Well, this one crept up on me! I was gearing up for the FOX card on Saturday and realized that there is a random Wednesday event from Quebec going down first. Neat-O! Now, I haven’t watched a second of TUF Nations so I won’t touch on those Finale tilts, but I will give you a quick preview of my favorite three fights on the card. You know you are getting your money’s worth when Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping gets back in the cage! On to the preview.
Dustin Poirer v. Akira Corassani
It BLOWS my mind that Dustin Poirer is buried as the curtain jerker on this awkward Wednesday night card from Quebec. For my money, ‘Diamond’ Poirer is one of the most exciting fighters in the sport and will be setting a record for most appearances as a UFC Featherweight when the bell rings in Canada. He has put together two very solid winning performances against contenders Erik Koch and Diego Brandao and yet, here is is facing Akira Corassani on Fox Sports 1… Akira has strung together three straight wins, but none of his competition is even in the same stratosphere as Poirer. That being said, Diamond is a 7-1 Vegas favorite in this tilt and he rightfully should be. I would love to see Diamond make up for this blunder by Joe Silva and take the Renzo trained Corassani to the mat and submit him with his signature D’arce. Poirer by submission.
Patrick Cote v Kyle Noke
Pick a random Aussie and a random Canuck to face each other in a vaguely nationalistic scrap and you gets this matchup! I am unsure if there was any heat between these two on the TUF Nations show, but I doubt it, they seem like two pretty well mannered blokes. This is what we in the business like to call a ‘fun fight’. Neither fighter is anywhere near a title shot, and likely never will be. With major aspirations cast aside, they are here to entertain us with some good old fashioned professional cage fighting. This is as close to a pick ’em fight as it can get. The thing that pushes this towards Cote’s corner is that Noke hasn’t seen the cage since September of 2012. That is a LONG time to be out of the ring for a 34 year old. Cote actually impressed me with his win over Bobby Voelker back at UFC 158 so I will have to pick the Canadian striker’s here. Cote by decision.
Michael Bisping v. Tim Kennedy
Here we go! Now this is some solid Wednesday night entertainment! This might actually make me DVR the season finale of Workaholics to tune in live. Now we all know that Michael Bisping is one of the most called out men in MMA. EVERYONE wants to fight the guy, most likely because he is renowned for the softness of his punches and lack of a killer instinct. He will always hang around near the top of the division, but it seems like he can never get over the hump. As for Tim Kennedy, he is celebrated not only for his gritty style, but his patriotic background. Now if you know anything about me, you know I am patriotic to a fault. I love me some freedom. I will be rooting heartily for Kennedy on Wednesday, but I’ll try to take a step back and analyze this one in an unbiased manner for you all.
Bisping has had a rash of injuries (including a nasty eye deal) that has kept him out of the cage for a year. Oddly enough, his last match was won because The Count poked the living heck out of Alan Belcher’s surgically repaired eye and the fight had to be stopped. As for Kennedy, he knocked Rafael Natal out back in November in front of a raucous military crowd much to the delight of this blogger. As much as I don’t believe in “ring rust”, there is an aspect of it that comes into play against grinders like Kennedy. We know Kennedy will be in impeccable shape and that he sharpens iron with iron daily at the Jackson camp. I just don’t think Bisping is ready for a test like that. The Brit is a slight Vegas favorite, but the smart money is on Kennedy earning a decision here (That is a +285 bet, FYI). Kennedy will push Bisping against the cage, toss him around, and land clean when exiting the clinch. AMERICA!!! Kennedy by decision.