Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

UFC Matchup Analysis (6/6): Henderson vs. Grant, Condit vs. Kampmann

Here’s part two of this week’s matchup analysis, taking a look at some of the fights announced for later this year.

Again, these will be super short for each fight, just because there are so many fights. In the future I’ll try to break the fights down a little more.

IN THIS POST

  • Benson Henderson vs. T.J. Grant
  • Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann
  • Iuri Alcantara vs. Urijah Faber
  • Michael McDonald vs. Brad Pickett
  • Conor McGregor vs. Andy Ogle
  • Mike Brown vs. Akira Corassani
  • Uriah Hall vs. Nick Ring
  • Ovince St-Preux vs. Cody Donovan
  • Ramsey Nijem vs. James Vick
  • Donald Cerrone vs. Rafael Dos Anjos
  • Kelvin Gastelum vs. Paulo Thiago
  • Court McGee vs. Robert Whittaker
  • Sara McMann vs. Sarah Kaufman
  • Bubba McDaniel vs. Brad Tavares
  • James Head vs. Bobby Voelker
  • Justin Edwards vs. Brandon Thatch
  • Nikita Krylov vs. Soa Palelei

All statistics in this post are provided by Fight Metric.

UFC 164: Benson Henderson vs. T.J. Grant

TJ Granted Title Shot in 164 Main

Given the choice between fighting smart and fighting stupid, Gray Maynard chose to fight stupid against T.J. Grant. Maynard actively engaged in a striking match against Grant and was rewarded for it with a first-round knockout loss. Grant is a very good striker and has excellent top position jiu-jitsu as well. His glaring weakness is his 37% takedown defense rate, which neither Maynard nor Matt Wiman took advantage of.

I expect Henderson to go for takedowns early and often in this match, land a lot of them, and end up winning by decision. However, if Henderson tries to strike against Grant, there’s a serious chance of an upset and new lightweight champion.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Aug. 28): Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann

Kampmann vs. Condit 2 Gets Main Event Billing

The first time these guys fought, it was a back-and-forth battle and a contender for Fight of the Year. In the end, Kampmann won, largely because he landed all five of his takedown attempts. If Condit wants to avoid the same fate in the rematch, he’ll have to figure out to defend takedowns. As long as Condit can keep it standing, I like his chances on the feet, especially because four of Kampmann’s six losses are by TKO. I think we’ll see a fight that looks a lot like the first, with striking, takedowns, submissions, scrambles, and a close decision in the end.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Aug. 17): Iuri Alcantara vs. Urijah Faber

Shogun vs. Sonnen to Headline Boston Card

Going from Iliarde Santos to Urijah Faber might be the greatest jump in opponent difficulty in UFC history. I like Alcantara a lot, but I’m not sure about his chances in this one. Alcantara’s takedown defense is a question mark and I don’t expect it to be good enough to shut Faber down. If Faber chooses to engage in a striking match, that opens the door for an Alcantara upset, but otherwise, I like Faber’s chances.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Aug. 17): Michael McDonald vs. Brad Pickett

Shogun vs. Sonnen to Headline Boston Card

Oof. This is the wrong man for Brad Pickett to run into. Let’s see… striker with porous defense faces opponent with fast hands and big knockout power. It’s a recipe for disaster for Pickett, who I expect to be finished in this fight.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Aug. 17): Conor McGregor vs. Andy Ogle

McGregor Scores Octagon Callback vs. Ogle

Great style match for McGregor, terrible style match for Ogle. I think McGregor is one of the best talents to recently enter the UFC featherweight division – a very good striker who almost always wins by TKO. That’s bad news for Ogle, who won’t be able to match McGregor’s striking. Ogle will need takedowns to pull off an upset, but I just think McGregor is on another level.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Aug. 17): Mike Brown vs. Akira Corassani

McGregor Scores Octagon Callback vs. Ogle

I thought retirement was an excellent idea for former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown, but instead he’s back to face Akira Corassani. Under normal circumstances, I’d expect Brown to impose his will on Corassani here, but how much does Brown have left in the tank? If Corassani shuts down Brown’s wrestling, he can absolutely win this fight.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Aug. 17): Uriah Hall vs. Nick Ring

