UFC bantamweight Eddie Wineland will be facing off with Brad Pickett in the featured bout of the UFC 155 preliminary card, and the winner could be in a position to challenge for the title. Wineland spoke to MMA Fighting about his opponent, and he believes that the two have similar skills. But he believes he's better in a few areas:
"He's a tough dude, and it'd kind of going to be like fighting the man I see in the mirror," he said. "He's not afraid to stand and trade. He's got heavy hands, good wrestling, good submissions. I think it's one of the most evenly matched up fights there is. I'm eager to test myself. It's almost like fighting myself. I'll get to feel what it's like for guys who fight me.
"I think I'm stronger and faster, and a more technical striker," he said. "I think he's not afraid to stand and trade and he can take a punch. I'm better in some aspects. I think our ground games are similar. I think I'm a better wrestler. I'm sure he sees places where he has advantages."
With champion Dominick Cruz out, the UFC bantamweight division is pretty murky right now. Interim champ Renan Barao will face Michael McDonald at UFC on Fuel 7 and the winner will likely because the "full" champion. But the next challenger is definitely up in the air. Wineland agrees with that assessment:
"Anybody in the top ten can be a contender," he said. "They're all there. They're all really well-rounded. They're all really good. That's just the sport. On any given day, anybody can win. That's why fans are so into the sport. It's an actual fair sport. You really don't know who is going to win. You think you know, but it doesn't always happen like you think."
He's right, especially in his division. I have no idea who is going to win the Wineland/Pickett bout, and that's what makes it one of my favorite fights on the December 29th card.