UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao will be airing live on PPV this Saturday, July 21, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
The Nation went 4 for 6 on his last set of predictions, and is now 27 of 38 overall.
Chris Clements (11-4) vs. Matt Riddle (6-3): Clements is from Ontario, and will have the rabid Calgary fans behind him. That will be a huge factor for him, as the Nation predicts a win for the Canuck. Prediction: Clements by TKO
Brian Ebersole (50-14-1-1) vs. James Head (8-2): Ebersole is only 31, but is fighting in his 66th professional fight already, not to mention taking this fight on 3 weeks notice, and just one month after he last fought. Ebersole is a crafty veteran with a solid ground game. Head is 1-1 in the UFC, and at 10 fights is a relative rookie compared to Ebersole. I think Ebersole’s experience will be the deciding element, as he gets the 51st win of his MMA career. Prediction: Ebersole by submission.
Cheick Kongo (17-7-2) vs. Shawn Jordan (13-3): You can safely bet that someone’s getting knocked out in this fight, as Kongo is a kickboxer with 10 KO’s to his name, while Jordan has 9 to his. I expect Kongo to use his size and reach advantage to keep the bigger Jordan at bay, and then finish him when the chance presents itself. Prediction: Kongo by TKO.
Hector Lombard (31-2-1-1) vs. Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (15-4): Lombard is making his UFC debut, bringing with him a 26 fight unbeaten streak dating back to 2006. He left Bellator as its middleweight champion, and was supposed to fight Brian Stann until an injury to Stann derailed those plans. The very muscular Lombard reminds some of a young Wanderlei Silva, with his swarming attack and finishing instinct. Boetsch is fighting his 4th fight at 185 after fighting at 205 previously, and his transition has gone quite well as he has gone 3-0 at middleweight. The question that always dogs the big “non-UFC” names when they finally make their Octagon debut is how will they fare against the top level competition the UFC provides? Is Lombard and his unbeaten streak and gaudy finishing record (17 KO’s, 7 decisions) for real, or was he just fighting tin cans in the minor leagues of MMA? I think it’s the latter. The violence will be unleashed. Prediction: Lombard by KO
For the UFC Interim Bantamweight Championship – “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (26-5) vs. Renan Barão (28-1-1): Faber was supposed to challenge Dominic Cruz for Cruz’ Bantamweight title; Cruz tearing his ACL derailed that match. The decision was made for an Interim champion to be crowned while Cruz recovered, and Barao was chosen to fight Faber for it. Faber dominated 145 lbs. for so long until he ran into Mike Brown and Jose Aldo, Jr. He moved down to 135, where he’s done well. He may have lost a very good and exciting fight to Cruz about a year ago in his first attempt at winning the bantamweight belt, but his speed and stamina which were hallmarks of his style at 145 have stayed with him at 135. Barao, wo happens to be training partners with Aldo, is a buzzsaw. He lost his debut fight in 2005 and has not lost since, picking up 28 wins and 1 draw along the way. He’s not at the the killer finisher level that Aldo is in terms of KO’s, but his ground game is superb – 13 wins by submission. This will be a close, exciting fight which will go all 5 rounds. Prediction: Barao by decision