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Pain Poll: The Staff Of 5 Oz. Breaks Down UFC Fight Night 13

You know the drill. The staff of 5 Oz. is here to break down tonight’s UFC Fight Night 13 card in Denver, Colorado. All twelve fights have been broken down by some of our staff members. Let’s do this…

Kenny Florian vs. Joe Lauzon

Adam Morgan: There isn’t an area to me where Joe Lauzon looks better on paper than Kenny Florian outside of maybe fight experience and possibly wrestling. That being said, he is absolutely one of the most promising young lightweights in the division and should not be overlooked. Florian, in my opinion, will have better cardio, better standup, and an overall better gameplan going into the bout. Mark DelaGrotte has his fighters very well prepared recently and I expect the same out of Florian tomorrow. He’s fought the tougher opponents and has really transformed himself into one of the best lightweights in the division. Lauzon is good, but not good enough just yet. Kenny Florian via unanimous decision.

Michael Huckaby: Even if you love Joe Lauzon I find it hard to see how exactly he’s going to win. I don’t see Florian allowing himself to be knocked out, I certainly don’t see J-Lau submitting him, and I see a very, very slim chance he could take a decision. I love watching Lauzon fight I just can’t see a way he wins here. While Florian has no chance against Sherk or Penn, he’s a warrior and he’ll hang in there to the bitter end and never quit. Mix that with excellent skills and you have a guy that will end alot of blue chipper’s (see: Lauzon) goals for the top. Where he’s at now, Kenny Florian is an ultimate gate keeper. Winner: Kenny Florian, sub, Rd3

Ram Maramba: Joe Lauzon, pipe dream aspiration to IT nerds everywhere, is one of the more likable young fighters to bust out in the last few years. The barely-controlled intensity and varied skillset Lauzon has displayed in his upset debut victory over Jens Pulver and utter domination of Jason Reinhardt in his last bout has garnered him plenty of fans. Kenny Florian however presents a noticeable step up in competition and the exciting abandon Lauzon has found success with may come back and bite him against the more seasoned Florian. Ken-Flo and J-Lau not only have similar crap nicknames, they have similar games; Kenny’s just flat out better. His Jiu Jitsu is impeccable and all eight limbs have been sharpened to a point by Muay Thai guru Mark Dellagrotte. In 2-3 years this fight might have a different and lop-sided outcome. As it stands however, the only thing Lauzon can do better than Florian is install a network PostScript printer over a terminal session. In the end, he will gut out all three rounds but still concede victory to Florian in a unanimous decision.

Sam Cupitt: I am very interested in seeing this fight. There is a lot of people thinking that Edgar should be fighting Florian and Lauzon should be fighting Maynard. However, if Florian wins this fight I think it sets up a future fight between himself and B.J. Penn. A fight between Penn and the guy who beat his star pupil has enough intrigue to firstly get the fans interested and secondly it should excite Penn. Granted there are a lot of “ifs” involved here. Penn has to beat Sherk in May and Florian has to get past Lauzon which brings me on to my fight analysis.

Florian may be slightly more technical than Lauzon in nearly all areas but Florian isn’t really one to over power his opponent. Lauzon has good technique and is very explosive which means that when this fight hits the ground we are going to see some crazy transitions. I think Florian will come close to a number of submissions while Lauzon will keep powering himself out of positions and answering with ground and pound until Florian sweeps him again. In regards to the stand-up I feel Lauzon has the more dangerous hands while Florian has the better kicks, knees and elbows making this fight pretty much even on the feet. Expect a crazy back and forth battle. Kenny Florian via split decision.

Thiago Alves vs. Karo Parisyan

Adam Morgan: This fight has the potential to be fight of the night but that can be said about a lot of fights on this card. Alves is a beast out of American Top Team and may have some of the nastiest leg kicks in all of MMA. If he can set up a strategy to work Karo’s legs, create distance, and keep it standing, Karo will be in for a long night. Karo, however, has faced the better competition and holds a significant advantage in the experience department. He may not be able to get ahold of Alves and throw him, but he can outlast him. “The Heat” via unanimous decision.

