With the fireworks currently in progress in the UFC featherweight division, former lightweight king #3 Frankie Edgar (16-4-1) and #2 contender Cub Swanson (21-5-0) hook ’em up tonight in the UFC Fight Night Austin main event.
Both need a win to stay at the top of the title shot conversation.
What are the odds #5 Conor McGregor will have something to say?
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
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MATT WIMAN (15-7-0) VS ISAAC VALLIE-FLAGG (14-5-1)
Wiseman: Wiman showed his talent and knockout power while on TUF, but he has been off for a year and is going against a knockout beast. Vallie-Flagg has a ground game, but loves to bang. He has faced a higher level opponent and trains with the best at Jackson’s. I have Vallie-Flagg wanting to make a statement after his loss to Gomi.
Wiseman Prediction: Isaac Vallie-Flagg via TKO
Andrews: Wiman hasn’t competed since a loss to TJ Grant back in January 2013. He has the ability to keep Vallie-Flagg on the ground with his wrestling, but I see the more active Vallie-Flagg motivated to end his two-fight losing streak. He will pile up enough points with his standup.
Andrews Prediction: Isaac Vallie-Flagg via unanimous decision.
JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ (20-4-0) VS DUSTIN ORTIZ (14-3-0)
Wiseman: Benavidez is #2 for reasons. He has wrestling, speed, power, striking, and his movement makes him almost impossible to hit. Even when hit, he has shown that he can remain calm and regroup. Ortiz is about to face his toughest opponent to date, which simply means he has everything to gain in this match. Ortiz is accurate with his striking, but he doesn’t have the best takedown defence which will be a problem. He can defend off his back, but with a successful wrestler like Benavidez, he just doesn’t have any tools that will give him the win.
Wiseman Prediction: Joseph Benavidez via TKO
Andrews: Benavidez comes in as a massive favourite and it’s not hard not to disagree. He’s fought the best in the division, and is dangerous everywhere. Ortiz is good, but Benavidez is better and should emerge with a unanimous decision.
Andrews Prediction: Joseph Benavidez via unanimous decision.
JARED “THE BIG SHOW” ROSHOLT (11-1-0) VS OLEKSIY “THE BOA CONSTRICTOR” OLIYNYK (49-9-1)
Wiseman: There is no guessing to either of these fighter’s game plans. Rosholt will want to keep things standing as he’s the better striking and is more powerful. However, he is going against an experienced fighter with a ground game. Rosholt has takedown defence, but Oliynyk will want to keep the distance on his side, grapple against the cage and drag things to the mat.
Wiseman Prediction: Oleksiy Oliynyk via submission.
Andrews: This is a tough call. Both are decent grapplers, but the Sambo champion Oliynyk has only two of his 59 fights in the UFC. This gives Rosholt the UFC experience advantage. He outlasted a tough Soa Palelei, and that fight changed Soa so I think it will also help him overcome a game Boa Constrictor.
Andrews Prediction: Jared “The Big Show” Rosholt via split-decision
#11 BRAD “ONE PUNCH” PICKETT (25-9-0) VS CHICO “THE KING” CHAMUS (14-5-0)
Wiseman: This is going to be a brawl. These guys both have knockout power and they are well aware of it. The advantage that Pickett has is he has a ground game. If rocked, he will be able to survive with his submission game. At least tie things up long enough to recover. Camus is taking a step up in competition, but his power and overall striking ability is why he is in this battle to begin with. Pickett will want to use his speed and head movement to stay out of range from Camus. Pickett tends to take damage and against Camus’ power, he will want to stay away from that.
Wiseman Prediction: Brad “One Punch” Pickett via submission.
Andrews: This is the return fight for Chamus, who had a decision win overturned due to testing positive for marijuana. He needs to keep Pickett on the mat while Pickett needs to set up shop in the standup. I see Pickett catching Chamus before he can pile up the points.
Andrews Prediction: Brad “One Punch” Pickett via TKO.
BOBBY “KING” GREEN (23-5-0) VS EDSON “JUNIOR” BARBOZA (14-2-0)
Wiseman: These guys are so talented. This has fight-of-the-night potential all over it. Green is a very well-rounded fighter, but it’s going to be the submission game of Barboza that is going to truly test Green. He can stuff a takedown, but it’s the way Barboza sets up those takedowns that makes a difference. This match will go to the mat, but Green is no fool off his back. However, the kickboxing and ground game of Barboza will test the durability of Green.
Wiseman Prediction: Edson “Junior” Barboza via TKO.
Andrews: This one should be a dandy. The talented Barboza vs the scrappy Green who said this may be his last fight. The aggressiveness of Green will overcome the sheer talent advantage of Barboza. It’s amazing what can be done when a fight could be your last.
Wiseman Prediction: Bobby Green via TKO
#3 FRANKIE “THE ANSWER” EDGAR (16-4-1) VS #2 CUB SWANSON (21-5-0)
Wiseman: The only one that moves like Edgar is Dominick Cruz. The cardio and strange angles prevents any opponent from figuring out the timing. However, Swanson is a different kind of opponent. He won’t be able to move like Edgar, but he closes distance very quickly. His striking is accurate and full of bad intentions. Edgar will use his weird angles to score takedowns, but Swanson’s ground game is no joke. Where ever this match goes I have Swanson with the edge.
Wiseman Prediction: Cub Swanson via unanimous decision.
Andrews: Edgar is the more technical fighter, who’s fought the best-of-the-best in both the lightweight and featherweight divisions. He has better cardio, the chin continues to hold up, though he should not rely on it against Cub. But the power advantage of Swanson will not be enough as Edgar knows he can use his striking to set up takedowns. He has more tools and more ways to win here. Cub has to catch Edgar and I don’t think he has the answers to do it.
Andrews Prediction: Frankie “The Answer” Edgar via unanimous decision