With main card match-ups of Nate Diaz vs. Melvin Guillard, Gray Maynard vs. Roger Huerta and more, the undercard boasts notable names such as C.B. Dollaway, Brock Larson and others.
UFC Fight Night 19 is set for Wednesday evening, September 16, from Oklahoma City, and will air live on Spike TV.
So without further adue, come along as I dive into what should be an action packed night of fights.
Nate Diaz vs. Melvin Guillard
At first glance this match-up makes me wonder how it achieved headliner status being that neither man are in any kind of position to challenge for the title in the near future. It’s a fight without much consequence on either side, but when you read between the lines it makes so much sense. First off, it’s a Fight Night card. I’m not saying for one second that Fight Night cards don’t deserve a big headliner, but they do want bouts that will fail to disappoint. In my estimation, Diaz vs. Guillard is that bout.
While Melvin has had a reputation as being susceptible to the submissions in the past, his most recent hard fought split decision victory over Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Gleison Tibau tells me that the major holes in his submission defense have been addressed. Diaz has a heck of a chin, but if Guillard can put one directly on it I have no doubt in my mind that he will be wobbled. Diaz may be slightly more technical with the boxing but I’ll give Guillard a huge edge in the power department.
Guillard has the momentum right now, but my gut wants to say Diaz finds a way to pull this one out. I’ll say this much, in my opinion the only way Guillard wins this fight is if he scores the KO or TKO. If he can’t finish the fight and chooses to stand up, I see Diaz having a slight edge on the scorecards because of his range and ability to put his punches together. The formula to beat Diaz is to put him on his back and keep him there, while Guillard may be the stronger wrestler, being on top of Diaz for three rounds and avoiding being tapped out is extremely unlikely.
Winner: Diaz via submission
Roger Huerta vs. Gray Maynard
Maynard is the better wrestler and he’s the more technical boxer. Everything Huerta is good at, Maynard is decisively better at. The UFC is fully aware of that. What do you do with a guy like Huerta who’s on his way out after this fight? You use him as a springboard for an up and coming fighter you want to promote as the next big thing. Maynard is that guy. Huerta, movie star and Sports Illustrated cover athlete, is an incredible feather to put in your cap, and the fact that the UFC matched Roger up with Maynard tells me two things: A) They know what I do, there’s no way Huerta wins this fight, and B) Maynard will be challenging for the title in the near future very soon. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t face B.J. Penn in early 2010. Or I guess the politically correct thing to say would be that I expect for Gray to face “the winner of Penn vs. Sanchez” in early 2010. Oh yeah, prediction….
Winner: Maynard via one-sided decision
Carlos Condit vs. Jake Ellenberger
Ellenberger is between a rock and a hard place in this bout, Not only does he have to face a fighter as experienced and dangerous as “The Natural Born Killer” in his Octagon debut, he gets to face a pissed off Condit that’s eager to redeem himself after a razor thin split decision loss to Martin Kampmann in the headliner of the previous Fight Night card. Now Kampmann is being discussed as a potential title challenger.
I fully expect Condit to fight like a man possessed in this bout, putting on a highlight reel performance in what promises to be an electrifying fight. Ellenberger is a gamer, and he’s not stopped easily. Condit’s going to have to work for it, but expect for him to put on a career defining performance in this one.
Winner: Condit via TKO (there’s a first time for everything)
Tim Credeur vs. Nate Quarry
There are a few bouts on this card with a ton of potential and this is definitely one of them. I couldn’t be more impressed with Credeur as of late. His submission arsenal and punishing stand-up game make him a true threat anywhere the fight goes. With that being said, Quarry will definitely be a step up for Credeur, but a step I feel like he will be ready to take.
It’s no secret as to what Nate likes to do in the cage, he’s a knockout artist. A strong wrestling base and incredibly heavy hands have served Quarry well through the years. With Credeur, he’s more well known for his ground game but his striking has been improving volumes with each appearance in the cage.
If the fight ends by TKO or KO, it’s Quarry’s; if it ends by submission, it’s Credeur’s; if it goes the distance….. flip a coin, but it will be fireworks the whole time.
Winner: Credeur via Decision
Steve Cantwell vs. Brian Stann
Anyone that saw the previous fights between these two has to be as jacked for this fight as I am. Expect to see a real life version of rock’em-sock’em robots in this one. These guys are like mirror images of one another. Strong wrestlers, heavy hands, solid chins. Both of them couldn’t be happier standing and trading punches. It’s a good recipe.
If Cantwell can manage to get Stann on the canvas for a significant amount of time he should be in a good place to pull off a submission. However, the more likely scenario I see playing out in this one is both of these guys just decking and kicking one another for a couple of rounds before one of the two sags to the canvas. Very hard fight for me to call. I feel like Stann is going to surprise some people in this one and bounce back in the rubber-match.
