UFC Fight Night 24 staff picks

Antonio Rogerio "Minotoro" Nogueira faces off with Phil "Mr. Wonderful" Davis at the UFC Fight Night 24 weigh-ins. The two will clash in the main event at Key Arena on Saturday, March 26, in Seattle, Wash.

The ( staff has come together once again to give their thoughts and predictions on UFC Fight Night 24 which takes place tonight at Key Arena in Seattle and airs live on Spike TV.

The UFC Fight Night 24 main event features two of the world’s top-10 light heavyweights as BJJ black belt and Pride veteran Antonio Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira takes on four time NCAA Division 1 All-American Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis, who remains undefeated in his pro MMA career.

In the co-main event, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson makes his return to the Octagon after a nearly 16-month layoff as he faces fellow welterweight Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-4) vs. Phil Davis (8-0)

ODDS: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira +260 vs. Phil Davis -340


DENNY HODGE: It will be interesting to see how long Davis tests the waters in the stand up game with Nogueira, before taking the fight to the mat. Nogueira is dangerous off his back, so Davis will have to be wary of sweeps and submissions while playing in the guard of Nogueira. Nogueira will be dangerous in the counter department if Davis keeps it standing, but the young and athletic Davis will win this fight in the transitions, scrambles, and by controlling the action over three rounds. Davis by decision. WIN

JACK BRATCHER: New school vs. old school. Will Davis’ rise continue here or will it take pause against the legend? The two are clearly at different points in their careers. Davis is moving up while Nogueira is winding down. Having said that, “Lil Nog” is still ranked in the top 10 and is not just going to roll over for Davis. It will be interesting to see how Phil’s stand-up has progressed and how long he feels comfortable standing and trading. Nog showed against Bader that he is pretty good at getting back to the feet. Phil’s athleticism and conditioning is going to play a big part. Nogueira just looks old… slow and old. I don’t see either guy getting a submission or either guy being able to finish the other. Look for Davis to get Nog down, avoid submissions, lay on a little ground and pound, Nog gets up they box awhile before they do it all over again. Phil Davis will win by decision. WIN

JOHN BUHL: Life isn’t fair sometimes. First Nogueira fought Jason Brilz and almost lost — winning a split decision by a razor-thin margin. His reward? Ryan Bader. A bigger, stronger, faster wrestler with heavy punching power. Now that he’s lost to Bader, Nogueira has to go up against Davis. His striking could use some work, but his wrestling and athleticism are beyond anything Bader could offer. I bet Nogueira wishes Tito Ortiz was still available. But on the bright side, maybe after Nogueira loses this fight, they’ll move him up to heavyweight to fight Cain Velasquez and continue the progression. Davis won’t have an easy time against Lil Nog, but I don’t think Nog will be quick enough to stay off of his back, and Davis and his freakish lats have a smothering, nasty ground game. Davis by decision. WIN

KELVIN HUNT: Phil Davis via unanimous decision.

RICHARD MANN: Jason Brilz showed what a solid wrestler can do against Nogueira. On top of that, Davis is a better wrestler than Brilz and has a more diverse game. Davis will be able to get takedowns. The question is, will he be able to finish from the top position. Since making the move to the UFC, Davis’ only stoppage victories are a pair of submissions. I doubt that he will be able to catch Nogueira with something, so this would be a good fight for him to flash some of the ground and pound that he flexed early in his career. Pick = Phil Davis. WIN

Dan Hardy (23-8) vs. Anthony Johnson (8-3)

ODDS: Dan Hardy +150 vs. Anthony Johnson -180

BRIAN FURBY: Anthony Johnson. WIN

DENNY HODGE: Johnson will be the much larger, explosive guy in this match up and has a very definitive advantage in the wrestling department over Hardy. Hardy is dangerous in the pocket but will have to wade into danger to get in range to land big shots on Johnson. Look for Johnson to trade early and if he’s successful, he will keep it standing and try to put Hardy away. I see Hardy giving him more trouble on the feet then some people think, so look for Johnson to mix it up and put Hardy on his back during the fight in between periods of exchanges on the feet. Johnson will put the heat on Hardy and put him away by TKO in the second frame. WIN