Michael Huckaby: As with the main event, I struggle to see how Thiago Alves wins this one. I love Alves, he’s an entertaining fighter with alot of skill, but not only is he not on Parisyan’s level but I just don’t see a way for him to win. That said, it’s not because this is a one sided fight, Alves has almost as much skill as Parisyan if not more in several areas. MMA is all about matchups and by an estimated idea of this fight in my head Parisyan will control the action and even has a chance at a rare stoppage. Not that I’m going to predict something so asinine for Karo. Winner: Karo Parisyan, decision

Ram Maramba: What an awesome matchup. This fight may prove me wrong, but in my estimation Alves is a scarier fight for Parisyan than Jon Fitch. Alves is a dynamic, confident fighter who forces his opponents to fight at his tempo. “The Pitbull” lives up to his nickname as soon as the bell rings, coming out with fast, heavy hands. Parisyan has shown a short tank in the past and the first few minutes against Alves promise to be hectic. If Parisyan can come out unscathed early and maintain his own pace, the odds tip in his favor. Once Karo gets warmed up, he can return the favor and then some, applying the pressure on Alves standing or on the ground. His notorious Judo game creates false steps for his opponents and “The Heat” has the guile to take advantage of those small windows. I don’t expect to see Alves tossed around like a ragdoll, but the threat will loom in his mind enough for Karo to score a takedown or two and commence with the GnP. The streak lives, Parisyan by yet another unanimous decision.

Sam Cupitt: Great fight. Alves has a very real shot at victory here. If Karo’s intensity isn’t up to where it needs to be then Alves should be able to avoid early takedown attempts while destroying Parisyan’s legs to a point where it will be much easier for Alves to evade and ground work. This fight will come down to how “The Heat” has reacted to the news that Fitch has basically been guaranteed the next title shot. If this fires Karo up to a point where he wants to go out and make a statement then we may see a stoppage but most likely a “Karo decisyan”. However if Karo enters this fight dejected about his current predicament then Alves will take full advantage. As a Parisyan fan I hope that it’s the former but I’m getting the unfortunate feeling that we may see a very violent stoppage by Alves. Alves via TKO in the 2nd round.

Matt Hamill vs. Tim Boetsch

Adam Morgan: What do we really know about Tim Boetsch? He overwhelmed a B-level fighter with surprisingly good kicks and standup and he’s extremely strong. Past that, that’s about it. There are far too many unknowns regarding Boetsch’s game that we don’t know about yet for me to feel comfortable picking him. We know about Hamill’s game and that he’s a freakishly strong wrestler with improving hands. Once he puts Boetsch on his back and Boetsch shows me something from there, I’m not buying into the hype. Matt Hamill via unanimous decision.

Michael Huckaby: This is a ridiculous tossup for me, I feel like I still don’t know enough about Boetsch even after a few fights. On the same hand, I still don’t feel like I know Matt Hamill. This fight is going to show alot for both fighters and influence alot of public perception about their skills. It genuinely wouldn’t surprise me if Hamill controlled the fight with crisp striking and takedowns. It also wouldn’t surprise me if Boetsch laid more leather and slammed Hamill down. One of those really rare tossup fights for me and it would be easier to pick if we even knew how good Michael Bisping was. I guess I’ll go by the old rule of pick the guy who looked the best against the better competition…. but I’m not happy about it. Winner: Matt Hamill, decision

Ram Maramba: Tim Boetsch smash. I like Tim Boetsch. Problem is, that Boetsch was a completely different fighter than the snoozer he was against his other televised fight in the IFL against Vladimir Matyushenko. Which fighter will show up? The balls-to-the-wall beast who came out like a marbly, balding Bruce Lee and overwhelmed David Heath, or the survival wrestler who lost to The Janitor? Matt Hamill on the other hand is a surprisingly known commodity for a neophyte with four fights to his name. There are many criticisms levied at “The Ultimate Fighter”, but one positive from the show is a relatively comprehensive look at a fighter’s skills or lack thereof. There are lots of things we know about Hamill, particularly that he’s a high-level wrestler who has a suspect pain threshold. He’s grown since then as he showed in his controversial loss to Bisping, including a penchant for a conservative gameplan. “The Hammer” has yet to put together a definitive win, and this may be where he finally lets it fly. Hamill is more Matyushenko than Heath, so history may repeat itself. He won’t be able to hang with Boetsch’s unorthodox strikes, leaving him with the option of closing the distance into a clinch or straight to a takedown. That’s Hamill’s world, it’s up to him to take advantage of it. I say he does, ending a magical ride for Boetsch in a GnP stoppage by Hamill in the middle of the 2nd.

