UFC On Fox 9 LowKick Staff Predictions


Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez:

Mike Drahota: There’s no doubt that this is the premier flyweight matchup that the UFC could have put together. Both fighters are well-rounded combatants with excellent wrestling, grappling, and striking. This one may take place mainly on the feet. Johnson has looked like a dominant champion ever since cutting down from bantamweight, but if anyone can end his reign, it’s Benavidez. It’ll be far from easy, however, and Benavidez needs to prove that his striking has improved enough under Duane Ludwig to negate “Mighty Mouse’s” significant speed advantage. He’ll put forth a valiant effort, but I say Johnson takes this one with another decision win.

Rory Kernaghan: Joseph Benavidez is a tough, heavy-handed challenger; with much improved striking since Duane Ludwig joined Team Alpha Male. Only thing is, he is going up against the Champion Demetrious Johnson. ‘Mighty Mouse’ already beat JB once for the inaugural Flyweight title and I expect him to do the same on Saturday. Look for Johnson’s amazing footwork and speed to make the difference. ‘Mighty Mouse’ by decision

Brian Cox: This is rematch of Johnson’s 2012 UFC 152 split decision promises to be a test of the evolution of Benavidez’s skills. The bout will come down to whether or not he’s figured out “Mighty Mouse’s” timing, and footwork. Last time out, “JB” was hard pressed to catch up with the champ, getting him tagged and taken down most of the night. Perhaps Benavidez’ coach Duane Ludwig has figured the puzzle out, but then again, Johnson may be a puzzle too difficult to solve. Benavidez has to cut the ring off, pick his moments and land the big shot. He also needs to turn this fight into a brawl and not a boxing match. I hate picking one over the other, but I think the champ will be too fast and will prevail over five. For those reasons, I’m picking Demetrious Johnson by way of (yet another) split decision.

Buster Evans: Since Benavidez lost to Johnson at UFC 152 he’s been on a tear, winning three straight with two vicious finishes. Johnson has gone on to win a unanimous decision over John Dodson and most recently submitted John Moraga. In their first fight the big difference was Johnson’s footwork as he was able to get in and land strikes without being hit. That was before Duane Ludwig became head coach at Team Alpha Male; the camp’s striking has dramatically increased since then. I think that’s going to be the difference here. I’m picking Benavidez to out-strike “Mighty Mouse” and finish him later on. Joseph Benavidez by TKO in round 4.

Urijah Faber vs. Michael McDonald:

Mike Drahota: This highly anticipated bantamweight showdown will most likely determine the next title contender after the muddy championship picture gets sorted out early next year. Faber has gone about his business and beaten all of his competitors that weren’t champions; however, McDonald appears to be a special talent. The young knockout artist has some seriously scary power for a man of his size. But it’s more than difficult to knock out “The California Kid.” McDonald hasn’t shown all that many weaknesses as of yet, but if he does have one it’s his submission defense. Renan Barao locked him up in a swift arm triangle that McDonald simply had no answer for. Faber’s a master of chokes; that’s bad news for “Mayday.” Faber via round 2 submission.

Rory Kernaghan: Urijah Faber has long been one of my favorite fighters. ‘The California Kid’ is an exciting, explosive and dynamic fighter with a character to boot. Michael MacDonald is a solid competitor with a very impressive record, but I’m not sure that is enough. Faber has fought consistently at a very high level, scoring 29 victories overall. I expect a very exciting bout against MacDonald, with Faber emerging the winner by way of submission in round three.

Brian Cox: Urijah Faber vs. Michael McDonald is going to be another furious fight. Faber is the much more experienced veteran and McDonald is the supremely confident yet considerably younger fighter. McDonald’s greatest tool might be his overriding belief in himself. He’s not afraid of Faber and he really believes he can beat the legend. However, in looking at Faber’s last fight, he was seriously challenged and overcame it with flying colors in a brilliant performance. I think Faber is going to be too much, too soon for McDonald. He’s fought the best 135-pounders in the world in championship bouts. In short, I think Faber simply has too much experience and skill for McDonald. For that reason I’m picking Urijah Faber to take home the win with a second round submission. 

Buster Evans: I think this will be a difficult fight for both men that it could go either way. The thing that makes me unsure is Faber and his record of being unbeatable outside of title fights. Faber will have a massive experience advantage over his opponent. McDonald has more than enough power to put him away but I think Faber will be too smart for that. Faber by submission in round 3.

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada for USA TODAY Sports Images

  • WOWOW, all of you for Faber? A pick is an opinion so I can't say anything other than a respectfully disagree with all of you. I'm shocked to see that, are most people leaning that way? I have McDonald to put on a pretty dominant performance over Faber.

    • Yep – picking McDonald as well – I love watching this guy fight, was very disapointed when he lost to Barao, but he did surprisingly better than I thought he would against him.
      This will be Fight of the night!

      • I love Barao so I wasn't disappointed when he lost. Especially because like you said he did better than expected. At his age I seen it as a big up for McDonald to lose that fight.

    • Im with u on that man… fan of both and dont care who wins but i most def. got McDonald!

    • i doubt mcdonald will put on a dominant performance. faber has been fighting the best of the best for the last 10 years and and hes even gotten better with age. none of his win have even been close while mcdonald has shown a lot of inexperience in a few of his fights. very promising fighter but not yet at elite level

      • @Griffin, yea I see what you're saying. Even though I'm not a big Faber fan like I was back in the day I always respect the level he's competed at for so long and agree he's still getting better. I think McDonald is also always improving. I think Faber will have trouble with a fighter that is going to faster and quicker than him. I don't mean blow out when I say dominant performance. I just mean he will stand out in the fight and if it goes to a decision there will be no doubt who won. Not like 3 10-8 rounds but clear cut.

    • well congrats to the Lowkick staff for your picks. Faber has got to be next in line after Barao vs Cruz.

  • I believe Alpha Male is pulling at least a hat trick tonight.

  • I really wish that these articles would include more than just the main and co-main events.