It’s been a long two weeks, but finally fight week is here. This is the five-question preview regarding UFC on Fox 8, which is taking place this Saturday in Seattle. While the main card may not be as good as past UFC on Fox events, it still brings some intriguing fights. It will be the first Fox event that features a women’s fight to go along with a potential number one contender’s fight in the welterweight division, and a flyweight championship bout.
With so many stacked UFC events coming up, not every card can be filled with huge fights. As usual, I’m going to have one writer from the site with me to answer a few questions regarding the fights. Justin Pierrot is with me this week and doesn’t seem too negative about the card unlike some skeptics.
Five questions for UFC on FOX 8
1.Which preliminary fight are you looking forward to the most?
Allen Strk: Mac Danzig versus Melvin Guillard is the fight I’m looking forward to the most by a landslide. There records may not look good, but each fighter is always involved in exciting fights. Danzig hasn’t had a two fight win streak in over five years, while Guillard has lost four of his last five fights. Both fighters are obviously at a crossroads in their career, where a loss could mean the end to their UFC career.
I’m expecting a high paced fight, where both of them will look for the finish at all times. I’d expect Gulliard to try to finish the fight early like he always does. Danzig’s best bet would be to take Guillard to the ground and try to submit him, while Guillard will look to keep the fight standing up. Out of all the preliminary fights, this is likely the most important and it features two guys that won’t disappoint.
Justin Pierrot: I’m looking forward to Julie Kedzie taking on Germaine de Randemie. If you didn’t see Kedzie’s fight with Miesha Tate in Strikeforce last year, you missed out. The Jackson’s MMA product has finally been hitting her stride as of late, as she impressed even in defeat. Expect “Fireball” to go ovaries to the wall in taking on the Dutch kickboxing expert.
Germaine “The Iron Lady” de Randemie is another name many UFC fans may not be familiar with, but the Dutch kickboxer is a nothing short of a machine. Last seen defeating Hiroko Yamanaka by decision in Strikeforce last year. De Randemie will be making her debut at bantamweight and hopes to make her way towards a title shot, starting with a decisive victory over Kedzie. As has been the case so far, the women will steal the show.
2. Liz Carmouche has gained a lot of popularity after her exciting fight with Ronda Rousey at UFC 157. Do you think she is going to be a factor in bringing in more viewership?
AS: It will slightly help that she is on the card. If she were still facing Miesha Tate, I’d think it would be arguably the second most popular fight on the card. With Tate now on the Ultimate Fighter, she’s facing Jessica Andrade, who is unknown to certain MMA fans.
People can get behind Carmouche for spending five years in the Marine Corps, while being the first openly gay fighter in the UFC. She comes off as a very humble person and actually pushed Rousey to the edge in the championship fight. I’m expecting more people to get behind her, as her career moves on. She needs to start up a win streak for a potential rematch with Rousey. I’m expecting a ground-and-pound finish from her to start the night off with a bang.
JP: I have to agree with Allen here. I really believe that Carmouche will be a decent draw for the UFC going forward. After her gutsy performance against Ronda Rousey, she has cemented her reputation as a hard-nosed fighter and endeared herself to a whole new group of fans.
It doesn’t matter if “Girl-rilla’s” opponent is unknown. Liz has charisma for days, and has been an amazing ambassador for the UFC, both in the GLBT community and in general. I would not be surprised to see a spike in the quarter-hour ratings during Carmouche’s bout with Andrade.
3. Who do you think has the upper hand when it comes to standing up between Robbie Lawler and Bobby Voelker? Both guys are known for their vicious striking.
AS: I’m going to give the edge to Lawler. He is more unpredictable and truly has one punch knockout power. Who can forget his knockout against Melvin Manhoef, when he could barely walk after taking so many leg kicks? There aren’t many welterweights in the world that have one punch knockout power like Lawler does.
Voelker can take punishment and doesn’t get finished early. His best bet is to wear him out, especially since we’ve seen how reckless Lawler can be at times. He’s shown countless times that he can finish fights. This will be arguably the toughest fight of his career since he’s never faced a boxer of the caliber of Lawler. He was a good replacement for Siyar Bahadurzada, although I’m still a little disappointed that fight isn’t happening. This fight should contain a tremendous amount of haymakers thrown by both fighters.
