UFC 132 will take place tonight, June 2, from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, and is set to be a stellar card. This night of fights is sure to bring us plenty of action and entertaining fights leading up to the first ever UFC Bantamweight title fight. When you have fighters such ads Aaron Simpson and George Sotiropoulos on the under card , you know it’s set for a good night. Let’s get to the picks!
UFC Bantamweight Championship
Dominick Cruz vs Urijah Faber
It’s no secret these two have bad blood. This long awaited rematch is set to be a little different than their first meeting under the WEC banner in 2007, where Urijah Faber made quick work of Cruz, submitting him early in the opening round. Faber had a rough patch of fights, going back and forth between wins and losses, before he decided to drop back down to bantamweight. He has one both of his fights back in this weight class, and the Alpha Male fighter is definitely looking to make it three straight and 2-0 in the UFC.
Dominick Cruz is definitely a much different fighter than he was in 2007 when he suffered his single loss as a professional. I don’t think we need to remind you who brought him that loss. Cruz has a low striking percentage, but only because he throws so many punches every round that it keeps the counters hard at work. It will be interesting to see if his strikes are backed with any power, as we haven’t seen them tested much at all with 6 of his last 8 fights ending in decisions. Will we see pillow hands, or hands sending your head to the pillow?
Pick: Look for Faber to close the gap and search for the takedown, as well as cruz looking to land quick strikes. Should be an entertaining fight and if it goes the distance, look for a unanimous decision for Faber, but expect an early round submission victory for Urijah Faber.
Wanderlei Silva vs Chris Leben
This is undoubtedly the most entertaining fight on the card. “The Axe Murderer” Silva is coming off a 16 month layoff after undergoing surgery following his unanimous decision victory over Michael Bisping at UFC 110. If you watched the weigh-ins yesterday, you saw a very hungry and excited Wanderlei Silva, which is not a good thing for Leben. “The Crippler” is always game for a brawl and has a chin that collects powerful shots like baseball cards. Leben will be looking to get back on track after a stellar year in 2010 and starting 2011 with a hard TKO loss to Brian Stann.
Neither of these fighters are looking to go to the ground, even though both are fully capable there, but instead are looking for fireworks. Both fighters have extremely powerful right hands, but Silva’s overhand right will not only test Leben’s ability to take a punch, it will likely be the end result of this fight.
Pick: Leben will try to rush in early and Silva will be happy to have him. Watch as both of these fighters throw fireworks and as Wanderlei Silva slowly wears him down and earns the TKO/KO victory in the later rounds in this Fight of the Night.
Tito Ortiz vs Ryan Bader
Both fighters are coming off rough losses and are looking to get back on track. It’s hard to say which has more to fight for; Tito is looking to make one last run and to prove he is still a threat in the Light Heavyweight crowd, and Ryan Bader is searching to a way back to the path to the title after suffering a dominating loss to current champion Jon Jones. Tito Ortiz has lost three fights dating back to UFC 84 against Lyoto Machida. His next two fights were hard battled unanimous decision losses to Forrest Griffin and Matt Hamill. Bader’s single loss is, as mentioned, to current champion Jon Jones, but outside of that has he faced the talent that Tito has over the years? Ryan “Darth” Bader is still young in his career at 12-1 and will learn from this fight no matter what the outcome.
Pick: It will be interesting to see how Tito’s gas tank holds up in this fight, especially as it will likely end in decision. I’m giving Tito Ortiz the benefit of the doubt as he has much more in the experience category, and will be the more desperate fighter as he takes this to a unanimous decision victory.
Carlos Condit vs Dong Hyun Kim
This fight is definitely another contender for “Fight of the Night” as these two are looking to stand and throw until the other falls. Kim is 3-0-1 in his return tot he UFC, but is looking for that decisive finish with all three victories coming from the judges score cards. Condit’s last fight was an incredible knock out of the night victory over standout boxer Dan Hardy at UFC 120. After a nearly 9 month layoff, Condit is looking to get right back on track with a decisive win over the “Stun Gun” Kim.
Pick: This is a tough matchup and an even harder fight to pick as both fighters will have impressive showings. Condit will look for the takedown, as is expected with Greg Jackson in his corner, but expect stiff sprawls from Kim and allowing Condit to fall into his trap of thinking he can stand with the talented boxer. Expect Condit to have too much confidence from his knockout of Hardy and to come into range with Kim and quickly find himself on the losing end of a TKO victory for Dong Hyun Kim.
Matt Wiman vs Dennis Siver
Both of these lightweights are on three fight win streaks, and neither of them are looking to stop there. A great matchup between to nearly equal fighters, Dennis Siver having the slight edge on the ground and more experience, this is set to be a great opening fight for the main card.
Pick: If this fight goes to the ground, expect a quick submission from the German Siver. I don’t expect Wiman to give him too much trouble standing up to where he has to retreat. Should be a late round submission victory for Siver, if not a unanimous decision for the German standout.
The Under Card
Melvin Guillard vs Shane Roller
Guillard is on a four fight win streak and wont be slowing down against Shane Roller, who is making his second appearance in the UFC. Melvin Guillard’s weakness is submission defense, but to say the “Young Assassin” is weak in any area now with his much improved game would be a misleading statement. Roller will look to take it to the ground but Expect Melvin to have none of this with his excellent takedown defense.
Pick: Melvin Guillard will make quick work of Shane Roller with his spastic fighting style, ending this in round two with a TKO.
Rafael Dos Anjos vs George Sotiropoulos
Expect both fighters looking to get back on track after losses. Dos Anjos hasn’t fought since his 2010 loss to Clay Guida from a severely injured jaw. Sotiropoulos was on a seven fight win streak before he ran into Dennis Siver earlier this year, bringing the Australian his first loss inside the Octagon. Both fighters are dangerous on the ground so expect both to stand as long as they can.
Pick: Sotiropoulos will look to end this fight early, but a tough Dos Anjos will battle it out to the end. George Sotiropoulos will come out victorious in a unanimous decision.
Brian Bowles vs Takeya Mizugaki
Both fighters were impressive in their UFC debuts and are looking to continue that success. Bowles will look to take this to the ground pretty quick, while Mizugaki will look to stand as much as possible.
Pick: Brian Bowles will end this with a solid submission in the later rounds, as Mizugaki always finds a way to survive much longer than expected.
Brad Tavares vs Aaron Simpson
Tavares is putting his 7-0 record on the line as a late replacement for Jason Miller against an always tough Aaron “A-Train” Simpson. Aaron’s only two losses came back to back to surging Chris Leben and a dominating Mark Munoz. Both fighters will be swinging for the fences and it should result in a solid fight.
Pick: This will be a huge step up in competition for Brad Tavares, and expect him to be underestimated by Aaron Simpson and to end up pulling off the TKO upset. Either way, this fight most likely will not make it to the judges score cards.
Andre Winner vs Anthony Njokuani
Both fighters are coming off of tough losses and are looking to get right back on track. This should be an interesting battle as both fighters are solid in all aspect of MMA. Expect a quick start from Andre Winner, putting himself into trouble early on.
Pick: Njokuani pulls off the decision victory
Jeff Hougland vs Donny Walker
This fight to open up the Pre Lims, airing live on Spike TV, is between two fighters making their UFC debut. Both are solid ground fighters and will be looking for a convincing showing to make their name known early on in their UFC careers.
Pick: Walker has a great ground game but has yet to develop a strong submission defense. Look for Hougland to take adavntage of that and get the early win with a nice submission.