A few of our PMN staff share their predictions for “UFC on Fox 15: Machida vs. Rockhold” which takes place Saturday, April 18, in Newark, N.J. and features top middleweights Lyoto Machida vs. Luke Rockhold in the main event.
Ovince Saint. Preux vs. Patrick Cummins
Gary Thomas: OSP will have to try and stay away from the wrestling heavy attack of Cummins. Cummins has a smothering style but O’Vince should be able to negate that with his striking and defense. OSP by Submission
Kelvin Hunt: Wrestling should be the difference in this one….OSP has a puncher’s chance….other than that….Cummins takes the decision
Jack Bratcher: Ryan Bader exposed a bit of a hole in OSP’s game with the wrestling and Cummins can use that same type of smothering lay n’ pray gameplan if he so chooses and may find success that way. But who wants to see that? Not me. Regardless, word has it that OSP brought in high caliber wrestlers, including a guy that used to wrestle with Cummins and knows how he operates on the mat. Cummins may have a wrestling edge but OSP has a big experience, striking and submission advantage and I’m picking OSP via submission or even a quick KO/TKO.
Jim Miller vs. Beneil Dariush
Gary Thomas: How can you bet against Miller, Miller has been around for a hot minute and I don’t see Dariush having anything for him. I think Miller can finish this one with a submission in the first. Miller by Submission
Kelvin Hunt: Miller may be on the decline now…Dariush via decision
Jack Bratcher: Dariush facing a real veteran here. Is he up for the challenge? His submission win over Daron Cruickshank last month is a good sign, but Miller’s grappling is head and shoulders above Cruickshank’s. Miller and Dariush are both BJJ black belts so it could come down to their striking. There’s also something to be said for momentum and Miller hasn’t fought in nearly a year since he was KO’d by Cowboy Cerrone. I got Dariush via TKO or decision.
Felice Herrig vs. Paige VanZant
Gary Thomas: Hard to pick here. Herrig has the upper hand in experience but Paige’s stock is pretty high. I think Herrig uses her kickboxing to out point the youngster Vanzant. Herrig by Decision
Kelvin Hunt: VanZant’s aggression will probably be the difference in this one…Herrig is tough though and experienced….but VanZant via decision
Jack Bratcher: Both girls have decision losses to Tecia Torres, but Herrig’s experience should see her through. Herrig via decision.
Cub Swanson vs. Max Holloway
Gary Thomas: Max Holloway is young and has a special set of skills. He’s tough. Swanson is way tougher though and I think he will be motivated to make a statement. Swanson by TKO.
Kelvin Hunt: Swanson is the bigger more powerful fighter…also better ground game…Swanson via decision
Jack Bratcher: This one’s tough for me to pick as Holloway has had some good success in the UFC, but this could be his biggest and toughest test to date. My heart says Swanson but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Holloway takes it.
Jacare Souza vs. Chris Camozzi
Gary Thomas: I feel bad for Chris. He gets cut and now is back in the dance and his first fight back is against one of the best. Souza finishes this in the first round – Souza by Submission.
Kelvin Hunt: Souza-Via whatever he wants….sub
Jack Bratcher: Jacare all day. Props to Camozzi for taking this fight on short notice but he’s out-classed. The Aligator via submission.
Luke Rockhold vs. Lyoto Machida
Gary Thomas: Hard one to call here. Machida is, well Machida. Rockhold has looked sharp but so has Lyoto. I think that Machida can lull Rockhold into his style of a fight and catch him in the later rounds. Machida by TKO.
Kelvin Hunt: Rockhold-Rockhold is younger…a huge middleweight similar to Weidman in many respects….and should beat Machida here unless he gets careless on the feet.
Jack Bratcher: Rockhold thinks his striking is on par with Machida. Gimmie a break. Rockhold is good, but he ain’t that good. Vitor Belfort ended him with a highlight reel KO and I expect Machida will do the same. They have five rounds to decide this one and I don’t see it going the distance. Machida is ready for the body kicks of Rockhold, but is Rockhold ready for the Karate Kid? I say no. Machida via T/KO.