David: Welcome to the SportsNickel predictions for UFC LIVE 2: JONES vs MATYUSHENKO, Sadly, I don’t get Versus, so I’m screwed out of this card- but I’ll be able to catch it on pirate internet signal fully legal alternative sources. But thats ok, I don’t see this really being a great card- I have every fight going either the distance or 3 rounds- other than the main event. I think this is a perfect card to launch a steady diet of goodness in August, if this was the 3rd card in a 4 week span, we might not care, with this being the first one of the string, it gets attention. Well, Enjoy as Shane-o-Bowen and I dissect the card, and I’ll have a review up next week, plus the scorecard, comments as always, welcome.
UPDATE: I’ve added Robert’s picks as well- His FULL breakdown can be read HERE
Rob Kimmons (22-5 overall,2-2 in the UFC) vs Shane Steinbeiss (4-3,0-1)
David: Rob has faced some good competition, but to me is more of a UFC/SF gatekeeper type of guy. His best win might be Rob Yundt, his losses? Everyone else he has faced you have heard of. Rob is a quick starter and very good on the ground. Shane is out of the Arizona camp, and a victim of a crappy stoppage, he needs a win to stay here. I don’t see this fight staying upright long- neither of these guys have much of a clinch game, and neither have heavy hands. I think Rob just has too much experience.
Shane: Kimmons has too much experience.
David: Kimmons DEC
Shane: Kimmons DEC
Robert: Kimmons Sub R2
Darren Elkins (12-1,1-0) vs Charles Oliveira (12-0,UFC Debut)
David: Gotta love when a combined 24-1 record clashes and we may never see it. Elkins is a wrestler with pretty good hands, and Oliveira is a Brazillian, so we know what he’s all about. Sherdogs been pimping the snot out of Oliveira, but I havn’t him in action. I look for a LONG feeling out process to start, then the first person to get rocked takes the other down. I’m taking the Brazilian here, only because he undefeated and has been working on this fight for months.
Shane: 12-1 vs 12-0; 11 finishes vs 12; Oliveira
David: Oliveira DES
Shane: Oliveira SUB 2
Robert:Oliveira KO 1
Brian Stann (8-3,2-2) vs Mike Massenzio (11-3,1-1)
David: Stann saw finshes in his first 8 fights, then going to the scorecards his last 3, but Stann has fought under the Zuffa banner the past 10 fights, so the WEC/UFC glare isn’t something he’s going to wilt under. Mike loves the ground, but doesn’t have the greatest chin the the world. Mike can get caught on the ground as well, but I don’t know if Brian is a true UFC talent going forward. I look to a long boring fight with a few takedowns deciding the contest.
Shane: Massenzio is 1-2 in his last 3 & not improving;
David: Massenzio DES
Shane: Stann DES
Light Heavyweight bout:
James Irvin (14-6,4-5) vs Igor Pokrajac (21-7,0-2)
David: I have been waiting on Igor to come over to the UFC, he was a dominant standup brawler who just wasn’t the same after getting bent over by Cro-Cop in 2005. James needs to find a home and a weight class that suits him. He has the power to play with the heavyweights, but seems to lose his power as he moves down. Igor is going to have to take the fight straight to the ground, even with Irvin’s reduced power, he has enough to drop Pokrajac. I think the longer the fight is on the ground the harder it is going to be for James, he tends to gas. I can almost bet we won’t see a sweep after round 1. I like Irvin in this fight though, but really can’t defend it.
Shane: Fight stays standing; Irvin back at 205;
David: Irvin KO 3
Shane: Irvin TKO 1
Robert:Irvin TKO 2
DaMarques Johnson (14-7,2-1) vs Matthew Riddle (4-1,4-1)
David: I’m actually looking forward to this fight, Johnson always tends to talk better than he fights, and Riddle is still best known for the Piddle Riddle comment, and he is still building back up. Both guys like to wrestle, and both have loopy standup- just winging punches around. Riddle has pretty good cardio, but Johnson pushes the pace faster than anyone else he has seen lately. I see Johnson trying to work his standup for a round or two before gassing Riddle into a mistake for the TKO.
Shane: Johnson w/ experience and power advantage; TKO 3
David: Johnson R3 TKO
Shane: Johnson R3 TKO
Robert: Johnson R2 Sub
Paul Kelly (10-2,4-2) vs Jacob Volkmann
David: Paul Kelly might be the next great British Title hopeful, he has a good chin, solid sprawl and is picking up the wrestling quickly. The Decision to fight Siver and the resulting loss hurt his climb, but I think a solid win here could move him into a title hunt. Volkman came in with high hopes and a 9-0 record, then got shelled in 2 straight fights. Jacob dropped to 155 and won and win or go home fight with Ronnys Torres in a close fight. Jacob need to impressm and I don’t think he does. I think he tries to wrestle Kelly and smother him against the cage, but Kelly scores points on the feet and thats enough to take the win in a plodding fight. NOTE- depending on the ref for this fight- it could go the other way, of course.