JACK BRATCHER: This one is going to be fun. No one is expecting this one to go to the ground, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Hardy tried out some of his evolving wrestling game on Johnson just to throw him off. We can’t underestimate the extremely long layoff Johnson has had. I think people are underestimating Hardy in this one. His two UFC losses have been to top guys, GSP and Koscheck. The same can’t be said of Johnson. I’m going with Hardy in this one, via TKO in the second or third after Johnson has tired a bit. LOSE

JOHN BUHL: Johnson still leaves himself open a bit when he throws his strikes, but Hardy isn’t exactly a techincal striker and Johnson’s reach will be tough to deal with. Assuming Johnson doesn’t have a lot of trouble making weight, AJ will probably knock Hardy out. Johnson by second round TKO. WIN


RICHARD MANN: Let me get this straight. The only fighter who struggles to make weight more than Gina Carano is staying at welterweight despite not having fought in over a year and a half? If Johnson does not land the death blow early, he is done. If you have watched him weigh in than you know what I am talking about. The guy looks absolutely dreadful on the scale. Hardy is a classically trained striker, so he should be able to avoid an early firestorm and then take over in rounds two and three. Pick = Dan Hardy. LOST

DaMarques Johnson (17-8) vs. Amir Sadollah (5-2)

ODDS: DaMarques Johnson +200 vs. Amir Sadollah -260

BRIAN FURBY: Amir Sadollah. WIN

DENNY HODGE: Sadollah is going to do work in this fight against DaMarques Johnson. Johnson can hold his own standing, but Sadollah seems to always bring an effortless flow of kick and punch combos. His stand up prowess will overwhelm Johnson in this fight. Sadollah takes this one with a big finish on the feet. WIN

JACK BRATCHER: Amir continues to progress and I don’t see Johnson being one to stop him. Amir’s solid striking will allow him to out-point Johnson on the feet. Johnson lacks the wrestling pedigree needed to put Sadollah down and grind it out. Sadollah via decision. WIN

JOHN BUHL: Sadollah is at the point now where he’s strong enough to fend off any takedown attempts someone like Johnson tries to throw at him. Sadhollah will stay on the outside and outpoint him. Sadollah by decision. WIN

KELVIN HUNT: Amir Sadollah via TKO. WIN

RICHARD MANN: For some reason watching Johnson on the reality show really made people over estimate his skill set. He has a decent repertoire of kicks and can lace up a submission against lesser fighters. However, this is really Sadollah’s fight to lose. He only really struggles when he is dominated by better wrestlers or blasted in the face. In this fight, Sadollah should be able to land enough on the feet to take the decision. Pick = Amir Sadollah. WIN

Leonard Garcia (19-6-1) vs. Chan Sung Jung (10-3)

ODDS: Leonard Garcia -125 vs. Chan Sung Jung -105

BRIAN FURBY: Chan Sung Jung. WIN

DENNY HODGE: Everybody knows what happened the first time these two got it on in the Octagon. There will not be a repeat of the that brawl this time around. Or maybe there will be…. Look for Jung to be more disciplined this time around. Jung will take Garcia down and win rounds on the ground. Jung by decision. WIN

JACK BRATCHER: Jung went to Alpha Male to help train for this fight. That could really help him if he decides to take it to the ground. However, the fans are hoping for a repeat of their WEC 48 performance and I’m sure Garcia will do everything in his power to make that happen. I see something similar to their first fight — and all out balls to the wall war and in the end, Garcia will likely take another close decision. LOSE

JOHN BUHL: I seriously don’t care what anyone says; the Korean Zombie won the first fight with Garcia. I didn’t think MMA judging was so bad that they couldn’t see who won a fight in a striking battle where fighter A did more damage than fighter B and was just as active. I was wrong. Garcia will make things close early on, but as the fight wears on and Garcia gets tired, his technique goes to crap and he starts with the “HIYA” action. Jung takes it by decision and punches to the forearm don’t win fights. WIN

