With the UFC 167 right around the corner, now is the perfect time to predict just what's going to happen at the show.
Let's take a look:
Donald Cerrone vs Evan Dunham
Both Cerrone and Dunham have both been close to a title shot in their careers. However lately they have come on a downfall. A win for either would surge them towards a title shot again.
The pair have both lost to very good fighters lately - Rafael Dos Anjos is a common defeat, whereas Cerrone was TKOd by UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis and Dunham to top contender TJ Grant.
The difference between the two is recent wins. Cerrone has beaten better fighters in Melvin Guillard (who has beat Dunham) and KJ Noons. Dunham on the other hand only has victories over the likes of Nik Lentz who has now dropped to Featherweight and Gleison Tibau by split decision.
'The Cowboy' seems a lot more well rounded than Dunham, having a perfect kickboxing record along with excellent wrestling.
This fight could definitely be Fight of the Night, with two fighters who love to stand and bang. However I feel that Cerrone's length and striking will get the better of Dunham in the exchanges and go on to grab the decision win
Cerrone via Decision
Ed Herman vs Thales Leites
Leites was cut from the UFC very harshly after a split decision loss to Alessio Sakara and previously fought Anderson Silva for the Middleweight title. He came back into the promotion and scored an impressive victory over the very handy Tom Watson.
Herman too has looked good since his 'return' to the UFC after his long injury out. He's unbeaten in the UFC since he came back and is was sent to Strikeforce for one bout to meet former Strikeforce MW Champion Ronaldo Souza
Since moving to Nova Uniao, Leites has improved his stand up, which will be the key in the fight. His Jiu-Jotsu has always been spectacular and it's whether Herman who has the wrestling pedigree will want to take it to the ground.
Leites will get the better of Herman on the feet and cause 'Short Fuse' to shoot for an untidy takedown, leaving his neck open and letting Leites grab the choke.
Leities via 2nd round guillotine choke.
Brian Ebersole vs Rick Story
Story had a massive hype around him when he beat former Welterweight title contender Thaigo Alves. However he was soon brought back down to earth, losing to Charlie Brennaman and then Martin Kampmann.
Ebersole recently suffered his first UFC loss in a split decision to James Head. Previously he had looked very impressive after he upset Chris Lytle on debut and is 4-1 with the UFC.
Story definitely has the slight advantage in the wrestling department and should get Ebersole down a few times.
However on the feet I think Ebersole, especially training in Thailand, will land a lot of kicks and slow 'The Horror' down. Ebersole should punish his opponent on the feet and defend the takedown enough times to have his hand raised.
Ebersole via Decision
Eric Perez vs Edwin Figueroa
This is a must win for Figueroa, who is lucky to still be in the promotion. He's 2-3, with his win against Alex Caceres coming due to a 2 point deduction.
Perez on the other hand is a great prospect at Bantamweight. He's just 23 and is 3-1 in the UFC, with his last loss coming via split decision to veteran Takeya Mizugaki.
This should be a straight forward win for Perez as he meets an opponent who is not at the same level as him.
Perez via 1st round T/KO
Jason High vs Anthony Lapsley
People seem to be counting Lapsley out early in this fight. Yet, he has a decent record, including a controversial loss to veteran Jay Hieron.
High is famous for his guillotine when his opponent shoots for a takedown. However I think Lapsley is too experienced to fall for this trap. It'll be a back and forth fight but Lapsley's experience will come in. I'm calling the upset.
Lapsley via Decision
Will Campuzano vs Sergio Pettis
The brother of UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis makes his awaited UFC debut and meets a late replacement in Campuzano.
Don't expect a mirage of flashy kicks from Sergio in this fight, as he is a lot more 'old-fashioned' as a fighter.
If Campuzano had longer to prepare, I think this would be a close contest. However his two weeks won't be enough to compete with the youngster.
Pettis via Decision
Gian Villante vs Cody Donovan
Donovan has very limited stand up and relies on his ground game. Villante excels on the feet and is too a blackbelt in BJJ.
I can't see this one lasting long. They both lost to Ovince St. Preux in their last fight each. The difference is Villante competed whereas Donovan was KOd in the first round. Expect the same outcome here and to see Donovan cut from the UFC.
Villante via 1st round T/KO (KO of the Night)
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