GMS academy member Will Rooney casts his eye over a packed night of UFC action in Quebec City, as Michael Bisping aims to mark his comeback in style against bitter foe Tim Kennedy.
Main Event: Michael Bisping vs Tim Kennedy
I really don't understand how this fight was made, in terms of matching up middleweight stars correctly.
Usually it's Michael Bisping who talks himself into a fight, however after his win over Rafael Natal, Tim Kennedy called out 'The Count'. It has turned into a bitter grudge match, with Kennedy running his mouth throughout the time they have been scheduled, labelling Bisping a "dirty fighter" who bends the rules when possible.
This is a bad match for Kennedy. Although Bisping has not fought for almost a year due to an eye injury, he is another class in terms of opponents fought and top-level experience.
Kennedy beat Rafael Natal by KO last time out, but will need to find a different gear to repeat that feat in Quebec City tonight. Throughout that fight Kennedy was getting caught by wild hooks, something he cannot afford to repeat against an opponent in Bisping who favours prolonged beatdowns rather than one-punch knockout power.
Bisping will be a lot crisper and accurate in his striking if fully fit. His jab-cross combination should constantly catch Kennedy across the course of the five-round fight.
Kennedy will desperately want to get this fight to the ground, however Bisping's wrestling is superb, especially for a British fighter. Chael Sonnen struggled to get Bisping down and we even saw 'The Count' take Sonnen down in the fight..
Bisping has been in there with the best. I see him out-striking Kennedy and eventually wearing him down, a lot like the Jason Millar fight, and finishing him early on.
Bisping via 2nd round T/KO
Co-Main Event: Patrick Cote vs Kyle Noke
The two coaches finally have their showdown.
Moving down to welterweight has been a great move by both fighters. This could be a classic striker vs wrestler match up.
Cote has fought some great fighters in the past, including Anderson Silva, Alan Belcher and Ricardo Almedia.
Noke on the other hand went to a draw with Hector Lombard in 2007, the highlight of his career.
This fight could really go either way. A move to 170lbs is a should suit Cote better however. 'The Predator' looked a lot sharper in his debut against Bobby Voelker. His experience fighting the best should be enough to get him a decision win.
Cote via decision
Dustin Poirier vs Akira Corassani
It shouldn't take long for Poirier to get the job done here. At just 25, he is a veteran in the UFC and will be competing inside the Octagon for the 10th time.
Poirier is a superbly well-rounded fighter, having both good stand up and Jiu-Jitsu. 'The Diamond' has fought the best in the featherweight division, including Eric Koch, Chang Sung Jung and Cub Swanson.
Corassani is very much a journeyman and despite and winning his last three, they haven't been against top-level opposition. His brawler style will be easily shrugged off by Poirier and he land stylish combinations to finish Corassani.
Poirier via 1st round T/KO
Sam Stout vs KJ Noons
This has fight of the night written all over it. Both love to stand and bang until one of them falls.
Noons has fought some excellent opponents recently. Although he has three straight losses on his record, two are to the excellent Josh Thompson and Donald Ceronne, while the other was a suspicious split decision loss to Ryan Couture.
Stout has been patchy also, winning and losing back-to-back in his last six. However he doesn't have the nickname 'Hand of Stone' for no reason and hits extremely hard.
This will be a great battle but former pro boxer Noons should be too good on the feet. There will be some great exchanges, saw jaw dropping moments, but Noons will out-strike Stout to the judges.
Noons via decision
Sarah Kuafmann vs Leslie Smith
This is the second time the two meet after their Fight of the Night in Invicta MMA. Although I've picked the fight above as FOTN, don't scratch this off consideration in that category.
Smith's four-inch height advantage will cause trouble again for Kaufmann, and will try and keep her opponent away from double jabs and leg kicks. Yet, Kaufmann is a lot better technically and throws solid hands. It will be back and forth much like their first fight and the judges will be split. Nonetheless, I think the outcome will be the same as previous.
Kaufmann via split decision
Ryan Jimmo vs Sean O'Carrell
O'Carrell has potential, but first UFC fight jitters will play a factor. Further, Jimmo is a solid Light Heavyweight, defeating Anthony Perosh and Igor Pokrajac in the UFC. He is now training with the Blackzillians in Florida and that camp will certainly have him tuned up for this.
Jimmo via decision
George Roop vs Dustin Kimura
You never know which George Roop will turn up. The one that head kicked KO'd Chang Sung Jung or the one who looked terrible against Francisco Rivera. Kimura looks a solid fighter, and has a great all round game. For Roop's inconsitancy, I'm going with Kimura to submit Roop
Kimura via 2nd round Submission
Bocek over de la Torre
Taleb over Grujic
Walsh over Indich
Gagnon over Gorman
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