Tim Means (25-7-1) vs. Sabah Homasi (11-5)
Tim Means: “The Dirty Bird” has found a home in the welterweight division, since his return to the 170 pound division Means has gone 7-2, with his most recent victory coming over the always dangerous John “Doomsday” Howard via second round knockout.
Means is an unorthodox southpaw striker who uses all eight of his limbs to perfection. He has won the fights he has supposed to win, but come up short against top 10 fighters like Matt Brown and Neil Magny. The former King of the Cage champ has top 15 talent but has yet to put it all together. At 32, this fight is a must win for Means if he is ever going to be a contender at welterweight.
Sabah Homasi: TUF: ATT vs. Blackzilians alum Sabah Homasi got the call to replace the injured Sean Strickland a few days removed from his knockout of Brazilian veteran Jorge Patino in Titan FC. Sabah has gone 3-1 with three knockout victories since his stint on the reality show.
Homasi is an exciting striker who trains at ATT Coconut Creek, one of the best camps in the game. He tends to engage in wild exchanges, usually coming out on top, but against the sport’s elite strikers, that may change if he doesn’t tighten his boxing up.
The Fight: This is a great opportunity for Homasi, but a tall order. Means is a polished muay thai artist who cuts angles expertly and put himself in position to land maximum damage.
Sabah has about as good of a puncher’s chance as one can have in a striking match, but Means will win this bout eight times out of ten with superior footwork and optimal utilization of all of his weapons. Means TKO 1st
-260 Hyun Gyu Lim (13-5-1) vs. +220 Mike Perry (6-0)
Hyun Gyu Lim: South Korean Hyun Gyu Lim will be returning to the cage following a year and a half lay off. Lim has battled various injuries following his May 2015 TKO stoppage to perennial top 10 contender Neil Magny. 3-2 overall in the UFC, Lim has put on fight of the night performances in nearly every outing.
At 6’3″, Lim is enormous for the welterweight division and he uses his size to bully opponents on the feet, throwing a wild array of hooks, uppercuts and flying knees with little regard for defense. If he can reel in his energy expenditure and pace his explosiveness out over the entire fight, Lim will be in the contenders picture in the not so distance future.
Mike Perry: “Platinum” Mike Perry received the call-up on about a two weeks notice, filling in for Sultan Aliev who was forced to withdraw due to a wrist injury. He splits his training between ATT Orlando and The UFC Orlando gym. Perry is 6-0 with five first round knockouts, with his biggest win coming over TUF:16 vet John Manly.
Perry has showcased one punch power, excellent cardio, and natural athleticism in his bouts outside of the octagon.Still very raw, he needs to work on throwing more combos and being less predictable on the feet. This showcase may be slightly premature, but Perry is going to learn a lot in his first fight competing at the next level.
The Fight: Lim is going to come out like a Tsunami of elbows and knees, he will leave himself open to Perry’s dangerous overhand right, but he’s proven his chin is up to the challenge.
These two are going to meet in the middle and unload, at the end of the ruckus it will be Lim left standing. Lim Flying Knee Knockout 1st
#9 +135 Rick Story (19-8) vs. #14 -155 Donald Cerrone (30-7-0 1NC)
Rick Story: Rick “The Horror” Story switched from training full time at his own gym to training at the MMA Lab back in the start of 2014, since the camp change he has gone 3-1 and earned a spot in the welterweight top 10. He is coming off of two very impressive wins against Gunnar Nelson and Tarec Saffidine.
Story would be in the title talks right now if it was not for a controversial split decision loss to Kelvin Gastelum. A win over a big name like Donald Cerrone would put Story right back in the thick of things.
Donald Cerrone: “Cowboy” Cerrone has accessed previously untapped power since his move up to 170 pounds. The move up in weight was prompted by Cerrone’s second loss to then lightweight champ Rafael Dos Anjos. Cerrone is 2-0 at welterweight including a knockout victory over Patrick Cote, who had never been knocked out in his prior 32 bouts.
Cowboy may have found a new home at welterweight, not that there is a clearer path to the belt at 170 pounds. He is off to a good start but is at least three wins away from getting into title talks. That being said, a win over #8 ranked Story may set up some very intriguing match ups for the Colorado fighter.
The Fight: Story is going to want to turn this into a close quarters brawl and keep Cowboy pushed up against the fence. While Cowboy will be on his bicycle attempting to use his reach on the smaller Story to pick him apart form the outside.
With December’s knockout loss to RDA fresh in Cowboy’s mind, I anticipate him to not get too crazy in the pocket and avoid Story’s haymakers. Cowboy is the more technical striker and Story wont throw anything at him that he has not seen before. Cerrone Unanimous Decision
#1 -200 Anthony Johnson (21-5) vs. #2 +170 Glover Teixeira (25-4)
Light Heavyweight (205)
Anthony Johnson: Since his move to the light heavyweight Rumble has been a savage. 11-1 in the past four years, Johnson’s most recent victory was a first round knockout of Ryan Bader. A big Part of Johnson’s recent transformation is his dedication to the Blackzilians fight team in Boca Raton Florida.
Rumble is most likely one fight away from earning a chance at avenging his May 2015 loss to current champ Daniel Cormier. At 32 years old, Johnson is in the physical prime of his career and will be a force in the division for many years to come.
Glover Teixira: Glover is coming off of the biggest win of his career, a first round knockout of Rumble’s team mate Rashad Evans. Teixira has fought his way back into title contention following his 2014 failed attempt at Jon Jones’ title.
The American Top Team knockout artist has the power to go punch for punch with any one in the game and if he has been working to shore up his wrestling, he will be a nightmare to game-plan for.
The Fight: It’s a rare occasion that these two encounter a opponent willing to stand and trade with them, this will be that occasion. Glover will try to turn this into a brawl, while Rumble will take a more technical approach on the feet. The difference will be Johnson’s wrestling, the striking will be a wash but Jonson will be able to score a few take downs throughout and come away victorious. Johnson Unanimous Decision
+109 Nate Diaz (20-10) vs. -129 Conor McGregor (19-3)
Nate Diaz: In December of 2014 Nate’s career was heading in the wrong direction, he missed weight by five pounds in his bout against Rafael Dos Anjos and than was trounced by RDA in a one sided beating. Diaz had lost three of his last four fights and many speculated that the younger Diaz’s best days had passed him by. Cut to a year and half later and Nate is involved in one of the biggest fights in the history of the sport.
Diaz’s resurgence is unprecedented, if he can best Mcgergor for a second time he will pretty much be able to chose his next opponent. Although once you’ve been caught up in the whirlwind that is Conor McGreor, even a title fight would pale in comparison in terms of hype.
Conor McGregor: This 27 year old Irish lad has managed to completely change the sport since joining the UFC three short years ago. McGregor has brought a whole new audience to the sport with his Ali like showmanship and Bruce Lee like style.
Dana announced that Conor would be forced to defend his featherweight strap regardless of the outcome of this fight. Which means in all likelihood we will be seeing McGregor vs. Aldo 2 sometime this winter.
The Fight: When these two first met it was clear that McGregor had the speed and technical striking advantage, but he entered unfamiliar territory when Nate ate everything he could dish out and was still standing. This McGregor is going to be much more calculated and not chase the finish so urgently. He will pace himself and outscore the brawler and only go for the kill if it presents itself. McGregor Unanimous Decision