The UFC debuts on the new Fox Sports 1 channel this coming Saturday with the most anticipated free fight card in history. The card is stacked with great talent top to bottom, with fighters from all corners of world battling it out.
The event is being held in Boston, where many of the fighters are from, as well as being the home town of UFC President Dana White. The fight taking place in Boston has not come without its controversy, and White has claimed that he won’t be rushing back to that area of Massachusetts again.
Anyway, these are my predictions for potentially the best preliminary fight card in the last couple of years.
James Vick vs. Ramsey Nijem – A battle of two TUF alumni. Ramsey Nijem competed on TUF Lesnar vs. Dos Santos, where he lost in the finals to Tony Ferguson. James Vick was a fighter for Cruz’ team, and lost to eventual winner Michael Chiesa. This is Vick’s first UFC fight, however, and even though he does have potential, I think the more experienced Nijem will be able to bring a well-rounded approach and beat Vick. Ramsey Nijem wins via unanimous decision
Ovince St. Preux vs. Cody Donovan – St. Preux had a less-than-ideal UFC debut, where his fight with Gian Villante ended with an accidental eye poke. OSP won by technical decision, but will be wanting to make more impact in his upcoming fight. Donovan had a much more impressive UFC debut, obtaining ‘fight of the night’ honors and knocking out Nick Penner in the first round. Donovan is a finisher, but I think St. Preux will be able to weather the storm in the early rounds and rally back for the win. Ovince St. Preux wins via unanimous decision
Cole Miller vs. Manny Gamburyan – This fight takes us back to TUF Season 5, which was one of the more talent-rich series. Miller and Gamburyan are UFC veterans, but have not looked too good as of late. Cole is the much taller fighter, which Gamburyan will struggle with. If Manny can get this fight to the floor, it will turn into a stalemate as both guys are equally talented. I’ll have to go with the younger taller fighter to win. Cole Miller wins via unanimous decision
Diego Brandao vs. Daniel Pineda – Diego Brandao is one of the most dangerous and violent featherweights in the UFC at the moment. He has finishing power as well as good submissions, but has also learned to pace himself through his fights. Daniel Pineda is also a talent in the UFC, that finishes almost every fight. This could end up being our fight of the night, but I think Brandao stuns him and chokes him out. Diego Brandao wins via second round submission
Mike Brown vs. Steven Siler – Mike Brown may be fighting for the last time in his career against a young and very game Steven Siler. Siler has gone an impressive 4-1 in the UFC, and has a lot of potential at 26. I think that Brown has the top game to stifle Siler, and will win possibly his swansong from the sport. Mike Brown wins via unanimous decision
Conor McGregor vs. Max Holloway – The famous Conor McGregor returns to the Octagon for his second fight to take on the always tough Max Holloway. Both guys are strikers, but Conor will be able to counter Max for the whole fight, and Holloway’s lack of Muay Thai will be his downfall. Conor McGregor wins via first round submission
Brad Pickett vs. Michael McDonald – The no. 3 bantamweight (McDonald) collides with the no. 5 bantamweight (Pickett). Both guys have very skilled stand up, with McDonald probably holding the technical edge. Pickett makes up for this with a more well-rounded skill set, and will probably mix in his takedowns in order to win the rounds. Brad Pickett wins via decision
Marcus Pordoy is an MMA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MMAnalysisRoom, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.