I’m all for an all-heavyweight card, as long as it’s in the UFC and ONLY in the UFC, but it really seems like people are overlooking a really stacked and awesome undercard for UFC 146. I can actually say, I’m more excited for this FX quality card than I am to see a bunch of predictable, but violent, heavyweight bouts. So, here is my excited and hopeful look at what may very well be the best undercard of the year.
-Mike Brown vs. Daniel Pineda
In the night’s opening contest, former #1 featherweight Mike Brown looks for some consistency after falling from the featherweight throne. While age might not be on his side, I like Mike Brown in this fight. Pineda has thrown down some serious beatings in his two UFC bouts. He definitely has a future in the division, but Mike Brown is the kind of old man who can, and will, beat down a younger fella just to say he did. Brown by submission.
-Paul Sass vs. Jacob Volkmann
The undefeated submission specialist Paul Sass has had his fair share of wins, but enough is enough. Never has he faced such a stifling and controversial character as he does in Volkmann. Jacob Volkmann’s ground game is so scary that even the secret service are watching him. Volkmann believes he’s always fighting for his job, and I have it on good authority that he’s planning to call out his employers after he beats Sass, which he will, by unanimous decision.
-Glover Teixeira vs. Kyle Kingsbury
Glover finally makes his UFC debut, and I don’t have much else to say other than it’s going to be an impressive one. He’s going to beat Kingsbury’s face into the mat. Don’t be surprised if Kingsbury resembles a pile of mashed potatoes after about 90 seconds. A pressure washer will be required to remove his stain from the mat. You get it.
-Duane Ludwig vs. Dan Hardy
Dan Hardy has been the victim of one the most hilarious and quick declines in the UFC. From challenging for the welterweight title to dropping four straight, the one-time top 170 pound contender undoubtedly needs a win if he wants to avoid a spot on the next Cage Warriors card. Luckily for him, he’s fighting Duane Ludwig. Ludwig isn’t quite what he used to be, and while he still has the technical advantage in most places against Hardy, he’s just not going to offer much to a motivated, desperate, and excited Dan Hardy. “The Outlaw” takes this on points, less he lands some jaw dropping left hook.
-C.B. Dollaway vs. Jason Miller
Contrary to what he says, it’s hard to believe that Mayhem is actually looking past Dollaway. It’s more likely just trash talking to throw his opponent off. Regardless, does anyone think this is a big fight for Miller? Let’s just get rid of the gas tank issue right away by saying when he fought Bisping, that was coming off a 15 month layoff. Crappy striking? He’s been training Muay thai like a madman to prepare for his return to the octagon. Nerves? Hardly an issue at this point. Dollaway has some wrestling advantages over Mayhem, but I don’t think it’s enough to help him win. Mayhem will tap him.
-Jamie Varner vs. Edson Barboza
Varner almost retired after losing to a porn star. How the times have changed. Back in the UFC and riding a bit of a win streak, “C-4″ is back and has a lot to prove in his return to the octagon. Edson Barboza is no stepping stone, and anyone who thinks he will be their catapult back to the top is crazy. Varner has a solid wrestling base, and he can strike, but he’ll undoubtedly get outclassed for 15 minutes here.
-Diego Brandao vs. Darren Elkins
Brandao is fresh off of what may very well be the most violent series of fights in TUF history. Elkins is a good wrestler, but he isn’t much else other than that. I can’t say much more about this bout other than Brandao by murder.
Catch the prelims at some point between 6 and 7pm ET on Facebook, with the FX portion of the card starting at 8pm ET. Check back when the sun is shining for my look at the heavyweight portion of the evening. Don’t forget to share your predictions as well!