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Sunday, August 1, 2010

UFC on Versus Edition / Jon Jones vs. Vladimir Matyushenko results and highlights to follow ..

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The UFC's second event on Versus is finally right around the corner (Aug. 1, 9 PM ET / 6 PM PT), and that means it's time for another installment of the ever popular Helwani VS Dundas MMA predictions game.

For those keeping score at home, after 22 fights, Chad is currently in first place with a 14-8 record, while I sit at 12-10. 

In other words, it's time for business to pick up.

Let's do this.

Jon Jones vs. Vladimir Matyushenko

AH: I'm convinced fans aren't giving Matyushenko enough credit heading into this fight. Witness the fact that only 8% of fans on are picking him to beat Jones. That said, Jones is 16 years younger, quicker and more dangerous in all facets of a fight. I don't think Jones will have as easy a time putting "The Janitor" away as he did against, say, Brandon Vera, but I am envisioning a 2nd round TKO win for "Bones."

Prediction: Jones via 2nd round TKO

CD: Matyushenko seems like one of the nicer guys in all of MMA, but he got a tough draw here. On paper, Jones has him beat in all aspects. I think the only way Matyushenko can win is if he is able to rough Jones up a bit early and it reveals some kind of personality flaw – i.e. Tito Ortiz not liking to get punched in the face – in Jones that we just don’t know about yet. Is it possible? Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet that way.

Prediction: Jones via 1st round KO. 

Mark Munoz vs. Yushin Okami

AH: I'm actually most excited for this fight because I can see it ending in a whole host of ways. At the end of the day, though, I envision Munoz controlling the pace of the fight with his improved striking, but more importantly, with his superior wrestling skills. Okami is always game, and it's nearly impossible to finish him, but Munoz's edge on the ground will prove to be the difference.

Prediction: Munoz via split decision

CD: I can’t disagree. I think Munoz’s size, strength and wrestling ability will negate what Okami likes to do best. I see Munoz controlling an action-packed scramble-fest en route to picking up a win on the scorecards.

Prediction: Munoz via unanimous decision.

John Howard vs. Jake Ellenberger

AH: Both of these guys have really impressed me since making their respective debuts in 2009. Howard is 4-0 in the UFC, while Ellenberger is 1-1. However, don't be fooled by Ellenberger's .500 record, as he stepped in on short notice to fight Carlos Condit in September, and almost beat the former WEC welterweight champion in the first round. The 25-year-old wound up losing via split decision, but he rebounded nicely to defeat tough, veteran Mike Pyle via second-round TKO at UFC 108. I'm leaning towards Ellenberger here, but I wonder whether his eight-month layoff will affect him in a negative way on Sunday night. Regardless, he has looked great thus far in the UFC, and I see him controlling this fight for 15 minutes.

Prediction: Ellenberger via unanimous decision

CD: We’re in agreement again. I think this has all the makings of a fun fight, as both Ellenberger and Howard will come out swinging for the seats. Ellenberger has the heavy hands to do damage and good takedowns to fall back on if he gets in trouble. I say he makes Howard’s 4-0 record look like nothing more than a run of luck, knocking out the Boston native in the first.

Prediction: Ellenberger via 1st round KO.

Tyson Griffin vs. Takanori Gomi

Kudos to Griffin for stepping up on short notice to fight Gomi after his UFC 115 loss to Evan Dunham in June. Some might forget that prior to that loss, Griffin had only lost to former lightweight champion Sean Sherk and current 155-pound king Frankie Edgar. He seemed a bit off against Dunham, and I think he will rebound well against Gomi. As for "The Fireball Kid," Kenny Florian picked him apart before submitting him, which confirmed my suspicion that he might not be as dominant as he once was.

Prediction: Griffin via unanimous decision

CD: You kind of have to feel for Gomi … at least I do. He hasn’t given us any indication that he can recapture the glory of his Pride days and the UFC just keeps shuttling him from tough opponent to tough opponent. Griffin is the kind of guy who can beat anyone in the world if the chips fall his way. I can’t bet against the Xtreme Couture product here.

Preditction: Griffin via unanimous decision

AH's Preliminary fights:

Paul Kelly def. Jacob Volkmann

Matthew Riddle def. DaMarques Johnson

Igor Pokrajac def. James Irvin

Brian Stann def. Mike Massenzio
Dec 2009 *FIGHT!* MMA Magazine: Featuring, JON JONES "Taking the UFC by Storm"

Charles Oliveira def. Darren Elkins

Rob Kimmons def. Steve Steinbeiss

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