#2 Frankie Edgar (17-4-1) vs. Urijah Faber (32-7): Here is a super match at the featherweight division. I love Frankie Edgar a ton and have been waiting for this fight. Frankie is a serious title contender and I am personally annoyed hearing he is “old.” Frankie is a veteran of the octagon, yes, but old not even realistic he is 33 years old meaning he probably has a good 4 years left of being a contender. Only 8 of Frankie’s wins are stoppages which is a tad bit disappointing but it also shows he can go the whole fight without conditioning issues. Frankie has 4 KO/TKO’s and 4 submissions showing that he is a very well balanced fighter which any true UFC knows about him. He is honestly going to be a matchup nightmare. Frankie is a phenomenal fighter beating future hall of famer BJ Penn 3 times in all 3 of their matchups. Look for Frankie to come out strong and fast continue to put pressure on Faber during this matchup. Now to the other corner is oddly a fan favorite Urijah Faber. Urijah is a very successful fighter with 32 wins in his 39 professional matches. He is coming off a win where he won due to an eye poke and capitalized on the cheap shot. This fight will be a real test as he moved up a weight class to meet Frankie here. Faber has lost 6 of his last title shots ever since he lost his title in WEC. He has won 6 of his last 7 though entering this fight his only loss coming to Renan Barao who was untouchable until TJ Dillashaw came out of nowhere. His fight style is great everywhere as well. Faber is a fantastic fighter with incredible hand speed. Faber has won 17 of his fights by submission and the other 9 by KO/TKO meaning he has finished 26 of his 32 wins. The most interesting part of Faber’s record is that he has never lost a non-title fight. This fight is a really balanced fight and has two absolutely incredible well-rounded fighters squaring off in a huge fight with title shot implications written all over it. So where does my pick go for this one? I am going to pick the legend himself and pick Frankie Edgar because I know he wants that title shot and he sees this as his opportunity if he wins this one. My best guess for the win for Edgar will be a 4th round KO/TKO after an incredible fun first 3 rounds.
#7 Gegard Mousasi (36-5-2) vs #12 Costas Philippou (13-4-0, 1NC): This is a middleweight clash among two middle ranked middleweights. Mousasi is a veteran of the octagon at only 29 years of age. Mousasi enters this fight following the demolition of the legend Dan Henderson. In his last 5 fights though he is 3-2. Mousasi is a very exciting fighter for any MMA fan he really does well at keeping the fights out of the judges score card. His 36 wins are won by 21 KO/TKO’s, 10 Submissions, and only 5 decision victories. Mousasi is a tough opponent for anyone because he is extremely well-rounded. He can fight well on the mat from top position or off his back and standing up he is an immediate threat because he clearly has KO power. To the opposite corner we go and meet Costas Philippou. Costas has had a very up and down MMA career when attempting to join the UFC at least. In season 11 of the Ultimate fighter Costas lost in his opening round fight being eliminated. But he has arrived in the UFC and gotten ranked in a pretty good division. Of his 13 wins 8 of them were finished, 7 by KO and the final by a submission. Costas is known for his incredible ability standing up and ability to finish a fight with one good punch. He doesn’t have a great ground game but his 73% takedown defense will help him hopefully stay standing during this fight. I think there is a lot to be hyped about with this fight being that there are two good fighters with the ability to finish. This fight is going to be an all-out brawl hopefully and be a lot of fun. I am going to go with my gut and say Mousasi will win this by unanimous decision.
Mark Munoz (13-6) vs Luke Barnatt (8-2): This is a middleweight fight as well and will be Munoz’s last one most likely. Mark is coming into this fight “limping” basically. He has lost 3 in a row and 4 of his last five fights. Munoz is a great wrestler with a suspect standing game. That being said he has KO power being that 7 of his 13 wins are by KO/TKO. Munoz is a good fighter, personally I would love to see what he could have done if he became an MMA fighter at a younger age. Munoz will be looking to take this to the ground and either submit Barnatt or use his great ground and pound and wear him down in a technical fight. To the side opposite of Mark is Luke Barnatt. Luke is a 27 year old kid with a lot talent who is coming in following two losses looking to turn it around. He is a great finisher of his fights finishing 6 of his 8 by 3KO/TKO and 3 by submission. He has finished 4 of those 6 in the first round showing that he will come out strong and fast paced. He has a great pace and will look to be putting the pressure on Munoz the whole time. He is a good fighter on the mat and a better fighter standing. He will hope to use his 82% takedown defense to his advantage and keep Munoz standing the whole fight. I want to pick Mark hoping he will win his possible last match in the UFC but I am going to pick Barnatt wins by a second round KO/TKO.
