The ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) staff weighs in with their thoughts and predictions on Friday’s “UFC on FX 1: Guillard vs. Miller” fight card featuring Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard vs. Jim Miller in a lightweight main event to air LIVE on FX..
In the co-main event, the man with the fastest KO in UFC history, Duane “Bang” Ludwig faces the tenacious Josh Neer in a welterweight showdown. At bantamweight, Mike “The Hulk” Easton takes on Jared Papazian. At heavyweight, Pat Barry faces Christian Morecraft. And our one prelim card pick for this card is the middleweight showdown between Jorge Rivera and Eric “Red” Schafer.
Melvin Guillard (46-10-3, 1 NC) vs. Jim Miller (20-3)
KELVIN HUNT: Guillard has all the tools to win this fight. You just don’t know what you are going to get with him mentally. I’d like to see Guillard win and I’m thhhhhhhis close to picking him. The thing is…Miller has never been stopped. I’m not sure Guillard can put it together for 15 minutes against someone as relentless as Miller. I’d like to see Guillard win, but I’m go with Miller via submission.
RICHARD MANN: If Guillard is really as improved as everyone says, he should win this fight. However, he always seems to struggle when he really needs a victory. On top of that, one of Miller’s strongest holds is the guillotine choke, which has cost Guillard more than a few times. Miller by submission.
BRIAN FURBY: Jim Miller.
GARY THOMAS: Will the real Melvin Guillard please stand up. Flashes of a title contender and then a lackluster performance. Miller is no slouch and can stand and deliver. I am a firm believer in good things happen to good people and Miller just strikes me as a good person. Miller via decision.
JOSH CROSS: Both fighters are coming off of losses and need a win here. Guillard has shown in the past that he has trouble on the ground, which is the same place Miller has had the most success. I think that Guillard’s weakness on the ground will be his undoing in this fight. In the end I think that Miller will take his time, wait until the moment is right, take Guillard down and submit him. Pick: Miller via Submission.
JACK BRATCHER: Jim Miller has lost to three opponents in his career: Benson Henderson, Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. That’s really about all you need to know to predict this fight. Miller will win by decision.
Duane Ludwig (29-11) vs. Josh Neer (32-10-1)
KELVIN HUNT: Tough fight to call. I think they’ll stay standing where Ludwig should have an advantage unless Neer can close the distance and clinch with him. Neer is tough as nails, but I’m go with Ludwig via decision.
RICHARD MANN: Ludwig makes his money with his striking, but Neer is not really the kind of guy you want to get into a striking with. He has a little bit of the Diaz brothers’ “war of attrition” style. He could easily wear Ludwig down as the fight goes on. Plus, Neer is an underrated striker who could easily tap Ludwig on the floor. Neer by decision.
BRIAN FURBY: Duane Ludwig.
GARY THOMAS: Duane Ludwig holds claim to the fastest KO in UFC History and Neer holds a fight of the night honor. Both guys will be ready for this. I like Neer coming out on top with a decision.
JOSH CROSS: In my opinion this will be a tough fight for either of these two fighters to win. Both guys are dangerous and tough, which should make for a good scrap. I could go either way on this one but I think Neer will be unpredictable enough to keep Ludwig thrown off his game. Pick Neer via Decision.
JACK BRATCHER: This could be fight of the night. Looking forward to seeing this one play out. Both guys are very proficient on the feet and both have been in an out of the UFC a few times. Neer has been on a heck of a roll with five straight wins coming into this one and I think Neer will continue on that roll winning a decision over Ludwig.
Mike Easton (11-1) vs. Jared Papazian (14-6, 1 NC)
KELVIN HUNT: Easton will be too big and is the better wrestler if he has to resort to it. Also will have a speed advantage. I think Easton wins a decision or submits Papazian.
RICHARD MANN: Easton should be able to take this one due to his physical style and nasty knees in the clinch. However, it important to point out that both of Easton’s big wins, John Dodson and Chase Beebe, were gift decisions. Papazian could take him down and dominate on the ground. However, it is more likely that Easton wins this one on the feet. Easton by decision.
BRIAN FURBY: Mike Easton.
GARY THOMAS: Mike Easton displayed vicious knees and punches in his last outing and is taking on a newcomer after his original opponent was injured. I look for more of the same toughness in this fight. Easton by TKO.
JOSH CROSS: Papazian is finally getting to make the UFC debut that he was hoping for when I interviewed him last year. I don’t see either of these two getting finished, and while I think this will be a fun fight, I just think Easton’s skill set is better enough than Papazian’s to get the decision victory in the end. Pick: Easton via Decision.
JACK BRATCHER: This will be Papazian’s UFC debut, while Mike Easton returns for his sophomore event. Easton has one loss on his record from back in 2007. The Team Lloyd Irvin fighter looked great at the open workouts on Wednesday. This is Papazian’s fifth fight of the year (he’s won four of them) and there is something to be said for momentum, but there’s also something to be said for “The Hulk’s” heavy hands. I’m going with Easton via TKO.
Pat Barry (6-4) vs. Christian Morecraft (7-2)
KELVIN HUNT: Barry via TKO. Morecraft hasn’t fared well against strikers at all in the UFC.
RICHARD MANN: Anyone who has been knocked out by Matt Mitrione and Stefan Struve could easily struggle with a guy like Barry. As a taller heavyweight, Morecraft’s legs will easily be targets for the more polished striker. Of course, there is always a chance Morecraft holds Barry down for two of three rounds. Barry by TKO.
BRIAN FURBY: Pat Barry.
GARY THOMAS: Another case of both fighters needing a win. I expect Barry to be throwing heavy leather and Morecraft as well. Barry has been in some wild fights and is undersized as usual. Morecraft via TKO.
JOSH CROSS: It’s no secret that Morecraft will be looking to take this fight to the ground. Barry is extremely dangerous on his feet and I don’t think Morecraft will be able to last long trading blows with his opponent.. While Barry was talking about wanting to get a submission win a some point, I don’t see it happening in this fight. I think Barry will be able to avoid going to the ground and I think he gets a much-needed win at the end of the night. Pick: Barry via TKO.
JACK BRATCHER: Both guys looked very good at the open workouts. Barry’s wrestling is progressing and his striking is just plain scary (see vide0). Barry seems to think Morecraft will look for the takedown pretty quickly and from talking with Morecraft’s coach, it sounds like that is probably their gameplan. Barry has been working tirelessly with guys like Cole Konrad at Death Clutch on his wrestling — and a lot of wrestling defense. Barry wins this via TKO…watch for the leg kicks!
Jorge Rivera (18-9) vs. Eric Schafer (14-6-2)
KELVIN HUNT: Schafer via submission.
RICHARD MANN: Schafer should be able to clinch Rivera against the cage and maybe get takedowns. Even if he can’t get on top, he should control position enough to take a decision. Rivera could get loose and land some nice shots, but that is less likely. Schafer by decision.
BRIAN FURBY: Jorge Rivera.
GARY THOMAS: With both fighters coming off a loss and the possibility of being cut I like Eric Schafer to win this fight. I don’t expect anything fancy though, Schafer by decision.
JOSH CROSS: Rivera definitely has what it takes to knock Schafer out, which he could very well do in this fight, but I’m just not quite sure that’s what will happen though. I think Schafer will be able to get this fight to the ground, submit Rivera and pick up the win. Pick: Schafer via Submission.
JACK BRATCHER: Rivera usually does pretty good against lesser strikers and not so good against better strikers. He’s a better striker than Schafer and even though Schafer is a BJJ black belt, I don’t see him being able to submit Rivera. Rivera should win via TKO or decision.