UFC on FOX 13 Breakdown
by George Portoulas
They say some of the best things in life are free. The UFC shows on FOX fall under that category. This Saturday, UFC on FOX 13 will bring us a card full of everything from key heavyweight bouts including fighters in the hunt for a title shot, to a match up of undefeated females in the straw weight division.
We might even have a fight in jeopardy, as Nate Diaz did not show up yesterday to open workouts and if you know a thing or two about the Diaz brothers they like to stick to their guns. Diaz has stated he is unhappy with his current contract and skipped the obligated event which promotes the fight card.
MyMMANews is going to breakdown the card and what to expect, and as a bonus, some of my (George) picks on the main card. Let’s start from the beginning.
Ian “Enty” Entwistle vs. Anthony “El Toro” Birchak
The opening match of the evening will be in the bantamweight divison. Entwistle (8-2, 0-1 in the UFC) had an unsuccessful debut at UFC Fight Night in June, losing to Daniel Hooker via TKO in the first round. Entwistle is slick on the ground, with six of his eight victories coming by submission, even more impressive, four of those submission wins coming under 60 seconds. Birchak is on a five-fight win streak which he will be bringing into his debut in the UFC. Birchak (11-1) brings a solid ground game, a four-time Greco-Roman Arizona state champion and a BJJ world silver medalist. Birchak has finished nine of his 11 wins, six by submission and three by tko/ko. I think Birchak will out wrestle Enwistle and grind out the victory in the eyes of the judges.
Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo vs. Dustin “The Diamond” Kimura
We stay in the bantamweight division as Dustin Kimura welcomes Henry Cejudo into the UFC. Cejudo (6-0) is a 2008 Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling with an great wrestling and ground-and-pound style. Cejudo is a decorated champion in freestyle wrestling, also winning championships in Pan American, US Nationals, and other amateur championships. Kimura (11-2, 2-2 in the UFC), has been on a roller coaster ride in the UFC. After starting with an overall 10-0 mma record (including a win in his UFC debut), Kimura has gone 1-2 with his last fight a loss to George Roop. Kimura is very skilled on the ground with jiu jitsu, this match up however might not be in his favor with the style in his opponent. I am leaning towards “The Messenger” coming into the UFC with an opening statement to the bantamweight division with a decision victory.
David “BullDawg” Michaud vs. Garett “Goodnight” Whiteley
What do Michaud and Whiteley have in common? Both are fighting in the lightweight division, they were undefeated coming into the UFC, and are now winless in the UFC. Michaud (7-1, 0-1 in the UFC) is a tough fighter who is developing his skills. Michaud lost a close split-decision to Jingliang Li at UFC 173 back in May. Whiteley (7-2, 0-2 in the UFC) brought an undefeated record into the UFC and is now in danger of going 0-3 in the organization. Whiteley is well rounded, finishing all of his opponents (four tko/kos, three submissions). This fight should be entertaining for the facts that both fighters love to scrap, and both are aching to get that first win in the UFC. A loss could easily be the pink slip in this match. I am leaning towards “Bulldawg” using his wrestling and aggressiveness to get a TKO midway through the second round.
Joe “Excalibur” Ellenberger vs. Bryan Barberena
Joe Ellenberger made a successful debut in the UFC winning a close split-decision back in June. Ellenberger (15-1, 1-0 in the UFC) is a very tactical fighter always with a gameplan and is a 2x NCAA All-American wrestler. Barberena (9-2) is a newcomer to the UFC with a great task at hands, stopping Ellenberger. Barberena is a tough fighter who always looks for the finish. Seven of Barberena’s nine wins have come by tko/ko. Barberena is the underdog in this fight, and he will need to rely on defending the take down and looking for that knockout to put his face on the map in this deep talented division. I feel that this will be a tough task, and I am leaning on Ellenberger controlling this fight and scoring the knockout late in the first round.
Ed “Short Fuse” Herman vs. Derek Brunson
Middleweight action between season three TUF finalist Ed Herman and the speedy Derek Brunson. Herman (22-10, 1 NC) will be making his 17th appearance in the UFC and is coming off of a decision victory, defeating Rafael Natal back in May. Brunson (12-3, 3-1 in the UFC) won his first two fights in the UFC until he ran into top ranked Yoel Romero and was defeated. Brunson bounced back with a decision win over Lorenz Larkin at UFC 177 back in August. Both fighters will look to tack on another win and start a streak and climb into the middleweight rankings. Herman is dangerous all around and has fought some of the best in the business, having the edge in experience. This fight is too close to call, I am leaning towards youth with Brunson pulling off the win over a very game Herman, earning a decision in an all out war.
Jamie “C-4” Varner vs. Drew Dober
Varner and Dober clash in the lightweight division, and both fighters desperately need a win or they will surely be released. Varner (21-10-1, 2 NC, 3-6 in the UFC) is in a downward spiral, losing three straight fights, with his last fight suffering some bad luck with an ankle injury in which he could not continue. Varner is very experienced and well rounded. Dober (14-6, 0-2 in the UFC) is still looking for a win in the UFC. Dober is well conditioned and has good stand up. Varner has been in the game for a long time, and he knows exactly what is at stake. I see Varner taking Dober to the ground and pulling off a submission in the first round.
Ben “Killa B” Saunders vs Joe “Diesel Riggs”
A very exciting fight between two popular middleweights with solid ground games. Riggs (40-14, 1 NC) has fought in nearly every major organization, including the UFC. Riggs was heating with a six-fight winning streak when he was invited back into the UFC. A self-inflicted gunshot wound would force Riggs out. Saunders, another fan favorite (and former TUF cast member), is phenomenal on the ground, and when he was invited back into the UFC back in August, he pulled off the first ever omoplata victory in the UFC. Saunders is dangerous all around, Riggs is a feel-good story for coming back into the UFC and overcoming his injury, Saunders however will pull off the victory with a submission in the 2nd round.
