The Fight Report: UFC 155

| December 26, 2012 | 5:22 pm | Reply

UFC 155Am I the only person mad at Christmas for costing us a weekend of fights? Probably. Well, with that useless holiday out-of-the-way, we have my real present on the 29th, as Cain Velasquez will look to reclaim his Heavyweight title at UFC 155. Junior Dos Santos is no Santa Claus though and won’t willingly hand over the strap in the last title bid of the year. It’s action across nearly every weight class, so settle in with that last glass of egg nog and let me break down these UFC 155 bouts for you.

Now, onto the fights!

UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos vs Cain Velasquez:  A rematch for the first UFC on FOX event, their first meeting was under a minute and crowned a new champion when Velasquez was knocked out and dethroned.  Since then JDS has only managed one title defense after knee surgery, but many questions still remain about the champion.  The burning one for this fight: Can he stop a takedown?

Cain Velasquez will look to answer that one for us at long last.  Having come into his first showing with JDS with a blown knee, he did little more than attempt to trade with his heavy-handed adversary before being knocked senseless with a right hand.  Knee fully healed and refocused, Velasquez made his return against Antonio “Big Foot” Silva where he was in prime form; Blasting him off his feet and unloading ground and pound for three minutes, forcing a referee stoppage.

This rematch will hopefully feature two healthy fighters and looks to be fairly even all things considered.  On one hand, JDS is nearly impossible to engage standing, having equal parts technique, power and chin to make it a fruitless effort.  However, his ground game has yet to be seen except two quick escapes from the mat that showcased his fast hips.  If Velasquez can put him on his back and get some offense in, it opens up a whole new world and a great out to win for the former champ. This is a big if however and while I like Velasquez chances, I don’t like his sometimes shaky chin and how he mentally wasn’t there for the first encounter.  With major variables against Velasquez in a close fight, I have to side with the champ to keep his belt on Saturday night.

Joe Lauzon vs Jim Miller: A fantastic Lightweight scrap is on deck, as Joe Lauzon takes on Jim Miller.  Both men have been toiling just outside of contender-ship for years, having spectacular finishes but being unable to crack the top of the division.  Lauzon has a great offensive game, using straight punches and a fast and furious submission game to dispatch foes. While he’s had endurance issues in the past, he’s had little trouble putting away even quality opponents in a round, and will look to run through Miller here.

Miller has long been one of the premier sub grapplers in the division himself, using more of a counter wrestling style that’s allowed him to hustle solid grapplers for years.  Having added a stiff power boxing game to his arsenal over the last two years, he can finish opponents in multiple areas and is a tough customer no matter where you engage him.

Anyone can take this fight in the first several minutes, as Lauzon will have an initial advantage when looking for his range, while Miller can work for a takedown right away if he so chooses.  It’s Lauzon’s all-or-nothing style that could cost him with a patient fighter like Miller though, as Miller can control the pace and positioning in the fight.  Being practically made of iron, Miller isn’t one to be finished easily and can gut out a decision here that will be in his favor.

Quick Reports:

Tim Boetsch vs Costa Philippou: Boetsch is a likable guy, but let’s face it, his undefeated run has been precarious at best.  Philippou is the superior boxer and with his developing takedown defense, Boetsch is going to have a hell of a time beating the Greek striker.  Stiff punches lead to an easy decision for Philippou.

Yushin Okami vs Alan Belcher: A great rematch, but one that should turn out much the same way as the first.  Okami hasn’t changed stylistically since his UFC debut, and while Belcher has added a diverse submission grappling game to his kickboxing arsenal, he’ll have no reasonable way to use it in this fight.  Clinch control, technical boxing and token takedowns earn Okami a decision once again.

Chris Leben vs Derek Brunson: Leben will make his triumphant return from a UFC imposed suspension and rehab stay, taking on Strikeforce import Derek Brunson.  Brunson is an athletic wrestler, but not cut from the right cloth to beat a notorious hard ass like Leben.  While he might have a takedown or two for Leben, The Crippler can stand up or sprawl out from such attacks, and engaging him in a striking bout is a disaster waiting to happen.  Brunson can pick his poison here but either way you slice it, he loses.

Brad Pickett vs Eddie Wineland: My favorite fight of the evening, British brawler Brad Pickett will take on the underrated Eddie Wineland.  Wineland surprised a lot of people (myself excluded) by pulling off a win over Jorgensen, and yet Wineland still gets no love despite Pickett being a lesser version of Jorgensen. With Pickett being unable to make this a ground fight and with reflexes and a chin that are deteriorating rapidly in his career, Wineland should find a way to win here.  Look for Wineland to put on a striking exhibition and take Pickett out late in the fight, or take a decision win.

Melvin Guillard vs Jamie Varner: Delayed due to stomach issues, Guillard and Varner settle the score here.  Like every Guillard fight, he’s beatable, if you can get past his wrecking ball punches or avoid being meticulously picked part from the outside.  Being as Varner is the better technical fighter of the two, I think this is over in a hurry and give an edge to Guillard to get the KO within a minute flat.

Michael Johnson vs Myles Jury: One of the members of the ill-fated TUF Live cast, Myles Jury will face TUF runner-up Michael Johnson.  Jury is a strong fighter in his own right, but draws a true test, as Johnson has become a force within the division in the last year.  Outgunned nearly everywhere, Johnson should be able to control this fight and score a late TKO once he gets Jury’s timing down.

Phil De Fries vs Todd Duffee: Flash in the pan fighter Todd Duffee will make his return to the Octagon, taking on British submission expert Phil De Fries.  Duffee has a world of potential, but his career was halted by injuries some poor business decisions on his part, yet he appears to be refocused and ready to go here.  De Fries has shown improvement in his time in the UFC, but his Gracie style grappling game will do him no favors here against a power puncher with a superior wrestling game.  It might take a round, but Duffee gets it done with a TKO before the second half of the fight.

Max Holloway vs Leonard Garcia: In what is likely Leonard Garcia’s swan song if he can’t pull off the win, he’ll take on dangerous Hawaiian striker Max Holloway.  Holloway is a budding prospect that’s been matched tough but has still come out on top more often than not.  Being the far superior technical fighter, Holloway will need to be precise with his attacks and smart on the defense to avoid Garcia’s power.  With the “Garcia factor” an ever-present threat to Holloway’s chance to win a decision, I still give him the edge here to out-point Garcia in convincing fashion.

Look for UFC 155 Predictions later this week as well as Live results on Saturday.

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Category: Exclusive, 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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