With the UFC finally ending it’s nearly month long lull in activity, that means it’s time for the MMAFrenzy.com staff to pretend like we know what we’re talking about and make some predictions as to how the fights will go this Sunday at UFC on Versus 2: Jones v. Matyushenko in San Diego, California.
Jon Jones vs. Vladimir Matyushenko:
bsbiz - If Matyushenko were about ten years younger, this would be an epic fight with huge importance for both guys. Vlad would be someone looked at with huge potential possibly fighting for a title shot and Bones would be in the exact same place. However, that is not to be. Well, part of it at least. Bones is supposedly being brought along slowly, but here, he’s going against a guy who has only lost four times, three of which were to Rogerio Nogueira, Tito, and pre-meltdown Arlovski, and has beaten Nogueira as well. Jones will win this fight if it turns into an athletic contest with scrambles and no real structure to it. Vlad will want a slower, more technical fight, and could pull out a win that way.
fr702 – I don’t think that Jon Jones will finish Vlad but I do believe he will win handily 30~27 UD for jones
chrisl – Never sleep on the Janitor. The US national wrestling team found that out years ago when they thought he was one at an international duel match in Siberia. Vlad’s a very game opponent for the fast rising Jones. I don’t think this will be the walk in the park that most people seem to believe it will for Jones though. Vlad has a lot of experience and vastly underrated wrestling to go with technical striking. However, Jones has an athletic, reach, creativity, and coaching advantage in this bout. I think Vlad makes it interesting but Jones comes from so many angles and using so many techniques he’s able to put away a decision by the second and will catch Vlad pressing for a last ditch attempt to win late in the 3rd. Jones via 3rd Rd tKO.
Kris Karkoski – The veteran Vladimir Matyushenko will likely be a tougher test for Jon Jones than most fans expect, and while it could take several rounds, I expect Jones to ultimately earn a stoppage and continue his climb towards a title shot. Jones via (T)KO in R3.
justin – Jones is a fast rising prospect and Matyushenko is a very experienced veteran. Many people think that Jones will make easy work of Matyushenko, but “The Janitor” has quality striking and underrated wrestling abilities that could very well make this a close fight. I expect Matyushenko to last longer than Jones’ last two opponents, but I still think Jones will be too explosive for him. I’m picking Jones via second round TKO.
Mark Munoz vs. Yushin Okami:
bsbiz - So far at least, Okami has been one of the few Japanese exports to actually remotely be worth the hype surrounding him with wins over Alan Belcher, Mike Swick, the late Evan Tanner, Dean Lister, and Linhares and only two losses, one to current A.Silva opponent Chael Sonnen and the other to former Middleweight Champion (and more importantly, Cincinnati native) Rich Franklin. Munoz’ stock has been flying higher than a Diaz on camera, and is probably only a couple or at most three fights from a title shot of his own. The trick will be to see who can get the takedown first. Munoz has better power and probably better takedowns, but Okami seems to be more well rounded and complete as a fighter, with Munoz yet to register a submission victory. Not to say he can’t, just that he hasn’t yet showed it. I’m also not saying that Okami is the Middleweight McLovin’ or anything, but he at least has competed in the ADCC competition twice. He who gets the first takedown will likely control the pace and win the round. If it stays on the feet, I think Okami has a slight advantage.
fr702 – Okami by UD
chrisl – Munoz is a monster and I’ll admit I’m a little biased to him because he and Daniel Cormier used me as a grappling dummy years ago at an OK State wrestling camp. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the Jon Fitch of the MDW division is a beast in his own right. I think that it really helps Munoz though that he’s training with Anderson, Lyoto, and the Frankenstein Twins. I’ve seen the videos of Anderson working with Munoz and I think that insight gives Munoz a large advantage here. I think Munoz uses his ever improving striking to keep Okami’s wrestling in check and then uses his own wrestling to ground Okami later in the fight. I see this being another entertaining fight with a lot of scrambles off takedown attempts by both fighters. Munoz via SD.
Kris Karkoski – Mark Munoz has impressed by recovering from a debut loss to Matt Hamill with three-straight wins and should be further improved by joining Black House, but Okami has gone 8-2 in the UFC and showed impressive standup in a March stoppage of Lucio Linhares. If Okami can stop the takedown, he should be able to win the fight on his feet and earn a unanimous decision.
justin – Munoz and Okami are both good wrestlers who have shown improving standup. Munoz has also recently shown an incredible ability to come from behind in fights. Like the main event, this is a battle between a fast rising youngster and an experienced veteran. However unlike the main event, I think that the more experienced Okami will come out on top, with a second round TKO.
John Howard vs. Jake Ellenberger:
bsbiz - Two young fighters looking to make a name in the welterweight division. While in some ways Ellenberger is a little bit of a let down from Howard’s original opponent (Rumble), Jake is also not one to be looked over. Howard has designs on cracking the upper tier of the welterweights and needs an impressive win over Ellenberger to begin to achieve that goal; a win over uber-prospect Rumble would have done that. Unfortunately, and through no one’s fault, he’ll now need two wins (Ellenberger and legendary fighter Opponent X). Ellenberger could make a serious and bad ass name for himself if he can pull an upset, propelling himself to where Howard is now. If Howard can keep the fight standing, he could win KO of the Night. If Ellenberger can secure takedowns, he could walk out a winner.
fr702 – Howard by UD
chrisl – This has “fight of the night” written all over it and the loser could be going home in a body bag as hard as these two hit. Ellenberger has a sizeable height advantage in this fight which typically means he’ll have a reach advantage as well. This helps the striking of Ellenberger as it allows him to blast away from distance before moving in for the kill with his massive uppercut. Howard is no slouch though and also a heavy hitter. However, I see the reach and wrestling advantages working in Ellenberger’s favor in an exciting fight. Ellenberger via 3rd RD tKO.