Sam Cupitt: It’s always interesting to watch when two fighters with big question marks above their heads get in to face each other. More often than not you get some of those questions answered. This fight should give us the oppurtunity to see what level Hamill’s wrestling, striking and finishing ability are on as well as allowing us to see how Boetsch performs against an opponent who isn’t David Heath. If Hamill gets a takedown in this fight he should be able to finish the fight. Boetsch’s background is in wrestling and I don’t think he will provide much offense from his back and if Hamill has the skills necessary to compete at the UFC’s highest level then he should be able to pass Boetsch’s guard and force a stoppage. I don’t believe this will happen though. I expect to see Boetsch using the front kicks he used so effectively against Heath to frustrate Hamill and then use follow up punches and knees to get Hamill back-pedalling eventually scoring a takedown of his own, where he will finish the fight. Tim Boetsch via TKO in round 1.

Kurt Pellegrino vs. Nate Diaz

Adam Morgan: Somehow Pellegrino is considered the underdog in this fight. I don’t believe that for a second. Pellegrino’s game is pretty well-rounded and I would have to consider him the favorite going into this fight. I know that Diaz’s jiu jitsu game is very tight and he has an extremely dangerous guard, but Pellegrino is no slouch on the ground himself. Plus I think he’s got the better boxing. Diaz is a great prospect and he should do big things in the division, but right now Pellegrino is a cut above. Pellegrino via TKO, round three.

Michael Huckaby: I’m sorry, Nate Diaz is a -200 favorite? Or as 5oz’s own Adam Morgan said when I told him that, “where’s my debit card?” Pellegrino can get caught in subs, obviously, but he’s constantly getting better at defending them as seen in his decision fight with Joe Stevenson. That’s Nate Diaz’s only chance to win and I guarantee you Pellegrino is well aware of this and training his ass off to make sure it doesn’t happen. Maybe Diaz can outwork for a decision being on his back and working for subs? Okay, that I can see. In fact maybe that’s his best chance. I’m taking the upset, Winner: Kurt Pellegrino, decision

Ram Maramba: Maybe it’s the lisp or the concave chest, but I don’t understand the love affair with Nate Diaz. I love his relentless style of BJJ and he showed against Junior Assuncao that he can be dangerous with his hands, but I still can’t figure how his game will hold up to the saltier fighters at lightweight. Pellegrino is one of those salty dogs who’s submission defense was in top form against Joe Stevenson. He’s also got better hands than Diaz, a stiff chin and a second mouth courtesy of an Alberto Crane head kick in his last fight. He recovered from the early rattle and rallied to a TKO against Crane, displaying that veteran guile. Diaz will frustrate him throughout with sub attempts, but in the end Pellegrino will take home the unanimous decision.

Sam Cupitt: I originally thought I was going to be picking the upset here but then the betting agency went and declared that Diaz was the favourite. I understand why Pellegrino has been labelled the underdog but if you look at how the two stacked up on paper you would see that Pellegrino is a BJJ black belt while Diaz is a brown belt and you would also see that ‘Batman’ also has the better wrestling credentials. I’m not saying that’s how the fight will go down, I’m just saying that on paper Pellegrino should take this fight but the TUF based betting audience has helped to skew the odds in such a way that my “I told you so” moment will be only be limited to the hardcore MMA fans.

If you understood all that, I’m tipping Diaz to win this fight. I just feel his BJJ is too much for the vast majority of MMA fighters out there, regardless of their BJJ reputation. Diaz just appears to explode on to submission after submission with little to no set-up involved. This style is very overwhelming and as a result Diaz catches people that don’t usually get caught. Pellegrino is tough but I think once he gets entangled in Diaz’s guard it will only be a matter of time before the fight is finished. Nate Diaz via submission in round 2.

James Irvin vs. Houston Alexander

Adam Morgan: If James Irvin is smart, he’ll test Houston’s ground game right away and try to put Houston on his back. Unfortunately for Irvin, a muay thai guy, I don’t think that will be the gameplan. This is a fight that could produce serious fireworks with Irvin’s background and Houston’s two explosive knockouts in the UFC. If they stand, Houston’s power and explosiveness will be too much for Irvin. On the ground, Irvin could once again expose Houston’s inexperience and cause him trouble. My guess is that the fight will stay standing and Alexander will get back on track with another quick KO. Houston Alexander via TKO, round one.