McGregor Scores Octagon Callback vs. Ogle

Uriah Hall is his own worst enemy. He has tremendous power and hand speed, but is often too timid for his own good. Against Nick Ring, I would think Hall’s speed and power would carry him through to a knockout victory. However, if Hall is too passive, and lets Ring score points, there’s definite potential for Ring to win by decision. It really shouldn’t happen, but it might.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Aug. 17): Ovince St-Preux vs. Cody Donovan

Shogun vs. Sonnen to Headline Boston Card

St-Preux is a fairly good striker, but one with somewhat poor conditioning. I think he can sprawl-and-brawl against Donovan early, but if St-Preux’s cardio fails him, that opens the door for Donovan to make a comeback later in the fight.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Aug. 17): Ramsey Nijem vs. James Vick

Shogun vs. Sonnen to Headline Boston Card

Vick is a 6’3″ lightweight, which should be a recipe for Nijem to take him down repeatedly. That’s something Nijem should want to do anyway, with his chin proving to be unreliable at best.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Aug. 28): Donald Cerrone vs. Rafael Dos Anjos

Cowboy Gets Co-Main Slot on FOX Sports 1

This should be a very difficult fight for Dos Anjos. Cerrone should prove to be the better striker (although Dos Anjos is no slouch), which will compel Dos Anjos to go for takedowns on Cerrone. As good as the jiu-jitsu of Dos Anjos is, Cerrone is very difficult to submit. Dos Anjos can win this, but it will be an uphill battle for him.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Aug. 28): Kelvin Gastelum vs. Paulo Thiago

Sara vs. Sarah Among Indy Additions

A nice step up in competition for Gastelum, and a winnable fight for sure. Gastelum should prove to have better striking, wrestling, and conditioning in this fight. My biggest concern is that Gastelum is prone to being sloppy on the ground – he could get away with that on TUF, but not against Paulo Thiago. At first glance, I like Gastelum to grind Thiago out, but he’ll need to stay disciplined on the ground.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Aug. 28): Court McGee vs. Robert Whittaker

Cowboy Gets Co-Main Slot on FOX Sports 1

This should be a good test of Whittaker’s stamina. McGee is one of the most prolific strikers in the UFC, putting on a high pace that he can maintain thanks to excellent conditioning. I doubt Whittaker can keep up with him.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Aug. 28): Sara McMann vs. Sarah Kaufman

Sara vs. Sarah Among Indy Additions

This should be a pure striker vs. wrestler match. While Kaufman is the more experienced fighter, it’s hard to see her stopping McMann’s takedowns. To make matters worse, if she does get taken down, Kaufman has exactly zero wins by submission on her record. I think McMann grinds out a decision win here.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Aug. 28): Bubba McDaniel vs. Brad Tavares

Sara vs. Sarah Among Indy Additions

No disrespect to Bubba McDaniel, but I just don’t see him as a UFC-level fighter. His striking and wrestling are both deficient, which makes Brad Tavares a horrible matchup for him. Tavares should be able to sprawl and brawl his way to a TKO victory in this one.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Aug. 28): James Head vs. Bobby Voelker

Sara vs. Sarah Among Indy Additions

Both fighters prefer to stand and bang, although Voelker is known to mix in some takedowns when he fights. Voelker is also very tough to put away, as he showed against Patrick Cote, while Head was knocked out by Mike Pyle in his last fight. This one has the makings of a tough battle for both guys.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 (Aug. 28): Justin Edwards vs. Brandon Thatch

Cowboy Gets Co-Main Slot on FOX Sports 1

Thatch enters the UFC at 9-1, with six wins in under one minute each. That’s a good opponent for Edwards, who has five such wins, including a 45-second guillotine choke of Josh Neer in his last fight. I don’t know who will win, but don’t blink.

UFC 164: Nikita Krylov vs. Soa Palelei

More Heavyweights Headed For Milwaukee

Krylov is 14-0 with 14 first-round wins. That sounds fantastic, but his list of opponents… leaves a lot to be desired. Krylov’s best career win was against Gabriel Tampu, who was 5-0 entering the match. I’ll put it this way: Krylov has a lot to prove, and Soa Palelei is a very appropriate test for him.

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