Date: Sunday, August 14, 2011 at 9 p.m. ET on Versus
Location: Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Dan Hardy vs. Chris Lytle
Brent Brookhouse: It’s a battle of two guys who are thought of highly as strikers but who lack true, big time power. Lytle has three TKO/KO wins in his career and Hardy has 11 but only one in the UFC. I thought Hardy looked gunshy in the Anthony Johnson fight and I don’t think he is going to like getting in exchanges with Lytle. The only area where I truly give Hardy a clear edge in this fight is skin. Lytle cuts pretty easilly and that could be a factor. Still, I have to go with the guy who I think is just a better fighter all around. Chris Lytle by decision.
Mike Fagan: Despite what you may think, I like Dan Hardy. He’s witty, engaging, interesting. He’s also a mediocre UFC welterweight. It’s amazing to think that the UFC gave him a title shot when, to this day, knocking out Rory Markham is his most impressive win. Looking at their skill sets, Lytle should run away with this fight. Unfortunately, he’s dead set on throwing down, and the removal of the meniscus in his knee is just another sign that he’s nearing 40. Unless Lytle pulls an Anthony Johnson...Dan Hardy by decision.
Leland Roling: I find it hard to believe this fight will end in Chris Lytle utilizing his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills to submit Dan Hardy. The entire point of this fight, and the fact that it’s a main event, is that both men are willing to go toe-to-toe for three rounds and entertain. While Lytle has the boxing skills to defeat Hardy, I’m not convinced he can maintain a high-paced, speedy footwork strategy on the feet to evade Hardy’s own shots. Hardy lands often, but won’t finish. Dan Hardy via decision.
Anton Tabuena: If it goes to the ground, and that’s a pretty big IF, Lytle takes it easily. Standing up would be a much closer battle. Hardy is more technical, but Lytle has more power and has the sturdier chin. I tend to choose the more technical striker on match ups like this, but in a 3-round battle, I think it’s just a matter of time before Lytle hurts Hardy and takes the fight. He could win by TKO, but I think it’s going to be Chris Lytle by decision.
Staff picking Hardy: Fagan, Gould, Leland
Staff picking Lytle: Anton, Fraser, Roth, Tim, Brookhouse
Jim Miller vs. Ben Henderson
Brent Brookhouse: I was touting Jim Miller when he was still fighting in orgs like Ring of Combat, so I’m glad he has come through once he got the call up to the big show. I’m filling in my picks after the rest of the staff and I’ve got to say, it’s pretty amazing that no one picked Henderson. His toughness, pace and ability to survive in awful positions makes him a really tricky opponent for Miller. I can’t pick against Jim but I do remember things like the Bocek fight and feel a little uneasy. Jim Miller by decision.
Mike Fagan: I’m fully on board the Miller brothers train. I’ll watch either of those guys fight anyone. Henderson has emerged as arguably the most promising lightweight from the WEC, but I just refuse to believe that he can compete with the upper crust in the UFC. Maybe that’s my carryover from the (thankfully) failed plot to give the WEC champ a UFC title shot. Maybe it’s my disdain for “let me get an ‘amen!’” Or maybe Jim Miller’s just a better fighter. Jim Miller by decision.
Matt Roth: I’m picking Jim Miller. He’s from New Jersey. I’m from New Jersey. Everyone knows I love New Jersey. I also just think he’s just a better all around fighter and can make this a gritty fight if need be. I wish he wasn’t fighting Ben Henderson just because I’m a fan of the smooth one. Jim Miller by Decision.
KJ Gould: Henderson’s good, Miller is better and has killer instinct. I’d be surprised if Miller didn’t tear Henderson apart to truly establish himself as the next in line for a title shot. Miller by TKO
Staff picking Miller: Anton, Fraser, Roth, Tim, Fagan, Gould, Leland, Brookhouse
Staff picking Henderson:
Charles Oliveira vs. Donald Cerrone
Tim Burke: Cerrone has the better striking pedigree, but I’m not sure how well he’ll deal with someone as fast as himself. I highly doubt this fight will end by submission, but I have a feeling that Oliveira’s going to show off some standup that will impress a lot of people. Charles Oliveira by decision.
KJ Gould: Oliveira’s establishing himself as a must see fighter to watch, but I think Cerrone’s Wiley Veteran experience could be the trump card in this. I’m not sure if he’ll snatch a submission like Milled did against Oliveira, but he could see an opening for a TKO finish. Cerrone by TKO.
Staff picking Oliveira: Tim, Fagan, Brookhouse
Staff picking Cerrone: Anton, Fraser, Roth
Amir Sadollah vs. Duane Ludwig
Mike Fagan: I liked how Sadollah looked in his last fight against DaMarques Johnson. He’s 30 years old, though, and I have a hard time seeing him move past that level. Fortunately, Ludwig’s a guy he should be. Amir Sadollah by decision.
Anton Tabuena: Amir Sadollah by being the more technical striker. Sadollah by Decision.
Fraser Coffeen: I like this fight stylistically a lot, as both men bring in some nice technical striking. Ludwig would have won this in the past, but I think he’s slowed down to the point that Amir takes him. Amir Sadollah by decision
Staff picking Sadollah: Anton, Fraser, Roth, Tim, Fagan, Gould, Leland, Brookhouse
Staff picking Ludwig:
C.B. Dollaway vs. Jared Hamman
Mike Fagan: C.B. Dollaway is MMA’s Jay Cutler. A talented fighter who will probably never live up to his potential, and one that fans, for whatever reason, hate with a passion. C.B. Dollaway by decision.
Matt Roth: I hate, HATE...C.B. Dollaway’s face. I think Hamman is the better overall prospect and has more to offer the UFC’s middleweight division in the future than Dollaway. He’s gonna be a big guy at that weight too since he’s something like 6’3” which is bonkers. Going with the underdog Jared Hamman by TKO in Round 2.
