By Lance LeVan
UFC Fight Night 52 is being held in Saitama, Japan on Saturday, September 20.
(#6) Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt (9-8-1) vs. (#8) Roy “Big Country” Nelson (21-9-0).
This is going to be a five round heavyweight (265lbs) fight. This is going to be another fight that has “fight of the night” written all over it. These guys are two of the top contenders for the championship belt (currently held by Cain Velasquez). Both of these guys have iron-jaws. Both of these guys like to throw punches in bunches. Both of these guys are excellent grapplers. Hunt is a wrestler, Nelson is a BJJ black belt. They both have the ability to end the fight with one punch. But I get the feeling that this fight will go to the ground and it will be a more technical fight than people are expecting. It will be VERY interesting to see if Hunt’s wrestling will match up with Nelson’s BJJ abilities. Either way…there is going to be action from the first bell to the last bell of round five. Believe it or not, I think this fight will go all five rounds. I know that Hunt is higher in the rankings…but I think Big Country will be able to outlast him in the later rounds. In the end…Nelson’s experience in the octagon will be the deciding factor. My prediction: Nelson wins by unanimous decision.
(#9) Myles “Fury” Jury (14-0-0) vs. Takanori “The Fireball Kid” Gomi (35-9-0, 1NC)
This is a three round lightweight (155 lbs) fight. Let me start by saying that I am a HUGE Gomi fan. I have been watching him for several years…and he has been one of the icons of MMA. I know he has three times the number of fights that Jury does, I know he has held several more titles than Fury has, I know Gomi has the experience and his training and cardio are on point. But with all of that being said…I think that his time is coming to a close. I think that Fury is up-and-coming. I have seen this kid fight and he is devastating. He has amassed a 14-0 record and he doesn’t look like he’s planning on losing anytime soon. At this level of MMA, anyone can lose at any given time. One lucky punch can end your night early. I think that Gomi is going to be looking to get back on-track with a win over this new blood. I hope Gomi can come up victorious…but if I had to put money on this fight, I would definitely bet on the “Fury”. This one will not go all three rounds. My prediction: Jury wins via TKO in the 2nd.
(#2) Meisha “Cupcake” Tate (14-5-0) vs. Rin Nakai (16-0-1)
This is a women’s bantamweight (135 lbs) fight that should be very entertaining to watch. I have to be honest and admit that I do not know much about Nakai. I have not seen her fight and I am not able to find a bunch of her fight footage online. But judging a book by its cover, she is 5’1”…and built like a tank. She has a perfect record, so far…and she has fought several big name fighters. However, she has never fought in the UFC. This is the Big Leagues. Numerous fighters who were outstanding step into the Octagon with all of the lights and screaming fans…and they freeze up. While I think Nakai has the experience and ferociousness to give Meisha a run for her money, I think that her debut in the UFC is going to prove too much of a mental barrier for her to overcome. Especially against the #2 ranked fighter. Even if this was not Nakai’s debut…she would have her hands MORE than full taking on “Cupcake”. I think Meisha is going to be a little too relaxed and too technical for Rin to handle. This is going to be on the ground quickly and I think that Meisha will submit her decisively. My prediction: Cupcake wins via submission in the 2nd round.