The opening bouts of UFC Live 5 might not be filled with huge names, but this is one of the most exciting undercards in the company’s history on free TV. Two technical strikers will kick each other until one man can’t walk, two of the most exciting lightweights in the sport will be more pack thirty minutes of action into fifteen, and two more lightweights will battle for a potential title shot. I promise you that this undercard will remind fans of the great WEC shows that we all loved so much.
Middleweight Fight: Jared Hamman vs. CB Dollaway
Main Card Or Not? I read a report not too long ago that CB Dollaway vs. Jared Hamman was bumped from the main card, but according to the UFC website, this bout will air on TV. While I’m all for more televised fights, this fight shouldn’t be on the main card over Joseph Benavidez vs. Eddie Wineland or Ed Herman vs. Kyle Noke and the fact that it was or is, is a farce. No disrespect to Hamman or Dollaway but they both just lost and it’s not like either man is a huge star.
Hamman’s Middleweight Debut: After spending his entire career at 205, Hamman is dropping to 185 for the first time in his career. He’s an aggressive and wild striker with power and solid takedown defense. His cardio was good at 205 but usually when guys make that first weight cut, they tend to gas quicker. I expect Hamman to come out quickly, not only to avoid any possible cardio problems, but because when Dollaway loses, it tends to come quickly.
Dollaway’s Inconsistency: On some nights, “The Doberman” looks like a middleweight contender. On other nights, he looks like a guy who shouldn’t be in the UFC. He just has mental lapses early in fighs, which leads to him getting caught in submissions or caught with punches. When he’s on his game, he’s using his wrestling effectively and attacking on the ground.
Fight Prediction: This fight could go either way since I don’t trust either fighter at this point but I’ll go with Dollaway. I think he’ll avoid the early mental skip, and tire out Hamman with his wrestling.
Official Prediction: CB Dollaway to defeat Jared Hamman by Decision
Welterweight Fight: Duane Ludwig vs. Amir Sadollah
Who Will Be More Aggressive? Both Amir Sadollah and Duane Ludwig are known for their aggressive striking styles. Both men only know one direction, and that’s forward. So either they’ll just meet in the center and slug it out, which isn’t likely given their technical prowess, or one man will start to back up and start becoming more of a counter puncher. If I had to guess at who would counter punch first, I’d say it would be Ludwig.
Kicks, Kicks, And More Kicks: Between these two fighters, expect them to break the record for most kicks thrown in a fight. Sadollah loves to use the inside leg kick to set up his combinations while Ludwig loves to end combinations with leg kicks. If you think leg kicks are under-utilized in MMA, this fight should excite you more than a Creed appearance on The Office. That doesn’t even include the push kick, which both men love to use, body kicks, or head kicks.
The Ground Game: Even though they’re both known as strikers, Sadollah has a solid ground game while Ludwig has been around long enough to know how to hold his own on the mat. Sadollah is the more likely of the two to take the fight to the ground, but if Ludwig feels he’s behind on the feet, I’m sure he’ll try to wrestle Sadollah down to the ground, especially given Amir’s less than impressive takedown defense.
Cardio Battle: This fight could come down to who gasses first. Both fighters push a strong pace and have very good cardio, so it’s possible that neither man gasses, but when you’re constantly throwing and taking strikes, it’s tough to maintain that pace, especially when the other guy is in your face and right with you the entire time.
Fight Prediction: This should be a good fight with both men constantly working, but in the end, I think Sadollah will out-work Ludwig. Sadollah is a fighter that is constantly improving while I think Ludwig has sort of peaked and has also taken a lot of abuse in his career. I think Sadollah gets the fight to the ground late and pounds out a victory.
Official Prediction: Amir Sadollah to defeat Duane Ludwig by TKO in Round Three
Lightweight Fight: Charles Oliveira vs. Donald Cerrone
THIS FIGHT RULES: I just want to say that I can’t freakin’ wait for this fight. It’s like the season premiere of South Park or the album release of Taylor Swift. That’s how excited I am for this fight. Donald Cerrone and Charles Oliveira are two of the most exciting fighters in the division and when they meet this Sunday, I expect more action than a Playboy Mansion party.
Both Guys Get Hit: As smooth as they are on the feet, both Cerrone and Oliveira get hit. We know Cerrone can take a punch, he’s proven that in his wars with Ben Henderson, Jamie Varner, and Rob McCullough. Oliveira hasn’t taken as many flush punches as Cerrone but expect that to change when Cerrone lays leather on him. Both fighters throw very technical strikes and are great offensive strikers, they also lack defense on the feet.
Constant Activity: Cerrone and Oliveira don’t know how to stand still or go backwards. They’re always pressing forward with strikes. If they’re in the clinch, they’re throwing knees and elbows. If they’re on the ground, they’re attacking with strikes and submissions. As sure as Rashad Evans taking his next breath, I’m sure that these two will never stop working during the five minute periods.
Seriously, I Love This Fight: I really just want these two to fight until one of them can’t get off the stool. I don’t care if that means they fight for five hours, because I know that there won’t be a single boring moment during those five hours. I’m probably setting myself up for disappointment but I don’t care. If marrying fights were legal, I’d take Cerrone vs. Oliveira to New York tomorrow.
Fight Prediction: I don’t even want to predict a winner. I just want a great fight, and I fully expect that we’ll get one. I’m going to go with Cerrone though, just because he’s beaten and looked more impressive against better competition and I think he’s a more technical striker. There will be no losers in this fight though.
Official Prediction: Donald Cerrone to defeat Charles Oliveira by Decision
Lightweight Fight: Ben Henderson vs. Jim Miller
This Should Be The Main Event: Jim Miller vs. Ben Henderson should be the main event on Sunday. Unlike Chris Lytle (coming off a loss) vs. Dan Hardy (loser of three straight), Miller vs. Henderson has title implications. It’s the more important fight in context, which should mean that it’s the main event. I get that Hardy and Lytle are bigger names and they should have an exciting fight, but Henderson and Miller always deliver and winning in the main event means more than winning on the undercard, which is important when a title shot is in grasp.
Miller Will Come To Box, Henderson To Kick: Miller is a very underrated and constantly improving boxer. As a southpaw, he has a good counter right hook and a powerful straight left. Henderson stands southpaw as well, but he uses more kicks than Miller, especially to the body. Henderson is a good boxer, who throws straight punches, but Miller has the better hands.
The Guillotine Choke: Both of these men love the guillotine choke. Miller, instead of defending takedowns, will try to lock on a guillotine choke, and Henderson always looks for the guillotine in clinch situations. They both have a tight squeeze and can lock on the choke in an instant.
Henderson’s Submission Defense: Henderson doesn’t have great submission defense because he gets caught in submissions far too often. But he does have amazing flexibility and heart, which allows him to survive those submissions and work his way out. Miller will be the most accomplished MMA grappler Henderson has faced so if Henderson gets stuck in a submission this time around, he may be forced to tap.
The All Important Scrambles: Miller is excellent in the scrambles. Against Kamal Shalorus, in the second round, Miller got a quick takedown and immediately took the back as Shalorus tried to get up. Henderson is no stranger to scrambles though as he’s been in some major scramblefests, most notably against Donald Cerrone in their first fight and Anthony Pettis.
Fight Prediction: I love this fight almost as much as I love Cerrone vs. Oliveira. And like “Cowboy” vs. “Da Bronx” I’m going with the guy who has done it against a higher level of competition. I think Miller will mix up his strikes and takedowns, keep Henderson off balance, and do enough to take a decision that could be very close.
Official Prediction: Jim Miller to defeat Ben Henderson by Decision