The Fight Report: UFC on FX 7

| January 14, 2013 | 11:05 am | 2 Replies

UFC on FX 7Some FX cards are PPV quality, but the UFC on FX 7 fight card looks like…..FX quality. Even still, free fights are free fights and we’re sometimes surprised by the matchmaking in these smaller events, as these are hungry locals looking to make a big splash in the UFC. Our main event is nothing to sneeze at though, as Vitor Belfort looks to notch a win in his home country, taking on title shot hopeful Michael Bisping.

So, let’s dig into the night of action and see what Sao Paulo has in store!

Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping: One of the biggest draws in Brazil besides Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort will look to grab a win at Middleweight against top-level talent Michael Bisping. Belfort has aged surprisingly gracefully over the last few years, and while the whole “old Vitor versus new Vitor” angle is old as the hills; Belfort has kept many of his most dangerous elements. His hand speed and technical ability is still there, and as Jon Jones found out to his near demise, his BJJ hasn’t disappeared at this stage of his life either. Endurance though is always a factor for a fighter with as much wear and tear Belfort has taken in his career.

Love him or hate him, Bisping is knocking on the door to a title shot. Having gone from undersized and underrated Light Heavyweight to a terror at 185lbs, Bisping shows continuous improvement with his work ethic in the gym and on the training mats. While he’s not undefeated at Middleweight, Bisping has proven to be too much for all but the very best of the class, and having patched several holes in his game over the last few years, may be unbeatable but to a select few.

These two pair up nicely… first. Belfort has always had punching power and speed, while Bisping has always had defensive flaws in his stand-up, which is still truly his only flaw that’s yet to be fixed.  Belfort will need to be aggressive early but avoid getting taken down by Bisping’s simple but strong double leg if he wants to find his way into another title bid. Unfortunately for Belfort, Bisping will never slow down in this match and if the Brit can avoid Vitor’s power early, he should be able to run away with the match. Look for a few dicey spots for Bisping, but as Belfort slows and misses his mark, Bisping will increase his pressure and put a stop to Belfort midway through the five round fight.

Diego Nunes vs. Nik Lentz: One of the more interesting bouts of the evening is buried on the Fuel undercard, as Diego Nunes takes on Nik Lentz. Nunes has made a reputation for himself as a sort of featherweight Lyoto Machida. A hyper elusive fighter that beats opponents from the outside, Nunes floats away from danger and stays just inches inside of his own range. His last fight showed a completely different side of our cage savvy friend though, as he aggressively pursued Polish puncher Bart Palaszewski and unleashed a savage, in-your-face beating that surprised everyone, including his opponent.

Lentz himself had a coming out party in his first match at 145lbs, taking on Japanese shoot fighter Eiji Mitsuoka. The former lay and pray style of Lentz was nowhere to be found in this performance, as he repeatedly slammed and attacked Mitsuoka from the beginning of the fight, grinding down his sturdy opponent with a steady stream of ground and pound for the win. With top-notch wrestling and all-around submission skills, Lentz creates a unique problem for Nunes.

The big question here is how Nunes will choose to deal with Lentz, as his style will greatly augment this match. Nunes can work his traditional outside striking and evasive style, as Lentz doesn’t have the best outside striking tools, but Lentz has proven that he’s not afraid to rush into the fray and work a relentless clinch game in these cases. While Nunes can stop takedowns fairly well, Lentz is cut from a different cloth in terms of his ability to chain techniques and work at a pace opponent’s can’t match.  The other option for Nunes is to go inside on Lentz and try to unload on his opponent in the same fashion as his last fight, but this could prove to be even worse if Lentz can hit takedowns in the center of the cage. With no resources to get back up, Nunes can’t afford to hit the mat here off the cage wall, and this second option could pan out to be a “kill-or-be-killed” scenario. As tough as Nunes is, Lentz has a style that meshes badly with him and I see the American featherweight being able to pull off a decision win here, even in Nunes home country.

Quick Reports:

Daniel Sarafian vs. CB Dolloway: The injured finalist for TUF Brazil, Sarafian will get his proper chance to shine in the Octagon. A well-rounded fighter, Sarafian has deadly KO power and a competent top game, but has floundered badly against American wrestling talent due to his lack of high-energy takedown defense and limited ability to escape from bottom. While Dolloway hasn’t panned out to be much of a fighter, his grappling skill should be enough to see him get the win here, provided he doesn’t get iced in the first minute of the bout.

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Ben Rothwell: A head case if there ever was one, Gonzaga will take on Ben Rothwell as he looks to put together a few wins inside the cage. Both guys can hit like trucks, but Gonzaga has pledged to use his vaunted submission grappling skills in the cage, and could have Rothwell in some trouble here if this match does indeed go to the ground. I’m not counting on that though, as Rothwell brings the size and strength to force a stand-up fight here that Gonzaga is unprepared for. An edge of your seat affair for as long as it lasts, but my money is on Rothwell to land that finishing blow first.

Thiago Tavares vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov: A fighter with a lot of hype behind him, Nurmagomedov will look to put away five-year UFC veteran Thiago Tavares. Nurmagomedov is one of those guys that I just “don’t get”, as he brings a sloppy style tinged with natural ability. I don’t see the 0 in his 18-0 record lasting here against Tavares though, as the Brazilian has proven to be a pin-point striker in his career with an all-around solid grappling game. Nurmagomedov’s reckless entry leads to a fast KO, as Tavares puts one down the pipe and sends Nurmagomedov to the canvas.

Ronny Markes vs. Andrew Craig: A fight that highlights exactly how bad this card is, Ronny Markes will attempt to put everyone to sleep with his brand of hugs. Craig is a tough customer, but being a grappling grinding against another grappling grinder is a recipe for a mean tweet from Dana White.  Markes wins an uneventful decision based on being gigantic and his opponent being a novice fighter.  Pray I’m wrong though.

For complete UFC on FX 7 coverage, click here.

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Category: Featured, MMA, UFC

Mike Hammersmith (Featured Staff Writer)

About the Author ()

I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I specialize in betting advice, predictions, and I'm a walking encyclopedia of MMA trivia. I own a cafe in Exeter, NH called Hammersmith Sandwich Company and write out of my office between customers.

Comments (2)

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  1. Vanda says:

    Vitor and Michael is So Intense

  2. Hopefully their fight is as good as their stare downs have been

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