UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage LowKick.com Staff PredictionsPosted on September 24, 2011, 07:09 AM by Anton Gurevich
Jon Jones vs. Rampage Jackson
Top Prediction: Jon Bones Jones via TKO in Round 2
Anton Gurevich: Rampage Jackson loves to say “I love knocking people out”, but his last knockout was back at UFC 92 against Wanderlei Silva, almost three years ago. Since that date, Jones fought 6 times and finished 5 of his opponents, all Top 10 UFC Light Heavyweights. Jon Jones has a huge advantage over Rampage Jackson when it comes to physique and the depth of striking skills. It will be interesting to see how Rampage proves his critiques wrong, but unfortunately for the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, I’m fully confident it will be another memorable night for Jon Jones. “Bones” via TKO in Round 2.
Ryan Ventura: Old School vs. New School, power vs. technique. This truly is a fight for the ages. MMA has never seen a man quite like Jon “Bones” Jones. Unorthodox, unpredictable, and well-round techniques make him one of the most dangerous men in the sport. To me, Rampage is a legend, and one of the most popular figures. If he wants a chance to win against Jones he has to do three things, keep the fight close, stay off the ground, and remember to check leg kicks. We have yet to see Jones’ chin tested and if it gets touched, it could be blasted to the moon. But Jackson can only do that, if he does those three things. Easier said than done against the young champion. Jones via decision.
Joey Santosus: If there's one thing that MMA has proven time and time again it's that, much like the law of gravity, what goes up, must come down. Hype, win streaks, and title reigns always seem to come to an end, and in the case of Jon Jones, there's no reason to believe his will be any different. With that said, however, I'm not convinced that Rampage Jackson is the man to ground the young champ. In addition to having father time in his corner, Jones' unprecedented reach and dynamic striking arsenal will likely make him a nightmare for Jackson, who lacks the head movement and footwork necessary to avoid the "Bones" that will be thrown his way. As a result, Rampage will likely take plenty of punishment, but I expect his power to keep Jones honest, allowing the veteran to stick around until the final bell. Jon Jones via Decision.
Trent Reinsmith: The biggest question coming into this fight is will the PRIDE Rampage show up or will the movie star Rampage show up and while that question is legit, another question to be asked is, does it even matter which Rampage shows up? I don’t think it does matter. Jones, even at only 24 is too advanced, too well rounded and too well trained to fall to Jackson. The fight will go to the ground and from there it will be all over. Jones via 2nd Rnd TKO.
Matt Hughes vs. Josh Koscheck
Top Prediction: Koscheck via TKO in Round 3
Anton Gurevich: Matt Hughes is a bad match-up for Josh Koscheck. He’s stronger, and more experienced when it comes to dealing with explosive wrestlers. Hughes has a very good submission game, and a-good-enough striking to minimize Josh Koscheck’s advantage in that area. It’s a hard one to pick, but I believe that the UFC Hall of Famer can grind out a very dirty decision victory against Josh Koscheck. My pick is Hughes via Decision.
Ryan Ventura: Typically from my personal observation, when you have two accomplished wrestlers go head to head the fight stays on the feet. The man with the better striking will win this bout and I think the better man is AKA product Josh Koscheck. Koscheck via 2nd round TKO.
Joey Santosus: Both of these fighters are coming off of embarrassing losses in their most recent outings and how each recovers from their discouraging defeats will likely play a pivotal role in the outcome on Saturday night. While Hughes is both a former champ and Hall-of-Famer, it's no secret that this may very well be his final octagon appearance, and all things considered, I suspect his motivation could be lacking as he shows up to fulfill the last fight left on his contract. Kos, on the other hand, is still considered by many to be among the best in the division, and unlike the veteran, still has something left to prove. Josh Koscheck via 2nd Rnd TKO.
Trent Reinsmith: Matt Hughes is nearing the end of his career, while Josh Koscheck is looking to get his name back in the mix in the welterweight division and while only four years separates the two in age, Hughes’ body has a lot more mileage on it. At this point in time, Koscheck holds the advantage over Hughes in striking and wrestling, leaving Hughes little chance of getting the win. Koscheck by Unanimous Decision.
Travis Browne vs. Rob Broughton
Top Prediction: Browne via KO in Round 1
Anton Gurevich: Travis Browne proved he’s the real deal in a fight with Stefan Struve. The greatest thing about Travis Browne is how fast he moves, comparing to other Heavyweights. Broughton might have an experience advantage, but Browne is definitely going to deliver more damage in this one. Browne via TKO in Round 2.
Ryan Ventura: Rob Broughton is a long time veteran in the sport making his UFC debut against Travis Browne. He is best known for his win in Cage Rage against Butterbean and a victory over James Thompson (that’s not saying much). Travis Browne is fresh off his upset of Stefan Struve and will have plenty of confidence going into this fight on Saturday. I expect him to come home with another win. Travis Browne 1st round TKO.
