UFC 146 Full Card Preview and Picks
Change is a reality in sports and UFC 146 has not been immune to alterations to its main card because of injury and positive drug tests. A revamped Card comes our way from Las Vegas on Saturday night and amid all of the changes, there is still an impressive lineup of fights that you won’t want to miss!
Let’s take a look at this most impressive lineup and what we can expect.
UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir
Date: May 26, 2012
Time: 10pm ET/7pm PT
Location: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Broadcast: Pay-per-view, FX (Prelims)
Junior dos Santos (14-1-0): -550
Frank Mir (16-5): +375
Frank, Mir, a former champion himself takes on current champ Junior dos Santos in the Main Event on Saturday night with the oddsmakers not giving Mir much of a chance. There is a reason for that – Mir has traditionally had his issues with elite level strikers – his chin and his stand-up defense is definitely his weakness.
Mir’s only chance is to somehow get this fight to the mat where he can use his jiu-jitsu Black Belt. Nobody has been able to do this to dos Santos so far and I can’t see Mir being the first. Mr. dos Santos will have his way in this fight – he will strike his way to an easy win.
Don`t let the lopsided odds scare you – dos Santos is the class of this fight!
Pick: Junior dos Santos -550
Cain Velasquez (9-1-0): -400
Antonio Silva (16-3-0): +300
Two big men coming off KO losses look to place their names firmly on the Heavyweight landscape in the co-main event on Saturday. Velasquez is a former UFC Heavyweight champion – Silva is a former Elite XC Heavyweight champ. One huge advantage that is overlooked for Velasquez ahead of this bout is the fact that two of his training partners have already faced Silva (and lost).
Cain has the all around skills to get it done in this fight – elite wrestling and a superior striking game. The odds aren’t all that appealing but Velasquez deserves to be a lofty favorite. Silva is good but his recent showings have been less than scintillating. Velasquez is too hungry and to well rounded to be denied.
Pick: Cain Velasquez -400
Roy Nelson (16-7-0): -230
Dave Herman (21-3-0): +180
Roy Nelson, owner of one of the best chins in MMA takes on the very tough Dave Herman in yet another Heavyweight showdown on the Main Card of UFC 146. Nelson was originally set to fight Bigfoot Silva, then Gabriel Gonzaga – no doubt he is happy to see the less dangerous Dave Herman. Herman last lost to Stefan Struve – Roy Nelson destroyed Struve!
With better conditioning and a very underrated all around game, Nelson is almost a lock to win this fight. He is tough as nails and is as dangerous a big man is there is in the sport.
Pick: Roy Nelson -230
Shane del Rosario (11-0-0): +125
Stipe Miocic (8-0-0): -155
Heavyweight prospects will be on display in a match between two undefeated fighters when Shane del Rosario takes on Stipe Miocic. Miocic is certainly well rounded – he owns a NCAA Division I wrestling championship and in his MMA career he has seven stoppages in eight career fights. Del Rosario on the other hand will be returning after what was believed to be a career ending injury in a car accident last year.
Miocic is definitely in shape and is in the zone while del Rosario has more questions than answers ahead of this fight. Ring rust, a sketchy wrestling background and a questionable desire to compete at a very high level will be del Rosario’s undoing. Take Miocic to continue his impressive streak.
Pick: Stipe Miocic -155
Stefan Struve (23-5-0): -120
Lavar Johnson -110
Lavar Johnson will step into the Octagon for the second time in a month as a late injury replacement for Mark Hunt to take on “the Skyscraper” Stefan Struve. Struve has won four of his last five fights including an impressive submission win over Pat Barry – Johnson is coming off a stoppage of Barry last month.
Of Struve’s 23 wins, 15 have come by submission while of Johnson’s five losses, four have come by submission. The all around game of Struve, along with the height and reach will likely be too much for Lavar. Johnson does have a brawling style that has given Struve fits in the past but Struve is just too crafty and has too many tools to be denied in this one.
Pick: Stefan Struve -120
Edson Barboza (10-0-0): -550
Jamie Varner (16-5-1): +375
Very impressive Brazilian Lightweight prospect Edson Barboza returns to action when he takes on former WEC Lightweight champion Jamie Varner in what has all the makings of Fight of the Night. Varner has struggled of late, losing four straight fights while Barboza is on quite a role. Varner represents a big step up in competition for Barboza – I think he will rise to the occasion.
Pick: Edson Barboza -550
Dan Hardy (23-10-0): -120
Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig (21-12-0): -110
In what promises to be an intriguing bout of two elite strikers, Dan Hardy and Duane Ludwig will attempt to avoid the UFC axe when they clash in Welterweight action on Saturday night. Dan Hardy’s enormous weakness – his ground game will likely be his undoing in this one. Ludwig should be able to hold his own in the standup but when this fight hits the mat, Ludwig will show that he is in a different class.
Pick: Duane Ludwig -110
Darren Elkins (13-2-0): +210
Diego Brandao (14-7-0): -280
Former TUF winner Diego Brandao will look to keep his roll going when he takes on the very tough Darren Elkins in Featherweight action. Elkins has a very strong wrestling background but Brandao has proven that he can avoid the takedown. That said; look for Brandao’s elite striking to result in a highlight reel knockout in this one. Knockout of the Night anyone?
Pick: Diego Brandao -280
CB Dollaway (11-4-0): +120
Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller (23-8-0): -150
Mayhem Miller will try to erase an embarrassing loss at the hands of Michael Bisping when he takes on former Light Heavyweight prospect C.B. Dolloway in what is a crucial fight for both men. Dollaway’s wrestling should be the determining factor on Saturday. Miller was once a top Light Heavyweight in the world but he has clearly lost a step or two. Dollaway is young and hungry and will be prime for victory.
Pick: CB Dollaway +120
Glover Teixeira (17-2-0): -220
Kyle Kingsbury (11-3-0): +175
Highly regarded Glover Teixeira will make his long-awaited UFC debut on Saturday against TUF alumnus Kyle Kingsbury. Teixeira is widely regarded as the most dangerous Light Heavyweight yet to fight in the UFC. His heavy hands and elite grappling should be too much for Kingsbury who had his issues on the ground in his last fight against Stephan Bonnar.
Pick: Glover Kingsbury -220
Paul Sass (12-0-0): +175
Jacob Volkmann (14-2-0): -220
Undefeated British submission ace Paul Sass will look to take another step up the Lightweight ladder when he takes on the very tough, well rounded Jacob Volkmannn on the undercard of UFC 146. Sass may have met his match with the terrific wrestling and great submission game of Volkmann however. Sass is impressive by not Volkmann is even more slick!
Pick: Jacob Volkmann -220
Mike Brown (25-8-0): -170
Daniel Pineda (17-7-0): +140
Former WEC Bantamweight champion Mike Brown takes on Daniel Pineda in a Featherweight battle to kick things off on Saturday night. Pineda has been on quite a role having won two straight in a combined 3:42 while Brown has struggled since his title fight with Jose Aldo – losing two and winning a razor close decision. Pineda has the confidence and the skills to give Brown fits in this one – the streak continues Saturday!
Pick: Daniel Pineda +140