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UFC on FOX: Lawler vs. Brown - The Idiot's Guide to the Fox & Fight Pass Preliminary Card

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A grocery list of solid matchups for the Lawler vs. Brown undercard ensure that the UFC will likely deliver another fine performance for fans after their last two successes.

Photo by Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

These cards lately have been awesome. And now for another solid outing. Where's your "oversaturation is killing the sport" card now, infidel?!

Touche.

The UFC has been doing a solid job of getting me excited for watching a card at length, as opposed to in spots. True, some of the matchmaking has been squash-ish in nature, but it's also just been a matter of flat out solid matchmaking itself. Barboza vs. Dunham was always gonna deliver. Brandao gets destroyed by McGregor in every conceivable universe, ensuring the extinction of ontology itself.

The violence list goes on. The prelims for this card are just as good if not better, with matchups that more competitive on paper, but the main card is better than both events combined. This is a very good card that will be watchable from start to finish if just for the crescendo of cruelty it's expected to promise.

Apologize to Dana!

No. He still owes me for claiming Ronda Rousey makes more than Maria Sharapova. Just saying.

Whatever. I got five words for you, nerd: Jorge Masvidal vs. Daron Cruickshank.

What about Mole Men like Kyle Kingsbury?

Good choice linking to the Joe Jusko Marvel Masterpiece rendition of Mole Men.

Nerd.

So Crunkshark is +185. That seems good.

I'm glad you're deliberately misspelling Daron's last name, because I realize it takes effort. It's the "CK" in the middle that kills my grammar patience.

Is that a good bet or not?

I think so. It's the ideal betting fight: the underdog has a perfectly reasonable path to victory, while the favorite has been known to fight below expectations.

This story will follow Masvidal's career for as long as he has losses to Palomino, Imada, Damm, and Khabilov. While I think pointing at these losses betrays an understanding of who he is as a fighter (in part because they feel anomalous: especially in Damm's case), they're not worth disregarding. Jorge seems to settle into whatever rhythm his opponent sets out. He suffers from Tyson Griffin syndrome: talented, but the talent is never used in conjunction with urgency. He's just so good that he can get by on autopilot. Griffin is probably a bad example because casual fans may not have any idea who I'm talking about, but what an action fighter he was when we didn't know any better: Clay Guida, Frankie Edgar, Thiago Tavares, Urijah Faber...wooo!

Basically, Daron's unorthodox standup could utterly confound Masvidal. Daron looked really good against Erik Koch, who I continue to predict will win despite the fact that he never does lately. As great a bet as the bout is, I'm not sure about it being a great pick: even on autopilot, Jorge is a technician on the feet, and I feel like Cruickshank has trouble with guys with good fundamentals to compliment their raw power. Again, this is Masvidal we're talking about, so he could either hesitate for long durations, or look like a monster. It's not like Daron's record is spotless either: his loss to Luis Palomino was far more emphatic.

Can we skip the Kyle Kingsbury vs. Patrick Cummins bout?

No. Dana loves him some camera loving dudebro verbal skirmishes, and Patrick Cummins really captured Dana's heart with his awful fabricated rivalry against Daniel Cormier. I realize I'm just a weirdo,but prepackaged vendettas are worse sins in MMA to me than a Wes Sims' dance dance revolution attack.

Still, Cummins is a solid fighter beneath the bluster. Kinsgbury is a guy who began to improve and peak at just the right time with the right schedule, but whose plateau is much more revealing.

Prediction: Kyle Kingsbury gets taken down, and violated like the protective seal on a sushi platter.

Any no namers with the potential to become actual namers?

Tiago dos Santos, which sounds like a name created by autocorrect, is a pretty solid fighter. Plus he's in a matchup that will be prove to be exciting. There's a reason Admiral Akbarh Arreola is the underdog, and it's because he's too much of a brawler. He has some decent wins, like flipping out on Gabe Reudiger, but his striking is way too raw. He loves haymakers with the out of position feet to prove it.  "Trator" has some very slick movement, with his striking enabled by a confident kicking game, and a more imposing clinch game. He hasn't  lost since 2011, and I don't expect him to start with Arreola. Then there's Noad Lahat vs. Steven Siler.

Steven Siler is also a good mixed martial artist who has put together a very good record given his strength of schedule. I was kind of surprised to see him get blown out by Rony Jason, but Noah Lahat won't stand in his way. Lahat seems to be have all the right tools to be a good fighter, but he doesn't seem to know how everything works in tandem, and defensively, there's a lot to be desired.

Andreas Stahl vs. Gilbert Burns is also a solid fight between two undefeated prospects. Although it's hard to say who has the better upside.

Stahl isn't a big finisher, but he possesses very good straight punches in combination with a good top control game. It's not a great matchup on the ground for Stahl, but Burns, who is a grappling stalwart will be able to out maneuver him on the ground. He seems to have decent power, but he's very very patient on the feet. While you expect that from a novice, it can be trying for a casual fan.

Brian Ortega is another guy with an undefeated record spending some time with Black House. Ortega's game isn't all that special in the sense that he's not dynamic at any one thing, but he's versatile, and commits to his strikes when he wants to. He's got a very tough matchup against Mike De La Torre, who didn't look out of place against the underrated Mark Bocek.

There's also women's strawweight.

I don't know that there's much of a point in disparaging the fighters in a new division. All I will say is that Juliana Lima's ground and pound reminds me of this infamous hockey incident. Meanwhile, Joanna Jedrejczyk is a total badass from Poland, and was last seen cutting up Rosi Sexton on the feet: not an impressive accomplishment on paper, but entertaining in practice. She's got game, and in a thin newly minted division like Strawweight, will likely be a name you'll hear often.

Anything else?

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