Here is my breakdown of the main card. Feel free to argue with me or give me a confidence boost in the comment section below. The main card, of course, goes down tonight at 8pm ET on FOX.
–Lavar Johnson (16-5) vs. Pat Barry (7-4)
It’s nap time for somebody. The UFC makes a smart decision by putting two of the most violently heavy-handed fellas on the main card of this event. I had a hard time picking this fight, and an even harder time trying to bet on it. I would recommend staying away from this fight in terms of betting. I think Barry should win this, but don’t be surprised if it goes the other way, Johnson hits hard.
–Rousimar Palhares (14-3) vs. Alan Belcher (17-6)
I’m going to get a lot of flack for this, I’m sure, but I’m having a hard time finding a seat on the Rousimar Palhares hype train. Sure he has some violent leglocks, and I’m a leglock man, for sure, but he lacks skills in other facets, and he got hurt by Dan Miller, seriously. Belcher is a BJJ black belt, an awesome striker, and overall a better fighter. I think Palhares gets crazy and makes many mistakes. Composure wins this fight for Alan Belcher.
–Josh Koscheck (17-5) vs. Johny Hendricks (12-1)
Hendricks isn’t going to knock out Josh Koscheck. Kos is smart and knows to avoid the power. Josh Koscheck is not going to outwrestle Johny Hendricks. Hendricks is arguably a better wrestler, and will stiffle most, if not all, ground attacks. So what we have is two tentative guys trying to outstrike each other, with the occasional sequence on the ground. It ain’t going to be pretty, but Johny Hendricks is taking home a decision.
–Nate Diaz (15-7) vs. Jim Miller (21-3)
Nate Diaz looks to bring home a title shot to the 209. The younger, less troublesome Diaz brother is on the cusp of a title shot, and has long been one of the best lightweights in the UFC. Coming into his stride as of late, Diaz is looking better and better every time he steps into the cage. He takes on Jim Miller, who is arguably a top 5 fighter in the lightweight division, and has been in the top 10 for a long, long time. While he won’t be receiving a title shot with a win here, he will be closer to what he rightfully deserves, and I think he’ll get it. Miller is smart, and although Diaz will do his best to overwhelm him with strikes, his grappling acumen won’t be so overwhelming as it is for others. Miller will wrestle Nate to the ground, and put a hurting on him. The later rounds will be interesting, but this is going 25 minutes, and Jim Miller is winning at home.