Reuben Duran (8-4-1, 1-2 UFC) vs. George Roop (12-9-1, 2-5 UFC):
The first bout of the night on March 16th, 2012 at UFC 158 features George Roop vs. Reuben Duran. Roop is a strange bantamweight. Standing over six feet tall, he is easily the tallest bantamweight in the division. His height allows him to use his reach to knock shorter, smaller opponents out. He’s not the most durable fighter but he does have nice knockouts over good opponents like Josh Grispi and Chan-Sung Jung. Duran is coming off a knockout loss over Hugo Viana and I think Roop will replicate Viana’s success. Roop by KO
Yves Jabouin (18-8, 3-2 UFC) vs. Johnny Eduardo (26-9, 1-1 UFC):
It’s getting harder and harder to pick against Nova Uniao products and Eduardo is certainly one of them. His striking is solid and his leg kicks pack a punch. Jabouin is an accomplished striker in his own right but I’m going to go with my gut and take the prospect from the hot camp. Eduardo by decision.
T.J. Dillashaw (6-1, 2-0 UFC) vs. Issei Tamura (7-3, 1-1 UFC):
Dillashaw is going to continue his run in the UFC with another victory over Tamura. His strikes are going to set up his wrestling game Tamura will be flat on his back for the entire fight. Dillashaw by decision.
Rick Story (14-6, 7-4 UFC) vs. Quinn Mulhern (18-2, 0-0 UFC):
Story was dealt a fortuitous hand when Mulhern was forced to replace Sean Pierson. Mulhern has never fought in the UFC while Story is a grizzled veteran. Though Mulhern is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, I don’t think his guard is offensive enough to actually submit the veteran. Look for Story to grind on Mulhern for three rounds and take a decision. Story by decision.
Daron Cruickshank (12-2, 2-0 UFC) vs. John Makdessi (10-2, 3-2 UFC):
This should be a striking affair and it could be a dark horse for fight of the night. I anticipate these two are going to duke it out with Cruickshank gaining the upper hand with his jab. I think he can ride that jab all the way to a victory on points. Cruickshank by decision.
Dan Miller (14-6, 1 NC, 6-5 UFC) vs. Jordan Mein (26-8, 0-0 UFC):
Mein is going to have his hands full in his first UFC bout. Dan Miller isn’t quite the same fighter as Jim Miller but he certainly has some strong submissions. He is coming off a submission victory over Ricardo Funch and I anticipate much of the same against Mein. Miller by submission.
Darren Elkins (15-2, 5-1 UFC) vs. Antonio Carvalho (15-5, 2-1 UFC):
Both of these fighters are on win streaks and both are going to bring the action. I think it will be interesting to see how Carvalho’s judo game matches up with the tough wrestling of Elkins. I’m thinking the judo player will be able to swivel his hips enough to avoid takedowns and land strikes. Elkins by decision.
Bobby Voelker (24-8, 0-0 UFC) vs. Patrick Cote (18-8, 5-8 UFC):
Word is that Cote’s cut went as planned, which was my main concern going into this bout. As long as Cote is in shape and not drained from the cut, he is the better fighter than Voelker. Voelker has never fought in the UFC and that is going to show against Cote, who has taken on greats like Anderson Silva in the past. Cote will be able to use his strong chin and nimble striking to stop Voelker. Cote via TKO.