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UFC on FOX 3 Full Card Preview and Picks

UFC on FOX 3 promises action-packed card

The UFC will make its third appearance on free network TV this Saturday with what appears to be a superb schedule of important fights. A few title contenders could emerge from Saturday night’s action in both the Lightweight and Middleweight divisions – tune in, it should be another fun night of UFC action!

UFC on FOX 3: “Diaz vs. Miller”
Date/Time: Sat., May 5, 2012, at 8 p.m. ET
Location: IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ
Broadcast: FOX

Nate Diaz (15-7): +175
Jim Miller (21-3): -225

In what is likely a #1 contender match for in the Benson Henderson’s Lightweight strap stud wrestler Jim Miller takes on the well rounded and notoriously tough TUF 5 winner Nate Diaz. It wasn’t that long ago that Miller was knocking on the door of a title shot and lost to Ben Henderson to interrupt his climb up the ladder. Miller has two recent losses – one to Henderson and one to another Lightweight standout Gray Meynard.

On the flip side, Nate Diaz had a rough 2011 with losses to Takanori Gomi and Donald Cerrone before bouncing back with two straight wins ahead of this fight. Diaz’ best chance is to keep this fight standing and use his incredible boxing chops and only rely on his slick submission game is absolutely necessary.

But Miller is a crafty veteran – there is nothing that he hasn’t seen. Look for Miller to drag this fight to the mat, out of the danger zones and to use his wrestling edge to control the unorthodox Diaz. Miller is a Stud – Diaz is just a “B level” fighter at the moment.

Pick: Jim Miller -225

Josh Koscheck (17-5): -120
Johny Hendricks (12-1): -110

This should be a good one! Former Welterweight contender Josh Koscheck takes on a fighter that many view as the future of the division – up-and-comer Johny Hendricks. Koscheck is a former collegiate wrestler who has refined his game to become one of the more well rounded fighters in the Welterweight division while Hendricks is also a wrestler whose punching power was on display in his last win – an uber-impressive knockout of Jon Fitch.

While Hendricks is an intriguing prospect, Koscheck is still viewed as a top 10 Welterweight in the world. He is on a two fight win streak and looking to get back into title consideration. The well rounded and extremely motivated Koscheck takes this one!

Pick: Josh Koscheck -120

Alan Belcher (17-6): +240
Rousimar Palhares (14-3): -310

A pair of three fight win streaks is on the line when Welterweight submission ace Rousimar Palhares takes on the well rounded jiu-jitsu Black Belt Alan Belcher. Belcher has been on quite a role with three impressive wins – his last loss in the Octagon was 2 ½ years ago. Palhares owns the best leg lock in the business and has the strength and emerging striking game to give Belcher fits.

In this fight, look for Belcher to try to keep the fight standing but eventually this battle will hit the mat. Once there, Palhares has proven virtually unstoppable. The winner of this fight may face Anderson Silva down the line – take his countryman to be that man!

Pick: Rousimar Palhares -310

Pat Barry (7-4): -205
Lavar Johnson (16-5): +175

If there is one thing that we know about this fight – it is that somebody is going to get knocked out! In a classic striker vs. striker match former WEC and Strikeforce Heavyweight Lavar Johnson takes on former kick boxer Pat Barry. Barry has been less than impressive as of late losing three of his last four fights while Johnson looked good in his UFC debut first round knockout win versus Joey Beltran. Barry is the more technical striker – Johnson the more powerful. Take the power over the technique in this one!

Pick: Lavar Johnson +175

John Hathaway (15-1):
Pascal Krauss (10-0):

Welterweight prospect John Hathaway looks to rebound after getting derailed by Mike Pyle in his last fight when he takes on another up-and-comer, West German Pascal Krauss. Hathaway is by far the more experienced of the two and he does hold wins over names like Diego Sanchez and Kris McCray while Krauss, although looking good in his Fight of the Night debut against Mark Scanlon hasn’t faced the same level of competition in his career. Take the Brit to prevail and to throw his name back in the Welterweight title conversation.

Pick: John Hathaway

Tony Ferguson (13-2): -270
Michael Johnson (10-6): +210

TUF 13 winner Tony Ferguson takes on TUF 12 finalist Michael Johnson on Saturday in a battle of two fighters on decent streaks. Johnson has won two straight fights and Ferguson has three straight. Two facts make me lean Ferguson in this one – Johnson steps in on very short notice and the fact that Ferguson has posted wins over some very tough competition – Yves Edwards, Aaron Riley and Ramsey Nijem. Take the TUF 13 winner to continue his streak in this one.

Pick: Tony Ferguson -270

John Dodson (12-5): lines not available
Darren Uyenoyama (7-3): lines not available

TUF 14 bantamweight winner John Dodson steps back into the Octagon against submission grappler Darren Uyenoyama on Saturday. Both fighters are coming off wins – Uyenoyama’s came against the very tough Norifumi Yamamoto and Dodson’s against TJ Dillashaw. Dodson certainly has skills and his decision to train with the famed Greg Jackson should serve him well. Dodson takes this one in possible the closest fight of the night.

Pick: John Dodson

Danny Castillo (13-4): lines not available
John Cholish (8-1): lines not available

In a battle of possible Lightweight future contenders WEC veteran Danny Castillo takes on submission specialist John Cholish. Castillo has fought some tough guys – losses to Joe Stevenson and Jacob Volkmann were followed up by impressive wins over Shamar Bailey and Anthony Njokuani. Cholish has some terrific skills but it won’t be enough to overcome the experience of Mr. Castillo in this one.

Pick: Danny Castillo

Pablo Garza (11-2): +145
Dennis Bermudez (7-3): -175

TUF 14 finalist Dennis Bermudez takes on super-tough Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner Pablo Garza in what should be a very good scarp at UFC on FOX 3. Bermudez is a wrestler who looked OK on the show but proved that he still has a ways to go while Garza already owns a Knockout and Submission of the Night in his career. Garza’s only career loss was to a very good Dustin Poirier. It is clear who the better fighter in this one is.

Pick: Pablo Garza +145

Nick Denis (11-2): lines not available
Johnny Bedford (18-9-1): lines not available

Another TUF 14 alum, grappler Johnny Bedford takes on striking machine Nick Denis this weekend. While Bedford’s grappling is decent, it will be the knockout power of Denis that will steal the show. In a possible Knockout of the Night (like the one in his debut versus Joseph Sandoval) take Denis to emerge victorious.

Pick: Nick Denis

Mike Massenzio (13-6): lines not available
Karlos Vemola (8-2): lines not available

Czech brawler Karlos Vemola will look to rebound from a loss in his last fight when he takes on Brazilian jiu-jitsu Black Belt and loser of two of his last three fights, Mike Massenzio. Vemola, as a Middleweight will certainly have the strength advantage in this one – he has fought at Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight in the past. Massenzio hasn’t impressed me – look for Vemola to exploit a weak defense and end this one early!

Pick: Karlos Vemola

Louis Gaudinot (5-2): lines not available
John Lineker (19-5): lines not available

TUF 14 alum Louis Gaudinot welcomes newcomer Brazilian John Lineker to the UFC in Flyweight action. Gaudinot is a decent grappler who lost his most recent fight by TKO to Johnny Bedford while Lineker has won an impressive 13 straight fights in Brazil. Lineker is a tough guy – his streak continues!

Pick: John Lineker

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