UFC has not given us the names on this card. But I think they have given us a card filled with really evenly-matched fights. This will not be a night of “squash matches” to borrow a term from the pro wrestling world.
Welterweight bout: Nate Marquardt (31-10-2) vs. Rick Story (13-3)
I learned my lesson with my first UFC preview. Never go against Marquardt. But he’s 3 of his last 5. Story hasn’t lost since ’08. He’s coming off a win over Thiago Alves (<————-huge). Everything within me says not to go against Nate, but Story is on a tear. And I think he tears through Nate.
Under different circumstances, Charlie Brenneman has replaced Nate Marquardt. I still say Story has the momentum.
Heavyweight bout: Cheick Kongo (15-6-2) vs. Pat Barry (6-2)
Cheick Kongo is a big boy. So is Barry. This should be akin to Clash of the Titans. The only thing to be decided is WHO will release the Kracken. Both seem to be riding the same momentum wave. There’s one thing that makes me choose Kongo. Barry has never won a submission victory. Kongo has 3 (20% of his victories). That makes Kongo the choice for me.
Welterweight bout: Matt Brown (11-10) vs. John Howard (14-6)
This is going to be an interesting fight here. Brown is coming off a 3-fight losing streak, while Howard is looking at two. Both look equally hungry, and both need this win really bad. Howard gets the momentum edge. Brown has never won a decision. Both of these fighters are really evenly-matched. I like Brown, but in what could most likely be described as a “Loser Leaves Town” match, I think Howard will most likely take a victory.
Heavyweight bout: Matt Mitrione (4-0) vs. Christian Morecraft (7-1)
I still haven’t figured out what Matt Mitrione does or why he’s good. I also have no idea what to expect from him. Ever. Mitrione’s ground game is still unproven, as he has never submitted somebody professionally. Morecraft is pretty much down the line with 3 TKO’s and 4 submissions. I’m going with Morecraft for the win.