by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
ALAN BELCHER VS. DENIS KANG
making a name for himself outside of the UFC as one of the top middleweights in
the world, Denis Kang makes his Octagon debut against UFC mainstay Alan Belcher
at UFC 93.
Belcher has seven UFC bouts to his credit – amassing a 4-3 record in the
Octagon – Kang has nearly three times as much overall experience in MMA.
Although he has gone 3-3 in recent bouts, Kang can boast a stretch of his
career that he went 23 bouts without a loss.
have solid stand-up skills, but being three inches taller, Belcher will have a
solid reach advantage over Kang. They each have strong finishing power, but
Belcher has the more diversified striking arsenal due in large part to his
lankier build compared to Kang’s compact, power frame. He’ll want to try and
keep this fight on the feet and utilize his reach advantage to stay away from
Kang’s athleticism and strength on the ground.
ground is where the biggest disparity lies in this fight. While Belcher has a
solid ground game, Kang has a decided advantage both in his takedown abilities
and his submission skills. This is where Kang will want to take the fight, and
use the depth of his grappling abilities – training with the likes of
American Top Team and Georges St. Pierre – to keep Belcher out of his
comfort zone on the feet.
ROUSIMAR PALHARES VS. JEREMY HORN
is a sort of changing of the guard type of fight. If you could pit the Jeremy
Horn of about three years or so ago against the Rousimar Palhares of today, it
would be an instant classic, but such is not the case.
Palhares’s career has been on a steady rise –
he is 8-2 overall, winning six of his seven most recent bouts – Horn’s career
has seen a steady fall over the past two and half years with a 2-4 record.
more than 100 bouts to his credit, Horn has a decided advantage in experience,
but it isn’t enough to offset the tough times that he has faced over the past
couple of years. He’s not losing to slouches, fighting many of the top guys in
the world, but Horn has become weaker in an area that used to be his greatest
strength… submissions. Three of his four most recent losses have come by
submission, which is a strength of Brazilian Top
the feet, Horn should have an advantage due to his lanky build, utilizing his
reach and technical skills to pick away at Palhares from a distance. Palhares’
strong suit on the feet is his boxing skill and punching power. While not known
for knocking opponents out, Palhares has decent hands and should be much
stronger and athletic than Horn.
was once a time when you would be hard-pressed not to give the advantage to
Horn on the ground, but having been submitted in the three of his four most
recent losses, that time has passed. Horn is always a threat on the ground
– and will be in this fight – but Palhares’ athleticism and dynamic
submission skills should give him the advantage when the fight hits the ground.
CHRIS LYTLE VS. MARCUS DAVIS
isn’t much to break down in this one. Lytle and Davis have been calling for
this fight because they want to throw down and put on an exciting fight that
isn’t likely to hit the mat. The funny thing is, these are two of the more
aggressive fighters in the UFC when they do go to the ground and would be just
as exciting in that arena, but they know striking appeals more to the casual
fan and tends to score big in the race for the "Fight of the Night"
someone gets hurt, expect Lytle and Davis to live up to their billing and go
blow-for-blow on the feet until someone drops. If it isn’t a knockout, don’t be
surprised if an exciting ground battle ensues when someone goes down, but the
fight isn’t likely to remain on the ground for long. These guys are furious
strikers with strong chins and want to be tested.
is slightly more technical in his boxing skills, but Lytle isn’t really lacking
either. Expect them to fulfill their prophecies and find out who has the
stronger chin of the two.
THE BEST OF THE
preliminary bouts not scheduled for pay-per-view are highlighted by Martin Kampmann’s welterweight debut in a bout with Alexandre
recent accomplishments belie Barros’ 13-5 overall record. In the past four and
a half years, he has not lost a fight, going 9-0. Kampmann, meanwhile, is 4-1
in the UFC with an overall record of 13-2. He lost his most recent bout –
to Nate Marquardt at 185 pounds – accelerating his move to the 170-pound
is a competitive bout, but it marks Barros’ first time in the Octagon –
always a question mark – and Kampmann is the better all around fighter,
stronger in most areas than Barros.
Schafer continues his return to the UFC in a light heavyweight showdown with
Antonio Mendes. With the 205-pound division being so deep, neither of these
fighters can afford a loss, especially Mendes, who lost his Octagon debut to
strengths lie in his grappling game, where he will have a vast advantage over
Mendes, while Mendes is a tall, technical striker that should hold the
advantage on the feet. The disparity on the feet isn’t as wide as the ground
game though, as Schafer has worked hard to round out his skills by upping his
prelims also feature a pair of European showdowns. Italian Ivan Serati
makes his UFC debut against Polish fighter Thomasz Drwal, who is looking for his first Octagon win after
losing to Thiago Silva. Dubliner Tom Egan takes on Brit John Hathaway
in both fighters’ inaugural UFC bouts, Egan with the local crowd sure to be
whole-heartedly in his corner.
night kicks off with a lightweight bout between two strong fighters looking to
gain a foothold in the UFC. Denis Siver returns to
the UFC having gone 1-3 in his first stint with the promotion before winning a
fight in his home country of Germany this past October. His opponent, Nate
Mohr, returns after more than a year out of action due to a torn posterior
cruciate ligament suffered in his last bout – against Manny Gamburyan at
UFC 79 – that put his UFC mark at 1-2.
Both Siver and Mohr are strong strikers and grapplers that are
fighting for a home in the Octagon. A loss doesn’t bode well for either in one
of the UFC’s most stacked weight classes.