UFC Fight Night 19
Cox Convention Center Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Nate Diaz vs. Melvin Guillard
Luke Thomas: Tibau isn't the guard player that Diaz is nor does he even have the same kind of guard. Guillard might look good early, but he'll eventually clinch, get uchi-mata'd and submitted. Diaz by submission, round 2.
Kid Nate: For as much as both guys are brash loudmouths and veterans of TUF, it's a classic of asymmetrical warfare here. Guilliard is a power puncher who looks for the KO. Diaz is a boxer who looks to land a lot of shots without over committing to any single one. Look for him to use his reach advantage against Guillard on the feet. On the ground it's wrestler vs jiu jitsu artist. Unfortunately for Melvin, he's got a track record of finding himself getting submitted. Diaz by submission.
Brent Brookhouse: Maybe I'm wrong here, maybe I'm not. But I think Diaz really DOES want a fight where he can stand and bang. While Melvin has some clear problems on the ground, he does have rare power for 155 pounds. Every time I play the fight out in my head it ends with Diaz getting clipped. Melvin Guillard by KO, round 1.
Mike Fagan: I have a hard time seeing Guillard finding a victory here. He shocked me in the Tibau fight, though most of what I heard is that he got a bit of a gift decision (I still haven't watch the fight). Nate is a Diaz, leaving Guillard with a difficult test to KO him. And if it hits the floor, I see it being over in very quick order. Nate Diaz by submission, round 2.
Chris Nelson: I don't think this is a total lost cause for Melvin, since I'm not quite as sold on Nate's chin as I am his big bro's. Much like Nick, I expect Nate to keep his range and paw away at Guillard before taking him down and... well, you know. My "Frank Shamrock's Key to Victory" for Nate Diaz: the triangle choke. Diaz via submission, round 1.
Eugene Schelfaut: I do not have faith in Guillard's ability to fend off the submission attempts of Diaz. Guillard will zero in on the KO, and that will allow Diaz to get him to the ground. Nate Diaz via submission, round 1.
Nick Thomas: Once this goes to the ground, it's game over for Guillard. Diaz by submission.
Leland Roling: I'm a sucker for explosive strikers, just look at my obsession with Melvin Manhoef. But I know my limits. While I was surprised that Guillard was able to hang with Tibau on the floor, Diaz presents an unique challenge in that he also combines length with his jiu-jitsu. He'll also have a lengthy reach advantage standing to thwart Guillard, and his name is always synonymous with being one tough guy to finish. Guillard could eek out a decision, but Diaz should end this one on the floor. Nate Diaz via submission, Round 1.
Gray Maynard vs. Roger Huerta
Luke Thomas: I don't really know what to say here. Huerta's faced strong wrestlers before and managed to do ok. But the controlling, tight-waist kind of wrestler like Maynard is something I can't see Huerta ever having an answer for. Even with a well-timed knee on a shot, Maynard is strong enough and durable enough to spider web Huerta en route to a decision. Maynard by decision.
Kid Nate: Roger Huerta is the epitome of the jack of all trades/master of none approach to MMA. He's good at every aspect but not great at any single one. Gray Maynard on the other hand is a powerhouse wrestler who's looking to fill out his game. Huerta will look to make this a chaotic series of scrambles to capitalize on his ability to segue from kickboxing to wrestling to BJJ. Maynard will look to overwhelm Huerta. I think he'll do it too. Maynard by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Everything I've heard has Roger in the gym training like crazy for the past 3 months. I really don't buy into the "what's his motivation" line of thinking because I am pretty confident that if Roger wins he'll be sticking around the UFC for quite some time with a fat new contract. The truth is, the Huerta we saw in the Florian fight was the product of the wrong kind of training that got him away from what he does best. I don't think Gray can finish Huerta here which makes Roger a very live threat. And I think he takes this in dramatic fashion. Roger Huerta by TKO, round 3.
