Another Saturday, another UFC. Let’s talk about this Fox Sports 1 card and the main and co main events.
Melvin Guillard vs. Ross Pearson
As much respect as Ross Pearson garners in his profession, the truth is that thus far, a signature win has proven elusive. Does he get it here against Melvin Guillard? Pearson is a technical, gritty, durable lightweight. He has improved in all areas in recent years, but when push comes to shove, he is a pressure-oriented boxer who works best on the inside. Wearing down Guillard is very difficult. He has an outstanding jab, which amazingly carries knockout power, and his footwork and head movement are phenomenal. You can track him to the fence, but he’ll make you miss, and poof, dude is gone. He will swing wild on a haymaker, though, and if you can slip that and counter, you can hurt him.
Even a patient, intelligent Guillard is going to throw a few wild shots. With the way Pearson pursues opponents and counter punches, he might drop Guillard with one of those opportunities. It’s hard to pick against Guillard, though, in a fight that probably resembles a boxing match.
Prediction: Guillard by TKO in the second round.
Mark Munoz vs. Lyoto Machida
No worries regarding Lyoto Machida’s drop to middleweight. I still expect him to be quicker than the majority of his opponents at 185, including Mark Munoz. Beating Machida in a standup fight doesn’t seem as impossible as it once did, but obviously if you can take him down, you do so. He kicks mostly from the left, hard to the body. You drop the arm to protect that kick and you eat the straight left up the middle. When Munoz throws his right, it has to move on a string directly back to his chin. Can he corral a 185-pound, spritely Machida enough to take him down? That feels like the question here, because Munoz doesn’t really have the speed, technique or reach to consistently find Machida.
It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: Machida is always capable of removing himself from a fight. His offensive output has never been incredible, but it’s still managed to decrease in recent years. Still, his takedown defense and elusiveness remain as world-class as it gets.
Prediction: Machida by late knockout