UFC Fight Night 21: Florian vs. Gomi is set to air live on SpikeTV Wednesday night at 8pm from the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a result, the time has come again to find out how good (or bad) I am at picking fights.
MAIN CARD (SpikeTV)
Kenny Florian vs. Takanori Gomi:
This should be an exciting bout that has potential title applications. Both fighters have shown devastating striking abilities in their careers, but since Pride was purchased by the UFC in 2007 Gomi seems to have been on a downturn and has had issues with getting motivated for fights, while Florian has looked better with every fight, and even more so since losing to BJ Penn at UFC 101. Though Gomi has a lot of power, and should be more motivated for this fight than some of his recent outings, I think Florian will be faster, and more motivated for this fight than Gomi and will likely rock him in the second round, then finish the fight with a rear naked choke, like he did against Clay Guida.
Roy Neslon vs. Stefan Struve:
Contrasting body types meet in this heavyweight battle as the lanky 6’11”, approximately 245 lbs Struve takes on the big bellied 6’0″ (or less) 265+ lbs Nelson. Nelson has shown knockout power, and pretty clean striking, as well as a smothering top game on the ground, but Struve will have an extreme reach advantage as well as a dangerous bottom game. The outcome of this fight will be determined on who can control where it takes place. If Struve can keep distance between he and Nelson and utilize his reach advantage he may be able to earn a decision, but if Nelson can get inside he very well could knock Struve out. I think this will certainly be an interesting fight to watch, but I believe that Nelson is the better fighter, and will make his way inside on Struve and earn a second round TKO victory.
Nate Quarry vs. Jorge Rivera:
This bout will likely be a striking battle, as two “The Ultimate Fighter” alums known for their striking abilities meet in the Octagon. Both fighters have shown knockout power, and both fighters have been knocked out, but Quarry is the betting favorite going into the contest. That said, I’m picking Rivera for the upset because he is the more experienced fighter and has been in the cage with more dangerous strikers than Quarry. He also lasted longer against common opponent Rich Franklin. My prediction is Rivera via second round T/KO.
Ross Pearson vs. Dennis Siver:
Both of these fighters are coming off of second round TKO victories, “The Ultimate Fighter 9″ winner Pearson over a game Aaron Riley, and Siver over Paul Kelly. Both men have compact frames with a lot of muscle and are very similar in build, however I believe that Pearson’s striking is far more technical than Siver and will give him the edge in this fight. I’m picking Pearson via first round T/KO.
UN-AIRED PRELIMINARY CARD QUICK PICKS:
Rafaello Oliveira vs. Andre Winner: Andre Winner via second round TKO.
Ronys Torres vs. Jacob Volkmann: Ronys Torres via second round submission.
Rob Emerson vs. Nik Lentz: Nik Lentz via unanimous decision.
Gleison Tibau vs. Caol Uno: Gleison Tibau via unanimous decision.
Lucio Linhares vs. Yushin Okami: Yushin Okami via unanimous decision.
Gerald Harris vs. Mario Miranda: Gerald Harris via first round TKO.