UFC on FOX 8 Preliminary Card Preview

The Ultimate Fighter Live Finale: Chiesa v IaquintaUFC on FOX 8 hits Seattle Saturday, and unlike UFC on FOX cards of the past, this is a head to toe great event that looks like it will have a very interesting set of preliminary fights. First up, in the UFC on FX main event, TUF 15 winner Michael Chiesa (9-0) takes on former Strikeforce lightweight contender Jorge Masvidal (24-7) in what should be an exciting fight. Chiesa has had an on and off UFC career despite going 2-0. He was out for most of 2012 with an illness, but this will be his second fight in 2013. Masvidal is only a a few months removed from beating up Tim Means in April, and took this fight on short notice. Masvidal is a great all around fighter with an absolutely fantastic jab, but Chiesa will be the first time he doesn’t have a good size advantage on an opponent in a long while. Chiesa has won his last five fights by submission, and four out of those five by rear naked choke. Masvidal is submittable, but he’s also extremely crafty on the ground, with underrated wrestling and solid GnP. Masvidal said this fight is an easy paycheck, but the reality is somewhere in-between, especially since Masvidal struggled to make weight. Next up, another lightweight battle as former King of the Cage champion Tim Means (18-4-1) takes on Danny Castillo (15-5). Since moving over from the WEC, Castillo has put together a decent 5-2 Octagon record, with victories over Paul Sass and Shamar Bailey, as well as a win over a young Dustin Poirier in the WEC. Means has gone 2-1 in the UFC, with a frustrating loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC on FOX 7 being his last fight. Means is taking this fight on just two weeks notice after Bobby Green had to pull out with an injury. Means has heavy hands, but isn’t the most technical fighter. Castillo is a wrestler at heart, and Means has a good sprawl, so this will be a battle of styles, the grappler vs the striker. Yet another lightweight fight is on FX, with Mac Danzig (21-10-1) trying to get back into the win column against Melvin Guillard (30-12-2, 1 NC), who hasn’t had as rough a go of it lately as Mac has, but it’s close. Melvin has one win in his last five fights, and Danzig has only three wins in his last nine fights, and only one at lightweight. That said, both of these men may be fighting for a job on Saturday night. Guillard as we all know is explosive on the feet, with extremely heavy hands and pretty much is better than Danzig in every area outside of the ground game, which has been Guillard’s achilles heel for a long, long time. If Danzig can get him to the ground, he can take out Guillard, but that’s a big if. And four times is the charm, with another lightweight fight on FX as the Thugjisu Master, Yves Edwards (42-19-1), makes his 64th journey into an MMA bout, against Daron Cruickshank (12-3) who is coming off a loss to John Makdessi at UFC 158. Cruickshank is a somewhat wild striker, who is willing to get into a brawl, and that bodes well for Yves Edwards early, but Yves is no longer a spring chicken, and he’s been slowing down in the third round regularly over his last few fights. This fight is surprisingly evenly matched on the feet, especially as Yves ages, but Yves can also finish just about anyone from anywhere in the Octagon when the position and time is right. If those suns and moons don’t align, Cruickshank should be able to bring Edwards into deep waters. It’s a good, interesting fight. Next, Ed Herman (20-9-1) hopes to bounce back after back to back disappointing losses, one of which was overturned to a no contest after Jake Shields failed his drug test, and the other against Jacare Souza in the final Strikeforce show. He takes on Trevor Smith (10-3) who was brought into the fledgling Strikeforce promotion to give an opponent to Tim Kennedy. Smith is a good grappler, and has never seen a judge in his 13-fight career. He’s a dangerous grappler, but so is Herman, which means we may see a stand up fight between these two vets. Finally, a bout in the women’s bantamweight division kicks off the FX card, as veteran Julie Kedzie (16-11) takes on kickboxing standout Germaine de Randamie (3-2) who has sputtered a bit in her transition to MMA. de Randamie should have the edge on the feet here, but she hasn’t looked as dominant with her MMA striking as she did with her striking in kickboxing. Kedzie is the more well-rounded of the two fighters, but her biggest issue will be if she can take the bigger de Randamie to the mat to use her superior grappling. This should be an entertaining bout to start the night off.

Written by Jason Nawara

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