UFC on FX 1 Discussion Thread

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UFC on FX 1 Discussion Thread

PostPosted by #Foxxc# » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:22 am

Here are my picks along with the MMASucka crew, should be a fun one.

MMASucka.com wrote:If you’re looking for star power this Friday’s UFC debut on the FX network might not be your cup of tea but if you’re into exciting fights you’ve come to the right place – It all goes down from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sitting atop the bill is an exciting lightweight clash between two men whose roads to championship gold have taken a slight detour, Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller, along with Duane Ludwig and Josh Neer looking to throw their fists of fury until someone goes to sleep.

The staff here at MMASucka.com have given our insights into how we see these clashes going down as the battle for imaginary internet street cred rages on.

Melvin Guillard vs. Jim Miller:

JP Lasaleta: Melvin is in a tough place for this fight. He’s training with a new team and new coaches. He’s coming off a devastating loss. On top of all that, he’s fighting against a guy who has a strong grasp of his kryptonite, the submission game. I see Jim Miller taking Guillard to the ground and taking home a trophy (maybe an arm or a foot) in the first round.

Carlin Bardsley: Guillard’s got something to prove here. The latest man to ditch Jackson’s MMA has been just short of the top echelon of the lightweight division for a while now. Miller’s strengths match up well with Guillard’s weaknesses, but I trust that Van Arsdale would have been working with Melvin enough on his defensive wrestling to keep the fight standing. From there it’s just a matter of time until he lands.

Jeremy Brand: I thought Melvin was the next big thing in the lightweight division and then bam he was stopped by Joe Lauzon. I think that Jim Miller is going to do the same and stop Guillard. He will take him down early and stop him on the ground. Jim Miller by 2nd Round TKO

Trevor Dueck: I think people are underestimating Guillard’s hand speed and how he pushes the pace. If you are going to get Guillard to the ground you’re going to have to catch him first. Miller has been known for getting sucked into a stand up war before. Not taking anything away from Jim Miller he can handle himself standing up too. However, he needs to be careful not to waste too much of the gas tank in trying to find a way to take Guillard down. That is where Miller needs to take the fight. Guillard is too dynamic and too fast on the feet for Miller to risk getting caught in a stand up war. Look for Guillard to be extremely motivated after being derailed in his last fight by Joe Lauzon. Both guys want back on the 155lbs title road, but if Guillard can be his dynamic self and not be his own worst enemy I see him winning but not sure how, but I’ll take a guess and say third round TKO.

Justin Faux: I really enjoy this fight, puts the winner clearly back on track being a fight or two away from title contention now that there isn’t a giant logjam at the top – The facts are that styles make fights and on paper this looks like this is Millers fight to lose if he isn’t smart but I think he has all the right tools to put Guillard away.

I would expect Miller to be looking to take this to the floor immediately, although he’s an accomplished striker and probably brings a higher level of technique to the table Miller brings game changing power that will put him away if he make a mistake, I expect a second round submission for Miller.

Sucka’s taking Miller: 3
Sucka’s taking Guillard: 2

Duane Ludwig vs. Josh Neer:

JP Lasaleta: I love this fight. Both guys like to stand up and take care of business. I see Bang just a little bit faster, and technical for the more aggressive josh Neer. Bang by KO round 2

Carlin Bardsley: Neer’s a gamer but Ludwig’s striking is crisper and quicker. Neer will keep hanging in there but just barely as Ludwig picks him apart. Fight of the Night contender here.

Jeremy Brand: Josh Neer is a trusted veteran in the game, but Duane Ludwig will have this fight wrapped up in the bag. His intensity and kick boxing experience will propel in this match. Duane Ludwig by 3rd Round TKO

Trevor Dueck: This is a fight for the fans. Two tough dudes who like to throw down. Something tells me though that it may end up being a lot more technical then that. Although Ludwig has a great kickboxing background, his wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu has improved. Something tells me that Ludwig entertains the idea of a stand up war but uses that to try and take Neer down. It will be interesting to see if the kitchen gets too hot on the feet who will be the first guy to go for the takedown. My money is on “Bang.” Ludwig wins by decision.

