UFC on FX 2 staff picks

UFC on FX 2: Alves vs. Kampmann” takes place Friday at Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia. The main card airs LIVE on FX and features welterweight contenders Martin Kampmann vs. Thiago Alves in the main event.

The ( staff weighs in with their thoughts and predictions on the main card, and by popular request, one select fight from the preliminary card.

UFC on FX 2 marks the debut of the UFC’s flyweight (125 pound) division, featuring Joseph Benavidez vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani and Ian McCall vs. Demetrious Johnson. Also, TUF 11 winner Court McGee takes on Constantinos Philippou in middleweight action and in our preliminary card special, Cole Miller returns to featherweight for the first time in years to take on TUF 14’s Steven Siler.

Prelim Special: Cole Miller (18-5) vs. Steven Siler (19-9)

ODDS: Miller -400 vs. Siler +300

JOSH CROSS: I like Miller’s chances wherever this fight goes. I think Miller will frustrate Siler on his feet by using his reach advantage before he takes the fight to the ground and controls it there. Ultimately I think that Siler will eventually make a mistake and Miller will submit him.Pick: Miller via Submission.

RICHARD MANN: Miller is the better and more experienced fighter. This fight was put together to give the elder Miller brother a softer touch and exact some sort of revenge for his brother. Other than ousting Micah Miller from “The Ultimate Fighter,” Siler has not really beaten any solid fighters. Miller by submission.

BRIAN FURBY: Cole Miller.

DAN THEODORE: Not very familiar with Siler but both these guys are Sub Wizards with 13 and 12 Submission victories respectively … lots of Guillotines and Triangles should make for some exciting scrambles. Cole Miller has faced tougher competition, might be a bit more durable, and hasn’t lost by Submission so I’ve got to go with Miller here.

JACK BRATCHER: Cole Miller and Steven Siler exchanged some heated words at the weigh-ins. Siler and Miller both have very good submission games. This should be a fun fight but Miller has faced the tougher opponents during his career by far. Miller is a UFC veteran whereas this is only Siler’s second fight in the Octagon. Miller should take this would via decision or possibly submission.

Court McGee (13-1) vs. Constantinos Philippou (9-2, 1 NC)

ODDS: McGee -140 vs. Philippou +110

JOSH CROSS: I like McGee’s chances in this fight. I think he’ll be able to use his reach advantage and submission skills to control the majority of this fight. Philippou could hurt McGee in some of the exchanges though, but McGee is known for his toughness and I expect he’ll be able to pull through and get the win. Pick: McGee via Decision.

RICHARD MANN: McGee has improved since winning “The Ultimate Fighter.” With that being said, all of his wins have been struggles or against guys who do not belong in the UFC. It remains to be seen if Phillippou belongs, but he should be able to pick up a victory here. As long as he does not get stuck on his back, he has a chance to squeeze out the decision. Phillippou by decision.


DAN THEODORE: Greek Power! Philippou by punches TKO all the way.

JACK BRATCHER: Ultimate Fighter winner Court McGee will keep his undefeated UFC record in tact. McGee’s grappling and wrestling should carry him through once again for the win either by decision or submission.

Demetrious Johnson (14-2) vs. Ian McCall (11-2)

ODDS: Johnson -320 vs. McCall +250

JOSH CROSS: I think this fight is going to be much closer than some of the betting odds I’ve seen recently have it being. McCall is a considerable underdog, but part of me wonders if it’s just because those betting are more familiar with Johnson than “Uncle Creepy.” That being said, I still think Johnson wins this fight. I think Johnson will use his speed to avoid most of McCall’s strikes and take the fight to the ground where he’ll be able to grind out the win. Pick: Johnson via Decision.

RICHARD MANN: McCall has improved a great deal on the feet, but he still relies on his wrestling to stay upright or takedown superior strikers. Against Johnson, he will find himself on his back. Johnson might not be able to hang with McCall on the feet, but very few fighters in MMA time their takedowns better than “Mighty Mouse.” Johnson by decision.

BRIAN FURBY: Demetrious Johnson.

DAN THEODORE:  I am going with Ian McCall.

JACK BRATCHER: It’s very interesting how few people are picking Ian McCall. Demetrious Johnson may have the best takedowns in the game. It will be interesting to see if McCall can keep it standing and how he will deal with Johnson’s wrestling. McCall should have a nice advantage on the feet. I’m believing McCall’s wrestling may be good enough to, if not stuff Mighty Mouse’s takedowns, he should be able to get up and do what he needs to do. I could be wrong. McCall via decision.

Joseph Benavidez (15-2) vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani (19-4-6)

ODDS: Benavidez -800 vs. Urushitani +550

JOSH CROSS: Many are already picking Benavidez to win the flyweight tournament and I can’t say that it really surprises me. He had a lot of success at bantamweight and I think he’ll be an even more dangerous fighter at flyweight. It will be interesting to see how much better Benavidez looks at this new weight class, but ultimately I just think he is a much more well-rounded fighter than Urushitani. Pick: Benavidez via Submission.

RICHARD MANN: Urushitani has built his career on being a slick boxer. He is hard to hit and lands with polished combinations. Benavidez will be able to take his opponent down at will and dominate from the top position. On top of that Urushitani is a tad vulnerable to the guillotine choke, and nobody does a guillotine like the boys at Team Alpha Male. Benavidez by submission.

BRIAN FURBY: Joseph Benavidez.

DAN THEODORE: Benavidez should take home a decision, TKO from punches, or even Guillotine Choke over UFC newcomer Urushitani. Benavidez should be more powerful and dictate with wrestling as long as he can avoid a head kick he should be good.

JACK BRATCHER: is giving Joseph Benavidez the biggest odds favorite in this fight. He has the all-around game to beat Urushanti who will be outclassed. Urushanti gave up his Shooto title to come to the UFC and you have to commend him for that, but he will lose this fight. Benavidez via decision.

Thiago Alves (24-7) vs. Martin Kampmann (18-5)

ODDS: Alves -130 vs. Kampmann EVEN

JOSH CROSS: While both fighters have had success on the ground I don’t really see this fight spending too much time there. I think Kampmann has the best chance to win if he can keep taking Alves down, but I don’t see that happening. Even if Kampmann is able to take the fight to the ground I think Alves will be able to power his way back to his feet fairly quickly. I think Alves has the better and more powerful standup game and I think that’s what wins him this fight. Pick: Alves via TKO.

RICHARD MANN: Kampmann is a solid striker, but he always seems to struggle against guys with strong chins. Fighters like Nate Marquardt and Paul Daley were able to walk through his punches and land with their own more powerful shots. Look for Alves to do the same. His leg kicking game alone should be enough to bring him a victory. Alves by decision.

BRIAN FURBY: Martin Kampmann.

DAN THEODORE: I think Thiago will take a split decision, has a bit more power. I hope he makes weight. Kampmann could possibly get a submission though, guillotine perhaps. Should be a great one!

JACK BRATCHER: I like Martin Kampmann’s overall game better. Thiago Alves has more power, but Kampmann I think has the better wrestling and submission game. Should be a fun fight. I’m taking Kampmann via decision.

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