UFC on FX 3 takes place on Friday, June 8th in Sunrise, Florida. The Facebook prelims start at 5:00pm est, followed by the prelims on FuelTV at 6:00pm est, and finally the main card on FX at 9:00pm est.
Ian McCall (11-2-1) vs. Demetrious Johnson (14-2-1)
This is a rematch of the flyweight tournament semifinals about 3 months back, which (after the bumbling commissioner learned how to add) was scored as a draw. Personally, I had McCall winning the first fight 29-28, and judging by the boos from the crowd, most of them agreed with me. So judging by the last fight, Johnson had the edge in the striking department with his fast hands and dizzying footwork, but he even though he landed some flush shots on McCall, he wasn’t able to hurt his opponent. McCall showed that he was the dominant fighter in the clinch, landing more strikes, and converting on almost every takedown he attempted. Johnson on the other hand, struggled to put McCall on his back, landing only 1 takedown, from which McCall stood back up almost instantly. I think that McCall was trying to showcase some of his abilities in their first fight, almost to the point of showing off, but he will be all about the “W” tomorrow night. Johnson has something positive going for him too this time around; he gassed out in the first fight because it was his flyweight debut, but he’s sure to be more acclimated to the division now. In the end, I see McCall dominating the clinch game, landing takedowns, and pounding on Johnson from the top position. And it’s Ian McCall, who goes on to face Joseph Benavidez in the final.
Winner: Ian McCall
Erick Silva (13-2 with 1 NC) vs. Charlie Brenneman (15-3)
Silva fights using the Brazilian combination of Muay Thai and BJJ, his striking is pretty nasty, and he’s a blackbelt under Nogueira. Brenneman is one of the best wrestlers in the division (that says a lot at welterweight) but his striking game is not where it should be yet, and most of his wins come by decision. So we basically have a striker vs grappler match, augmented by the submission skills of Silva on the ground. Silva has more ways to win this fight and he has looked great lately, but Brenneman has faced the tougher opponents, and he has never been submitted yet. I say Brenneman lands his takedowns at will and does just enough from the top to keep the referee happy, without taking any big enough risks that could get him caught in a submission. After 3 rounds of that, the judges will have to give this fight to Brenneman.
Winner: Charlie Brenneman
Mike Pyle (22-8-1) vs. Josh Neer (33-10-1)
WOW! This is easily the best fight on the card, and these two salty dog veterans are sure to put on one hell of a show. They’re both well rounded fighters, but Neer should have the advantage standing, with bigger power and a tougher chin. Pyle is a BJJ blackbelt, which will give him the submission edge on the mat, and he also has the wrestling advantage over Neer. Even though I’m a huge Neer fan, I have to give the advantage to Pyle here because of the grappling advantage. Rory McDonald recently knocked Pyle out, but he had to fight off a salvo of 4 different takedown attempts in the process. Now, I don’t know how many takedowns Neer will be able to stop, but he sure likes to hurt his opponents with strikes, even from his back. The smart money is on Pyle here, but I’m picking Neer to pull off the upset and hurt Pyle with some heavy punches and elbows in the first half of the fight.
Winner: Josh Neer
Eddie Wineland (18-8-1) vs. Scott Jorgensen (13-5)
Tough pick here, both of these WEC veterans are tough as nails, and they like to scrap it out. Wineland does his best work with his hands, possessing some technical boxing and knockout power. Jorgensen is more of a brawler, swinging haymakers with a very aggressive style that forces his opponents backward. They both have wrestling skills, but Jorgensen is more explosive, and he also has a lower center of gravity. Wineland should be able to win the striking aspect of the fight with his better technique and longer reach, but he may not be able to stop the takedowns of Jorgensen. So with more strikes for Wineland, and more takedowns and top control for Jorgensen, it will be up to the judges to determine a winner. It looks like I’m going with wrestling again, Jorgensen by decision.
Winner: Scott Jorgensen
REMINDER: The fights go down tomorrow night, so make sure to get your picks done in time. Good luck.