TUF Nations Finale Undercard Preview for ‘Bisping vs Kennedy’ Prelims on Fox Sports 1

ufc-154Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City, Quebec is hosting the TUF Nations Finale that top to bottom is looking pretty damn fun. Let’s hop right into the prelims and start breaking them down.

The prelim main event on FOX Sports 1 should be one hell of a scrap – KJ Noons (12-7) will fight Sam Stout (20-9-1). This is a good pick for FOTN. Both men were supposed to fight at lightweight, but then they got together, shared a few cheeseburgers and decided that maybe the fight should be at 170 pounds. Whether this means a fresh duo bringing a non-dehydrated fight to the Octagon, or something strange is going on, this should still be a lively standup battle. Sam Stout’s nickname is Hands of Stone, but he’s only collected a knockout or two in the last half-decade, and Noons is also touted for his brilliant standup, sporting an 11-2 pro boxing record, but neither of these men will go on to knock out a half dozen men in a row. Sam Stout was last seen beating Cody McKenzie in a one-sided affair back at UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Benavidez II, while Noons picked up his first UFC win and snapped a four-fight losing streak against George Sotiropoulos at UFC 166. Both of these fighters likely won’t be world-beaters anymore, as Noons, even with underrated takedown defense, still is put on his back far too often, and Stout has a habit of letting the fight get away from him. Noons’ record might not look that great, but he’s been on the wrong side of the judges a few times. This has all the hallmarks of what could be a fun kickboxing match that will be a close call after 15 minutes in the cage.
The next fight came together on just over a week notice, but that’s fine, it’s the sequel to one of the best fights of last year. Leslie Smith (6-4-1) steps in with just eight days to prepare against perennial contender Sarah Kaufman (16-2-1). This is Kaufman’s first fight since her split-decision loss to Jessica Eye was overturned to a no contest, which makes her last win her win her previous bout against Smith at Invicta 5. What we have here is a dogfight. Smith will work to get into her muay thai clinch at all costs and make this fight as dirty as possible while Kaufman will work her superior boxing and footwork. Kaufman is arguably the best boxer in the women’s 135 pound division, and if Smith doesn’t come in guns blazing, there’s no reason to think Kaufman won’t have the massive advantage having beaten her already. Still, the first fight was a classic, and this should entertain the masses without a doubt. Kaufman is just the way to go on this one.
Next up, Ryan Jimmo (18-3) comes back to the Octagon for the first time since Jimi Manuwa defeated him at Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz. The big light heavyweight faces a former Maximum Fighting Championship guy like himself, the late replacement Sean O’Connell (15-4). O’Connell is riding a six-fight winning streak with his biggest win being over Marvin Eastman of all people back in September of 2013. O’Connell has done well for himself, knocking out seven men and submitting three on the independent circuit. Jimmo, while sometimes looked down upon for his grinding style (they tout his karate but he rarely uses it), has had some good wins i nhis career. He knocked out Anthony Perosh in 7 seconds at UFC 149, beat Emanuel Newton, Sokoudjou and even has a Marvin Eastman win for himself back in 2009. Jimmo, overall, is the better fighter and knows how to get the win. Still, he can get gassed late in fights and lacks a killer instinct. O’Connell has nothing to lose and might fight that way, which could bode well for him.
Opening the FOX Sports 1 prelims is a bantamweight bout, as the always tough George Roop (14-10-1) takes on the surging youngster, Dustin Kimura (11-1). At only 24-years-old, BJJ fighter, Kimura is definitely one to watch. He’s currently 2-1 in the UFC with two submission finishes, one over Chico Camus after Kimura missed weight, and most recently against Jon Delos Reyes at Fight Night: Saffiedine vs. Lim. Roop is as up and down as ever, but also just as scrappy. He put together a nice 2-1 2013 winning over Brian Bowles and Reuben Duran, but fell to Francisco Rivera in a TKO loss at Fight For The Troops 3. He’s better than his record, but he’s also kept around because he puts it all out there when he fights. Whether his job is on the line or not is a big question, so he may be feeling the pressure to quell his position as a stepping stone for Dustin Kimura. Roop has been submitted four times, and Kimura is one of the best BJJ artists he’s ever faced, so watch closely when this goes to the ground. On the feet, Roop has a massive size advantage and is overall a better striker than Kimura. Off his back, Roop works fairly well, but Kimura is as slick as they come and can make his offense work from whatever position they may fall.

Written by Jason Nawara

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