Thursday, December 6, 2012
UFC on FOX 5: Diaz vs. Henderson Predictions
With all the injuries befalling the UFC these days I'm pumped that this card seems to be making in to December 8th intact. The Henderson/Diaz main event should be a great showcase for the UFC on network TV
Mike Swick vs. Matt Brown (+130)
After a two and a half year absence Mike Swick finally came back to the UFC in spectacular fashion with the Knockout of the Night over DaMarques Johnson. It was great to see because Swick had been battling so many injuries but I had him down in the first round against Johnson who is no longer even in the UFC. I'm not putting too much stock in to that because after 30 months there is probably a lot of ring rust to shake off but I'm counting this as Swick's real return to the UFC. Matt Brown has 8 wins in the UFC and out of those 8 opponents only one is still in the UFC (Stephen Thompson). As unimpressed as I am with his resume, Matt Brown is a much more game fighter than Johnson was. I'll be rooting for Mike Swick but I think he needs a few more live rounds to get his octagon legs back. I'm picking Matt Brown to outwork him enough to get the decision.
BJ Penn vs. Rory MacDonald (-300)
As frustrating as BJ Penn was in the last few fights, it's going to be nice to see him back again. Unfortunately, I think he made a terrible decision asking for this fight against MacDonald. I don't care what roster of sparring partners he put together and I don't care if you can actually see abs on BJ Penn for the first time ever as a welterweight. Whatever shape Penn gets himself in to, it's not going make him as quick or as big as MacDonald is. And with over a years worth of ring rust on Penn I can see this not getting out of the first round.
Mauricio Rua (+160) vs. Alexander Gustafsson
I'm a Gustafsson fan. When this fight was announced I was already to pick him to win this fight. He is an up and comer and he has all the measurables you could want in a fighter. Although he has main evented a card before, this is by far the biggest stage he's ever been on. Shogun is only 31 but he has a lot of miles on his tires. I see this fight going the distance and I know Shogun does tend to gas some but he's more equipped for three rounds of what I believe will be primarily a stand up fight. I think it'll be close fight with Rua eeking out the decision.
Benson Henderson (-140) vs. Nate Diaz
Henderson was my favorite WEC fighter and is arguably my favorite UFC fighter so I'm probably picking this more with my heart than my head. Nate Diaz is really coming in to his own. What he did in his last two fights is really impressive. I did not see him beating Donald Cerrone yet he landed close to 300 significant strikes and landed over 80% of his punches on the way to the win. Then he goes out and submits a guy in Jim Miller who had never tapped before. That being said, I do like Henderson in this fight. In my eyes he can't be finished with strikes especially from Diaz. He landed hundred of punches on Cerrone and it went to decision. We've seem Henderson in some pretty deep water in submissions yet somehow always get out of them. Diaz is, in my opinion, the best submission artist he'll fight to date but until I see someone put him to sleep or get him to tap I don't think I can bet on that to happen. The Diaz brothers have cardio for days but Henderson's average fight time is now over 3 rounds (15:11). I like Henderson to defend his belt as Nate Diaz goes into the championship rounds for the first time.