411's MMA Roundtable Preview - UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Kennedy
Posted by Dan Plunkett on 04.16.2014
Michael Bisping faces off with Tim Kennedy in the main event of TUF: Nations Finale! Plus, two new Ultimate Fighters will be crowned and more! Check out the full roundtable for all the details and join 411 for LIVE coverage of the event Wednesday night!
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Dan Henderson clash once again in the main event of UFC Fight Night from Brazil! In the co-main event, Cezar Ferreira battles CB Dollaway. At lightweight, Leonardo Santos goes up against Norman Parke. In light heavyweight action, Fabio Maldonado faces Gian Villante. Plus, Rony Jason fights Steven Siler, Michel Prazeres vs. Mairbek Taisumov, and more!
From Forgotten Fights, Paul Lapointe!
From The Round Horn, Koeddy Laemmle!
From MMA's 3R's, Jeffrey Harris!
From The 411 MMA Top 10, Alex Rella!
THE PRELIMINARY CARD:
First four prelims on UFC Fight Pass, rest on Fox Sports 1.
Paul Lapointe: Indich, TKO, RD3 Koeddy Laemmle: Chris Indich, TKO, Round 2 Jeffrey Harris: Richard Walsh, Decision Alex Rella: Richard Walsh, Decision The staff calls it a draw, 2-2.
Middleweight Bout: Nordine Taleb vs. Vik Grujic
Paul Lapointe: Taleb, TKO, RD2 Koeddy Laemmle: Vik Grujic, Decision Jeffrey Harris: Vik Grujic, Decision Alex Rella: Vik Grujic, Decision The staff picks Vik Grujic, 3-1.
Lightweight Bout: Mark Bocek vs. Mike de la Torre
Paul Lapointe: Bocek, Submission, RD2 Koeddy Laemmle: Mark Bocek, Decision Jeffrey Harris: Mark Bocek, Decision Alex Rella: Mark Bocek, Decision The staff picks Mark Bocek, 4-0.
Bantamweight Bout: George Roop vs. Dustin Kimura
Paul Lapointe: Kimura, Submission, RD3 Koeddy Laemmle: George Roop, TKO, Round 3 Jeffrey Harris: George Roop, TKO, Round 2 Alex Rella: George Roop, TKO, Round 2 The staff picks George Roop, 3-1.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Ryan Jimmo vs. Sean O'Connell
Paul Lapointe: Jimmo, Decision, RD3 Koeddy Laemmle: Ryan Jimmo, Decision Jeffrey Harris: Ryan Jimmo, Decision Alex Rella: Ryan Jimmo, Decision The staff picks Ryan Jimmo, 4-0.
Women's Bantamweight Bout: Sarah Kaufman vs. Leslie Smith
Paul Lapointe: Kaufman, Decision, RD3 Koeddy Laemmle: Sarah Kaufman, Decision Jeffrey Harris: Sarah Kaufman, Decision Alex Rella: Sarah Kaufman, Decision The staff picks Sarah Kaufman, 4-0.
Welterweight Bout: Sam Stout vs. KJ Noons
Paul Lapointe: Stout, Decision, RD3 Koeddy Laemmle: Sam Stout, Decision Jeffrey Harris: Sam Stout, Decision Alex Rella: Sam Stout, Decision The staff picks Sam Stout, 4-0.
THE MAIN CARD:
Featherweight Bout: Dustin Poirier vs. Akira Corassani
Paul Lapointe: Everybody's favorite TUF alum next to Junie Browning is back! Man did I and alot of people not like Akira when he was on TUF and sure its TV maybe they just shun a bad light and he is a pretty nice guy...but he still just comes off as kind of a jackass since the show anyhow. With that in mind its pretty easy to root against a jag off but its also easy to look past his talents in the cage as well. So this matchup is in a very rich division and both guys are really looking to put a stamp on where they are in it so whats to happen? Corassani since the show has mounted a 3-0 record at 145 but its been anything but convincing from where I sit for the most part. He took a split call in which I thought he lost, just outmuscled Robbie Peralta following a suspension and wound up with a DQ last time out well Poirier has been tearing up his potential from the word go. Sure Akira has a punchers chance but Poirier just has it and also a pretty radical ground game. If he does not unload in the opening round to prove a point he does have a nifty chance to latch onto a Brabo choke.
Winner: Poirier, TKO, RD1
Koeddy Laemmle: Dustin Poirier has been one of the most consistent UFC Featherweights since the inception of the weight class over three years ago. The only men he has lost to in that time: Chan Sung Jung and Cub Swanson are still considered legitimate contenders. Akira Corassani is a little out of his element in this fight and I think it will show in all aspects of mixed martial arts that Poirier is on another level from the former Ultimate Fighter semi-finalist. Poirier will control this fight on the feet and but I think he will finish him off on the ground with a rear naked choke.
