Are you ready to hear Joe Rogan scream?! I am, if he wakes up after his unquestionably awesome 4:20 celebration, that is. UFC 145 is here at last! Jon Jones is finally going to fight Rashad Evans! The end is near!
Of course, before we get all serious, we should take a look at the preliminary card of the event, so let’s do it…
Maximo Blanco (8-3-1) vs. Marcus Brimage (4-1)
Coming from Strikeforce, and prior to that apparently, hell, vicious striker Blanco brings his insane power and heavy-handed ways to the UFC. While he didn’t do so well against Pat Healy, Blanco is still a violent, scary man. Brimage is the opposite – an okay striker and hardly a scary man. But, he is a man who can win when he needs to and is just getting started in his MMA career. I think the wrestling and striking of Maxi will make this a bad night for Brimage though. A really bad night.
Winner – Maximo Blanco defeats Marcus Brimage via Knockout Round 1
Chris Clements (10-4) vs. Keith Wisniewski (28-13-1)
Canadian knockout specialist Clements makes his UFC debut in Hotlanta. With all of his wins coming via knockout/TKO, it’s no question where Clements fights best. His opponent, longtime fighter Wisniewski, continues to campaign for his first UFC win after going 0-2 in the promotion. I expect this fight to be a war. While both guys are as tough as they come, I think Clements ends Keith’s second UFC run in violent fashion, likely via stoppage.
Winner – Chris Clements defeats Keith Wisniewski via TKO Round 3
Mac Danzig (20-9-1) vs. Efrain Escudero (18-4)
TUF 6 winner Danzig likely is on his way out if he can’t score a win in this bout. The well-rounded, yet inconsistent, fighter has had a rough run in the UFC as of late, and if he’s not out to kill tonight he won’t be having any sort of UFC run anymore. Escudero is also on his last legs in the promotion. Following a release, a solid run, and being re-signed, he dropped a fight to Jacob Volkmann and likely can’t afford a second straight loss in the octagon. I think this fight will go the distance, and I think, while it is a close fight, that Effy should be able to secure the victory after a solid performance.
Winner – Efrain Escudero defeats Mac Danzig via Unanimous Decision
John Makdessi (9-1) vs. Anthony Njokuani (14-6)
In a bout that has Fight of the Night written all over it, “spinning sh*t” specialist Makdessi looks for a big win against a solid WEC veteran in Njokuani, a solid striker who always puts on an entertaining fight…unless he’s against a wrestler. Thankfully, there no wrestlers in this bout, and a slugfest is all but guaranteed. I expect some serious “Holy F@#K” moments in this match, but in the end Njokuani gets the decision win.
Winner – Anthony Njokuani defeats John Makdessi via Split Decision
Matt Brown (13-11) vs. Stephen Thompson (6-0)
“The Immortal” Brown has sure lived up to his name. His UFC career was nearly dead, but alas, here he is again. Brown is a well-rounded fighter who desperately needs to string a few wins together plans to play spoiler to karate specialist Thompson. Thompson, who debuted in violent style with a head kick knockout of Dan Stittgen, looks to remain undefeated and score another signature win. I do believe that Thompson will be victorious, but I think he’s going to lose a lot of fans. Why? He’s going to use his range and striking to win a long, drawn out decision.
Winner – Stephen Thompson defeats Matt Brown via Unanimous Decision
Travis Browne (12-0-1) vs. Chad Griggs (11-1)
In the final preliminary bout, undefeated heavyweight Browne is out to pick up his thirteenth win. The solid prospect didn’t look too spectacular in his last bout, but he’s a very good, very underrated competitor. His opponent, the man with the mutton chops, comes over from Strikeforce and is seeking to continue his unlikely winning streak. Griggs has heavy hands and a lot of heart, but I think Browne will prove to be too much for him. Griggs is best suited cutting to 205, and I think that will be evidently clear in this fight. Browne cruises to a decision win.
Winner – Travis Browne defeats Chad Griggs via Unanimous Decision
The preliminary card goes down tonight at 7:00 PM EST on Facebook with things continuing at an hour later on FX or Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. DANA AND JOE ARE GOING TO YELL AT US!!!! YEAH!!!
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC/STRIKEFORCE