UFC on Fuel TV 7: Barao vs. McDonald takes place tomorrow in London, England, and airing in the US for a rare afternoon of fights. Fans will not want to miss any of the action as the UFC has outdone themselves for a ‘smaller’ event. The Fighters.com preliminary picks have already been published, but you can see how the main card stacks up below.
Che Mills Vs Matt Riddle
When Riddle gets flustered in a fight, he has a tendency of just ducking his head and throwing haymakers everywhere. He forgets that his wrestling abilities are the reason he has gotten where he is right now and decides to let it all hang out. He has said in the run up to the fight that he wants an all out stand up war with Mills, and if the two really go toe-to-toe, expect the ref to be waking of Riddle on the floor of the Octagon assuring him everything was going to be okay. Of course, that type of talk is often what wrestlers do. The second Mills comes forward Riddle will shoot and take him down. Or, if that doesn’t work, he will clinch on the fence. If the Ultimate Fighter alum can get Mills down and stay on top of him, he will win this fight. However, if he is being serious about the stand up war, or tries to ‘out clinch’ Mills, he will not like the result. Riddle is a tough dude who can take a beating, but I think Mills finds his way to a decision.
Che Mills via Decision
James Te Huna Vs Ryan Jimmo
This is a bad draw for Jimmo, and that makes it a solid one for Te Huna. Fans should expect Te Huna to come right at Jimmo in this one. As such, the MMA world will learn a lot about Jimmo if this fight goes long and Te Huna can get his game plan going. Jimmo will most likely look to play an outside game of sticking and moving, trying to keep Te Huna on the outside of his jab and low kicks. He will do his best to avoid the power strikes of Te Huna, and that’s where I see him falling short. Either Te Huna will eventually land one of those clipping hooks or Jimmo will be backing up the whole time trying to avoid them. If the latter is the case, don’t expect Jimmo to get his hand raised.
Te Huna via TKO Round 3
Gunnar Nelson Vs Jorge Santiago
Santiago should just pretend he is playing with a live hand grenade this entire fight. Santiago has had two stints in the Octagon, the most recent of which saw him fight twice and lose. Now, the Brazilian is back after getting two wins outside of the organization. Santiago is a dangerous fighter, but I am not real sure he has enough to poison Nelson’s well and get a win. He also might not have that kind of time in this fight. Nelson has only been to third round once (in his first fight that ended in a Draw) and nine out of his ten wins were finishes in the first round. Nelson doesn’t play around in the cage, and I expect him to overwhelm Santiago early in this bout.
Gunnar Nelson Submission Round 1
Jimi Manuwa Vs Cyrille Diabate
Both of these guys have the power and the precision to put the other guy out cold. This is one of those 50-50 picks. If you stood both of these guys toe-to-toe, these two guys will split the outcome right down the middle. Since this a mixed martial arts fight, I would think it would be foolish for a guy with some ground skills to take that approach. Manuwa, at the very least has a questionable gas tank, and since Diabate has a decent ground game, I suspect he’ll utilize it. I expect Diabate to strike just enough to get Manuwa to come forward, and duck under a strike to get the takedown. I expect Diabate to do this in the first two rounds, and either put Manuwa away on the feet in the third, or skate to a decision.
Cyrille Diabate via Decision
Cub Swanson Vs Dustin Poirier
Poirier was basically on his way to book travel plans for his title shot when he fell short to Chan Sung Jung. He has since got back on track with a win over Jonathan Brookins, but Swanson is going to give him a much tougher fight. While their skill sets are amazingly similar, it would seem that Swanson is just a bit better in most areas. Poirier will push Swanson harder than he has ever been pushed, and I expect both of these guys to walk out with injuries after a grueling fight, but I expect Swanson to edge out a close decision.
Cub Swanson via Decision
Renan Barao Vs Michael McDonald
There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to breaking down Michael McDonald. Can he unseat Barao from his interim title? Sure, he can finish a lot fighters, but its hard to imagine him winning this one from more than just his hands. That alone has me leaning the way of Barao, but when you look at Barao’s capabilities in the Octagon the pendulum swings even further in his favor. Another key to this fight is that it can take a a few minutes for McDonald to get his feet underneath him and get comfortable. Those will be dangerous ticks on the clock for McDonald as Barao won’t have that problem. While McDonald will have the power advantage in this fight, the speed will go to Barao, and I expect him to land something clean half way through the second round, and swarm on McDonald for the submission win.
Renan Barao via Submission Round 2.