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UFC Fight Night 17 at the Sun Dome Preview

UFC Fight Night 17 will take place at the Sun Dome in Tampa Bay, Florida on February 7, 2009. Unfortunately for Hermes Franca, he had to pull out of his main event battle against Joe Lauzon due to injury. Of course, one person's misfortune is another person's fortune.

Enter hard-hitting Jeremy Stephens on short notice.

Beyond that fight is a card full of worthy fighters like Cain Velasquez, Mac Danzig, Anthony Johnson, and more.

Joe Lauzon (16-4) vs. Jeremy Stephens (16-3): Joe Lauzon is a very good wrestler with outstanding cardio. He also displays solid stand up skills with good power and above average submissions. In fact, training with BJ Penn has likely taken those submission skills of his to another level, particularly when working from the guard.

Jeremy Stephens has good stand up and hits like a truck. Beyond that, he's also very strong and possesses good wrestling skills. In terms of a weakness, in the past he's been somewhat susceptible to submissions, having lost twice via that route.

Prediction: This is a very tough fight to call. If Lauzon can get Stephens to the ground for a significant length of time he may be able to pull off a submission. But getting him to the ground and keeping him there is not going to be easy. Stephens, on the other hand, is a very powerful striker. Of course, Lauzon isn't bad in that regard either. Figure that this one goes the distance with Lauzon gaining enough takedowns and avoiding well enough on his feet to eek out a decision victory. The short notice that Stephens took this fight on may hurt him against a fighter that's been training very hard.

Joe Lauzon wins via a close decision.

Cain Velasquez (4-0) vs. Denis Stojnic (12-1): Velasquez, simply put, is an excellent wrestler that hits like a truck. In other words, he may not be a great submission fighter yet, but he's got the other two facets covered.

Stojnic is a very good striker just like everyone else that trains with him at Golden Glory. His wrestling, though, is not at the level of a Velasquez.

Prediction: If Velasquez finds the going difficult on his feet, he has another way to go. Does Stojnic?

Cain Velasquez wins by way of TKO.


Mac Danzig (19-5-1) vs. Josh Neer (24-7-1): This is a fight where both combatants can do it all. Guess is that Danzig may be a little better on his feet than his adversary, but this one is very close.

Mac Danzig wins by way of unanimous decision.

Luigi Fioravanti (13-4) vs. Anthony Johnson (6-2): Both of these fighters like to stand and bang. Johnson, though, is the more athletic fighter. That could be the difference.

Anthony Johnson wins via TKO in round two.

Kurt Pellegrino (18-4) vs. Rob Emerson (10-6-1): If this fight stays standing, Emerson will win by knockout. But guess is that Pellegrino will get this one to the ground. That's his world.

Kurt Pellegrino wins via first round TKO.

Dan Miller (11-1-1) vs. Jake Rosholt (5-0): This fight is about as interesting as they come. Jake Rosholt is a top-flight wrestler with decent stand up and a jaw of granite. Dan Miller has solid stand up, wrestling, and outstanding submissions. If the fight stays on the feet, Miller may be able to eek out a decision. If it hits the ground?and that will be up to Rosholt?then we're talking about a submission fighter versus a wrestler.

Can't decide on this one as it's that close. So take the guy that's already fought in the UFC.

Dan Miller wins by way of a second round submission.

Matt Grice (10-1) vs. Matt Veach (10-0): Veach is well-rounded. Grice is well-rounded and has fought on the big stage before.

Matt Veach wins by way of decision.

Gleison Tibau (27-5) vs. Rich Clementi (40-13-1): Tibau is the better submission fighter. Clementi is the better striker.

Rich Clementi wins via second round TKO.

Nick Catone (6-0) vs. Derek Downey (10-3): Catone has a lot on his feet, but Downey may have the more well-rounded skills.

Derek Downey wins by way of second round submission.

Steve Bruno (13-4) vs. Matt Riddle (1-0): Bruno truly has well-rounded skills. Riddle, though, seems to have all the talent in the world and good wrestling to boot.

Matt Riddle wins by way of a decision.

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