Saturday night, the UFC circus sets up the big top here in lovely Seattle. The card is absolutely stacked, and as always, we’ll be making our pick and filling you in on who we think should win each fight. This time, we’re talking about the preliminary bouts, which take place on FX, sans the John Albert vs. Scott Jorgensen fight which will be shown on Facebook. Here’s the who, what and why of the prelim fights.
Yves Edwards vs. Jeremy Stephens
This is a clash of two very experienced veterans who have a ton of natural ability, and was scheduled to take place back in Minnesota, but Dana was unable to spring Stephens from the pokey in time for the fight to materialize. This is a must win for both fighters, as they are both coming off of losses and 1-2 in their last three. I like Yves a ton, but Jeremy Stephens is going to be too strong for Yves. Expect some crisp standup, to turn into a wrestling match, that is controlled by Stephens. Jeremy Stephens by Unanimous Decision.
Raphael Assuncao vs. Mike Easton
Assuncao is a veteran with excellent ground skills. Mike Easton is a juggernaut who has big hands and solid wrestling. Raphael Assuncao has always excelled until he steps up against top level talent. Mike Easton is a top level talent at 135 pounds. I think this one is going to be Easton chasing and unloading on Assuncao for a couple rounds, and finally catching him and finishing him in the third. Mike Easton by TKO Round 3.
Ramsey Nijem vs. Joe Proctor
This is a lightweight clash between fighters who’ve earned their stripes by living in the ultimate fighter house for a bit. Ramsey reached the season 13 finale before being KO’d by Tony Ferguson. He has a well rounded game, and has split his 6 wins equally winning two by TKO, two by submission and 2 by decision. Joe Proctor was on season 15 of TUF and was ousted in the quarterfinals. He has good wrestling, and decent hands. He will likely look to take Ramsey down, but my hunch is, everything Proctor does, Ramsey does a little better. My money is on Ramsey Nijem to win his seventh fight, this time by submission in the second round.
Daron Cruickshank vs. Henry Martinez
Both guys are trying to plant a flag in the Lightweight division. Daron Cruickshank loves to bang, and he’ll be looking to land his heavy hands on Martinez in this clash. Henry is a well rounded guy who trains with Greg Jackson and company in New Mexico. They both have talent, but I think Daron Cruickshank will catch Henry standing and finish the fight in the first round.
Tim Means vs. Abel Trujillo
Abel Trujillo looks every bit the part of his nickname, “Killa”, and will be looking to dominate in his UFC debut this Saturday night. Tim Means has been through a lot and he isn’t fazed by being in the Octagon. He’s been shot, addicted, and imprisoned in his life. Abel is always improving, fighting out of the Blackzillians gym, and I feel like he’ll do enough to win this fight. I expect Abel to control the pace and outwork Means for a unanimous decision victory.
Nam Phan vs. Dennis Siver
This is an exciting fight. Nam Phan is a talented fighter. He’s got tremendous talent striking, wrestling and with submissions. He’s well rounded and very game. Dennis Siver was a top level Lightweight and he’s a very big Featherweight. In his featherweight debut, he defeated Diego Nunes, and I feel like this time around, he’ll have an easier weight cut and feel more natural at 145. His standup is top notch, and I think these guys will go toe to toe until one of them gets hurt. I’d be willing to bet Phan gets hurt. Dennis Siver wins this wild fight in the second round by KO.
John Albert vs. Scott Jorgensen
These two guys have struggled of late, but Scott Jorgensen should have a distinct edge in ability here. John Albert is tough, but Scott Jorgensen has fought better talent, and has tremendous upside. Whoever loses this could find themselves on the outside of the UFC, and I fully expect Jorgensen to not let that happen. I expect a highlight reel statement performance here by Jorgensen who will win by TKO in the first round.
By Dan Rose for hov-mma