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UFC Fight Night Nashville: Observer Picks & Preview for Glover Teixeira vs. Ovince St. Preux

UFC Nashville

By Josh Nason, WrestlingObserver.com

Like many, I could use a free weekend away from combat sports and this show closes a hellacious stretch of UFC events this summer. While there’s the usual flotsam and jetsam on the show, the top three fights should send the fans home happy and give us some interesting next bouts for the winners.

Get a quick preview and so much more in this week’s Josh Nason’s Punch-Out featuring special guest and UFC light heavyweight “Filthy” Tom Lawlor.

Our Panel:

- Jack Encarnacao (76-26 | .745) Sherdog Rewind host, The Lapsed Fan podcast co-chair, Steve Austin impersonator

- Steve Juon (69-33 | .676) AngryMarks founder, MMA Mania writer

- John Pollock (67-35 | .656) Fight Network personality, Live Audio Wrestling co-host, The MMA Report host

- David Bixenspan (66-36 | .647) Figure Four Weekly writer, Observer Daily Update writer, podcast host

- Mike Sempervive (65-37 | .637) Wrestling Observer Live co-host | Big Audio Nightmare

- Front Row Brian (63-39 | .617) MMA newsbreaker, Twitter personality, podcast host

- Dave Meltzer (62-40 | .607) Wrestling Observer founder & writer, occasional cougher

- Josh Nason (61-41 | .598) Wrestling Observer digital media and content guy, WON Twitter enabler

- Mike Sawyer (59-43 | .578) Tough Talk MMA, 2014 picks panel champion

*****

> Glover Teixeira (22-4) vs. Ovince St. Preux

Light Heavyweights

After finally making it to the UFC, Teixeira arrived with a lot of buzz and won his first five with four finishes to earn a title shot against then-champion Jon Jones. Then, Jones dominated him for five rounds and he looked listless in a decision loss to current Bellator fighter Phil Davis. Fights against Rashad Evans and Alex Gustafsson fell through and he now gets a crack at the fast-rising OSP.

OSP will fight in front of his hometown crowd (well, Knoxville anyway) and will be looking to extend a two-fight win streak. After a horrendously boring decision loss to Ryan Bader a year ago, he earned back to back first round TKO wins over Shogun Rua and Patrick Cummins. He’s 6-1 in the UFC and has shown a propensity to finish guys on the ground or via the fists. Do we have the next top title contender on our hands?

Teixeira: FRB, Sawyer, Encarnacao, Sempervive
OSP (slight favorite): Nason, Pollock, Juon, Bix, Meltzer

> Michael Johnson (16-8) vs. Beneil Dariush (11-1)

Lightweights

Johnson is fast rising up the ranks of interesting lightweights amid a four-fight win streak that features victories over Edson Barboza, Joe Lauzon, Gleison Tibau, and Melvin Guillard. He’s looked completely different since a two fight losing streak a few years back, and with a win here, he has earned an opportunity against a top 5 opponent.

The 26-year-old Dariush is 5-1 in his UFC career and is riding a four fight win streak of his own. After submitting Daron Cruickshank, Dariush came back on a month’s notice to beat former lightweight contender Jim Miller by decision in April. He could make a case for a top 5 opponent with a win here as well.

The Iranian has looked great, Johnson has looked great, and this fight will tell us a lot about what’s next for both guys.

Johnson (slight favorite): Nason, FRB, Pollock, Encarnacao, Juon, Sempervive, Meltzer
Dariush: Sawyer, Bix

> Derek Brunson (13-3) vs. Sam Alvey (26-6-0-1)

Middleweights

The 31-year-old Brunson has looked great since coming to the UFC in the Strikeforce merger, going 4-1. Since getting TKO’d by Yoel Romero, Brunson has beat Lorenz Larkin and took just 36 seconds to dispatch Ed Herman by TKO in January. He also shares a birthday with yours truly.

Since losing to Tom Watson by bland decision, Alvey has won three straight by first round T/KO which makes this a very fun fight. All three of those Alvey victories were abroad, so in this U.S.-based tilt, we’ll see if the passport punching makes the difference.

Brunson (favorite): Nason, FRB, Sawyer, Pollock, Encarnacao, Juon, Sempervive, Meltzer

Alvey: Bix

> Chris Camozzi (21-10) vs. Tom Watson (17-8)

Middleweights

After being cut by the UFC, the 28-year-old Camozzi was a last second replacement/sacrifice to Jacare Souza in April. Despite winning two outside the Octagon, Camozzi has lost his last five in the UFC. Ugh. Watson is just 2-4 in the UFC, and was last seen being decisioned by Rafael Natal earlier this year. Man, this loser leaves the UFC fight is hot garbage, isn’t it?

Camozzi (slight favorite): FRB, Sawyer, Pollock, Encarnacao, Juon, Sempervive, Bix, Meltzer
Watson: Nason

> Sara McMann (8-2) vs. Amanda Nunes (10-4)
Bantamweights

In McMann’s two flights closest to the UFC sun, she lasted 66 seconds with Ronda Rousey and got roundly defeated by Miesha Tate. In the middle of that, she edged Lauren Murphy in a split decision. At age 34, we may have seen the best of her in the UFC. She fights Nunes who is 3-1 in the UFC with her last win coming over former Zuffa employee Shayna Baszler with her lone defeat coming against Cat Zingano.

McMann (favorite): Nason, FRB, Sawyer, Pollock, Encarnacao, Juon, Sempervive, Bix, Meltzer