CageJunkies UFC 152 Breakdown
What: UFC 152 Jones vs Belfort
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Canada
When: Saturday September 22nd- Facebook Card starts at 6:30pm. FX Card starts at 8:00pm. Main Card starts at 10:00pm on PPV
We’ve seen more changes to this card than any in recent memory. An entire event was cancelled, and opponents changed several times in a 48 hour period.
Well, it’s finally here. UFC 152 is upon us, and have no fear, you’re CageJunkies breakdown is here.
Lets take a look at the main card, where I will breakdown the fights and post my Lee Corso-like predictions. If you have a favorite fighter, and I pick him to lose, well you’re in luck! Because he’ll probably win!
Without further ado, let the Solar Jinx begin!
Charles Oliveira vs Cub Swanson
This fight will be at a catchweight, since Brazilian fighter Charles Oliveira weighed in slightly over. Swanson agreed to fight him at a catchweight. Oliveira is a very dangerous fighter, he has 19 pro fights, and he owns one of the highest finishing rates in the sport. Out of his 16 wins, only one of them went to a decision. He’s coming off to 2-win streak, having defeated Johnathon Brookins and Eric Wisely both via submission. Former WEC fighter Cub Swanson, is as tough as they come. He also has victories in his last 2 fights, beating George Roop and Ross Pearson both in 2nd round, via TKO and KO respectively. Swanson has serious knockout power, and if Oliveira zigs when he should have zagged, it could be a really short night for him. Oliveira’s ground game is crazy good, but I can’t help but think the weight cut has taken some wind out of his sails. He looked pretty drained at the weigh-ins.
Prediction: Charles Oliveira
Matt Hamill vs Roger Hollet
Some interesting facts about this fight: Roger Hollet was coming off a win in Bellator, and then decided to go to the UFC. Due to a contract dispute with Bellator, Hollet was taken out of the fight with Hamill, and replaced by The Janitor Vladimir Matyushenko. Then, Matyushenko is forced out of the fight, and Hollet is put back in to face The Hammer. Now, UFC Light Heavyweight contender Matt Hamill makes his return to the octagon, after a year off due to a temporary retirement. His last two fights in the UFC were against Alexandar Gustaffson and Quinton Rampage Jackson, both of which he lost. I honestly don’t think cage rust will be a factor in this fight, due to the fact that it’s been about a year since both of these guys have last fought. If there’s any rust, both guys will have it to an extent. Hamill is 35 years old, and probably has only a couple fights left in him. Hamill has world class Olympic wrestling, but he needs to come out full blast and use it. In the Rampage fight, he tried to stand and strike with Rampage, and ended up losing a one-sided decision. I’m also a bit biased, since Matt is a friend of mine, so I just can’t pick against him. Hamill has also faced better competition than Hollet has in his career, and I think Hamill’s top level experience will win out.
Prediction: Matt Hamill
Michael “The Count” Bisping vs Brian Stann
The sentiment all week leading up to this fight has been “somebody’s getting knocked out.” But don’t be surprised if Bisping changes up the gamelan and tries to take Stann to the ground. This fight may have title shot implications, and these are two of the top middleweights in the world. Most would say, and I agree, that Bisping has an advantage in the striking department. He’s more technical with his standup, and his conditioning is better than Stann’s. In terms of sheer knockout power, I’m giving the edge to Brian Stann, who has a 75% knockout stoppage rate in his career. In contrast, Bisping has knockout stoppage rate of 64% which is also impressive, but he just doesn’t have the lethal power that Stann has. When it comes to the ground game, grappling, and wrestling, this is where it gets interesting. It may surprise many that Bisping actually has a pretty solid amateur wrestling background, and in his fight with Chael Sonnen, he defended takedowns very well, and actually took Sonnen down toward the end of round 3. He lost that fight on the scorecards, but I actually had him winning the first 2 rounds, and ultimately the fight. The judges saw differently. Brian Stann is 1 for 8 in successful takedown attempts, or 13% compared to Bisping’s 50% takedown success rate. Stann’s best chance is obviously to keep the fight standing, which unfortunately for him, plays right into Michael Bisping’s strengths. If Stann wins this fight, it will be by KO. If Bisping wins, it will be by decision. Which is exactly what I think will happen.
Prediction: Michael Bisping
Joseph Benavidez vs Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson- UFC Flyweight Title Fight
Ahh, yes. The Flyweights. These lighter divisions always put on the most exciting fights, and this one will be no different. The first UFC Flyweight (125 lb) champion will be crowned tonight, and both of these guys are hungry for it. For me this fight will come down to who has the ability to finish fights. Neither guy has ever been finished. Johnson is an orthodox fighter, and Benavidez is a southpaw, which may give Johnson some trouble standing. Benavidez only has two losses in his career, both to Dominick Cruz. Johnson also has only 2 losses on his record, one to Dominick Cruz and an earlier loss to Brad Pickett. These guys are blindingly quick, and Johnson’s ability to change levels so quickly is unequaled in the sport, and Benavidez is no slouch in that department either. I give the wrestling advantage to Johnson. He’s a well rounded fighter who seems to be good in several areas, but not great in any one skilled area. Benavidez has proved he can finish fights, msot recently when he KO’d Yasurhiro Urushitani in the 2nd round of their fight back in March.
Prediction: Joseph Benavidez
Jon “Bones” Jones vs Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort- UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Well here we are. We have the young lion, fighting the old lion. Vitor Belfort is 35 years old, and 5 years removed from the 205 division. My heart wants to pick the underdog, if nothing more than because of respect and nostalgic reasons. Vitor Belfort is one of my favorite fighters of all time. He really does have that old-school warriors spirit. That “fight anyone, anywhere, anytime” mentality. But the fact is, he’s on the downside of 35, and Jon Jones has a greater skillset, more tools, youth, and a 10.5 inch reach advantage. I can’t help but think that in this case, the old lion is being led to slaughter. Not only do I think Jones will win. I’d be surprised if Vitor makes it out of the 1st round.
Prediction: Jon “Bones” Jones