UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans for the light heavyweight title will be airing this Saturday, April 24th, live from Atlanta, GA via PPV. In spite of a main-event scheduled for 5 rounds, the main card is scheduled to air 6 fights. That’s certainly a lot of bang for your PPV buck.
The Nation only got 5 of 9 correct on his UFC 144 Predictions and is now 12 of 17 historically. Clearly, some improvement this go around is in order.
John Alessio (34-14) vs. Mark Bocek (10-4) – Will have to go with Bocek here. Bocek’s 4 losses have come against Benson Henderson, Frankie Edgar, Jim Miller and Mac Danzig. In short, they’ve come against (respectively): the current UFC lightweight champion, the former UFC lightweight champ, the #1 contender for the belt if he beats Nate Diaz on May 5th, and Mac Danzig. Prediction: Bocek by 2nd round submission.
Mark “The Machine” Hominick (20-10) vs. Eddie Yagin (15-5-1): Hominick fought for the 145 lbs. title a year ago and made a good showing of himself in spite of the loss. On his next fight, he promptly got knocked out in 7 seconds by the Korean Zombie, Chan-Sung Jung. It’s rare for a fighter to not be cut by Zuffa after 3 straight losses, so Hominick should be in desperation mode here. Yagin, aka The Filipino Phenom, is fighting for the 2nd time in the UFC. As much as I’d like to root for the fellow Pinoy here, I think Hominick has too much to lose and will come out guns blazing and win. Prediction: Hominick by 2nd round KO.
Miguel Torres (40-4) vs. Michael McDonald (14-1) – I’m really torn here. Torres from his days as WEC champion was one of my favorite fighters. He was very aggressive, threw caution to the wind and finished people. Then he got knocked the f out by Brian Bowles and he’s changed his style to fighting for points. McDonald is young (21), and he finishes people (12 finishes in 14 fights). He is one of these next-gen fighters who have been training specifically for MMA from a young age, instead of just falling into the sport. If the old Torres somehow finds a way to show up and be the aggressive beast that he is at his best at, I think we’ll see a win for him as well as Fight of the Night. Otherwise, McDonald by decision. Prediction: McDonald by decision.
Brendan Schaub (8-2) vs. Ben Rothwell (31-8) – Schaub is a good prospect with very good athleticism. 7 of his 8 wins has come via KO; the problem is both his losses have come via KO also. In short, his chin could be a problem. Rothwell is a tough fighter, and one who does not get finished easily. I don’t think Schaub will be able to KO Rothwell, but neither do I think Rothwell can KO Schaub either. This will go to a decision, where Schaub’s superior athleticism will be the difference. Prediction: Schaub by decision.
Rory MacDonald (12-1) vs. Che Mills (14-4-1) – MacDonald is another young phenom who’s destined for future glory. His only loss was against Carlos Condit; he was winning the match until Condit finished him in the last seconds of the last round. Good stand up, good submission, no way Mills wins. Prediction: MacDonald via 1st round KO
For The UFC Light Heavyweight Championship: The Challenger: “Suga” Rashad Evans (17-1-1) vs. The Champion: Jon “Bones” Jones (15-1) – Former friends and training partners, this fight has taken on a personal nature. There’s the whole “we agreed that we would never fight each other”, plus “my coaches betrayed me”, amongst other things. In any case, Evans has only lost once, to Lyoto Machida. And when you consider how deep UFC’s 205 lbs. division is, that’s impressive. Jones also has only one loss, but it really wasn’t. He was destroying Matt Hamill when he got DQ’d for illegal elbow shots. As good as Evans is, Jones is just on another stratosphere. The reach and height advantage will prove to be too much on the feet, and if it goes to the ground, I don’t see Evans faring any better than Shogun, Hamill, Vera, Bader, Rampage, etc. did. Prediction: Jones by 3rd round TKO