bill-swift - April 14, 2012
The Main Card of UFC on Fuel 2 is loaded will high end talent and up and coming prospects. This is an event you really should not miss. Below is a preview of the fighters and their opponents as well as my prediction on who will come out with the wins this Saturday.
Alexander Gustafsson (13-1, 5-1) vs. Thiago Silva (14-2, 5-2)
The Main Event in Sweden is going to be an exciting one. Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson will take on Thiago Silva for the first time. Both fighters are highly touted in the UFC and a win for either here will boost their stock. "The Mauler" is currently riding a 4 fight winning streak, while Silva is returning from his year long suspension for providing the NSAC with a fake urine sample last January.
"The Mauler" needs to stay patient if he wants to win. Thiago Silva is not a fighter you want to mess with and one good punch from him can put you to sleep. Fortunately for Alex, Silva is going to have a lot of ring rust for such an important fight.
If Thiago can overcome injuries and ring rust he will put away Gustafsson. His striking is violent and he comes forward the entire time. "The Mauler" is really going to have to stay patient and work the fight to the later rounds or Silva will finish the fight.
The Winner: Alexander Gusafsson by Decision. I would expect a competitive fight early but due to the time out of the cage I do not think Silva will be able to hang for the entire fight.
Brian Stann (11-4, 5-3) vs. Alessio Sakara (15-8, 6-5)
The American Marine takes on the Roman Soldier. Well at least that is how Sakara has worded this fight. Both fighters are coming off losses and need a victory to keep their names near the top of the middleweight mix. Both fighters were about 1 win away from being tossed in to title contention last year and their recent losses have derailed those thought for now.
Brian Stann is one tough SOB. This fight may seem like a tune up fight to some of his fans but Sakara can be dangerous at times. Stann will need to play it safe and smart in this fight to get the win. I would like to see him work his wrestling skills in this fight and take the fight to the ground.
It is hard to tell what Alessio Sakara will show up for this fight. IF the solid boxers that destroyed James Irvin shows up, Stann is going to have his work cut out for him. If the Sakara that looked slow and sluggish against Wideman comes to the Octogon, then expect a short night for him.
The Winner: Brian Stann by KO. While I do not think it is in his best interest to stand with Sakara, I know he does not fear him. I am thinking Stann will come out swinging, eat one good punch by Sakara, then lay him out cold.
Paulo Thiago (14-3, 4-3) vs. Siyar Bahadurzada (20-4-1, 0-0)
The long awaited debut of Siyar Bahadurzada has finally arrived. Well maybe no one has cared so much as me but I have seen Siyar fight all over the world for the past 4 years and he has always impressed me. The Dutch MMA artist does not have an easy challenge coming in though. Paulo Thiago will look to improve on his dominating victory over David Mitchell.
Thiago's best chances to win this fight are in his conditioning. The Brazilian Special Forces vet has shown amazing strength and speed in his fights. His biggest concern has been having enough left in the tank for the final round. He looked vastly improved in his last fight and if he shows us the same again he will win this fight.
Siyar Bahadurzada will need to avoid the takedown in this fight. His standup skills are on par with some of the best strikers in the world and that is where he will have the best chance to win. In his last 8 fights he has only lost to former Sengoku champs Jorge Santiago and Kazuo Misaki, and those led in to his current 6 fight winning streak.
The Winner: Paulo Thiago by Submission. This is another tough one to call but Thiago is not going to have UFC jitters and has the better all around skill set. Siyar will make me eat y words though if Paulo can not take him down.
Dennis Siver (19-8, 8-5) vs. Diego Nunes (17-2, (6-2)
The featherweight debut of Dennis Siver comes against a very tough opponent in Diego Nunes. Whoever wins this fight will boost their standing in the cloudy Featherweight division title picture. Expect a quick pace from both guys in what could be Fight of The Night.
Dennis Siver has to hope the drop to 145 is not going to affect his stamina. His unique standup abilities will give Nunes fits in this fight if Siver can stop the takedowns. Denis is also going to have to hope his speed improves at this lighter weight class because Nunes has shown his speed and quickness in all of his fights.
Diego really just needs to get this fight on the ground. Siver can be finished and is sometimes prone to solid submission fighters. If Nunes can get him down and work the top game he will have no problem finishing the fight.
The Winner: Diego Nunes by Decision. This is a potential Fight of the Night winner and I expect it to go back and forth the entire time. The main reason I am giving the win to Nunes is because judges value takedowns and I expect him to get atleast a few.
DeMarques Johnson (15-9, 4-3) vs. John Maguire (17-3, 1-0)
John Maguire looked good in his UFC debut and will need to continue to improve on his current 6 fight win streak to get his name mentioned in the deep Welterweight division. Johnson, the TUF 9 runner-up, will be looking to start a streak after defeating Clay Harvison in his last fight.
DeMarques Johnson can win if he use his long reach and keeps the fight standing. His ground game is not bad but his long limbs can work against him in some situations. He does have a pretty good triangle from his back too but Maguire is a tough ground fighter as well.
John Maguire just needs to get the fight to the ground and as long as he can pass Johnson's guard he will have no problems. He has never been submitted before and has only lost to good fighters. His experience should be able to handle Johnson's reach.
The Winner: John Maguire. John should be able to control this fight from the start. He has championship experience in a small British promotion and that should have him prepared to make a run at 170 lbs.
Brad Pickett (20-6, 3-2) vs. Damacio Page (15-6, 3-3)
Two mainstays under the Zuffa banner at 145 lbs. Both fighters are coming off losses and need a victory to stay in the confusing title picture at featherweight. The good news is that they are never afraid to throw down and will probably start the main card off with fireworks.
If Brad Pickett wants to win he needs to fight smart. Page has holes in his game but he trains with Greg Jackson, so he will be prepared. Page usually comes out looking to bang and so does Pickett, but if Brad takes this fight to the ground he will increase his chances to win.
Damacio's best chance comes if he keeps this fight on his feet and starts a brawl. Pickett is a top 15 FW in the world and Page has been defeated by guys with his skill set before. If he can stop a few early takedowns he can most likely lure Pickett in to a slug fest.
The Winner: Brad Pickett. BP should come out with a smart gameplan and take this fight to Page. Page will make it exciting though.
Watch the UFC on Fuel 2 this Saturday at 3pm ET/6pm PT live on Fuel TV.
Article by Joe Santeusanio