The Fight Report for UFC on FOX 10

| January 20, 2014 | 9:39 am | Reply

UFC on FOX 10Some free MMA on the weekend is never a bad thing, and UFC on FOX 10 isn’t fooling around with top talent and great match-making. Our main event is a bit of a dream match between title former title holders, as Benson Henderson looks to rebound, taking on the surging Josh Thomson. We also have another surprising contender in Gabriel Gonzaga, whose KO power and aggression has put him back in the spotlight at heavyweight. His opponent is no slouch however, as the technical striker Stipe Miocic will look to put a stop to Gonzaga’s rise to the top.

We have plenty of ground to cover, so let’s dig into the UFC on FOX 10 fights.

Benson Henderson vs Josh Thomson: Coming off a sudden loss by armbar against Anthony Pettis, Benson Henderson will look to regain the title he defended so diligently. His opponent is one that many felt would be a washout from Strikeforce, yet Thomson has been anything but in his short time back in the octagon.

Having come into a fight with Nate Diaz, Thomson had worked the perfect game plan against the predictable denizen of the 209, lacing him with a punch-head kick combination that rattled his cage and split him open like a melon. With a huge feather in his cap, Thomson is a win away from a title, with his greatest foe being his own battle-worn body.

I talked about this fight in my Nemesis Top Ten in 2012 and still feel the same about how it plays out, as Thomson has the speed to hit takedowns, leg kicks to counter much of Henderson’s movement and is better inside the pocket with strikes. This all hinges on a sound body though, and Thomson has had more than his share of leg injuries in his life, with the clock ticking down on his career. While I’d love for Thomson to pull off this upset, I don’t trust him to be able to fight five hard rounds against Henderson, who is a master of conserving energy and fighting safely from distance. It could be close, yet I give a small nod to Henderson on virtue of his cardio and Thomson’s medical issues.

Stipe Miocic vs Gabriel Gonzaga: A fun scrap between two very different combatants, Miocic will look to employ his multi-level striking style and takedown defense against BJJ ace and slugger in Gonzaga. I like Miocic’s power and ability to engage his foe, but I don’t like that he’s undersized for the weight class and lacks defense at this level of competition. I give Miocic the slight edge in terms of his proven heart and Gonzaga’s lack of gumption when it comes to strong low kickers, but don’t be surprised if Gonzaga puts Miocic’s lights out early here.

UFC on FOX 10Darren Elkins vs Jeremy Stephens: A dark horse for FOTN, Elkins will look to bring his submission grappling skills to bear, taking on murderous puncher Jeremy Stephens. Elkins is one of the best grapplers in the division, with an improving stand-up game and outrageously smooth flow on the mat, with more than enough skill to give Stephens fits. While Stephens is always one punch away from victory, he’ll have trouble getting that shot off against the defensive-minded Elkins, and I don’t see the wrestling being on the same plane here. Stephens should survive the fight, but will do so off his back as Elkins hits takedowns and works tirelessly from top in search of the win.

Alex Caceres vs Sergio Pettis: A new bantamweight with a ton of hype, Sergio Pettis will look to keep the family name out there while brother Anthony recovers. His opponent is a stiff test however, as Alex Caceres brings a wealth of skill and athletic ability to the cage. I like this one for FOTN, as Pettis is game to fight, Caceres has cashed several checks for the same, and these two will be desperate to impress. That said, Caceres is a cut above Pettis almost everywhere, with the latter lacking real finishing ability.  A fast and fun fight, but one where Caceres’ takedowns and power striking give him the edge to out-point Pettis sending him back to Flyweight where he belongs.

Eddie Wineland vs Yves Jabouin: A firefight is sure to erupt here, as technical wizard Eddie Wineland faces off with the explosive striking prowess of Yves Jabouin. Wineland is an underrated battler, but his skill set here is perfect to deal with Jabouin, having the takedown defense and takedowns to keep this on his terms, while having a chin and sledgehammer fists to deal Jabouin a beating, provided he can catch him. Looking at all the X-factors, this is really one that Jabouin needs to go after to win, as he’ll lose on his back foot if he can’t close on Wineland and deal him a beating. I’m not counting on Jabouin being able to pull this off however, as Wineland’s movement and defense are too crisp and his proven cardio will allow him to push Jabouin to the breaking point, snatching a definitive decision win.

Daron Cruickshank vs Mike Rio: Rio needs a win here to stay in the UFC, but will have a rough fight ahead of him, taking on fellow TUF fighter Daron Cruickshank. Cruickshank has proven to be a nightmare to deal with due to his rapid footwork and athletic ability, with Rio’s only real chance here being the elusive takedown and a suffocating top game. Don’t count on Rio being able to create an opening to work this magic though, as Cruickshank can move like few others and has more than enough fire power to get Rio out of the cage and into the regional circuit again. Look for a late TKO or decision win from Cruickshank, who will fire and fade as needed against the desperate Rio.

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Category: 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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