Mike Fagan: I don't do gambling writeups for these, so if you want to lay some cash, I like Maynard up until -500, and I still like him at that price. Maynard should win the fight anyway, but with Huerta's year-plus off and questionable motivation, it becomes a much wider gap. I see this as a nice little test for Gray before he takes on someone like Kenny Florian. Gray Maynard by decision.
Chris Nelson: I haven't talked to anybody who's giving Huerta much of a chance in this one, and the reasons why are pretty clear. Not only will the UFC's one-time poster boy to-be have to contend with over a year's worth of ring rust, but he'll have one of the toughest lightweights to gameplan against all over him for three rounds. Maynard via TKO, round 3.
Eugene Schelfaut: Perhaps Huerta will be able to scramble to his feet through the course of this fight; however, the opportunity for him to score in between Maynard takedowns is small. Maynard will control this fight, but I would not hazard to predict a finish. Gray Maynard via decision.
Nick Thomas: Huerta is coming in with a years ring rust. Maynard is going to score the takedown at will and ground and pound Huerta for a stoppage. Maynard by TKO.
Leland Roling: I'm going to go out on a limb in this fight. Training with Jake Dietchler and Dave Menne, I think Huerta may have made a solid choice in a training camp for this fight. While Menne doesn't have the usual names for Huerta to train with, I still love Huerta's pace and well-roundedness. It's tough for me to see Roger finishing Gray, and Gray smothering Huerta for three rounds is much more likely, but I have a hunch that this may go down a bit differently than that. What the hell... Roger Huerta via decision.
Carlos Condit vs. Jake Ellenberger
Luke Thomas: Ellenberger is likely to give Condit fits in the early going. He's got blistering power early on, strong offensive hip attacks, decent submission defense and physical power. Those are all traits that give Condit problems. That being said, Condit is simply a notch about Ellenberger in terms of submission attacks and kickboxing. The finisher in Condit weathers an early storm to eventually take control and stop the Team Quest product. Condit by submission, round 2.
Kid Nate: Should be a return to his WEC days for Condit. Ellenberger is a tough guy, but he topped out in the middle of the IFL's relatively weak welterweight division and shouldn't offer Condit anything he can't handle. Condit by submission.
Brent Brookhouse: Both at first glance and after deeper examination I don't see any way Ellenberger really presents much of a threat. Condit probably can't pull off a submission here but he can win striking. Carlos Condit by TKO, round 1.
Mike Fagan: If you never heard of Carlos Condit, you got a good look at him with Martin Kampmann. Kampmann ultimately won the fight, justly in my view, but I wouldn't have been upset if the decision went the other way. And Kampmann's one of the top guys at 170, if you ask me. Condit should get back on track with Ellenberger, and look for him to take on a bigger name in the future. Carlos Condit by TKO, round 2.
Chris Nelson: In June, I saw Jake Ellenberger knock Brazilian veteran Marcelo Alfaya out cold in under a minute after flying across the country to take the fight on less than 24 hours notice. I was impressed by his performance and his demeanor after the fight, and had a hunch we'd be seeing him in the UFC before long. When I heard Ellenberger was filling in for Chris Lytle here, my first thought was that he could shock everyone and upset Condit in the same way. I've since come to my senses. Condit via submission, round 1.
Eugene Schelfaut: Condit will come out aggressive and put Ellenberger quickly into the deep. If Carlos finds himself in bottom position, that is by no means the end of his threat. Carlos Condit via TKO, round 1.
Nick Thomas: I can't pick Ellenberger because he took this fight on such short notice. Condit by submission.
Leland Roling: Ellenberger isn't exactly a squash opponent here, and I think a lot of people are sitting on Condit because it seems like he is just way better. Ellenberger is no joke, and he has the wrestling ability coupled with the jiu-jitsu to avoid Condit's submissions. I think Condit's ultimate advantage is in his dynamic striking abilities, and for that reason... I'll go with Condit. Carlos Condit via TKO, Round 2.
