UFC on Fox 10 Preliminary Card Preview for ‘Henderson vs Thomson’ Tonight (Jan. 25)

sergio-pettisFrom Chicago, Illinois comes UFC on FOX 10. This is the third time the UFC has come to Chicago in January, this time in the middle of a polar vortex. Why not visit Chicago, say, during a brisk October? We’ll never know. The prelims are solid throughout, however, with a few relative newcomers looking to make a big splash on the main stage. In the prelim main event on Fox Sports 1, bantamweights headline with The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 12 alum, Alex Caceres (9-5), on one of the best undefeated streaks of his career, going 3-0 with one no contest in his last 4 UFC fights. He would’ve had four wins in a row with a split-decision win over Kuyung Ho Kang in Japan earlier last year, but tested positive for marijuana. Across from him stands Sergio Pettis (10-0), the much-hyped brother of lightweight champion Anthony Pettis that is looking to make a massive impact in a short amount of time. Pettis is only 20 years old with three knockouts, three submissions and four decision wins to his name. He’s got the Roufus-trained standup and is slick on the ground with an active and offensive guard. Caceres is transitioning well from being a street fighter to a well-rounded martial artist, but on paper, Pettis is the better fighter. With that said, Caceres has more experience, has fought tougher men, and simply knows how to win inside the Octagon. The counterpoint to that is: Pettis knows how to win – period. This should be an excellent and entertaining fight no matter where it goes. Caceres has the slight edge on the ground and Pettis on the feet. Even more bantamweight action graces our fight-hungry eyeballs as we have former number one contender Eddie Wineland (20-9-1) looking to bounce back from his knockout loss to Renan Barao at UFC 165 with a win over Yves Jabouin (19-8-1). Jabouin is coming off a split-decision win over Dustin Pague at UFC 161, and has spent seven months away from the Octagon. Wineland was fiery in his losing effort over Barao, and he’s made it clear in interviews that he’s not done reaching for the title. Jabouin, however, has had an up and down UFC career at best. In September of 2012, he was knocked out by Brad Pickett in stunning fashion and is yet to finish an opponent in his entire tenure between the UFC and WEC (four years). This could be a rebound fight for Wineland, who has the exact type of skillset to deter the flashy Jabouin. Wineland is a combination of a gritty, bite down on the mouthpiece type of fighter, and one who knows exactly what he needs to do to win. This could be a spectacular brawl, as both men have something to prove. It’s a bantamweight spectacular! Even more 135 pounders will make their way to the cage in Chicago, and this time we have smaller names on the program. But that doesn’t mean Chico Camus (13-4) vs. Yaotzin Meza (20-8) shouldn’t be a lot of fun. Camus suffered a heartbreaking loss to Dustin Kimura, in which he was relatively dominating for two rounds before succumbing to a rear naked choke. He then had a comeback of his own when he nailed Kyung Ho Kang with an upkick and stole a decision win at UFC 164. Meza stepped up to take on Chad Mendes on short notice and was destroyed in even shorter order. Meza was able to show off his heart a few months later at UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Moraga, when he came backand subbed a gassed John Albert in the second round of their fight. This should all lead to an entertaining grappling match of a fight, which could also possibly lead to a sloppy kickboxing match. The prelims see one final bantamweight matchup featuring Junior Hernandez (13-5) vs. Hugo Viana (7-1). Hernandez is coming off a first round submission loss to Lucas Martins, and will likely have trouble off the bat once again when he faces the takedown-heavy Viana. The TUF: Brazil alum, Viana has developing knockout power with rudimentary skills, but he’s most comfortable on the ground, wailing away on his opponent while controlling them with his jiu jitsu. Hernandez looked like a fish out of water against Martins in his debut, but he may have been suffering from those “Octagon jitters” so many people talk about. Hernandez is a solid and unspectacular fighter who had four knockouts and five submission wins on the independent circuit, but that was against far lesser competition. It’s an uphill battle for Hernandez, while Viana will look to set up the takedown with his striking, but it could make for a fun fight.

Written by Jason Nawara

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