UFC middleweight title challenger Michael Bisping is on fire. Despite a controversial win over Anderson Silva, the man is the winningest middleweight in UFC history as he looks to avenge a previous loss to champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 199.
On paper, this is looks to be a simple fight for Rockhold, but an invigorated and inspired Lisping could sway things.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
Kenai Andrews runs it down:
UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS (6:15PM ET/3:15PM PT)
POLO REYES (6-3-0) VS DONG HYUN KIM (13-7-3)
Andrews: Reyes is the busier fighter statistically, but he also takes more shots too. I expect him to go headhunting or take the fight to the ground for the submission. One of these fighters is going to get the finish, and it should be El Toro.
Andrews Prediction: Polo Reyes via TKO
KEVIN CASEY (9-4-0, 2NC) VS ELVIS MUTAPCIC (15-4-0)
Andrews: The 34-year-old Casey has been TKOed in all four of his losses, and his last fight was a TKO loss to Rafael Natal. The 29-year-old Mutapcic’s losses have all been by decision and he has a lot of knockout and submission wins. Have to go with The King here.
Andrews Prediction: Elvis Mutapcic via TKO
JONATHAN WILSON (7-0-0) VS LUIZ HENRIQUE DA SILVA (10-0-0)
Andrews: These guys have a combined one fight of octagon experience, but someone is going down. You can flip a coin here, but I think Wilson will prevail despite bring the shorter fighter.
Andrews Prediction: Jonathan Wilson via TKO
SEAN STRICKLAND (17-1-0) VS TOM BREESE (10-0-0)
Andrews: Great fight. Both guys can finish the fight anywhere. Breeze is statistically the more accurate and more efficient fighter.It will be tough, but he ekes out the split-decision.
Andrews Prediction: Tom Breeze via split-decision.
TSN 5 PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)
COLE MILLER (21-9-0, 1NC) VS ALEX CACERES (11-8-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Even though Caceres lost the Faber fight, it continues to benefit him. If he can use his striking and keep the fight off the ground until he’s worn Miller down, he should win. Miller needs to get the fight to the ground for his chance and it won’t be enough.
Andrews Predictions: Alex Caceres via unanimous decision
#6 JESSICA PENNE (12-4-0) VS JESSCIA ANDRADE (13-5-0)
Andrews: Andrade comes in with impressive statistics, but she hasn’t fought the same quality of opponents Penne has. If the fight goes to the ground, Penne is more than comfortable, its on the feet where Andrade can win. But Penne is smart and super tough and more experienced.
Andrews Predictions: Jessica Penne via unanimous decision
#10 BENEIL DARIUSH (12-2-0) VS JAMES VICK (9-0-0)
Andrews: Dariush is crafty but came down to earth in his last fight. Vick will have a 4-inch reach advantage and needs to use it to keep the fight standing. I think Vick will get the upset with his striking.
Andrews Predictions: James Vick via unanimous decision.
#12 BRIAN ORTEGA (10-0-0, 1NC) VS CLAY GUIDA (32-13-0)
Andrews: Ortega is an updated version of Guid with a less cardio, but more skilled BJJ. I think Ortega survives the early Guida onslaught to slap on a submission ala Diego Brandao.
Andrews Predictions: Brian Ortega via submission
MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)
#11 DUSTIN POIRIER (19-4-0) VS #13 BOBBY GREEN (23-6-0)
Andrews: Poirier impressed in his last fight and I think he can overcome the raw toughness of Green and pile up the points using his skills.
Andrews Predictions: Dustin Poirier via unanimous decision
#15 DAN HENDERSON (31-14-0) VS #14 HECTOR LOMBARD (34-5-1, 2NC)
Andrews: Hector Lombard will knock out Dan Henderson and make him retire. Lombard will avoid enough of the takedown to land a murderous strike.
Andrews Predictions: Hector Lombard via TKO
#4 MAX HOLLOWAY (15-3-0) VS #5 RICARDO LAMAS (15-4-0)
Andrews: Holloway is on fire. Lamas is not technical enough to hang with him, so he will need the takedown to wear Holloway out. But Max should be able to pile up enough points before he can do so.
Andrews Predictions: Max Holloway via unanimous decision.
DOMINICK CRUZ (21-1-0) VS #2 URIJAH FABER (33-8-0)
Andrews: Cruz is coming into the fight healthy and with a fight under his belt. His footwork and striking should be enough to stymie Faber just like at UFC 132. Faber needs to land his power punches to take some starch out of the champion unless Cruz makes a mistake, will be left searching for too many openings most of the fight.
Andrews Predictions: Dominick Cruz via unanimous decision
LUKE ROCKHOLD (15-2-0) VS #4 MICHAEL BISPING (29-7-0)
Andrews: Rockhold has more ways to win in this fight and his kicks and strikes should prove to be too much for Bisping like the last time. Bisping is good, but Rockhold is better.
Andrews Predictions: Luke Rockhold via TKO