The UFC Live 5 preliminary card might not interest many of you but if you take a closer look, there are some interesting match ups to view on Facebook. A former bantamweight champion takes on the only man to win a scorecard from the current 135 champ, two middleweights try to fight their way back on the main card, a couple of lightweights try make someone’s radar, and there’s also a couple of fighters making their UFC debuts.
Bantamweight Fight: Jason Reinhardt vs. Edwin Figueroa
Reinhardt’s Last Chance: At the age of 41, Jason Reinhardt is dropping to bantamweight in order to pick up his first UFC win. He’s never lost outside of the UFC, but in two octagon bouts, he’s never won. Reinhardt is a guy that comes to fight though. He’s never been to the scorecards, so you know he’s going into the octagon to finish or be finished. Reinhardt is mainly a submission fighter but he’s been training with Wand Fight Team, so you know he’s been working on his scrapping skills.
Figueroa The Finisher: Edwin Figueroa has finished all seven of his career victories. In his lone loss, a valiant effort against a highly touted Michael McDonald, he went to the judges. Like Reinhardt, Figueroa is a guy that comes to fight and he comes to finish. He’s a very active fighter with some quick and powerful strikes but against McDonald he showed he can hold his own on the ground as well.
Fight Prediction: At this point in their careers, Figueroa is on the upswing while Reinhardt has given all he is. I think Figueroa will be too quick and well-rounded for Reinhardt, eventually putting him away with strikes.
Official Prediction: Edwin Figueora to defeat Jason Reinhardt by TKO in Round Two
Lightweight Fight: Danny Castillo vs. Jacob Volkmann
Two Under The Radar Fighters: Both Danny Castillo and Jacob Volkmann are on three fight win streaks and in their combined five career losses, all of them have come against good competition. Volkmann is the better wrestler with improving striking while Castillo is a quick striker, whose wrestling is improving at Team Alpha Male.
The Next Step: Castillo, 31, and Volkmann, 30, aren’t prospects. They’re two fighters who are looking for a win in order to take that next step up in competition. A win for either fighter would be a very good victory and allow them to move on to a bigger fight the next time Joe Silva rings their phone.
Fight Prediction: If Castillo is aggressive and uses his speed, he’ll win this fight. Volkmann gets hit a lot and fades as the fight goes on because he burns so much energy with his wrestling. I think Castillo will set a pace that Volkmann can’t handle and he’ll overwhelm Volkmann as the fight goes on.
Official Prediction: Danny Castillo to defeat Jacob Volkmann by TKO in Round Three
Lightweight Fight: TJ O’Brien vs. Cole Miller
The Submission Battle: TJ O’Brien has won 16 fights, and all of them have come by way of submission. Cole Miller has won 17 fights, with 12 of them coming via submission. These two are very comfortable on the ground, which means we could see a lot of striking.
The Striking Battle: And should we see a lot of striking, you have to favor Miller. When he’s not afraid to let his hands go, like he was against Matt Wiman, he’s a solid striker. O’Brien on the other hand has good leg kicks and is a decent counter puncher, but doesn’t do well against aggressive strikers.
Fight Prediction: I think Miller has a lot of potential, he either just hasn’t put it together or I’m completely wrong. O’Brien is a good fighter but if he can’t get the fight to the ground, he’s going to have trouble with the reach or Miller. I see Miller keeping the distance, pecking away, hurting O’Brien, and finishing him late.
Official Decision: Cole Miller to defeat TJ O’Brien by Submission in Round Three
Featherweight Fight: Jim Hettes vs. Alex Caceres
Hettes Highly Touted: Jim Hettes is a 24 year old prospect who has finished all eight of his opponents by submission. He’s also known for his judo game and has spent time training under Greg Jackson. He’s taking this fight on relatively short notice but given his age and willingness to fight, I don’t think it will affect him too much.
Caceres Known For His Gimmick: Alex Caceres is better known to Ultimate Fighter fans as “Bruce Leroy.” He’s known for his gimmick but he has talent. He’s a creative striker, although I think he thinks he’s a better striker than he is because he wants to emulate Bruce Lee. His ground game is probably his strength, which makes me believe that his real nickname should be “Kevin Jamison”
Fight Prediction: I’m just not sold on Caceres, while I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Hettes in limited footage. I think Hettes gets the fight to the ground and locks in a submission before Caceres can unleash his Fist of Fury.
Official Prediction: Jim Hettes to defeat Alex Caceres by Submission in Round One
Light Heavyweight Fight: Ronny Markes vs. Karlos Vemola
Markes US Debut: Ronny Markes has fought all 12 of his professional fights overseas, mainly in Brazil. Now he makes his US debut. He’s only 23 and is relatively well-rounded, although, like most non-Americans, has a wrestling weakness. He’s coming off a decision victory over Paulo Filho, which isn’t a big of a deal in 2011 as it would have been in 2008 but it’s still a solid victory.
Vemola A Rarity Karlos Vemola is from Czechoslovakia and fights out of England, yet he’s a very good wrestler. He’s a big light heavyweight and the way he dominated Seth Petruzelli, was very impressive. His ony career loss was to Jon Madsen, who was just a bigger and stronger wrestler and why Vemola is now at 205.
Fight Prediction: I think Vemola is going to be too big and powerful for Markes to deal with. There’s a chance that Markes catches him in a submission but I figure Vemola will just power his way out and then pound away to force the stoppage.
Official Prediction: Karlos Vemola to defeat Ronny Markes by TKO in Round One
Middleweight Fight: Kyle Noke vs. Ed Herman
Noke Underrated: I thought Kyle Noke would win his season of The Ultimate Fighter, but it wasn’t meant to be. I still think that he’s the most talented fighter to come off the show though. He’s a very good striker, improving jiu-jitsu, and is a solid wrestler despite his Australian background. Above all, he trains with Greg Jackson and the crew, so you know he’s improving every day.
Herman Has Momentum: After almost two years away from the cage, Ed Herman returned in June and stopped Tim Credeur in under a minute with punches. Now he’s back just over two months later, looking to continue to shake off the rust and build off his momentum. Even though he beat Credeur, the fight was so quick that he may still have some cage rust against Noke.
Fight Prediction: The longer this fight goes, the more is favors Noke. Herman will likely come out strong early but I still worry that he’ll have some rust and he is taking this fight on a months notice. I think Noke weathers the storm and then takes over, stuffing the takedown, and out-striking Herman.
Official Prediction: Kyle Noke to defeat Ed Herman by Decision
Bantamweight Fight: Eddie Wineland vs. Joseph Benavidez
Wineland vs. Faber Part 2: Earlier this year in March, Eddie Wineland fought Urijah Faber. While he lost a unanimous decision, he put up a good fight and wasn’t blown out like some expected him to be. Now he fights Faber’s protégé, Joseph Benavidez. Even though Benavidez and Faber aren’t the exact same fighters, they do some similar techniques and you know that Faber has given Benavidez a full scouting report.
Speed vs. Strength: Wineland is a hard hitting striker who proved against Faber that he’s not the easiest guy to get to the ground. Benavidez is a quick striker but belongs at 125, whenever UFC adopts the division. Wineland is more of a technical striker while Benavidez strikes with a controlled aggression.
Fight Prediction: Wineland is a tough guy but I think that Benavidez’ speed is going to be too much for him. I think Benavidez gets in and out before Wineland can find the counter and his aggression will be too much for Wineland to handle.
Official Prediction: Joseph Benavidez to defeat Eddie Wineland by Decision