Event: UFC Fight Night 23
: "Fight for the Troops 2"
Date: Saturday, January 22, 2011, at 9 p.m. ET on Spike TV
Location: Fort Hood Army Base in Killeen, Texas
Evan Dunham vs. Melvin Guillard
Luke Thomas: I do agree Guillard is massively improved and will make this a very legitimate scrap, but I'm betting he's still got instincts built in from years of BJJ avoidance. We've also seen Dunham storm back after being rattled early. I like Dunham to win a very close one. Dunham by submission.
Kid Nate: Breaks my heart to have to pick against either guy here. I think Greg Jackson will be the difference in this fight. Guillard by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: If I was picking with my brain I'd probably say Dunham. I don't think that Guillard quite has the same amount of tools but I trust that he'll be able to scramble if he gets taken down and can just win the striking battle standing up. So I'm going to roll with it. Melvin Guillard by TKO, round 2.
Mike Fagan: Dunham needs to avoid going to a decision. Judges seem to view his style as lazy or ineffective (as all three of his UFC decisions have been split among the scoring officials), and Guillard has a style that makes him appear to be more active than he actually is. Fortunately for Dunham, seven of Guillard's eight losses are by submission. Evan Dunham by submission, round two.
Nick Thomas: I'm a big fan of Dunham. Dunham takes this to the ground and ends it there. Dunham by submission.
Leland Roling: I'm excited to see some balls being grown by Nate on his pick. Guillard is a solid upset bid here, but I'm going with the safer bet here in Dunham. After getting the shaft against Sherk, he should bounce back strong. Evan Dunham via submission.
Anton Tabuena: Dunham is by far the more complete fighter overall, but Guillard has a very real chance of scoring an upset here standing up. I don't expect it to happen though. Dunham utilizes his length very well, and mixes up his strikes with his takedowns beautifully. Evan Dunham by Submission.
Duane Finley: Dunham has shown resilience and all of the tools necessary to make the UFC believe he has a possible title in his future but Guillard will not be easily disposed of. Since joining Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn in Albuqurque, Guillard has looked sharp, quick and most importantly, patient. I think Guillard will look to keep it moving but Dunham's grinding style will eventually set up a fight ending submission. Dunham by submission.
Matt Mitrione vs. Tim Hague
Luke Thomas: I like Mitrione here. I suspect he'll even take a big shot from Hague, but I just don't really see enough of a finishing ability for me to think Hague will shut down and stop Mitrione. Mitrione by TKO.
Kid Nate: Mitrione should outclass Hague by a wide margin here. Mitrione by decision.
Brent Brookhouse:Hague just doesn't quite have the same ability to inflict damage as Mitrione and honestly Beltran was a harder fight. So pretty easy here. Matt Mitrione by decision.
Mike Fagan: I lived in Indiana for a few years, and I still find the accent so incredibly bizarre. It's some strange amalgamation of a Southern drawl, Midwestern plainspeak, and Universal Redneck Voice. Neither of these guys should be appearing on my TV screen, and whoever loses this fight doesn't deserve a UFC contract. Matt Mitrione by decision, and hopefully he fires someone else on live television.
Nick Thomas: If Hague doesn't get Mitrione to the ground, Hague is in trouble. Mitrione by TKO.
Leland Roling: Duke Roufus is the only man in mixed martial arts teaching the defensive mechanics and offensive diversity in the kickboxing department. Both are crucial to success, and Mitrione will put that on display against Hague's historically bad defense to kicks. Mitrione via TKO.
Anton Tabuena: I have not been impressed with Mitrione at all, but I still expect him to defeat Hague. This will probably lead to his third, and most probably his final, UFC release. Mitrione by TKO.
Duane Finley: "Meathead" has shown continuous improvement each time out and the trend continues against Hague, who subsequently choked out Mitrione's good friend and teammate Pat Barry. The MMA veteran and Canadian product may have size and experience on Mitrione but it won't be enough. Mitrione via a second round TKO.
Mark Hominick vs. George Roop
Luke Thomas: Hominick should be able to go long enough in the fight to be a drag on Roop's cardio while using superior angles and combinations to stop Roop. Hominick by decision.
Kid Nate: Hominick should be polished enough to out point Roop. Hominick by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Roop had a swell KO over Jung, but he's not actually all that good. Hominick is much better (but not quite as good as everyone is suddenly trying to sell him as). Mark Hominick by decision.
Mike Fagan: Roop is the leading candidate to succeed Corey Hill on this year's "Fight For The Troops" show. There are some things - 2 Girls, 1 Cup; goatse.cx; the perpetually bleeding lesions decorating Al Davis's face - that cannot be unseen, and the image of Hill's right shin being snapped in two will be imprinted in the memories of MMA fans forever. Mark Hominick by decision.
Nick Thomas: Striker vs. Striker and training partners here - going with my fellow Canuck. Hominick by decision.
Leland Roling: This should be a solid scrap as both men have some great footwork to showcase, but Roop probably hasn't learned enough to overcome what Wineland was able to do to him previously. Hominick is more skilled than Wineland. He'll take it. Hominick via decision.
