Bernard Oliver – Producer/Host/Editor
Mark Bocek vs John Alessio
In this bout you have John Alessio who has a huge amount of experience behind him. He’s been fighting since ’98, and has managed to string ten wins in his last eleven bouts. His opponent, Mark Bocek, is no slouch himself going 10-4 in his overall professional record. The difference is Bocek’s losses have come from some heavy hitters, literally. Bocek has fallen to Benson Henderson, Frankie Edgar, Mac Danzig, and Jim Miller; the lightweight champion, the former lightweight champion, the Ultimate Fighter Six winner, and title contender respectively. Alessio will be making his return to UFC after a six year hiatus against Bocek who has fought the top of the class recently. Alessio’s hefty record of 38-14 is plagued by submission losses. That combined with seventy-percent of Bocek’s wins coming by submission tells me that this fight may end up on the ground. Alessio has not lost to a submission since 2009 that shows growth and that he has been learning. Alessio also finishes fights standing or on the ground. Bocek needs this on the ground. Alessio can finish anywhere. As hard as it for me to say….advantage Alessio. This will be a war, make no mistake about it.
Prediction: Alessio by decision
Mark Hominick vs Eddie Yagin
I won’t spend too much time on this one. Hominick has hit a hard spot after taking Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo to a decision and falling in just seven seconds to the Korean Zombie, Chan-Sung Jung. He NEEDS to win this fight against newbie Eddie Yagin. Yagin won the Tachi Fight Palace Featherweight Championship and gave it up to lose his first bout in the UFC. Given time I think Yagin may come right along and be a contender in the UFC, now is not his time. I can’t explain how Hominick survived five rounds with Aldo and only seven seconds versus Jung. This is Hominick’s fight to lose.
Prediction: Hominick first round KO
Miguel Torres vs. Michael MacDonald
Miguel Torres has not seen the best end of the stick in the last year. He loses a decision I KNOW HE WON to Demetrious Johnson and then gets fired for malicious tweets only to be re-hired soon after. The tweets were anything compared to what Bart Palazewski and Dana White say but whatev. McDonald has been tearing through fighters since before and after entering the UFC with eight KOs in his 14-1 career. The experience of Torres makes me reluctant to pick McDonald. Also, random fact, Torres’ timidness against Mighty Mouse always sticks in my head whenever I hear his name. I don’t like timid fighters, which is not to say that he is a timid fighter but his first UFC bout showed something that I did not like. I would not be surprised if McDonald laid some thunderous hands on Torres, but I have to go with Torres because of his experience and his black belt in BJJ versus McDonald’s brown.
Prediction: Torres by 2nd round submission
Brendan Schaub vs. Ben Rothwell
Schaub. Point. Blank. PERROD. *T.I. voice. If you’re not up on your popular culture I’ll break it down. Rothwell hasn’t had much success in the UFC, loved him in the IFL but man he’s struggling. Schaub’s boxing will put him away early. I hope Schaub has been working on his cardio a bit. Besides being WAY too confident (cocky) in his bout versus Lil Nog his cardio was minutely suspect.
Prediction: Schaub by KO Round 1
Che Mills vs Rory McDonald
RORY MCDONALD. This young man is one of my top welterweights in the UFC! He demolished one of my favorite fighters in Nate Diaz (hurts to say), steam rolled Mike Pyle and has only lost once to the current interim champion in his division, Carlos Condit. His new nickname is “Ares” after the Greek God of War this fits him much better than his Waterboy moniker. This one is easy for me to pick, the Brit will fall either to McD’s fists or by his obvious submission weakness.
