So… I think I redeemed myself, with my UFC 131 predictions… going 4/5… only missing the main event, which I was WAY off on.
I’ll admit it.
A lot of you told me I was crazy picking Shane Carwin to beat Junior dos Santos… and I’ll give you all props… and Cigano props too. He looked awesome against Carwin and I’m surprised that fight made it out of the first round. That being said, on that night, Cain Velasquez would have taken out both dos Santos and Carwin. But that’s for another time.
UFC 132 Cruz Vs. Faber takes place July 2nd… and this show features the smaller fighters in the UFC, which should make for one of the better cards of the year.
For the first time in the UFC the Bantamweight title will be defended, when Dominick Cruz steps into the octagon and defends his belt against “The California Kid” Urijah Faber.
So let’s see if I can keep the momentum going and maybe go 5/5 on this show.
Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz (17-1-0) Vs. “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (25-4-0)
The main event is a rematch from the WEC, but this time, it’s on Cruz home turf of 135 pounds. This is a fantastic fight… could very likely be fight of the night and even possibly fight of the year.
Urijah Faber was the face of the WEC… and the UFC would like nothing more but to turn him into one of their poster boys. Since his drop from145 pounds (where he was the champion) Faber has looked awesome… like a rejuvenated fighter on the verge of great things. Faber was dominant in his win over Eddie Wineland back in March, and before that looked amazing against Takeya Mizugaki. His unorthodox style of fighting often throws fighters off… and he’s just as comfortable on the feet as he is on the ground… as shown by his 7 (t)ko wins and his 13 submission wins.
Faber’s four losses have come against top tier opposition. Twice to Mike Brown, once to Tyson Griffin (who was a top contender at 155 in the UFC and recently dropped down) and once to Jose Aldo, the current 145 pound champ. He’s undefeated at 135 and always comes to fight.
Across from him is Dominick Cruz, who has looked equally as dominant since he won the WEC (now UFC) title from Brian Bowles. Most of Bowles fights come by decision, but he has a few stoppages, including his title win against Bowles.
He’s taken out Scott Jorgensen, Joseph Benavidez twice and Charlie Valencia. The UFC has a lot invested in him as well, but clearly not as much as Faber. Example, at the UFC Fan Expo, Cruz was brought over to the Sportsnet Radio Fan590 booth for an Interview, and only a handful of fans crowded around to catch a glimpse of the champ. WE couldn’t get near Faber for a chat.
Like I said, this is a rematch from a 2007 fight, where Faber won, by first round submission. That was at 145 pounds though, and both fighters have since dropped down… and mind you, Cruz was 21 when he dropped his only fight.
This is a tough one for me to pick. I think it will go the distance. I’ll pick Faber to become the new champ, but I could easily see Cruz retaining his title.
Prediction: Faber by Decision.
Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva (33-10-1) Vs. Chris “The Crippler” Leben (25-7)
This one really makes me sad. I got into MMA while watching Pride FC years ago… and anyone who watched Pride will tell you they are a huge Wanderlei Silva fan. For the better part of a decade Wanderlei was the most dominant fighter on the planet… holding the Pride Middleweight belt for six years. In comparison, the UFC’s version of that title has only been successfully defended twice since 2007.
Sadly, Wandy is on the decline of his career… going 2-5 in his last seven fights. We also haven’t seen him fight in almost a year and a half. The last time he was inside the Octagon he picked up a decision win over Michael Bisping in his 185 pound debut… which he looked solid. I just worry he dropped weight classes a little too late.
If one thing bodes well for Wandy, it’s he’s fighting a guy who will play right into his game – striking – in Chris Leben.
Leben is coming off a knockout loss to Brian Stann and has struggled against to tier competition in the 185 pound division.
I would be shocked if this fight heads to the ground. It should be s fun, stand up battle. I fear Leben will catch Wandy and knock him out… but im going with my heart in this one and picking Wandy to take the win… and possibly move into a title shot against Anderson Silva.
Prediction: Wanderlei Silva by decision
“The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (15-8-1) Vs. Ryan “Darth” Bader (12-1)
This is Tito Ortiz’ last chance in the UFC, and unless he pulls off a miracle win, I don’t think we see him inside the octagon after this fight. Ortiz doesn’t have a win since 2006… that was over Ken Shamrock. He doesn’t have a legit win, since he beat Forrest Griffin, five years ago. Matt Hamill put on a clinic against Ortiz in their fight, in October. Bader will take Ortiz down and completely dominate him.
Bader’s only loss came to Jon Jones, earlier this year, and has wins over Antonio Rogerio Nogueria and Keith Jardine. He’ll use his wrestling to easily win by decision. I hope Tito retires and takes a front office job with the UFC… but I think his pride will be too much and we will see him in Strikeforce. Hopefully he doesn’t blame a back injury in his post fight speech.
Prediction: Bader by decision
Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit (26-5-0) Vs. “The Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (14-0-1)
If the Main Event doesn’t live up to the hype, this could steal the show and be fight of the night.
Condit is always in exciting fights, and despite winning his last three by decision, so is Kim.
Condit is coming off his brutal knockout of Dan Hardy, while Kim beat up on Nate Diaz in January.
Both guys have power in their hands and good ground games. Condit has this weird tendancy to take a lot of punishment early, only to ease of wins, late in the fights. It’s a coint flip for me… a considerable step up in competition for Kim, but has looked great recently.
I’ll take Kim, sadly, by another decision.
Predition: Dong Hyun Kim by decision
Dennis Siver (18-7) Vs. “Handsome” Matt Wiman (13-5)
A solid light-weight fight to kick things off here, with Siver, trying to push his win streak to four and coming off his dominant win over George Sotiropolous… taking on Wiman, who just beat Cole Miller in January.
On paper, Siver has faced the mush tougher competition, and could be peaking at the right time, but Wiman is no joke, inside the octagon.
I love Siver’s kicks and he has used them more and more effectively in recent fights. I think he will use those to chop Wiman down and win in the third round.
Prediction: Siver by 3rd round (t)ko.
Remember to follow @grohoman590 on Twitter for live tweets during the show. Weigh in on your thoughts round by round, on there too!