Nate Quarry vs. Tim Credeur
Luke Thomas: Against a bigger, more physical fighter with KO power, top-flight experience and excellent takedown defense, I just don't see how the BJJ black belt in Credeur can win here. Quarry by decision.
Kid Nate: I just don't see how Credeur wins this. He's no Demia Maia and shouldn't be able to force Quarry to the ground. Quarry's the definitive middleweight gatekeeper in the UFC. He'll punish the guys he should beat and get embarrassed by the real contenders. Creduer is no contender. Quarry by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: This is kind of a throwaway fight designed to keep Quarry around in his gatekeeper role. Quarry by TKO, round 1.
Chris Nelson: Quarry = lock of the night? Nate says he's been working on his "old man strength," and I think that's exactly what he'll use to get inside on the lankier Credeur, take him down and blast him early on. Quarry via TKO, round 1.
Eugene Schelfaut: Credeur will have to win the fight on the ground, however he will eat more than he can handle trying to get it there. It doesn't fill me with any amount of excitement, but Nate Quarry via TKO, round 2.
Nick Thomas: Credeur has been looking impressive lately. But as long as Quarry can keep this off the ground, he'll win this standing. Quarry by decision.
Leland Roling: Quarry has some heavy hands that will likely connect with Credeur's jaw at some point during this fight. Credeur has to take this fight to the ground, and I don't see Quarry easily being put into danger here. Quarry should sprawl, wreck Credeur a few times, and finish him. Nate Quarry via TKO, Round 2.
Steve Cantwell vs. Brian Stann
Luke Thomas: What Stann has going for him is explosive speed and good power, but not much else against the far more technical Cantwell. Give The Robot a few minutes to get the timing of Stann down and it's academic from there. Unless Stann has vastly improved his ground game, standing is his only option. And against Cantwell, that isn't much of any kind of option. Cantwell via TKO, round 2.
Kid Nate: I wish they'd saved a rubber match between these guys for a little further down the line. In their first bout, Stann's power made the difference. In the second, Cantwell's technique had the edge. I think Cantwell is the real prospect here and I don't think there's much Stann can do about it. Cantwell by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: Cantwell has incredible upside, a lot of people forget just how young he is. He lost the first fight to Stann because he got stupid and sloppy. He dominated the second fight and I don't think Stann has much of a chance beyond a Hail Mary KO. Steve Cantwell by TKO, round 2.
Chris Nelson: Is there a better example of why the WEC dissolving its higher weight classes was a good thing? Imagine this fight headlining a show. I think this rubber match goes very much like the pair's second bout, except with Cantwell finishing sooner. Cantwell via TKO, round 1.
Eugene Schelfaut: Cantwell will be able to do more standing than his opponent and get back on the winning track. Steve Cantwell via decision.
Nick Thomas: Cantwell by TKO.
Leland Roling: Stann has moved over to Greg Jackson's camp, so it'll be interesting to see if his technique has cleaned itself up a bit. The real problem is that Cantwell is turning out to be a prospect with good striking, solid combinations, and decent jiu-jitsu on the ground. Stann really only has powerful punching as his proven weapon. On paper, Cantwell wins this one. Steve Cantwell via TKO, Round 2.
Chris Wilson vs. Mike Pyle
Luke Thomas: Tough call, but I tend to think Wilson's offense standing combined with his defensive grappling might be too much for the Xtreme Couture product. Wilson by decision.
Kid Nate: I'm much more interested in seeing this one than a couple of the main card fights. Despite his underwhelming performances so far in the UFC, I still have high hopes for Chris Wilson and Mike Pyle is a perfect test for him. Pyle's infamous for being well-rounded but not excelling at anything. Wilson should be able to capitalize and outpoint him on the feet. Chris Wilson by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Wilson isn't nearly as good as everyone wants him to be, but he is better than Pyle and can win a decision through his striking. Chris Wilson by decision.
