Jason Head_Shot[1]

By Jason Sutcliffe

I am looking forward to an exciting night of fights Saturday, when the UFC goes live from Boston for the first time. This card’s great, and I expect that there will be a lot of knockouts and submissions there are a lot of finishers on the card.

Let’s take a look at the card from top to bottom, and I will give a very brief analysis and make my predictions.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs Chael Sonnen

This is an interesting fight. Everything comes down to whether Shogun can stop the takedown, and his conditioning. If Shogun can prevent Sonnen takedowns he will in all likelihood knock Chael out in the early rounds. Shogun has had issues with his cardio this is going to be a significant factor in the fight. Sonnen is going to try and grind Shogun down with his gritty, high pressure ground game and take home a lob-sided decision win. I am interested in seeing how this one turns out.

My Prediction: I hesitantly pick Sonnen by Unanimous decision

Alistaire Overeem vs. Travis Browne

For me, this one is going to depend on where it takes place. Browne is going to have to stay off the fence, use his footwork and head movement if he wants to win this fight. For Overeem, he is going to want to pressure Browne and limit his movement by backing him into the fence where he can utilize his clinch game, and maybe score a takedown here and there. Overeem is going to have the power advantage, but Browne will be the faster fighter with a lot better movement.

My Prediction: Overeem by 3rd round TKO

Urijah Faber vs. Iuri Alcantara

This is going to be a great fight. Urijah has a good all-round game and is going to want to use his speed. I expect he will mix in some takedown attempts and create some scrambles and in typical Faber fashion look to synch in a choke. Alcantara also has a great all-round game. He strikes harder and is more accurate. Iuri may be the better striker, but Urijah is hard to hit, he will have to increase the volume of his strikes. Urijah utilizes a lot of movement, so he has to be first to act he can not get caught watching him or hesitating.

My Prediction: Urijah Faber by 2nd round submission

Matt Brown vs. Mike Pyle

Matt Brown gets in opponents grill and pressures him with strikes until he breaks, style of fighter. It favours him to strike from the outside in this fight, but we all know that probably will not happen. Brown has become a much more developed martial artist and has improved his takedown defence a great deal. His aggressive style in this fight could wind up working against him. Pyle needs to take this fight to the mat where he has the biggest advantage. He should be able to dominate if he can do that. He may have enough confidence in his striking to stand with Brown. Brown has an uncanny ability to make fighters, fight his fight.

My Prediction: Matt Brown by 2nd round TKO

Urijah Hall vs. John Howard

This is Hall’s fight to lose. They are both solid strikers but Hall is better. Where Hall would be exploited, is his takedown defence, wrestling and JJ skills. Howard is not nearly a skilled enough grappler to beat him. Hall’s speed and striking accuracy will make the difference. John will need to take the fight where it suits him best. He needs to make this a Muay Thai fight. He needs to make it ugly; get in close and dirty box, beat up his legs. If this is a pretty striking match, he is in a lot of trouble. Hall is a lot faster and a lot more athletic.

My Prediction: Hall by 2nd round TKO

Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Johnson

Joe Lauzon is going to be pumped fighting in his hometown and has a lot of experience on his side. Lauzon is crafty and very dangerous, and he aggressively pursues the finish. He will likely want to get this fight to the ground where he has the biggest advantage. Michael Johnson needs to keep this fight standing he is more athletic than Joe, and probably has a bit of an advantage striking. If he ends up on the ground, he will have to be cautious of Joe’s sub game, and safely get back to his feet.

My Prediction: Joe Lauzon 1st round submission

My Prediction for the Fox Sports 1 Preliminary card:

Brad Pickett vs. Michael McDonald
Conor McGregor vs. Max Hollaway
Mike Brown vs. Steven Siler
Diego Brandao vs. Daniel Pineda
Manny Gamburyan vs. Cole Miller
Cody Donovan vs. Ovince St. Preux
Ramsey Nijem vs. James Vick

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