Winner: Stann via TKO
Mike Pyle vs. Chris Wilson
It seems like no card is complete without at least one “loser goes home” match-up. This bout between rebounding welterweights is without a doubt that fight.
On paper this fight looks relatively close, but I feel like Wilson will finally have his chance to shine after being fed to Jon Fitch in his Octagon debut and dropping a close split decision to John Howard at UFC 94.
Of course styles make fights and much could have changed with both men over the course a few of years, but the contrasting results against a common opponent in Rory Markham continues to scream out at me when analyzing this one. Wilson TKO’d Markham in the opening round, while Pyle was knocked out in the first during bouts that took place in 2006. MMAth seldom works but I have a gut instinct in this one.
Winner: Wilson via TKO
C.B. Dollaway vs. Jay Silva
This fight is going to be a huge jump up in competition for Silva, but the same can’t be said for Dollaway. This isn’t his first trip to the rodeo. Taking a fight with a veteran like Dollaway on short notice and debuting in the UFC will surely have an effect on Silva, but even if it didn’t, I don’t think it would matter. Dollaway has too much experience and he’s too good in too many areas for Silva at this point in his still developing career.
Silva is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt but don’t expect for C.B. to get caught in any early submission attempts in this one. His recent loss to Tom Lawlor has left Dollaway more determined than ever before. I feel like C.B.’s striking arsenal is widely underrated, and if Silva makes that mistake in this bout, it may very likely end up being a costly one. When it’s all said and done, I feel like Silva has a lot of potential, and he’s the exact type of free-swinging knockout artist that I enjoy watching, but C.B. just has more ways to win this fight. His wrestling will also give him the ability to choose where he wants the fight to go. It will be fun while it lasts because Silva has little to lose taking a fight like this on such short notice.
Winner: Dollaway via TKO
Phillipe Nover vs. Sam Stout
I’ll admit that there’s a special place in my dark heart for Nover due to his time spent blogging for 5 Oz’s during his stint in the TUF house, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t worried about my boy in this one. Not that I don’t think this is a fight Nover can win; I just feel like he was dealt a bad hand in his previous loss to Kyle Bradley (a fight many thought was stopped prematurely) and he has a tough fight in front of him with Stout. A loss here and Nover may be taking a temporary vacation from the organization. It’s the UFC though. Sink or swim time.
Sam Stout has a chin of cast-iron. To beat him you’re really going to have to pack a lunch and plan on going the distance. Nover can win this fight but he’s going to have to dig down really deep. Even though I feel like the stoppage in his previous bout was a bit early, Phillipe still got clipped, and they don’t call Stout “Hands of Stone” for nothing.
Winner: Stout via TKO
Justin Buchholz vs. Jeremy Stephens
You’re just not going to get an easy fight in the UFC. It’s not going to happen. Something both of these talented lightweights are learning the hard way. Both of them are coming off of losses, and both seem to be in a potential “fight for survival” situation. Buchholz is a stud, no question about it, but how a fighter as exciting and marketable as Stephens ends up in a situation like this is just a testament to how incredibly stacked the UFC 155 pound weight class currently is.
This is a bad match-up for Buchholz and a good match-up for Stephens. Jeremy’s wrestling and punching power will serve as the difference maker in this one.
Winner: Stephens via TKO
Brock Larson vs. Mike Pierce
This is going to be a much closer fight than a lot of people may be expecting. Larson is bonafide. There’s no doubting his worthiness of the Octagon. Pierce raised my eyebrows when he recently scored a unanimous decision over Paul Bradley. A previously undefeated TUF veteran that recently signed with Strikeforce, I had Bradley tabbed as one of the premier prospects in the welterweight division. Pierce’s victory over Paul makes him a welterweight to keep a close eye on in this bout against a proven veteran like Larson.
Tough fight to call because Pierce has never faced a fighter as durable and dangerous as Larson. This fight should answer any questions there are currently hanging over the head of Pierce. This fight should be fun.
Winner: Larson via decision
Ryan Jensen vs. Steven Steinbeiss
With a UFC record of 0-3, one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that Jensen desperately needs a win in this one for a chance to fight inside of the Octagon anytime in the future. Steinbeiss’ record can be deceiving at 4-2, but a loss to Bill Mahood in the second fight of your career, and then a recent split decision defeat to the much larger and more experienced Carmelo Marrero in Steve’s previous bout is nothing to be ashamed of.
Both of these guys have a lot to fight for in this bout. In the end, Steinbeiss’ striking advantage will be the deciding factor. Steve sparring regularly with Carlos Condit and training alongside the rest of the animals at Arizona Combat Sports makes me feel confident with this pick.
Winner: Steinbeiss via TKO