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UFC on Versus 2: Jones vs Matyushenko Predictions

We're now just a few short hours away from the UFC on Versus tonight and with that some predictions for the event. As underwhelming as the card originally appeared to be to many fans, some of it's matchups actually hold quite a bit of significance. Make no mistake, this should be a very fun night of fights. By the end of the night we could see a guy earn a title shot, the biggest hype train of all time get derailed or grow to even bigger proportions and a once dominant Lightweight make his way to the unemployment line. Let's jump right in.


Jon Jones vs Vladimir Matyushenko - Jones has been hyped to the sky ever since he came into the UFC. It's not that there isn't a good reason for doing so but the kid is just 23 years old. He comes off about as level-headed as it gets but there are definitely cracks in his armor. For example, when Kevin Iole printed a column saying that Jones didn't accept an offered fight against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira back at UFC 114, Jones got so upset with it that he had a sitdown with Iole to talk about it. His problem was that he had never been offered the fight and he didn't like people thinking that he turned it down. He later said he would have turned it down anyway. Wrap your head around that. As immensely talented as he is he isn't perfect. So what kind of guy could beat him? It would likely be an extremely technical striker with great takedown defense or an absolute grinder with smothering top control. Is Matyushenko either of those things? No. He's a grinder but he's just a little too old and slow for someone as dynamic as Jones. He has a chance but not much of one. Jones via Unanimous Decision.

Yushin Okami vs Mark Munoz - I wonder how many fans actually know how big of a fight this is? Okami has been around forever it seems amassing a 8-2 record in the UFC with his only losses coming to Rich Franklin at UFC 72 and Chael Sonnen at UFC 104. Both fighters would earn title shots against Anderson Silva. Now, per Dana White, with a victory Okami would likely earn himself a title shot as well. He's already had a fight with Silva that ended in controversial fashion so it has it's selling point. Can he get past Mark Munoz to get there? Munoz has won 3 in a row since his drop to Middleweight after being knocked out by Matt Hamill for his only loss. He is a collegiate wrestling champion and he'll look to use that here. Sonnen was able to keep Okami down and Munoz will try to do the same but I tend to lean towards Yushin in this fight. His wrestling is underrated and the boxing he showed in his last fight was phenomenal. Give me Okami via Ground-n-Pound in Round 2.

John Howard vs Jake Ellenberger - Howard hasn't lost in the UFC since debuting at UFC 94. After 2 split decision wins over Chris Wilson and Tamdan McCrory, he knocked out both Dennis Hallman and Daniel Roberts. He'll finally make his main card debut on this show against fellow up and comer Jake Ellenberger. After filling in for an injured Chris Lytle, Ellenberger lost a split decision to Carlos Condit. The fight was controversial in that many disagreed with the judges decision to award the fight to Condit, including myself. He rebounded with a TKO over Mike Pyle at UFC 108. His wrestling is very good and I tend to think that Howard won't be able to handle when Ellenberger is controlling the pace of the fight. Ellenberger via Unanimous Decision.

Takanori Gomi vs Tyson Griffin - Originally this fight was supposed to feature Gomi vs Joe Stevenson but Joe Daddy was forced to pull out with an injury suffered in his training camp. Tyson Griffin was all to eager to fill in. Coming off a tough split decision loss to Evan Dunham at UFC 114, Griffin will be looking to make his way back into title contention. Had he beat Dunham this fight could have been for a title shot or at least somewhere in the vicinity of it. Now he needs a win to stay in the middle of the crowded Lightweight pack. He's not getting an easy fight in Takanori Gomi. A former world number 1 ranked fighter, he is looking to pick up his first win inside the Octagon. Kenny Florian picked him apart on the feet before choking him out in the 3rd round. Griffin has the skills to outbox Gomi and I really don't feel like there is anywhere that Takanori can win this fight. I just wonder if Dana will keep him around. This would be quite the fall for Gomi, considering White wanted to get him into a title fight with BJ Penn at the soonest possible time. So much for those plans. Griffin via KO in Round 3.

Undercard picks after the jump.

Jacob Volkmann vs Paul Kelly - Volkmann has had it rough since coming to the UFC. After starting his career 9-0, he was thrown to the sharks against Paulo Thiago and then Martin Kampmann. He lost both fights but rebounded with a win over Ronnys Torres. He should be able to outwrestle Kelly to win here.


DaMarques Johnson vs Matt Riddle - Johnson missed weight for this fight, coming in at 172 pounds. Being bigger won't help him here. Riddle is better at almost everything.

James Irvin vs Igor Pokrajac - This fight just screams the kind of matchup that will get Irvin a big KO win and make sure he keeps his job. Not sure how much that will matter in the long haul but he's mostly fun so it's cool.

Brian Stann vs Mike Massenzio - Stann is making the cut to Middleweight for this fight and that should help him but can he patch up the holes in his wrestling game? I think he'll manage.

Darren Elkins vs Charles Oliveira - Speed is a great asset in MMA but wrestling can completely neutralize that so Elkins is the winner here.

Rob Kimmons vs Steve Steinbeiss - This could be a loser leaves town match. Kimmons could keep his job with a loss but I even doubt that. Fortunately for him I think he wins and Steinbeiss is done in the UFC.

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