Staff picking Dollaway: Anton, Fraser, Tim, Fagan, Gould, Leland, Brookhouse
Staff picking Hamman: Roth
Joseph Benavidez vs. Eddie Wineland
Brent Brookhouse: At a certain point one has to say that the UFC is basically giving the 135 and 145'ers the middle finger. Top ten guys in other weight classes do not fight on the prelims, top five guys in the lightest weight classes do it with regularity. It says a lot when fighters who are already in position to fight for a title aren't put on TV to build up their profile. That's neither here nor there when it comes to who wins. Benavidez is just a pain to fight. He is very fast, very strong and is in your face from bell to bell. Close, competitive fight but Joseph Benavidez by decision.
Matt Roth: Joseph Benavidez is the better bantamweight fighter. He’s faced the best in the division and looked great doing it. I just don’t like that he’s gonna be extremely out-sized in this fight. Eddie Wineland is a solid fighter and should have the advantage on the feet should he use his length properly. I’m going against the grain on this and picking Wineland by Decision.
Tim Burke: This should be on TV. Eddie Wineland’s takedown defense is a huge part of his game, but Benavidez is way faster than him and he’s going to have trouble trying to land solid strikes on Joe B. Sprawl and brawl is a solid strategy to beat a Team Alpha Male guy, and Wineland proved it in the first round of the Urijah Faber fight. But he can’t overcome the speed and athleticism deficit, unfortunately. I want Wineland to win, but it’s gonna be Joe Benavidez by decision.
Staff picking Benavidez: Anton, Fraser, Tim, Fagan, Gould, Leland, Brookhouse
Staff picking Wineland: Roth
Ed Herman vs. Kyle Noke
Tim Burke: I’ve been a big Kyle Noke fan since I first saw him fight Seth Kleinbeck in EliteXC. I don’t think Herman’s wrestling is a huge threat to Noke, and Kyle will get the better of the standup by staying on the outside. Kyle Noke by decision
Staff picking Herman: Fraser, Roth, Fagan, Gould, Leland, Brookhouse
Staff picking Noke: Anton, Tim
Karlos Vemola vs. Ronny Markes
Fraser Coffeen: Markes’s last fight was a win over Paulo Filho. Remember when that meant something? That time has passed. Karlos Vemola by TKO.
KJ Gould: Vemola’s still a pretty wild fighter, but his wrestling is pretty good coming out of Eastern Europe. I always tend to back London Shootfighter guys out of principle. Vemola by TKO.
Staff picking Vemola: Anton, Fraser, Roth, Tim, Gould, Brookhouse
Staff picking Markes: Fagan, Leland
Alex Caceres vs. Jim Hettes
Mike Fagan: As I was saying...Why Caceres has another fight in the UFC, despite a 5-3 MMA record, is beyond me. Jim Hettes by submission, round two.
Anton Tabuena: Who does the UFC want to win? Hettes is undefeated, but he hasn’t faced anyone of note, and it’s looking like they want Bruce Leeroy to pick up a victory. Not impressed with his skillset, but I’m picking Alex Caceres by Decision
Tim Burke: Alex Caceres made it onto TUF (and continues to get fights in the UFC) because of his personality. His skills in the cage are not enough to compete with anyone of note in his division. People don’t know much about Hettes because he’s new, but he should have been in the UFC a while ago. Hettes submits people. Caceres gets submitted a lot. Seems like an easy leap to me. Jim Hettes by submission.
Staff picking Caceres: Anton, Roth, Brookhouse
Staff picking Hettes: Fraser, Tim, Fagan, Gould, Leland
Cole Miller vs. T.J. O’ Brien
Mike Fagan: Three of O’Brien’s losses are by submission. Miller’s last four wins are by submission. Easy game. Cole Miller by submission, round one.
KJ Gould: Come on, this has ‘squash match’ written all over it. UFC want something fun to replay later in the night if time permits, and they’re banking on this to be it. Miller by destruction.
Staff picking Miller: Anton, Fraser, Roth, Tim, Fagan, Gould, Leland, Brookhouse
Staff picking O’Brien:
Jacob Volkmann vs. Danny Castillo
Mike Fagan: I’m still shocked Danny Castillo beat Joe Stevenson. Jacob Volkmann by decision.
Tim Burke: Battle of terrible nicknames. Danny Castillo is not a quality prospect in the division, despite the win over Joe Stevenson. When you pair that up with Volkmann’s excellent grappling, it adds up to a long, frustrating night for “Last Call”. Jacob Volkmann by decision.
KJ Gould: Got to go with the Minnesota MMA boys, plus if we’re lucky we might get to hear Volkmann gloat over Obama’s recently failed Health bill. Volkmann by decision.
Staff picking Volkmann: Anton, Roth, Tim, Gould, Leland, Brookhouse
Staff picking Castillo: Fraser
Edwin Figueroa vs. Jason Reinhardt
Anton Tabuena: Reinhardt doesn’t belong in the UFC. Edwin Figueroa by TKO.
Matt Roth: Who let Jason Reinhardt back in the UFC? Seriously, who? This booking tells me that Zuffa wants to feed Figueroa an easy fight to build on. This is a no brainer for me. Edwin Figueroa by TKO.
Tim Burke: I have to admit that Reinhardt’s videos leading up to this fight have been pretty entertaining, in a creepy way. The general consensus is that he’s a can-killer and not UFC quality, and I tend to agree with that. Figueroa put up a great fight against Michael McDonald, and it shouldn’t take long for him to crumple Reinhardt. Edwin Figueroa by TKO.
Staff picking Figueroa: Anton, Fraser, Roth, Gould, Leland, Brookhouse
Staff picking Reinhardt: