Two weeks after Rampage Jackson dominated Matt Hamill, the UFC is back… making its Canadian return, descending on Vancouver for UFC 131: Dos Santos Vs. Carwin.
A band-aid card with a bunch of injuries, but on paper it should be an exciting one.
After going 2/5 at UFC 130, I’m going to try to redeem myself with these picks.
Junior Dos Santos (12-1) Vs. Shane Carwin (12-1)
Don’t blink in this fight, folks. These two have some of the heaviest hands in the company, with Dos Santos perhaps the best technical boxer the heavyweight division has ever seen.
Take at look at their 12-1 records. Out of the combined 26 fights they’ve had, only three have made it out of the first round.
Carwin has 7 knockout wins. Dos Santos has 8.
Carwin is a slower version of Brock Lesnar (Dos Santo’s original opponent), but his hands are night and day better than Brock’s. Because of his hands, I think this will keep “Cigano” at bay, and open up opportunities for a clinch, which we saw Carwin use in his knockout win over Frank Mir.
Dos Santos is the better boxer. He will put together fantastic combinations and his uppercut can put anyone to sleep. I think the fear of Carwin’s hands, combined with his wrestling will result in second round tko for the former Interim champ.
Prediction: Carwin by 2nd rd. (t)ko
Kenny Florian (13-5) Vs. Diego Nunes (16-1)
This is the featherweight debut for “Ken-Flo” as he makes an appearance in his fourth division under the UFC umbrella.
After finishing as a runner up at 185lbs on the first season of the Ultimate Fighter reality show, Florian has dropped to Welterweight and Lightweight (where he earned two title shots) and with the absorption of the WEC, he makes his debut at 145 pounds, which might be the right fit for him.
But talk about being thrown into the deep end of the pool… he has to take on Nunes, who’s only loss has come to L.C. Davis.
Nunes isn’t a flashy fighter by any stretch of the imagination… his last six fights have ended by decision, but he will take the fight to Florian.
Florian is a proven UFC competitor, with wins over Clay Guida, Takinori Gomi and Joe Stevenson… his elbows are razor sharp and his ju-jitsu is top notch.
We’ll see how the weight-cut affects him, but I’ll take Florian by decision.
Prediction: Florian by decision
John Olav Einemo (6-1) Vs. Dave “Pee-Wee” Herman (20-2)
Another make-shift matchup… with Einemo’s original opponent supposed to be Shane Carwin. He draws the always tough “Pee Wee” Herman instead.
This is a tough one to call. Einemo hasn’t fought in five years, after being highly touted in PrideFC.
Herman has been a journeyman, who is finally making his octagon debut… He’s a 2-1 favourite, but Einemo has the better ground game. I think he can take this one to the floor and squeeze out a submission.
Prediction: Einemo by 2nd rd. submission (possibly triangle choke)
Demien Maia (14-2) Vs. Mark Munoz (10-2)
Mark Munoz has looked great since dropping to 185 and starting training with Black House. His striking has looked fantastic… especially in his fight against C.B Dolloway.
This fight is one of two completely contrasting styles; with many saying Maia has the best MMA ju-jitsu.
Maia has been working on his hands and has tremendous heart, as shown in the Anderson Silva title shot he received.
This is the litmus test for Munoz to see if he belongs in that upper echelon of middleweight fighters.
If the fight stays standing, it’s Munoz’ to lose.
If it hits the ground Maia should handle it.
Working with the Nogueira’s I think Munoz keeps it on the feet and wins in the second round.
Prediction: Munoz 2nd rd (t)ko
Donald Cerrone (14-3) Vs. Vagner Rocha (6-1)
WEC favourite Donald Ceronne is back inside the UFC Octagon… against late replacement Vagner Rocha.
Originally Mac Danzig was scheduled to fight Ceronne, but an injury forced him out and the Florida native onto the main card.
To be honest, I don’t know much about Rocha. I know out of his six wins, four have come by submission, while Cerrone looked great against Paul Kelly back in February.
I’ll take the Cowboy by third round submission
Prediction: Cerrone by 3rd rd. sub.
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