John Moraga (15-3) vs. Willie “Whoop Ass” Gates (11-4)
Willie Gates is making his debut in the UFC, and it will not be an easy one in the flyweight division when he faces #5 ranked flyweight John Moraga. Moraga (15-3, 4-2 in the UFC), is a tough fighter with good wrestling and striking. Moraga won his last fight, submitting Justin Scoggins in September, and he will look to make a case to earn another title shot with a win over “Whoop Ass”. Gates (11-4), like Moraga, is a good wrestler and striker, and is riding a five-fight winning streak. The “big show jitters” gets the best of them, and Gates has a huge task ahead of him stepping in to fight the fifth best UFC flyweight in Moraga. Moraga will use experience and score a TKO victory early in the third round.
Claudia “Claufinha” Gadhela vs. Joanna Jerdzejczyk
We have our ladies of the evening fighting in the straw weight division. A classic grappler vs. striker match up, with undefeated records on the line. The women in the UFC have truly been entertaining, and are making their mark in the UFC. Gadhela is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who made a successful debut in the UFC with a decision win over Tina Lahdemaki back in July. Jerdzejczyk also made a successful debut in July with a decision win over Juliana De Lima Carneiro. If this fight hits the ground, Jerzejczyk is in deep trouble, Jerdzejczyk will have to sprawl and brawl, keep the fight on her feet and force Gadhela to trade with her. I am leaning towards Gadhela winning the fight by submission in the first round.
Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga vs. Matt Mitrione
The first fight on the main card is between #12 ranked heavyweight Gonzaga and #14 ranked Mitrone. Gonzaga (16-8, 11-7 in the UFC) is dangerous all around. The BJJ black belt likes to go for the knockout, and has finished all 16 of his fights (seven by tko / nine by submission). Gonzaga’s last fight was a decision loss to #4 heavyweight Stipe Miocic back in January. Matt Mitrione (8-3) is a heavy hitter who has seven of his eight wins coming by tko / ko. Mitrione has won back-to-back by knockout, with his latest victim being Derrick Lewis. The winner in this fight could jump up a couple of spots in the heavyweight division and move closer to a title shot. I do not see this fight going past the first round, it is going to be quick, and someone is getting knocked out. I am going to Gabriel Gonzaga earning a TKO victory midway through the opening round.
Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve vs.Alistair “The Reem” Overeem
Another highly anticipated heavyweight match up between #11 heavyweight Alistair Overeem against #15 Stefan Struve. Overeem has been disappointing lately, losing three of his last four fights, all by TKO. It almost seems like Overeem’s chin has turned into glass. Struve is set to make his long awaited return after a series of health concerns which nearly forced him into early retirement. “Skyscraper” has not fought since 2013 when he had his jaw broken against Mark Hunt. When Struve was rehabilitating, he found out he had an enlarged heart and it was a threat to end his career. When Struve was cleared, he then was set to fight Matt Mitrone at UFC 175 and fainted before their fight. This was another setback for Struve. When healthy, I believe Struve can become a champion in the UFC. Struve has great height, is an excellent striker, and he is no slouch on the ground. This is a cross roads between a fighter towards the end of their career, and one who could be the heavyweight champion by the end of 2015. If no more setbacks, Stefan Struve will knockout Overeem in the first round, sending the former Strikeforce and K1 champion out the door.
Nate Diaz vs. Rafael Dos Anjos
Diaz has been inactive since his TKO win over Gray Maynard back in November 2013 due to financial disputes with the UFC. Diaz (17-9, #14 ranked lightweight) is looking to climb back into the charts of the deep lightweight division and make a title run, but he will have to go through the dangerous Rafael Dos Anjos. Dos Anjos (22-7, #3 ranked lightweight) shocked the world when he knocked out former UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson back in August. This was his second consecutive win after earning a TKO win over Jason High. Dos Anjos is very close to a title shot, and the only two to stand infront of him are top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov (who conveniently, defeated Dos Anjos back in April) and Gilbert Melendez. Dos Anjos is on point lately and dangerous both on the ground and on his feet. Diaz is going to have his hands full with ring rust and will have to keep his head clear and push the pace if he wants to get past Dos Anjos. I feel that this is Dos Anjos’ fight and he will grind out a dominant decision victory.
Stipe Miocic vs. Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos
The main event of the evening is between #4 ranked Stipe Miocic and #2 ranked Junior Dos Santos, with potential title shot implications. Miocic (12-1, 6-1 in the UFC) is on a tear in the UFC heavyweight division. Miocic last fought (and demolished) Fabio Maldonado back in May. Miocic was originally scheduled to fight Dos Santos, but “Cigano” had to pull out with an injury. Dos Santos (16-3, 10-2 in the UFC) is the former UFC heavyweight champion who has cleaned house in the division with one exception, Cain Velasquez. Velasquez had won the best of three, defeating Dos Santos in their last two meetings. The new interim heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum, has suffered defeat in the hands of Dos Santos, so a win over Miocic could potentially give Dos Santos another shot at UFC gold. This is a great match up, Dos Santos has the edge on the ground, an it is close in the stand up match, as Miocic is an excellent striker, yet Cigano is no slouch with his boxing (Dos Santos has 12 wins via tko / ko). Miocic is on fire and on the rise, if he wins this fight, there should be no question as to what Dana does next with him, a title shot. This can be the fight of the night, and I am leaning towards Stipe Miocic catching Dos Santos with a knockout in the 2nd round.
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