KELVIN HUNT: Chan Sung Jung via unanimous decision. WIN

RICHARD MANN: I thought Chan Sung Jung won the first fight, and I think he is the better fighter. Judges and promotions like to reward Garcia, because he comes forward and throws. However, his aggressive style has actually hurt his career. Clearly this is speculation, but I find it hard to believe that the Garcia that beat Hiroyuki Takaya would not have actually lost to Nam Phan. Jung is more than simply a brawler, so he has more ways to win this fight. Also, if it ends up as a repeat of their last fight, then Jung should still be in the driver’s seat. Pick = Chan Sung Jung. WIN

Jon Madsen (7-0) vs. Mike Russow (13-1, 1 NC)

ODDS: Jon Madsen -280 vs. Mike Russow +210


DENNY HODGE: Russow looks like a wad of chewed up bubble gum, but nobody could forget his comeback KO win over the chiseled Todd Duffee at UFC 114. Russow is undefeated in the UFC at 2-0, and so is Madsen who has won his first 4 appearances in the Octagon. This is going to be a slug fest. Forget technique, somebody’s getting KO’d. I’m on the Russow war wagon. Russow by TKO. WIN

JACK BRATCHER: The undefeated Jon Madsen will keep his record in tact here. Although he will likely have trouble against some of the biggest heavyweights in the UFC, Russow isn’t one of them that will give him too many problems. Both guys are good wrestlers but I think Madsen has the better all around game. Madsen should get the better of the stand-up. Look for him to hurt Russow with a big shot and ultimately finish him off via TKO. LOST

JOHN BUHL: Madsen looked mighty vicious beating up Gilbert Yvel. He isn’t a huge heavyweight, but Russow — how do I put this nicely — I’ve seen his physique and he won’t overpower Madsen. Madsen, on the other hand, will have a quickness advantage and swarm Russow early. Madsen by second round TKO via GNP. LOST

KELVIN HUNT: Mike Russow via unanimous decision. WIN

RICHARD MANN: Madsen is my kind of fighter. People like to call him boring, because he understands the importance of top position. Knowing Zuffa’s lust for the Chris Lytles of the world, he will probably get cut as soon as he loses, but perhaps if he keeps winning he will have some job security. Madsen will have the wrestling advantage in this fight, so look for him to get on top and work his way towards a submission. Russow is probably best remembered for knocking out Todd Duffee, but he does most of his best work in the submission department. Pick = Jon Madsen. LOST

Alex Caceres (5-2) vs. Mackens Semerzier (7-3)

ODDS: Alex Caceres +185 vs. Mackens Semerzier -225


DENNY HODGE: It’s do or die for Semerzier in his UFC debut. He is coming off 3 consecutive losses under the WEC banner, and will be facing off against “Bruce LeeRoy” who is also making his Octagon debut. Caceres is an exciting fighter and will let it all go in the cage, but he’s also prone to submissions which Semerzier will be looking to finish him with. Look for Semerzier to come through under pressure in this one. Semerzier by submission. WIN

JACK BRATCHER: Caceres has been working with some of the best coaches in the world for this fight, guys like Zahabi, Danaher, Renzo Gracie. Caceres always smiles and will likely fight the whole fight with a big smile and that could really screw with Semerzier’s head. This could actually be a great fight. Both are good strikers with good submissions as well. I would like to see Caceres get the win but I think Semerzier’s strength and experience may be the deciding factors here. Look for a much improved Caceres though. I really want to pick Caceres but I’m trying to go with the best odds here. Sememrzier by decision. WIN

JOHN BUHL: The cynic in me looks at some of the guys that have been cut from the UFC/WEC and wonder if Semerzier was kept around to help build up a guy like Caceres. Bruce Leeroy’s striking is OK but nothing spectacular, and Semerzier is probably going to be the physically stronger of the two. Mackens went 0-3 after submitting Wagney Fabiano in his UFC debut, but he showed enough in a close loss to Cub Swanson — who I definitely think would be Caceres — that I’m taking Semerzier by decision. If Mackens can make the fight a brawl instead of a fancy point match, he’ll do more damage. WIN

