The UFC on FUEL 2 event will feature a featherweight bout between Dennis Siver and Diego Nunes that’s set to take place in Stockholm, Sweden. It’s an interesting bout in that this will be Siver’s first fight as a featherweight, and he’ll be taking on a guy highly regarded in Diego Nunes who gave Kenny Florian all he could handle last year.
Dennis Siver (19-8) is coming off a devastating submission loss against Donald Cerrone at UFC 137 last year. The loss snapped a four fight winning streak as he was stunned with a Cerrone kick early in the fight and never recovered before being submitted with a rear naked choke. Siver’s first stint in the UFC didn’t go so well and he was released after going (1-3), but he rebounded nicely and has gone (7-2) since being brought back in the UFC in 2009. Siver was a huge lightweight with a kickboxing background and routinely lands spinning back kicks to the stomach of his opponents. He exhibits good takedown defense and has improved his ground game over time as well.
Diego Nunes (17-2) comes into this fight off a unanimous decision win over TUF 5 finalist Manny Gamburyan at UFC 141 last year. Nunes fought in the WEC prior to the merger with the UFC and has compiled a record of (6-2) under the Zuffa banner. He welcomed Kenny Florian to the featherweight division last year and gave the former title contender all he could handle in dropping a unanimous decision at UFC 131. Nunes is a well rounded fighter that can end the fight via submission or via TKO/KO, but ironically all of his fights under the Zuffa banner have gone to the judges. However, he has finished 11 of his opponents and has never been stopped in MMA which proves he’s a tough opponent for anyone.
This will be an interesting fight with Siver’s kickboxing background going up against a well prepared Nova Uniao student in Nunes. I think the weight cut for Siver to fight at featherweight could be a factor as he was a huge lightweight. I would pay particular attention to his cardio and ability to take a punch in this fight. Nunes has a sneaky right hand with surprising power as he demonstrated against Kenny Florian. Also, it should be noted that over half of Siver’s losses have come via submission. The key for Nunes will be to get inside the range of Siver as he’ll be giving up about three inches in reach. He certainly doesn’t want to allow Siver to get off with his assortment of kicks or the big lunging left hook he likes to throw. He needs to get inside and do damage and possibly look to take Siver down which will be no small task. However, once one the ground it’s possible that Nunes could wear him down and force Siver into a bad position to open up potential submissions.
Siver simply needs to keep the fight standing and look to use his size and power to try and put Nunes away. He should use the reach advantage he has to force Nunes to fight from long range which would make him susceptible to kicks. However, he needs to be aware that kicks could make him vulnerable to takedowns.
I want to go with Nunes in this fight as I really think the weight cut could be detrimental to Siver. Nunes is incredibly tough and Siver will probably have to win this fight via decision by outstriking Nunes the entire fight. He’s certainly capable of that, but Siver tends to have problems with guys Nunes that can make fights ugly. I’m going with Nunes via decision here.