MMASucka Staff Predictions: UFC 182

 

The first PPV of 2015 goes down from the MGM Grand Garden Arena, as UFC 182 is upon us.

MMASucka Staff Predictions: UFC 182

In the main event, the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones takes on Daniel Cormier.

As always the staff at MMASucka.com will make their predictions for the entire main card. As you can see from our overall running scores, some of us are much better than others. But without further ado, check out the MMASucka Staff Predictions.

Jeremy (2014 Champ) – 0-0
Justin – 0-0
Allen – 0-0
Suraj – 0-0
Thinesh – 0-0
Mike – 0-0
Nick – 0-0

***

Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier – for UFC light heavyweight title

Jeremy: This fight is as hyped as any in UFC history and for that it has me extremely excited. I would love to see a shake up in the 205-pound division and see “DC” become the new champ. Unfortunately, in order for him to do that, he will have to grind out a boring decision in my mind. On the other hand, Jones will have to either finish Cormier early or take him into deep waters and obliterate him then. My money is on the champ, as I feel he will be able to control the pace and keep the distance. Jon Jones via first round TKO.

Nick: Like every single mixed martial arts fan, I’m very excited for this light heavyweight title fight between the pound-for-pound king, Jones, and the undefeated Cormier.  Unlike most people, I don’t see this fight being close at all, but I won’t go as far to say a lopsided fight, either.  I can see ways the challenger can dethrone ‘Bones’, but I simply can see more ways the titleholder can continue his road to becoming the Greatest of all Time.  Jones’ unorthodox style and long reach advantage I believe will be one of two things that will be the deciding factor.  He can strike from far away, and is known for not letting his opponents use their own game plan.  Cormier will be looking to pressure the champ, and ultimately take him down, or even knock him out.  Even if Cormier gets Jones down, I don’t think he’ll be very successful on top and Jones might even lock in a submission from the bottom.  The second factor that will decide the bout is experience against the elite.  Jones has defeated the who’s who of mixed martial arts, he’s defeated the likes of Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Alexander Gustafsson, Vitor Belfort and more.  Cormier, on the other hand, is coming off a win over a washed-up Dan Henderson, and a coffee barista named Patrick Cummins.  Jones is also known for making his opponents — very good fighters — look like amateurs.  I won’t go as far as saying he’ll make ‘DC’ look like an amateur, but he will definitely win.  Jon Jones via Unanimous Decision

Allen: I’ll be shocked if this fight doesn’t go to an decision. Both fighters are so durable and have such high fight IQ’s. Jones has started to fight somewhat conservatively over the past two fights. It’s hard to rate Cormier’s past fights at light heavyweight because of how obvious the mismatches were. This fight will likely come down to who can dictate the fight. Jones always tends to corner his opponents and control the octagon. Can that happen against the best wrestler in MMA that has proven to be fearless? Cardio will obviously be a factor, especially with this being Cormier’s first five round fight at light heavyweight. I’ve become a firm believer in favoring the better wrestler in title fights. Besides Robbie Lawler vs. Johny Hendricks, we’ve seen how wrestling and cage control is favored in judging. Jones wrestling has somewhat declined over the past two fights. I’m going with the upset in Cormier maintaining top control long enough to convince the judges. If Jones can’t utilize his reach efficiently, it will be a long night.  Daniel Cormier via unanimous decision 

Justin: Here is a crazy thing to consider for this fight: Neither Jon Jones nor Daniel Cormier have what you consider to be “one shot, one kill” striking. So a 1st round finish is not something to expect from either fighter. As well, Cormier is used to grinding out decisions against lengthier fighters from his time in the heavyweight division. True, they weren’t as athletic as Jon Jones, or had the variety of strikes, but he got inside, scored takedowns, and won fights. I think this will be a close fight, but my gut is saying Cormier here. Daniel Cormier via unanimous decision

Mike: I do not expect a finish here. Truly a toss-up. But I believe in Daniel Cormier. I believe he will pressure Jon like nobody ever has. I believe he will make Jon carry his weight around for 25 minutes. I think he will be the aggressor and I expect his wrestling ability to be on full display. Regardless of who wins; this will not be a competitive fight. Daniel Cormier via Unanimous Decision.

Donald Cerrone vs. Myles Jury

Jeremy: Being a fan of both these guys, I don’t want either to lose. I am not going to break it down and the prediction will be quick and easy. Donald Cerrone via Unanimous Decision.