Joey Santosus: One of the more impressive Heavyweight prospects currently residing in the UFC, Travis Browne heads into this Saturday night unbeaten in three octagon appearances, including an explosive first-round knockout victory over Stefan Struve in his latest outing. In Broughton, he'll face a fellow heavy-hitter, who has shown a more competent ground game while building a name for himself on the European circuit. But, while the Brit could certainly be a threat to "Hapa" on the mat, I'm not convinced he can get the fight there before coming up on the wrong end of another highlight reel finish for the hammer-fisted Hawiian. Travis Browne via 1st Rnd KO.
Trent Reinsmith: Browne will look to keep his undefeated streak alive in this heavyweight bout when he meets Broughton. Browne is still in the prospect stage of his career and a fighter the caliber of Broughton will not help him move to the next level. With that being said, if Browne can deliver another KO like he did over Stefan Struve in his last bout he will continue to keep the attention of the UFC and its fans. Browne, has to know this, so look for him to end this one quick. Browne by first round TKO.
Nate Diaz vs. Takanori Gomi
Top Prediction: Diaz via Submission in Round 3
Anton Gurevich: It’s a fantastic match-up, and my personal Fight of the Night candidate. Diaz has some inside info on Takanori Gomi, but stylistically, he’s a very good match-up for the “Fireball Kid”. Gomi loves to trade punches in close combat, and unfortunately for Diaz, he’s that fighter who tends to leave himself open. Plus, Gomi has an excellent takedown defense to prevent from Nate Diaz to take him down for BJJ-madness. Simple math – Gomi via Decision.
Ryan Ventura: For fans that didn’t know, Takanori Gomi and Nate’s brother Nick Diaz had one of the most epic fights in MMA history at PRIDE 33 that ended with Gomi being on the receiving end of MMA’s first Gogoplata submission victory (which was later turned into a no contest due to Nick failing a drug test). Nate Diaz will have the pride of his last name on the line against The Fireball Kid. Nate’s a very tough guy and Gomi is very heavy handed, however if it goes to the ground I expect to Caesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu will once again prevail. Nate Diaz 2nd round submission.
Joey Santosus: The slightly less obscene Diaz brother, Nate, heads south a division to 155-pounds to take on fellow underachiever Takanori Gomi. Both are well-rounded fighters who have dropped two of their last three outings and will need a win here to ensure they're still employed come Monday morning. It's a difficult styles match-up for Gomi, however, as he is yet to show the same level of intensity inside of the octagon that once made him a star in Japan. Look for Diaz to use his range to frustrate "The Fireball Kid," delivering peppering shots from all angles before eventually finishing things on the mat. Nate Diaz via 3rd Rnd Submission.
Trent Reinsmith: Nate Diaz did not fare very well in his last two welterweight bouts in the UFC. In fact, the losses sent him back to the lightweight division. Diaz should find a win in his return to the lighter weight if he fights a smart fight. If he stays to the outside using his height advantage and reach advantage he will be able to wear Gomi down and earn the win. Diaz by submission in Round Three.
Ben Rothwell vs. Mark Hunt
Top Prediction: Rothwell via TKO in Round 3
Anton Gurevich: It’s a very emotional bout for both fighters. Rothwell finally returns from a very bad knee injury, while Mark Hunt wants to get another “W” after almost five years without victories. Rothwell is much bigger and stronger than Hunt, which in my opinion will make the difference between the two. Big Ben via TKO in Round 3.
Ryan Ventura: If Ben Rothwell is a smart fighter, he’ll know it’s a stupid idea to stand and trade with 2001 K-1 World GP winner Mark Hunt. He needs to take it to the ground and keep it there if he wants a chance. Ask Chris Tuchscherer and his eye how it felt to stand with the Super Samoan. Mark Hunt may not have the most appealing record in MMA, but he has a chance to win every night with his caliber of striking. Mark Hunt 1st round TKO.
Joey Santosus: Hunt recently broke free from a 6-fight losing slump that dated all the way back to a 2006 submission loss to Josh Barnett, while Rothwell returns from an extended, 15-month lay-off with a 1-1 mark in the UFC. Though both Heavyweights are known for possessing solid chins and the type of power in their hands end things in a hurry, Rothwell claims to have turned over a new leaf in his MMA career. A veteran of 38-fghts, the former IFL champ undoubtedly realizes where his advantage will lie in this one, and I fully expect him to capitalize on it. Ben Rothwell via 2nd Rnd Submission.
Trent Reinsmith: Rothwell has not fought since June 2010, while Hunt is coming off a win over Chris Tuchsherer in February of this year. The win was Hunt’s first since 2006, ending a six fight-losing streak. Granted those losses came to Fedor, Mousasi, Manhoef, Overeem, Barnett (and McCorkle), but a loss is a loss is a loss and considering that five of those losses came via submission it would be safe to say that Hunt’s defense is suspect. Rothwell by submission in Round Three.
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