Opening Round: Pick a Card (UFC on FX 2 Edition)

The UFC has finally made its way back to Sydney, Australia after visiting the country’s crown jewel almost a year ago to the day, offering up an event not only rich with talent but also involving the unveiling of the organization’s newest division.

Featuring a main event pitting the precision of welterweight Martin Kampmann against the power of Thiago Alves, UFC on FX 2 is also highlighted by the opening round of a flyweight tournament aimed at naming the first 125-pound champion in UFC history. On one side of the bracket, WEC stand-out Joseph Benavidez will battle Shooto title-holder Yasuhiro Urushitani, while the other sees recent bantamweight contender Demetrious Johnson attempting to take out highly-touted veteran Ian McCall.

Below you’ll find some quick picks for the evening’s earlier fights followed by a more detailed breakdown of the evening’s featured fights including the semifinal round of the flyweight tournament and headliner.

After reading my predictions make sure to check back at MMATraining tomorrow starting at approximately 6:00 PM EST when preliminary results start rolling in to see if things unfolded as I’ve expected (or as you may have guessed instead depending on where your opinions differ from mine).

Shawn Jordan def. Oli Thompson via TKO Round 1
Daniel Pineda def. Mackens Semerzier via Unanimous Decision
T.J. Waldburger def. Jake Hecht via Split Decision
Kyle Noke def. Andrew Craig via Submission Round 2
Cole Miller def. Steven Siler via Submission Round 1
Anthony Perosh def. Nick Penner via Unanimous Decision
Aaron Rosa def. James Te Huna via Unanimous Decision
Court McGee def. Constantinos Philippou via Unanimous Decision

Ian McCall vs. Demetrious Johnson

It’s difficult to envision either man being finished in this fight based on their past performances so I see this scrap coming down to pace, conditioning, and overall athleticism. In all those categories I have to give the nod to “Mighty Mouse” who has a ridiculous work-rate and unmatched speed. He’s also got precise hands and high-level wrestling to boot. McCall will definitely do great things inside the Octagon, just not tomorrow night when he debuts against an absolute killer in Johnson.

Winner – Demetrious Johnson def. Ian McCall via Unanimous Decision

Joesph Benavidez vs. Yashuhiro Urushitani

Granted, I haven’t seen a lot of Urushitani in action but I can’t see him getting by Benavidez in this bout. He hasn’t fought nor beaten the level of competition the Team Alpha Male fighter has, plus he’s 35-years old which rarely if ever works as an advantage. Fourteen of Urushitani’s nineteen total wins have been the result of a decision while he has a whopping six draws as well, indicating to me he’s not much of a finisher whereas Benavidez has put away eleven of the fifteen opponents he’s beaten. I expect Benavidez to look superior to Urushitani in all phases of the game and pick up a victory along the way.

Winner – Joseph Benavidez def. Yasuhiro Urushitani via Submission Round 2

Thiago Alves vs. Martin Kampmann

The result of this match-up will depend directly on what strategy Kampmann employs against Alves. Since he’s not only an intelligent fighter but also one hungry to build off his success at UFC 139 against Rick Story I’m confident “The Hitman” will opt to approach Alves cautiously rather than going toe-to-toe with him. Kampmann’s BJJ is vastly underrated, as he’s not only a threat to submit opponents but has never been tapped out himself. Even though he’s said he wants to test his striking against Alves I see his words as pre-fight posturing rather than an actual statement of intent since his chin isn’t great and Alves can put an adversary to sleep with a single blow. Expect Kampmann to clinch with Alves, get him down to the ground, and start working submissions while neutralizing the Brazilian’s biggest weapons (hands/feet/knees).

Winner – Martin Kampmann def. Thiago Alves via Submission Round 2

What do you think about the subject on today’s “Opening Round”? Tell us on our Twitter account (@mmatraining)!

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