Nick: Cerrone is a true veteran of the sport and has looked better than ever in 2014, despite being a professional mixed martial artist for almost a decade.  Jury, on the other hand, is a talented prospect in the lightweight division, and at age 26, definitely has a future.  This fight really boils down to, experience.  Cerrone has fought the best 155-pounders on the planet, including champion Anthony Pettis and Benson Henderson.  Despite losing to them, he still gained experience from those fights and got better.  Jury is coming off a stoppage win over washed-up Takenori Gomi and a victory over Diego Sanchez, who is also close to retirement.  Jury looks better every fight visibly, but I think this fight is too quick for his young career.  Donald Cerrone via Unanimous Decision

Allen: Jury has tremendous upside, but I’m not fully convinced by his ability yet. The UFC’s matchmaking hasn’t helped in booking him against fighters that are clearly past their prime. Now he’s facing a true top five lightweight. Cerrone’s striking is so unpredictable and can be overbearing for any of his opponents. We saw how essential his leg kicks were in defeating Eddie Alvarez. His takedown defense tends to be overlooked, yet it has improved dramatically. His victory over Jim Miller showcased that . It’s difficult to see how Jury can win this fight. His striking isn’t good enough to out-strike Cerrone. Unless he gets caught early on due to being a notorious slow starter, this is Cerrone’s fight to lose. Donald Cerrone via KO round two

Justin: I’ve heard people whose opinions I trust on MMA matters compare the defense-oriented style of Myles Jury to that of Lyoto Machida. They also noted that such a defensive style came back to bite Lyoto on the backside in a couple of decision losses. “The Fury” is a counter-puncher who likes to avoid getting hit, and when you’re in there with an aggressive fighter like Donald Cerrone, that’s a recipe for a decision loss. Even with a slow start, don’t expect “Cowboy” to go down like his Jackson’s MMA teammate Diego Sanchez. Donald Cerrone via Unanimous Decision

Mike: Not much to break down here. Jury is a solid prospect with a ton of upside, but he’s not ready for Cowboy. Donald Cerrone via Unanimous Decision.

Nate Marquardt vs. Brad Tavares

Jeremy: I am so confused by this fight, not in terms of why it is happening, but how it is going to play out. Marquardt is that perennial contender in the division, while Tavares is the up and comer who hasn’t looked great in his last few outings. In my mind it is really a make or break fight for either one of these guys — if Tavares losing, then he is a middle of the pack kind of guy and if Marquardt does, then he is too old to likely make another run for a title. Nate Marquardt via first round TKO.

Nick: This fight is very important for both middleweights if either one of them want to make a run at cracking the top ten.  Tavares hasn’t looked great as of late, but I would also say he’s been rather unlucky.  Of course a finish is a win on paper, but he was dominating Tim Boestch until he was technically knocked out.  Despite the fact that Marquardt is coming off an impressive win over James Te Huna, he’s still desperate for a win here to stay somewhat relevant in the division.  This fight all depends on who shows up.  Sometimes Marquardt shows up on a good note, and looks terrific.  Other times, he shows up and is a boring, inactive fighter and gets finished.  Who shows up on Saturday night?  Both of them, but Tavares wants it more.  Brad Tavares via Unanimous Decision

Allen: Marquardt’s game plan can be confusing at times. He falls under the norm of wrestlers falling in love with their hands. They knock a few fighters out and believe that they can knock out anyone. That was one of the reasons for his three-fight losing streak. Marquardt went back to his wrestling roots against James Te Huna. That fight showed some semblance that he’s willing to go back to what made him a top fighter. That will be essential to beat a well-diversified striker in Tavares. It’s hard to truly rate Tavares’ takedown defense, considering how good Yoel Romero is. What concerned me was how easily he was finished by a rapidly declining Tim Boetsch. Marquardt looks rejuvenated at middleweight and has more ways to win. Nate Marquardt via second round TKO

Justin: So, at what point does Brad Tavares have to start winning fights to be considered a top prospect as opposed to riding on the Xtreme Couture gym name? He’s not a bad fighter, and his striking is noticeably better thanks to his work with striking coach Ray Sefo, but if he is the best that’s left at the former powerhouse, then I think it’s time to call a spade a spade and say that Xtreme Couture is no longer an elite team. Nate Marquardt’s been around, and I see him having the veteran savvy to deal with Tavares and notch a TKO win. Nate Marquardt via second round TKO

Mike: Nate Marquardt is a beast. He may have been a bit off lately, but I expect the middleweight Marquardt to keep on winning. The knockout power is still there, and I think it’ll be displayed here. Nate Marquardt via Round 2 TKO.

Louis Gaudinot vs. Kyoji Horiguchi

Jeremy: There are so many good fights on this card and I truly believe this one could be the sleeper pick for ‘Fight of the Night.’ Horiguchi has everything to become a contender in the flyweight division and likely a victory over the resilient Gaudinot will put him a few fights away from that. Kyoji Horiguchi via round 2 TKO.

