UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver Breakdown
UFC Fight Night comes to the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts this Sunday. The main event is between one of MMA’s rising star (and most charismatic fighter) in Conor McGregor (#5 ranked featherweight) against number 10 ranked featherweight Dennis Siver.
The UFC has yet to let us down in these free cards on FOX, and this card is looking good on paper as well. Let’s take a My MMA News breakdown on what to expect:
Joby Sanchez vs. Tateki “Tech” Matsuda
The opening fight of the night (and “early UFC fight pass preliminaries”) starts in the speedy flyweight division. Joby Sanchez (6-1, 0-1 in the UFC) brought in a perfect mma record, only to lose it in his UFC debut by decision to Wilson Reis back in August. Prior to the loss, Sanchez had finished all six of his victories, with three submissions and three TKO’s. Matsuda (10-6, 0-1 in the UFC) also lost his UFC debut to Chris Beal back in September. Matsuda has four TKO victories and one submission. Sanchez should hold the edge in speed and stamina, while Matsuda has a higher ranking in BJJ (Brown Belt) to Sanchez’s blue belt. Both fighters will look to avoid the dreaded 0-2 start and notch that first UFC win under their belt.
Matt “Gutter” Van Buren vs. Sean “The Real OC” O’Connell
The next fight we move up in weight to the light heavyweight division, however with the same implications, fighters looking for their first win in the UFC. Van Buren (6-3, 0-1 in the UFC) suffered a TKO loss in just 61 seconds to Corey Anderson in July’s UFC TUF 19 Finale. Van Buren is a big guy in the light heavyweight division at 6’5″, and he could use that advantage against his smaller opponent in O’Connell, who stands at 6’1″. O’Connel (15-6, 0-2 in the UFC) has his back against the wall at 0-2 in the UFC losing to Ryan Jimmo via TKO and a split decision loss to Gian Villante. O’Connell is going to need to close the gap on Van Buren and use his wrestling abilities to take down Van Buren and dominate from the top, if not, I see Van Buren with the edge in the stand up department using his height and reach advantage.
Charles “The Boston Strangler” Rosa vs. Sean Soriano
The opening fight of the preliminaries is a featherweight fight and good old “American Top Team vs. Blackzilians” match between hometown favorite Charles Rosa vs. Sean Soriano. Rosa (9-0, 0-1 in the UFC) had his perfect mma record taken away in a decision loss to Dennis Siver back in October. A BJJ brown belt under Ricardo Liborio, Rosa has finished all nine of his fights, with six submission wins and three TKO’s. Soriano also had a perfect 8-0 record, then lost back-t0-back in the UFC to Tatsuya Kawajiri via submission and Chas Skelly via decision. Soriano will want to keep the fight standing, avoid being taken down and look for the knockout, Rosa however has decent striking to add to his ground game and should be the favorite fighting in his home state of Massachusetts.
Johnny “Hollywood” Case vs. Frankie Perez
Johnny Case was originally supposed to fight 12-0 Francisco Tervino, who had to pull out due to injury, Frankie Perez will make his UFC debut now against “Hollywood”. Case (19-4, 1-0 in the UFC) has been on a roll winning nine staight fights including a submission debut victory over Kazuki Tokudome back in September. Case hasn’t lost since October of 2010, and he is dangerous on both the ground and with his striking, finishing 17 of his 19 fights (11 TKO/KO’s, 6 submissions). Perez (9-1) is a BJJ brown belt from Ricardo Almeida’s camp. Perez has five submission victories and one TKO victory, with his last fight a decision win over Tom Marcellino in WSOF back in September. Perez will want to avoid Case’s stand up and try to take the fight to the ground and submit “Hollywood”, a tough task for his debut in the UFC.
Patrick “The Hooligan” Holohan vs. Shane Howell
Bantamweight battle and the first of “The Irish Invasion” between Holohan (10-1-1, 1-1 in the UFC) against Shane Howell (13-8, 0-1 in the UFC). Holohan won his debut in the UFC against Josh Sampo, however had his unbeaten record recently ended with a decision loss to Chris Kelades back in October. Holohan has eight submission victories and is a stablemate of Cathal Pendred and Conor McGregor. Holohan is the favorite in this fight according to the betting odds. Howell looks to bounce back from a first round submission loss to Ray Borg. Before his UFC debut loss, Howell had a six-fight winning streak going. Howell has finished 11 of his 13 wins, and will need to overcome the adversity of being the underdog in this fight.
Chris Wade vs. Zhang “The Warrior” Lipeng
Chris Wade (8-1, 1-0 in the UFC) made an impressive debut in UFC 177 by submitting Cain Carrizosa in just 72 seconds, earning his third straight pro win and improving overall to 8-1. Wade is well rounded with a respectable wrestling background and an amateur kick boxing champion. Zhang Lipeng (9-7-1, 2-0 in the UFC) is an interesting fighter. Lipeng was 7-7-1 when he made his UFC debut in China, and he has won both of his matches in the UFC staying undefeated, and moving up to 9-7-1 overall. Another win would be impressive and a big push for Lipeng, who is the clear underdog in this fight (the gambling sites have Wade averaged at -430 and Lipeng at +350). Can Lipeng’s feel good story continue, or will he face his first loss to Wade? An interesting fight.
