Normally, I have very little to do on a Tuesday. It wasn’t even until last week that I realized this event was on a Tuesday. I’m pretty happy about having something to fill the void until Workaholics returns. Tomorrow’s UFC on FUEL 3 promises to be an action packed night of fights, and a great dessert, as the preliminary card kicks off just after dinner time, at 5:30pm ET on the UFC’s Facebook page. Here’s what’s going to happen.
–Francisco Rivera vs. Alex Soto
Back from Tachi Palace Fights, Francisco Rivera returns to the UFC, and hopes to get on the winning track. A violently powerful dude, Rivera has finished five opponents within the first five minutes with his fists. Alex Soto was on a roll until he fell into the bear trap that is Michael McDonald. Soto is a solid prospect, but he’s suffering some hard luck, as Rivera will finish him in the same way he has finished many.
–Jeff Curran vs. Johnny Eduardo
Jeff Curran is a fantastic fighter, but hell, he can’t catch a break under the ZUFFA banner. The grappling wizard needs to get on track and score a big win here. Johnny Eduardo is a veteran fighter, and despite not being well-known, he has been around the block and back in the combat sports world. Eduardo’s bane, if any, if the submission game. I think “Big Frog” takes Eduardo to the mat, and chokes him out cold.
–Rafael dos Anjos vs. Kamal Shalorus
Masterful submission artist Rafael dos Anjos is back inside the octagon. While he proved how well he could strike as well, he stills lacks the wrestling skills necessary to compete with the elite in the division. His opponent, Shalorus, is a powerful striker with fairly good wrestling skills. Shalorus, however, is aging, and not advancing, seemingly at all. I picked Nurmagomedov to beat Shalorus, and I’m picking dos Anjos to do so as well.
–T.J. Grant vs. Carlo Prater
T.J. Grant was a hell of an undersized welterweight, but as a 155 pound fighter, he has done well for himself. After dodging a bullet named Jacob Volkmann, due to injuries, Grant gets to test himself against Carlo Prater. Prater stole a win from Erick Silva in his most recent appearance, and based on his performance in the lightning quick bout, he wouldn’t have had much to offer Silva anyway. Back at 155, he looks to get his second UFC win, and hopefully under better circumstances this time. He won’t though. Prater is good, but Grant is considerably better, and will run through Prater with 15 minutes of dominance.
–Cody McKenzie vs. Marcus LeVesseur
People have learned not to buy into the Cody McKenzie hype. While many refer to him as a one-trick pony, he’s really good at that one trick, and he is getting better in the gym. Marcus LeVesseur is a hell of a wrestler, and with his ever-improving striking, he is a dangerous dude. I like Cody, but he’s just overmatched in this bout. The lesser known LeVesseur will pick him apart using his striking, and have no issue taking him down. I might be a crazy person though, I’m still picking Cody to pull it off.
–Dongi Yang vs. Brad Tavares
Back from a nearly year-long layoff, Brad Tavares enters the octagon, and gets immediately thrown to the wolves. Never one to shy away from a challenge, the always tenacious TUF finalist needs a win to cement his position in the middleweight division. He takes on “The Ox”, who, despite having a 1-2 record in the promotion, brings a wealth of dangerous abilities into the cage. One of the most heavy handed strikers in the division, Yang will look to make short work of Tavares, and frankly, I don’t see him having much trouble. Whether it be ring rust, Yang’s solid skills, and ridiculous power, or just a bad style match up, I see Yang lighting up Tavares en route to a quick stoppage.
Feel free to talk about who you think wins tomorrow in the comment section, and check back after breakfast tomorrow for my main card preview.