Seeing as how we’re currently in the midst of one of the rare occasions where more than a month goes by without a UFC pay-per-view, the UFC is putting on a free show this Saturday night with a “Fight for the Troops 2” event on Spike TV.
The show was supposed to be headlined by a Kenny Florian-Evan Dunham bout, but after a Florian injury, we got injury replacement Melvin Guillard in what is, to me, a much more appealing match.
After what Gray Maynard did to Florian, a Dunham matchup would have likely gone the same way, but Guillard provides much stronger striking and athleticism that makes for an intriguing matchup that could go either way.
Here’s a breakdown of each fight on the main card and predictions for the entire card.
Evan Dunham (11-1) vs. Melvin Guillard (26-8-2, 1 NC)
Rundown – This fight has more to do with how Guillard fights than Dunham. We know about Dunham’s consistency, his wrestling prowess and his submission skills. Guillard has a ton of skill and athleticism, but a lot of his success depends on which Guillard shows up. Ever since he began training with Greg Jackson, a smarter Guillard has entered the ring and he has been able to hone in on his athleticism and fight a lot smarter. The key for him will be picking apart Dunham on his feet and avoiding the takedown, because if Guillard ends up on his back I don’t know if he’ll be able to get back up.
Prediction – Dunham is a strong favorite here, and Kenny Florian (his original opponent) was a much better matchup for the rising star. I think the work Greg Jackson has done with Guillard will work wonders and he will come out with a perfect game plan to negate Dunham’s strengths. I’m going with the upset here. Guillard by decision.
Matt Mitrione (3-0) vs. Tim Hague (12-4)
Rundown – Mitrione has generated a bit of hype in the heavyweight division following a decision victory over Joey Beltran at UFC 119 in September. Hague is back in the UFC following two straight victories in a Canadian promotion. Mitrione is an incredibly raw mixed martial artist that has improved with each fight, but how much he has improved is the question. While his professional record is flawless since graduating from “The Ultimate Fighter Season 10,” Beltran is the only true mixed martial artist he has fought on the professional level. How much his game has evolved will tell the tale of if his record remains flawless.
Prediction – Like Dunham, Mitrione is a heavy favorite and I’m not quite sure why. Hague has been inconsistent, but with victories over the likes of Pat Barry. Mitrione also tends to wear down toward the end of fights, and a solid veteran like Hague should be able to take advantage. Hague via TKO (round 3).
Mark Hominick (19-8) vs. George Roop (11-6-1)
Rundown – The biggest mismatch on this card. Hominick is on the verge of a featherweight title shot, while Roop was a head kick away from being given his walking papers. Hominick possesses a number of strengths, and not one of them is countered by Roop, who was thrust into this matchup thinks to an impressive KO of the Korean Zombie a few months ago. Roop will have a slugger’s chance of pulling off another upset, but this is Hominick’s fight to lose.
Predictions – Often times, you see a rising contender with a shot at the title on the line become very timid, and that’s definitely possible in Hominick’s case, but I still see him being too much for Roop. He’ll overwhelm him with takedowns and eventually finish the fight. Hominick via submission (round 2).
Pat Barry (5-2) vs. Joey Beltran (12-4)
Rundown – Barry is one of, if not the most efficient strikers in the heavyweight division. A former kickboxer, Barry seemed on the fast train to contention breaking both a hand and a foot against Mirko Cro Cop last year that A) Lost him the fight and B) Put him on the shelf for a prolonged period of time. Enter Beltran, who is seen as a potential warmup fight for a man who is coming off of quite a bit of ring rust. If Beltran wins this fight, it’s because he catches Barry or gets him on his back.
Prediction – I don’t see any of the aforementioned results happening. Barry will likely pick Beltran apart for three rounds and hardly break a sweat in doing so. Barry via decision.
Cole Miller (17-4) vs. Matt Wiman (12-5)
Rundown – Miller is a lanky, improving lightweight coming off of an impressive victory over Ross Pearson. Wiman hasn’t fought in nine months and is coming off of a controversial victory over Mac Danzig (the referee thought Danzig was unconscious from a rear naked choke attempt, but he was not).
Prediction – Miller has evolved into a threat on his feet (he showed it against Pearson), and is one of the most dangerous Brazilian jiu-jitsu practicioners in the lightweight division. He’ll build his case as a rising contender. Miller via submission (round 1).
Yves Edwards (39-16-1) over Cody McKenzie (12-0)
Mike Guymon (12-4-1) over DaMarques Johnson (11-8)
Mike Thomas Brown (24-7) over Rani Yahya (15-6)
Williamy Freire (17-3) over Waylon Lowe (9-3)
Amilcar Alves (11-2) over Charlie Brenneman (11-2)
UFC 125 – 6-4-1 (3-1-1 main card)