UFC 119 is slated to take place Saturday, September 25th in Indianapolis, Indiana at Conseco Fieldhouse. It may not have the most recognizable names for casual MMA fans, but trust me, there are some great style match ups to look forward too. Pay-per-view purchasers will be given five fights: Melvin Guillard VS Jeremy Stephens, Sean Sherk VS Evan Dunham, Matt Serra VS Chris Lytle, the co-main event Antonio Rogerio Nogueira VS Ryan Bader and the main event featuring Frank Mir VS Mirko Cro Cop.
Main Event, heavyweight bout, Mir VS Cro Cop: A win for Mir is extremely important right now. Cro Cop is hailed as a legend, but a legend on a possible decline. Mir still has one more run at a title shot in him and he needs to get past Mirko to do so. The style match up here is very enticing. We have Mir, who is a BJJ ace with decent punching power; and, on the other hand, we have Cro Cop–a vicious kickboxer who can put you to sleep with either of his legs. Cro Cop has solid takedown defense a pretty nice guard that is usually overshadowed by his jaw-dropping kicks. Mir is going to struggle in trying to get Cro Cop to the ground because the Croatian kickboxer is going to want to keep this fight standing. Frank’s going to try to take Mirko down and may find success a couple of times, but Cro Cop is ultimately going to come away with this via TKO. Let’s face it, Mir isn’t what he used to be. He’s 1-2 in his last three fights and got his face smashed apart by Shane Carwin in his last bout.
Co-main Event, light heavyweight bout, Lil Nog VS Bader: This is going to win “fight of the night” honors in my opinion. This fight is huge for Bader. He is undefeated and finally being tested by the UFC. He’s getting the little brother of MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Lil’ Nog (Antonio Rogerio Nogueira) has won his firs two fights inside the octagon. He’s coming off of a decision victory over Jason Brilz that most people expected to end via KO or submission in Nog’s favor. This match up presents Bader, a minotaur-like wrestler with an anvil strapped to his right hand, versus Nogueira, a grappling master with a decent set of hands. Bader is going to want to make sure he is never on his back, and when he is on top he better be watching out for the arm bar or triangle. Bader will connect midway into this fight with that vicious right hand of his, putting lil Nog to sleep. If he gets the win, look for Bader to have one more fight against a top five contender and then a title shot.
Welterweight bout, Serra VS Lytle: The battle between BJJ black belts. Serra has the one-up on Lytle being that he holds a second-degree black belt. Chris Lytle has two submission of the night honors, one knockout of the night and four fight of the night nods. Serra is stocky, like a bulldog almost. His reach is small but he makes up for that with heart. He’s not going to give up, but he is outmatched on the feet and in the experience department. Lytle has 19 submission victories over his career. Serra has 17 fights over his career. Look for both of these guys to try to knock the other one out because they know it’s going to be a never-ending chess match on the ground. Serra is going to hang around, but Lytle will eventually get the TKO victory.
Lightweight bout: Sherk VS Dunham: Viewers are going to experience some ring rust in Sherk’s corner–he hasn’t fought in over a year. Dunham is coming off an impressive victory over Tyson Griffin in June at UFC 115. Both fighters are very comfortable on the ground. Sherk is a wrestler with great submissions and Dunham is a BJJ black belt. This bout is my second choice for “fight of the night.” Prepare for some high-octane, action-packed exchanging of punches, kicks, takedowns and submission attempts. Oh yes, there will be blood. Dunham continues his domination and remains undefeated as he beats Sherk via decision.
Lightweight bout: Guillard VS Stephens: Guillard is one of those guys who could actually be a wrecking ball in his division but will remain under the radar due to his reckless style. He fights with absolutely no technicality–kind of a sprawl and brawl fighter. Stephens has proven to be a knockout artist over his career, but is coming off a decision victory over Sam Stout. This is going to be a fight that ends in either the first or second round. These guys are going to come out swinging as they have a combined 28 knockouts. Whoever lands first will most likely be the victor, and in this case I see Guillard continuing his path to MMA redemption (he hasn’t made much noise lately). Guillard via first round TKO.
Head to your favorite bar or relax at home and buy the pay-per-view, but whatever you do, do not miss this fight card because it promises to excite viewers with great stylistic match ups. It also will clear the air on some of these fighters’ futures (Guillard, Mir, Cro Cop, Bader). Regardless of the outcomes, this will be an entertaining night of fights.