Shane: Volkmann’s loses come to two of the divisions best
David: Kelly DEC
Shane: Volkmann DEC
Tyson Griffin (14-3,7-3)vs Takanori Gomi (31-6-1NC,0-1)
David: Problem here is we have two guys that should be pretty awesome, but have a problem with consistantcy. Tyson is going to take Gomi down as much as possbile and use the lay and pray- I don’t see a lot of damage here, as Gomi is going to want to work subs from the bottom. I wonder who has the better hands here? Tyson does not have exactly granite mitts or chin and Gomi being Japanese you wonder if he can take a better shot that he gives. I think Gomi might have better striking, better bottom game and Tyson the better tank. I’ll take Gomi here. I just think Tyson can’t throw anything at Gomi he hasn’t seen before, and If Tyson gets too slick, Gomi’s going to tap him.
Shane: Here’s how I see it, Griffin has three loses, one loss to the LW champ and one to a former UFC LW champ in Sherk. No one can blame him for his lose to Dunham as that guy seems to be on fire. However, I see Tyson as still growing. He is strong, fast, compact and dangerous. Gomi is on a 3 fight losing streak and I expect him to stay on that path when matching up with Gomi.
David: Gomi Sub 3
Shane: Tyson, DEC
Robert: Tyson, DEC
John Howard (14-4,4-0) vs. Jake Ellenberger (22-5,1-1)
David: Howard has kind of snuck up on people, I mean how many 4-0 guys are in the UFC that are not main eventing right now? Howard is a fairly quick starter but the problem is, Jake is young but very experienced. I do wonder why this fight isn’t in Boston, with it being Jake’s hometown. I think Howard works the angles to stay outside- he does not want to get in the clinch game, and pulls guard if he gets trapped against the game. Howard has good enough bottom defense to not get into too much trouble. I do think he has trouble with Jake on the standup, and that costs him 2 rounds.
Shane: Ellenberger proved he can be a tuff cookie in his lose to Carlos Condit. 9 of Howard’s 14 wins have been by a finish one way or another (KO/TKO/SUB). I think this is possibly a toss-up and my gut says Howard by DEC.
David: Ellenberger DES
Shane: Howard, DES
Robert:Howard, Round 2, KO
Yushin Okami (24-5,8-2) vs Mark Muñoz (8-1,3-1)
David: Munoz has made a heckuva comeback from that poor performance at UFC 96, and is climbing back up the ladder. I think he is out up there to lose and give Okami a great win to push him up the card. Problem is- Munoz has a SOLID ground game, a VERY good chin, and a pretty good gas tank. Okami is younger, faster, more experienced and can go for days on the feet or the ground. I think Munoz upsets the apple cart with a solid gameplan, a rock hard chin that I don’t think Okami can dent and gets the takedowns needed to get the nod.
Shane:Mark Munoz has reeled off three straight wins in semi-impressive performances since that devastating KO loss to Matt Hamill, but he just doesn’t have the track record. It can be argued that Okami is in the top five MWs in the UFC in a division owned by one of the greatest. I think Okami’s strength and experience are the deciding factors in route to a DEC victory.
David: Munoz, DES
Shane: Okami, DES
Light Heavyweight bout:
Jon Jones (10-1,4-1) vs Vladimir Matyushenko (24-4,5-2)
David: Jones is pushed down the card a bit here, I think had Rashad lost to Rampage, Rashad might be in this slot. Matyushenko is no pushover, he hits hard, he has very good wrestling and a solid chin. Jones will give anyone this side of Tim Duncan issues with his reach, but Vlad can move his chin pretty quickly. That is the tale of this fight- Jones has yet to REALLY get pushed around. His center of gravity is high, he’s not exactly thick, and if Vlad can protect his chin, he can make life hard for Jones. Am I picking Jones? You betcha. I think it makes the fight a lot more interesting than most. Vlad is going to get inside and try and shove Jones around. I think he can. I think Jones takes it- but its a harder fight most think.
Shane: Jon Jones, for all intensive purposes, is undefeated. However, Vladimir Matyushenko is no push over. He has beaten the likes of Antonio Nogueira, Pedro Rizzo, Vernon White, and Tim Boetsch (just to name a few that common fans might know of). He also took Tito Ortiz to a DEC in a title fight, and that was in 2001 when beating Tito would have actually meant something. Jones is green, 10-1, and for all intensive purposes he seems to be rising to that other level, the level that makes champions. I say Jones continues his devastating ways and wins by TKO in Round 2.
David: Jones, TKO R2
Shane: Jones, TKO R2
Robert: Jones, TKO R1