UFC 128 - Newark, New Jersey - Predictions and Analysis

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UFC 128 (March 19, 2011) - Newark, New Jersey - Predictions and Analysis

UFC 128 - Newark, New Jersey - 2011

 

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (Champ) vs. Jon “Bones” Jones

Fighter Age Record Streak Ht Wt Strengths
Shogun 29 19-4 Won 1 6'1 205 Striking, Power, Aggressive
Jones 23 12-1 Won 3 6'4 205 Takedowns, Wrestling, Unpredictable

Analysis

The main event pits the ufc’s biggest rising star in Jon ‘Bones’ Jones vs Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua (the current Light Heavyweight Champion). It’s not often the challenger comes in as the odds on favourite, but this is indeed the case for Jones and with good reason. Jones has been tearing through the light heavyweight division in impressive fashion with his latest victory coming just 2 months ago vs. Ryan Bader. Jones dominated Bader in the 1st round and continued the onslaught in the 2nd, eventually sinking in a guillotine choke to finish him off and improve his record to 6–1 in the UFC. This is Shogun’s first title defense since his TKO win at the hands of former champ Lyoto Machida way back in May 2010. Rua’s win was sweet redemption for the champ as many felt he should have won the first contest vs. Machida...but he lost in a controversial decision by the judges. This will also be Shogun’s first fight back in the octagon since having reconstructive knee surgery shortly after the May 2010 fight vs. Machida. Shogun has tremendous punching power and 84% of his wins have come via TKO. Despite this though, Jones will be too quick for Rua and will use his huge reach advantage to stay away from Shogun’s power. Jones will look to take Shogun down and end the fight with one of his many tools either by vicious elbows or submission tapout. Although there is good value in taking the underdog champ in Rua, it’s hard to predict how his knee will hold up or if he even still possesses the TKO power he has previously displayed. Although Jon ‘Bones’ Jones is taking this fight on short notice he’ll be more than prepared to take advantage of this huge opportunity at such a young age.

Pick: Jon “Bones” Jones

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Urijah Faber vs. Eddie Wineland

Fighter Age Record Streak Ht Wt Strengths
Faber 31 24-4 Won 1 5’6 135 Takedowns, Hand Speed, Submissions
Wineland 26 18-6-1 Won 4 5’7 135 Striking, KO Power

Analysis

The undercard sees the debut of two former WEC fighters with Faber and Wineland in the Bantamweight division. Faber, once the featherweight champ in the WEC, has recently had a rocky road alternating wins and losses in his last 6 fights. His last fight was a submission win vs. Takeya Mizugaki and was his bantamweight debut earning him "submission of the night" honors. Faber is a wrestling specialist with 88% of his wins coming by the way of submission. Wineland is the former WEC bantamweight champion and is currently riding a 4 match win streak, with the last 2 earning him knockouts of the night. While wineland does possess some upset potential with his KO power, look for Faber to take him down and keep him there eventually grinding out a victory or forcing a tapout by submission.

Pick: Urijah Faber

Jim Miller vs. Kamal Shalorus

Fighter Age Record Streak Ht Wt Strengths
Miller 27 19-2 Won 6 5’8 155 Wrestling, Submissions
Shalorus 38 7-0-2 Won 1 5’8 155 Takedowns

Analysis

Jim Miller comes into this fight on fire winning his last six fights and putting on dominate performances vs. Mark Bocek and Gleison Tibeau. He won his last fight against prospect Charles Oliveira via kneebar earning him "submission of the night". Shalorus makes his UFC debut coming from the WEC where he posted a record of 3 wins and 1 draw. Miller's experience and jiu-jitsu skills should be enough to win a decision over Shalorus and might earn him a shot at title contention.

Pick: Jim Miller

Dan Miller vs. Nate “The Great” Marquardt

Fighter Age Record Streak Ht Wt Strengths
Miller 29 14-4 Won 2 6'0 185 Wrestling
Marquardt 31 33-10-2 Lost 1 6'0 185 Takedowns, Well Rounded

Analysis

Dan Miller steps in for Akiyama who withdrew from the fight due to the tsunami disaster in Japan. Although Miller is on a modest 2 fight win streak, it is a tough task to ask for him to come away with a victory over veteran Nate Marquardt. With superior wrestling and jiu-jitsu skills and no time for Miller to prepare, Nate the Great should come away with the victory in this one likely by TKO.

Pick: Nate Marquardt

Mirko Cro Cop vs. Brendan Schaub

Fighter Age Record Streak Ht Wt Strengths
Cro Cop 36 27-8-2 Lost 1 6'2 220 Striking, Leg Kicks
Schaub 27 8-1 Won 3 6'4 240 Striking, KO Power

Analysis

The opening fight of the main card has MMA veteran Mirko Cro Cop taking on up-and-comer Brendan Schaub. Although Cro Cop has managed to put together a couple wins in his last few fights, his best days in the octagon are far behind him. His last fight vs Frank Mir was a sleeper and he eventually got caught by a knee in the final round. Schaub has shown the power to end fights with one punch and with a questionable Cro Cop, "The Hybrid" could easily catch the legendary Cro Cop on the chin and finally put an end to his long career.

Pick: Brendan Schaub