Justin Faux: On paper this has all the right components to gives us a fight of the night performance against these two tough, durable veterans. I have been really impressed with Ludwig since he made the move up to welterweight he’s shown improvement and I expect him to take this home, I would expect them to have a technical back and forth kickboxing match with favors ‘Bang’ but both are well versed on the mat too but I’ll pick Ludwig to take a decision.

Sucka’s taking Ludwig: 5
Sucka’s taking Neer: 0

Mike Easton vs. Jared Papazian

JP Lasaleta: Mike Easton is on a 6 fight winning streak, defeating big names like Chase Beebe, and John Dodson. It’s a huge step up in competition for Papazian. Mike Easton will finish this fight in the first round, most likely by KO

Carlin Bardsley: Papazian’s taking this one on short notice, which will hurt him the longer the fight goes. Easton will likely work his jits and keep Papazian on his back until he gives up an arm or a leg.

Jeremy Brand: I have a tough time picking any of Lloyd Irvin’s fighters (ala Brandon Vera), but this one is tough to pick against. Mike Easton who is undefeated in 6 fights will go on to his 7th against Papazian. Mike Easton by 1st Round KO.

Trevor Dueck: I want to take the upset here and go with Papazian but I’m going to stay put on the favorite in this fight. I like Mike Easton a lot and I don’t see this going to a decision. Easton via KO in any round.

Justin Faux: This fight interests me, I know everyone is expecting Easton to blow the doors off Papazian in jaw-dropping fashion but I don’t see it happening so easy. I know he took this fight on short notice but for the past two months he’s been training for a UFC debut before he even got the call so I don’t expect that to play a factor.

This kid is young, well rounded and a serious prospect to watch but I do think Easton is too much, too soon. I see Easton being able to frustrate the newcomer with his reach edge before hurting him later in the fight and if he drops him he is really quick to join his fallen opponent on the mat and look for a submission so I’ll take Easton by a third frame submission.

Sucka’s taking Easton: 5
Sucka’s taking Papazian: 0

Pat Barry vs. Christian Morecraft

JP Lasaleta: Morecraft is a certified giant, but his last 2 losses proved that he is susceptible to strong strikers. Barry is probably the best striker that Morecraft has ever faced, and Barry is accustomed to fighting giants at his home gym like Brock Lesnar and Cole Konrad. Barry will win by KO in the first round to bring his UFC record back to an even .500.

Carlin Bardsley: Morecraft has the clear size and reach advantage, as well as an advantage if this fight hits the ground. But Barry isn’t afraid to take the fight to a bigger man, as we’ve seen in his bouts against Kongo and Struve. Barry may have Morecraft well scouted, given that Morecraft’s last two fights have come against friends of Pat’s. I like David to slay Goliath here.

Jeremy Brand: Pat Barry will get back in the win column after this fight. Morecraft is a massive, massive man, but who isn’t compared to Barry. The two goofed around at the open workouts on Wednesday, but come fight day this will be nothing but goofing around. Pat Barry by UD.

Trevor Dueck: Like Melvin Guillard, Pat Barry is his own worst enemy. He has some of the fiercest stand up in the division but seems to care more about throwing caution to the wind and entertaining the fans than actually putting together a solid technical fight. The last thing Barry wants to do is find himself on the ground with the big beast Morecraft on top. Look for Pat Barry to chop Morecraft down with vicious leg kicks. If Barry can keep the fight standing and not get caught up in the clinch game and not get worn down, I see Barry winning via decision.

Justin Faux: Interesting match-up between these two, realistically it looks like a fight for Pat Barry to throw his heavy hands, get in close and drop the giant to thrill the audience and catch a few eyeballs of people flipping channels but I wouldn’t be surprised if Morecraft took a slow, plodding decision once he takes top control but if he keeps his head screwed on I’ll take Barry to return to the winners circle with a first round TKO.

