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MMASucka Staff Predictions: UFC Fight Night 34

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Justin – 12-6
Allen – 9-4
Suraj – 7-6
Henry – 7-6
Jeremy – 9-9
JP – 1-4

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MMASucka Staff Predictions: UFC Fight Night 34

Tarec Saffiedine vs. Hyun Gyu Lim

Jeremy: Both men are known for their heavy hands and my pick is whoever lands the clean shot first will win the fight. Who that will be is a toss of a coin. With my toss I am going to have to go with Tarec Saffiedine. Saffiedine via second round TKO

Allen: The names may not be popular, but this fight is going to be back and forth. Both fighters are very explosive, where they know how to dissect their opponents into defeat. Everyone knows about Saffiedine’s leg kicks, along with having excellent takedown defense and a slick arm bar. Despite having a ridiculous reach, Lim will need to close the distance and avoid taking those nasty leg kicks. Hopefully this fight stays standing, because they can really put on a show for the people who are criticizing this main event for lacking star power. Saffiedine has more experience and has fought in the latter rounds before. His cardio is top notch and that will lead him to overwhelming Lim in the latter rounds. Saffiedine via fourth round KO 

Justin: I said before on Twitter that I think Tarec Saffiedine may very well be one of the best fighters brought over from Strikeforce. I’m sticking with that statement, because the heavy-handed Team Quest member is not one to be trifled with. Lim is solid at welterweight, but I don’t see him having what it takes to survive 25 minutes with ” Sponge.” Saffiedine via 3rd round TKO

Thinesh: I like both guys and stylistically, it’s a perfect match-up for fans of the striking game. We don’t know how good Lim’s cardio will be heading into rounds 4 and 5 which leads me to believe it’s a bit of a sporting chance in that aspect. I do, however, see Saffiedine taking a decision win here. Lim’s on a good run and he’s full of confidence so in that regard, I think it’s going to be hard for Saffiedine to finish him. The South Korean will be looking to push the pace but he has to be vary of Saffiedine’s brutal leg kicks. Saffiedine via Unanimous Decision

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Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Sean Soriano

Jeremy: Kawajiri is on a five-fight winning streak and shouldn’t get caught up in all of the Octagon jitters in his debut because he has fought on some of the biggest stages in the world throughout his career. However he is taking on an undefeated fighter who is also making his UFC debut. This bout could come down to who is the most relaxed in the cage and I believe that will be the veteran Kawajiri. Kawajiri via Unanimous Decision

Allen: Kawajiri is getting major hype, but is age a concern? As great as his career has been, he’s 35 years old. Hopefully this isn’t a Mirko Cro Cop situation, where he’s too old and can’t fight at a high level like he used to. Soriano is a great wrestler, who doesn’t go away easily. This should be an exciting chess match, where both fighters will likely cancel each other out. Eventually Kawajiri will do just enough to earn the decision by out striking him. Kawajiri via Unanimous Decision

Justin: It’s a touch call to make when two men are making their Octagon debuts against each other, but if it means anything; the last time Kawajiri fought against an American-training fighter, he got KTFOed by Gil Melendez. That was nearly 3 years and 10 lbs. ago, though. Since then, “The Crusher” has gone down to featherweight and been on a 5 fight winning streak. Soriano, however, is undefeated, but hasn’t had the same quality of competition as his much older opponent. He’s been dominant in CFA, which has been a good proving ground, but I don’t think he’ll fair well enough against someone with the experience of Tatsuya Kawajiri to take the win just yet. Kawajiri via unanimous decision.

Thinesh: There’s been a lot of hype surrounding Sean Soriano who understandably isn’t known at all by the North American audience. But the 24-year-old has been training extensively out of the Blackzilians camp, working closely with the likes of Eddie Alvarez and Danilo Villefort over at Boca Raton, Florida. With that said, Tatusya Kawajiri has been in the game for a long time and I don’t think he’ll be fazed by any octagon jitters, whatsoever. The Japanese fighter is a proven veteran in the Asian MMA circles and I just think his experience will be the difference on fight night. Kawajiri via Unanimous Decision

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Kiichi Kunimoto vs. Luiz Dutra

Jeremy: The Japanese fighter Kunimoto has been fighting in mixed martial arts since 2007 — with his opponent starting four years prior in 2003. After doing some research and seeing that both fighters are riding win streaks, both have been finishing their opponents during these streaks, so it is a very tough pick. Dutra via third round submission

Allen: Dutra is an intriguing prospect with his size and speed. He has more tools in finishing the fight, along with Kunimoto being undersized. It should be a high paced fight, although I don’t think this will end up going to the judges. Dutra is too explosive to be stopped in this one. I’m expecting him to take Kunimoto’s back and finish the fight from there. Dutra via second round submission

Justin: This will be interesting. Kunimoto is an undersized top-control submission guy, while Dutra is a Brazilian fighter who came back and got a win after nearly 3 years off from the sport. I’m going to go with Dutra by his usual winning method. Dutra by unanimous decision

Thinesh: Dutra comes off as the bigger guy in this contest and I think he’ll triumph over Kunimoto with his strength and size. Kunimoto is no slouch by any standards, though, being a former Heat Welterweight champ and all. Unless he takes the fight to the canvas, I can’t see the Japanese fighter getting a victory here. Dutra via Unanimous Decision

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Kyung-Ho Kang vs. Shunichi Shimizu

Jeremy: Anyone with the nickname “Mr. Perfect” must be able to live up to that name and it’s going to be a tough task for Kang to do against submission ace Shimizu. Kang made his promotional debut at UFC 164 with a loss against Chico Camus and I think that after this weekend he will be 0-2 inside the Octagon. Shimizu via first round Submission

Allen: Shimizu still needs work with his striking. He tends to go for submissions at all times, which leads to him being one-dimensional. Kang is more polished and well-rounded as a fighter. I’m expecting Kang to keep the fight standing and not get into a jiujitsu match. Kang via third round TKO

Justin: First thing I thought when I saw Shimizu’s record was, “Damn! That’s a lot of draws!” Then, I saw his 19 submission victories. He’s got the experience edge for sure, and can catch a win off the bottom quite easily. Kang is also decent off his back, with 3 wins by Triangle Choke to his name. Still, this likely won’t end up as a lightning-fast grappling affair. It’s got a very good chance of being a tepid kickboxing bout, and if that’s the case, I’m going with experience over youth. Shimizu via Unanimous Decision

Thinesh: The most interesting fact about this fight is that both guys have garnered the majority of their victories through submissions. Shimizu enters this bout with a ton of experience under his belt and has in fact, been working closely with Andrew Leone (a guy Kang is really familiar with having fought him twice) for this fight. Shimizu has great sweeps and submission maneuvers off his back which once again underlines how savvy he is on the canvas. His striking style, meanwhile, mimics that of many Japanese fighters where he likes to throw dynamic strikes. That could be a problem.

Despite the vast difference in experience, Kang has already fought twice in the UFC and I believe that’s going to give him more confidence and composure heading into this fight. Moreover, having trained with the likes of Dong Hyun Kim in preparation for this bout, I think Shimizu’s in for a tough night. Kang wins by Unanimous Decision

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Jeremy Brand started up this lovechild called MMASucka.com back in 2009. It began as a hobby project and has turned into much more. In his spare time, you can find Jeremy on the mats, as he is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

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