KELVIN HUNT: Mackens Sermerzier via unanimous decision. WIN

RICHARD MANN: I have also seen “Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon” and that does not mean I belong in the UFC. All kidding aside, this is Semerzier’s fight to lose. Sure, he has lost three-straight fights since scoring a huge upset in his WEC debut, but he is still a solid featherweight. He should be able to get top position and implement his submission game. Caceres has struggled from the bottom in fights before and this will not be any different. Pick = Mackens Semerzier. WIN

John Hathaway (14-1) vs. Kris McCray (6-2)

ODDS: John Hathaway -500 vs. Kris McCray +300

BRIAN FURBY: John Hathway. WIN

DENNY HODGE: Hathaway is very well rounded and was on a roll, winning his first 4 fights in the UFC before losing a decision to Mike Pyle. McCray is likely facing the possibility of being released by the UFC if he loses as a loss would make him 0-3 in the Octagon. Hathaway will rebound with an impressive victory in this one. He is simply has too many ways to defeat McCray. Look for McCray’s cardio to start failing and for Hathaway to put him away in the 3rd round. Hathaway by TKO. WIN

JACK BRATCHER: Hathaway will pick up where he left off before his UFC 120 fight with Mike Pyle. The oddsmakers have this one right on. Hathaway will smash McCray and probably finish it off via TKO in round one or two. WIN

JOHN BUHL: McCray has some potential, no doubt, but I think he’d benefit from getting some time at a smaller promotion and picking more experience before stepping back into the UFC. Hathaway is pretty tough to takedown and will win this fight on the feet. Hathaway by decision. WIN

KELVIN HUNT: John Hathaway via unanimous decision. WIN

RICHARD MANN: MMA is a fickle sport. Hathaway went from relatively unknown, to next big thing, to an afterthought in only a two-fight span. I have had the pleasure of being in house for several of McCray’s early fights. It is clear that he is physically talented, but he is still very green. He could have success in this fight if he can get takedowns. However, it is more likely that Hathaway will stay on the outside and score with strikes. Pick = John Hathaway. WIN

Mario Miranda (12-2) vs. Aaron Simpson (7-2)

ODDS: Mario Miranda +170 vs. Aaron Simpson -210

BRIAN FURBY: Aaron Simpson. WIN

DENNY HODGE: Both guys are desperate for a win in this one. Aaron Simpson is the better wrestler, but also has 6 T(KO)s in his 7 wins. Miranda is solid on the ground, but it might not even make it there. Simpson will dictate where the fight takes place, and he will win this one standing. Simpson by decision. WIN

JACK BRATCHER: Mario is a dangerous striker and if it stays on the feet too long Aaron Simpson could get his lunch eaten. Don’t worry “A-Train” fans. Simpson’s wrestling will make all the difference here as he puts Miranda down and grinds out the decision. WIN

JOHN BUHL: I don’t think I can put into words how disappointing Miranda looked against Demian Maia. I learned a valuable lesson about his (lack of) wrestling. Like Renato “Babalu” Sobral said, being a Brazilian wrestling champion is like being an American soccer standout. Simpson will take Miranda to the mat and wear him down. Simpson by decision. WIN

KELVIN HUNT: Mario Miranda via unanimous decision. LOSE

RICHARD MANN: Miranda earned his way to the UFC by out-wrestling guys in the Northwest. Since coming to the UFC, we have seen him struggle against fighters who are better wrestlers. Simpson certainly falls into that category. Hopefully back-to-back losses have alerted Simpson to the idea that he needs to do more than swing for the fences and hope for the best. If he can come out with a solid and wrestling-based game plan, he should be able to pick up a victory here. Pick = Aaron Simpson. WIN

All fight odds provided by sponsor LINESMAKER (


  1. DENNY HODGE 8-0
  2. JOHN BUHL 7-1
  4. KELVIN HUNT 6-2
  5. BRIAN FURBY 6-2

(In the event of a tie, a look at method of victory is considered)

5 thoughts on “ UFC Fight Night 24 staff picks”

  1. You guys should look back over your record. Richard you were 6-2 not 8-0. Buhl you were 7-1. Jon Madsen didn’t win. Hunt was actually 6-2 and Hodge was perfect.

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