Michael Huckaby: Is James Irvin going to be smart enough to realize he can’t win a punching exchange and take this to the ground? Nay, wrong question, is James Irvin going to survive long enough to be able to decide whether he can take it to the ground. No. I’m not sold on Alexander in any way, but Irvin is alot like Alessio Sakara in that you can always expect him to stand and trade and always predict him to be the first one to fall down if the other guy is a better puncher. Winner: Houston Alexander, TKO, Rd1

Ram Maramba: Irvin seems like a very likable person and a decent guy. He’s an impressive win for anyone, if only based on his intimidating appearance. Houston Alexander on the other hand is stronger, faster and much, much scarier. Style wise, Irvin is the giftiest of gift horses; let’s hope Alexander doesn’t look too long and starts dropping bombs on your moms, kill car alarms. Alexander by KO shallow in the 1st.

Sam Cupitt: Does anyone expect this fight to go longer than the first round? This is quite simply the light heavyweight version of Cote vs. McFedries and will end in exactly the same fashion. Against better judgement Irvin will get lured into punching inside with Alexander which will quickly result in the destruction of Irvin’s face. Houston Alexander via KO in round 1.

Gray Maynard vs. Frankie Edgar

Adam Morgan: Gray Maynard may have good wrestling and a good camp, but I don’t see him beating Frankie Edgar one way or another. Frankie’s hands are better, I think his wrestling is better, and I think his jiu jitsu is going to be much improved since we last saw him against Spencer Fisher. He’s fought the tougher fights against the better competition and he is tough as nails. He’s been traveling and training at different places like American Kickboxing Academy to round out his game and I truly do believe that he will overwhelm Maynard. People are saying this is one of the closest fights on the card, but honestly I don’t see it. Frankie Edgar via TKO, round two.

Michael Huckaby: From the time I saw this fight I didn’t understand Joe Silva’s decision making. And Joe Silva does an amazing job but every few cards there is one fight that just kind of blows the mind. Why bring down an undefeated Gray Maynard with a loss to an up and coming LW title hopeful? Are you testing him? Maynard certainly has the size but Edgar is just SO active I can’t see him not having the experience and tricks to just outwork Maynard all the way to the end. I mean the UFC builds guys up all the time with poor opponents and you’re just throwing Gray to Edgar for a loss? I could even see Gray winning, but I don’t even see the benefit for him even if he wins. Winner: Frank Edgar, decision

Ram Maramba: I’m tempted to call an upset in this weird matchup, but I just can’t do it. Maynard’s an outstanding wrestler who’s trained with elite camps in Hawaii and Las Vegas, but Edgar, also a renowned wrestler, puts the whole package together just a little better. Maynard has shown heavy hands but Edgar’s boxing is much crisper. “The Bully” may have picked up a more advanced submission game hanging our the Penn and Couture camps, but neither has shown much in the big leagues. While the fight probably won’t be as fast-paced or technical as Edgar’s fight with Tyson Griffin, expect to see a lot of action. In the end, superior conditioning will give “The Answer” the edge. Edgar will finish strong, winning by unanimous decision.

Sam Cupitt: In a few years Gray Maynard will probably be a carbon copy of Frankie Edgar, considering he doesn’t get demoralized after this fight. Maynard may end up being like Edgar but right now, he isn’t on Edgar’s level. As long as Edgar doesn’t get caught early I see him outworking and outwrestling Maynard to an eventual stoppage in round 2. Frankie Edgar via TKO in round 2.

Josh Neer vs. Din Thomas

Adam Morgan: Josh Neer is one difficult fighter to finish. He may not be the most technical but he is the epitome of gameness. Din Thomas, to me, is too technical for Neer and should wear him down over the course of the fight, whether it be standing or on the ground. The big question with Thomas is if his knee is back and healed to 100%. If Thomas is 100% it will still be a very tough fight because of Neer’s toughness, but it should be one where Din can grind out a decision. “Dinyero” via unanimous decision.

Michael Huckaby: This is the second tossup fight. Let me state that I love Josh Neer. Love him (not like that). But Din Thomas is on such a run that I previously questioned if he was ready for a title shot with another win prior to this fight announcement. I’ll take this time to say that I’m thrilled they let Neer back, he certainly deserves to be in the UFC. Going 6-1 outside of the organization was a surprise to no one and frankly a waste of time. I feel this is 56/44 for Thomas, so that’s the way I’m going. If Thomas wins this fight I feel he’s in the top 15 in the world. Not for beating Neer but just for general achievement. Winner: Din Thomas, sub, Rd3

Ram Maramba: Josh Neer will forever have a place in my heart for his comeback triangle win over Melvin Guillard. The guy is a gutsy competitor for anyone, including Din Thomas. This will be Thomas’ first fight after knee surgery and questions will linger until that first shot and successful takedown. Once that’s out of the way, Thomas will work his top-shelf submission game and put Neer away in a succesful comeback. Thomas by submission in round 2.