Winner: Dustin Poirier, Submission, Round 2
Jeffrey Harris: Unbelievable as it has been, Akira Corassani is now by the skin of his teeth 3-0 in the UFC. And I think Dustin Poirier is going to put a stop to that. Poirier's had some holes in his game that kept him from getting to a title shot before, but he's been working on those holes in his game and he has looked much improved in his recent fights. I think Poirier will have a definite experience edge here as well as the better grappling game here. Corassani is a striker and on the Ultimate Fighter it didn't look like he had as good of a grasp on the submission and grappling aspect. As long as Poirier is prepared, I think he should easily submits Corassani and ends his awkward winning streak.
Winner: Dustin Poirier, Submission, Round 1
Alex Rella: This should be a great fight to start the show. Dustin Poirier has been one of the best featherweights in the world over the past couple years and Akira Corassani is undefeated in the UFC. So either Poirier continues his push to get back into title contention or Corassani takes a huge jump up in the rankings. Maybe Corassani gives him a run for his money, but Poirier is clearly the more talented fighter. He's a great grappler and his striking has made huge improvements in his past couple fights. I expect Poirier to finish him off early on.
Winner: Poirier, Submission, Round 1
The staff picks Dustin Poirier, 4-0.
Welterweight Bout: Chad Laprise vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Paul Lapointe: An all Canadian TUF finale! Geez must Noke feel gyped, haha. With all honesty though I never really followed the show week to week and mainly read up on it with a few of the blogs from the fighters one of them being Laprise. He came across as a pretty cool dude and with that I have been swayed to go with him over the less experienced Mercier.
Winner: Laprise, KO, RD2
Koeddy Laemmle: Our Welterweight Finals is between two undefeated Canadian fighters less than five years into both of their careers. Both fighters normally fight at Lightweight but moved up to compete on the Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Chad Laprise enters the fight with a little bit more experience and a few more wins to his record but Olivier Aubin-Mercier has proved to have a deadly submission game with him earning all of his professional wins and his semifinals victory via rear naked chokes in Round 1. I like Aubin-Mercier's chances of keeping his streak running and seeing if he can make a name for himself like Ronda Rousey in the UFC (or more accurately Cody McKenzie) by specializing in a particular submission hold.
Winner: Oliver Aubin-Mercier, Submission, Round 1
Jeffrey Harris: Both fighters are undefeated to decide the welterweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter: Nations and both are members of Cote's Team Canada. Laprise and Aubin-Mercier are both undefeated. Aubin-Mercier has a pretty good submission game, and I see him putting that to good use against Laprise. Aubin-Mercier becomes the TUF: Nations winner by submission.
Winner: Oliver Aubin-Mercier, Submission, Round 1
Alex Rella: I admit I did not watch this season. I had every intent of watching it when it was announced, but I work on Wednesday nights so I won't pretend to know everything about these TUF contestants. I've never seen Olivier Aubin-Mercier fight, but he is undefeated in his young career. I do remember watching Chad Laprise fight a couple times in Bellator though and he was impressive back then so I'm happy to see he's made his way over to the UFC. I'll go with Laprise.
The staff calls it a draw, 2-2.
Middleweight Bout: Sheldon Westcott vs. Elias Theodorou
Paul Lapointe: Before this show both TUF and this forthcoming finale I was already familiar with Mr. Westcott. Until getting on the show and taking a few fights last year he was a little infrequent in securing bouts and though the fire may have been re-ignited in the last year I think Elias may be a tad hungrier when the bell rings. Serioulsy though Kids all 4 guys are Canadian in this final whats the deal Kyle?
Winner: Elias, Decision, RD3
Koeddy Laemmle: The Middleweight Finals will also be contested between two Canadian fighters. Elias Theodorou comes into this fight with an 8-0 record but lacks in the experience department to Westcott who hasn't lost a fight since his professional debut in 2007. Both fighters are very equal all around but I think Westcott's experience will play a big factor if he wants to take home the honors. Theodorou has more long term potential but I didn't see enough out of him during his fights on the Ultimate Fighter: Nations that would make me think he is UFC ready at the moment.
Winner: Sheldon Westcott, Decision
Jeffrey Harris: Both fighters look very evenly matched for this final match for the middleweights of this season of TUF: Nations. The undefeated Theodorou will come out of this fight with the win. I see it being a tough, close fight though, possibly back and forth. But I'm picking Elias Theodorou to get the win here.
Winner: Elias Theodorou, Decision
Alex Rella: I've seen both guys fight a couple times for smaller promotions and I expect a good fight. Both are well rounded and definitely deserve to be in the UFC. I'm picking Theodorou as I think he's the better fighter and Westcott usually fights at welterweight.
Winner: Theodorou, Decision
The staff picks Elias Theodorou, 3-1.
Welterweight Bout: Patrick Cote vs. Kyle Noke
Paul Lapointe: With the theme of my analysis so far being that them Aussie folk did not have much luck on the show and me also being Canadian I will just go with a clean sweep here on the main card. Noke is coming on a long....long layoff and though the guy bleeds talent Cote has always had all the potential in the world from way back in the day and just never found his stride in the Octagon. Now since making his way back its his last real chance to make an impact and go on a run and with TUF behind him and two wins before that now is the time. Here is hoping that the guy shows restraint and a competent gameplan otherwise Noke is going to knock his block off real quick.
