Wayne McCullough, UFC - It’s good to see that Matt Hughes is still fighting, especially heading a card in the UK, because after his loss to Georges St-Pierre I thought that might have been the end of his career. He’s already proved he is the best welterweight of all time. Although he is 10 years older than Alves I think he still has what it takes to compete at the world level.
By Wayne ‘The Pocket Rocket’ McCullough
Matt Hughes vs Thiago Alves
It’s good to see that Matt Hughes is still fighting, especially heading a card in the UK, because after his loss to Georges St-Pierre I thought that might have been the end of his career. He’s already proved he is the best welterweight of all time. Although he is 10 years older than Alves I think he still has what it takes to compete at the world level.
Alves is unbeaten in his last five fights, the last four by KO. In my opinion, Hughes needs to take the fight to the ground and use his physical strength and wrestling. I think he’s a lot stronger than Alves on the ground so that’s where he needs to be to try for submissions.
Alves is better at striking than Hughes, especially when he’s standing. So he’ll want to keep the fight on his feet and counter Hughes’ shots.
Michael Bisping vs Jason Day
I like the way Bisping fights. I’ve been following his career for a while and he’s improving with each fight. His last fight in Montreal was impressive and now that he’s dropped down to middleweight he could be one of the top guys in the division.
Day, a tough guy who also fought in Montreal in his UFC debut, is a striker who loves to use his elbows. I think Bisping is a better all around fighter and favour him to win this fight.
Marcus Davis vs Mike Swick
Davis is almost a local in Britain since he’s fought on several cards in the UK and the fans love him. He’s got a good boxing background and being a southpaw he carries a good right hand, which he has proved in previous fights.
Swick, like his nickname suggests, is “quick” in the Octagon, having scored a couple of fast KO’s. I watched him a few days ago on “Ultimate Knockouts 4” knocking out an opponent in less than 30 seconds.
I think Davis has learned the ground game well and has become a complete fighter and this will be a test for him to see if he can move forward.
Nate Marquardt vs Thales Leites
Marquardt looked good in his last fight with a submission win over Jeremy Horn in February of this year.
He’s a big strong man who has worked hard to improve since his loss to Anderson Silva for the middleweight belt in July 2007. He’s now looking to get back into title contention. Marquardt has better stand up skills than Leites so he should keep this fight on his feet since his opponent is a submission expert – with his last two fights being submission wins.
If Marquardt can avoid the submission attempts he should win this fight.
Fabricio Werdum vs Brandon Vera
Werdum impressively knocked out Gabriel Gonzaga in January 2008. He loves the ground game and that’s the place he likes to be.
Vera is coming off his first loss in the UFC to Tim Sylvia so he’s going to want to get back in the mix. He’s probably better on his feet so that’s where he needs to fight from. Although if Werdum wants to take it to the ground I’m sure Vera will be up for that because he has good grappling skills too.
This is a good match up where the fight could go either way and the winner could move on for a shot at the heavyweight belt.
A long-time MMA fan, Wayne McCullough is a world class boxer, writer and broadcaster with impeccable credentials. As an amateur boxer representing his native Northern Ireland, McCullough’s all guns blazing style took his to a gold medal in the 1990 World Amateur Championships and a silver medal at the Barcelona Olympics two years later. After settling in Las Vegas with his wife and daughter, McCullough turned professional and won the WBC bantamweight championship in 1995. He never lost the title in the ring and went on to have classic battles with the likes of Prince Naseem Hamed and Erik Morales.