Light Heavyweight Championship: Jon Jones vs Rashad Evans
I won’t even talk this one up, UFC primetime has done that one for me. This has my early vote for Fight of the Year. These two tactical assassins will meet in a battle that ranks with Achilles and Hector, Ali and Forman, Cain and Abel, Goku and Vegeta, John McLane and Hans! I don’t know how many more epic battles I can list but you get the idea! I’m stoked!!! I wholeheartedly believe this will be one the greatest battles I’ve had the pleasure of seeing! Jones’ lengthspeed/power will prove to be too much for Evans in the long run. Evans knows what he needs to do to beat Jon as I cleary saw him say during the bout between Jones and Rampage, the question is can he do it? My answer is no.
Prediction: Jones by KO late in the second
Jon Urcuyo – Analyst/Editor
Brett Rorie – Analyst
Mark Bocek vs. John Alessio
Dream, King of the Cage, WEC, and UFC veteran John Alessio has been on a tremendous tear recently, winning 9 of his last 10 bouts. However, Alessio has his hands full with fellow Canadian Mark Bocek. Bocek, in my opinion is the most overlooked 155 pound fighter in the UFC. His past two losses have come by way of hard fought decisions to top contender Jim Miller, and current UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson. Bocek will use his phenomenal wrestling and jiu-jitsu game to come on top.
Prediction: Mark Bocek via Submission 3rd round.
Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin
An angry and hungry Mark Hominick equals a bad night for Eddie Yagin.
Prediction: Hominick via 1st round TKO
Miguel Torres vs. Michael McDonald
If you have read anything I have written about Michael McDonald then you know I think he is the guy to take out Dominick Cruz. McDonald is the perfect example of a fighter who grew up practicing all the facets of Mixed Martial Arts. Torres however, might need to win this fight if he wants to keep his job. With the UFC releasing him after his Twitter comments, and his inconsistency, Torres needs this win bad. McDonald will want to keep this fight standing due to Miguel’s great submission game. Miguel will want this fight standing as well, but I do not see Miguel being as fast as the younger McDonald. Or if Miguel does start to win the standup exchange, McDonald can ground and pound Torres.
Prediction: McDonald via Unanimous Decision
Brendan Schuab vs. Ben Rothwell
Still waiting on an impressive Rothwell, sadly, I don’t see it coming here. Rothwell has struggled against the really good strikers throughout his career. Schuab is looking to rebound from his embarrassing KO loss to “Big Nog.” Expect a crisp and motivated Schuab.
Prediction: Schuab via 1st round KO
Che Mills vs. Rory MacDonald
In this fight, Che Mills needs to keep this fight standing at all cost!! Three of Mills’ four losses have came by way of submission. Mills looked great in his UFC debut, but it was against a run of the mill striker in Chris Cope. If you look back far enough though, Mills did compete in the TUF season 9 fight entry round; where he was submitted by James Wilks, who is nowhere near as talented as MacDonald. What is there to say about Rory MacDonald? Talented, calm, well-spoken, and dominate are a few things that come to mind. MacDonald was about 20 seconds away from stopping current UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit, before Condit stopped Rory with strikes. Rory should use his dominate wrestling to outwrestle the Brit, and win pretty impressively. (Maybe enough to next be in a #1 contender fight)
Prediction: MacDonald via Submission (armbar) 1st round
UFC Light Heavyweight Title: John Jones© vs. Rashad Evans
A fight that has been a year in the making will now happen on Saturday. Put all of the stuff outside the octagon aside, you still have all you need to promote a great fight. Evans, a great wrestler, who tore through Tito Ortiz, and manhandled Phil Davis, has looked the best he ever has. Evans has found the perfect combination of his striking and wrestling to make him almost seem unstoppable. Jones however, has looked perfect in all of his fights. Jones submitted Quinton Jackson, and Lyoto Machida in his past two title defenses. It will be interesting to see how Evans adjust to the length advantage that Jones has, but if anyone has the speed at 205 to do it, it would be Evans. The key in this fight is how good is Jones’ wrestling. If Jones can stuff Evans’ wrestling attempts, he will be dominating in every aspect in this fight. Expect this though to be Jones’ toughest fight yet no matter what.
Prediction: Jon Jones via 4th round TKO