The Fight Report: UFC Fight Night 30

| October 21, 2013 | 2:38 pm | Reply

UFC Fight Night 30 BoxUFC 166 will be a hard act to follow, but the best and brightest of English MMA are up to the task and looking to make a name for themselves at this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 30. Our main event is a case of a fight cancellation’s replacement being better than the original, as Michael Bisping is replaced by Lyoto Machida in a Middleweight tilt.

We’ve got some stellar matches on the UFC Fight Night 30 card so let’s dig in and see how the evening plays out.

Lyoto Machida vs. Mark Munoz: After a long and prosperous career at 205lbs, Machida will finally make the cut down to Middleweight, presumably to finish out his career. Having dropped a tight decision to Phil Davis last time out, Machida showed he’s still an elite fighter, and this move may be exactly what he needs to revitalize his status as one of the best fighters on the planet.

His opponent himself is on the tail end of his career, as Munoz looks to shake off the ring rust and make his run towards championship gold before his time is up. Having come back from a serious injury and documented mental and physical health issues, Munoz looked like a superstar against Tim Boetsch, working his slick wrestling style and ground and pound to snatch a desperately needed win.

This fight is an interesting one, as we’ve never seen Machida fight after a weight cut, and with a style based 90% on fluidity and timing, this could completely change how he functions in the cage. Also, while Munoz is a wrestling based fighter, his best chance of victory against the unbelievable base of Machida is actually to fake takedowns and use that momentum to launch his hands in close. It’s a matter of game plans and how everything matches up here, but Machida has every out to win this fight short of a catastrophic weight cut or a perfect right hand from Munoz. Look for some vintage Machida, sticking and moving, but ultimately sinking Munoz with a combination late in the fight.

Ross Pearson vs. Melvin Guillard: A UFC Fight Night 30 bout promising fistic fireworks, England’s Ross Pearson will look to outsmart and outlast the lethal Melvin Guillard. Pearson is one of the better pure boxers in the lightweight division, with a great use of range control, fighting inside the pocket when needed, or working long-range attacks when space is important. There truly is no safe range to engage Guillard however, as his raw speed and athletic ability make him dangerous every moment of the fight. Pearson’s avenue to victory lies in keeping a tight defense, and looking to put Guillard on the mat for a fast submission. I wouldn’t count on Pearson having the timing to pull this off though, as a motivated Guillard is one of the scariest things on Earth, and his fists should find the gaps in Pearson’s defense, ending this inside the first half of the fight.

Jimi Manuwa vs. Ryan Jimmo: One of the most terrifying strikers to emerge in some time, Jimi Manuwa will look to keep his UFC streak going, taking on a perfect foil in Ryan Jimmo. Manuwa has the kind of natural power that comes along once in a lifetime, and his progression as a fighter is doubly import, not just to make improvements in his form and overall game, but to make sure that power isn’t lost in the translation to becoming a world-class fighter. Jimmo is a bruiser himself when he chooses to be, and thus far he’s put in the effort to impress fans with a bit more aggression. It’ll be a case of Jimmo finding his range quickly and avoiding that early power, or falling victim to a highlight reel blast from Manuwa’s flying fists.

Phil Harris vs. John Lineker: The Flyweights always put on a show, and Phil Harris will do his best to stop the freight train that is John Lineker. Harris is a decent fighter with a well-rounded game, but nothing that sticks out as being exceptional; a prerequisite for making it deep into the UFC. Lineker has shown tremendous improvement in his time inside the cage, with murderous intentions on everything he throws and a real knack for landing on the chin against taller fighters. Harris simply doesn’t bring anything to the cage to keep Lineker’s power in check, and with full tilt aggression, Lineker should get Harris out of there within the first few minutes of the fight.

Luke Barnatt vs. Andrew Craig: Two rising stars within the division, Luke Barnatt will keep his post TUF momentum going, taking on the supremely athletic Andrew Craig. Barnatt is an interesting fighter, as he brings one of the largest arsenals in the sport, but doesn’t have a defined game because of it. This makes him both impossible to plan for, but far less dangerous overall than some fighters whom have bread and butter techniques. Craig is perhaps the worst possible opponent for him in that sense, as his greatest strengths are his physical abilities, with outstanding reflexes that carry through on his strikes and takedowns. If Barnatt can get into Craig’s head, he has a real chance of pulling this off, but Craig doesn’t tend to be rattled, instead relying on his own talents rather than countering what his foe brings to the cage. Craig should have this fight figured out before too long, and work towards a decision win as Barnatt misses key opportunities to finish.

Andy Ogle vs. Cole Miller: A fight with huge entertainment potential, lovable UK fighter Andy Ogle will take on flagging Featherweight Cole Miller. Ogle is like the little engine that could, as he has a decided lack of real skill, but makes up for it with ten times the heart and determination. Against Miller, he faces someone coming from the opposite end of the spectrum, as a technical wizard that can’t seem to find a high gear anymore. Miller has outs to win this one early with his crisp boxing and bottom game submissions, but Ogle won’t make it easy as he swarms and suffocates his opponent. It’s close, but I like Ogle’s subtle improvements and power striking to beat Miller here in a grueling bout.

UFC Fight Night 30 takes place from the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, United Kingdom. The night’s preliminary card will stream online and the six bout main card will air on FOX Sports 2.

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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.

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