Posted on 30 March 2010.
The UFC returns to North Carolina with a card filled with up and comers and fighters making their UFC debut. The main event will feature top 5 lightweight Kenny Florian against former Pride lightweight champion Takanori Gomi who is one of the many fighters on this card stepping up to the big show Wednesday night.
Along with the main event there is a interesting fight in the heavyweight division between the young gargantua in Stephan Struve and the TUF 10 champ and journeyman behemoth Roy “Big Country” Nelson. Now on to the picks for spikes lead in to the season premiere of the eleventh season of The Ultimate Fighter.
* Heavyweight bout: Roy Nelson vs Stefan Struve
It goes without saying that the UFC is the biggest and most respected MMA organization on the planet. And despite the legit nature of this bout with the beyond lanky 6′10 Struve and 6′1 portly vet Roy Nelson most people tuning in will mistake this for a freak show. As a firm believer that Struve will be a major player in heavyweight division as he gets older, the guy has a huge mountain to climb in the heavyweight division that seems to be filled with either cans or killers. With both fighters being experienced grapplers it seems like the fighter with the better stand-up game will prevail.
- Roy Nelson via blubber bludgeoning
* Lightweight bout: Ross Pearson vs. Dennis Siver
My pick for fight of the night, two European strikers who like to finish. Even though I can see Pearson taking this, I can’t help but hope for another spinning mule kick from Siver.
- Siver via whirling dervish tko
* Middleweight bout: Nate Quarry vs.Jorge Rivera
I am going with the veteran and TUF alum in Quarry based purely on being a fellow comic book fan. MMA blogger cred be damned.
- Quarry via old school Namor thrashing
* Lightweight bout: Kenny Florian vs Takanori Gomi
In the biggest lightweight fight before BJ defends his title at UFC 112 we have a fight with title implications for the winner. Both Florian and Gomi have already been bested by the current champ, but how they stack up against each other is another story and a decidedly one sided one at best. Florian should take this fight easy, with his offensive capabilities namely his razor elbows and improved ground game it should be a short night for the Bostonian. In Gomi we have a fighter who succeeded in Japan due to his solid boxing skills and (what I believe to be his biggest asset) a nobody-can-fuck-with-me bravado. Unfortunately for the former Pride champ whose mystique has lost its luster over the years since the fall of the preeminent Japanese mma org. Florian has way too many tools and has continuously faced a high level of competition to handle anything Gomi can throw at him.
- Florian via TKO
* Lightweight bout: Andre Winner vs. Rafaello Oliveira
Winner has yet to be in a boring fight in the UFC and while his ground game is still an unknown quantity I will still give him the benefit of a doubt.
- Winner via TKO
* Lightweight bout: Jacob Volkmann vs. Ronnys Torres
Volkmann has lost both of his fights in the UFC at welterweight and is dropping down to lightweight to see if it will help. It won’t.
- Torres via can crush
* Lightweight bout: Rob Emerson vs. Nik Lentz
I cannot in good faith pick a man whose nickname as undesirable as “The Carnie” who are one step above Lefties (don’t worry Brandon and Obama are one of the good ones) in my book
- Emerson via whatever he damn well pleases because I hate damn Carnival Folk
* Lightweight bout: Caol Uno vs. Gleison Tibau
Another freakshow-esque fight this time in the lightweight division between one of the smaller fighters in the division in Uno and the enormous former welterweight in Tibau. Assuming the weight cut gives Tibau only one round to do anything worth while before he gasses and can only go for sloppy takedowns I see Uno surviving and prevailing.
Uno via Unanimous Decision
* Middleweight bout: Yushin Okami vs. Lucio Linhares
- Okami via bullying rassler UD
* Middleweight bout: Gerald Harris vs Mario Miranda
Flip a coin, and hope the fight is enjoyable.
- Harris via…something victorious
* Welterweight bout: Charlie Brenneman vs. Jason High
-It seems that every time Jason High steps up in competition he gets finished in savage fashion. While Brenneman is making his debut I will give him the nod based soley on the unimpressive performances High has racked up recently.
- Brenneman via UD