Sucka’s taking Barry: 5
Sucka’s taking Morecraft: 0

Preliminary card:

Jorge Rivera vs. Eric Schafer
JP Lasaleta: Rivera by second round TKO
Carlin Bardsley: Rivera by second round TKO
Jeremy Brand: Schafer by decision
Trevor Dueck: Jorge Rivera
Justin Faux: Rivera by decision

Sucka’s taking Rivera: 4
Sucka’s taking Schafer: 1

Kamal Shalorus vs. Khabib Nurmagonedov
JP Lasaleta: Shalorus by second round TKO
Carlin Bardsley: Shalorus by decision
Jeremy Brand: Shalorus by first round TKO
Trevor Dueck: Shalorus
Justin Faux: Shalorus by second round TKO

Sucka’s taking Shalorus: 5
Sucka’s taking Nurmagonedov: 0

Charlie Brenneman vs. Daniel Roberts

JP Lasaleta: Brenneman by decision
Carlin Bardsley: Brenneman by decision
Jeremy Brand: Roberts by first round submission
Trevor Dueck: Brenneman
Justin Faux: Brenneman by decision

Sucka’s taking Brenneman: 4
Sucka’s taking Roberts: 1

Daniel Pineda vs. Pat Schilling

JP Lasaleta: Schilling by first round submission
Carlin Bardsley: Pineda by first round submission
Jeremy Brand: Pineda by decision
Trevor Dueck: Schilling
Justin Faux: Schilling by first round submission

Sucka’s taking Schilling: 3
Sucka’s taking Pineda: 2

Joseph Sandoval vs. Nick Denis

JP Lasaleta: Denis by first round TKO
Carlin Bardsley: Denis by decision
Jeremy Brand: Denis by decision
Trevor Dueck: Denis
Justin Faux: Denis by second round TKO

Sucka’s taking Denis: 5
Sucka’s taking Sandoval: 0

Fabricio Camoes vs. Tommy Hayden

JP Lasaleta: Camoes by first round submission
Carlin Bardsley: Camoes by third round submission
Jeremy Brand: Camoes by first round submission
Trevor Dueck: Camoes
Justin Faux: Camoes by first round submission

Sucka’s taking Camoes: 5
Sucka’s taking Hayden: 0
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Re: UFC on FX 1 Discussion Thread

PostPosted by #Foxxc# » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:34 am

Here's my prelim report.

MMASucka.com wrote:I said it earlier this week, this card doesn’t have the star appeal with a George St-Pierre on top but it has all the elements to give us an exciting night of fights.

We saw prospects, we saw returning veterans, deadly knockouts, slick submissions, what else could you ask for?

Nick Denis vs. Joseph Sandoval

When Nick Denis steps into the cage he always has his opponents beat in the category of the better nickname on a scorecard of 154-3 but score card’s weren’t going to be a factor here tonight.

“The Ninja of Love” was making his octagon debut tonight. Denis was considered one of the hottest prospects outside of the Zuffa umbrella for a long time and didn’t disappoint.

The Canadian started exchanging with Joseph Sandoval early getting the better of him but eating a few shots himself before initiating a thai-clinch and hurting him with a barrage of elbows before the fight was called off.

Denis broke down his 22 seconds of brutality post-fight:

“Couldn’t have gone any better. I came out strong striking. The plan was then to take it to the ground, because I know he’s not as strong a grappler as he is a striker. I threw some punches and he didn’t react well, so I finished it. He was open for the right elbow; it landed and I kept them coming and put him down.”

Sandoval wasn’t prepared for him to blast him so quickly, here’s what he had to say:

“It happened so fast, I really don’t know what happened. I didn’t expect him to come out banging. Thought we would circle for a bit, but he banged it out.”

Pat Schilling vs. Daniel Pineda

When two combatants are making their debut it’s hard to assess how the action will go down, the MMASucka.com crew were split on this one with 3 taking Schilling and 2 taking Pineda but it seems Jeremy & Carlin are the brainy ones of the bunch.
Pineda had a clear experience edge on Schilling with 23-professional fights to his credit he pushed his winning streak to six-straight in his promotional debut.

Pineda forced the jiu-jitsu specialist out of his comfort zone putting him on his back and quickly taking mount. Schilling panicked when his more experience foe started raining down shots so gave his back and allowed him to get a rear-naked choke.

Schilling wasn’t going to give up without a fight attempting to stand and break the hold but had no success and was forced to quit.

