Apr 19, 2013

UFC on FOX 7: Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez Predictions

Hello boys and girls.  It's been a while since we've written an article.  But we're back and better(?) than ever.  And what better way to come back with the thunder on these predictions than with an official ItsMMAzing event? Check them out.

Undisputed UFC Lightweight Championship

Benson Henderson (c) vs. Gilbert Melendez

image via memegenerator.com
Lavender Gooms: From the ashes of a promotion which has swallowed and enveloped by a larger and richer promotion comes one of the greatest things in the fight business.  A champion versus champion fight!!  That’s what we’re getting here in Ben Henderson(UFC champ) and Gilbert Melendez (Strikeforce champ).  For the longest time people have been wondering how Gilbert would stack up with the elite of the UFC, and you don’t get more elite than the toothpick bandit.  Both Bendo and Gilbert are well rounded fighters, who can take the match in different directions but a few things will tip this match Bendo’s way.  If they allowed him to, Bendo could probably fight for ten rounds no problem, so five is nothing for him. In the stand up he’ll use his leg kicks to keep the distance and cause some damage and will stifle Melendez’s takedown attempts with his superb takedown defense.  I see this being a really exciting back and forth fight for the first three rounds with Bendo pulling away in the fourth and fifth when Melendez tires.  Toothpick Bandit by Unanimous Decision

DJ Mark with a "K": On paper, this fight just doesn’t seem as competitive as I think it will actually be. Recently, Gilbert hasn’t seemed as motivated as he was earlier in his career. Mostly likely because he has ran through all the most exciting challenges StrikeForce could offer him. I’m hoping finally getting in the UFC and getting a crack at the title is enough to reignite that passion. Even so, Ben Henderson has all the momentum in the world going his way. It’s hard to picture Ben losing this fight after looking so great against Gilbert’s teammate Nate Diaz. Part of me wants to root for all the underdogs on this card but I have to pick and choose them wisely. I have the hardest time imagining how Gilbert will be able to pull off a win and because of that, logic wins out. Bendo by decision.

Kid Presentable: Here we are in 2013 with the former WEC and Strikeforce champions fighting for the number one spot in the UFC. For the first time since he deflated the hype train of the great Japanese hope, Shinya Aoki, Gilbert gets a chance to prove himself against a top tier opponent. Unfortunate then that it will be an all uphill battle as Bendo has been Beast Moding all over the weight class. This is a tough matchup since Bendo does everything Gil does well just a little bit better. Few fighters don’t have jitters in their first UFC fight, and fewer more have a title shot for their first fight in the company. Bendo’s speed, pressure, and having gone the distance and to war in this division for a few fights now will lead his first finish as the now unified lightweight champion. Bendo by guillotine round 3.

Doctor Law: The entire card main card is UFC v. Strikeforce and the most important fight includes the guy many have hoped would join the UFC for years. Perennially top 5 ranked lightweight and final Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez finally makes his UFC debut in a title fight against Benson Henderson. I think this isn’t a great matchup for Gilbert under ideal circumstances and adding octagon jitters to the situation won’t help him. Bendo is fighting like a man possessed these days and I think he is basically better than Gilbert anywhere the fight goes. This isn’t a slight against Gilbert; I don’t think anybody can beat Bendo at 155 pounds the way he is currently going. Most importantly, if Gilbert comes to the cage with the Strikeforce belt, Bendo should be able to take it with him if he wins. Henderson by submission in round 4.

Picking Henderson: Unanimous

Picking Melendez:

Daniel Cormier vs. Frank Mir

Lavender Gooms: In the last few months anytime I’ve read an article about Cormier it’s about his move to light heavy weight, whether he should get an immediate match against Jon Jones, him saying he would like a tune up fight before fighting for the title...So I have a question to put in this bucket..when did Frank Mir become chopped liver?!?!?!This man fought for the title LAST YEAR, and broke a Nogueira’s arm in sickening fashion in the recent past.  He’s a heavy BJJ dynamo.  Why are so many people giving him no props??  I’m not saying I don’t like Cormier.  We all know his wrestling is on point and his stand up has improved tremendously with each fight.  But I can’t abide the hype train in this case, I have to go in the opposite direction here.  Mir by submission in 3rd round.

image via boicy.ru
DJ Mark with a "K": I think a lot of people are sleeping on Mir here. He’s a massive underdog and generally it seems like most people are thinking Cormier has this in the bag. Personally, I think is a great measuring stick for Cormier. If he can get a win over Mir I think it validates him as a top contender in whatever division he ends up fighting in. However, I don’t think this is an unwinnable fight for Mir. Cormier has to be careful if he decides to take it to the ground and while Mir isn’t a monster on his feet, he has been able to catch some decent strikers while standing. I have Cormier winning this but I wouldn’t be surprised to see an upset here. Cormier TKO 3rd 3:12.

Kid Presentable: When you’ve subbed Big Nog in your career you will always have a chance in a fight. That said, we’re still talking Dumb and Dumber one in a million odds. A win by Cormier would probably be a one sided dominant fight because with his Olympic level wrestling an superior speed advantage on the feet, no one has truly been able to challenge or make Cormier look vulnerable yet. This means that if Mir wins, it was because he managed to catch Cormier on the feet after likely taking a barrage of shots himself, or he pulled off a hail mary submission like he did in Brock fight 1. The odds on this fight are a bit disrespectful to a fighter the caliber of Mir, but at the final bell they will seem appropriate after a one-sided fight. Cormier by TKO in the 1st.

