UFC Fight Night 33 comes to the Land Down Under on Saturday (although it will be Friday for those of us here in the States), and the main event promises to be a slugfest between Mark Hunt and Bigfoot Silva. Here’s a breakdown on the prelims:
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Nam Phan
One of the longest active bantamweights in the UFC, Takeya Mizugaki has fought the best of the best at 135. The problem for the Japanese fighter is that although he has fought the best, all he has done against the best is lost. Here are a list of top bantamweight fighters that Mizugaki has been bested by:
- Brian Bowles (Unanimous Decision)
- Miguel Torres (Unanimous Decision)
- Urijah Faber (1st Round Submission)
- Scott Jorgensen (Unanimous Decision)
Mizugaki also goes back and forth between wins and losses as though it’s his job. From 2008 to 2012, all 10 of Mizugaki’s fights were either a win followed by a loss or a loss followed by a win. Just recently though, Mizugaki has gone on a little bit of a streak, defeating three straight opponents and looking to make Phan the fourth in a row.
Nam Phan has been in the fight game since 2001, and is one of the more unappreciated veterans of the sport. Phan got his chance in the UFC by making a name for himself on The Ultimate Fighter coached by Georges St-Pierre and Josh Koscheck. Phan was the lone standout on Team Koscheck, and made quite the UFC debut in the Fight of the Night against Leonard Garcia. Although Garcia was given the nod, the overwhelming majority of people had though Phan won the fight. Since that fight, Phan has gone 2-3 in the UFC, losing his last fight to Dennis Siver.
Both fighters have had a hard time finishing fights in their past several outings, so it is easy to predict that this fight will go to a decision. Since Mizugaki is riding the hot streak, I see him getting the better of Phan, who has probably seen the last of his UFC days. I have Mizugaki outlanding Phan, in a fight that remains on the feet and will see both fighters swinging till the final horn.
Prediction: Takeya Mizugaki def. Nam Phan (Unanimous Decision)
Nick Ring vs. Caio Magalhaes (Middleweight)
Nick Ring had a very strong start to his MMA career, going a perfect 10-0 before getting the call to join the UFC. He then won his first two fights, remaining perfect until Tim Boetsch defeated him in a close decision loss for the Canadian fighter. He then won a close, but controversial decision over fellow TUF 11 Alumni Court McGee, and then lost a close spilt decision to Chris Camozzi. Ring is a black belt in Muay Thai, and will look to finish Magalhaes on the feet in the clinch.
Magalhaes was also perfect going into the UFC, but lost his debut in the promotion by decision against Buddy Roberts. In the fight, Magalhaes looked sluggish, which Ring will likely use this to his advantage, and try to tire the BBJ black belt with the clinch before finishing him on the feet. Magalhaes in his next fight won by submission in the 2nd round, after being destroyed on the feet in the first.
Nick Ring has the experience and the cardio to outlast Magalhaes. Ring has also shown his worth inside of the octagon in the past three years, where as Magalhaes has yet to make a statement. Look for Ring to outstrike Magalhaes, stuff the Brazilian’s takedowns, and finish the fight in the later rounds.
Prediction: Nick Ring def. Caio Magalhaes (3rd Round TKO)
Richie Vaculik vs. Justin Scoggins (Flyweight)
Vaculik fought as a lightweight on TUF Smashes for Team Australia, and although a natural bantamweight, is moving all the way down to flyweight to take on the 7-0 Scoggins. I see the TUF Alumni winning this fight by submission very early into the fight.
Prediction: Richie Vaculik def. Justin Scoggins (1st Round Submission)
Bruno Santos vs. Krzysztof Jotko (Middleweight)
In a rare match-up of perfect records, both Santos and Jotko go in with 13-0 records, but one must leave as 13-1. This bout will be extremely close, but I see Santos getting the very close decision victory. Should be a great match up with two young up-and-comers.
Prediction: Bruno Santos def. Krzystof Jotko (Unanimous Decision)
Ben Wall vs. Alex Garcia (Welterweight)
Even though Wall is fighting in his native territory, and Garcia is fighting far away from Tri-Star, I see the Dominican Nightmare Garcia taking the former TUF Smashes alumni out with a TKO victory in the 2nd round.
Prediction Alex Garcia def. Ben Wall (2nd Round TKO)