I keep thinking it’s Saturday today. Damn you UFC for putting a fight card on Tuesday and turning my run of the mill, humdrum day into an awesome 24-hour period full of violence. How dare you entertain me.
Since no one apparently knows this card is happening, I might as well break it down for you, right? Here’s a look at the prelims…
Francisco Rivera (7-2) vs. Alex Soto (6-1-1)
Fresh of a very successful stint in Tachi Palace Fights, “Cisco” Rivera is back under the ZUFFA banner, and hoping to make a big statement tonight. H takes on Soto, who, while being a solid fighter, was thrown to the wolves when he took on Michael McDonald.
I expect this fight looks similar to Cicso’s last two bouts. He’s taking Soto’s head off.
Winner – Francisco Rivera defeats Alex Soto via TKO Round 1
Jeff Curran (33-14-1) vs. Johnny Eduardo (25-9)
Relative of apparent world-beater Pat Curran, “The Big Frog” looks for his first UFC win with his badass submission skills. Across the cage is highly touted Eduardo. Eduardo is a solid, experienced fighter, who looks to make his own impact in the UFC.
The only place where Eduardo may struggle, is on the ground. Unfortunately for him, Jeff thrives there.
Winner – Jeff Curran defeats Johnny Eduardo via Submission Round 3
Rafael dos Anjos (15-6) vs. Kamal Shalorus (7-2-2)
Speaking of awesome grapplers, Dos Anjos is back! With always improving striking, and some slowly, but surely developing wrestling skills, Dos Anjos is quickly developing into a complete fighter. He takes on the heavy-handed Shalorus who has some damn good wrestling skills but rarely uses them. Kamal hasn’t faired well in the UFC, after a fairly good showing in WEC.
While Kamal is good, he’s also getting older, and as seen in his last few bouts, he’s slowing. Jim Miller seemingly broke Shalorus in their fight and I think Dos Anjos’ grappling might keep Shalorus from engaging him in that department, thus, I am going with Dos Anjos in a boring fight.
Winner – Rafael dos Anjos defeats Kamal Shalorus via Unanimous Decision
T.J. Grant (17-5) vs. Carlo Prater (30-10-1)
Two former welterweights clash in a lightweight bout, as Grant returns to the Octagon after a short layoff due to injuries. He takes on the crafty Brazilian Prater who looks to get his first legitimate win in awhile, as his last “victory” came due to a questionable disqualification at the hands of Erick Silva.
I expect this is a good fight, and an even better fight for Grant, who will impose his will, and dominate Prater for 15 minutes.
Winner – T.J. Grant defeats Carlo Prater via Unanimous Decision
Cody McKenzie (12-2) vs. Marcus LeVesseur (21-5)
The master of the McKenzietine returns to the Octagon and looks for his first win in far too long. The proficient grappler who specializes in nasty guillotine chokes has dropped the silly gimmick of being a happy-go-lucky guy from Alaska and has taken to the gym to improve himself as a fighter. His opponent, the always dangerous LeVesseur, is a solid wrestler who even holds a win on the mat over Ben Askren and has some violent striking.
This is bad match-up, stylistically, for McKenzie and he risks getting picked apart and finished if he stands with LeVesseur. I think Marcus has a pretty damn good chance of winning, but I am a fan of McKenzie and I’m going with my heart, not my head.
Winner – Cody McKenzie defeats Marcus Levesseur via Submission Round 2
Dongi Yang (10-2) vs. Brad Tavares (7-1)
After a ten-month layoff Tavares is back and ready to scrap. The former TUF finalist has been left behind in a quickly changing division and a win tonight could solidify his standing at 185. Meanwhile, his opponent – “The Ox” – hits hard. REALLY hard.
The bottom line is I just don’t have enough faith in Tavares’ abilities nor do I think he can take Yang down. In fact, I think “The Ox” pounds the hell out of him and makes it a quick night.
Winner – Dongi Yang defeats Brad Tavares via TKO Round 1
The preliminary card goes down today at 5:30 PM ET on the UFC’s Facebook page. Check back a little later for my main card breakdown, and as always, enjoy the fights!
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC