UFC on Fox 8 (Moraga vs. Johnson) – Staff Roundtable For Main Card

It’s been a while since we had a UFC card and we get two in two weeks! This week the UFC is in Seattle, WA, as a flyweight title fight headlines a UFC on Fox card. As always the Inside Fights staff is here to break down the main card and give our thoughts and predictions on it.

Joining me this week: Adam Keyes, Ryan Frederick, Daniel Sohn, Luke Cho-Yee

Liz Carmouche vs. Jessica Andrade

Sawitz – Andrade is coming in to the UFC on a main card, making her debut and fighting on short notice. This is never a recipe for great things, usually, and as such I think Carmouche wears her down and gets the win late over a gassed (but game) Andrade. Be warned, though: this has all the makings of an upset special. Carmouche

Keyes – Although Andrade is highly skilled and will prove to be a valuable addition to the ever-expanding women’s bantamweight division, for me this is too tough a fight for Jessica to take without a full training camp. Carmouche will be just too tough, dogged and relentless for Andrade to overcome and with a win here, Liz should be able to position herself for another shot at Rousey. Carmouche

Frederick – Carmouche came closer than anyone to defeating Ronda Rousey, and she wants another crack at her. She’ll have to get through Andrade to do so, and Andrade is coming into the UFC with some decent momentum. Carmouche utilizes her skillset better than Andrade does, and her takedowns and control on the ground will earn her a solid victory. Pick: Carmouche

Cho-Yee – Andrade is a young assassin who has an extremely bright future in the division but I feel the experience factor could play a huge role in the outcome of this fight. Carmouche proved herself to be a worthy contender against Rousey and I expect her to bounce back stronger from that defeat. Carmouche

Sohn – Carmouche almost finished Ronda Rousey in the first round of the first ever women’s fight in the UFC. Andrade doesn’t look like a pushover, but Carmouche looked better in her loss than a lot of fighters do in their wins. She’s going to bounce back here.

Robbie Lawler vs. Bobby Voelker

Sawitz – Lawler took a big challenge on in perennial Top 10 welterweight Josh Koscheck and stopped him, something that hadn’t happened since 2009. Voelker is taking this on short notice and as much as I like him as a fight I don’t think the odds favor him at this point. Lawler

Keyes – Lawler is back in a weight class that appears to agree with him and in competing at 170lbs he has the kind of scary power that is more than capable of ending a fight in an instance. I’m going for Lawler on this one as I can’t help think that this is a fight that Voelker took on too short a notice and be just too big a jump in competition.

Frederick – Kudos to Voelker for stepping up on 16 days’ notice to take the fight, but Lawler is gonna be tough to beat. Both men are durable, and both are finishers. Lawler finishes Voelker in the first two rounds. Pick: Lawler

Cho-Yee – This should be a real battle. Voelker may be under the radar of some, but he always brings it and rarely takes a backward step, while Lawler is never more than one punch away from victory. I expect an old fashioned scrap with Lawler getting the better of the exchanges. Lawler

Sohn – Lawler builds on his momentum after dropping Koscheck. Voelker is coming off of a tough loss to Patrick Cote. Give this one to Lawler.

Rory MacDonald vs. Jake Ellenberger

Sawitz – I really like both fighters in this and Jake Ellenberger is a fast enough starter that I could see him taking the first, having a close second and MacDonald closing out on a great third after Ellenberger gasses. Carlos Condit did the same thing to Ellenberger in their fight and this matchup really reminds me of that one. I picked MacDonald by split decision and I’m sticking to it.

Keyes – I’m pulling for the upset on this one. MacDonald has shown himself to have perhaps the more well rounded skill-set compared to Ellenberger but I can’t seem to distance myself from the vision of Ellenberger rushing MacDonald early and connecting on MacDonald’s jaw with the type of power the young Canadian has yet to experience. Probably wrong though… Ellenberger

Frederick – This has the potential for a lot of fireworks. If MacDonald can get through the first half of the fight, Ellenberger tends to fade and the fight will become his. Ellenberger needs to attack quick to win the fight. That being said, MacDonald is the future of the welterweight division, and he will again show why on Saturday night. Pick: MacDonald

Cho-Yee – This is a tough one to call. Macdonald is an absolute stud but I feel Ellenberger has begun to reach the peak of his powers and will be able to use his greater experience to nullify the game of Macdonald and force a late stoppage. Ellenberger

Sohn – MacDonald is too smart to fall prey to Ellenberger’s greatest weapons, his wrecking ball hands. This one is going to be close, but it seems like MacDonald’s time has come

Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga (UFC Flyweight championship)

Sawitz – Moraga’s a great fighter, and has big time power for 125, but you don’t know how quick Johnson is inside a cage until you see it. I was cageside for the Dodson fight and the guy moves faster in person than he does on television; the guy is greased lightning. Moraga has power but this fight reminds me of Johnson/McCall 2. Johnson’s speed and counter punching style are going to wear him out as he takes rounds 3-5 by increasing margins for a definitive win. Johnson

Keyes – While I think Moraga has a legitimate shot here, I can’t help but think that this is going to be like every other fight Demetrious Johnson has had since he dropped down to 125lbs. Might Mouse will prove to be too quick, too agile and have a good enough all-round game to keep himself away from Moraga’s more powerful shots en route to a unanimous decision victory. Johnson

Frederick – Johnson is ultra-quick and Moraga has a lot of power for a flyweight. Moraga is very talented, and while he may be the most unknown UFC title challenger in UFC history, he has the tools to win the fight. However, Johnson’s speed and footwork will get him the decision. Johnson

Cho-Yee – Moraga is a beast and has tore through both his UFC opponents with relative ease but I have to go with the champion on this one. DJ is the more complete, technical fighter and I expect him to implement a more versatile game plan, ensuring a UD victory. Johnson

Sohn – I think Moraga tests him early and Johnson survives to gut out a decision. If Moraga doesn’t get a stoppage in the early rounds, Mighty Mouse and his phenomenal conditioning and pace win the day.

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