Pineda was obviously thrilled with his UFC debut post-fight:

“My first fight in the UFC and I really wanted to do a good job. I expected him to wrestle but he wanted to stand with me. He rocked me then I rocked him. Then I tried to take him out of his comfort zone, by doing the opposite of what he was showing me. He wanted to stand so I took him down and finished it. I just squeezed and squeezed and choked him out.”

Schiling took a look at his loss here when he returned to the locker room:

“I stood there with him and got him with a good left hook. I landed some good shots. I probably should have stayed away from him a little. I wanted to get to him first but he got to me and took me down. I tried to escape and just couldn’t.”

Fabricio Camoes vs. Tommy Hayden

Tommy Hayden was making his octagon debut with a perfect 8-0 record but the experienced veteran Fabricio Camoes spoiled his coming out party tonight.

Hayden initiated the striking early getting the better of the Brazilian in a striking match before Camoes secured a takedown and brought it into his playground.

Camoes, a third degree black-belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu was making Hayden look like an amateur despite most of his victory coming by way of submission — Camoes searched for a submission the moment it hit the mat before eventually Hayden made the critical mistake of giving up a back and losing to a rear-naked-choke.

Camoes was thrilled with his submission win in his octagon return against this rookie:

“It feels amazing. I been waiting for this opportunity in the UFC my whole life and I’m so happy to get the victory in that way. I’m a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but I want to show the world I’m a well-rounded fighter. We started striking, which surprised me because I know he’s good on the ground. We scrambled a bit, then I got the opportunity to get on his back.”

Hayden was self-critical yet understanding post-fight breaking down his defeat:

“I took this fight on short notice – 7 days. I busted my butt the last week with no rest. No excuses though. I wanted to keep him standing because I know he’s a black best in BJJ. I tried to use my wrestling to keep him on his feet and strike it out. He got me down on the ground and just flat got the better of me.”

Daniel Roberts vs. Charlie Brenneman

In the first three bouts of the night the judges could have taken a bathroom break or got a bite to eat because they weren’t needed but we finally have a bout that has gone to the final bell.

The reason this bout was so intriguing was Brenneman has a strong wrestling base but Roberts has a great submission game which provides an interesting clash of styles and provides entertaining ground work and that’s exactly what we got.

The opening frame was all Brenneman shooting for a takedown early after being tagged with a nice shot and working from side control for the most part throwing some fists of fury including a few shots to the back of the head that referee Herb Dean didn’t call.

The next two were more competitive but still favored the wrestling game of ‘The Spaniard’ who repeatedly revered back to his bread n’ butter doing damage with his strikes which his foe was on his back but had fight off numerous submission attempts.

Towards the end of the second frame ‘Ninja’ Roberts caught a top-side inverted triangle choke that looked in deep but didn’t have enough time on the clock — This marks his third defeat though and could give him his walking papers.

Brenneman was glad to get the win but not happy post-fight with his decision victory:

“He’s so powerful. His Jiu-Jitsu isn’t real technical but he ‘s real explosive. I figured if I kept some distance I could inflict the most damage. Everything I learned in camp was going through my mind the entire fight, including being careful with him till the end, which I didn’t do. I was whipping his butt and he almost got me at the end. I got content with my position and he capitalized.”

Roberts wasn’t satisfied with his defeat either believing that if he had more time he would have caught with Brenneman.

“My mind just wasn’t in this fight. It was on other things. I would have done a lot better if my mind was into it. I tried for the tap at the end, but knew time was running out. If I had a little more time, I think I had him.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Kamal Shalorus

There were so many question marks surrounding Nurmagomedov heading into his lightweight tilt with blue-gloves veteran Kamal Shalorus but it took little time for him to impress the viewing audience.

They touch gloves and start exchanging early with a back and forth war leaving his chin out and his gloves down it seemed like only a matter of time until Shalorus hit him on the button but that wasn’t the case — He hurt him on the feet with a knee to the face and worked his wrestling game.

Shalorus stalks early on in the second frame before being taken down and beaten up once again which was the story of the rest of the fight for the most part having no answers for the unorthodox striking and wrestling game of the Russian.

Instead of waiting for the final bell to sound and taking a dominate decision Nurmagomedov punished the face and body of Shalorus before moving across to mount and taking the back of Shalorus before collecting a rear-naked-choke once his foe gave him his back.

