I don’t want to write about the main card. I just want to watch it. I want to watch Gabriel Gonzaga and his mustache succumb to the punching combinations of Michael Stipe Miocic. I want to watch Jeremy Stephens do Jeremy Stephens things. I want to watch Donald Cerrone get paid for fighting, because he’s broke. I want to watch Adriano Martins fighting on this nationally televised card and think “What the hell is happening right now? Has Joe Silva made some sort of mistake?”
(Give me Bendo, Miocic, Stephens, and Cerrone. And give me a bunch of words to describe what’s gonna pop off on the prelims. Away we go.)
Walt Harris (0-1 UFC) vs. Nikita Krylov (0-1 UFC)
This is the real reason I wanted to write about the prelims. We should all enjoy Nikita Krylov’s time in the UFC, because this fight is probably going to be the last of it.
Krylov is one of the worst MMA fighters I’ve ever seen. He’s a heavyweight with no coordination, no plan, no power, and no hope. And yet, he seems kinda sorta tough. It took Soa Palelei a painfully long time to get him out of there, and to size those two up, it looked like a giant tattooed monster fighting the captain of the debate team.
Walt Harris isn’t bad. He’s a dangerous swinger with some technique, and he raced out to an early lead against heavyweight prospect Jared Rosholt. However, he’s one of those “too much muscle” guys. Unless he blasts Krylov out of there within 7 minutes, he’s gonna fade down the stretch. It’s just reality. And the words “fading down the stretch” and “Nikita Krylov sloppy improbable comeback” might also become reality, as sad and demoralizing as that mind bending scenario would be.
I can’t, being of sound mind and judgement, pick Krylov to win a fight in the UFC. It’s too ridiculous. Walt Harris knocks Krylov out in 3 minutes. Savor the flavor.
Mike Rhodes (0-0 UFC) vs. George Sullivan (0-0 UFC)
Mike Rhodes once defeated someone named “Quartus Stitt”. This will carry him to a TKO victory.
Daron Cruickshank (3-2 UFC) vs. Mike Rio (1-2 UFC)
The day when Daron Cruickshank bludgeoned and posterized Henry Martinez was epic theater, but he’s looked so pedestrian recently that it now seems like a distant memory. Not a great stretch for “The Detroit Superstar” (which is kind of like calling yourself “The Pride of Chernobyl”).
Cruickshank’s style is distinctly karate based, but he can have trouble pulling the trigger, and he’s also prone to getting the deer-in-the-headlights face going when things aren’t going his way. This is a dude who should be on a three fight losing streak, but two judges thought he beat Yves Edwards in July of last year. Whatever. Rio isn’t an easy bounceback fight for him, but he appears to be in over his head fighting UFC talent. I think Cruickshank finds a way to succeed on the feet and beats Rio on the scorecards.
Ramiro Hernandez (0-1 UFC) vs. Hugo Viana (2-1 UFC)
Before getting choked unconscious in his UFC debut, Ramiro Hernandez had only lost by decision, and he had only lost to respectable fighters. Jeremy Spoon, Pat Curran, Michael Johnson, Jared Downing. No shameful losses there.
But getting dropped and slept by a sloptastic Lucas Martins in 70 seconds? That’s not a good sign. Maybe it was the classic UFC debut adrenaline dump/catastrophic brain fart scenario, but the fact remains that Hernandez needs a good showing here to prove he belongs in the UFC.
He takes on Hugo Viana, a big hitter who looks like a youth group leader at the Cool Church. Regardless, Viana punches really, really hard, and even though he lost to TJ Dillashaw in his last outing, Hernandez is a pretty significant drop off in competition. Hernandez has never been knocked out, but Hugo Viana is the man to do just that. The smallish, mutton chopped Viana smashes Hernandez with punches in the first round.
Chico Camus (2-1 UFC) vs. Yaotzin Meza (1-1 UFC)
I’m not proud of this, but I’m totally biased against Chico Camus ever since ALL THREE judges opined that he beat Kyung Ho Kang. Come on, son. Plus, he has an “Only God Can Judge Me” tattoo, a first ballot hall of fame tattoo for morons.
On top of that, Chico isn’t much for strategy, as he repeatedly took down superior grappler Dustin Kimura until he finally got the result he wanted, which was to lose by rear naked choke. Look, I’m most likely just a Chico hater. It’s a shameful mindset to have when breaking down a fight. He’s a tough fighter.
He takes on Yao Ming Tzin Meza, a gritty grappler who will probably go back and forth with Camus on the floor. Both men aren’t known for their striking, so a grapple-heavy bout seems likely. This is a tough one to call, as I don’t really see one man being better than the other in any significant way. Meza by decision.
Eddie Wineland (2-3 UFC) vs. Yves Jabouin (4-2 UFC)
Both men fancy themselves good strikers, though Eddie laces punching combos while Yves is more of a fast twitch kicker. Eddie could turn into Wrestler Eddie Wineland and perhaps find success, but I seriously doubt that will happen. This one’s taking place with both men upright.
So who has the better chin? Eddie. Renan Barao was able to wobble and finish him, but that was a rare occurance. Eddie really thrives when guys try to get in the pocket and box with him, so Yves has to avoid getting into a firefight. His suspect chin will force him to score from the outside, and I see a decent dose of that happening.
Jabouin could be knocked out by Wineland hooks and crosses, but I see more of a back and forth clash of styles here, 29-28 split decision type stuff. Look for Jabouin to land more speedy strikes, with Wineland landing the ones that matter. Eddie needs that tattoo money. Wineland by decision.
Sergio Pettis (1-0 UFC) vs. Alex Caceres (4-3 UFC, 1 NC)
Sergio makes an appropriate incremental jump up in competition by taking on Alex Caceres. Caceres is never going to ball out at 135 or anything, but this was not a good fighter coming off of TUF. He was too wild on the feet, and his “submission game” consisted of him setting the unofficial UFC record for “most failed triangle attempts”. Now, he uses his reach to more effect, and coaxing a tap from you certainly isn’t out of the question like it once was.
It’s Sergio Pettis, though. Come on! Fuggedaboutit! This fight will not last three rounds. Bruce Leeroy is the perfect kind of guy for Sergio, because he takes whimsical risks that upper tier guys will be able to capitalize on. Sergio isn’t ready for the creme de la creme at 135 yet, but he’s more than talented and savvy enough to dummy up on Alex Caceres. Pettis by submission, round two.
Last Event: 5-0
Overall record on this silly website: 37-10