Anton Tabuena: Don't expect Hominick to just stand there like the Korean Zombie did. Hominick is much more dynamic on his feet, and I expect him to win a lopsided stand up fight here. Mark Hominick by decision.
Duane Finley: Hominick's hands and feet looked spot-on in his most recent bout with Yves Jabouin and his ability to keep the pace and pressure will determine the outcome of the fight. Not taking anything away from George Roop, who landed a highlight reel worthy head kick knockout over the Korean Zombie Chan Sung Jung, but Roop's length and reach will not be enough to stop Hominick from earning his title shot. Mark Hominick wins via unanimous decision.
Pat Barry vs. Joey Beltran
Luke Thomas: Yeah, Pat Barry. Big time. Barry by KO.
Kid Nate: Barry should beat Beltran up pretty bad for a highlight reel KO. Barry by KO.
Brent Brookhouse: Barry should absolutely win this fight but at the same time I think I'm going to go ahead and go with Beltran to just ugly out a decision. Joey Beltran by decision.
Mike Fagan: If I was Dana White, I would have cut Pat Barry immediately after UFC 115. I can't stand the lovey-dovey hugging and glove-tapping garbage that goes on in the Octagon. You're there to fight! I love guys that go for the fake glove tap only to pull back and throw a punch. It's such a delightfully evil move. Pat Barry by TKO, round one.
Nick Thomas: If Mitrione can beat Beltran, Barry can beat Beltran. Barry by TKO.
Leland Roling: I hesitate in picking Pat Barry because he seems to get blinded by visions of grandeur quickly. Gameplan out the door, and stupidity steps into the cage. If he sticks to a gameplan of kicks and power punches, he should win. Pat Barry via TKO.
Anton Tabuena: Don't let the Crocop fight fool you, he was completely outclassing the PRIDE legend until he broke both his hand and his foot. I like Beltran, but I don't think he stands much of a chance here standing up with a very dangerous striker in Pat Barry. Barry by TKO.
Duane Finley: This is a fight that Pat Barry should win but if Beltran swallows his pride and passes on the stand up war he has a shot of winning this fight. Barry is a powerful striker who knocked Cro-Cop around and if Beltran's warrior mentality keeps him in the pocket Barry could end it in exciting fashion. This fight is a "pick em" but I'm going against the odds and taking Beltran. Joey Beltran by KO.
Cole Miller vs. Matt Wiman
Luke Thomas: Surprised to see the Wiman picks. He's obviously a very talented fighter, but I see Miller as being aggressive enough to just make Wiman play defensive. If he can force a mistake he can force a tap. Miller by submission.
Kid Nate: Wiman is the more well rounded but Miller is a gamer. Wiman by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Very good fight. Cole Miller is gutsy, Wiman is a hell of a tough fighter himself. Matt Wiman by decision.
Mike Fagan: Every time I watch Cole Miller fight, I get the feeling that the second you put some pressure on him that he'll fold up shop and call it a night. He just has that nerdy look to him. His profile picture on Wikipedia shows his face clad with scrapes and bruises, and I still have a hard time believing that mean-mugging expression on his face. But every time out, the kid proves he's tough as nails. And I wrote all that up to predict Matt Wiman by decision.
Nick Thomas: Miller has the height and reach advantage and at some point takes this to the ground and wins. Miller by submission.
Leland Roling: Wiman is a game opponent, and this could have Fight of the Night written all over it. Miller is at a disadvantage in terms of pace and wrestling, but his submission game is becoming very dangerous and his stand-up continues to improve. I'll take Miller here, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Wiman pull it off. Miller via decision.
Anton Tabuena: Cole Miller is longer, and has a better ground game. As long as he utilizes his reach advantage, he should be able to avoid getting hit flush on the chin in time to take Wiman down and submit him. Miller by Submission.
Duane Finley: In this matchup both Miller and Wiman are capable in all areas so it will come down to who wants it more. With Wiman coming off an injury he might not be up to speed and I see Miller via unanimous decision.
Preliminary Card (Facebook.com):
Yves Edwards vs. Cody McKenzie
Luke Thomas: I still cannot believe fighters keep getting caught by this one-trick pony. Somebody please either KO him or pull guard, hit an arm drag, take his back and choke him out. It happens to him in grappling competitions all the time. Edwards by decision.
Kid Nate: Yves isn't what he used to be but he should still be more than McKenzie can handle. Edwards by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Despite Fagan being all "Yves Edwards is old!" He should absolutely outclass McKenzie. Cody has shown awful stand-up and I doubt he has improved that much in a very short time. Edwards doesn't have a habit of getting stuck in stupid submissions. He's been submitted five times in his career and four of those came in 2000 or before. It's just unrealistic to expect McKenzie and his bad stand-up, questionable cardio and lack of takedowns to pull off the win. Yves Edwards by lopsided decision.
Mike Fagan: You people realize that Yves Edwards is 34 years old and hasn't won a meaningful fight in 5 years, right? I have zero hope for Cody McKenzie going forward, but I don't see Yves outclassing him either. Yves Edwards by decision.
Nick Thomas: McKenzie coming in as a last minute replacement. Can't see him winning here. Edwards by decision.
