Top MMA News Breaks Down UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann
The UFC returns to Australia for the first time since February of 2011. This will be the organization’s first event held in Allphones Arena on March 3rd. Due to the time difference, the event will be aired in Canada and the U.S. on March 2nd. The main event will feature Thiago ‘Pitbull’ Alves taking on Martin ‘Hitman’ Kampmann as both fighters are looking to get into the crowded Welterweight title hunt. The event will also feature the UFC debut of the Flyweight division to see who will fight for the first ever UFC Flyweight Championship. The main card and preliminary card will be live on Sportsnet One in Canada. The prelims will be on Fuel TV and the main card on FX in the U.S. There will also be one live fight aired on Facebook.
Thiago Alves (19-8) vs. Martin Kampmann (18-5)
If you’re a casual fight fan, you may not be too excited about this fight. However, if you consider yourself a hardcore fight fan, there is no denying the excitement behind this fight. Thiago Alves was arguably the most exciting prospect in the UFC as he dominated the Welterweight division before Georges St. Pierre forced him back down to reality. He admittedly has not been himself in a while but after watching him fight Papy Abedi, we may finally get to see the return of the Pitbull. On the other side of the Octagon is Martin Kampmann, who never fails to impress. He’s one of the most well-rounded fighters in the division but his calm demeanour in the cage may have cost him a couple of decisions. He destroyed Diego Sanchez’ face for two rounds before slowing down for the final frame which may have swayed the judge’s opinions enough to cost him the decision. Both guys like to stand and throw hands but if that is the case in this fight, there is no denying Alves will have the advantage as his power and disgusting leg kicks would make the difference. Kampmann has to utilize a simple game plan and that will be to avoid walking into the Brazilian’s trap. Kampmann is known as primarily a Muay Thai specialist so many tend to underestimate his grappling ability. He has proven over and over again he can control the Octagon and succeed by fighting at his own pace. He should be able to do that again as Alves moves forward unsuccessfully. It should be a close fight but Kampmann’s smart game plan will get him closer to title contention.
Prediction: Kampmann via Unanimous Decision
Joseph Benavidez (15-2) vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani (19-4-6)
The favourite to win the UFC Flyweight Championship, Joseph Benavidez, is making his much anticipated debut in the 125 pound division. He is the consensus #2 Bantamweight in the world but with two losses against Champion Dominick Cruz, he likely does not have another title shot in his future. Yasuhiro Urushitani is a crafty veteran with pretty good hands and strong judo. He will be looking to play spoiler going up against the wrestler. Unfortunately for Urushitani, he will have to settle for hoping to land one big shot to rock the determined Benavidez to finish the fight. Benavidez is used to dominating and controlling bigger guys and he will likely be faster and bigger than most of his opponents in his new weight class. He should be able to control the fight on the feet as he takes it to the ground at will and uses his excellent top control to finish the fight with strikes.
Prediction: Benavidez via TKO Round 2
Demetrious Johnson (14-2) vs. Ian McCall (11-2)
When the UFC announced the addition of the Flyweight division, it had to be known that Ian McCall would be the first non-UFC fighter to get the call. He will be taking on Demetrious Johnson, who is coming off of a decision loss against UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz. Johnson will be the faster fighter but McCall may very well have the size and strength advantage. Although many are counting out McCall because of his lack of UFC experience, he has a great opportunity to showcase his talents in the big league against a proven fighter. Many have been waiting to see Johnson cut down to 125 considering he does not cut much weight (if any) to get to 135 to begin with. McCall will need to avoid Johnson’s takedowns and he needs to be able to control the Octagon which will be tough to do against such a fast fighter. Johnson will need to use his speedy hands to set up solid takedowns and work his strong top game. It is tough to see Johnson adjusting to McCall’s style as he throws good strikes from awkward angles and should have solid takedown defence prepared for the fight.
Prediction: McCall via Unanimous Decision
Nick Penner (11-1) vs. Anthony Perosh (12-6)
Canadian Light-Heavyweight, Nick Penner is making his UFC debut against ‘The Hippo’ Anthony Perosh. Penner is a powerful striker and he has a solid overall game. The question is, will he be able to handle the pressure that Perosh will put on him? Perosh is fighting in his home country for the 3rd time in 4 fights with the UFC and he will be ready to put up a fight for his home crowd. Perosh has very poor striking but he makes up for it with his ability to grab onto his opponent and force them down to work his dominant top game. Penner must keep his distance and constantly try to circle away as he throws his hands from all angles. It is essential that he is cautious with his kicks. If any of his kicks are caught, there is no arguing what Perosh will do next. Penner will need to be prepared to fight off of his back at some point and prove he can deal with the crowd rooting against him. If he can overpower Perosh and keep the fight standing as he stays away from the cage, he could very well dominate the fight; however, Perosh has fought solid strikers before and at Light-Heavyweight, he does not have to deal with the size disadvantage of being a Heavyweight anymore. He should be able to work with his advantages as he takes Penner down and finishes the fight.
Prediction: Perosh via Rear Naked Choke Round 2