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The Downes Side: UFC on FX 3 Predictions

UFC/WEC veteran Dan Downes talks strategy and predictions for UFC on FX 3, taking place Friday, June 8

The ancient Greeks had the Oracle of Delphi and UFC fans have me. Danny Boy Downes back again for another edition of the Downes Side. And while I can’t guarantee that my advice won’t lead to your ultimate destruction at the hands of Persians, I can promise that I definitely dance much more provocatively than the oracles from 300.

The UFC rolls into Sunrise, Florida for UFC on FX 3 at the BankAtlantic Center in sunny Florida. Hopefully this time we’ll get an actual result to the flyweight contest between Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall and not be derailed by simple addition. Luckily, I hear all Florida officials are given calculators ringside. Let’s just hope they use them wisely instead of spending their time doing this.

Eddie Wineland vs Scott Jorgensen
The main card kicks off with a bantamweight contest between former WEC stars Eddie Wineland and Scott “Young Guns” Jorgensen. A former bantamweight champion, Wineland has had a rough introduction into the UFC, facing Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez in his first two matches.  Jorgensen is also looking to shift his momentum after Renan Barao completely shut him down at UFC 143 in February.

While Wineland has both the reach advantage and the edge in standup striking, he lacks the speed and dynamic ability of Renan Barao that stifled “Young Guns” a few months ago. He’s also struggled against strong wrestlers in the past, which plays right into the former Boise State standout’s strengths. Jorgensen will mix up his punches and takedown attempts effectively, put Wineland on his back and control him for the UD win. It’ll be hard loss for him to take. I haven’t seen a champion fall this far from grace since Kobayashi got totally dominated by that Grizzly Bear. Fortunately, this loss comes with much less indigestion.

Mike Pyle vs Josh Neer
Next up is a battle between veterans Mike “Quicksand” Pyle and Josh “The Dentist” Neer as they both try to continue their recent career resurgences . Neer has won six in a row (all of them finishes) and seeks to make his third stint in the UFC his most successful one yet. A dangerous striker prone to brawling, he too has struggled against wrestlers. A UFC fixture for over three years, Mike Pyle comes off an impressive first round TKO of Ricardo Funch at UFC 142 which was almost as impressive as how badly he beat Alan Belcher and I at bowling one night in Vegas.

Neer is one of those “bully” strikers (no, not that type of bully). He likes to get in his opponents’ faces, and he has a hard time adapting if he’s not moving forward forward and doing damage. That could make him prone to takedowns. The coin-flip factor here is knockout power. Neer’s hands are much heavier than Pyle’s and that will allow him to put this one away in the 2nd. Sure, it will put the brakes on “Quicksand’s” resurgence, but there’s always bowling. Plus, he could totally kick Pete Weber’s ass.

Erick Silva vs Charlie Brenneman
After those guaranteed fisticuffs, we get another welterweight matchup as Erick “Indio” Silva looks to wade deeper into the 170-pound pool as he takes on Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman. SIlva has been quite impressive in his first two appearances in the Octagon with first round-finishes in both. Sure he got disqualified against Carlo Prater, but that’s like a person’s opinion on the internet -- it doesn’t really matter (yours truly obviously excluded). After a brutal knockout at the hands of Anthony Johnson, Brenneman rebounded nicely with a win over Daniel Roberts in January. He’s looking to get back to elite status in the division and not only be known as the guy that beat Rick Story that one time.

While people have been justifiably impressed with Silva’s striking, they generally don't mention that he also holds a BJJ black belt from Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Brenneman has excelled at getting his opponents down to the mat, but he has never grappled with someone as dangerous as Silva. Couple that with the fact that he hasn’t finished any of his UFC opponents, and this one is for Silva to end. Mini-Nog takes out Brenneman in the third round and catapults himself up the welterweight ladder. At least Brenneman still has cool hair, though. That counts for something, right?

Demetrious Johnson vs Ian McCall
That brings us to the main event of the evening: the much anticipated rematch between Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall. The winner of this fight earns the right to lose to Joseph Benavidez for the inaugural flyweight championship.

In their first fight, I underestimated McCall. Perhaps it was my subconscious reacting against one too many hipster ironic mustaches. Regardless of why,  I thought Mighty Mouse was going to win. After seeing the first fight, I’m trusting in Uncle Creepy’s abilities (that just sounds odd...). In previous fights, Johnson’s greatest attribute has been speed. His ability to change levels and transition from striking to takedowns has given many top opponents difficulties. McCall, however, didn’t seem to struggle with this and he stuffed Mighty Mouse’s takedowns quite well. While equally matched on speed, McCall has distinct standup and power advantages. Johnson has never been finished, but just like Ecto Cooler, all good things must come to an end. Uncle Creepy gets the TKO in the third round and a date with Mr. Benavidez in the third quarter. 

Well, that wraps up another awe-inspiring edition of the Downes Side. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @dannyboydownes and check out my blog here. Also, leave comments, thoughts, opinions and idle threats. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have more valuable calculator work to attend to.