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UFC 145 will take place on April 21, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia on pay-per-view. I will be breaking down the five-fight main card.
Fight 1: Mark Hominick (20-10) vs Eddie Yagin (15-5)
Hominick comes into this fight on the heels of a two-fight losing streak, a stunning seven-second KO loss to Chan Sung Jung at UFC 140, and a five-round unanimous-decision loss to Jose Aldo at UFC 129. Yagin comes into this fight off a tough UFC debut at UFC 135 in a losing effort to Junior Assuncao. At best this fight is to determine the featherweight division’s higher-ranked gatekeeper. For Hominick it’s not due to lack of talent, as he possesses good submissions and world-class striking, but rather his need to avoid a three-fight losing streak. The only way I see this fight going down is Hominick getting the better of Yagin on the feet before dropping him with a combination and latching on to a fight-ending submission late in Round 2.
Prediction: Hominick defeats Yagin by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in Round 2
Fight 2: Miguel Torres (40-4) vs Michael McDonald (14-1)
Torres comes into this bout off a lackluster performance against Nick Pace at UFC 139. It was a victory but he didn’t look as good as we are accustomed to seeing. Torres has a well-rounded striking game with good footwork. He utilizes a very long jab as he has the longest reach in the division. Mix that in with some amazing BJJ and you can see why he only has four losses in 44 fights. McDonald on the other hand has been a buzzsaw of late, winning his first 3 UFC fights and most recently destroying an overmatched Alex Soto by first-round KO at UFC 139. McDonald has great kickboxing, a ton of power, and some submission wins to go along with it. This fight will come down to Torres’ veteran savvy and his submission game as I see the striking to be fairly even. McDonald’s time will come but it will not come this night as he loses a close split decision to Torres.
Prediction: Torres defeats Mcdonald by Split Decision
Fight 3: Brendan Schaub (8-2) vs Ben Rothwell (31-8)
Schaub’s knack for chasing legends came back to bite him in his last fight as he was brutally KO’d by Big Nog at UFC 134: Rio. Rothwell is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to Mark Hunt in a very painful fight to watch as both fighters severely gassed. The story on Rothwell is a mixed bag. The good is that he can finish with 28 of his 31 wins by either KO/TKO or submission. The bad is that he’s yet to have a good performance in the octagon.
Schaub has big-time power in his hands and is always looking for the finish, which he usually succeeds at finding. Schaub is the younger, fresher fighter and I expect him to win an easy unanimous decision, because – let’s face it – if Mark Hunt couldn’t finish Rothwell, I don’t expect Schaub to either.
Prediction: Schaub defeats Rothwell by Unanimous Decision
Fight 4: Rory MacDonald (12-1) vs Che Mills (14-4)
This fight makes absolutely no sense, but I’m still here to tell you about it, so here we go. MacDonald is a stud, simply put. The man is a protege of welterweight champ GSP. He has great striking with a well-rounded grappling game. He was seconds away from changing the entire landscape of the welterweight division, as he was super close to defeating interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit, before falling by TKO. Che Mills is coming off a 40-second crushing KO victory over Chris Cope. Mills has talent, as he does have good hands and a nasty clinch game, but honestly I think the UFC and Mills have bitten off more than they can chew. MacDonald will submit Mills late in Round 1.
Prediction: Macdonald defeats Mills by Submission (Armbar)
Fight 5: Jon Jones (LHW Champion) (15-1) vs Rashad Evans (17-1)
Ok, I’m gonna stop being a writer for a minute and put on my fan hat. I’m absolutely pumped for this fight! Jon Jones has been an absolute wrecking machine in the UFC. Using his ungodly reach of 84 1/2″ and his unorthodox striking techniques, Jones has been a complete nightmare for all of his opponents. Let’s not forget about his high-level wrestling and his underrated submission game as well. Jones’ 2010 was the single best year of MMA we’ve ever seen, as he choked out Ryan Bader and finished three former world champions: Shogun (to take the title by TKO), Rampage and Machida (both by submission, the latter getting choked unconscious). Evans is no walk in the park himself, as he is a former world champion, who has only one career loss. Rashad is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the world. His overhand right is explosive and his MMA wrestling is exceptional (just ask Phil Davis).
The bottom line is these two really hate each other. Rashad feels betrayed because Jon said he would consider fighting Rashad if he had to for a world title. This set the tone for this championship bout as the trash talking has been insane between the two former training partners.
Now on to the fight!. I’ve tried many times to be as unbiased as possible, but I see this fight going down the same way each time. I expect Jones to utilize his reach to win almost every exchange on the feet. I have a hard time seeing Evans being able to land clean on Jon’s chin, at least not with Jon’s reach in effect. After a few rounds of Jones executing his game plan, I see him getting a big takedown before finishing an exhausted Rashad off with some hellacious elbows, ending their feud and firmly securing his spot as the best light heavyweight of all time, and the #2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Prediction: Jones defeat Evans by TKO in Round 3 to retain the LHW Championship
Today’s article written by Israel Gonzalez. Follow him on twitter @IAMIZZY305.