UFC 111: St. Pierre vs. Hardy (aka “The Fight in Newark That Will Hopefully Convince the NY Athletic Commission to Sanction MMA”) Preview
It has been less than a week since UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones on Versus and here is what we now know: Brandon Vera’s face is broken. Jone Jones is still ridiculous. Gabriel Gonzaga is struggling. Junior dos Santos is probably 1 solid fight away from a title shot. Oh, and apparently there’s a fight in Jersey this weekend with two titles on the line (granted, one is completely unnecessary but hey, who am I to complain?). That being said, here’s the main card:
Jim Miller vs. Mark Boceck
We start the PPV portion off with a pair of rising LWs in Jim Miller & Mark Boceck. Both are have a few things in common: they’re greatest strength is their ground games, both are riding three fight winning streaks, and both have faced Mac Danzig (Boceck lost by R1 sub, Miller won via UD). If this hits the mat, it should make for an exciting ground war, and frankly, it’s tough to call. For me, though, the hometown NJ native Miller showed improved striking in his most recent fight against Duane Ludwig shows he might be able to wear out Boceck more effectively to win it.
Jay’s Pick: Miller via TKO, R3
Jon Fitch vs. Ben Saunders
Jay’s Pick: Fitch via decision
Kurt Pellegrino vs. Fabricio Camoes
Goes to show that one injury can open up so many opportunities in MMA: Ben Saunders gets bumped up to fight Jon Fitch and now, New Jersey’s own Kurt Pellegrino & Fabricio Camoes get bumped up from the undercard. Pellegrino is riding a three-fight winning streak with wins over Josh Neer, Rob Emerson, and Thiago Tavares. He’s lingering in the middle of the pack in the LW division, having lost to upper tier fighters in Nate Diaz & Joe “Daddy” Stevenson. Camoes, on the other hand, is hoping to avoid having a winless record (which means a quicker exit these days) after a majority draw in his UFC debut against Caol Uno at UFC 106. Both men bring good ground games to the mix, with Pellegrino getting 4 out of his 7 UFC wins via submission and Camoes finishing off 2 out of his 3 previous fights via R1 submission under Strikeforce. Barring he doesn’t get too excited about the bump to the main card in front of his hometown crowd and fall to Camoes jiu jitsu, I give this one to hometown boy Pellegrino.
Jay’s Pick: Pellegrino via TKO, R2
Shane Carwin vs. Frank Mir
Jay’s Pick (here’s the wild one): Carwin via TKO, R2
Georges St.-Pierre vs. Dan Hardy
And now…the main event…of this completely subjective preview! The welterweight title fight: GSP vs. Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy. Oddsmakers have this as high as -1300 for GSP & +800 for Hardy. I’ll stop right there: if you are going to wager ANY money on this fight, unless you are incredibly wealthy, throw a few dollars on Hardy. He has better striking than Matt Serra (Upset alert) and the power to put GSP away…
Now that I’ve addressed the “He could catch him” argument, I’ll go back to why St.-Pierre will win this fight. In only discussing some of his most recent victories, he has outclassed stronger strikers (Alves and Penn) with his wrestling, he’s got insane cardio and gone five rounds with guys who have better chins (Fitch), and, scarily enough, he’s gotten bigger and stronger. Fortunately, this could set up a great fight between Hardy and the winner of Alves/Fitch…
Jay’s Pick: GSP via submission, R3
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