Sam Cupitt: Thomas was starting to make his move in the lightweight division before his knee gave out on him and deprived us of what was looking to be a very intriguing contest with Kenny Florian. Provided his knee has recovered I expect to see Thomas begin to work his way back into title convention after securing a triangle choke submission when Neer bucks Thomas off from mount. Or you know… just some other submission. Din Thomas via submission in round 2.

Marcus Aurelio vs. Ryan Roberts

Adam Morgan: Ryan Roberts steps in on short notice for the injured Spencer Fisher and draws a very tough opponent. Roberts will be outclassed in experience and in ground game acumen by the much better fighter in Aurelio. This shouldn’t be too much of a fight and I expect Aurelio to smother Roberts early with his jiu jitsu. Marcus Aurelio via submission, round one.

Michael Huckaby: It’s like the UFC signed Aurelio, put him up with Guida, saw him lose via split decision, and then decided they needed their money to pay off and him to look better than that. I mean Luke Caudillo and Ryan Roberts? That won’t exactly do anything for his career. Maybe make him look better on prelims that no one sees? Fine, fine, Spencer Fisher pulled out and that would have been a FANTASTIC fight but Roberts isn’t outworking Aurelio for anything, and at this point I’m never doubting American Top Team at all as they’re quickly becoming the best MMA camp in the world. Aurelio by destruction. Just please give us the Spencer Fisher fight next, that’s a great thought for a fight. Winner: Marcus Aurelio, sub, Rd1

Ram Maramba: In his brief UFC stint, Aurelio hasn’t shown himself to be the Jiu Jitsu wizard who submitted Takanori Gomi in his PRIDE days. The intended matchup with Fisher would’ve been a good test to see which of the two deserved a bump to contender status. With Fisher out, Roberts finds himself in a tough fight with the 34 year-old Brazilian. It’ll go as expected. Aurelio by submission in the 1st.

Sam Cupitt: This fight will pretty much play out like a rematch of Aurelio and Caudillo. Marcus Aurelio via position, pounding and then arm bar in round 1.

Manny Gamburyan vs. Jeff Cox

Adam Morgan: I don’ think there’s much to discuss about this fight. Jeff Cox is from the Strong Style fight team in Cleveland, Ohio and is known more as a trainer than a fighter. Manny should have no trouble with Cox and should pretty easily be able to take him down and pound him out. Gamburyan via TKO, round one.

Michael Huckaby: Is this a joke? So let me get this straight, they’re giving the “champion” of the show, Nate Diaz, a fight with Kurt Pellegrino. But they give the “champion” of the show (sorry, Manny would have won) a fight with Jeff Cox, after a fight with Nate Mohr. How is this fair? Manny is going to wreck this young man. If you’re going to give the champion a fight where he could well lose you might as well give his challenger a similar fight instead of making it obvious. This fight is ridiculous. Winner: Manny Gamburyan, sub, Rd1

Ram Maramba: I try not to read my colleagues’ predictions, but Huckaby’s jumped out at me. The guy is pissed! Go get ‘em, Huck. I’m with you: The Anvil by submission in the 1st.

Sam Cupitt: I’m pretty sure’s listing of Jeff Cox as 6 foot 4 is BS but if it isn’t this fight will be hilarious. I will just assume that Cox isn’t Corey Hill’s brother from another mother and that he is a regular sized human. This fight will still be entertaining as I don’t recall a fighter that wasn’t Scott Adams ever scoring consecutive leg lock submissions. I expect Manny to dispose of Cox and then call out Nate Diaz… again. Manny Gamburyan via submission in round 1.

Sammy Schiavo vs. Clay Guida

Adam Morgan: Sammy Schiavo is another European fighter that the UFC has signed in hopes of bolstering their roster for future cards in Europe. The problem is, most of these Europeans that have come over so far have been unimpressive. Schiavo looks good on tape, but against what kind of competition? I guarantee that he’s never faced someone who fights like Guida and is as relentless as Guida. Clay Guida via TKO, round three.

