Top MMA News Breaks Down UFC 119
UFC 119 is coming from the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. Winnipeg’s Joe Doersken and Halifax’s TJ Grant are on the card as well as headliners Frank Mir and Mirko CroCop. Here is Top MMA News‘ Matthew Rubuliak’s picks for the September 25th card.
Frank Mir (-225) vs Mirko Cro Cop (+185)
Mirko Cro Cop has stepped in for the injured Antonio Roderio Nogueria to face off against former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir. Ironically, Cro Cop has also suffered an eye injury which might have put the main event in jeopardy. Frank Mir is coming off a loss to Shane Carwin and is looking to move back into contention for the belt with a win at UFC 119. These two have very different styles; Mir is a jiu jitsu specialist and has been increasingly working on his hands. After losing his belt, he has realized that he can not rely solely on his submission game to finish fights. Mirko Cro Cop is a striking expert known for his devastating head kicks. He also possesses a decent sprawl that will help him in keeping the fight standing. Mir will mostly likely stand with Cro Cop for as long as it take for the fight to hit the cage. With distance closed, Mir will begin to work ‘dirty boxing’ being safe from Cro Cop’s weapons. The fight will go to the ground with Mir on top. Frank will repeat this process to end the fight.
Rubuliak’s Prediction: Frank Mir 2nd round TKO.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (+135) vs Ryan Bader (-165)
Lil Nog has an impressive record, including several accolades in boxing. Ryan Bader is, like many, a wrestler who has embraced boxing to round out his style. If this was a stand up fight, it would be Nogueira’s for sure, but because of Bader’s dominate wrestling, it will go to the ground. Bader will posture up and rain down punches. Should Nogueria attempt a submission, Ryan will drop back down to his knees to reset. Nogueira will keep Bader in his guard to avoid damage, while Bader will stay busy and work the ground and pound. Simple position and control will work in favour of Ryan Bader.
Rubuliak’s Prediction: Bader by decision.
Matt Serra (+110) vs Chris Lytle (-140)
Could this be another fight of the night for Chris Lytle? Seven time UFC bonus winner, including 4 “Fight of the Night” bonuses, this is sure to be a barn burner. Matt Serra has recently found his hands and they are heavy. Knocking out Trigg and GSP, Serra will utilize his hands against Lytle. However, despite Serra having heavy hands and being a “wizard on the ground” Lytle will not let this go to the mat. Serra will think that he can stand with Lytle but will be outboxed. Yes, Serra will rock Lytle, but a comeback is for sure. Look for Chris to stay in control and eventually get the upper hand with a referee stoppage.
Rubuliak’s Prediction: Lytle third round TKO.
Sean Sherk (+190) vs Evan Dunham(-240)
Is Sean Sherk on your top ten lightweight list? He will be if he can pull off a win over Evan Dunham. Dunham has had a great run going 11-0 with wins over Griffin, Escudero, and Aurelio. This kid has developed accurate striking and has learned to finish fights. While Sean Sherk once held the UFC Lightweight belt, injuries have kept him from competing for over a year. Can Sean Sherk climb his way back to the top ten rankings, the answer is yes. By employing his power and wrestling against Dunham, Sean will push the fight with his relentless cardio setting the pace to catch Dunham. Dunham will stick Sherk in his guard and will work from his back keeping him in the game. However, with the amount of takedowns and pace that Sherk will employ the judges will unanimously go in favour of the “Muscle Shark”.
Rubuliak’s Prediction: Sean Sherk via decision.
Melvin Guillard (-160) vs Jeremy Stephens (+130)
In the past, Melvin Gulliard has been one of the more thuggish fighters (Think of a mix of Paul Daley and Nick Diaz). With explosive power and a developing striking game, Guillard is a tough opponent for anyone. Stephens has some great boxing and also has knockout power. If Guillard was his former self he would easily fall into Stephen’s game plan. However, having moved to Jackson’s Submission Fighting Melvin is more disciplined and focused as a fighter. This will some what a stand up fight, with Guillard employing takedowns and in-and-out boxing to effectively win the fight.
Rubuliak’s Prediction: Guillard by decision.
Spike TV Preliminary Bouts
C.B. Dollaway (-400) vs Joe Doerksen (+250)
C.B. Dollaway is a wrestler coming out of the famed Arizona State University. While he does have a wrestling base, it should be noted that he is the first to submit an opponent by Peruvian necktie. This submission game plays right into Doerksen’s strength. Doerksen, one of two Canadians on the card, (the other being T.J. Grant), has most of his wins by submission. After fighting his way back into the UFC and going 2-0 since, Doerksen will have his hands full with the wrestling of Dollaway. If Doerksen was no as experience in submissions, Dollaway might have win by submission, however Dollaway will attempt to control Doerksen and send it to the judges.
Check out Top MMA News‘ interview with Joe Doerksen about this fight here.
Rubuliak’s Prediction: Dollaway by judges decision.
Matt Mitrione (-140) vs Joey Beltran (+110)
Former NFL player and TUF alumni will take on one of the best nicknames in the business in Joey “Mexicutioner” Beltran. Two big boys with heavy hands, both will be aiming for the KO. Mitrione has struggled anytime he is taken past the first round. While Beltran is able to take the fights to decisions. Mitrione will come out strong but will gas prior to the end of the first round. Beltran will being to pick apart Mitrione in the second and continue to push Matt’s cardio to the breaking point.
Rubuliak’s Prediction: Beltran 2nd round TKO.
TJ Grant (-170) vs Julio Paulino (+140)
Julio “The Dominican Demon” Paulino is 17-3 and is 0-1 in the UFC. Two of Paulino’s losses come against wrestler’s Rick Story and Mike Pierce. TJ Grant (15-4) hovers around .500 in the UFC and is currently 2-2 in the big show. Grant is a decent wrestler and gave outstanding wrestler Johny Hendricks all he could handle in his previous UFC fight. Expect FitPlus’ Grant to maintain top position throughout the fight and eventually win via submission – 80% of his wins are by sub.
Rubuliak’s Prediction: TJ Grant by 2nd Round Submission
Thiago Tavares over Pat Audinwood by submission in round 3
Waylon Lowe over Steve Lopez by decision
Sean McCorkle over Mark Hunt via 1st round TKO