John “Doomsday” Howard vs. Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin
A welterweight clash with two fighters’ future in the UFC in danger when Howard and Larkin collide. Howard (22-10, 6-5 in the UFC) has been released by the UFC once before when he started 4-0 in the organization, only to lose his next three in a row. Howard is facing the same scenario in his second stint, as he was brought back, won two straight, and has now lost two in a row to Ryan LaFlare and Brian Ebersole. Lorenz Larkin (14-4, 1-4 in the UFC) has struggled ever since coming into the UFC. Larkin was a perfect 13-0 until his UFC debut loss to Francis Carmont. Larkin has now lost three straight, and he is dropping from the middleweight division to welterweight to look for some success. Both fighters have good standup and knockout power (17 TKO/KO’s combined between the two fighters). This fight is a toss up and can go either way. One this is for sure, the loser will most likely be released from the UFC.
Cathal “The Punisher” Pendred vs. Sean Spencer
The second SBG Ireland member and McGregor’s teammate in Cathal Pendred goes to war against dangerous striker Sean Spencer. Pendred (15-2-1, 2-0 in the UFC) looks to make it three straight over Sean Spencer, and push towards a spot in the welterweight top 15. Pendred last fought and won a decision nod over Gasan Umalatov back in October’s UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Story. Pendred is well versed with his striking and ground work. Sean Spencer (12-3, 3-2 in the UFC) last fought and won a decision victory over Paulo Thiago back in September’s UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs. Arlovski-2. Spencer is the slight favorite in this fight, and with his athleticism, he should be able to fend off Pendred’s ground game if he was able to stifle BJJ Blackbelt Thiago.
Norman “Stormin” Parke vs. Gleison Tibau
Norman Parke (20-2-1, 4-0-1 in the UFC) has been on a tear in the UFC going 4-0 with one draw, and he has an 11-fight unbeaten streak going back to March of 2010. Parke has not lost in nearly five years, and he has his takedowns and takedown defense to thank for that. Tibau (32-10, 16-8 in the UFC) has been a journeyman in the UFC, always coming close to a potential title shot. Tibau has recently won two straight fights over Pat Healy and Piotr Hallman, and looks for a third straight win over Parke. This should be a close, technical fight, with the winner scoring the most takedowns and winning the fight on the ground. Tibau is a very strong and solid lightweight fighter. The winner of this fight will probably see a spot in the top 15 lightweight rankings when the dust settles.
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (#3 lightweight) vs. Benson “Smooth” Henderson (#5 lightweight)
Donald Cerrone and Benson Henderson are no strangers to eachother. This will be the third fight between these two, with Henderson getting the better of Cerrone the first two times back in their WEC days. Both fighters have progressed from those encounters back in 2009 and 2010, and both have made huge impacts in the UFC. Benson Henderson was able to capture the lightweight title over Frankie Edgar and defend it three times before losing it to Anthony Pettis. Cerrone fights, wins performance of the night awards, and just…fights…alot. Cerrone is on a tear, winning six straight fights, including a win over Myles Jury only two weeks ago. Henderson was scheduled to fight Eddie Alvarez, who had to withdraw due to injury, and Cerrone gladly took the fight. As previously reported by us, Cerrone said all he wants to do is fight, and he even went on to text Henderson about going for the $50,ooo performance bonus (how bad ass is that?). Henderson looks to bounce back from a knockout loss to top contender Rafael Dos Anjos. If Cerrone pulls this out and wins, it seems almost guranteed that he gets a shot at the winner of lightweight champ Anthony Pettis vs. Rafael Dos Anjos.
Conor “The Notorious” McGregor (#5 featherweight) vs. Dennis Siver (#10 featherweight)
The main event of the evening is between “The Notorious” Conor McGregor and Dennis Siver. McGregor’s excessive trash talking and charisma has helped boost his name to the top. Do not be fooled however, McGregor (16-2, 4-0 in the UFC) has backed up all of his talking with winning in exciting fashion. McGregor is a perfect 4-0 in the UFC and is riding a 12-fight winning streak dating back to February 2011. McGregor is a well-rounded fighter with great confidence in his skills and abilities. The odds makers are making it clear cut that McGregor will win this fight and there is slim-to-none chances that “the other guy” wins…not smart. Dennis Siver (22-9, 1 NC, 11-6, 1NC in the UFC) is no slouch. Siver is a dangerous striker with good takedown defense, and he can easily catch McGregor and knock him out if McGregor doesn’t take Siver seriously. Siver last fought and won over Charles Rosa via decision back in October. McGregor will be ready to prevent an upset in the making as there is a lot at stake for him as well. According to Dana White, if McGregor wins this fight, he will get a title shot at featherweight champion Jose “Scarface” Aldo.