UFC 155: Holiday Violence (Main Card Preview)

Jack Herer Buds

Blue Belt
Oct 30, 2005
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Hey guys, be sure to stay tuned for my annual year end awards column, which will run on December 30th. Here are my undercard picks ...

Duffee by KO
Holloway by decision
Cariaso by decision
Pickett by decision
Perez by TKO
Guillard by TKO
Johnson by decision

Without further ado ...


I love this time of year for MMA. We always get a slew of cards. Japanese MMA gets to act like it still matters. There’s always a big UFC headliner. And is there a better feeling as a new father/family man/rabid MMA fan than spending New Years Eve with the fam and waking up the next morning to a buffet of fights to catch up on as you slurp coffee and wipe eye boogers? I think not.

I’m not going to predict what might happen on the UFC 155 undercard, a slate of fights that features both Todd Duffee AND Leonard Garcia. My only ironclad prediction is that Garcia will get trashed by Max Holloway and STILL somehow keep fighting for the UFC. I’m not sure who Garcia has naked pictures of, but it must be someone important.

Alan Belcher (9-4 UFC) vs. Yushin Okami (11-4 UFC)

Before this fight gets my breakdown, I must admit that I never saw Belcher and Okami’s first fight, which took place waaaay back at UFC 62. The only blip I’ve seen from the fight was when Okami had Belcher’s back and Belcher front flipped out of it, basically trying to cripple Okami. He was so happy that he was even able to attempt this that he smiled and pumped his fist, even as Okami maintained the position. However, I think it’s safe to assume that both men are completely different fighters now.

Alan Belcher, fresh off an impressive TKO of Rousimar Palhares, looks to establish his footing as a middleweight contender as he rematches Okami. This is noteworthy because a scary injury (detached retina) not only derailed Belcher’s first UFC run, but also potentially his career. To see him pick up right where he left off, against a dangerous opponent no less, was spiriting.

Yushin Okami has the perfect style to beat Belcher, though. Excellent top control, smothering ground and pound, and good enough boxing from the southpaw stance to keep Belcher honest. Lots of solid jabbing from Okami will pile up the points for him. I’m sure Belcher will have a couple of dazzling striking moments, but Okami should methodically wear him out with a mix of takedowns and boxing (Belcher has always been pretty hittable) to notch a decision win.

Jamie Varner (2-2 UFC) vs. Melvin Guillard (11-7 UFC)

Melvin Guillard is one of those guys that Zuffa should never, ever release, no matter how many consecutive losses he accumulates. He’s such an explosive fireplug of a striker that it gives him a chance against anyone. Lightweight champ Ben Henderson would easily submit Guillard and possibly even KO him 9 out of 10 times, but that one time Guillard won would probably be more memorable than the other 9 he lost.

Anyway, Guillard said a bunch of semi-retarded things after this fight was postponed due to Varner becoming ill and vomiting repeatedly backstage. He claimed that Varner was “scared.” Of course he was; it’s an MMA fight. But, A) He’d quit MMA if he didn’t want to overcome that fear and kick your ass and B) Why give him extra motivation for UFC 155? Nobody ever said Melvin Guillard was the smartest guy in the world.

That being said, I like Guillard in this one, even though he’s always a threat to get tapped. Varner does some of his best work to the body, and I think he’ll be able to land those big hooks, but Melvin is too fast and powerful. Melvin counters a Varner hook with a right of his own and puts him away with strikes before the conclusion of the first round.

Chris Leben (12-7 UFC) vs. Derek Brunson (0-0 UFC)

Chris Leben is coming off of his eleventy billionth drug suspension, and you guys aren’t going to believe this, but he says it’s been the best training camp of his career. We’re going see see an all new Chris Leben come December 29th. Just once, I’d like to hear a guy say in an interview, “I’m not improving, and I had a shitty training camp where I got my ass handed to me every day by multiple training partners, but my family needs to be fed. What more do you want?”

If Leben comes out displaying Demetrious Johnson’s movement and Dominick Cruz’s setups, then I’ll eat a vat full of crow. Chris Leben is what he is; a brawler with big power, and a giant target for superior strikers to practice on.

Is Derek Brunson a guy that could potentially pick apart and outpoint than Chris Leben? No. He is not. Brunson doesn’t offer much in the way of offense, and this will spell his doom here, as Leben wades in with almost unparalleled regularity. Brunson might get a takedown or two, but Leben will slug his way to a knockout midway through the second round.

To read the rest of my preview, check out either the link above or the link below. This will add both the accompanying photos and the overall aesthetic experience.