Hyun Gyu Lim (13-4-1) vs #15 Neil Magny (14-4): This is a welterweight fight that brings the potential to steal the fight of the night. Hyun is fighting his fifth fight in the UFC in this one. He has finished 12 of his 13 wins those 12 are in a row entering this one. He has won 3 of his first 4 fights in the UFC and is trying to get ranked by winning this fight. He has his 13 wins as 10 KO/TKO, 2 submissions, and one lone decision win. He is a very exciting fighter who is known to be well rounded but has phenomenal striking and is a large man for 170lbs at 6 foot 3 inches. Across from Lim in his fifth fight is Neil Magny. Neil is one tough dude. He tied the record last year for most wins in a calendar year with 5 wins last year alone. This fight is already his second fight this year looking for his 2nd win this year only 5 months in. Neil comes in to this fight on a 6 fight win streak and will absolutely be looking to make it 7 in a row. He finishes 50% of his fights having 7 wins by decision and the others split as 4 KO/TKO and 3 by submission. This guy is a crazy good fighter fighting againt Lim who is as well a crazy good fighter and this is going to be a just absolutely awesome fight. I am going to pick Magny to win by wearing down Lim and take a 3rd round KO/TKO.
Phillipe Nover (11-5-1) vs Yui Chul Nam (18-4-1): Here is a featherweight fight that could be a tad boring for the average UFC fans but if you’re an MMA fan it will be a good one. Phillipe is making his featherweight debut here following 3 straight losses since joining the UFC. After those 3 loses he was gone from the UFC and has gone 5-2 since leaving. He has really strong heavy explosive hands oddly enough though he is known for his submission skills. His ability to finish fights is there having 6 submissions and one KO/TKO in his 11 wins. His return to the UFC is set to be a tough one though against Yui Chul Nam in the opposing corner. This fight is Nam’s featherweight debut as well and his second fight in the UFC. Nam has 18 wins 8 of which are by KO and one by submission meaning he has finished 50% of his professional fights. He enters on a 5 fight professional winning streak and won his first fight in the UFC. He is almost similar to Nover as he has great punching power and KO/TKO power behind each punch, except unlike Nover he likes to stand and punch more using his strongest suit. I have no idea what to call for this fight but I will go with a win by unanimous decision by Nam.
Mark Eddiva (6-1) vs Levan Makashvili (9-1): Here is a featherweight fight for two newer fighters to come into the UFC. Eddiva is coming into his third fight in the UFC. He will come out strong and fast paced looking for a fast finish or a finish in general. He has 4 first round finishes. He has finished 5 of his 6 wins, three of those by KO/TKO and two by submission. He is known to be a wrestler with great takedown defense of 89%. He can take this fight to any level and will just need to focus on being in his game and if he gets this win he could start to see himself climb in the division talks more. His opponent though Levan Makashvili is a new comer to the UFC, this being his first fight in the octagon. He is known as a stand-up fighter with good striking and KO power. He doesn’t have any submission wins to his name and doesn’t have a good ground game to be honest. He has 5Ko/TKO finishes and the other 4 victories are all by decision. He is UFC ready though because his game and skill set will continue to grow. He is only 26 years old and is a potential future stand out in the UFC. This fight is going to be hard to call as I don’t have much film on Levan but I am going to go with the UFC newcomer to win his first fight in the UFC and say that Levan wins by 3rd round KO/TKO.
