Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Ovince St. Preux:
To me this replacement bout is a bad one for Shogun. I think Jimi Manuwa probably would have been, but at least “Poster Boy” would have stood and traded with Rua, therefore giving him a chance to end the fight via knockout. St. Preux is too smart to engage in a slugfest with Shogun, and I think his size and athleticism, coupled with his developing submission game, earns him the upset here.
“OSP” showed lackluster takedown defense against Ryan Bader, but this fight is the total opposite. My pick is St. Preux by second round submission.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is one of the last active old school MMA stars, and he is facing a new breed of athlete in Ovince St-Preux. Rua needs to keep the fight standing against the younger and stronger OSP, but even there this is a dangerous fight for the Brazilian. As much as I’m a fan of the Pride FC legend, I think this is a bad fight for him. It’s a tough call to make, but I believe St-Preux gets a late TKO over Shogun.
It’s no secret that the legendary Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has not been at his best lately, losing six of his last 10 bouts while looking rather old and withered. However, I feel as if no one can underestimate the Brazilian even in his current form. He is still a lethal striker with dangerous Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Originally scheduled to face Jimi Manuwa, Shogun will not have to worry about the striking of Preux as much, who is simply not on the level of Manuwa in terms of stand-up.
However, OSP possesses pure athleticism, strength, and speed as well as an unorthodox striking game. St. Preux may hold the advantage in the wrestling game, but Rua is well trained on the ground. It is a hard one to call, but I’m going to go with Shogun by way of fourth round knockout.
Ian McCall vs. John Lineker:
McCall looked fast and accurate in his most recent win over Brad Pickett, and in truth, he’s been the UFC flyweight who’s given champion Demetrious Johnson the most trouble. “Uncle Creepy” is campaigning hard for another title shot, and he could get it if he can defeat “Hands of Stone” in his own backyard.
Lineker has otherworldly knockout power for a man his size, but that’s about it. He’ll try to lure McCall into a brawl, but that’s never been “Creepy’s” game. No, McCall will be content to use a high amount of movement to jump in and out of the pocket and nail Lineker with repeated strikes. Barring a game-changing right hand from Lineker, I think McCall takes this by decision.
Ian McCall and John Lineker is another fight that really could go either way. “Hands Of Stone” arguably takes his biggest fight yet with the former title contender, but “Uncle Creepy” isn’t exactly known as a fight finisher. Footwork will be the difference maker here, as I think McCall will dance in similar fashion as against Brad Pickett. Look for Lineker to try and find the knockout, but to no avail. McCall by decision.
This co-main event is a huge bout for each man, as it will most likely decide the next challenger for the flyweight title. McCall is known for his devastating pace, which may be an issue for Lineker, who has had weight issues in the past. “Uncle Creepy” is well rounded, displaying solid wrestling skills as well as a strong stand-up game. I would give him the advantage in wrestling, but in my opinion Lineker has the advantage in the striking.
Just as his nickname implies, “Hands of Stone” may be the most powerful puncher at 125 lbs. For that reason, I’m picking Lineker by second round knockout.
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