Here is another edition of MMA Predictions featuring UFC 145, in Atlanta, with the headlining bout being between bitter rivals and former team mates current Light Heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones and former Light Heavyweight champion ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans.
Mark Boeck vs John Alessio
Originally a match up between UFC lightweight veterans Mark Boeck and Matt Wiman, who have over the past couple of years been floating around the top end of a stacked lightweight division. Unfortunately Wiman pulled out of this bout due to injury and was replaced by returning MMA and UFC veteran John Alessio. Boeck is coming into this fight with a decision victory over Nik Lentz at UFC 140 and is 3-2 in his last 5 fights, with the losses coming from now 155 champion Benson Henderson and top contender Jim Miller. John Alessio is currently riding a 3 fight win strict and recently this year dropping from welterweight to lightweight. Alessio has a huge amount of experience in big fights within the welterweight division and has fought for the UFC, WEC and Tachi Palace titles. He has also fought huge names within the sport, for example Interim UFC and former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Conduit, Former UFC and future UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich and former #1 contenders Deigo Sanchez and Thiago Silva (although he lost to all the fighters previously mentioned). Although John Alessio has had a huge amount of experience in major events and fights the short notice maybe play a role in his performance against a tough Boeck who will constantly be going for takedowns, get the fight to the ground and secure a submission with his black belt BJJ skills.
Winner – Mark Boeck, Submission – Round 3.
Mark Hominick vs Eddie Yagin
Really this is a free fight given by the UFC to get a Canadian favorite Hominick back into the win column and set him up to fight a top 10 featherweight fighter in an upcoming Canada card, more likely the Toronto card, UFC 152. Mark Hominick is coming into this fight with a 2 fight losing streak against a 7 second KO defeat to the Korean Zombie Chung Jung and a title fight against kingpin Jose Aldo by decision. Eddie Yagin is entering this fight on a loss on his UFC debut to Junior Assunção at UFC 135. Hominick is entering this fight a huge favorite and although being caught a second time in a row is very unlikely I think Hominick will take his time and fight at a steady pace and then pounce when he starts opening Yagin up on the feet. Yagin has a decent guillotine and is really his only chance of winning, well that and a punchers chance.
Winner – Mark Hominick, TKO – Round 2.
Miguel Torres vs Michael McDonald
A huge fight in the bantamweight division where former WEC bantamweight champion and MMA veteran Miguel Torres will take on fast rising prospect Michael ‘Mayday’ McDonald. Torres is coming into this fight off a decision victory over Nick Pace at UFC 139 and is looking to build on that victory and start a streak back towards the title. For McDonald this fight will propel him into the top 10 rankings and make a huge statement in the 135 division! McDonald is currently on a 6 fight win streak including Chris Cariaso, Edwin Figueroa, former #1 contender Manny Tapia and former WEC featherweight champion Cole Escovedo. With both fighters looking to make a statement I can see this being a Fight of the Night contender. Both fighters are very well round but Torres has shown in previous fights to have trouble with wrestlers which McDonald may try to exploit with takedowns to score points during the end of the rounds. Although Torres has a clear advantage in the ground game with his black belt in BJJ and may look to strike early on then work for a takedown and see if the young McDonald can deal with elite level BJJ.
Winner – Miguel Torres, Decision – Round 3.
Brendan Schaub vs Ben Rothwell
A heavyweight fight were both competitors are looking to get back into the win and start getting some momentum in a division really based around 6 top fighters. Brendan Schaub is coming into this fight off of a devastating KO loss to Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 134 in Brazil. Ben Rothwell is coming off of a lackluster performance against Mark Hunt and lost via decision at UFC 135. This fight will start off with both fighters feeling each other out on the feet until Schaub tags Rothwell and Rothwell will look for a takedown. With Schaub’s improved takedown defense he will look to sprawl and brawl and finish the fight by TKO and more than likely kicking out Rothwell out the UFC in the process. A possible Knockout of the Night award contender.
Winner – Brendan Schaub, KO – Round 2.
Rory MacDonald vs Che Mills
A welterweight match-up to display the new up and coming talent in the UFC, young rising star Rory ‘Ares’ MacDonald will take on dangerous British striker Che ‘Beautiful’ Mills. MacDonald is coming into this fight with an impressive TKO victory over Mike Pyle at UFC 133 and is looking to establish himself in a stack division. Che Mills is also coming off of an impressive TKO victory over TUF alumni Chris Cope in the first round and is looking to upset the hype behind MacDonald. I got a feeling Rory is going to show off his experience of training with GSP and take this fight to the ground and control and dominate the fight from the top position to neutralize Mills’s elite striking. With Che Mills he will need to establish his strength and grappling skills to keep this fight standing where he has a slight advantage over the Canadian. I’ve got this being fairly even fight till the ground game is established by MacDonald and we will either see a TKO or submission victory late into the second round.
Winner – Rory MacDonald, Submission – Round 2.
Jon Jones vs Rashad Evans
One of the most anticipated match ups this year, finally former team mates and training partners fight and end their bitter rivalry that has been brewing over the past year, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will defend his title against former champion Rashad Evans. Jon Jones is coming off of the best recorded UFC year by any fighter! He fought 4 times, won all four by finishing the fight, all top 10 fighter opponents and 3 fights including the title against the elite fighters in the division. Rashad Evans is currently on a 2 fight win streak since his long lay off from the sport due to waiting for a title shot fight against Mauricio Rua which he later pulled out of due to injuries. This fight has a huge back story and has been explain and told so many times that I don’t really need to mention it. The genuine dislike the fighters have for each other really helps sell this fight but also the fact that they’ve trained together and know each others style and the habits they have in the cage helps elevate the hype for this fight. Evans’s game plan in this fight must be to not let Jones get comfortable by closing the distance with his speed and throwing in takedowns to confuse the champion on what is coming next, similar to what Jones did against Rampage Jackson. I’ve got a feel that Evans will look to show off his dominant wrestling and control a top game and show if Jones can survive off of his back, which Jones has never had to display before. Jones will be looking to stuff all takedowns and use his reach and range to pick Evans apart and slowly earn a TKO victory in the later stages of the fight. In this fight I’m going to have to go with the underdog Rashad Evans as I reckon he will be able to smother Jones and maybe display a weakness of Jon Jones which maybe his game off of his back.
Winner – Rashad Evans, Decision – Round 5.
Other Fights ( Prelims) – Predicted winners in bold.
Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs
Matt Brown vs. Stephen Thompson
John Makdessi vs. Anthony Njokuani
Mac Danzig vs. Efrain Escudero
Keith Wisniewski vs. Chris Clements
Marcus Brimage vs. Maximo Blanco
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