By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Main Card:

Siyar Bahadurzada (171) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (171)

The first fight is interesting match up between a savvy veteran and a heavy handed newcomer, making only his second appearance for the UFC. Bahadurzada has high expectations, and faces his toughest fight yet in Kim. Standing across from him is a man who has only lost twice both of whom are current title contenders(Carlos Condit, Demian Maia). However, Bahadurzada should still maintain the edge in the striking department.

Prediction: Bahadurzada via TKO rd 2

Mizuto Hirota (146) vs. Rani Yahya (146) Hirota is making UFC debut after coming over from the now defunct Strikeforce promotion. He will be looking to impress his hometown crowd, and the UFC brass. Coming off a unanimous decision loss to Pat Healy, he will look to pressure an extremely dangerous Roni Yahya. Yahya is one of the best Brazilian jujitsu practitioners in the world, and is looking keep the momentum rolling after choking out Josh Grispi in his last fight.

Prediction: Yahya via Submission rd 1

Hector Lombard (186) vs. Yushin Okami (185) Yushin Okami has revived his career with his last two performances, earning him a big fight in his hometown. There is only one problem, his opponent is one of the most feared men in all of MMA. Hector Lombard showed in his last fight, what was missing in his first, when he dispatched Rousimar Palhares in exquisite fashion. For Lombard, the transition to the UFC had not gone according to plan after losing his debut. In the battle of relevance vs excellence, take the later every time.

Prediction: Lombard via TKO rd 2

Takanori Gomi (156) vs. Diego Sanchez (158)*

“The Fireball Kid” has promised a resurgence so to speak, one that will start a journey to the title near his hometown of Tokyo Japan. at 34-8 there are very few fighters in the 155 pound division with as much experience as Takanori Gomi. With wins in his last two fights, one coming over Mac Danzig, maybe there is some credence to his claims. Gomi’s dream to be champion is put to its next test when he faces another “Dream”, one that was formerly a “Nightmare”. For years Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez ran roughshod over 2 divisions in the UFC. His aggressive punch for punch style, and granite chin are legendary to fight fans around the world. His style is reminiscent to the Pride days of yesteryear. Now the “Nightmare” is over. For Sanchez his in cage persona became his life persona. Recent injuries, and hardships have forced to pugilist to find meaning outside of the cage. Religion has given Sanchez a new outlook, and a second lease on life. In the cage, however little has changed. He will be looking to overwhelm his opponent with his non stop aggression, and relentless take downs. Early candidate for Fight of the Night.

* SANCHEZ FAILED TO MAKE WEIGHT Agrees to sacrifice 20% of his fight purse.

Prediction: Sanchez via unanimous decision

Mark Hunt (266) vs. Stefan Struve (260)

This is a very interesting match up stylistically. Struve has a combination of skills that can finish the fight in any position. His hands are more than capable of inducing narcolepsy, and his submissions may be one of the best in the division. Add to that arsenal his 7 foot frame, and you would literally have to be outside the cage to be out of his range. Waiting inn the shadow of this “Skyscrapper” is Mark Hunt, ax in hand, ready to chop it down! Not many people in the world can claim they can strike with Mark Hunt. The former K-1 champion may not have the most impressive MMA record, but his recent improvements have been marked, and heads are turning. He will need to utilize his powerful muay thai strikes to wobble, or stagger Struve. However once inside the lengthy range, Hunt has to be weary of Struve’s jujitsu. Most likely Hunt will need to pop in and out, to be effective. This brings his cardio into question.

Prediction: Struve via Submission rd 1

Wanderlei Silva (204) vs. Brian Stann (206)

If Mixed Martial Artists wore military uniforms, very few would be adorned with more accolades and medals than Wanderlei Silva’s. He has been in more wars than Germany! His go for broke style has made him an icon in Japan. Unfortunately his style may no longer suit his chin. Brian Stann will certainly be looking to test that chin early and often. For some reason this fight will be taking place in the 205 lbs division, although Stann has no desire to stay there. For Silva, this could be his last fight as well. Another poor showing will certainly get more people talking retirement. Stann will have the advantage on the ground, his wrestling and strength should be enough to control the jujitsu attack of Silva. Silva although much older and worn, will still maintain a punchers chance. Stann better make sure to keep his chin away from the Wanderlei hooks.

Prediction: Stann via KO rd 2

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