchup like this one, that's reason enough to go with the Kiwi.
Winner: Dylan Andrews by Decision
2nd Fight: Pat Barry vs. Soa Palelei
Pat Barry has had an interesting stay in the UFC thus far. After making his debut back in 2008, he has alternated wins and loses almost systematically over the past five years. If that pattern holds up, his June 15th loss to Shawn Jordan is all the preparation he will need to take home the victory this Friday. Standing in his way is Soa Palelei. This Australian native will certainly have the fans behind him, but that's not th eonly momentum "The Hulk" will have going into this bout. While this is only his second fight in the UFC, he is currently riding an impressive nine fight win streak and is certainly someone to be fearful of in the heavyweight division. I'm going to have to go with Barry, however, as UFC experience is truly an irreplaceable factor in today's world of MMA.
Winner: Pat Barry by 2nd Round KO via Punches
3rd Fight: Ryan Bader vs. Anthony Perosh
Ryan Bader has four losses on his record, but a more impressive four losses, you'd be hard pressed to find. His victorious foes include the current #2 contender to the UFC Light Heavyweight belt, in Glover Teixeira and three future or former UFC Light Heavyweight Champions in Jon Jones, Tito Ortiz, and Lyoto Machida. Not to shabby. Anthony Perosh, who continues to compete at the highest level of competition at the ripe age of 41 years old, is a force to recokoned with, however I don't believe he has what it takes to overtake "Darth" Bader on Friday night. Age is a definite factor, no matter how much we pretend it's not. And age aside, I think Bader is the more talented fighter anyway. No-brainer.
Winner: Ryan Bader by 1st Round KO via Punch
Co-Main Event: Mauricio Rua vs. James Te Huna
Shogun is truly one of the geatest fighters to ever grace in the sport. With countless iconic battles in both Pride and the UFC, a deadly variety of strikes and submissions, and a plethora of 'of the night' and 'of the year' awards, Shogun is a true Hall of Fame candidate, and a perennial fan favorite. He is the former Pride Middleweight GP Champion and the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. His resume speaks for itself. Unfortunately, he is a shell of the fighter he used to be. While still young, he has been in some wars over the years and it's catching up to him. I have to go with Te Huna in this one, although I'll be openly rooting for Shogun.
Winner: James Te Huna by 1st Round KO via Punches
Main Event: Mark Hunt vs. "Bigfoot" Silva
Mark Hunt was on a four fight win streak before being knocked out by a spectacular spinning heel kick via Junior Dos Santos. Is a wild knock out at the hands of a top heavyweight contender really even a loss in fighter value? Of course, that same argument can be made for Silva, as his most recent loss was to Cain Velasquez via knockout. However, his unlikely victory over an overconfident Alistair Overeem is more in the realm of fluke than accomplishment in my book Whether that opinion is fair or not, I believe Hunt is still a top contender at heavyweight, and will prove just that on Friday Night.
Winner: Mark Hunt by 1st Round KO via Punch
Thanks for reading guys! Follow me on twitter @RealRadioBlog for more!