Upcoming on September 15 will be UFC Fight Night 22. This will be the precursor to the new season of the Ultimate Fighter. (From somebody who lives and breathes by their DVR, this never goes the 2 hours. It always goes over. Record whatever comes after Ultimate Fighter if you want to see the episode.) Let’s break this night down fight by fight.
Middleweight bout: Nate Marquardt (29-9-2) vs. Rousimar Palhares (11-2)
Every once in a while, a fight comes along where something just smells like it will be a star-making career night. I think this is one of those. But sorry, Nate, I see you being on the receiving end of this star-making night. Palhares is 4-1 since starting with UFC, with wins over Jeremy Horn & Tomasz Drwal. I think the guy is on a roll and I think Nate is going to be the guy he rolls on.
Predicted winner: Palhares
Lightweight bout: Efrain Escudero (13-1) vs Charles Oliveira (13-0)
I am a proud member of Team Escudero, so my ability to be impartial is a little tiny. This is only Oliveira’s second fight in the UFC (though in his first fight he won submission of the night). I had the privilege of watching Escudero on Ultimate Fighter Season 8 and seeing him live at UFC 103. I think the rocket is strapped to Effy’s back, and he will take off.
Projected winner: Escudero
Lightweight bout: Jim Miller (17-2) vs. Gleison Tibau (21-6)
I want to like Gleison Tibau. I think there is something to be said for his experience (UFN 22 will be his 12th fight in UFC). But I look at Jim Miller. There are not a lot of notable wins, but the only two losses he’s had are against Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. Might this be the night he advances into a new plateau? Tibau would take him up a notch. I think Jim Miller does it.
Winner: Jim Miller
Lightweight bout: Ross Pearson (11-3) vs. Cole Miller (16-4)
Ross Pearson in English. Ross Pearson won a season of Ultimate Fighter where half his opponents were English. English fighters are tough. If Ross Pearson won a season of Ultimate Fighter where half the opponents were English, that makes him really tough. It looks like Cole Miller has a pretty rich history in UFC. I just think Pearson can defeat you on a lot of different levels. If he can keep out of Cole Miller’s submission holds, I see Pearson walking away with this one via decision.
There are several fighters of note on the prelims:
Rich Attonito-guy looked incredible on Ultimate Fighter 11 and, more specifically during the finale. Guy is a monster and I see him being around this sport for a long time.
Brian Foster-Here you have a guy who got into MMA to channel the anger from his brother’s death. If this isn’t a guy you want to root for, check yourself for a pulse.
The biggest potential surprise:
Cole Miller. If he locks in a hold, he could pull it off.