From the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky comes the third UFC installment on the Versus channel, appropriately titled UFC on Versus 3. The event is headlined by a welterweight tilt between contenders Diego Sanchez and Martin Kampmann. The co-headliners are middleweights Mark Munoz and "The Ultimate Fighter" contestant C.B. Dollaway. The fights take place tomorrow, March 3, 2011 at 9 p.m. E.T.
My predictions are as follows:
Main Bouts (on Versus):
Martin Kampmann vs. Diego Sanchez
Takedown defense. That will be the name of the game. I take Sanchez's candor that he wants to get back to being a takedown-guard passing machine seriously. Can Kampmann stop them? And if he can stop them, can he stop them long enough to separate, create distance and use superior boxing to score points? I think he will early, maybe not late. By the end of the fight, I expect Sanchez to takeover, but lose by a thinly margined unanimous decision. Kampmann by decision.
C.B. Dollaway vs. Mark Munoz
Realistically, Munoz is only marginally better on the feet, but it's enough of a margin to matter. Outside of a kick submission, I don't see Dollaway holding Munoz down, passing guard or controlling position long enough to land a submission. It's not as if Munoz is leagues above Dollaway, it's just easier to map out a victory for him. Munoz by decision.
I'm not a believer in Sakara. Weidman by TKO.
Interesting that the "coming off a long layoff due to injury" roles are reversed here. Unless Page dials back his agro-style of fighting or can prevent being gassed late, I still see this fight playing out like the first contest early. Page is hell on wheels in the first and more manageable thereafter. And his aggression will get him to overcommit standing or on the ground. That's where Bowles is ready for a repeat. Bowles by submission.
Preliminary Bouts (on Facebook)
Joe Stevenson vs. Danny Castillo
I don't know what Stevenson has left, who has been fighting since he was 16. He could immediately guillotine Castillo or be rebuffed in the wrestling department en route to a decision victory for Castillo. If recent history is any indication, I suspect the latter. Castillo by decision.
On the feet Cantwell is going to have problems. On the ground, not so much. Cantwell by submission.
Preliminary Bouts (Non-Televised):
Shane Roller vs. Thiago Tavares
Neither of these two are dynamos standing, but Roller's superior wrestling, superior base plus reflexive decision making will put him over Tavares - no matter if he's tepid or too aggressive. Roller by submission.
Yang's got decent wrestling, underrated strength and not half bad punching power. If he can keep his back off the mat, this is his to lose. Yang by TKO.
BJJ for BJJ, Palhares should win this. And if it's wrestling for wrestling, Palhares definitely wins this. Palhares by submission.
I don't think much of Pokrajac and I worry about the wrestling of Brown in this fight, but overall, the better finisher is Pokrajac. Pokrajac by TKO.
Close fight, but I'll give Mizugaki the edge based on strength, defensive wrestling and strength of schedule. Mizugaki by decision.