by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
Thomas vs. Josh Neer
Top Team lightweight Din Thomas takes on Midwest fighter Josh Neer. Thomas has
a 20-7 record and trains out of American Top Team with Marcus Aurelio. Neer has
a 23-6-1 record and trains out of Miletich Martial Arts with Spencer Fisher.
comes off a disappointing submission loss to Kenny Florian at UFC Fight Night
11, while Neer submitted Nick Sorg at C3: Smokey Mountain Showdown.
injured his knee early in the fight with Florian and wasn’t able to fight on,
giving up position then being submitted. Neer dropped two straight in the UFC
in 2006 and was released, but has since dropped down to lightweight.
quality boxing and stinging low kicks, Thomas is the better striker and also
has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Neer is the better wrestler and is
likely going to be the bigger fighter come fight time.
Thomas to start off slow, as he shakes off the effects of his injury, but turn
up the heat in the later rounds, battering Neer with crisp punches and
out-working him on the ground en route to a decision.
Din Thomas by decision.
Aurelio vs. Ryan Roberts
veteran Marcus Aurelio faces off with newcomer Ryan Roberts. Aurelio has a 15-5
record and trains out of American Top Team with Din Thomas. Roberts has an 8-2
record and trains out Mid-America Martial Arts with Chad Reiner.
veteran, Aurelio comes off his first victory in the Octagon by stopping Luke
Caudillo with strikes at UFC 78, while Roberts won a decision over Joe Doherty
at Victory Fighting Championships 22, winning a four-man tournament.
one of the better ground fighters in the lightweight division, but a lack of
wrestling has hampered him from getting to the top. Roberts is a late
replacement for Spencer Fisher, who pulled out of the fight due to injury.
better fighter on the ground with his strong Jiu-Jitsu skills, Aurelio is
always able to threaten with submissions. Although his striking isn’t up to par
with his ground skills, he has taken steps to improve it. The only advantage
that Roberts has over Aurelio is a strong wrestling base.
In what was
expected to be a much harder fight for Aurelio when he was scheduled to face
Fisher, he now has an easier task ahead of him in Roberts. Look for Roberts to
take the fight to the ground and pound on Aurelio for a bit before Aurelio
locks on a fight ending submission.
Marcus Aurelio by submission in the first round.
vs. Jeff Cox
Fighter 5 runner-up Manvel Gamburyan takes on Midwest fighter Jeff Cox.
Gamburyan has a 7-2 record and trains out of California. Cox has a 9-4 record
and trains out of Strong Style Fight Team in Ohio.
comes off a submission victory over Nate Mohr at UFC 79, while Cox knocked out
Joe Cronin at IFO: Fireworks in the Cage 4.
to be on his way to winning The Ultimate Fighter 5, but an injury nixed that
from happening. Now Gamburyan looks to get another win in the UFC and make a
name for himself in the crowded lightweight division. Cox was quickly submitted
in his UFC debut and will be looking for redemption.
is relentless on the ground and on the feet. The only question mark about him
is his durability as he has been prone to injuries. Cox is a strong wrestler
like many Midwest fighters and has some power in his punches, but seems lacking
in other areas.
be a quick fight. Gamburyan will set a fast pace and get the fight to the
ground. From there, look for him to either pound out a stoppage or submit Cox.
With Cox’s lack of submission defense, it will be more than likely be the
Manvel Gamburyan by submission in the first round.
Guida vs. Samy Schiavo
wrestler Clay Guida faces off with French submission fighter Samy Schiavo.
Guida has a 22-9 record and trains out of Hellhouse with Clay French. Schiavo
has a 10-4 record and trains out of the French Top Team in France.
off of a submission loss to Roger Huerta at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale,
while Schiavo submitted Paul Jenkins at a Cage Rage Contenders show.
This is an
interesting clash of styles with Guida being a super aggressive wrestler and
Schiavo a slick submission fighter. Either way, the fight should be a quick and
Guida is an
excellent wrestler and has a gas tank for days, while Schiavo is primarily a
submission fighter with not much else behind that. This bout could come down to
who is able to control the fight on the feet.
Guida to get back on the winning track. He will hurt Schiavo on the feet and
take him down where he will finish the fight with strikes.
Clay Guida by TKO in the first round.
Sotiropoulos vs. Roman Mitichyan
In a battle
of Ultimate Fighter 6 housemates, submission fighter George Sotiropoulos takes
on Armenian fighter Roman Mitichyan. Sotiropoulos has an 8-2 record and trains
out of Team Serra/Longo with Matt Serra. Mitichyan has a 5-1 record and trains
out of California with Karo Parisyan.
comes off a submission victory over Billy Miles at The Ultimate Fighter 6
Finale, while Mitichyan submitted Dorian Price at the same show.
fighters will be looking to get out of the shadow of being on The Ultimate
Fighter and be considered legitimate threats for the welterweight title.
Neither fighter will back down. Both will want to put on a show, making this an
is a strong submission fighter and is slowly improving on the feet. Mitichyan
is also a submission fighter, but Sotiropoulos has the edge because he is the
better wrestler of the two.
this fight to hit the ground quickly with Sotiropoulos working for a submission
right off the bat and sealing the victory late in the first round.
George Sotiropoulos by submission in the first round.
Speer vs. Anthony Johnson
Fighter 6 runner-up Tom Speer takes on Californian striker Anthony Johnson.
Speer has a 9-2 record and trains out of Minnesota. Johnson has a 4-1 record
and trains out of California.
off a submission loss to Mac Danzig at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale, while
Johnson comes off a submission loss to Rich Clementi at UFC 76.
fighter wants to lose twice in a row because that could very well mean their
exit from the UFC. They will both go for broke and put on an exciting show in
Speer is a
strong wrestler with punishing ground and pound, while Johnson is primarily a
striker with power in his hands. Neither fighter is well versed in submissions;
so don’t expect many finishing holds on the ground.
This is an
instant clash of styles with a wrestler and striker being involved. Speer will
quickly take the fight to the ground, avoiding getting tagged by Johnson’s
strikes. From there, he will unleash a devastating ground and pound assault
that will overwhelm Johnson.
Tom Speer by TKO in the first round.