UFC 152 is this Saturday and will be taking place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Headlining the nights events are Jon Jones and Vitor Belfort in a short notice fight after the debacle that was UFC 151, the card that never happened.
Let’s take a look at who the Fight Geeks have picked for the main card bouts and why.
Jon Jones (16-1) vs. Vitor Belfort (21-9)
McNeill – Sorry, I’m not buying what Kenny Florian is selling. Yes, Belfort is a fantastic athlete that on paper could give Jones a run for his money, but he is 35 and the last prominent fight he had was back in 2011 against Anderson Silva. The result? He was knocked out less than two minutes into the match. Unless Jones has a monumental brain fart in the octagon – possible, but not likely – then he should be able to hold onto his belt with relative ease.
Matt – Even though I’m a fan of Belfort, I’m going to have to pick Jones on this one. I believe that we are going to see a motivated Jones looking to prove to the fans that he is a worthy champion. Look for Jones to try to finish the fight early against the veteran Belfort.
Joseph Benavidez (16-2) vs Demetrious Johnson (15-2-1)
McNeill – I’m a huge fan of Mighty Mouse, but Benavidez has the advantage in power and experience. Benavidez has a career record of 16-2 while winning six of his last seven matches. Johnson, meanwhile, is 1-1-1 in his past three fights and by my scorecard he should have lost to McCall the first time they met. I’ve got to go with Benavidez.
Matt – With the advantage in the submission game I’m betting that Benavidez will take the fight to the ground and take the victory via submission.
Michael Bisping (23-4) vs Brian Stann (12-4)
McNeill – After being at Massey Hall this summer and seeing both of these fighters in person, I’m going with Stann. Even though they have similar measurements, Stann casts a much larger presence. Plus, I think Stann is more focused.
Matt – For this fight I’m picking Bisping. He loves the trash talk game, but can also back it up. He’s a proven fighter who is currently on a good roll racking up some wins against some top fighters and his only loss lately was a controversial one to Chael Sonnen. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this fight go the distance as both fighters have tonnes of heart.
Matt Hamill (11-4) vs Roger Hollett (13-3)
McNeill – Sorry, but I think the octagon rust will catch up with Hamill in this fight. Hollett isn’t as well known, but he has won his last five fights and he will have the extra adrenaline rush of fighting in his home country with the fans cheering him on.
Matt – I’m going to have to go with Hamill on this one. He’s got some heavy hands and has spoken about getting excited to fight again, which prompted his coming out of retirement. Hollett could surprise us as he seems to be a well rounded fighter but I’m going to stick to my gut reaction on this one.
Cub Swanson (17-5) vs Charles Oliveira (16-2, 1NC)
McNeill – This is a tough call because Oliveira seemed to have learned from some tough losses to Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone to regroup and win his last two matches by submission. Swanson is on a tear though and has won his last two fights via TKO against Ross Pearson and George Roop. I’m going with Swanson.
Matt – This one should be a good fight. I’m going with Swanson. I’ll even go as far as to say via KO in the second round.