By Brian Beard
Nate Diaz (16-8-0) vs. Josh “The Punk” Thomson (19-5-0)
If you’re looking for fireworks, tune into this one! Nate Diaz is guaranteed to talk a lot of shit both before and during the fight! Thomson isn’t one to sit back and take it either. Both of these guys are very good fighters with great ground games and great boxing. Diaz is the taller and I would say bigger fighter and has been doing great since dropping to 155. Thomson is quicker and more active. Look for Thomson to buzz around like a gnat and really push the pace. Diaz will be slower and will look to draw Thomson into a stand up exchange where he can use his range and boxing skills. Thomson will need to circle and work the angles from the outside. If it goes to the ground, look for Diaz to be very aggressive chasing submissions. My prediction: Diaz will catch one and submit Thomson in the third round. Raw guy.
Frank Mir (16-6-0) vs. Daniel “DC” Cormier (11-0-0)
This will be Cormier’s first fight in the UFC and he draws Frank Mir? Talk about bad luck…or is it? Mir is coming off of an almost one year layoff. He has brutal submissions (see his fights with Tim Sylvia and Nogueira) and has drastically improved his boxing, but will the time off be a hindrance or an advantage? Cormier is an amazing wrestler with Olympic experience. Needless to say, this cat can flat out wrestle. The key for him will be to stay out of Mir’s submissions once he gets the takedown and he will get the takedown. I look for Mir to be the better striker but Cormier will close the difference and beat the brakes off of Mir. My prediction: Cormier will remain undefeated with a second round TKO.
Benson “Smooth” Henderson (17-2-0) vs. Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez (21-2-0)
This will be Melendez’ first fight in the UFC and he draws Benson Hednerson aka Bendo? Talk about bad luck…it is! Melendez is a beast and a very, very good fighter. He is well rounded and technically sound and can go for days and this should be a good fight. Bendo is a crazy, freakish athlete who may look like a hippie, but don’t get it twisted. He can scrap! This will be a very fast paced fight with a lot of scrambles and exchanges. I don’t foresee much, if any ground fighting but rather a lot of stand up exchanges and cage work. Look for Bendo to simply be the better athlete here. My prediction: Bendo will win a unanimous decision in a very technical fight.