By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

MAIN CARD Predictions and Analysis

(FUEL TV, 9 a.m. ET)

  • Jeff Hougland (10-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Takeya Mizugaki (15-7-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC)

Both of these bantamweight strikers were originally scheduled to face each other at UFC 151, which was cancelled due to a string of injuries. Coming off recent losses, each fighter finds themselves in a must win situation. With a history of alternating wins and losses that dates back to 2009, Mizugaki should be able to continue the trend with his elusive defense, and his superior striking.

Prediction: Mizugaki via unanimous decision

  • Jon Tuck  (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Tiequan Zhang (15-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC)

John Tuck is undefeated as a professional and possesses a definite athletic advantage. Although Zhang will have the edge with experience and the hometown crowd, Tuck should be able to push the smaller Zhang around the cage. Eventually his athleticism will prove to be too much.

Prediction: Tuck via 2nd rd TKO

  • Mac Danzig (21-9-1 MMA, 5-5 UFC) vs. Takanori Gomi (33-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC)

Mac Danzig rose to fame winning the ultimate fighter reality show, securing his spot in the UFC. Since then he has compiled a .500 record with some impressive wins, but some poor showings as well. Takanori Gomi is an absolute legend in the sport of MMA. Although his record in the UFC at 2-3 is not stellar, “The Fireball Kid” still has some serious striking ability. However Mac Danzig should be able to utilize his improved striking and wrestling defense to maintain position.

Prediction: Danzig via unanimous decision

  • Dong Hyum Kim (15-2-1 MMA, 6-2 UFC  vs. Paulo Thiago (14-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC)

Both of these fighters are coming off quick losses. Kim was forced to submit after suffering a weird rib injury vs Demian Maia, and Thiago was knocked out cold by UFC newcomer Siyar Bahadurzada in just 47 seconds. Kim will hold a definitive striking advantage over Thiago, however the Brazilian does have power. Kim will need his technique to avoid the KO power of Thiago. If Thiago is able to get the fight to the mat, he will be in a more comfortable position. However, Kim has great wrestling defense, and should be able to keep Thiago’s shots at bay with his superior striking.

Prediction: Kim via TKO rd 3

  • Stanislav Nedkov (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Thiago Silva (14-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC)

Thiago Silva was at one time one of the top fighters in the world at 205 lbs, and for good reason. His size and power, coupled with an excellent submission game make him extremely dangerous. However recent issues (failed drug test, suspension and long layoff) had taken their toll on the Brazilian born fighter. In his return, he faced an extremely game Alexander Gustafsson who was able to literally strike circles around the lumbering Silva, frustrating him all the way to a unanimous decision loss. Now Silva will look to return to form, with a new team (Blackzilians) and against a burly striker much like himself. Stanislav Nedkov  is undefeated as a professional and has notable knockout victories over Luiz Cane, and Travis Wiuff. At only 5’11 he will be giving away a distinct height and reach advantage. A disadvantage he will have to overcome, as going to the ground with Silva is not an option for the Bulgarian striker.

Prediction: Silva rd submission (set up by strikes)

  • Rich Franklin (29-6 MMA, 14-5 UFC)  vs. Cung Le (8-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC)

Although both fighters are past their primes; with only Franklin holding on to the slimmest of title aspirations, it should make for an exciting match up. Even at 40 years old, Cung Le can strike with the best in the division. His spinning liver kick may be one of the most devastating strikes ever recorded in MMA. His unique angling. and superior flexibility allow him to hit his opponent at seemingly impossible times. Rich Franklin is one of the most well rounded mixed martial artists in the history of the sport. The former school teacher, and former Middleweight Champion of the world can strike, wrestle and roll with the best. He has notable wins over Chuck Liddell, Wanderlai Silva (Twice), Nate Quarry, and many others in his storybook career. If Franklin is able to close the distance then he should be able to control Le, who has shown his weakness on the ground. Once in position the ground and pound will begin, and end!

Prediction: Franklin rd TKO (ground and pound)

Fight of The Night Prediction: Silva v Nedkov

KO of The Night prediction: Kim

Submission of The Night Prediction: Silva

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