My return from the abyss that was the lack of cards was less that successful, but I do have to say that even though my picks may have, the card itself did not disappoint. If you are a prelim card junkie which, judging by you being on my site, you are, you got to see some awesome knockouts and a couple of really slick submissions. If you stayed for the main card, you saw a couple less of the former and the latter and most likely some boos. mmajunkie.com recently has an article about the “boo birds” that have entered the sport. I will be one of the first to admit that I didn’t particularly enjoy the flyweight title fight due to the fact that, despite being technical, there was absolutely no point where it was exciting. There was no near finishes save for one kind of close guillotine. Still, I think it is ridiculous to boo fighters under any circumstance. It’s completely disrespectful and in addition it oftentimes comes from fans who just aren’t fight-savvy enough to know what’s happening. If anybody was at Miller/Diaz in New Jersey, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Enough of my second consecutive rant involving ungrateful fans (read my short article posted before this for more). On to the fights.
Robert Peralta vs. Jason Young
- My Pick: Robert Peralta
- Reasoning: Jason Young has solid striking. In fact, despite being known for his striking, I still find it to be underrated. Peralta looks quite a bit better on the ground than Young and in addition, I still think could go toe-to-toe. His level of competition has been higher and with the names the UFC has thrown around with Peralta, such as Charles Oliveira, you know that they agree with me in how much potential he has.
- Confidence: Fair
DaMarques Johnson vs. Gunnar Nelson
- My Pick: Gunnar Nelson
- Reasoning: DeMarques Johnson is entertaining in every fight he’s in and often shows some solid skills. However, to those fans who don’t know the name Gunnar Nelson, learn it. This kid has insane jiu jitsu, having gone to Abu Dhabi multiple times and even earning an absolute division tap over decorated grappler Jeff Monson (to whom he gave up roughly 60lbs to). He’s also trained under Renzo and BJ Penn who have given him rave reviews. As his striking has come along, he’s been on my radar as a top prospect to watch and I think he’ll shine to his full potential against Johnson.
- Confidence: Great
Brad Tavares vs. Tom Watson
- My Pick: Tom Watson
- Reasoning: You’ll see that all over this card I have been and am going to continue to go with guys making their debut. Kong is another newbie that I’m high on. He’s got a really solid overall game and has proven it against solid competition. Beating Ninja Rua is no small feat and he really took it to him. Tavares has always been a fighter I’ve liked and thought has a lot of potential, I just think he’s not quite as good as Kong on the feet yet and can’t and won’t mwant to take him down.
- Confidence: Good
Akira Corassani vs. Andy Ogle
- My Pick: Akira Corassani
- Reasoning: This pick literally pains me to make. I think Ogle is a great guy and he’s a lot of fun to watch, but in the fights I’ve seen Corassani looks like he is a bit more technical. Then, when you look at their stints on the Ultimate Fighter, Akira look like he had Dennis Bermudez, who has since looked quite impressive, beat in many aspects. A slip up costed him the fight, but he’s definitely had time to work out the kinks. Ogle, on the other hand, has loads of heart. I doubt Corassani finishes him, but I don’t think Ogle will be able to pull it out
- Confidence: Good
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Jimi Manuwa
- My Pick: Jimi Manuwa
- Reasoning: Tight, tight punches with grenades at the end of them. Good muay thai plum with powerful knees. This is another of those new guys that you should watch out for. Sure, he hasn’t really had the kind of competition like he will in this fight. Kingsbury will probably set a pace he isn’t used to. He’ll probably show him some tough wrestling. In the end, though, I doubt he’ll be able to stay away from the big hands all night.
- Confidence: Fair
If you are a fan who drops bets, be sure to hit up this preliminary card. There are a lot of new guys that you could likely get some phenomenal odds on and it’ll be great for parlays or straight plays.