The UFC returns to ‘Cincy’, as the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio plays host to UFC Fight Night 40. Headlining the event is a clash of welterweights, as contenders Matt Brown and Erick Silva do battle to see who moves one step closer to challenging for the 170lbs crown.
The rest of the card can’t exactly be described as one of the more stacked events that the UFC have put on this year, but there are still some interesting and intriguing match-ups to be found; none more so than on the prelims.
So let’s get started with this preview of the best of the rest.
Ed Herman vs. Rafael Natal – 185lbs.
Herman has compiled just the one victory since early 2012, and the combination of little name value and poor form so often spells disaster, but has the chance to bounce back in a big way with a win over Natal. Natal is coming in to this bout with a loss in his most recent outing, a KO defeat to Tim Kennedy from back in November, however, Natal was on a three-fight win prior to this setback and did take the Kennedy fight on just over one week’s notice. Herman last competed at UFC 167, dropping a judges’ decision to Thales Leites.
Ed Herman is one of only six fighters in the UFC who had competed on the first 3 seasons of The Ultimate Fighter, but I can’t see him hanging around for too much longer. For me, Natal will deliver him another defeat, as the Brazilian has the superior all-round MMA game and power.
Prediction – Natal via decision
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Darrell Montague – 125lbs.
Both men have championship pedigree, albeit outside of the UFC, with Horiguchi having captured the Shooto bantamweight title and Montague having been the flyweight champ in Tachi Palace Fights, and both men have had just the bout inside the Octagon. Horiguchi was able to TKO Dustin Pague in a bantamweight clash, while Montague was given a far sterner test in his KO loss to top-ranked flyweight, John Dodson. This bout will mark Horiguchi’s UFC flyweight debut.
Horiguchi is perhaps the more composed of the two on the feet, but I can’t see him having too much success in the grand scheme of things. Montague has solid takedowns and the far superior ground game to Horiguchi, which I feel will prove telling.
Prediction – Montague via decision
Eddie Wineland vs. Johnny Eduardo – 135lbs.
Not too sure what Eddie Wineland has done to deserve a spot on the prelims, as only two fights ago he was (unsuccessfully) challenging Renan Barao for the interim belt and rebounded by TKO’ing Yves Jabouin in his most recent outing. However, I can clearly see why Eduardo is here. The guy is completely unranked, 35 years old and hasn’t fought since 2012.
Eddie Wineland is a legit top-5 ranked bantamweight and will have no trouble in dispatching with Eduardo. Wineland takes this however he wants, but most likely through strikes.
Prediction – Wineland via KO/TKO
Manny Gamburyan vs. Nik Lentz – 145lbs.
No idea why this fight has been buried on the Fight Pass portion of this event, but this is definitely a fight that should pique the interest. Gamburyan is the grizzled vet and Lentz is a handful for all but the elite of the division.
Gamburyan will, as ever, bring his high level judo in to this bout, but Lentz has the smothering wrestling game to nullify Gamburyan in all aspects.
Prediction – Lentz via decision
Tags: ed herman, Eddie Wineland, Manny Gamburyan, Mixed Martial Arts, Nik Lentz, Rafael Natal, UFC