by Dennis Fratella
Mark Hominick vs. Chan Sung Jung
Coming off a fight where an alien life form became embedded in his forehead going against Jose Aldo, Hominick’s endurance can’t be questioned. Hominick is a former kickboxing champion, and compiled a 21-0 record. Aside from the loss to Aldo, he had won his last 4 fights with 2 TKO’s and a submission, the other going to the judges in winning a split decision.
Chan Sung Jung is also a kickboxer who recorded a 15-6 record, who now has taken his talents into the Octagon, and is 11-4 so far, with 7 of the wins coming by submission. Aside from the “twister” move that he used to beat his last opponent (which it’s also worth noting that this move is so sick, it was the Submission of the Year for UFC 2011 season), he has lost 3 out of his last 4 fights. He has a great chin, and can definitely stand in harms’ way without being fazed by it.
Hominick has kickboxing in his back pocket. It’s usually his bread and butter. He’s one of the best pound for pound strikers in the UFC. Jung also is virtually of the same pedigree. It will be interesting to see who takes the first sidestep away from their gameplan and goes for the takedown. I think the majority of this fight, if not all of it, will be fought on it’s feet. That being said, Hominick’s no stranger when it comes to submissions either having 7 of them. Plus he’s got his entire country in his corner as well. If you don’t think that’s a big deal, look at what happened in Brazil this summer at UFC 137. I think Jung will break format when he tries to get the game on the ground, which might be out of frustration because he’s being out kickboxed.
Prediction-Hominick by KO in Round 2
Tito Ortiz v. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Can it be possible that one of the two biggest names in the Light-Heavyweight division will be without a UFC contract after this fight is said and done? It’s possible, but not likely, unless one of them really tanks. Tito has won once in the last 5 years, recently upsetting Ryan Bader. There’s probably something to be said about Ortiz taking the Evans fight on very short notice, but clearly Tito’s skills are waning with the back and neck surgeries piling up. Even with the benefit of a full camp, one could argue that outcome would have likely been the same against Rashad.
This could also be it for “Little Nog”. The former PRIDE phenom has beaten a who’s who of the best that MMA has had to offer the past decade, has looked fairly unimpressive in back to back losses at the hands of Ryan Bader and Phil Davis, ironically both wrestlers.
Even with a black belt in BJJ for Little Nog, if Ortiz shows flashes of his old brilliance in the takedown game, it’s almost obvious as the day is long that Tito will want to utilize his ground and pound and takedowns here. As long as Tito doesn’t leave an arm in too long or do anything stupid if he’s got Nog on his back, I think Tito should be able to wear Little Nog out over the long run.
Prediction: Ortiz via decision
Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
I think this is exactly a fight where these two warriors can prove a lot with a win here. Big Nog, who’s stated he has no interest in getting another title shot, unless Junior Dos Santos is out of the picture, is fighting for his legacy. A feather in his already impressive cap if you will. The win over Brendan Schaub was definitely an upset, and there was some rumors flying that if he lost that fight, it could’ve been his last. Even though Big Nog’s skills are declining, the win over Schaub wasn’t a fluke. Say what you will about the bout with the alleged staph infection that he claimed he had contracted prior to the first fight versus Mir, Minotauro wants to exact revenge to his previous loss to Mir where he was TKO’d in Round 2.
Mir has everything to gain from a win tonight, and lot to lose as well. This will make it three in a row, and he’d likely face Cain Velasquez, or possibly the loser of the Lesnar/Overeem matchup on the 30th. While Big Nog is no Carwin or Lesnar, to prove that he deserves another look at the Heavyweight crown, he has to win tonight. A loss to a fighter of whose luster has been scuffed up recently and battled over 1 ½ years of injuries, Mir would have a long road to hoe back into title contention. Mir looked like a beast at the weigh-ins yesterday, and it certainly seems like he could control the fight wrestling, and inflict more damage standing up despite the great striking of Big Nog.
Prediction—Mir via TKO in the 2nd
Light Heavyweight Championship
Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida
I’m not going to drone on and tell you what about everyone knows. That Jones is possibly the greatest fighter the UFC has seen at such an early age. I don’t have enough space in this column to go on. He’s a bad man with bad intentions. I think a very underrated part of Jones is how he gameplans for each opponent. He’s a true student of the sport. Which is good because he’ll have to do have done his homework against Machida.
Machida’s karate background and well thought out fighting style will be difficult to get a grasp on. Machida has drawn some ire from fans because of his constant backpedaling in fights, but he’s always won his fights on counter attacks, and I don’t expect his style to drastically change coming into this fight.
That being said, Jones will surely utilize his 10 inch reach advantage, and with the constant barrage of kicks and punches that he throws it’ll be difficult to know when and where to counter for Machida. Plenty of people have proven it only takes one punch or kick. But, I don’t see Jones being the recipient of any Daniel LaRusso type front kicks that Randy Couture was. Does anyone though? Bones’ elusiveness is a great asset of his. In the end Jones will wear him down until he makes enough mistakes. As long as Bones doesn’t become frustrated, this fight should be his.
Prediction—Jones via TKO in the 4th
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