UFC Fight Night Ohio: Observer Main Card Picks & Preview



UFC Fight Night Ohio

By Josh Nason, Wrestling Observer

Sung in the tune of Cat Stevens, aka the ballad of UFC addicts:

Another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody/
I've got some money 'cause I just got paid/
Now, how I wish I had someone to talk to/
I'm in an awful way/

Here I am, stuck on the couch just like you (sung Steve Miller style).

*****

Our panel:

Mike Sawyer (38-11 - .775: ToughTalkMMA, co-host of Tough Talk

- Front Row Brian (37-12 - .755): MMA newsbreaker, Twitter personality

John Pollock (36-13 - .734): Fight Network personality, Live Audio Wrestling host

- Josh Nason (36-13 - .734): Wrestling Observer behind-the-scenes guy, WON on Twitter

Dave Meltzer (35-14 - .714): Wrestling Observer founder & writer

Todd Martin (35-14 - .714): Weekly FFD guest | LA Times | Sherdog

Mike Sempervive (32-17 - .653): Wrestling Observer Live co-host | Big Audio Nightmare

- Lance Storm (31-18 - .632): former pro wrestling star, FFD guest, Storm Wrestling Academy founder

- Steve Juon (31-18 - .632): Wrestling Observer MMA reporter, AngryMarks founder

Oliver Copp (31-18 - .632): Combat sports insider, co-host of Tough Talk

*****

Matt Brown (18-11) vs. Erick Silva (16-4-0-1)
Welterweight

The 33-year-old Brown gets a main event, but it’s a guarantee he would have rather been able to fulfill his date with Carlos Condit that was broken due to Brown’s back injury. He’s won six straight and has T/KOs in five of them. He last was seen knocking out Mike Pyle in 29 seconds back in August, so he’s been off for a good stretch of time. Win and he gets either a top contender or even a title shot given the right circumstances.

Once a fast-rising prospect, Silva is looking for consistency. He’s 4-3 in the UFC, but hasn’t won two in a row and when the competition gets better (Stun Gun Kim, Jon Fitch), he fades. He’s coming off a 52 second TKO of Takenori Sato in February, essentially a squash match as Sato was a late replacement. A win here puts him back on track. A loss? Not good.

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

Costa Philippou (12-4-0-1) vs. Lorenz Larkin (14-2-0-1)
Middleweight

As middleweight is a deep division, this is a must-win for Philippou as he’s lost two straight to Francis Carmont and Luke Rockhold, respectively. The 34-year-old has shown some power, but will need a big showing against former Strikeforce standout Larkin. The 27-year-old also needs a standout performance as he’s just 1-2 since coming over in the merger. He’s gone the distance all three times, and last was beaten by Brad Tavares.

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

Erik Koch (14-3) vs. Daron Cruickshank (14-4)
Lightweight

At just 25, there is still plenty of time for Koch to get back the steam that dissipated after a two-fight losing streak. He rebounded with a February 1st round TKO of Rafaello Oliveira after a long layoff and a return to 155 pounds. The 28-year-old Cruickshank has showed flashes during his six-fight UFC run (4-2), but needs a win streak to start gaining momentum. He last was seen downing Mike Rio via 2nd TKO in January.

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

Neil Magny (9-3) vs. Tim Means (20-5-1)
Welterweight

A holdover from the dreadful TUF Carwin/Nelson season, Magny is still hanging around despite a 2-2 record. He is coming off a February decision over against someone named Gasan Umalatov, so there’s that. He faces injury replacement Means, making his promotional return after two straight wins in Legacy. Before that, he had a 2-2 record in the UFC and was booted after dropping two straight.

If there was any reason to doubt the UFC is running way too many shows, this fight is 4th from the top of a Saturday Fox Sports 1 event. Ugh.

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

Soa Palelei (20-3) vs. Ruan Potts (8-1)
Heavyweight

The 36-year-old Palelei brings a 10-fight win streak with 10 T/KOs into Saturday night, and is coming off a quick 1st round no doubt KO of Pat Barry in December. He hasn’t exactly been finishing world beaters, but wins are wins, right? (Well, maybe not that Bob Sapp one.) Potts is making his promotional debut and has eight finishes in his eight career wins. The South African has won three straight, all by first round submission.

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

As always, live coverage here all day!