UFC On Fox 4: Fuel TV Preliminary Card Dissection (Part Two)

Gamburyan x Omigawa

UFC on Fox 4 goes off this Saturday from the Staples Center in L.A. with light-heavyweights Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Brandon Vera atop the main card. Prior to the 8:00 p.m. ET airtime for the Fox broadcast, Fuel TV will showcase 6 preliminary card match ups at 5:00 p.m. ET.

Having already addressed Part One of the Fuel TV Dissection, Part Two consists of the following:

Part Two

Manny Gamburyan vs. Michihiro Omigawa
Philip De Fries vs. Oli Thompson
Ulysses Gomez vs. John Moraga

Manny Gamburyan (11-7) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (13-11)

Standout Judokas Manny Gamburyan and Michihiro Omigawa have similar foundations but different methods of application: Gamburyan is a ferocious, power-based clincher and boxer whereas Omigawa is a little more calculating and tactical. On TUF and during his initial UFC stint, Gamburyan's stand up was quite average and generally consisted of charging forward and winging a massive overhand right, then following behind it to lock horns in the clinch. His crossover to the WEC seemed to mark a renewed focus on better defense, tighter and straighter punches and more in-and-out movement. In the clinch, Gamburyan looks to manhandle with underhooks and body locks while slamming knees and working trips and throws.


More UFC on Fox 4 Dissections

Shogun vs. Vera | Machida vs. Bader | Lauzon vs. Varner
Swick vs. Johnson | Fuel TV Prelims (Part One, Part Two)


Omigawa's striking jumped up a level when he got comfortable with his Peek-A-Boo boxing. He started to stay in the pocket and work combinations instead of throwing single shots while also improving his counter punching. The unorthodox style also worked against him, as it requires a commitment to consistent output of active head movement and footwork, and Omigawa has lost ground on the score cards when his motion stalled and he became more hittable. He's deceivingly strong in the clinch but more so on account of his experience, balance and technique than brute force.

Continued in the full entry.

SBN coverage of UFC on Fox 4

I've always been pretty high on Omigawa, but he's getting up there in mileage (age 36) and hasn't shown a sense of urgency or killer instinct when he needs it most. His striking might be a little more polished but Gamburyan's gutsy performance on the feet against Nunes, a sharp kickboxer, leads me to believe he'll get the better of Omigawa standing while holding his own in clinch encounters.

My Prediction: Manny Gamburyan by decision

Philip De Fries (8-1) vs. Oli Thompson (9-3)

De Fries is an English heavyweight with a proclivity for rear-naked chokes, which he's employed to snare 5 of his 7 wins along with a D'arce choke and decision (over Rob Broughton in his UFC debut). De Fries caught Stipe Miocic early in his last match but the tables quickly turned and Miocic toppled him via 1st-round TKO, which was De Fries' first defeat.

Thompson was a standout in European Strongman competitions before he centered on MMA. He lost to Shawn Jordan in his Octagon debut by 2nd-round TKO, which was his 2nd defeat due to strikes; the other was delivered by former UFC middleweight Joe Vedepo and Broughton is responsible for Thompson's 3rd career loss.

With only 3 years of MMA under his belt, Thompson has rudimentary technique overall and relies heavily on his hulking strength. However, he does have a decent grasp of the basics and seems to be doing all the right things for his level of experience. Though he stands pretty rigid and could benefit from adding some fluidity to his boxing, Thompson has thunderous power, his punches are pretty straight and fast for a heavyweight, he showed decent awareness by circling away from Jordan's power hand and snatching a kimura in the clinch and he crunched him with a nice short-range flurry in the 1st.

This is actually somewhat of an intriguing match up: Thompson has some defensive striking flaws but De Fries probably doesn't have the standing arsenal to capitalize. I don't think Thompson can survive for extended grappling stretches with De Fries, who hit some slick transitions on Broughton.

That seems to narrow down the wrestling and takedown ability of De Fries as the pivotal aspect, and I have no idea how that will fare against Thompson's takedown defense and scrambling, as we haven't really seen much of either fighter against top-shelf opposition. There are legit arguments on both sides but I'm gravitating toward Thompson's raw instincts, strength, agility and striking advantage.

My Prediction: Oli Thompson by TKO.

Ulysses Gomez (9-2) vs. John Moraga (10-1)

Both of these flyweights are making their UFC debuts: Gomez, aka "Useless," is a standout submission grappler (brown belt) and the co-founder of Marc Laimon's Cobra Kai dojo in Las Vegas, where he trains and teaches. 7 of Gomez' 9 wins are via submission and both career losses were decisions dealt by upper-echelon talent in Darrel Montague and Rambaa Somdet.

Moraga wrestled at Arizona State University and now trains at Arizona Combat Sports. His lone career defeat was respectable as well (TUF 14 winner John Dodson) and Moraga has complemented his wrestling background with submission grappling to accrue 5 wins by catch with 1 TKO and 4 decisions.

Moraga will be able to take this fight to the ground with his wrestling but that will land him in the guard of Gomez, who has the type of diversity and gameness to control the action with frenetic sweep and submission attempts without taking too much damage. While it's risky to side with a guard player under the current rules, I think Gomez is good enough to win this off his back.

My Prediction: Ulysses Gomez by submission.

Star-divide


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