UFC Fight Night is being held in Phoenix, AZ on Saturday, December 13.
(#2) Junior “Cigano” dos Santos (16-3-0) vs. (#4) Stipe Miocic (12-1-0).
This is going to be a five round heavyweight (265 lbs) fight. This is a fight between two men who are at the top of their game and are on the brink of getting a title shot with interim champion Fabricio Werdum. Both of these men are fast, both of these men are explosive and both are veterans of the Octagon.
Miocic has fought some impressive matches in the UFC, facing off against the likes of Gabriel Gonzaga, Roy Nelson and Stefan Struve to name a few. He is also 12-1, which is impressive against these levels of fighters. He is a former NCAA wrestler and he likes to brawl. Most of his wins have been via KO or TKO.
Everyone that watches UFC knows dos Santos and his devastating punching. He is also a black belt in BJJ. For once, I am actually stumped. I am not sure if they will both stand and fight it out on their feet or if they will take the fight to the mat. I am not sure if Miocic’s wrestling/grappling can compete with Junior’s BJJ and ground-and-pound. One very big factor is that Miocic has never gone five rounds before. Dos Santos has done it several times. This will be huge if the fight goes that far.
I think that dos Santos’ BJJ is going to prove too much for Miocic on the ground. They both have awesome ground-and-pound, so if one of them gets on top and starts raining down huge punches and elbows, the fight could be over just as quickly as it began. However, I think the fight will go to the championship rounds, and I think dos Santos will pull out a submission. My prediction: dos Santos wins by submission in the fourth round.
(#3) Rafael dos Anjos (22-7-0) vs. (#14) Nate Diaz (18-9-0)
This is a three round lightweight (155 lbs) fight. Both of these fighters are veterans of the UFC and are black belts in BJJ. Nate is 6’0” but dos Anjos is only 5’ 8”, which puts him at a huge disadvantage in a fight like this. I think Diaz is going to be comfortable anywhere this fight winds up, standing or on the ground. I also think dos Anjos will be able to take Diaz down, but I am not sure he can handle Nate once they get to the ground. If dos Anjos’ Muay Thai is on-point, he should take Diaz down and then let him up. Rinse, lather and repeat. If he stays of the ground with Nate, he’s going to wind up getting choked out.
I’m not taking anything away from dos Anjos’ BJJ abilities, but I don’t think it is on the same level as Diaz’s. Either Diaz can keep this fight standing, with his trademark barrage of punches-in-bunches, or he can take it to the ground and submit. Either way, Rafael needs to be very careful during this match and not look past Diaz. Nate (and his brother) has no idea what the word “quit” means and they fight at an insane pace from bell to bell.
This fight has serious potential to be the “Fight of the Night”, with the action expected to maintain a furious pace. Most of the time I go with the higher ranked fighter, but in this instance I am choosing the underdog. Nate just has too many tools to ignore and I am not sure that dos Anjos is ready for it. My prediction: Diaz wins via submission (guillotine) in the second round.
(#11) Alistair “The Reem” Overeem (37-14-0) vs. (#15) Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve (29-6-0)
This is a three round heavyweight (265 lbs) fight. This is one of those fights that I really want to watch because it’s going to be an exciting one. It is noteworthy to mention that Overeem needed to cut weight to make the 265 lb maximum for this weight class. Also worth mentioning is that Struve is almost an entire foot taller than Overeem, hence the nickname “Skyscraper”.
Both men are kick-boxers by nature, but Overeem is a former kickboxing champion, while Struve is also holds a brown belt in BJJ. Overeem has lost three of his last four fights in the Octagon,while Struve has won four of his last five. These fighters are trending in opposite directions, which is why Overeem is going to want to stick to his strengths and keep this fight standing as long as possible.
If this goes to the ground, Overeem better either get up quickly or drop a bunch of ground-and-pound because Struve is a submission expert who will be looking for the finish as soon as they hit the mat. Struve should be able to keep Overeem on the outside with his huge reach advantage, but if Overeem gets close enough to start throwing well-timed punches and kicks, this might be a very short fight.
This is a very tough match to predict. It will all depend on who trained harder and smarter. It depends a lot on who brings their “A” game on Saturday night. If I have to pick one, I am going to choose Struve. If he can withstand the punches and kicks from Overeem and takes this fight to the ground, he might be able to submit and get the win. My prediction: Struve wins via submission in the third round.