Marcelo Guimaraes vs. Hyun Gyu Lim (Welterweight)
In the first fight of the night, undefeated Brazilian Marcel Guimaraes takes on the South Korean Hyun Gyu Lim, currently riding a 5-fight win streak. Not too bad of a match up to start things off. Marcelo is a holds a blackbelt in BJJ, however wins the majority of his fights by decision. Lim on the other hand, is a finisher as he has compiled 7 (T)KO finishes in 10 wins out of 14 total fights.
When you match these two fighters up statistically you have to think about whether Guimaraes is going to be able to take Lim down. In his debut against Dan Stittgen, he didn’t go for any takedowns and was even takedown down once. He fought the fight on the feet and was able to narrowly outstrike Stittgen 63-49, compiling most of those strikes in theÂ clinch.
I think it’s safe to call Guimaraes the physically stronger fighter of the two, however Lim will have a 2″ height advantage over him. I’m picking Guimaraes to win by decision in what should be a test for both fighters. I think Lim would have the advantage on the feet, however Guimaraes has shown that he can hold his own and being the stronger of the two, he should be able to take him down and grind out rounds.
Guimaraes via Unanimous Decision
Alex Caceres vs. Kyung Ho Kang (Bantamweight)
Up next is an exciting match up between the always entertaining character in “Bruce Leeroy”, Alex Caceres, and the South Korean RoadFC bantamweight champion, Kyung Ho Kang. Both of these fighters win the majority of their bouts via submission. They’re known to have exciting and intense ground games which should make quite an interesting match up.
Alex Caceres is currently 3-3 in the UFC, however he is riding a 2 fight streak including a Submission of the Night against Damacio Page when he landed a triangle choke on him in the 2nd round. Caceres is a risk taker, which could make or break it for him in future match ups. He likes to throw flashy kicks and strikes, but don’t make any mistake about it; when the fight hits the floor, he’s there to finish. Caceres is aggressive, creative, and entertaining and up against a fighter with a similar skillset it could make for an entertaining fight.
Usually when you have two grapplers fight eachother it ends up being a striking match which could very well happen. If so, you’d have to give the edge to Caceres. However, Kang has shown good takedowns in the past and makes me believe he should be the one getting and defending takedowns. Ontop, Kang is a beast. He controls position very well, and will get the submission more times than not. I’m picking Kang in this one, however I know it won’t come easy. Caceres is a crafy kid and we’ll see him have his moments as well. However, I’m going with Kang by a razor thin decision.
Kyung Kang Ho via Split Decision
Cristiano Marcello vs. Kazuki TokudomeÂ (Lightweight)
Another fighers makes their UFC debut as the Japan-native Tokudome squares off against the dangerous ground specialist in Cristiano Marcello.
Marcello brings, like mentioned above, a high-level ground game. He’s probably one of the top grapplers in the UFC and has the potential to become a dangerous threat. However, he’ll need a well-rounded game if he wants to keep winning. He edged by Reza Madadi in his debut by keeping it on the feet and throwing nice combinations to win over the judges decision. However, Tokudome brings a well-rounded game with 5 wins via (T)KO.
I’m expecting Tokudome and Marcello to keep the fight on the feet for the beginning moments, but once Marcello starts to relax and get comfortable; expect him to get the takedown. Once the mat, Tokudome will be a sitting duck for any nasty submissions Marcello sees.
Cristiano Marcello via Submission
Brian Caraway vs. Takeya MizugakiÂ (Bantamweight)
Another ground fighter is featured as Brian Caraway battles WEC vet Takeya Mizugaki. Caraway has submitted Dustin Neace and Mitch Gagnon in his 2 fights in the UFC. Mizugaki has been off-and-on in his career as he has alternated wins and losses for the last 5 years of his fighting career.
Mizugaki brings a solid boxing game to the cage along with more cage experience. Caraway however is an absolute killer on the ground as he has won 15 of his 17 victories by submission.
This fight is really going to depend on Mizugaki’s ground defense. Caraway has good enough stand up to stay alive and avoid being finished, so it’ll buy him time to figure out how to get the fight to the ground. Once there, expect Caraway to methodically beat Mizugaki down with punches. Takeya has only been submitted once in his career, so a finish may be unlikely for “Kid Lightning”, however expect a dominant decision victory for the Team Alpha Male fighter.
Brian Caraway via Unanimous Decision
Brad Tavares vs. Riki Fukuda (Middleweight)
And finally to close the prelims is a solid match up between two potential future contenders in the middleweight division. Japan’s own, Riki Fukuda battles against the 9-1 Hawaii-native, Brad Tavares. The majority of Fukuda’s wins have came by decision, as well as nearly half of Brad’s; so expect this one to go all 3 rounds.
Stylistically, Fukuda has an advantage this fight. His bully-like style doesn’t make well for a wrestler who likes to brawl. Tavares packs quite a bit of power in his punches, and is very physically strong; however, Fukuda has shown his composure and his work ethic in previous fights.
Expect Fukuda and Tavares to be a competitive battle until the bell.
Tavares is probably the more sound fighter on the feet, even though he can get sloppy at times while Fukuda is more content and favors the clinch. I think we’ll see Fukuda being the one trying to the close distance and overwhelm, tire out, and break Brad Tavares down. I think Fukuda possess the skills necessary to make this an ugly fight, and a victory for Japan as he and Tavares go 15 minutes of back to back, grueling action.
Riki Fukuda via Unanimous Decision
That sums it up, stay tuned for the main card which will be posted tomorrow. Thanks!