Blogkick: UFC 126 Preliminary PredictionsPosted on February 5, 2011, 06:53 PM by Milt
Along with Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone is one of the most entertaining and exciting fighters to have fought in the WEC. His ability to entertain is matched by his durability and grit. Cerrone is an extremely tough fighter to put away, having never been knocked out in his career. This does not bode well for his English opponent. Most of Kelly’s victories have come by knockout but he will struggle to crack the granite jaw of Cerrone. Despite Cerrone’s adept striking he has never finished an opponent by KO, the majority of his victories coming by way of submission. I expect this trend to continue here. Cerrone by submission.
Chad Mendes vs. Michihiro Omigawa
Chad Mendes is a fighter that has been making steady progress in the featherweight division with recent notable victories over Cub Swanson and JavierVasquez. Omigawa will want to keep this fight standing in an effort to outstrike Mendes. This is a strategy that other fighters have tried and failed with previously. I think Mendes will continue to have success in much the same way he has in the past, using his wrestling to take the fight to the mat and grind it out. Mendes by unanimous decision.
Gabe Ruediger was on the receiving end of an embarrassing first round shellacking at the hands of Joe Lauzon in his last outing. He will be looking to improve significantly on that performance; otherwise it could be his last fight in the UFC. As such, he should be pretty fired up. Unfortunately for Ruediger, fired up isn’t always the best way to enter the octagon. Taylor is a quality striker and should be able to catch his opponent send an overzealous Ruediger packing from the UFC. Taylor by TKO.
This is an interesting matchup between an up and coming American fighter and a Japanese MMA veteran. “Kid” will enjoy a rare size advantage this time out, having spent much of his earlier career contending with larger opponents. The Japanese should be experienced and strong enough to avoid being taken down and should be able to pick Johnson apart in the stand up. Johnson is durable however so I do not expect Yamamoto to get the finish. Yamamoto by decision.
Kyle Kingsbury and Ricardo Romero are two fighters struggling to establish themselves in one of the toughest divisions in the UFC. Kingsbury will enjoy a size advantage over Romero while Romero holds an advantage in wrestling. I think Romero will use this advantage to dominate his larger opponent on the ground and earn a decision victory in what will not be a contender for Fight of the Night by any means. Romero by decision.