The weigh-in official found Davis’s ticklish spot. Pic: MMA Junkie
Heading into tonight’s bouts, it feels strangely like we’ve been here before… we’ve got drama surrounding Anthony Johnson‘s weight, fighters promising to eschew their full range of talent in favor of standing and banging, and of course the redo of Garcia and Jung’s epic battle. With all of the variables that unfold in a fight it’s practically impossible to predict how a fight will go down, but that doesn’t mean we won’t irresponsibly try. Here’s a look at some of tonight’s fights and how history may play a role in their outcome.
Leonard Garcia vs Chan Sung Jung: Garcia has made a name for himself by swinging recklessly and throwing caution to the wind. That, and by winning bullshit decisions as a result. Garcia has been down this road with “The Korean Zombie” before and it earned him the win, so I wouldn’t expect him to mix things up this time around despite his expressed desire to fight more technically. Jung has also vowed to abandon his former wild style, and taking this fight on short notice could make it hard to keep up in an all out slugfest. Jung may be the better fighter, but you can expect Garcia to stick with his usual gameplan- come out hard, hit a fair amount of air, and seduce the judges with his careless aggression. If Jung fights cautiously and can’t put Garcia away, it’s doubtful the judges will reward him with the decision.
Phil Davis vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: Davis is taking this fight on relatively short notice, which is too bad because he needs time to improve his stand up if he’s going to flourish at the next level. Fortunately for him, he doesn’t have to stand at trade with Lil’ Nog if he doesn’t want to. We’ve already seen Bader wrestlefuck a victory from Nogueira, and Brilz–who also stepped up on short notice–controlled him on the ground despite dropping the fight to a bad decision. Davis will dump him on his back the first chance he gets and is more than competent enough to avoid a submission. “Mr. Wonderful” may not unveil another secret submission from his arsenal, but he should be able to control the fight and secure the win.
Dan Hardy vs. Anthony Johnson: Johnson is a powerful striker with the KO’s to prove it, but with his size and strength advantage he could easily bully Hardy around and take this fight to the ground. Yet Johnson has resolved to keep things on the feet where Hardy, the faster and more technical striker, is most dangerous. Of course, verbal contracts like these aren’t legally enforced once the cage door slams shut, so anything can happen. The factors playing into Hardy’s hands are Johnson’s 14 month layoff due to injury and yet another massive weight cut for “Rumble”. There’s nothing quite like ring rust coupled with stripping every last bit of nutrition and hydration from the body when it comes to souring a fighter’s chances. Johnson has the reach and power to put Hardy back on Condit Street, but he’s got a lot going against him in this fight.