UFC kicks off a period of four cards in five weeks with UFC Fight Night 10 coming to us LIVE on Spike TV from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Too many fights in too short a time? Well, strike while the iron is hot, I suppose. Expect tons of promotion here for UFC 72, which frankly needs all the help it can get with Franklin-Okami headlining and Guida-Griffin being the only other standout fight in my mind.
Let’s look at the card (fight records are from Sherdog.com’s Fight Finder unless otherwise noted):
MAIN EVENT – LIGHTWEIGHTS
Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout (London, ON, 11-2-1) vs. Spencer “The King” Fisher (Davenport, IA, 19-3)
This is a rematch from UFC 58, when Fisher came in as a late replacement (2 days notice) for Kenny Florian and lost a split decision to Stout, who went on to lose quickly to Florian in his UFC Fight Night debut. Fisher rebounded from that loss with two straight victories over TUF 5 fighter Matt Wiman and TUF 5 sibling Dan Lauzon before losing to Hermes Franca in what apparently was a number 1 contender’s match. Seeing Franca get the title shot at UFC 73 should give Fisher more than enough motivation to win.
Since his loss to Florian, Stout went back to UFC-affiliated promotion TKO and continued to run roughshod over the lightweights there, winning two straight fights. The Team Tompkins fighter will probably be looking to show that he’s improved and that he belongs in the UFC. I’m expecting an exciting match here. Both fighters are likely to keep things standing up, and as with most lightweights, will be pushing the pace. This will likely go the distance as I don’t see either guy gassing or leaving enough of an opening for a stoppage.
Prediction: Fisher, Decision
Welterweights: Roan “Jucao” Carneiro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 11-5) vs. Jon Fitch (San Jose, CA, 13-2, 1 NC)
Carneiro’s debut fight was a unanimous decision over Rich Clementi. He’s part of Brazilian Top Team, so you know that he’s got access to some of the best fighters in the world, yet his wins and losses have come against a plethora of “who deys?”. Jon Fitch would definitely seem to be a step up in competition for Carneiro.
Fitch is yet another potential stud in a stacked welterweight division. Since signing with the UFC all he’s done is win. Unlike his teammate (and fellow wrestler) Josh Koscheck, Fitch is an exciting fighter who isn’t going to lay and pray his way to victory. Carneiro should have the advantage on the ground, but I think that Fitch has what it takes to finish off the Brazilian.
Prediction: Fitch, TKO R2
Middleweights: Drew McFedries (Davenport, IA, 5-2) vs. Jordan Radev (Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 11-1)
A 5’7″ middleweight practically screams “wrestler”, and sure enough, Radev was a wrestler on the Bulgarian National and Olympic teams. He’s also fought at Light-Heavyweight, and has done well for himself in Europe and Asia, with his only loss coming via decision in his second fight of a one day tourney. He’s making his UFC debut here in what looks to be a “classic” striker vs. grappler match.
McFedries has been pimped by Rogan and Goldberg as another Robbie Lawler, but I don’t recall Lawler having conditioning issues or being so susceptible to submissions. Drew’s last match saw him go to sleep thanks to the arm-triangle choke of submission “specialist” Martin Kampmann. That’s sarcasm, by the way – Kampmann is of course known more for his Muay Thai than his submission skills. McFedries’ lack of ground game made Kampmann look like a Gracie, and hopefully the McMilitech fighter has improved since then.
Prediction: McFedries, TKO R2
Lightweights: Jason Black (Davenport, IA, 21-2-1) vs. Thiago Tavares (Florianopolis, Brazil, 12-0)
For most of us, this will be our first exposure to Black, who last year had a short run in Pride Bushido. He’s fought all over the world, and holds victories over John Alessio and Ivan Menjivar. His UFC bio lists “hard-headedness” as a strength. Likewise, Tavares is also a bit of an unknown. Nine of his victories have come via submission, yet Muay Thais is listed as one of his strengths. As they say, we shall see.
Prediction: Black, Decision
Welterweights: Luigi Fioravanti (Orlando, FL, 10-2) vs. “The Meat Cleaver” Forrest Petz (Cleveland, OH, 12-4)
Since his debut victory over Sammy Morgan, Petz hasn’t found much success in the Octagon, losing to Marcus Davis and Kuniyoshi Hironaka. Fioravanti, meanwhile, rolled off four straight victories in between losses to Chris Leben and Jon Fitch. The American Top Team fighter is known for his heavy hands, and I’d expect that they’ll be enough to finish off Petz.
Prediction: Fioravanti, TKO R1
Welterweights: “The Barn Cat” Tamdan McCrory (Binghamton, NY, 7-0) vs. “The Secret Weapon” Pete Spratt (San Antonio, TX, 15-8)
I had to scour the web for McCrory’s record – thankfully UFC Junkie had it. There’s a slight height advantage for McCrory here, as he’s 6’4″ compared to Spratt’s 5’9″. Conventional wisdom says that Spratt should take McCrory down and utilize ground and pound or go for a submission, but Spratt’s been in Boston training with Marc Dellagrotte. Yes, that should significantly improve your striking, but that doesn’t seem to be the smartest thing to do against such a tall opponent. Six of McCrory’s seven victories have been via (T)KO, so I suppose the reach advantage has worked for him.
Prediction: McCrory, TKO R1
Lightweights: Jeff “The Grinder” Cox (Cleveland, OH, 8-3) vs. Gleison Tibau (Coconut Creek, FL, 13-4)
Like the McCrory/Spratt fight, there’s a serious height discrepancy as Cox is 6’4″ to Tibau’s 5’10”. I’d expect Cox to use his height to his advantage but the ATT fighter has got some serious wrestling and BJJ skills, and I think that his experience can help him gain the victory.
Prediction: Tibau, Submission R2
Welterweights: Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (Colorado(?), 3-0) vs. Chad “The Grinder” Reiner (Omaha, NE, 13-2)
Johnson is a late replacement for Steve Bruno, who tore his rotator cuff a couple of weeks ago. All I really know is that Johnson won all of his fights within a one month span last year, two of them on the same day via decision. The phrase “anything can happen” definitely comes to mind here, but I’m going to go with the guy with UFC experience.
Prediction: Reiner, TKO R3
Lightweights: Luke “L’il Hulk” Caudillo (North Platte, NE, 12-6) vs. Nate Mohr (Davenport, IA, 7-4)
After losing to Kurt Pellegrino, Mohr had to suffer an up close look at Pelligrino’s “dancing”. That should be more than enough motivation to win. Caudillo is making his debut here and he’ll be looking to impress. I’m expecting another good lightweight battle.
Prediction: Caudillo, Decision
Tags: Mixed Martial Arts