Nurmagomedov broke down the biggest fight of his young career post-fight:

“I thought the fight would go to the judges’ decision. It was my UFC debut and I was being very cautious. But when I mounted him in the 3rd round, I felt I had him and just went for it. I was prepared for this fight. I trained for three months in Russia and a couple weeks here In the States. I was ready. This was my first fight in the U.S., my first fight in the UFC and my goal was strictly to win. I did have butterflies, though – the lights, the pretty girls. Hey, it’s UFC.”

Shalrous was a many of few words post-fight following his second straight defeat:

“He’s young, he’s fast. He likes to strike, but can also take you down. He just fought better than me tonight. We got into the 3rd round and he got me.”

Eric Schafer vs. Jorge Rivera

Rivera walked to the octagon for the final time tonight, following 11 years as a professional mixed martial artist and 15 trips to the legendary octagon the 39-year-old called it quits following his victory tonight.

Schafer wasn’t willing to give the veteran his final swan song without a fight absolutely dominating the opening round.
Schafer was able to trip him getting the fight to the floor where he wanted it working from half-guard and raining down some fists of fury that would’ve put away an average man but he showed off his infamous chin strength.

The second round a fatigued Schafer wasn’t able to continue on like he did in the first with the veteran who caught him with a clean shot when he shot to take him down again before getting rained down with tons of shots before the referee was forced to stop the action.

Rivera was happy post-fight in his last ever fight:

“As far as the fight, I just played to my strengths and never felt threatened by him. Hey, I like knocking people out but if I have to go to the ground I will, but I’m not going to mess around, especially when I know my opponent has a better ground game. I told myself coming in tonight to just relax, let it all hang out and hopefully walk away with a win. I’ve had a wonderful career and I’m very grateful to the UFC, but I don’t want to do this anymore. This job isn’t easy. I’m ready to put my time in being a husband and father.

Schafer didn’t have much to say following his defeat, here’s what he had for us:

“I won the first round and got stupid in the 2nd. He dazed me. I got caught underneath him and that was it.”

And heres my reports for the main card fights.

MMASucka.com wrote:Pat Barry vs. Christian Morecraft
If you’re down for some giant guys throwing caution to the wind and trading blow for blow then you’re in the right place.
Morecraft, the owner of the worst tattoo in mixed martial arts didn’t want to stand and trade with the former kick boxer looking to expose the biggest hole in the game of the Death Clutch product.

He quickly caught a kick of Barry and placed him on his back on two separate occasions in the early going of the round as Morecraft looked for a nice armbar that he wasn’t able to secure and Barry even showed off some submissions of his own seeking a stand guillotine.

In the final two minutes of the round Barry was on his feet and showed his blistering power off with a huge left hook that dropped him before putting the nail in the coffin quickly with a right hand.

Barry was ecstatic post-fight that he showed improvement in his jiu-jitsu game and impressed the capacity crowd in Nashville, Tennessee but Morecraft wasn’t available to chat due to being transported to a local hospital:

“Very excited right now. I had that killer instinct tonight. I had some very accurate punches on the ground. I want to thank everyone and anyone who ever helped me with my jiu-jitsu over the years, especially my current team. We drill and drill and drill, and it really helped me escape all those submission attempts tonight. My confidence is always through the roof and want to always put on a great show for everyone. I haven’t slept a wink all week thinking about this fight. I’m going to leave here, go right to bed and enjoy my first good night’s sleep in a while.”

MMASucka.com wrote:Mike Easton vs. Jared Papazian
Mike Easton has long been considered one of the future 135-pounders and someone who could be put into title contention very shortly, he added another claim to that tonight with his decision victory over UFC newcomer Jared Papazian.

Easton was originally scheduled to face Ken Stone tonight but two weeks out he had an opponent change in King of The Cage champion Jared Papazian who was already preparing for a UFC debut despite not getting a call.

All three rounds were highly competitive with both men exchanging blow-for-blow on the feet. The bout opened with a throwback to the infamous Frye-Takayama fight with both men trading a barrage of shots in a clinch.