Nick: This could be a very entertaining fight and you won’t want to blink, because, well, flyweights are pretty dang fast.  Horiguchi is a young and talented 125lb-er and has been on a tear in the division.  He’s only suffered one loss in his career and is only getting better.  He has a huge future ahead of him, and has finishing power.  On the other hand, Gaudinot hasn’t looked good as of late and I just don’t see anything in him that will cause Horiguchi trouble.  ‘Goodnight’ is going to sleep.  Kyoji Horiguchi via TKO, Round 2

Strk: Horiguchi is somewhat of an intriguing prospect. His power is in the upper echelon for the flyweight division. While his style can be careless at times, Gaudinot isn’t technical enough to capitalize on those openings. We’ve seen his striking basically consist of forward pressure and throwing punches without substance. His durability has always a major asset, considering all the battles he’s been through. Horiguchi is explosive enough to catch him at some point. It may take a few rounds, but persistence will pay off. Kyoji Horiguchi via Unanimous Decision

Justin: There’s not much for me to say about Kyoji Horiguchi that hasn’t been said already. He’s probably the brightest Japanese prospect in the the UFC, and the one with the highest likelihood of scoring a championship win given the lack of depth at flyweight. Louis Gaudinot is a good test for him, but I don’t see the green-haired Cajun stopping the Horiguchi hype train. Kyoji Horiguchi via Unanimous Decision

Mike: My pick for Fight of the Night. Two guys who put it all out there every time. The odds are a bit lop-sided in my opinion. Gaudinot is a stiff test for the rising prospect in Kyoji Horiguchi. I’m predicting a back-and-forth slugfest with Horiguchi getting his hand raised at the end of the night. Kyoji Horiguchi via Round 3 TKO.

Josh Burkman vs. Hector Lombard

Jeremy: They are feeding Burkman to the wolves in his first bout back with the big show. He has shown great improvement since leaving the organization, however this is a fight against Lombard. He has no business being across from the “Showeather” inside the Octagon and his only way to win will be a lucky punch. I think this one happens fast and Lombard continues to be that guy in the 170-pound division that no one wants to fight. Hector Lombard via first round KO.

Nick: Lombard is a beast, that’s a fact and you cannot deny it.  He’s a large welterweight and has deadly finishing power.  Burkman is returning to the UFC, and I do believe he has the skills to have some success in the UFC.  Despite that, Lombard is far from a pretty welcome back, and the fight won’t last long.  Nighty night.  Hector Lombard via Knockout, Round 1

Allen: You can label this as a showcase or tune-up fight. It feels wrong to completely discount Josh Burkman, who had great success outside of the UFC. Lombard is such a matchup nightmare for practically any welterweight. His ability to push forward and basically dictate the pace is a joy to watch. If he wants to stand-and-trade, he’ll have no problem unleashing a flurry of punches. If he wants to use his judo, you can watch the Jake Shields fight and see the clinic that was put on. Burkman’s standup has never been all that impressive. This has all the makings to be another fight for Lombard to put on his highlight reel. Hector Lombard via first round TKO 

Justin: I give Josh Burkman all the credit in the world for taking a fight against Hector Lombard as his ticket back into the UFC. That takes some serious balls, so kudos to you, Josh. However, there is a reason that Lombard is ducked so much that he makes Vitor Belfort look like Conor Macgregor: He is an unstoppable killing machine created in a secret underground lab beneath the streets of Havanah. Sorry Mr. Burkman, hope they give you a better fight next time. Hector Lombard via first round TKO

Mike: Lombard a monster, but the amount of people predicting him to destroy Burkman blows my mind. I expect a win from him, but it goes the distance. Hector Lombard via Unanimous Decision.

 

Danny Castillo vs. Paul Felder

Jeremy: Danny Castillo via Unanimous Decision

Nick: Danny Castillo via Submission, Round 2

Allen: Danny Castillo via Unanimous Decision

Justin: Danny Castillo via Unanimous Decision

Mike: Danny Castillo via Unanimous Decision

Marcus Brimage vs. Cody Garbrandt

Jeremy: Marcus Brimage via first round TKO

Nick: Cody Garbrandt via Submission, Round 3

Allen: Marcus Brimage via second round TKO

Justin: Marcus Brimage via first round TKO

Mike: Marcus Brimage via second round TKO

Jared Cannonier vs. Shawn Jordan

Jeremy: Shawn Jordan via Unanimous Decision

Nick: Shawn Jordan via TKO, Round 2

Allen: Shawn Jordan via TKO, Round 1

Justin: Shawn Jordan via

Mike: Shawn Jordan via Round 3 TKO

Rodrigo Damm vs. Evan Dunham

Jeremy: Evan Dunham via Unanimous Decision

Nick: Evan Dunham via Split Decision

Allen: Evan Dunham via Unanimous Decision

Justin: Evan Dunham via Unanimous Decision

Mike: Evan Dunham via Round 1 Submission

Omari Akhmedov vs. Mats Nilsson

Jeremy: Omari Akhmedov via third round submission

Nick: Omari Akhmedov via Unanimous Decision

Allen: Omari Akhmedov via Unanimous Decision

Justin: Omari Akhmedov via third round TKO

Mike: Omari Akhmedov via Unanimous Decision

Alexis Dufresne vs. Marion Reneau

Jeremy: Alexis Dufresne via Unanimous Decision

Nick: Alexis Dufresne via Unanimous Decision

Allen: Alexis Dufresne via Unanimous Decision

Justin: Maureen Reneau via first round TKO

Mike: Alexis Dufresne via Unanimous Decision

 

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