By Frank LaCosta – firstname.lastname@example.org
The shrewd marketing team for the UFC has decided that it would save its best for last in terms of pay-per-views for this event. Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez in a rematch for the heavyweight title is a great headline. There are also some interesting fights on this card which make it worth watching.
Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos (15-1-0) vs Cain Velasquez (10-1-0)
Their previous fight on FOX sent shock waves throughout the MMA world when Dos Santos pulled off the surprise win and took home the belt. Since then Velasquez has been focused on regaining the title with vengeance on his mind. Dos Santos wants to put away Velasquez, move on and continue his reign in the division. The fight will go longer this time but the result will be the same. Dos Santos is a devastating brawler with a powerful punch. He’s hard to take down. Velasquez is no slouch with his own arsenal but if he’s going to try to stand and bang with Dos Santos he’ll end up unconscious quickly. My prediction: Cigano wins in the second round with a knockout.
Jim Miller (21-4-0) vs Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon (22-7-0)
J-Lau’s first round performances are some of the best in the UFC and he’s an exciting fighter to watch. His mind set is to come out like the fight is only scheduled to be five minutes long and will give it everything he’s got. Miller on the other hand is the more methodical fighter. He’s solid on his feet and on the ground. He’ll utilize his BJJ, striking and wrestling skills for a more complete fight. Their both well rounded 155ers but in the end this is what happens: First round goes to Lauzon, but in the second and third rounds when the action slows down, Miller takes it to the ground and begins his assault. My prediction: Miller wins via decision after the third.
Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (16-4-0) vs Costa Philippou (11-2-0, 1NC)
Philippou is coming in as a last second replacement for Chris Weidman. The Barbarian has lots of heart, a strong chin and big punching power coupled with some very creative uppercuts. He’s won four in a row since losing to Phil Davis by submission. Philippou is in a similar boat in terms of wins. Expect a fairly evenly matched bout. Boetsch will try to take this one to the mat where he can use his superior wrestling skills. My prediction: Boetsch via submission in the third round.
Yushin “Thunder” Okami (28-7-0) vs Alan “The Talent” Belcher (17-5-0)
This might have “fight of the night” honors if it goes the distance. Okami has rumbled with several great fighters in the game. He won’t be intimidated by anything that Belcher brings. Belcher as his nickname indicates is a talented fighter who will rely on striking and BJJ. If they stand and exchange blows Belcher has a shot. Once it goes to the floor Okami will take over and it’ll be a wrap. Belcher takes the first round and Okami the other two. My prediction: Okami via decision.