Faber-Cruz head stacked MGM UFC card

Jun 28, 2011 3:06 AM

The big July 4 weekend show this Saturday from MGM Grand is absolutely stacked. The main event is the bad blood rematch for the bantamweight title between Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz.

We’ve got Chris Leben and Wanderlei Silva slugging it out, plus crowd favorite Tito Ortiz facing Ryan Bader. The prelim fights will start on Facebook at 3 p.m., Saturday, and then two more will be shown on SPIKE TV at 5 to get everyone ready for the pay per view broadcast at 6.

Faber vs. Cruz: The first fight at 145 pounds four years ago saw Faber at the top of his game. He beat Cruz fairly easily with a guillotine choke. This time around, Cruz’s stock is very high. Faber didn’t look as good last time out against an overmatched Eddie Wineland, but did manage to win and secured this title shot.

I don’t think there is any way this fight doesn’t go the full five rounds. Faber is just as quick as Cruz and should be able to dictate where the fight takes place. I expect a very slow first round, with both guys eluding the other. After that, Faber should turn it up, take Cruz down and pound him. Faber +115 by decision.

Leben vs. Silva: The clear favorite for fight of the night. Both fighters are going to stand and swing till someone drops. Both men don’t have very technical boxing, but at this point in their careers Leben holds that small advantage. Leben also has a much better chin, which will be key in this fight. A coin flip of who lands first, but the +155 underdog price is nice. Leben by TKO.

Ortiz vs. Bader: Ortiz hasn’t won a fight in the UFC since 2006. He has faced many injuries and also the best opponents. Bader is coming off a tough loss to now champion Jon Jones. I think this is a good spot for Tito. He’s got his back against the wall and is facing a fighter who is very similar in style to him.

Tito’s cardio for the first two rounds should be top notch as always, but now late in his career he’s been exhausted in the third round. Bader is a solid prospect, but I think Tito’s experience and top control will be able to nullify anything Bader has to offer. I like Tito to win the first two rounds, and Bader to give Tito backers a scare in the third. The price is outrageously high. Ortiz +450 via decision.

Carlos Condit vs. Dong Hyun Kim: An interesting fight. Both are likely one more win from a title shot. Kim likes to take people down and lay on top to secure decisions. He is very successful at it because of his size and wrestling skill, but not against Condit.

Condit has a work rate from the bottom Kim has never seen, aggressive striking and great submissions. Most fights with Kim on top you can rip your ticket up. Not this one. Condit will work elbows, sweeps and submissions from the bottom, and win any striking exchange they have. Jump on this awfully low price. Condit -110 by decision.

Guillard vs. Roller: Guillard has looked like a true wrecking machine at 155 lbs. since joining Greg Jackson in New Mexico. Shane Roller’s wrestling and submissions are Guillard’s weakness, but I don’t think he will be able to get him to the ground.

Guillard has some of the best take down defense at lightweight now, along with the fastest hands and excellent power. Could be a highlight reel knockout. Guillard -275 by TKO.

Scorecard

It was a great show last Sunday night on Versus where we saw the greatest comeback in the history of the UFC. We were 3-0, including a +240 winner. The tally will be kept going forward.

The Marquardt fight was cancelled due to Nate failing his medical tests, so we didn’t get a prediction on the replacement fight.