Chris Nelson: A nice pairing of two very talented and well-rounded guys, both of whom have underperformed in their UFC runs thus far. I see "The Professor" getting the better of the stand-up game in the first, then sweeping or submitting Pyle from underneath when it goes to the floor. Wilson via submission, round 2.
Eugene Schelfaut: Wilson has not been finished recently (3 years) and he has the ability to win 2 rounds on the feet. Let's go Chris Wilson by decision.
Nick Thomas: Pyle by submission.
Leland Roling: Chris Wilson's striking in this match-up should be the real difference as Pyle has both decent striking and ground tactics, but Wilson is one of the toughest fights for anyone in this division. Look for Wilson to sprawl and bang up Pyle on the feet on his way to a decision. Chris Wilson by decision.
Sam Stout vs. Phillipe Nover
Luke Thomas: Stout has already faced far more experienced grapplers what Nover offers and of late, done fairly well with it. I don't see a reason for that to change here. Stout by decision.
Kid Nate: Nover carried a ton of hype through his tenure on The Ultimate Fighter -- Dana called him the "lightweight Anderson Silva" -- but has been a fizzle in the actual UFC. Sam Stout is the gatekeeper for the bottom tier of the UFC lightweight division. Stout's technical Muay Thai game should pose a tough hurdle for Nover who usually looks to win it on the feet. I think this could be a fun one, maybe as exciting as Stout's wars with Spencer Fisher. I'm going to pick Nover because he needs it more. Phillipe Nover by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: I was a little shocked when the UFC announced this one because it's FAR from a gimmie for the once super-hyped Nover. If he loses this one then it's going to be hard to keep him around. Stout has almost the exact blueprint for how to beat Nover. Hard to take down, better striking, solid use of angular striking. Sam Stout by decision.
Chris Nelson: I expect Nover's hard luck in the UFC to continue, as Stout won't hesitate to bring the fight to him. Stout via decision.
Eugene Schelfaut: Stout will be able to sprawl out of a high percentage of Nover's advances and accumulate enough damage striking that Sam Stout wins by TKO, round 2.
Nick Thomas: Stout by decision.
Leland Roling: Stout is pretty tough to takedown and manipulate on the floor, and his stand-up should be better than what Nover can offer at this point in his career. Obviously, there has been time for improvement on Nover's part, so prove it to me. Sam Stout via decision.
Jeremy Stephens vs. Justin Buchholz
Luke Thomas: There's no chance Buccholz can submit Stephens and likely can't KO him either. He can do a lot of tying up, clinching, fence pushing and outside striking. But eventually, I don't see what he has that can give him the edge unless Stephens gasses. Stephens by TKO, round 2.
Kid Nate: Both of these guys are in a must win spot. Buchholz is 1-2 in the UFC after exposing Corey Hill and losing his other bouts. Stephens has lost his last two UFC fights and can't afford a third straight. A loser leaves town match if I've ever seen one. Stephens ought to just be too much for Buchholz. Stephens by KO.
Brent Brookhouse: Stephens will always be around because he is willing to fill in whenever they need a guy on short notice. He also has the ability to provide great TV fights with his power punching. Buchholz is done in the UFC after Wednesday. Jeremy Stephens by KO, round 1.
Chris Nelson: Another fight with two guys just trying to hang on to their jobs. I think the "Lil Heathen" sends Buchholz packing. Stephens via submission, round 1.
Eugene Schelfaut: Stephens has the greatest probability to finish, so I'll push that into he has the greatest probability to win. Jeremy Stephens via KO, round 3.
Nick Thomas: Stephens by TKO.
Leland Roling: Stephens has the heavy hands to knockout Buchholz, but Buchholz is a decent striker with grappling skills. Stephens, at least, showed enough knowledge of the grappling game to avoid most submissions, and I don't think Buchholz offers the ground wizardry that will finish Stephens. Stephens will look to keep this standing and land the big blow for a finish. Jeremy Stephens via KO, Round 2.
