Jamie Varner (16-2) vs. Ben Henderson (10-1): Awesome lightweight title fight between the champ Varner, who is making a comeback after multiple injuries and the interim champ Henderson, who showed unbelievable relentlessness in his last fight, where he beat Cowboy Cerrone.
Henderson is an excellent wrestler with good GnP, tight chokes and amazing sub defense. Bendo also has very good cardio that allows him to push the pace all the time, tire his opponents down and then sub them. His striking isn’t anything to brag about yet, but he has a solid chin that helps him a lot.
Varner has been out almost a full year since his fight with Cerrone, where he got hit with an illegal knee. Knee barely touched Varner head, but it managed to cause serious injury to Varner’s eye. Varner also suffered a broken hand and a broken foot in that fight. His whole fighting career was in jeopardy, but now everything’s healed and he’s ready to scrap. Varner is a complete modern MMA fighter, who can do it all: strike, wrestle and grapple on the ground. Varner’s best quality is his boxing which he mixes very well with effective takedowns.
Prediction: Henderson beat Cerrone with takedowns and some GnP, but I don’t think he’ll manage to repeat that performance in this fight. Varner is much better wrestler than Cerrone and good enough on the ground not to get subbed. Sprawl and Brawl is Varner’s gameplan for this fight. Varner will dominate Henderson on the feet with crisp boxing and stuff most of his takedown attempts. Varner by TKO strikes R2.
Urijah Faber (22-3) vs. Raphael Assuncao (14-1): this should be a fun featherweight fight. Former champ Faber is coming off a six month layoff. He broke both of his hands in his last fight, which was a title fight against Mike Brown. Faber is a cardio freak, so I trust that he will come in shape to this fight. Assuncao has a good record and he’s on a six fight winning streak. He has solid hands on the feet, but his main weapon is his high quality ground game. Assuncao hasn’t lost in years, but on the other hand he hasn’t ever faced a guy like Faber. Assuncao is good, but I believe his a bit overmatched here. Faber is too quick and versatile on the feet for him. Faber by UD.
Mike Brown (22-5) vs. Anthony Morrison (10-7): Another former featherweight champ tries to bounce back after losing his title. Brown did well against the monstrous Jose Aldo, who managed to hurt Brown with strikes and then choke him out. Anthony Morrison makes his WEC debut and I must admit that I don’t know much about him. What I know is that in his last fight he’s beaten UFC vet Alvin Robinson in a little over minute, which is pretty impressive. Last year he was submitted by Micah Miller and Fabio Mello, who are both very good grapplers. Brown is a grappling powerhouse and that will be the deciding factor in this fight. Brown by arm triangle R1.
Dave Jansen (14-0) vs. Kamal Shalorus (5-0-1): Jansen is undefeated for a reason: the dude is an amazing grappler. Last time he managed to outgrapple Rich Crunkilton, who is a very good grappler himself. Shalorus is a tough guy with heavy hands, but he’s going to get outgrappled here. Jansen by anaconda choke R1.
Mackens Semerzier (5-0) vs. Deividas Taurosevicius (11-3): Semerzier shocked the world and especially BJJ fan boys in his last fight where he choked out BJJ ace Wagnney Fabiano with a triangle choke just one minute into the fight. Now he’s matched up again with an outstanding grappler in Taurosevicius, who is one of the biggest and strongest 145 pounders we have ever seen. the Lithuanian can strike too and has mean GnP on the ground. While Semenzier is undoubtedly a high quality prospect, I believe Taurosevicius’ experience will win this fight for him. Taurosevicius by UD.