“The Hulk” was aggressively moving forward looking to put away his opponent which was a huge factor in giving him an edge in the fight, in the first round he stalked the KOTC champ throwing powerful shots and vicious knees.

The second frame was the most competitive of all, they spent a lot of the fight working in the clinch and Easton was able to get it to the floor but wasn’t able to capitalize all that much. The cleaner, more technical boxing of Papazian likely got him across the line here.

The final frame Easton took control back and did what he had to do to get his hand raised — He was able to mix up his combos nicely throwing high level of strikes using punches, knees and leg kicks.

When all was said and done Easton got across the line on all three score cards, here’s what he had to say post-fight:

“He’s a tough dude. I knew he was going to show up. He came to fight. I came to fight. We talked a little trash and put on a great show. Hey us 135lbs fighters know how to bang and entertain. It’s non-stop action. And what a better time to do it than on the first FX show. There was also a lot of technique out there as well.”

Despite his defeat Papazian was satisfied with the fight:

“Just a great fight. He was trying to take my head off and I was trying to take off his. I really thought I got the better of the first two rounds and that last round we just went at it in the middle of the cage. The plan was to keep moving, in and out, hit and counter. And to watch out for his kicks because he can do some damage with those.”

MMASucka.com wrote:When you think of Josh Neer you don’t really think of him being a submission artist. Flashes of brutality are what typically come to mind as he’s shown off his vicious elbow strikes and hosted a bloodbath or two but he has 12 submissions to his name.

Keyboard warriors expected a thrilling back and forth battle that goes the distance here but Neer had another way to leave with a win — They traded early with neither man getting the real upper hand.

Neer was able to trip his opponent and get it onto the floor and was able to catch a modified guillotine choke as Ludwig was scrambling and got it in deep in the fourth submission of the evening.

“The Dentist” broke down the action here post-fight:

“When I was on top of him I could feel blood trickle down my neck. I didn’t know how bad the cut was above my eye so I knew I had to finish him and finish quick. I saw an opening and got him. He’s probably the hardest puncher I’ve ever faced. It feels to good in working towards establishing myself. Got a couple wins under my belt and really want to get a nice streak going.”

Ludwig was disappointed post-fight taking a look at the action:

“I was lighting him up. Shots to the body, shots to the head. Then he spits out his mouthpiece and gets a break. I hesitated for a split second and he caught me with the guillotine.”

MMASucka.com wrote:In the main event we had two lightweight contenders who had recently had their long unbeaten streaks snapped with the winner being pushed right back into the title conversation.

Guillard knew that his biggest chance of getting his hand raised here was to blast the AMA Fight Club member with his vicious power and look to capitalize on the damage he does.

Early on “The Young Assassin” hurt Miller with a straight right hand that rocked him and forced him to revent back to his submission game – While taking a knee to the head he powered forward with a double leg takedown that got him some success.

Miller takes mount quickly but as the Blackzillian attempted to get back to his feet Miller was able to get on his back that forced Guillard to fall backwards as he cranked on the choke to get the win which satisfied the Nashville crowd.

When all was said and done Miller was happy with his victory, but not happy about taking the damage early:

“I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to find out how hard he hits. He has explosive shots. I don’t get knocked down too often. I was able to find my home on his back in the scramble and was able to work my arm underneath his neck. I feel pretty good once I get in that position as I can usually work things the way I need to. The win is just so gratifying, here in the main event on FX.”

Guillard was disappointed with his second-straight defeat but optimistic about getting back to the top:

“I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to find out how hard he hits. He has explosive shots. I don’t get knocked down too often. I was able to find my home on his back in the scramble and was able to work my arm underneath his neck. I feel pretty good once I get in that position as I can usually work things the way I need to. The win is just so gratifying, here in the main event on FX.”
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Re: UFC on FX 1 Discussion Thread

PostPosted by #Foxxc# » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:59 am

MMASucka.com wrote:Top-to-bottom UFC’s first offering on the FX network was exciting with the judges only being needed twice on this ten-bout bill. The partisan crowd at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee were treated to a bit of everything tonight with a smorgasbord of submissions, deadly elbows and a big upset in one of the better free televised events in a long while.

