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Fight Night: Henderson vs. Thatch — Complete Main Card Preview and Predictions

By CP Reader Connor Lewandowski

Featuring a main event matchup that was only the UFC’s fourth last resort (!!), UFC Fight Night 60 goes down this Saturday in Broomfield, Colorado. It’s a card that’s been getting a lot of heat from hyperbolic MMA fans for being “underwhelming” and “a beacon of the UFC’s plunge toward mediocrity,” but to be honest, it’s not all that bad of a card. So join me after the jump as I break down all six (!) main card fights from top to bottom…

Ben Henderson vs Brandon Thatch

Thatch is a beast on the feet, make no mistake about it. There are few 170 pounders clamoring to stand across the octagon and exchange with the (11-1, 2-0 UFC) Denver native. For the former UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson (21-5, 9-3 UFC), there is a lot to lose in making his welterweight debut on short notice against a hard-hitting prospect with little name recognition. This fight will be largely predicated on the Glendale product’s ability to get the fight to the canvas, which Henderson will find is much easier said than done against the noticeably larger striker in Thatch. Look for Thatch to land early and often in the clinch, but it won’t be enough for the finish. I expect Henderson’s relentless pursuit of the takedown to pay dividends as the fight goes on and open the door for a submission in the later rounds.

Prediction: Henderson

Max Holloway vs Cole Miller

Holloway has long been touted as one of the featherweight division’s best prospects, but he has his hands full in the 16-fight UFC veteran in Miller, who is riding a two-fight win streak. Miller is well-rounded and possesses strong grappling skills in addition to being one of the division’s taller fighters at 6 foot 1. However, he has shown in the past an inability to trade with shorter strikers (see the Phan and Gamburyan fights). I expect the Hawaiian native Holloway to find his range and pick Miller apart enroot to a decision.

Prediction: Holloway

Neil Magny vs Kiichi Kunimoto

Coming off a stretch in which he tied a UFC record for wins a calendar year (5), Neil Magny looks to keep his impressive streak going against the slick Kunimoto. With half of his 18 wins by way of submission, the Japanese welterweight poses a serious threat, although it’s hard to understand why Magny has been installed as the more than 5-1 favorite. I do, however, expect him get the better of the exchanges and ultimately earn a decision over the gritty Kunimoto.

Prediction: Magny

Dan Kelly vs Patrick Walsh

A classic matchup of striker versus grappler, this bout pits the undefeated Australian judoka Kelly versus Walsh, a 5-1 Thai-boxer. It’s rare to see a fighter have so much success entering the fight game so late, but at 37 years old, Kelly has done just that. If the Melbourne native can withstand the early onslaught from Walsh, I expect he will find a way to get the fight to the mat, from their look for Kelly to lock in one of his signature submissions for the upset.

Prediction: Kelly

Michel Prazeres vs Kevin Lee

This lightweight bout features a pair of fighters with a combined record of 27-2. Both fighters know what the other will look to do. With Prazeres, we can expect him to try and close the distance and look to score powerful body takedowns while delivering forceful ground and pound. Kelly will aim to find his range against the shorter Brazilian. What I believe may ultimately separate these two is Kelly’s ability to adapt if he can’t get the better of the exchanges. He has the tools to mix in takedowns of his own. If Prazeres can’t drag the collegiate wrestler to the floor, it will be a long night for him.

Prediction: Lee

Ray Borg vs Chris Kelades

The main cards opening bout features two of the UFC’s quickest rising flyweight prospects in the 21 year old Borg and Canadian Kelades. Odds makers have the UFC’s 4th youngest fighter pegged as high as a -600 favorite, but it’s hard to see where they’ve observed such a disparity in ability between these two 125-pounders. In the company’s fastest division Borg still makes his opponents look a step behind, his ability to transition in scrambles in nothing short of incredible. I won’t be shocked to see Kelades hang around longer than most expect him to, and even see some value in him at +400, but more likely than not Borg will find the moments opening and sink in the rear naked choke and force the Canadian to tap or go to sleep.

Prediction: Borg

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