Winner: Cote, Decision, RD3
Koeddy Laemmle: Kyle Noke really needs to win this fight to make up for the fact that none of his Australian fighters made either of the Finals for this version of the Ultimate Fighter. Also Noke has been on the shelf so long that the man he destroyed in his most recent fight, Charlie Brenneman, has been released, won enough fights out of the company to get rehired, lost his return UFC fight, and got scheduled for his second fight (which if he loses he will probably be released a second time) all in the time since Noke's last fight. Patrick Cote would like to keep his career resurgence going after a much needed drop down to 170. I see Noke being super pumped for this fight though for so many reasons, also I think Noke is a better all around fighter who has a lot of upside if he can stay healthy.
Winner: Kyle Noke, Decision
Jeffrey Harris: Believe it or not, Kyle Noke is a pretty decent fighters. He's 4-2 in the UFC, and all four wins are finishes over the likes of Charlie Brenneman and Chris Camozzi. So not an elite-level fighter, but he's a decent one. And while I like Patrick Cote, I think he's another fighter who the game has just kind of passed by in recent years. He ended up getting a DQ against Alessio Sakara after illegal head shots. His welterweight debut against Bobby Voelker was unimpressive. I think Noke brings much more power to this weight class as well as submission ability in this weight class. I think Noke stops Cote.
Winner: Kyle Noke, TKO, Round 2
Alex Rella: I've been looking forward to this fight since they were announced as coaches. Both are veterans and TUF alumni themselves. I don't see either guy making a title run anytime soon, but this is an important fight though as the winner could potentially be a top ten guy in the rankings after a few more fights. Noke is the more explosive fighter of the two, but Cote is pretty hard to finish. I'm going with Cote, but I'm not overly confident in it and would actually rather see Noke win.
Winner: Cote, Decision
The staff calls it a draw, 2-2.
Middleweight Bout: Michael Bisping vs. Tim Kennedy
Paul Lapointe: Just like Akira at the front end of the card here is another douche at the backend of the card. Most people do not like Michael Bisping as he is the anti Chael Sonnen when it comes to his potty mouth as with Cheal he is just fooling around, while The Count truly believes it. That is not to say Bisping does not have the chops he does and has only gotten better since the early days in the cage but is he truly an ELITE middleweight? Alot of people still think he chokes when finally given that real shot to make a splash and outside of that he still sometimes fights dirty and is unapologetic about it. Granting him leave on those personality quibbles I truly think Kennedy both hits harder, has a better gas tank and can most likely control the bout along the cage and on the mat. I am hoping for a finish and then I am hoping Kennedy gets matched up with Thales Leites.
Winner: Kennedy, Submission, RD4
Koeddy Laemmle: It's really easy to make fun of Michael Bisping, it's another thing to back it up. We've seen it happen many times before, including Tim Kennedy's friend Jorge Rivera, who took shots at Bisping in much similar fashion before their fight at UFC 127. These types of shots seem to motivate Bisping however and these are the occasions where Bisping has actually been able to finish fights. Tim Kennedy is no slouch though, and to be quite honest I've enjoyed his cracks at Bisping but I think they're doing more to motivate his opponent than mess with his mind. I don't think Bisping is going to be able to finish Kennedy off but it will be interesting to see if Bisping has grown up since his fight with Rivera three years earlier, when Bisping took all those comments personally, and kept the trash talking going even after the finish to their fight.
Winner: Michael Bisping, Decision
Jeffrey Harris: It seems everyone at middleweight wants to challenge and thinks they can beat Michael Bisping. Bisping does have 5 UFC losses and he did get stopped by Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson. But his other losses were close decisions to Wanderlei Silva, Chael Sonnen, and Rashad Evans. The fact is this. Despite what all the guys that challenge him thing, Bisping isn't a pushover. He's actually a pretty skilled fighter. His takedown defense and wrestling skills in the cage are very underrated. He was able to almost neutralize and stop a lot of the takedowns from Chael Sonnen. Bisping has really two major flaws though. He doesn't have a lot of knockout power, and he also tends to draw fouls or do some borderline illegal stuff throughout his fights. Kennedy does have some good wrestling and power for his weight class, but I think Bisping being a good counter-striker type will be able to deal with Kennedy's strengths. I kind of see this fight going a lot like Bisping's fights with Brian Stann and Alan Belcher. Bisping comes out of it with a victory.
Winner: Michael Bisping, Decision
Alex Rella: The feud has been kind of forced and lame at times, but it should make for a great fight. Bisping is always in title contention, but always falls just short and Kennedy is looking to pick him off as he looks to stay undefeated in the UFC. I think this is going to be a really close fight. Bisping is the better striker, but Kennedy just won KO of the night in his last fight. Kennedy is the better grappler and submission specialist on paper, but Bisping is a pretty good wrestler when he wants to be. I'm torn on this one, but I think Kennedy will be successful enough on the ground to pull out a win. Who knows maybe he'll pull out another leaping knockout like he did against Natal.
Winner: Kennedy, Decision
The staff calls it a draw, 2-2.
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