Michael Huckaby: Schiavo has never fought anyone with the wrestling, stamina, or agility of Clay Guida. I don’t see any advantage Schiavo has here outside of thinking he can KO Guida without Clay slamming him down and controlling the action. I think Clay easily improves to 3-3 in the UFC here with a fairly simple submission based on Schiavo not having the patience to find a hole in his game that others have found. Winner: Clay Guida, sub, Rd2

Ram Maramba: Count me as one of the guys stepping off of Guida’s bandwagon. The guy is still a barrel of monkeys to watch, but he’s slowly looking like the part-time outfielder you don’t want to over-expose. That said, Schiavo wasn’t brought in to knock a fan favorite out of the promotion once and for all. The French standup artist will put up a good fight, but Guida will slice through any resistance and notch his first finish since his UFC debut. Guida by submission in round 3.

Sam Cupitt: This fight will look like the Tasmanian Devil on one of his rampages. Limbs and hair flying everywhere. Unfortunately for Schiavo he’ll be the one copping the fury. Clay Guida via TKO in round 1.

George Sotiropoulos vs. Roman Mitichyan

Adam Morgan: Sotiropoulous is perhaps the second best all-around fighter to come out of TUF 6 last year and Mitichyan is the guy who never even got a chance because he had to leave after the first show due to a broken elbow. Mitichyan still has a lot of unknowns but we do know that he has a good ground and submission game. So does Sotiropoulos unfortunately, and he has the other aspects of the game to go with it. His standup I think will be better than Mitichyan’s especially if he has continued to train with Ray Longo. This should be a good scrap but I think George has too many ways to win. George Sotiropoulos via TKO, round three.

Michael Huckaby: I love George and don’t know a ton about Mitichyan. Higher quality of opponent, higher quality of fighter. Then again I don’t want to pick against an Armenian, they’re very proud people and I don’t need letters. Winner: George Sotiropoulos, sub, Rd2

Ram Maramba: Sotiropoulos should be a different fighter this time around. His skill was obvious on the latest season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” but even before his loss to Tommy Speer he fought a bit tentatively. With some world-class coaching from Matt Serra and Ray Longo, this should be his coming out party. Mitichyan has some serious ground skills, but it’s nothing George and his odd Salaverry-esque torso hasn’t seen before. Sotiropoulos should pull out the submission victory midway through the 2nd.

Sam Cupitt: I have to go with my fellow countrymen here and pick George to take this fight. Mitichyan is well rounded but Sotiropolous’ well rounded game is at a higher level. George has also fought the tougher competition, which includes a disqualification loss to Shinya “The DQ kid” Aoki. George can take this fight either on the feet or on the ground and I think he has the wrestling ability to dictate where it takes place as well. George Sotiropolous via submission (arm bar) in round 1.

Tommy Speer vs. Anthony Johnson

Adam Morgan: If Johnson wants to have any chance of winning, he’ll want to keep this fight standing and avoid Tommy’s big right hand. Unfortunately for Johnsons I don’t think that will be the case, as Tommy is enormous for this weight class and should not have trouble putting Johnson on his back with the kind of wrestling background that he has. Add that to a good training camp with Matt Hughes in your corner and Tommy will take this fight to the ground and pound Johnson out. Tommy Speer via TKO, round two.

Michael Huckaby: Johnson gets far too much credit for his free TV win everyone saw over Reiner. Reiner is a decent figher but Tommy Speer is and will slowly become a UFC darling…. much that I thought Maynard would be before they threw him in with Edgar. Speer really doesn’t have a huge advantage in this fight other than the fact Johnson has shown no skills in being able to submit him. Speer should shoot early and often, take control, and be able to take the pace of this fight fairly easily. So long as he controls he’s bound to win either by decision or TKO, that much of this fight is a real tossup. Winner: Tom Speer, decision

Ram Maramba: Johnson sure looks like a fighter, Tommy Speer fights like one. I hope to the high heavens this is the last time Speer will fight with “The Farmboy” as his idiotic nickname. Maybe a win will jog his imagination. Speer by TKO late in the 1st.

Sam Cupitt: I doubt Johnson will be able to defend any of Speer’s takedowns and I doubt he’ll be able to stop Speer from posturing up and throwing bombs. I expect Speer to take this pretty quickly provided he doesn’t attempt to showcase that right hand he calls stand-up. Tommy Speer via TKO in round 1.

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