LowKick.com UFC 131 Staff PredictionsPosted on June 10, 2011, 10:16 AM by Anton Gurevich
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Vagner Rocha vs. Donald Cerrone
Top Prediction: Cerrone via Submission in Round 2
Anton Gurevich: Donald Cerrone is a very aggressive Lightweight, who always controls the pace and always looking to finish his opponent in every given oportunity. Rocha has a very good BJJ credentials, but it’s hard to see him taking down Cerrone and keeping him there until he taps out. My prediction is Cowboy via TKO in Round 2.
Ryan Ventura: Rocha may not be as experienced as Cerrone but he is a legit threat on the ground with his BJJ black belt. Cerrone however is the more well-rounded fighter that could keep the fight standing to decision and survive on the ground if needed. Donald Cerrone via decision.
Joey Santosus: Cerrone is coming into this one riding the momentum of a three-fight winning streak, including a solid victory over tough British striker Paul Kelly at UFC 126. Rocha, meanwhile, is making his octagon debut and it’s on short notice. Donald Cerrone via 2nd Rnd Submission
Dave Herman vs. JOE
Top Prediction: Einemo via Submission in Round 2
Anton Gurevich: Jon Olav Einemo is a great fighter, and I personally hope that he gets his hand raised this Saturday. But facts are facts, and I think that Einemo knows just like everyone else that he has a mountain to climb against Dave Herman. Pee Wee was under the radar for a very long time, but fans who follow JMMA know that Herman has all the necessary tools to become one of the Top Heavyweights on the planet. And of course, he was very active during Einemo’s five years of absence. JOE had a great camp, and this fight is going to be a war, but I’ll pick Herman via Decision.
Ryan Ventura: Both men are making their UFC Octagon debuts and this could be a very good bout. Herman has a very well-rounded skill set but Jon Olav Einemo's ground game has to be some of the best with his ADCC career background, his BJJ black belt, mixed in with Golden Glory striking. I can't see this fight going to the ground, but I can see JOE winning via TKO in the 2nd round.
Joey Santosus: Though the "name value" may be lacking in this one, it’s an interesting fight that should produce a solid prospect. Herman comes in with a 20-2 record (1 loss via DQ) and heavy-hands, while Einemo trains alongside some top talents at Golden Glory and possess world-class jiu-jitsu. It’s a tough call, but I'll take Herman based on recent activity. Dave Herman via Unanimous Decision.
Demian Maia vs. Mark Munoz
Top Prediction: Maia via Submission in Round 3
Anton Gurevich: Mark Munoz is a well rounded fighter, Demian Maia is unfortunately not. I believe that Munoz can survive on the ground, and dictate the pace against Maia in stand up and at the fence. My pick is Mark Munoz via Decision.
Ryan Ventura: Damien Maia maybe one of the greatest grapplers to ever venture into the world of MMA. There aren’t many men of his caliber in the game today. However I believe Mark Munoz is too strong for the ADCC veteran and the Filipino Wrecking Machine could get the W. Munoz via 1st round TKO.
Joey Santosus: On the mat, an opponent is always one mistake away from being submitted against Maia, but getting a wrestler of Munoz's caliber there will likely prove troublesome for the Brazilian. With this in mind, there's a good chance this one is contested upright, in which case I'll go with the slightly better, more powerful striker. Mark Munoz via 2nd Rnd KO
Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes
Top Prediction: Florian via Decision
Anton Gurevich: Kenny Florian had a great camp coming to this fight, with a team of elite nutritionists and conditioning coaches at his disposal. Nunes will look to turn this fight into a war of attrition, but I strongly believe that Florian has what it takes to stay in control during all three rounds. Kenny Florian via Decision.
Ryan Ventura: The co-main event is another fight of debuts. Kenny Florian making the jump into 145 and Nunes making his UFC debut. Nunes is from the legendary Nova Uniao team in Brazil and trains with the likes of Jose Aldo. His striking mixed with BJJ is some of the best in Featherweight. However, even though Kenflo is making a huge drop in weight he is still bigger, stronger, and arguably faster than Nunes. Not to mention he has a more well-rounded skill set. Florian via Decision.
Joey Santosus: The biggest question surrounding this one has been how the weight cut will (or will not) affect Florian's performance. And while I cannot provide that answer, I'm also not convinced it matters. Nunes is a determined, well-rounded competitor and I like him to take this one on the scorecards regardless of what form KenFlo shows up in. Diego Nunes via Decision.
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Junior dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin
Top Prediction: JDS via TKO in Round 2
Anton Gurevich: It will be interesting to see what kind of effect Shane Carwin’s “weight cut” has on his strength. Still, in my opinion Carwin has more tools to defeat Junior Dos Santos, who will mostly rely on his speed and technical advantage in striking. Shane Carwin will punish Dos Santos at the fence, take him down and finish the fight via TKO in Round 2.
Ryan Ventura: I can't see this fight going to the ground even for one second. Only when a man gets dropped to the canvas and is getting finished off. JDS has speed, but Carwin has the power to push dos Santos to the fence, and finish him off in a similar fashion that he did to Frank Mir. Carwin via 1st round TKO.
Joey Santosus: I think Carwin said it best when he pointed out that he likely carries more power, while JDS appears to have a bit sharper technique. As long as this one remains standing, it’s pretty much a toss-up, but I expect "The Engineer" to finish the Brazilian via ground and pound in the first. Shane Carwin via 1st Rnd TKO.