Leland Roling: Gunderson and Palomino are by no means easy opponents, especially after watching Palomino at 145 pounds. Edwards hasn't had huge wins recently, but those two, at the very least, should give him confidence to destroy McKenzie here. Edwards via decision.
Anton Tabuena: Everyone knows what McKenzie will be trying to do here. Yves Edwards is a veteran of almost 60 fights. Will he be savvy and experienced enough to avoid that guillotine choke? Most probably... I'd love to see McKenzie get his 11th straight Guillotine finish, but this is a step up in competition and it will be on short notice, so logic is telling me otherwise. Edwards by decision.
DaMarques Johnson vs. Mike Guymon
Luke Thomas: I actually like Guymon to give Johnson enough trouble to stop him. Guymon by TKO.
Kid Nate: This is an extremely marginal UFC fight. Johnson by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: I should be complaining about a totally solid featherweight fight being left off any sort of guaranteed broadcast for a damn Mike Guymon fight. But whatever... DaMarques Johnson by decision.
Mike Fagan: Why am I "Liking" the UFC on Facebook to watch this turd instead of the next fight down? I guess I'll enjoy watching one of them cannibalize the other. DaMarques Johnson by decision.
Nick Thomas: Sadly Guymon will be released after this. Johnson by decision.
Leland Roling: Both men have major weaknesses. Who will expose who first? I'll go with Guymon getting exposed. Johnson via TKO.
Anton Tabuena: I haven't been impressed by Johnson both during and after his stint on TUF. Guymon takes this by decision.
Preliminary Card (May Not Be Televised):
Mike Brown vs. Rani Yahya
Luke Thomas: Brown should win this easy. Brown by KO.
Kid Nate: Rani Yahya is the most entertaining one-dimensional grappler in MMA. Wish we could watch him work this time out. Brown by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Brown should rebound with ease from his last fight. Not that Yahya is a pushover but Brown is a terrible fight for him. Mike Brown by TKO.
Mike Fagan: I don't care if Yahya's being used as chum for Brown. I want to hear Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man," goddamnit. Mike Brown by decision.
Nick Thomas: Brown keeps this fight standing. Brown by decision.
Leland Roling: Yahya can't exploit Brown's stand-up weaknesses, and he won't have the strength to deal with Brown on the ground. Mike Brown via TKO.
Anton Tabuena: Even on short notice, this is where the former WEC champ gets back on track. Mike Brown by TKO.
Waylon Lowe vs. Willamy "Chiquerim" Freire
Luke Thomas: I don't think much of Lowe's upside. Freire by submission? Nope, Lowe by decision.
Kid Nate: I'll gamble on the unknown Brazilian over the proven commodity. Freire by submission.
Brent Brookhouse: Pfffffffft. I guess let's go with the guy who we know what to expect more with. Waylon Lowe by decision.
Mike Fagan: The Sherdog Fight Finder lists Freire's first loss to a guy named "Helman PQD." This man went 3-0 in MMA between 2003 and 2005 before inexplicably disappearing from existance. I need to know this man's (if that's what he is) backstory. Anyone? Willamy Freire by decision.
Nick Thomas: Lowe has the slight edge with octagon experience. Lowe by decision.
Leland Roling: Tough call. Freire is highly overrated, in my opinion, and Endo made him look pretty bad at times. I'll go against my preview pick and take Lowe by smothering ground control. Waylon Lowe via decision.
Anton Tabuena: Freire is a pretty talented guy, and Lowe isn't exactly a top tier fighter yet... but this will be his UFC debut, and Lowe has faced better competition so far, so I guess Lowe by decision.
Charlie Brenneman vs. Amilcar Alves
Luke Thomas: "The Spainard" should be able to get it done. Brenneman by decision.
Kid Nate: Brenneman should dominate here. Brenneman by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Takedowns and ground and pound are more than enough for Charlie Brenneman by decision.
Mike Fagan: I'm surprised the UFC hasn't shoved Brenneman down our throats with his past as a teacher and the synergy of winning Spike TV's Pros vs. Joes show. Charlie Brenneman by decision.
Nick Thomas: Brenneman wins with wrestling. Brenneman by decision.
Leland Roling: Brenneman mimics what Mike Pierce and Rick Story bring to fights, and I imagine he'll work a similar gameplan to Pierce's. Constant pressure and takedowns. Brenneman via decision.
Anton Tabuena: Brenneman outwrestled Jason High. I think he can avoid the sub attempts and do even worse to Alves. Brenneman by decision.
Will Campuzano vs. Chris Cariaso
Luke Thomas: Campuzano's got enough striking prowess to make it happen. Campuzano by TKO.
Kid Nate: Campuzano by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Will Campuzano by decision.
Mike Fagan: The opening fight of a free Spike show feels like the bottom of the $3 DVD bin at Wal-Mart. Will Campuzano by decision.
Nick Thomas: Close fight. Campuzano by decision.
Leland Roling: Campuzano's reach will be tremendous, but Cariaso's entire career has been against much taller opponents. He's a bit more explosive, so I'll take him here. Chris Cariaso via TKO.
Anton Tabuena: Not too excited about this one, but Campuzano by decision.