UFC 146 is this Saturday LIVE on PPV from Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card is an all heavyweight card headlined by the main event of Junior Dos Santos vs, Frank Mir for the Heavyweight title. Also, in action are Cain Velasquez vs. the debuting Antonio “Big Foot” Silva. Roy Nelson is also fighting Dave Herman. Finally, Stephan Struve will lock up with the hot Lavar Johnson.
The Undercard – What to watch for.
While the entire undercard looks tremendous, there are two significant fights that beg for a closer look.
Jason Miller vs. CB Dollaway
Jason Miller looked horrible in his last fight against Michael Bisping. You can blame that on a near year long layoff, poor training camp, or any number of excuses. The fact of the matter is he gassed out by the second round and I have never seen a fighter simply give up in an important fight like that.
CB Dollaway hasn’t done much of anything since joining the UFC roster. He’s on a 2 loss skid, and three for a fighter like Dollaway is usually enough for the pink slip. He looked outclassed by Mark Munoz, and Jared Hamann sent him packing early as well.
For both guys, this is a fight that they are looking at as a must win. Miller will want to prove he can still be a force, while CB will want to prove he actually belongs in the UFC. Look for a revived, fresh, and ready Miller to take this fight after three close rounds.
Winner: Miller by decision
Dan Hardy vs. Duane Ludwig
Let’s be honest, once GSP solved the Hardy puzzle and exposed him as an average striker, Hardy has been in a tailspin. I think the guy just lacks the confidence he once had. He’s lost four in a row, and the only thing that has kept him around is the fact that Dana White loves his style.
Ludwig is a good, if unspectacular, fighter. He’s coming off a loss to Josh Neer. Look for Hardy to go all out in this one. If he remembers that he can kick as well as box, then this should be no problem for Hardy to win. Yet, if Ludwig controls the pace, he will eek out the victory.
Winner: Hardy by TKO in 3.
The Main Card – Three You Must See
Stefan Struve vs. Lavar Johnson
Struve is a tall, lanky guy that starts slow, and confuses fighters with his reach and his ground game. He’s coming off two big wins (submission vs. Pat Barry and TKO vs. Dave Hermann), but has never put together a significant win streak in UFC to be considered in the upper tier. Add to that fact that when he is up against really good strikers (Dos Santos or Nelson), he usually has his night ended early before he can warm up.
Johnson is coming off a big win from just a few weeks ago when he TKOed Pat Barry. He’s taking this one on short notice and looks to use his hands to make quick work of “Skyscraper”.
The key to this fight is if Struve can control the pace and be allowed to warm up. If that happens, Struve will take his shots, and looks for a submission. Yet, if Johnson comes out like a bull, and starts unloading shots that Struve can’t defend, it will be an early night for the big man.
Winner: Johnson by KO in 1.
Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva
It’s no secret that I just can’t stand Cain. The guy just hasn’t proven himself despite his UFC title win against Brock Lesnar. The truth of the matter is I have always felt that Cain was an average at best striker, and a slightly above average ground game (due to his wrestling background). I’ve never bought into the hype and never will.
Antonio “Big Foot” Silva is an imposing figure. Despite losing his last fight to upstart, Daniel Cormier, in the Strikeforce Grand Prix, he was riding a three win streak before that fight that included a win over Fedor. Silva uses his size and his understated speed to his advantage, and typically overwhelms his opponents with his mailboxes he calls fists or a very underrated BJJ game. Look for him to get the upset over Cain.
Winner: Silva by TKO in 2
Frank Mir vs. Junoir Dos Santos for the UFC Heavyweight title
I’ll admit it, I’m a Mir fan. I just like the guy and the way he carries himself. Mir is one of the UFC guys from the darker era that is still relevant today. He is a former UFC Heavyweight champion and holds key wins over Brock Lesnar, Nogueira (2x), Tim Sylvia, and Roy Nelson. After suffering an accident that temporarily derailed his career, he has strung together an impressive three win streak.
Dos Santos is a great striker that is undefeated in UFC. He has defeated everyone that has stepped in front of him that culminated in his title win on the 1st “UFC on Fox” Special. He brings a great chin, and superior striking. It’s been said that he also has a BJJ game, but he’s never been tasked with showing those skills.
The biggest mistake Mir can possibly make is to go into this thinking he can outstrike Dos Santos. He has confidence in his striking, but he should lean toward attempting to win the ground game. As such, Dos Santos is typically difficult to get on the ground, and if this is a standup affair, things do not look good for Mir. Sadly, this is Mir’s probable last shot at any type of title in UFC, and it would appear that this won’t be his night unless a miracle happens. Dos Santos is just too strong.
Winner: Dos Santos by TKO in 1
We’ll have a complete wrap-up on the next episode of “Hell in a Cell Talk Radio” this coming week. Featured on this week’s show is ROH superstar, Adam Cole.