Robbie Lawler vs Rafael Dos Anjos
So everyone is excited to see Robbie Lawler back and why wouldn’t they, it means expect violence and he hardly ever disappoints. I saw a stat that said in all of Lawlers major organisation fights (UFC, Strikeforce, Affliction etc) he’s never attempted a submission, that’s the kind of guy he is. Super aggressive and intimidating and never out of a fight. He was getting chewed up with leg kicks by Melvin Manhoef badly until he managed to time one with a right hand and it was game over. Mainly a puncher, southpaw, loves a flying knee but he’s had problems with leg kicks in the past. Been around a long time and been in some memorable wars, that shit starts to get to you at some point. Has it caught up with Robbie yet? The next couple of fights will tell.
What a roller coaster of a career Dos Anjos has had. The first time I saw him being separated from his senses by Jeremy Stephens uppercut I didn’t think that’s a future champion. He lost his next fight as well then would win a few then pick up a loss. Along the line he perfected this style, high volume high pace never let up, break people. He try’s to overwhelm people striking and physically dominate them with grappling, seems to have changed a bit the last few fights though.
This could go two ways……as any fight could I suppose but the way I look at it Lawler is the bigger man and I don’t see Dos Anjos being able to really to out strike Robbie or dominate the wrestling in this one. He needs to be wary of Lawlers power early on and try to get Robbie’s back to the fence and push for that takedown, on the ground RDS doesn’t have to worry about defending submissions and could possibly catch Lawler in a transition as he tries to get back up. It depends also on Robbie, he has a habit of taking breaks in fights, flurries of violence and then nothing and if RDS can take advantage of the nothing he could build up points. If Lawler is cautious though and paces himself and damages Dos Anjos when he’s coming in he can have success.
Prediction : Lawler by TKO (Dos Anjos by decision)
Ricardo Lamas vs Josh Emmett
So Lamas was supposed to be fighting Aldo here but Aldo got moved to fight Holloway so Emmett steps in. Total style difference but nothing Lamas hasn’t seen before. Would you call Lamas a gatekeeper? Tough fight for anyone but has loses against the top guys. Fast aggressive style mixes strikes with takedown well.
This is a big step up for Emmett. He only has one loss but he hasn’t been fighting top class competition. It’s a big opportunity though and a win here does more for his career than it does for Ricardo’s. He has that Alpha male kinda style, lot of movement and angle, but not as fluid as some of the others. Likes to pump the right hand in and switch left kick and tries a lot of head movement.
I this fight I think they both have similar styles but I think Lamas is just a little better everywhere. Only problem I see Lamas having is possibly motivation. A win over Emmett does little for him really unless he puts on an absolute clinic but I think he has enough to win a clear decision.
Prediction : Lamas by decision (Emmett by KO)
Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Mike Perry
Ponzinibbio has sorta been flying under the radar. Obviously got attention for his first round stoppage of Gunnar Nelson and all the controversy that came with it but apart from that he has 20 finishes in his 25 wins and he’s on a five fight winning streak. If he could put away Perry it could put him in the title contenders mix. He’s a good striker, good movement, uses range well and a BJJ black belt.
Perry is quickly making a name for himself, 11 wins and 11 knockouts. He’s had 5 fights in the UFC and stopped 4 of them. He also has a love him or hate him personality,which is great, there’s nothing worse in entertainment than plain. Don’t be white rice. Aggressive with big power in his hands and a nasty knee.
Perry gets beat by an accomplished striker who can stick to a game plan. You have to deal with the aggression and power. Keep him at range and keep moving, don’t become a target. Ponzinibbio has the tools, he has reach and decent kicks. Could frustrated Perry then crack him later in the fight if Perry gets frustrated. I think for Perry to win he has to be patient early, don’t rush or take too much damage while he trying to find his timing and range, try to cut the cage off and shoot a few takedown to keep the guy guessing.
I think Ponzinibbio takes this though, he has the tools and the skill but Perry does have that goodnight touch.
Prediction : Ponzinibbio by decision (Ponzinibbio by decision)
Glover Teixeira vs Misha Cirkunov
I remember when Glover finally made it to the UFC, he’d been hyped up and spoken about for a while beforehand. When he arrived he was impressive as fuck, won five straight with four stoppages earning a title fight against Jon Jones. I guess that’s where you find out there are levels to the game and it’s all about finding yours. He also can seem a bit one dimensional these days, he’s a great grappler but seems to just love to box. Still a great fighter but will lose to exceptional fighters. But he’s gone from probably title eliminator to fighting a guy who got knocked out in 30 seconds last time out.
We can’t judge Cirkunov on his last fight, he’s better than that. Big athletic guy and former high level judo player. Has competed and don’t well in Grapplers Quest and ADCC trials as has Glover. So mainly a grappler who strikes his way into that clinch position. Saying that he does have a fed knockouts to his name.
Although these guys are both grapplers I would think that this fight will be fought mainly on the feet. Like I said Glover seems to have become one dimensional but this is his dimension. For Cirkunov to be successful he need to close the distance which plays to Clovers strenghs. Cirkunov also has had a habit of ducking his head down as he moves in throwing overhand strikes. I think he gets nailed here and KOd for the second fight in a row.
Prediction : Teixeira by TKO (Teixeira by TKO)
Jared Cannonier vs Jan Blachowicz – Blachowicz (Blachowicz)
Julian Marque vs Darren Stewart – Marquez (Marquez)
Chad Laprise vs Galore Bofando – Laprise (Laprise)
Tim Elliott vs Pietro Menga – Menga (Bout Cancelled)
John Makdessi vs Abel Trujillo – Makdessi (Makdessi)
Alessio Di Chirico vs Oluwale Bamgbose – Bamgbose (Di Chirico)
Jordan Mein vs Erick Silva – Silva (Mein)
Nordine Taleb vs Danny Roberts – Taleb (Taleb)
Correct picks 7/11