(You’ll never go wrong betting on a guy who looks like a stunt-double for a low-budget Jamaican remake of ‘Indiana Jones.’ / Photo via MMAFighting.com)
By Shep Ramsey
UFC on FOX 10 takes place tonight in Chi-Town, and it could be a good night for fading superstars to shine bright like a diamond. Fresh off his title-fight loss to Anthony Pettis, Benson “Smooth” Henderson will attempt to get back up in the mix against Josh “The Punk” Thomson, whose April smash-up of Nate Diaz marked his first UFC appearance since he wound up on Yves Edwards’s highlight reel nine years prior. Meanwhile, Gabriel Gonzaga is working his way to another shot at heavyweight gold, and he faces Stipe Miocic in a *you-don’t-really-get-a-title-shot-but-your-next-fight-could-be-big* contest.
Like many experts in our field do, we’re going to break down these UFC on FOX 10 main card fights in whichever way we damn please, spitting out our rapid-fire predictions by leaning heavily on pre-determined notions and gut feelings. Read on, and be sure to visit our “Henderson vs. Thomson” liveblog, which kicks off tonight at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Benson Henderson vs. Josh Thomson
The biggest fight on this card could be the most entertaining as well — unless Benson Henderson decides to do the right thing and use his superior grappling skills to make this an ugly, dominant fight. But Thomson isn’t too shabby himself when it comes to laying and praying himself; his win over K.J. Noons before getting a title shot in Strikeforce was a prime example of what can happen when one partner is just not in the mood to cuddle.
So, maybe it’s going to come down to striking, and unless Thomson lands a game-changing head-kick like he did against Diaz, Bendo should prove to be the quicker striker who throws more when it comes to volume. Anthony Pettis will surely be watching with a close eye, because if Thomson outlasts Henderson, they have a date. And if Henderson wins and T.J. Grant is still concussed, he’s got his own third date against Pettis. And you know what they say about third dates…
Winner: Benson Henderson
Method: Unanimous Decision (5 Rounds)
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Stipe Miocic
Truth be told, we’re sort of in disbelief that the same guy who was shoveled out of the Octagon by Randy Couture in 2007 could be up for championship consideration in the year 2014. On the other hand, we also don’t think that Stipe Miocic is quite ready to stand out in the heavyweight title picture at the moment.
This one’s a tough draw. On one hand, you’ve got this savage Brazilian caveman ready to eat the camera before getting into his opponent’s face, against a too-quick-for-his-size potential freak athlete heavyweight with better movement.
Gonzaga does have the ability to end a fight with one shot, and he’s been looking good doing it. (The guys he’s been beating lately haven’t been total cans, either.) We might as well put our cash on the comeback kid…or in this case, the fighter that would most resemble a Street Fighter character with a perm.
Winner: Gabriel Gonzaga
Method: KO/TKO (Round 1)
Cue the stripper call; it’s Donald Cerrone out of the gate ready to show us if he’s dead serious about fighting or if the notoriously big-spending Cowboy is just showing up to pay off his latest pontoon boat. It’s so cliché to say the time is now for this horse-riding maniac, but dude, if he can’t beat Adriano Martins, we’re leaning into “Crippler” territory.
Martins did make Daron Cruickshank look like an AXS TV Fights Preliminary Card curtain-jerker in his last fight, and he’s undefeated in six. Still, if Cerrone channels his inner Millennium-circa Jerome Le Banner properly, the jiu-jitsu specialist is probably toast.
Winner: Donald Cerrone
Oh, yes…these types of fights. Whenever we get a grappler vs. striker clash of styles, things end up turning out one way or the other — grappler takes down striker, drubbing him on the mat for 15 minutes, or striker is somehow puzzled as to why wrestler thinks he can stand with him, hence the brutal knockout finish for the former. And that’s how much this match deserves in terms of our thought-provoking analysis.
But since we have to pick one side or the other (and since we clearly have a soft-spot for the old-schoolers), we’ll predict that grizzled vet Stephens will continue his unlikely rebirth at featherweight streak, and put Elkins down for a nice nap.
Winner: Jeremy Stephens
Method: KO/TKO (Round 1)
See any of these fights differently? Shoot us your own predictions in the comments section. Just remember, you’re not allowed to think before making your picks. It’s the CagePotato way.