Tae Hyun Bang (17-8) vs Jon Tuck (8-2): The lightweight battle headlining the prelims. Bang is a good fighter entering his third official UFC fight here. He is known for his wrestling and ability to last the full length of a fight. He has 9 KO victories though the rest are by decision. He is entering this fight winning 3 of his last 5 professional fights and 1-1 in the UFC. He might be known for his wrestling but I think he is stronger standing then most people think he is and I truly believe he will become known as a great striker in the UFC. In the corner opposite of Bang is Jon Tuck. I love Jon Tuck as a fighter, he is so exciting for any UFC fan and he is extremely lethal. He has won 8 professional fights 7 of which are finishes and 6 of those are in the first round. Tuck has gone 2-2 in the UFC and will be entering his fifth fight here looking to come out fast and strong. His 7 finishes are by way of 4 KO/TKO’s and 3 submissions, all three rear naked choke. I think this fight is honestly a little off balanced in favor of Tuck but I guess we will see how it lines up after it starts. I am going to take Tuck here with a first round KO 3 minutes into the fight.
Zhang Lipeng (9-8-1) vs Kajan Johnson (19-12-1): This is a lightweight battle as well and could be a tad slow paced. Zhang might have a 9-8-1 professional record but don’t let that fool you he is 2-1 since joining the UFC. He has finished 5 of his 9 wins 3 by submission and 2 by KO/TKO. He is a great grappler and wrestler with phenomenal takedown abilities. His stand up game needs some work and he will need to try and get this fight on the mat and keep it there to be at his best. In the other corner of this fight will be Kajan Johnson. Kajan is a very fast hard working fighter that puts on the pressure. As much as Zhang might want to take this to the ground it will be hard and really a questionable decision. Kajan is a finisher of fights for sure he has 15 stoppages and 8 of those are submissions and the other 7 by KO/TKO. Kajan is only entering his second fight in the UFC but that doesn’t mean he will have nerves because he should be confident in his ability to fight. This fight will be interesting because both fighters excel on the mat and have decent standup games. This fight will be a really physical, tough, technical, fast paced fight. I am going to take Kajan Johnson to win by split decision.
Li Jingliang (9-3) vs Dhiego Lima (11-3): This is a welterweight clash among two good new comers to the UFC. Li is fighting in his third UFC fight and is 1-1 in the UFC so far. Li is a really balanced fighter who is great at jiu-jitsu. He enters this winning 6 of his last 8 fights professionally. His 9 wins have 4 by submission and 2 by KO, and three of those finishes have been first round finishes. Li works really hard in the gym to become a successful fighter and is going to try and make his UFC career continue to move forward here with this one. In the other corner though is a strong fighter Dhiego Lima. Lima is a really good fighter in this division who is only 26 years of age and hopes to have a future here in the UFC. Dhiego is entering his 4th fight in the UFC here where he has struggled since joining the UFC going 1-2. He is a strong finisher in MMA with 5 wins by submission and 3 by KO/TKO. Lima is a good fighter though he could turn around his bad UFC record here with this one. This fight will be a bit slow and lack a tad of excitement but I think Lima might win this one. I got him winning by unanimous decision.
Ning Guangyou (5-2-1) vs Royston Wee (4-0): This fight is a Bantamweight fight between to newer fighters in the UFC and will show some nerves I believe as we open the Fox sports prelims. Ning is entering his second UFC fight winning his first one in the TUF finale. Of his 5 wins he has finished impressively 4 of them. Three of the finishes are by KO and the lone submission is by rear naked choke. This is going to be his bantamweight debut here and should actually help him out some. He is known greatly for his wrestling ability and his ability to keep control of his opponent when on the mat. His opponent is Royston Wee. This guy is a very athletic fighter entering this fight 2-0 in the UFC and undefeated professionally. His first two professional wins were so impressive Dana White had to have him. He won those two fights by submission in under two minutes. His two wins in the UFC though were sadly for us fans fights that went to the judges score card. Royston is a great wrestler with a great ground game and will be glad to take this fight to the mat with Ning. I am going to stick with the undefeated Royston Wee to take this one in a unanimous decision after a very technical fight that will display both fighters well rounded ground game.