Now that we’ve had a few moments to go over the preliminary card, it’s time to look at the six fight main card. With Jon Jones–Rashad Evans headlining, as well as some pivotal bantamweight and welterweight bouts, fight fans are sure to be treated to one hell of an awesome night of fights, so call your cable providers or go to your local watering hole ASAP and get ready for some “LA VIOLENCIA!!!!!”
Mark Bocek (10-4) vs. John Alessio (34-14)
Bocek is a damn good lightweight. Say what you will about his inconsistencies, but Bocek has only lost to some of the top lightweights in the world. No big deal. His grappling prowess is guaranteed to give fits to anyone in the division. His opponent, the returning Alessio, enters on short notice but should be more than prepared. The Canadian fighter is ready for action and looking to make a big statement upon his return. Unfortunately for Alessio, I don’t think he’ll fare quite as well as he hopes. Bocek is legit, Alessio has trouble with serious grapplers, and he’s going to end up tapping out to something.
Winner – Mark Bocek defeats John Alessio via Submission Round 2
Mark Hominick (20-10) vs. Eddie Yagin (15-5-1)
Hominick needs to get back on track following a devastating knockout loss back at UFC 140 in Toronto. The Canadian featherweight contender is on the long road back to the top, and in an ever-improving division such as the featherweight class, he needs to make some definitive statements. With guts, heart, and determination, Yagin is a hard guy to be matched up against. He’s absolutely tenacious, very skilled, and won’t lay down for anyone. However, I think “The Machine” has his number, and although I don’t expect a stoppage, I certainly expect the “Team Tompkins” fighter to beat up Yagin, probably badly.
Winner – Mark Hominick defeats Eddie Yagin via Unanimous Decision
Miguel Torres (40-4) vs. Michael McDonald (14-1)
Torres makes his return to the octagon after being briefly fired for his rape surprise-van joke. The one time pound-for-pound contender, who has embraced a bit of a more safe fighting style as of late, still has the skills required to cause problems for anyone and his only loss in recent memory, to Demetrious Johnson, is a fight he very well could have won. McDonald is often overlooked in the bantamweight division. Still incredibly young, the powerful and well-rounded fighter, who is always improving, looks for a key win here to propel himself to a potential title shot later in the year. While the sky is the limit for McDonald, I think Torres will use his experience and incredible gameplanning to give McDonald a scrap and win a close decision.
Winner – Miguel Torres defeats Michael McDonald via Split Decision
Ben Rothwell (31-8) vs. Brendan Schaub (8-2)
“Ben Rothwell, you absolutely suck.” Whoa, sorry, I think the ghost of Chael Sonnen overcame me for a second there. Rothwell is back to have a solid five minutes and suck air for another ten. While he used to be a highly-touted heavyweight, he doesn’t really offer too much to an already shallow division. Schaub may never be a champion in the UFC, but he’s an incredibly athletic and improving fighter. With almost all of his fights, win or lose, ending by knockout, it’s no doubt that Schaub puts on exciting fights. I expect this fight doesn’t fit that criteria though. Rothwell will gas, Schaub won’t be able to finish, and this is going to get UGLY.
Winner – Brendan Schaub defeats Ben Rothwell via Unanimous Decision
Rory MacDonald (12-1) vs. Che Mills (14-4)
MacDonald makes his long awaited return after eight months away from the cage. The Tri-Star prospect and training partner of welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre is definitely just a short time away from being a champion in whatever division he chooses to fight in. I am more confident in his abilities than I am of even someone like “Bones” Jones. His opponent, Mills, probably shouldn’t be in this fight. Everyone, including Rory, has underestimated the Brit and honestly it’s a fair assessment. It kind of feels like Mills is being thrown to the wolves. I can’t say too much else about that.
Winner – Rory MacDonald defeats Che Mills via Submission Round 1
Jon Jones (15-1) vs. Rashad Evans (17-1-1)
Here is where I get weird. Jones comes into this bout on a hot streak. The light heavyweight champion has made relatively short work of everyone who has stood before him, and the hype is definitely justified. Evans finally gets his shot at the belt after so many false starts, but I think the wait has done him well. While the feud has cooled off, he and Jones have been constantly improving, and we will see them at their best tonight.
Call me crazy, but I’m confident “Suga” ‘Shad is going to beat Jones. Jon is better – way better even – on his feet. However, he is distracted mentally, incredibly cocky, and likely not fully prepared for what Evans brings to this fight. Rashad dominated Phil Davis with ease, including outwrestling arguably the best 205-pound wrestler in MMA. He can go 25 full minutes, he can dominate on the ground, and his hand speed is insane when he lets loose. I think Rashad is going to mix limited striking with takedown after takedown, and from there he will hold the lanky Jones down and go to work on him. As the fight goes on, a frustrated and gassed Jones will get taken down with more ease, end up more humbled, and come back stronger than ever. This will not be his special night.
Winner – Rashad Evans defeats Jon Jones via Unanimous Decision
I’ve done enough talking and writing, you’ve done enough reading, so go get some fresh air and get back in time for those darned fights. Tune in to see the main card at 10:00 PM EST on PPV.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC