By Lance LeVan
UFC Fight Night 47 is being held in Bangor, ME on Saturday, August 16. In my opinion, three of the fighters in the Top 3 matches are treading on proverbial “thin ice” with the UFC and Dana White. Several of them have lost at least three of their last four fights. When you start having those kinds of stats…Dana starts weighing-in on whether or not he needs to keep fighters around who are on losing streaks. However…like I have said several times before…I am willing to bet that within minutes of Dana cancelling a particular fighter’s contract with the UFC, other organizations will be offering them a contract.
(#8) Ryan “Darth” Bader (18-4-0) vs. (#10) Ovince Saint Preux (16-5-0).
This is going to be a five round light heavyweight (205lbs) fight. In my humble opinion, this is going to be a slugfest! Both of these fighters like to throw punches and both like the ground-and-pound aspect of the fight. Bader is a fairly high level wrestler and a purple belt in BJJ. Ovince is also a decorated high school wrestler and has fought in Strikeforce and XFC. He has amassed a 4-0 record in his short time in the UFC. He will be searching for the very elusive 5-0 record during this fight. “Darth” has won three of his last four outings and has done so in a very decisive fashion. It will be very interesting to see which of these two wrestlers will have the better take-downs and take-down defense. Plan on seeing this fight go to the ground…and a lot of ground-and-pound. I usually cheer for the wrestler…but in this case…they are BOTH wrestlers. Since I have to choose one or the other…I am going to go with the experience and the ranking. Bader has 14+ fights in the octagon and he is ranked #8 for a reason. My prediction: Bader wins by TKO in the 2nd round.
(#12) Gray Maynard (12-4-1, 1NC) vs. Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson (17-7-0, 1NC)
This is a three round lightweight (155 lbs) fight. Maynard is a decorated college wrestler, a blue belt in BJJ and a veteran of the octagon. Pearson is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a brown belt in Judo and a blue belt in BJJ. When you look at these two fighters on paper, they appear to be very similar and very evenly matched. Maynard has had several “Fight of the Night” honors, so I expect to see a lot of explosions out there. I would not expect this fight to go all three rounds. Both of these guys like to brawl and it will be interesting to see if either fighter purposely takes this fight to the ground. I am willing to bet that they both stand up and trade blows the entire length of the fight. This has the makings for another “Fight of the Night” accolade…since they both like to punch…A LOT. If Pearson were to win this bout, I think it would propel him into the Top 20 rankings. If (when) Maynard decisively wins this fight, he may move further up the rankings ladder…closer to a title shot. I think this is going to be a good test for both fighters. My prediction: Maynard wins via TKO in the 2nd.
(#14) Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (17-7-0) vs. Brad Tavares (12-3-0)
This is a middleweight (185 lbs) fight that should be action-packed. Tavares has won five of his last six fights by decision…mostly unanimous. He is an “all-around” fighter and it appears to be working for him, so far, with a 12-3 record. He was ranked as high as 15th in the middleweight division, but has since dropped below that. Boetsch is a highly decorated high school wrestler. He has a good record in the UFC, but he has dropped three of his last four fights. And all of those losses were very decisive. Tavares is going to be looking to climb back up in the rankings. A major win in this bout would do that for him. Boetsch needs to win this bout with an exclamation point. He needs to show Dana and the UFC that they should extend his contract and not send him packing. Both of these fighters needs to prove a point in this fight and I think that will make for a very dynamic and explosive fight. With this much on the line for both of them…it will either be very explosive…or they will be nervous and will not want to engage. We’ll see what they bring to the cage Saturday night. Will they try to win by “not losing” or will they leave everything they have in the ring for 15 minutes. My prediction: Boetsch wins via split decision.