Doug Marshall VS Brian Stann
Luke Thomas This fight essentially asks, "Who goes down from poor but aggressive striking first?" Both fighters have serious technical problems with their game including leave their chin not only exposed by not bringing their hands back after firing punches, but they lift their chin when swinging in the pocket. Any clean striker would maul either of them, but luckily, that designation applies to neither. I tend to think the Rhino is actually very underrated, but his punches tend to loop more than Stann's and Stann is a little bit better about firing down the middle. Stann is also taller, which could pose a problem. I won't be surprised if either man wins, but I'll give the edge to Stann. Stann, by TKO, round 1. p.s. Marine, Marine, Marine, Marine, Marine, Iraq, Iraq, Marine, Silver Star, Hero, Marine, Marine, All-American. Iraq.
Kid Nate Stann by KO in the first
Brent Brookhouse Marshall is a guy that can be stopped and Stann is a guy that does a lot of stopping. But then you have to look at the fact that Stann has never been past the first round...then you realize that Marshall has only gotten past the first round twice and those fights both ended in the second round. Stann by TKO round 2.
Nick Thomas "All-American" Stann by early TKO
Michael Rome I think Stann is going to take this via KO early. I think he'll be exposed soon enough, but not on this show.
Chael Sonnen VS Brian Baker
Luke Thomas Baker's a judo black belt out of Team "F--- Malaipet" Denny. He's very athletic, well-rounded (by and large) and undefeated. None of that will matter, though, as he's coming in on short notice against a fighter with significantly better credentials and a very similar style. Baker won't win the takedown battle and doesn't have the newaza to submit Sonnen from his back. Sonnen, by decision.
Kid Nate Sonnen should win this, but Baker could surprise. Sonnen tends to fight stupid and could blow it. Nevertheless, I'll go with Sonnen by decision.
Brent Brookhouse I know no one else is feeling me here. But I think Sonnen tries to be a little too cute and keeps the fight on the feet a little longer than he should which is the one place where Baker can beat him. Baker by round 1 TKO.
Michael Rome Hard pick because Sonnen fights like an idiot at times, but he should win this. Sonnen via TKO.
Nick Thomas Sonnen by wrestling to a decision.
Ed Ratcliff VS Marcus Hicks
Luke Thomas As good as Ratcliff is (and he's good) and as much height as he has on Hicks, Hicks' submission acumen is something Ratcliff has yet to face. Hicks is also decent enough on the feet to probably weather most storms that Ratcliff can produce, thereby making the submission opportunity for Hicks an inevitability. Hicks, by submission, round 1.
Kid Nate I'm marking out for Ratcliff and will pick him (against my better judgement) to win by TKO
Brent BrookhouseMarcus Hicks by Decision. When it came time to put money down on the fight I couldn't get past the fact that Hicks is a BJJ black belt and Ratcliff's style (especially the kicks) open him up to spend a lot of time on his back. Hicks is capable on his feet and is leaps and bounds better on the ground...he'll control the fight and take the decision.
Michael Rome Hicks by decision.
Nick Thomas "The Wrecking Ball" Hicks by submission
Steve Cantwell VS Tim Mckenzie
Luke Thomas I'm not blown away by either fighter, really. Cantwell looks good against KOTC level competition and McKenzie is dangerously close to that level. The problem is McKenzie is aggressive enough to back Cantwell up, which almost completely neutralizes his offense. McKenzie should win this by TKO, round 2.
Kid Nate McKenzie
Brent Brookhouse McKenzie has the experience edge. I like Cantwell's striking though. He keeps his hands high, uses really nice footwork and uses that to establish distance very well. I'll take Cantwell by TKO in the second. Is it just me or am I picking a lot of knockouts?
Michael Rome I think Cantwell has better striking and is gonna win this via KO, though I'm not too confident.
Nick Thomas Mckenzie by experience
Hiromitsu Miura VS Blas Avena
Luke Thomas I'm going to go with the upset here. Miura gave Jason Miller all he could handle, but Avena is a different fighter. There are going to be obvious questions about his stamina, but he's extremely aggressive, possesses KO power and is good enough to submit fighters at the premier level. I doubt he'll sub Miura, but I do expect him to pound out a decision. Avena, by unanimous decision.
Kid Nate Miura by decision. I think coming down from 185 will give Miura a power edge.
Brent Brookhouse I'll take Miura by decision here. It's a big difference in experience and I think Miura will be able to take at least two of the three rounds here.
Michael Rome Uhhh....I'm gonna take the veteran and pick Miura via decision.
Nick Thomas Upset #1: Avena by TKO
John Alessio VS Brock Larson
Luke Thomas This might look a lot like Alessio's fight against Diego Sanchez. Alessio's takedown defense is outstanding and he's moderately well-rounded to boot. Larson, though, is a tank. I suspect that even if he has difficulty getting Alessio to the ground, Larson can be effective and aggressive enough on the feet to win. Larson, by unanimous decision.
Kid Nate Larson by TKO. Larson is just too much for him.
Brent Brookhouse Larson by split decision in a tougher fight than expected. Look for Brock to have some trouble getting the fight to the floor in the first, a close second round, and a Larson dominated third round.
Michael Rome I've been burned picking Alessio before, and Larson is too much in almost every way. Larson in the first round.
Nick Thomas Larson by takedown and ground and pound.
Sergio Gomez VS Richard Crunkilton
Luke Thomas As talented as Gomez is and as idiotically as Crunkilton fought in his last outing, I just can't give the nod here to Sergio. Gomez, who trains with UFC vet Dave Strasser, gave Marcus Hicks a great fight before getting caught in a guillotine. While Crunkilton will likely have problems with Sergio's pace, I think the technicality of Crunkilton's game will prove too much for the Midwesterner. Crunkilton, round 2, submission.
Kid Nate Crunkilton by submission.
Brent Brookhouse Crunkilton by submission in the second.
Nick Thomas Crunkilton by having a better ground game.
Michael Rome Crunkleton via submission.
Ryan Stonitsch VS Alex Serdyukov
Luke Thomas I've found Serdyukov very underwhelming in his two losses to John Alessio and while Stonitsch is a bit of a newcomer, his well-rounded style should pose a big problem for Serdyukov. Stonitsch, by unanimous decision.
Brent Brookhouse Stonitsch by decision.
Chris Manuel VS Kenji Osawa
Luke Thomas Shooto doesn't have the death grip over the lighter weights as it once did and even then, Osawa is nothing to write home about. Manuel, on the other hand, is. I had the pleasure of commentating one of Manuel's fights ringside and he's a sight to behold. Extremely technical and athletic, he'll be a handful for Osawa. And with American Top Team guiding his young career, the sky's the limit. Manuel, 3rd round, TKO.
Brent Brookhouse Manuel by a quite dominant decision.
Scott Harper VS Logan Clark
Luke Thomas Clark is well-rounded and trains with an excellent team. Oh yeah, and Harper's coming in on very short notice. He'll put up a spirited, but losing effort. Clark, 2nd round, submission.
Brent Brookhouse Clark by TKO rd. 1
Luke Thomas - 46/72 - 64%
Kid Nate - 40/60 - 67%
Brent Brookhouse - 38/57 - 67%
Michael Rome - 38/54 - 70%
Nick Thomas - 38/54 - 70%