UFC looking to upstage Mayweather/Cotto; Díaz takes on Miller whilst Koscheck is up against Hendricks
The UFC is back again this Saturday with another fight card, but this time on Fox TV (America).
We, here in the UK, will be able to see the event on ESPN UK at 10:30pm on Sunday night or, if you prefer to watch it live, you can watch it via UFC.tv. It’s a fight card that is loaded with fights that promise to be “fan-friendly” and, with the fighters involved, it should deliver.
The main event sees two lightweights face off in what is a possible title eliminator.
In one corner is Stockton California native Nate Díaz. The younger of the two fighting Díaz brothers, Nate loves to stand and trade while pushing the pace with what has been dubbed the “Stockton Slap”; lesser impact, high-volume punch combinations.
However, as dangerous as Díaz is in the stand-up portion of the fight, he is lethal on the ground. A black belt in Brazillian Ju Jitsu (BJJ) under the famed Cesar Gracie, Díaz must never be taken lightly when the fight hits the mat.
In the other corner will be hometown favourite Jim Miller.
Miller promises high-level wrestling but also has dynamite in both hands. The question that Miller has to ask himself, though, is: does he stand and trade with a guy who has the highest volume of punches per fight than many others on the roster, or does he look to control the fight with his wrestling?
It’s a tough question for Miller, as he knows that the punch volume of Díaz will sway a judge; but should the fight hit the canvas, Díaz will look to use his famed BJJ.
It all sounds as if Díaz has the fight to lose and, in some ways, that is true; but the ever-present intangible in MMA with the use of 4oz gloves is the sheer power Miller has in his hands.
A well-connected shot can turn or even end the fight in the favour of Miller. Therein lies the beauty of this fight, as the tough, ever-determined Miller will look to outmatch the more technical Díaz. It’s certainly a fight that should deliver on all fronts.
In the co-main event of the evening is a welterweight clash between Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks. This is a match-up made personal by Koscheck as he is looking to avenge the defeat suffered by his teammate and friend (Jon Fitch) at UFC 141 in a 12-second KO.
The always-unpopular bad-boy of MMA, Koscheck brings high-level wrestling and his now-honed stand-up skills.
In Hendricks, however, he finds an opponent who brings just as high a level, if not a higher level, of wrestling and when that happens it’s generally whoever gets the better of the stand-up portion that pulls out the win.
This is where it gets tough to call. Both men swing heavy leather and this really could be a case of whoever lands first will win the fight. Either way, it’s going to be another top-drawer fight.
In another main card fight, former training partner of Brock Lesnar and kickboxing specialist, Pat “HD” Barry will look to add another win to his resumé after his victory back in January when he tackles Lavar Johnson.
Johnson is also a big kicker and loves to use knee strikes. For fans of good kick boxing this could very well be the match-up for you.
Just like UFC 145, there is British interest, although it takes place on the under-card (non-televised) portion of the event.
John Hathaway, famed for his win over Ultimate Fighter season one winner Diego Sanchez back in 2010, will look to keep to winning ways as he battles undefeated Pascal Krauss. The German has stopped all but one of his opponents inside two rounds (seven submissions and two KOs) and will be a stiff test for the Brit.
Remember it’s live from New Jersey, Saturday night on UFC.tv due to TV rights. For those here in the UK who feel the need to sleep, you can watch what should be a great show on ESPN UK at 10:30pm.