LowKick.com UFC on Versus 4 Staff PredictionsPosted on June 25, 2011, 08:12 AM by Anton Gurevich
Nate Marquardt vs. Rick Story
Top Prediction: Marquardt via Decision
Anton Gurevich: It’s a very tough match-up for Nate Marquardt. Rick Story has the same style as Chael Sonnen, who defeated “The Great” back at UFC 109. However, this time Nate Marquardt will enjoy a reasonable size advantage, which might play a key role in sabotaging Story’s “Wrestling Gameplan”. I expect Marquardt to be aggressive on his feet, and maybe finally bringing back the exciting style we saw in a fight against Wilson Gouveia. Nate Marquardt via Decision.
Ryan Ventura: It’ll be very interesting to see Nate “The Great” in his Welterweight debut against Rick Story who is currently on a six fight win streak. Both men have well-respected grappling backgrounds, but I’m going with experience in this bout and I think Nate is in the weight he should have been a long time ago. Nate Marquardt by decision.
Joey Santosus: Any time a fighter ventures into a new weight class there are always going to be questions regarding the impact it may or may not have on their performance. It’s hard to say how Marquardt will handle the cut, but assuming things go well for the former title contender, he should be a force at Welterweight. Nate Marquardt via Decision.
Scott Johnson: Marquardt’s was a beast at 185, only losing to the elite of the division and Thales Leites. His striking is solid, he is a top level grappler, and a successful drop to 170 should give him a strength advantage over his opponents. I’m not sure that will be the case on this night as Rick Story is one of the strongest fighters in the division and will provide a tough test for Nate the Great. Marquardt has had problems with fighters that bring constant pressure (Sonnen and Okami) which I expect Story to do. If Nate had issues with the weight cut Story’s punishing style will expose this, if not I still think Story will keep Marquardt backing up all fight. Nate never gets started and Rick Story earns a decision victory.
Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry
Top Prediction: Barry via TKO in Round 3
Anton Gurevich: Fat Pat is a more technical striker than Kongo, but the Frenchman definitely has more power. I think Cheick Kongo will be able to put Barry on his back, before going into “beast mode” with vicious ground and pound. I’ll pick Cheick Kongo to get his hand raised via TKO in Round 3.
Ryan Ventura: This pretty much will be a K-1 match with MMA gloves and I highly doubt these men will touch the ground. However, Barry being the younger and in my opinion much faster fighter we could see Kongo get finished off by strikes for the 2nd time in his ten year career. Barry via 2nd round KO.
Joey Santosus: It’s always hard to pick against Barry, but I'm not so confident he can get it done in this one. It's no secret that grappling is his weak point and Kongo will likely look to make it ugly by forcing the clinch and dragging it to the ground. Barry has spent time training alongside Lesnar at Death Clutch, but if he's learned as much about wrestling from Lesnar as Lesnar has learned about striking from Barry, than I don't like his chances. Cheick Kongo via 3rd Rnd TKO
Scott Johnson: Barry is by far the superior striker and if he brings the leg kicks he showed against Joey Beltran we will be able to chop down his much larger opponent. I would expect that Kongo isn’t going to want to take too many kicks and will try to close the distance and use the cage and mat to control Barry. Kongo is returning from surgery, but I think the bigger issue is Pat’s lack of grappling skills. Kongo will clinch along the cage, more than likely deliver a groin shot or two, hold Barry’s shorts, and eventually take Barry down on his way to a Cheick Kong decision victory.
Matt Brown vs. John Howard
Top Prediction: Howard via TKO in Round 3
Anton Gurevich: John Howard is much better on his feet, and has enough skills to stop The Immortal’s ground game. I don’t expect this one to go to distance. Howard via TKO in Round 1.
Ryan Ventura: Both men are in extreme need of a win and I’m pretty sure their jobs in the UFC are on the line too. Each man has a respectable grappling game, but I can see this bout staying on the feet. If it goes to the ground, Matt Brown may have an advantage, but if “Doomsday” can keep the fight standing Brown is going down. John Howard via 2nd round TKO.
Joey Santosus: Both fighters need a win here to keep their job, as Howard has dropped two straight, while Brown has lost three. "Doomsday," however, came up short in two gutsy performances, one via third-round doctor stoppage against Jake Ellenberger and the other via decision against Thiago Alves. Brown, on the other hand, has been submitted three times in a row. I expect Howard to fight smart and keep the trend alive. John Howard via 2nd Rnd Submission.
Scott Johnson: Both fighters are suffering through losing streaks that could easily cost them their jobs; fortunately for one their slump will end here. Howard is the superior striker and has had success on the mat in the past. Brown has become susceptible to submissions dropping three straight in that manner and has a tendency to hold is hands low when exchanging on the feet. Howard may struggle with the physical disparities early but I expect his superior talent to overcome this and John Howard picks up the win by stoppage.
Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft
Top Prediction: Meathead via TKO in Round 2
Anton Gurevich: I’m a big Meathead fan, but in my humble opinion Christian Morecraft will be too much for the TUF 10 cast member. Morecraft is bigger than Mitrione, has very heavy hands and speed that will play a key factor on Sunday night. My pick is Morecraft via TKO in Round 2.
Ryan Ventura: An interesting bout between two hot Heavyweight prospects. Matt Mitrione seems to get better and better with every fight and Christian Morecraft has shown some good skills in his two UFC fights. Even though Morecraft has much more experienced, I believe “Meathead’s” time spent at Roufusport has made him into a solid MMA fighter and he’ll continue his progression on Sunday night. Matt Mitrione 2nd round TKO.
Joey Santosus: "Meathead" is always fun to watch and this one should be no different. Unlike Mitrione's previous opponents, Morecraft's gameplan will likely be centered around neutralizing Matt's footwork and movement by dragging him to the floor. If Mitrione can ward off the attempts and/or get back to his feet before he's pulverized, he should gain momentum as the bout progresses and Morecraft begins to fade. Matt Mitrione via Unanimous Decision.
Scott Johnson: In Mitrione’s four UFC fights he has used his improving striking to get the better of his opponents. Morecraft has demonstrated a much more physical style in his and could easily be 2-0 in the UFC. Matt will need to keep this fight standing, while Morecraft will want to cut off the angles and put his opponent on the mat. Joey Beltran might have exposed a whole in Mitrione’s game when he took him down and controlled him in round one of their fight. So I’ve got Christian Morecraft to upset Matt Mitrione by submission.
Photo: Pat Barry, left, fights Antoni Hardonk at UFC 104 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on October 24, 2009. Francis Specker