Brock Larson vs. Mike Pierce
Luke Thomas: There isn't much to this. Larson is simply the superior fighter. He'll make it his fight, which is a blitzkrieg wrestling/grappling attack. Or maybe it'll be the trademark left hand. Either way, the end result is the same. Larson by TKO, round 1.
Kid Nate: Very hard to tell if Mike Pierce is going to be entirely out of his league against the veteran Larson. They're both wrestlers and the question mark comes from Pierce's relatively low level of competition so far in MMA. No such questions about Larson who is one of the most accomplished and unknown fighters in MMA. Pierce could surprise everyone, but I'm expecting Larson to get a dramatic win before getting on a contender's track in the UFC. Larson by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: I'd like to see Pierce get the W but I just don't see it happening. Larson has good power standing that has to make his opponent hesitant to engage and if he can control the pacing and get inside at will and get takedowns it's his fight to lose. Brock Larson by decision.
Chris Nelson: I'd like to pick Pierce here, but my gut tells me to take the safe bet with the bigger and far more experienced Larson. Skillwise, he's just miles ahead of anyone Pierce has faced to date, and his dogged ground and pound is better than Pierce's own. Larson via decision.
Eugene Schelfaut: Larson will be in top position, perhaps piling up enough damage to allow for a TKO or submission. But, I tend to pick too many finishes, so it is Brock Larson via decision.
Nick Thomas: Larson by TKO.
Leland Roling: Pierce will hate me for not picking him, but I can't do it. Brock Larson has much more experience in both wrestling and in taking on better competition in this sport. Brock Larson via decision.
Steve Steinbeiss vs. Ryan Jensen
Luke Thomas: I'll say Jensen's experience is probably enough to overcome whatever kickboxing qualities Steinbeiss possesses. Jensen by submission.
Kid Nate: I'm going to go with the upset here and bet that the kickboxer Steinbess has picked up enough takedown defence training at Arizona Combat Sports to KTFO Jensen. Steinbess by KO.
Brent Brookhouse: Steve Steinbeiss by KO.
Chris Nelson: Kind of hard to muster much interest in a fight where you know both guys will have mysteriously vanished from the UFC website by the middle of next year. I'll take newly-minted middleweight Steinbeiss early. Steinbeiss via TKO, round 1.
Eugene Schelfaut: I'll go anti-kickboxer. Ryan Jensen via decision.
Nick Thomas: Steinbeiss by TKO.
Leland Roling: Tough to say. Steinbess has the striking, but can he stop the takedowns? Jensen has a kickboxing background as well, but nothing near the level of Steinbess. Jensen has to know this is a ground fight. Ryan Jensen via submission, Round 2.
Jay Silva vs. C.B. Dollaway
Luke Thomas: This is Dollaway's fight to lose and he just might, but he shouldn't. Experience and general ability SHOULD be enough. Dollaway by submission, round 1.
Kid Nate: Dollaway should have a squash match here against the last-minute stand in and UFC newcomer Jay Silva. Dollaway by submssion.
Brent Brookhouse: If Silva wins then Dollaway deserves to get bounced from the UFC. Nothing against Silva, it just doesn't work for Dollaway to lose to a last minute replacement. C.B. Dollaway by TKO, round 1.
Chris Nelson: Silva's been working with Freddie Roach to improve his already diverse striking arsenal. The guy's got tremendous power, so if he stays upright and takes the fight into the second or third (where Dollaway hasn't been thus far in his UFC career), I think the late replacement can get the job done. Silva via TKO, round 2.
Eugene Schelfaut: Dollaway has the wrestling and experience edge, which leads to C.B. Dollaway via TKO, round 1.
Nick Thomas: Dollaway by submission.
Leland Roling: Jay is a KO artist, but Dollaway has the ground tactics to put him into a world of danger. C.B. Dollaway via TKO, Round 1.