Saturday’s UFC Fight Night event comes with some good news and bad news. The good news is that it’s a free fight, which we absolutely love, and it feature Lyoto Machida making his debut at Middleweight against Mark Munoz in the main event. The bad news, however, is that the fights are taking place in Machester, England, which means that they will be starting a little earlier than usual. How early? I’m glad you’re following along. They’ll be starting at noon, actually, so that means that we’ll be competing with college football all day.
Still, your TV remotes likely have “Previous” buttons, so you can flip back and forth with your opposable thumbs like the gods intended us to. And it’ll be worth it, because a move to Middleweight might just be what the doctor prescribed in giving Machida’s career a jumpstart, as he’d been sort of stagnant (and 2-1) since his loss to Jon Jones at UFC 140 in 2011. But that’s not to say that Munoz will be an easy win for the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champ, as his last lost came against the current UFC Middleweight Champ Chris Weidman in 2012.
As for the rest of the card, you can check out my predictions as the fights take place, or you can look at them now and then claim them as your own so you can be 100% correct just like I always am. Join us tomorrow starting at noon ET for the Online Preliminaries and 3 PM ET on Fox Sports 2 for the UFC Fight Night Main Card.
Prediction: These guys are pretty similar, from the numbers all the way down to the tattoos, but I'm going with Michael Kuiper because Bradley Scott failed to adopt "Happy Trails" as his nickname.
Prediction: Whiteford is making his UFC debut this weekend, and not picking the debut guys has now been biting me on the ass, but I'm still going with the more experienced Hettes here.
Prediction: How can you not pick "The Little Axe"?
Prediction: This is probably going to be a "You're fired fight," as each woman is 0-1 in the UFC. Andrade was dominated by Liz Carmouche in her last fight, while Sexton lost by unanimous decision to Alexis Davis. I'm going to go with Andrade here, based on the idea that the much better Carmouche taught her a thing or two.
Prediction: Two successful, young fighters. Both with winning records since making their UFC debuts. Andrew Craig has the advantage at 2-1 and the better results in going to decision, and I think this one goes the distance. So I'll take Craig.
Prediction: I've liked Iaquinta since he first appeared on TUF 15. He looked solid in his win over Ryan Couture, so I don't think this one will be too difficult.
Prediction: Lineker has won his last 3 fights since losing in his UFC debut and he's climbing the Flyweight ladder rather quickly. I like him winning this fight and his next to get John Dodson for a shot at being the next No. 1 contender.
Prediction: Sakara has lost three straight and must be on the chopping block after his last loss came after some illegal shots to the back of Patrick Côté's dome. If he can keep his shit together, I think a win over a newcomer is just what he needed. But I'm going to take Musoke instead.
Prediction: This is my pre-fight pick for Fight of the Night, as both of these guys have strong records (Parke is 18-2, Tuck is 7-0). But since I'm required by punch/kick law to select a winner, I'm going with Tuck.
Prediction: Scratch that, this is my pick for Fight of the Night, and I'm going with Manuwa. Mainly because I'm going to make a George Costanza joke the whole time - "Ma... Nuwa. What's not to love?"
Prediction: If it helps his feelings, I like Melvin Guillard more than Ross Pearson, but I'm picking Pearson to win this one easily.
Prediction: My big, beautiful, oh-so-wise gut is telling me to pick Lyoto Machida, but my oversized heart is telling me to pick Munoz. So I'm going with Munoz here, as he'll give Machida a warm welcome to his new weight class.