UFC on FOX 10: Wrestling Observer Picks & Preview



UFC On Fox 10

By Josh Nason

With one event official in our books, we’re back for UFC on Fox 10. While there are a few favorites amongst our team of 10, several fights have split us up.

Our panel:

- Dave Meltzer (4-1): Wrestling Observer founder & writer

- Josh Nason (4-1): Wrestling Observer behind-the-scenes guy, WON on Twitter

- Todd Martin (4-1): Weekly FFD guest | LA Times | Sherdog

- Mike Sawyer (4-1): ToughTalkMMA.com, co-host of Tough Talk

- Oliver Copp (4-1): Combat sports insider, co-host of Tough Talk

- Mike Sempervive (3-2): Wrestling Observer Live co-host | Big Audio Nightmare | future book author

- John Pollock (4-1): Fight Network personality, Live Audio Wrestling host

- Lance Storm (2-3): former pro wrestling star, FFD guest, Storm Wrestling Academy founder

- Front Row Brian (4-1): MMA newsbreaker, Twitter personality

- Steve Juon (3-2): Wrestling Observer MMA reporter, AngryMarks.com founder

*****

Benson Henderson (19-2) vs. Josh Thomson (20-5-0-1)
Lightweights

This is Henderson’s first bout since losing the UFC lightweight title in August, snapping a seven fight winning streak. (The bookends, of course, are Anthony Pettis.) At this stage, he’s a decision fighter as he hasn’t finished an opponent in nine fights. With a win, we could be looking at Henderson/Gilbert Melendez II.

In his way is the 35-year-old Thomson who made his return to the UFC an impressive one: a second round TKO win over Nate Diaz in April. Scheduled to fight Pettis for the belt in December, his dance card got reshuffled when Pettis had to bow out with a knee injury. After being out all of 2011, he’s been 2-1 since then. He’s only been finished once in his career and that was nearly a decade ago.

So yeah, I’d bet on this being 25 minutes and hopefully, pretty fun.

Henderson: Nason, Meltzer, Sempervive, Copp, FRB, Storm, Martin, Juon, Pollock, Sawyer

Gabriel Gonzaga (16-7) vs. Stipe Miocic (10-1)
Heavyweights

At 31, Miocic still finds himself in a position where we’re not sure exactly what we have. Is this a future champion? Probably not, but you never know. Is he a gatekeeper? Nah, it’s still too early for that. Will a win over Gonzaga help answer our questions? Yeah, it will. He’s been out since his summer decision win over Roy Nelson, and is 4-1 in the UFC with two T/KO finishes.

The 34-year-old Gonzaga is experiencing a rebirth in his second UFC run. Since getting the nod to return in 2012, he’s 4-1 and has finishes in all four of those wins -- three of which came in the first round. His last two wins over Dave Herman and Shawn Jordan took a grand total of 1:50 with two KO finishes. Another impressive win here puts him in ‘interesting/name opponent’ territory for his next bout.

Gonzaga: Nason, Copp, Pollock
Miocic: Meltzer, Sempervive, FRB, Storm, Martin, Juon, Sawyer

Donald Cerrone (21-6-0-1) vs. Adriano Martins (25-6)
Lightweights

“Cowboy” has certainly had an up-and-down past few years, and it usually depends on his physical condition after his weight cut. He’s 2-2 in his last four with wins over Melvin Guillard and recently, a second round submission win over Evan Dunham. It’s a quick turnaround for Cerrone as the Dunham fight was in mid-November, but looking at his history, that is usually a good thing for him.

The 31-year-old is a relative unknown to UFC fans as he made his promotional debut in November with a second round submission over Daron Cruickshank. He’s won six in a row and was a Strikeforce carryover after competing in Brazil for the entirety of his career.

Cerrone: Nason, Meltzer, Sempervive, Copp, FRB, Storm, Martin, Juon, Pollock, Sawyer

Darren Elkins (17-3) vs. Jeremy Stephens (22-9)
Featherweights

Elkins wins a lot, but doesn’t do so in a way that makes anyone actually remember him. He’s 7-2 in the UFC and 6-1 as a featherweight. After having a five fight win streak snapped by Chad Mendes’ fists, he beat Hatsu Hioki in August by decision.

Since dropping to 145 following a three-fight losing skid, Stephens has two straight wins including a 40 second KO of Rony Jason in November. A win here puts him in some interesting conversations for what’s next. 15 of his 22 wins have come via KO, while two of Elkins’ losses have come via KO. It may not mean anything, but it’s something to keep in the back of your head.

Elkins: Meltzer, Sempervive, FRB, Storm, Martin, Juon
Stephens: Nason, Copp, Pollock, Sawyer

Eddie Wineland (20-9-1) vs. Yves Jabouin (19-8)
Bantamweights

Since making his UFC debut in 2011 following the WEC merger, the book on Wineland is this: when the competition steps up, he loses. In five fights in the last three years, the 29-year-old beat Scott Jorgensen and Brad Pickett with losses to Urijah Faber, Joe Benavidez, and bantamweight champion Renan Barao.

Jabouin has been a pro since 2001 and is 4-2 since the WEC merger, but hasn’t fought the level of competition Wineland has. He wins tight decisions (three split decision wins in those four bouts) and last edged Dustin Pague (he of the current four fight losing streak) this summer.

Note this isn’t a main card fight.

Wineland: Nason, Meltzer, Sempervive, Copp, FRB, Storm, Martin, Juon, Pollock, Sawyer

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