Kris Karkoski – I expect a back-and-forth battle between prospects John Howard and Jake Ellenberger, with Ellenberger’s wrestling proving to be the difference in earning a split decision to hand Howard his first UFC loss.
justin – Both of these fighters are trying to work their way up the ranks of the welterweight division. They both have quality ground games, and big power in their hands. Though Howard is the older fighter, Ellenberger has more experience. I’ve seen several of Ellenberger’s fights, but few of Howard’s, however I really like the way that Ellenberger fights and I believe he is a dangerous opponent for anyone at welterweight, not named Georges St. Pierre or Jon Fitch. With that in mind, I’m picking Ellenberger to win via TKO in the second round of an exciting fight.
Tyson Griffin vs. Takanori Gomi:
bsbiz - Oh, to get into Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine. This fight would have been epic two years ago. Props to Griffin for taking it on fairly short notice, but this fight kind of feels like a letdown. Two years ago, Griffin was grinding opponents into the mat for fifteen minutes and looking unstoppable. Two years ago, Gomi was at his PRIDE best winning relentlessly (with only one gogoplata from a Diaz as a slight blemish). Today, though, Griffin has lost all momentum after losses to Sean Sherk and Evan Dunham, and Gomi looked terrible in a loss to KenFlo. I expect both guys to really go for it. Griffin is fighting for his UFC relevance and Gomi is fighting for his UFC life.
fr702 – Griffin wins by simply being a better wrestler, I doubt he wants to trade with Gomi… Griffin by sub rd 3
chrisl – I think Griffin smothers Gomi for the majority of the fight. I think Gomi works to secure a few submissions but is stifled by a very game Griffin. I think Griffin is determined to getting back on track and will do so by grinding it out using his wrestling skills. Griffin via UD.
Kris Karkoski – Despite coming off a disappointing loss to Evan Dunham and fighting on short-notice for an injured Joe Stevenson, Griffin’s wrestling and endurance should earn him a unanimous decision win over the former PRIDE champ Gomi, who showed little in a March loss to Kenny Florian.
justin – Griffin is replacing an injured Joe Stevenson, fighting just six weeks from his last bout, a loss to Evan Dunham. It is my opinion that Griffin will prove to be a more difficult opponent for Gomi than Stevenson would have been. Gomi was once seen as one of the top lightweights in the world, but that was a long time ago, and unfortunately I don’t think he’ll be reclaiming his former glory Sunday night. I will be pulling for Gomi to win, but I am predicting that Griffin will be the one to come out victorious with a second round submission over “The Fireball Kid”.
PRELIMINARY CARD QUICK PICKS
Paul Kelly vs. Jacob Volkmann: You just gotta go with the chest hair.
DaMarques Johnson vs. Matt Riddle: I have to go with Chipper.
James Irvin vs. Igor Pokrajac: Igor Who? James Who? (Yes, I know who James Irvin is, I was saying that for effect.)
Brian Stann vs. Mike Massenzio: Stann
Darren Elkins vs. Charles Oliveira: Double Who?
Rob Kimmons vs. Steve Steinbeiss: ………..
Paul Kelly vs. Jacob Volkmann: Man this fight right here, boy its going to be crazy… Kelly is just flat crazy and Volkmann is Christmas, I think at the end of the day Kelly will win via (t)ko
DaMarques Johnson vs. Matt Riddle: This is a really fun fight I have no idea who to root for… Riddle has a tendency to eek out decisions but hopefully its a fun fight..
James Irvin vs. Igor Pokrajac: I really would like for Irvin to win via spectacular KO
Brian Stann vs. Mike Massenzio: Stann by SD (will gas in the third)
Darren Elkins vs. Charles Oliveira: Oliveira by sub rd 2
Rob Kimmons vs. Steve Steinbeiss: Steinbeiss by UD
Paul Kelly vs. Jacob Volkmann: Kelly via 2nd Rd tKO
DaMarques Johnson vs. Matt Riddle: Johnson via UD
James Irvin vs. Igor Pokrajac: Irvin via 1st Rd KO
Brian Stann vs. Mike Massenzio: Brian Stann via UD
Darren Elkins vs. Charles Oliveira: Olivera via UD
Rob Kimmons vs. Steve Steinbeiss: Kimmons via SD
Kris Karkoski -
Paul Kelly vs. Jacob Volkmann: Kelly via (T)KO – R2
DaMarques Johnson vs. Matt Riddle: Johnson via unanimous decision
James Irvin vs. Igor Pokrajac: Irvin via (T)KO – R2
Brian Stann vs. Mike Massenzio: Stann via unanimous decision
Darren Elkins vs. Charles Oliveira: Oliveira via submission – R2
Rob Kimmons vs. Steve Steinbeiss: Kimmons via submission – R2
Paul Kelly vs. Jacob Volkmann: Volkmann via unanimous decision.
DaMarques Johnson vs. Matt Riddle: Johnson via submission – round 1
James Irvin vs. Igor Pokrajac: Irvin via TKO – round 2
Brian Stann vs. Mike Massenzio: Stann via TKO – round 3
Darren Elkins vs. Charles Oliveira: Oliveira via unanimous decision
Rob Kimmons vs. Steve Steinbeiss: Steinbeiss via submission – round 2
Pictured: Jon Jones