Wiseman: Rough, but needed. This match is putting together, which is the case for several matches on the card, fighters that need to piss or get off the pot. Westscott is coming off two losses and Garcia is coming off three. Terrible! Both still new to the UFC, so neither able to get the brownie points that Sage Northcutt has. Garcia is going to try to come out and use his boxing to try to use his power, but Westscott has changed camps and is now at Jacksons. That means he is going to be a man with a plan this time around. Garcia will come out deparate. Will this be entertaining? Umm, probably not, but several of the matchups on this card seem to be UFC’s way of “trimming the fat” and this is one of those matchups.
Wiseman Prediction: Sheldon Westscott via unanimous decision.
JOE SOTO (15-4-0) VS MICHINORI TANAKA (10-1-0)
Wiseman: When it comes to the UFC, not the greatest starts for either of these guys. Soto was a late replacement in his UFC debut and found himself fighting TJ Dillashaw. However, he ost in his second fight in the first round. Tanaka is coming off a submission win, after losing his debut fight. Soto is well-rounded, but he hasn’t found how to put his skills together. He is just coming in with his striking which is what’s causing the problems. Tanaka’s strength is his submission game, so considering he is coming off a win versus the two losses that Soto finds himself in, he has the advantage. Especially since Soto’s chin is suspect.
Wiseman Prediction: Michonori Tanaka via submission.
#12 DUSTIN “THE DIAMOND” POIRIER (18-4-0) VS JOE “IRISH” DUFFY (14-1-0)
Wiseman: While Duffy has been on a tear since going to 155, he is going against a different character. Poirier tends to throw his left jab a lot, then follow it up with his power right. It’s going to be hard to do that against the long stance of Duffy. Duffy has powerful striking, fights long to use his precision striking for counters, plus a submission game. Duffy’s long stance will cause problems for Poirier, but will be interesting to see if Poirier has done anything different, considering the last person he fought with that style was Conor McGregor.
Wiseman Prediction: Joe “Irish” Duffy via TKO.
TSN 2 PRELIMS (8PM ET/5P PT)
SCOTT “HOT SAUCE” HOLTZMAN (8-0-0) VS DREW DOBER (15-7-0, 1NC)
Wiseman: Neither of these guys have a load of octagon experience, but the true issue that brings attention is Dober’s record. In his past four fights has only won one. What does that mean? In White’s world, possibly a cut from the company if he doesn’t do something spectacular. Dober is coming with desperation on his shoulders, but Holtzman is coming in on a high after a submission win. Confidence is a huge factor in any fight, so I’m with Holtzman.
Wiseman Prediction: Scott “Hotsauce” Holtzman via unanimous decision.
JUSTINE KISH (4-0-0) VS NINA ANSAROFF (6-4-0)
Wiseman: Kish is coming back from a knee injury which is what forced her out of the TUF season. Ansaroff is coming off a decision loss against Lima, but by coming off I mean a fight from last year. Therefore, both of these girls will have to put a load as they still have a lot to prove in this division. Considering the pressure both of these girls will be under, I will give Ansaroff the advantage due to extra experience, more activity, and more skills both in the standup and the mat game.
Wiseman Prediction: Nina Ansaroff via unanimous decision.
KYLE NOKE (22-7-1) VS ALEX “THE GREAT WHITE” MORONO (11-3-0)
Wiseman: This is a tragic way to be welcomed to the UFC. Not only is he a late replacement, but he is going up against Noke. Not only has Noke been in the MMA world forever, but he is looking better than ever which is what we saw when he fought Sabotta. This will not be a great night for Morono.
Wiseman Prediction: Kyle Noke via TKO.
#8 MICHAEL “MAYDAY” MCDONALD (16-3-0) VS MASANORI KANEHARA (25-12-5)
Wiseman: McDonald’s fought a load of top fighters, and is coming off a loss, but it was against Urijah Faber. I mean, Kanehara hasn’t experienced anything like the level of competition McDonald has. Then to think about the style of fight or skill settings. Kanehara may want to go to his submission game or his striking, but McDonald is superior in all areas. It will be a learning experience, but unless 2016 is going to be another year of upsets, McDonald will have this in the bag.
Wiseman Prediction: Michael “Mayday” McDonald via submission.
MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)
ABEL “KILLA” TRUJILLO (12-7-0, 1NC) VS TONY SIMS (12-3-0)
Wiseman: Sims is still new to the UFC and Trujillo hasn’t been having the best of luck with his career since entering the UFC. This is going to be a slugfest. Considering the fact that Trujillo would have a perfect record if there was no such thing as BJJ, and Sims is a striker, I see him getting back in the win column.
Wiseman Prediction: Abel “Killa” Trujillo via TKO
DIEGO “DB” BRANDAO (24-10-0) VS BRIAN “T-CITY” ORTEGA (9-0-0, 1NC)
Wiseman: A great match, but Brandao is too much for the newer addition. Ortega is a strong fighter who brings a load to the table, but everything that Ortega brings, Brandao brings to a higher level.
Wiseman Prediction: Diego “DB” Brandao via submission
LORENZ “THE MOSOON” LARKIN (16-4-0, 1NC) VS ALBERT “EINSTEIN’ TUMENOV (16-2-0)
Wiseman: A load of power is possessed by both men, but two different fighting styles. Larkin is aggressive, but his fighting style plays into the fighting style of Tumenov. Albert is good at counter-striking, he has a left-hook and an equally dangerous right. He will close off the cage and corner Larkin, which is only a setup for him to unleash his power.
Wiseman Prediction: Albert “Einstein” Tumenov via TKO.
#3 STIPE MIOCIC (13-2-0) VS #2 ANDREI “PITBULL” ARLOVSKI (25-10-0, 1NC)
Wiseman: The biggest problem with this matchup is experience. Somehow, Miocic is ranked #3, yet the only people he fought in the top-10 was Mark Hunt and JDS. I understand him getting the 9th ranking because he beat Hunt, however he hasn’t gone in there against the monsters that go from that to JDS. I’m talking Travis Browne, Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, etc. Now he is going in there against Arlovski, who fought against almost everyone. Miocic is a solid fighter, but in the Embedded series, he talks about his cardio and speed. He moves straight back and when against the cage where someone can unload with a flurry. We’ve seen this happen to him when facing superior strikers, for example, the JDS match.
Arlovski is a powerful and skilled striker. Sure, he doesn’t mix things up a load with what he is trying to do, but Miocic doesn’t either. They both like to throw bombs, so I don’t see Miocic throwing something at Arlovski that he can’t handle or hasn’t seen.
Wiseman Prediction: Andrei “Pitbull” Arlovski via TKO.
(C) “RUTHLESS” ROBBIE LAWLER (26-10-0, 1NC) VS #4 CARLOS “NATURAL BORN KILLER” CONDIT (30-8-0)
Wiseman: Neither of these guys fought a lot last year, but they both won. The difference is the level of competition. Condit fought Thiago Alves while Lawler defended his belt and put on the fight of his career against Rory MacDonald. When I look at this match, I see the year starting with another MacDonald-like fight. These guys are well-rounded and have a load of heart. They both come to fight everytime and will not back down. This is going to be a hard fight for both, but Lawler will remain the champ.
Condit has been plagued with bad luck these past few years, hasn’t been fought consistently enough to get to where he needs to. Fighters have often spoken about the consistency of being inside of the octagon helps with the nerves and performing better. In this situation, Lawler has that advantage. Skill wise, Lawler has more power, and his takedown defence will help him to keep the fight where he wants it.
Wiseman Prediction: “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision.