For their first event on the Fox Sports 1 network, the UFC is having a clash between two of the most popular fighters in MMA.
Former Pride and UFC champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua squares off against former middleweight and light heavyweight title contender Chael Sonnen. Also on the card is the return of Alistair Overeem, who squares off against Travis Browne. Former title contenders Urijah Faber and Michael MacDonald are also scheduled to compete at the event.
Mauricio Rua vs. Chael Sonnen
Winner: Sonnen by decision
Both Sonnen and Rua are coming in off of losses. Even though Sonnen has been successful in his last two outings, I think it’s time for him to lose this fight. Although Shogun has the power and killer instinct that helped him become a force in Pride and the UFC, Sonnen’s wrestling and conditioning could help him control the fight, especially if it goes into the later rounds.
Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne
“The Demolition Man” is coming off of a loss to Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva while Browne is coming into the match with a win over former title contender Gabirel Gonzaga. Still, Overeem has that drive to want to get the title and I think he’s going to be looking to make a statement in his comeback.
Winner: Overeem by KO/TKO
Urijah Faber vs. Yuri Alcantara
Although Urijah Faber is coming into the match on a two-fight winning streak, he may be underestimating Alcantara, who has won four of his six last fights. If Faber is unable to score an early finish, Alcantara will get the decision.
Winner: Alcantara by decision
Matt Brown vs. Mike Pyle
Matt Brown has been on amazing roll as of late and I expect he will continue his winning ways. Still, between him and Mike Pyle, there are 31 KO and submission finishes, which means this fight will be a heck of a show for the fans. Brown is coming off of a “Fight of the Year” candidate performance against Jordan Mein and it looks like he is poised to do it again.
Winner: Brown by KO/TKO
Uriah Hall vs. John Howard
John Howard has not fought in the octagon since 2011 and welcoming him back will be TUF finalist Uriah Hall. Although Hall made a name for himself when he competed on TUF, Howard’s experience and knockout power will be the difference maker in this match
Winner: Howard by KO/TKO
Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Johnson
Joe Lauzon had a big year in 2012 in his fights against Jim Miller and Jamie Varner. Although he is getting a late start in 2013, his fight with Michael Johnson help him re-establish himself as one of the top contenders in the UFC’s Lightweight division.
Winner: Lauzon by decision
Here are some quick predictions for what is sure to be an exciting preliminary fight card.
Brad Pickett vs. Michael McDonald
Winner: McDonald by decision
Conor McGregor vs. Max Holloway
Winner: McGregor by KO/TKO
Mike Brown vs. Steven Siler
Winner: Siler by submission
Diego Brandao vs. Daniel Pineda
Winner: Brandao by KO/TKO
Manvel Gamburyan vs. Cole Miller
Winner: Gamburyan by decision
Cody Donovan vs. Ovince St. Preux
Winner: St. Preux by decision
Ramsey Nijem vs. James Vick
Winner: Nijem by decision