JP: While Bobby Voelker is a powerful puncher, he just does not have Robbie Lawler’s number. Voelker’s record shows a history of trouble against people who are willing to take him down. Even Patrick Cote, known primarily as a striker, was able to take “Vicious” down and grind out a decision victory. With Lawler’s time put in with the the skilled wrestlers at the H.I.T. Squad, I would not be surprised to see him faking takedowns in order to set up his powerful punches en route to knocking Voelker out.
Let’s be realistic, this fight could very well go the distance. Both fighters are durable, and as mentioned before, Lawler has spent enough time with wrestlers to be able to take Voelker down if he starts feeling uncomfortable on the feet. Simply having options in this fight is what gives Lawler the edge on the feet.
4. There is no doubt that the fight everyone wants to see on the card is Rory MacDonald vs. Jake Ellenberger. Do you see this fight lasting three rounds?
AS: Similar to when Ellenberger fought Nate Marquardt, it’s highly doubtful that there isn’t a finish before the fifteen minutes are up. Both welterweights have proven they can finish fights on a consistent basis and have made it clear that they have bad blood between each other. Ellenberger thinks MacDonald is overhyped because of his friendship with Georges St. Pierre. On the other hand, MacDonald sees this as a stepping-stone towards earning a title shot.
The longer the fight goes, the more it favors MacDonald. While he has one-punch knockout power, Ellenberger tends to tire out which was evident in his fights against Diego Sanchez and Carlos Condit. Both fighters are evenly matched and riding a lot of momentum, which makes this a fantastic fight. Macdonald will go for more leg kicks early, while Ellenberger could start swinging for a knockout right away. It should be a highly aggressive fight with limited stalling.
JP: Depending on which version of Rory MacDonald shows up, there could either be a finish or a one-sided decision victory. While he wouldn’t admit to it when asked on the UFC on FOX 8, MacDonald seemed to take his time when dominating BJ Penn and Nate Diaz, fighters who had shown him a great deal of disrespect. When facing fighters who were – at the very least – civil, like Mike Pyle and Che Mills, he went for the finish.
While that’s not to say that Jake Ellenberger couldn’t finish MacDonald, but “Ares” has shown the same ability that his senior, Georges St-Pierre, has to follow a game plan. As Allen stated earlier, the longer the fight goes, the better the chance MacDonald has of finishing “The Juggernaught.” That is, if he even chooses to.
5. Instead of debating about the general argument about the flyweight division, let’s actually talk about the fight. Do you think John Moraga is the perfect matchup for Demetrious Johnson with his wrestling and cardio?
AS: I’m not sure if I’d classify him as the perfect matchup. Moraga is physically stronger, but it has been shown that speed kills in the flyweight division. The speed of Demetrious Johnson has yet to be figured out in the flyweight division. Joseph Benavidez is arguably the best flyweight in the division, yet Johnson outclassed in almost every way despite only earning the split decision victory.
The other issue with Moraga is the step up in competition. This is a huge test for him going up against someone that is used to fighting at a high pace for 25 minutes. He may strong enough to smother takedown attempts, but the pace that Johnson fights at is going to be a difficult transition. On paper, it seems like he matches up well but he’s going to struggle as the rounds go on. Benavidez seems like the only flyweight I can see dethroning Johnson at the moment.
JP: John Moraga hails from the same camp as UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson, training under one of the most underrated coaches today, John Crouch. I’m sure they’ve been preparing for Johnson, while “Mighty Mouse” himself admits to focusing on bettering himself instead of studying opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. While this could be a difference, I don’t expect it to be. Johnson’s cardio and speed are nearly unparalleled, and even with months to prepare, I don’t see anybody being able to keep up over five rounds.
I broke this fight down from a numbers perspective earlier this week in Stats for Suckas, and have noted that Moraga’s go-to submission appears to be the guillotine choke. If and that’s a big if, he can catch one of those on Johnson when “Mighty Mouse” shoots in for a takedown, he may be able to get the finish. However, I don’t believe that he will be able to. I feel that he will not be able to pick up Johnson’s timing due to the speed difference, and in the end, that will be his undoing.
AS: It’s refreshing to talk about the flyweights and their actual fighting ability. If you are wondering, I do support the flyweights although I’m still skeptical in them being the main event on a Fox show. I’d like them more as a main event to a Fuel or FX event or the co main event of a pay-per-view. Regardless of their placement on the card, they deserve to be featured as a division. This is shaping up to be a solid card that could change the landscape of the flyweight and welterweight divisions.