The Target Center in Minneapolis will play host to the fifth installment of the UFC on FX. Fans will be treated to quality fights with important ramifications depending on the result. Will we witness the birth of the next thing in the heavyweight division? Can a grizzled veteran make an indelible impression in his return to the UFC and which Flyweight will emerge as the inaugural number one contender for Demetrious Johnson’s crown? These questions and more will be answered and the best part, we get to see it for free.
-Josh Neer vs. Justin Edwards
Josh Neer always comes to fight and seeing his name on a fight card guarantees action. Edwards needs to take “The Dentist” to the ground if he wants to avoid a second straight loss. Edwards’ wrestling is not good enough to control the tempo of the fight over a long period of time. Neer carries a wealth of experience and thrives in a firefight.
The Pick: Josh Neer by 1st Round KO
-John Dodson vs. Jussier Formiga
The winner of this fight will officially become the number one contender for the Flyweight title. Dodson is very well rounded in all aspects of the fight game, but he needs to avoid scrambles on the ground at all costs. Formiga is dangerous and can snatch a limb in bear trap fashion. Dodson is a smart fighter and he can avoid rushing into things, so he should control the majority of the 15 minute affair.
The Pick: John Dodson by decision
-Jake Ellenberger vs. Jay Hieron
This was supposed to be the co-main event of UFC 151 but we all know the story there. These two met before in the now defunct International Fight League where Hieron beat Ellenberger by unanimous decision. That was a long time ago though, and “The Juggernaut” is a completely different fighter. For Jake Ellengerber, this is a fight he needs to win in order to get back in title contention. For Jay Herion, this fight is the culmination of his seven year crawl back to the Octagon. He is replacing an injured Josh Koscheck and wants to make good on this opportunity.
Conditioning won’t be a problem for Herion and he is a good wrestler, but Ellenberger is one of the strongest fighters in the division. On his feet, Ellenberger will look for the knockout while Herion will look to stay outside and mix up punches and leg kicks. Jay Hieron’s conservative style has caused people to label him a boring fighter and this could be a very boring fight if Ellenberger is gun shy coming off his loss to Martin Kampmann. The key to this fight will be Octagon control and Ellenberger’s strength will be the factor in causing more damage in the pockets of time he controls.
The Pick: Jake Ellenberger by decision
-Travis Browne vs. Antonio Silva
This fight is designed to be Travis Browne’s coming out party. A win by spectacular fashion on national television will put the 6’7 Hawaiian in the spotlight. It’s rare that Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva goes into the cage as the smaller fighter, but that will be the case on Friday. He is coming off back-to-back losses, but don’t let that fool you as he was defeated by two of the best fighters in the world. Silva has more experience against high profile opponents and he was the first person beat Fedor Emelianenko in a bloody fashion.
Browne is a powerful striker with an improving ground game. Silva is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. He is also a powerful striker, but his technique is slightly below that of Browne. Also, he is ridiculously slow and was defeated soundly in his last two outings because of it. Browne won’t be that much faster but the speed advantage he does have along with his explosiveness will be enough to put away Bigfoot in the third frame.
The Pick: Travis Browne via TKO in the Third Round