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MMA News – March 3, 2011

March 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Categories: MMA News

UFC Live – Sanchez vs. Kampmann Preview

March 3, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m very excited for tonight’s fights.  Kampmann and Sanchez could end up being a very interesting fight in the welterweight division, given George St-Pierre’s rumored departure.  Brian Bowles vs. Damacio Page would also elevate a fighter very close to the Bantamweight Title.  Should Urijah Faber lose to Eddie Wineland at UFC 128, the winner of this fight will probably get a shot at Dominick Cruz.

There are a number of other great fights tonight, including some that have already taken place tonight.  Since there are so many big fight cards this week, I’ll be abbreviating some of these previews.  I typically write a ton for these, so I may go with a smaller format going forward (if I decide to continue the previews.)  And since the unaired prelims are currently being fought for this event, I’ll only preview the televised fights and the ones broadcast on Facebook.

Welterweight: Diego Sanchez (22-4, No. 17 WW) vs. Martin Kampmann (17-4, No. 9 WW)

I’m really interested to see how this fight goes.  With Diego coming off an exciting decision win over Paulo Thiago, he’s working to establish himself as a welterweight contender.  Kampmann is already toward the top of the rankings, despite a disappointing loss to Jake Shields, a fight that many thought Kampmann won.

Diego can sometimes be an inconsistent fighter and is impacted by losses, but he has a lot of momentum after the Thiago fight.  Kampmann is a more well-rounded fighter and has dangerous striking.  He could definitely end this fight at any time, though Diego has never been finished (aside from a single loss due to a cut.)

I think this fight will definitely go to a decision and I think Kampmann is skilled enough to pull out the win.  I see this being a great back and forth fight, but in the end, Kampmann will be a bit too much for Diego.

Middleweight: C.B. Dollaway (11-2) vs. Mark Munoz (9-2)

A couple of former division 1 NCAA wrestlers will square off in a very interesting fight.  These are two similar fighters, though I would say that Munoz has done a bit more to add striking to his arsenal.  I’m not a big fan of either fighter, but a win could go a long ways toward moving either one into the top 25.

I think Munoz is a bit more versatile of a fighter and I’ll pick him to score a TKO win over Dollaway.

Middleweight: Alessio Sakara (15-7, 1 NC, No. 16 MW) vs. Chris Weidman (4-0)

I’m a little worried about seeing Alessio Sakara fight.  He’s extremely talented and is a top middleweight, but I don’t like hearing stories about “bad weight cuts”, one of which allegedly derailed his UFC 122 fight against Jorge Rivera.  Sakara tried to refute those claims, but hearing claims like this are frightening.  After Michael Kirkham, a 6’9″ lightweight, died following his professional debut, you have to figure that some fighters just shouldn’t cut weight.  Of course, that could all be bogus, especially since Sakara has fought numerous times at middleweight without a problem.

Chris Weidman is a very promising prospect, but this may be too much, too soon for him.  A win for the division 1 NCAA wrestler would be huge, but can he defeat an experienced fighter like Sakara?  We saw some major, surprising upsets at UFC 127, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw another one here.  I’ll pick Weidman by decision here.

Bantamweight: Brian Bowles (8-1, No. 3 BW) vs. Damacio Page (12-5, No. 13 BW)

Bowles has defeated Page once and has only gotten better since then.  Brian Bowles is one of the premier bantamweights in the sport, though Page is no slouch.  Page is capable of beating top flight talent, as he has a win over Scott Jorgensen to his name.

I think this has the potential to win Fight of the Night, as both fighters are extremely tough and very competitive.  Bowles is the more polished, more skilled fighter, so I think he’ll be able to get the win tonight.

Lightweight: Joe Stevenson (31-12, No. 23 LW) vs. Danny Castillo (10-3)

It might be awful to say, but I don’t really care who wins this fight.  I think both men are a long way from being relevant, given the depth at lightweight.  I do think that the loser of this fight will end up being cut from the UFC, as that seems to have been the trend at lightweight.  I’ll give the nod to UFC mainstay Joe Stevenson.

Light Heavyweight: Steve Cantwell (7-3) vs. Cyrille Diabate (16-7, 1 NC, No. 21 LHW)

I like Diabate in this fight.  Cantwell’s been on a bit of a cold streak and he might have some trouble with Diabate’s striking.  They have a shared opponent, as Cyrile Diabate was able to defeat Luiz Cane, while Cantwell was defeated by Cane.  Cantwell is also coming off a very long layoff, having been inactive and dealing with injuries going back to September 2009.

Diabate should be able to score the victory here and I look for a knockout from the French kickboxer.

Lightweight: Thiago Tavares (15-3-1) vs. Shane Roller (9-3)

Bantamweight: Takeya Mizugaki (13-5-2) vs. Reuben Duran (7-2-1)

Middleweight: Rob Kimmons (23-6) vs. Dongi Yang (9-1)

Middleweight: Rousimar Palhares (11-3) vs. Dave Branch (8-1)

Light Heavyweight: Igor Pokrajac (22-8) vs. Todd Brown (15-2, 1 NC)

Categories: Event Preview