UFC on Versus 5: Hardy vs. Lytle Preview and Predictions
A stacked UFC card for free on cable? Sign me up! This Saturday on the Versus Network, the UFC will be showcasing some of its newly acquired WEC talent as well as some perennial Octagon warriors. Our gracious Webmaster at Moai Martial Arts and I gladly shelled out $55 for last weekend’s exciting card that was well worth the price. The action ranged from awkward moments such as Dennis Halman’s “revealing” fight shorts to exciting finishes by UFC stars Vitor Belfort and Rashad Evans. After a great night of fights I was eagerly awaiting more Octagon action, and thanks to the UFC we only have to wait a little while longer for a promising free card on Versus.
Amir Sadollah v. Duane “Bang” Ludwig
Sadollah and Ludwig were slated to fight earlier in 2011, but the fight was scrapped due to Ludwig sustaining a chest injury while training. The Ultimate Fighter 7 Winner Sadollah looks to keep his two fight win streak going against the kick boxer Ludwig. Ludwig has 20 professional wins to his name with 10 of them coming by knockout. Sadollah seems to have regained the form he had during his Ultimate Fighter winning run, and I expect him to use his impressive Muay Thai skills to defeat “Bang”.
Prediction: Sadollah by TKO
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone v. Charles Oliveira
Oliveira looks to rebound from his last bout, which was deemed a no contest after Pennsylvania Athletic Commission officials observed that an illegal knee was thrown prior to Oliveira submitting Nik Lentz in June. He faces off against MMA veteran Cerrone who boasts an impressive record of 15-3 with one No Contest. Twelve of those wins have come by submissions. Cerrone is another product of the Greg Jackson camp and always provides fireworks when he steps in the ring. He holds six Fight of the Night awards from various WEC and UFC cards. I believe Cerrone will pressure Oliveira from the second the bell rings and expect “Cowboy” to submit Oliveira and to continue his four fight win streak.
Prediction: Cerrone by submission, 3rd Round
Jim Miller v. Ben Henderson
This fight oozes Fight of the Night potential. Dana White recently stated that Jim Miller is knocking on the door of a lightweight title shot: his only two career losses come to the two fighters who are currently interlocked in battle for the lightweight strap, Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. I expect Miller to do everything in his power to step closer to that title shot. On the other side of the cage, Ben Henderson looks to make his name known in the UFC with a win over a top contender. Many of our readers may best know Henderson for being on the receiving end of one of the greatest knockouts in MMA history by Anthony Pettis. Henderson won his UFC debut against Mark Bocek and looks to add another win to his UFC resume. This fight is tough to call but I look for Miller to continue his seven fight win streak and take one more step closer to a title shot.
Prediction: Miller by decision
Main Event: Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy v. Chris “Lights Out” Lytle
What an interesting bout we have for our Main Event of the evening. A young, talented fighter, Hardy, just two fights removed from a title shot against GSP versus a true veteran of the fight game, Lytle, who has 53 MMA fights under his belt. Lytle is known for his iron chin and will. He has never been knocked out or submitted in his MMA career. Hardy is coming off two tough losses to fighters at the top of the welterweight division. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson utterly dominated him on the ground and Carlos Condit knocked him out in the first round. I expect fists to be flying early and often in this one, with each fighter having something to prove. Lytle wants to prove he belongs in the mix of the lightweight division and will be looking to add another UFC Fight Bonus to the eight that he already has adorning his mantle. While “Outlaw” will be looking to regain the form he had before being crushed by GSP and end his losing streak. Each fighter will leave everything in the cage, but I have a feeling the wily veteran will prevail.
Prediction: Lytle by Decision
So these are my picks. Everyone’s got an opinion. Who do you have winning these fights?