As always after each major event I take a look at the winners of the top of tonight’s feature and see what comes next for them in their respective weight class.

Jim Miller:

The most accomplished member of the AMA Fight Club showed off why he’s still a player at 155-pounds defeating explosive striker Melvin Guillard despite being beaten on early by the Blackzillian team member.

Miller capitalized on the first mistake he made giving up his back when scrambling to return to his feet and secured a rear-naked-choke that forced him to fall backwards while he pulled on it with as much torque as possible.

Miller is seemingly a fight away from challenging for the lightweight title so a high-level challenger is warranted. Kenny Florian in discussion with his broadcast partner Jon Anik suggested pairing Miller with rising Brazilian prospect Edson Barboza who is fresh off the heels of his early knockout of the year nomination.

Personally, I think Barboza is a great prospect but stepping up to face Jim Miller is a huge leap up from the Anthony Njokuani’s and Terry Etim’s of the world, a more appropriate fight would be a clash with the younger of the unpredictable Diaz brothers, Nate.

Diaz just collected the biggest win of his career when he blistered the face of Greg Jackson product Donald Cerrone in a three-round beat down showing off brilliant hands and putting an emphatic end to his six-bout unbeaten streak.

After knocking off the person who was considered to be next in line after one of the better years any mixed martial artist has put on that puts him at the top of the pecking order, Miller is right there with him so why not pair them up.

Josh Neer:

“Bang” Ludwig has been on top of the world since he received word that his 6.06 second smashing of Jonathan Goulet is officially recognize as the UFC’s fastest knockout in history and looked to continue on his journey up the ranks before he was stopped by Josh Neer.

Following a brief exchange in their kick boxing match that pundits expected Neer chose to take it to the floor with a trip and while his opponent struggled to scramble to his feet he fell straight into a modified guillotine choke.

“The Dentist” is in his fourth stint in the elite mixed martial arts organization and was counted out by most heading into this bout but made them all take notice that the 44-fight veteran is here to stay.

Neer has proven himself as a tough test for anyone in the welterweight division and would be a good time to pair him up with a hot prospect to see where they place in the 170-pound ranks.

Lance Benoist might look inexperienced from his 6-0 record but he also had an unbeaten 14-0-1 record as an amateur before jumping in with both feet and last time we saw him he edged ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ veteran Matt Riddle that earned him $65,000 for the ‘fight of the night’ bonus.

Both men bring all sorts of action to the cage and would determine if the newcomer can hang with the big boys in the division somewhere down the line.

Mike Easton:

Easton has long been considered a future player in the 135-pound division and he proved it again tonight with his 15 minute battle with promotional newcomer Jared Papazian pushing his record to 12-1 with two of those wins coming in the octagon.

Papazian was a hot prospect stepping in on short notice for this bout and delivered with an exciting battle with Easton getting the upper hand on all three score cards due to his aggressive striking game and ability to work from the clinch and do damage with his body shots.

Easton is climbing the ladder very quickly and is definitely someone to keep an eye on in the developing bantamweight class, pairing him up with some fellow winning 135-pounders would be his best next step.

Ideally, on the Japan card there is a clash between former title challenger Takeya Mizugaki and Chris Cariaso is set, the winner of that bout would be a great, entertaining fight and see where everyone stands right now.

Pat Barry:
“HD” Barry put on the performance everyone expected, apart from the moments when he defended submissions and regained his composure – The Death Clutch product had the obvious chink in his armor and has been showing signs of improvements on it.

After battling out of Christian Morecraft’s submission holds he caught with his a left-hook that put his lights out then followed up with a hammer fist before the bout was stopped.

Barry is exactly the sort of fighter that they want on these type of FX or Fuel cards and I would expect him to be paired up with another heavyweight fight that will be sure to deliver fireworks, a clash with Mark Hunt for instance if he got past Cheick Kongo would be appropriate.

Hunt is a former K-1 world champion and has shown improvements on the rest of his game despite seemingly being in the twilight of his career. Against Ben Rothwell he showed drastic leaps in his wrestling and cardiovascular fitness so the New Zealander would pose a real threat to Barry if he could get past the French striker in his return to Japan.
"The Gracie Hunter" Kazushi Sakuraba
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