UFN 25: Shields vs. Ellenberger LowKick.com Staff PredictionsPosted on September 16, 2011, 12:39 PM by Anton Gurevich
Joey Santosus: On paper, this was already a tough fight to predict, but with the unfortunate death of Shields' father, the major question now appears to be how the tragedy may or may not have affected his preparation for the bout. At full capacity, there's no doubt that the former Strikeforce champ is among the very best Welterweights in the world. However, against Ellenberger, he'll face a proficient wrestler with superior stand-up and strong submission defense, all of which are necessary tools to defeat Shields. It should be a close one, but I like "The Juggernaut" to outwork and ultimately outlast his fellow Jake. Jake Ellenberger via Decision.
Anton Gurevich: It will be interesting to see what kind of effect the death of Jake Shield's father has on his performance inside the Octagon against Jake Ellenberger. I'll be rooting for Shields, because I simply admire the fact tha he's able to make it to the fight. Sometimes, there are moments in the sport when all the talk about technique, tactical advantages and disadvantages is irrelevant. This is the fight that Jake Shields will dedicate to his father, and do everything possible to get that "W". Shields via Submission in Round 2.
Court McGee vs. Dongi Yang
Top Prediction: McGee via Decision
Joey Santosus: This should be an interesting match of styles. Court McGee has looked sharp since his time on The Ultimate Fighter 11, submitting both Kris McCray and Ryan Jensen to get his UFC stint off on the right foot. Dongi Yang, meanwhile, came up on the wrong side of a controversial decision in his promotional debut, but bounced back with an impressive TKO victory over Rob Kimmons. There will likely be some close calls here for McGee, but if he can avoid being drawn into trading shots with "The Ox," I expect he'll find success wearing on Yang with a mix of takedowns and clinches before securing a late submission. Court McGee via 3rd Rnd Submission.
Anton Gurevich: I really admire Court McGee and his abilities as a fighter. More than that, I think McGee has all the necessary qualities to become the UFC Middleweight Champion when Anderson Silva is not around. Dongi Yang is a tough fighter, with a very strong striking game. But I believe that McGee will neutralize these strengths thanks to high quality wrestling and distance control that will force Yang to make mistakes. McGee via Decision.
Joey Santosus: Aptly known as "New Breed," Erik Koch is among the flashy, yet effective, young fighters coming out of Duke Roufus' RoufusSport camp. Currently on a three-fight winning streak, Koch's sole career defeat came via decision against top contender Chad Mendes. In TUF 12 winner Jonathan Brookins, however, he'll face a fellow up-and-comer, who has proven to be both dangerous and difficult to put away. Still, it's hard to ignore the striking deficit shown by Brookins during his TUF Finale fight with Michael Johnson. And while he may have been able to weather the early storm and come back to win the six-figure contract, he'll have no such luck against Koch. Erik Koch via 3rd Rnd TKO.
Anton Gurevich: Erik Koch is a perfect example for a well-rounded Mixed Martial Artist. 3 KO/TKO victories (two of them are KO of the Night), 7 Submission victories; Brookins never fought someone as tough as Koch, well, maybe except Jose Aldo. Jonathan Brookins lacks the striking skills, and isn't much better than Koch on the ground. Koch will defeat Brookins, and get one step closer to challenging the reigning UFC Featherweight Champion. I would love to see the fight between Koch and Poirier (faces Pablo Garza at UFC on Fox 1) for the number one contender spot. Koch via Strikes in Round 1.
Joey Santosus: One of the major storylines surrounding this card is the return of Alan Belcher, who was nearly forced to retire with an eye injury just as he appeared to be reaching his full potential. In to welcome him back to the octagon is Canadian veteran Jason MacDonald, who recently returned from his own injury-induced layoff to take a submission victory over Ryan Jensen. While "The Athlete" is not to be overlooked, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which he'll find success implementing his strengths against Belcher. Dragging the Mississippi native to the ground will likely prove impossible for MacDonald, and forced to stand with "The Talent," he'll be on borrowed time. Alan Belcher via 2nd Rnd TKO.
Anton Gurevich: Alan Belcher has been out of action since the victory over Patrick Cote at UFC 113. Jason MacDonad fought only once since then, at UFC 129, but it's still enough to have an advantage over the relatively rusty Belcher. Skill-wise, Belcher has a huge advantage on his feet, but I feel like MacDonald has what it takes to submit "The Talent" on the ground. It will be a very interesting, and definitely exciting fight. But knowing Alan Belcher's mentality, he'll look to get the job done quickly via TKO in Round 1. I'll put my money on that.