UFC Fight Night: Te Huna vs. Marquardt - Preliminary Card 'Just Bleed' Q & A Breakdown

Photo by Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

Lightweights, flyweights, welterweights, and featherweights take stage right for UFC Fight Night: Te Huna vs. Marquardt in Auckland, New Zealand. Who matches up well against who and who should be winning you money?

I totally haven't forgotten there are two UFC cards this weekend.

Because the UFC will be bigger than soccer one day?

Exactly.

Speaking of, have you been watching?

Of course not. I'm American.

I'm happy that your definition of American is avoiding all things not American, but I think you're missing out. I watched it regularly only once, but that was to impress an Italian girl from Switzerland.

Lies.

I made an effort.

I haven't been disappointed with the recent Cup either. Between Uruguay treating opponents like a marshmellow flavored Evander Holyfield ear and Mexico's one man performance, it's been a blast to these virgin eyes. I don't like the things I like knowing, so learning that this isn't the first sabretooth attack from said Uruguay player, or that I shouldn't be all that impressed with Mexico going to a draw with Brazil has been a fun experience.

This is Bloody Elbow. Not Bloody La Mandibula. We gonna talk fights or what?

No. I'd rather talk about Cuba Gooding Jr's performance at the NHL awards. While it was nice to see life injected into a sport that is otherwise Precambrian in the personality category, he could have been a little less violent with that kid on stage.

His best performance since Snow Dogs?

Speaking of things no one will remember, this weekend's undercard for UFC Fight Night 43 is chock full of.......

Having a hard time describe fights you suspect will be forgettable?

Yep.

So let's start with Jake Matthews vs. Dashon Johnson at Lightweight. Odds are even. What say you?

First off, if you haven't read Mookie Alexander's expose on Xplode Fight Series, you should. Dashon Johnson, a pro boxer, has been one of the many benefactors of Xplode's ridiculous matchmaking.

How ridiculous?

7 of his 9 wins are against fighters who have not won a single pro fight. Having said that, it would be unfair to blame Johnson for doing what he's told to. He's getting in some good training as well, alongside fighters like Robbie Peralta and Derek Anderson. At 26 years of age with a modest pro boxing career in tow, the UFC could certainly do worse.

Oddsmakers have this fight even because despite some minor potential from Johnson, Jake Matthews is also an unknown with an unbeaten record. Like Johnson, his competition hasn't been stellar either. His five opponents have a combined record of 14-15.

It's a tough fight to predict. Matthews has a workmanlike approach to fighting where he wants to throw just enough punches to win the fight via grappling, but isn't dynamic in either scenario. It's tempting to pick him for that reason. Johnson has some solid power, as you might expect from someone with a boxing background, who seems uncertain on the feet, as odd as that sounds. The mechanics are there to threaten with strikes, but it's startling to watch him bully his way towards the ground with no real strategy in sight. Check out his fight with Brady Harrison for proof. He gets outgrappled easily, and relies too much on lunging strikes where a good old fashioned jab and a follow up punch will do. I favor Dashon, but not by much.

How about Richie Vaculik vs. Roldan Sangcha-an at +120?

Roldan Sangcha-an is an interesting prospect. At only 23, the Filipino fighter is showing promise. He also presents an interesting diversion from your typical fighter, with his classical Thai stance. He's got strong, brutal leg kicks that he likes to pitch like haymakers: in fact, he's one of the few fighters who seems utterly willing to counter a flurry with a leg kick in close. Granted, that's not really a good thing, as leg kicks minus range ted to be less effective but when he decides to just decapitate someone with it...he's effective.

I think this is a winnnable fight too. Sangcha-an is gonna have trouble against fighters who can outbox him. A guy like Vaculik who doesn't have KO power and has to deal with Roldan's scrambling ability? I doubt it. I'm a big fan of the idea of Sangcha-an...but if he loses I wouldn't be surprised either. Like a developing deck embryo, he's still raw.

Chris Indich vs. Vik Grujic at Welterweight?

Do I get to keep my dayjob here at Bloody Elbow if I pretended this fight didn't exist?

Probably not.

I'll take my chances since I suspect Nate and Brent would rather watch two episodes of General Hospital during a Mayweather PPV than talk or read about this bout. Still, Grujic should be able to get Indich on the ground, where both fighters will engage in what we call mixed martial arts for three rounds, for better or for worse.

You've got another card to preview and you're already slacking like you're at the blog finish line?

Neil Magny vs. Rodrigo Goiana de Lima at Welterweight with 'Monstro' at +190.

I think this could be a tough fight for Magny. de Lima is hell on wheels on the ground, with a very aggressive ground game that is simultaneously technical and fluid. Magny will win on the feet but southpaws are often difficult to deal with, and Magny has little room for the error on the ground whereas de Lima has some room for error on the feet. Magny just doesn't have any power in his fists whatsoever. However, I think his movement is excellent, which is why Magny is still the right pick given his jab, and footwork.

Dan Hooker vs. Ian Entwistle at Featherweight at even odds?

Hard to say. It's the classic matchup of styles. Hooker will want to keep it standing. Unfortunately for Hooker, however, he has a very consensual approach to the stand and bang method. His strikes aren't all that imposing so he ends up in top control a lot where he takes advantage of being fairly versatile. He's also defensively flawed, as you can see here again Wu Chengjie.

As for Entwistle...you only need to watch a few seconds of him in the cage to see what he offers. While I hear some compare him to Shinya Aoki, he obviously shares more in common with once-stablemate Satoru Kitaoka. While being a throwback, I don't think it bodes well for him. While it's possible he beats Hooker, he needs a ton of work to do on the feet for opponents to feel threatened by him on the whole. He's the sum of his parts, and that won't get in it done against the elite.

Gian Villante vs. Sean O'Connell with O'Connell at +235?

Gian Villante because he's Gian Villante and Sean O'Connell is Sean O'Connell.

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