Doctor Law: Daniel Cormier is finally in the UFC and we’re going to see the fight that was supposed to go down back in September of last year. I don’t totally understand the point of this fight if Cormier is going down to 205 whether he wins or loses. He has no interest in fighting Cain Velasquez despite the interest the rest of the population has in seeing it happen. Mir changed up his training camp for this fight and joined Team Jackson-Winklejohn in Albuquerque. Good for him. Cormier is a ridiculous favorite, but I still think he wins unless he goes to the ground with Mir. In which case, he’s going home with a broken limb. Side note, at the press conference stare down Cormier told Mir "you're in big, big trouble." That’s some ominous shit right there. Cormier by 2nd round TKO.

Picking Cormier: DJ Mark, Doctor Law, The Presentable One

Picking Mir: Gooms

Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson

Lavender Gooms: His last fight notwithstanding, he is still one of the elite in the lightweight division.  It’s a shame he’s planning on leaving the division after this fight to go to welterweight division where he had mixed success.  Thomson’s wrestling can cause problems for Diaz in this fight.  But I think(hope) that Diaz’s slick boxing and top notch BJJ comes out and shines in this fight.  I've never picked against a Diaz before and I'm sure not going to start now. I don’t think I can stand a three fight Diaz losing streak…..Diaz by Stockton Slap/submission in 3rd.

DJ Mark with a "K": This is an interesting fight, I think both guys know how dangerous the other is because Josh has fought Nate’s training partner, Gilbert, many times. Style wise they are both very different, Diaz loves to box and use ji jitsu and Josh uses mostly kicks when standing and prefers to be on top when the fight hits the ground. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out but I feel most comfortable picking Josh here (I think he’s the underdog, right?) because of the Diaz’s lack of kicking defense. Josh by decision.

Kid Presentable: Well since Josh Thomson can’t fight Gilbert for a 14th time, why not let him just fight another member of Gil’s camp? Depending on which Thomson shows up, this could very easily be the fight of the night. Thomson has shown the willingness to stand and his extensive use of kicks would serve well against the leg ignoring Diaz bros. However, if you decide to stand with a Diaz brother, you're gonna have a bad time. Which leads to wrestlehump Thomson. Nate has shown very improved takedown defense at lightweight and there are only a couple fighters who could probably overpower Nate the way Rory did at welterweight and Josh shouldn't be one of them. Nate by decision.

Doctor Law: Nate had a rough night against Benson Henderson in his last fight. He looks to rebound against Josh Thomson who is best known for his trilogy of fights with Gilbert Melendez or getting kicked in the face by Yves Edwards 9 years ago (look it up). Thomson is a good fighter, but I think his best days are behind him. He’s also always injured. He’s a good wrestler and throws a variety of strikes, but I think Nate is going to take him out. Did you really expect me to pick against a Diaz brother? Diaz by 3rd round submission.

Picking Diaz: Gooms, Doctor Law, Kid P

Picking Thomson: DJ Mark

Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein

image via ign.com
Lavender Gooms: Great fight to start the main card.  If Brown wins this fight, he’ll be in the conversation to make the next edition of the prestigious ItsMMAzing rankings.  Mein is more athletic than Brown and showed impressive punching power with his TKO victory over Dan Miller.  But like DJ Khaled all Mike Brown does is win.  Brown by submission 3rd round.

DJ Mark with a "K": It’s really sad to hear about Dan’s health and it’s too bad we won’t see him fight Matt. However, I think Jordan is a good replacement. Both of these guys are gritty fighters and it seems like on all the Fox cards they have a fight like this one. It’s hard to imagine this fight not producing fireworks. I think Brown’s momentum will carry him here and get him the W. Brown by submission 2nd rear naked choke 4:02.

Kid Presentable: First I have to start with that this fight may have marked the retirement of a personal favorite in Dan Hardy due to the discovery of his Stark heart. The Immortal is always one of the most game and entertaining fighters you'll see and it is nice to see him put together a nice streak so late into his career, but Chow Mein is going to keep riding the Strikeforce momentum wave with his offensive pressure and put it on Brown in what should be a fun competitive fight. Mein by TKO round 2.

Doctor Law: I don’t really understand how Jordan Mein is a -350 favorite over Matt Brown. Mein looked great against Dan Miller, but he also almost got arm barred in the first minute of the fight. Brown is coming off of 4 straight wins and looks like he is making some serious improvements despite being pretty far into his career. I see big things for Jordan in the future, but I think Brown is going to take care of business in this one. Brown by 3rd round TKO.

Picking Brown: Gooms, DJ Mark, Doctor Law

Picking Mein: Kid P

While there's an action packed card coming up this weekend in San Jose, there's also some action here on the right coast.  If you're in New York City this weekend check out the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) Open on April 20th on 138th & Convent Avenue.  Why am I shamelessly plugging a regional BJJ tourney? Because my friend is in it of course! So let's all root for former rocker/Tough Mudder partner Abraham Sanabria to bring home some Ws.

Always bet on black and the mohawk

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