Before the main card broadcast for UFC on FUEL TV 5: Struve vs. Miocic begins, six preliminary bouts will kick off the night on Facebook at roughly 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT.
With the card fast approaching, here are my UFC on FUEL TV 5: Struve vs. Miocic preliminary card predictions.
Preliminary Card (Facebook)
Light Heavyweight Bout: Kyle Kingsbury (11-4, 1 NC) vs. Jimi Manuwa (11-0)
Jimi Manuwa is a highly touted striker coming into his UFC debut against Kyle Kingsbury. It would be in Kingsbury’s best interest to try and take the fight to the ground or he is going to get lit up in the striking department once again much like he did against Glover Teixeira in his last outing. With that said, Kingsbury have proved in the past to not have the best fight IQ and if he strikes for too long the fight won’t end well for him.
Prediction: Jimi Manuwa via TKO – Round 1
Lightweight Bout: Andy Ogle (8-1) vs. Akira Corassani (9-3)
Even though Andy Ogle surpassed expectation during his stint on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show, he is still not a UFC caliber fighters. The same argument can be made for Akira Corassani, though. When Ogle and Corassani step into the cage it’s not going to be the most high quality MMA fight, but it should be a scrappy battle. Corassani has a solid ground game and even though it is a bit of a stereotype, I have no confidence in Ogle’s grappling.
Prediction: Akira Corassani via Submission – Round 2
Middleweight Bout: Tom Watson (15-4) vs. Brad Tavares (8-1)
Tom Watson has a lot of hype surrounding him coming in to his UFC debut at UFC on FUEL TV 5. In his octagon debut Watson takes on the underrated Brad Tavares in one of the more difficult fights of the night to predict. Expect this middleweight bout to play out on the feet for the most part. If that’s the case, either man has a 50% chance at winning due to the power they both possess. There is a good possibility of a knockout, but I see this one going to the judges.
Prediction: Tom Watson via Unanimous Decision
Catchweight Bout: DaMarques Johnson (15-11) vs. Gunnar Nelson (9-0-1)
It’s a serious issue of concern that DaMarques Johnson was knocked out cold by Mike Swick less than two months ago at UFC on FOX 4. Combine the knockout with Johnson taking the fight on short notice, cutting a tremendous amount of weight and fighting a very legitimate and threatening opponent in Gunnar Nelson, I don’t like Johnson’s chances at all here. Hopefully he leaves the cage under his own power.
Prediction: Gunnar Nelson via Submission – R2
Featherweight Bout: Jason Young (9-5) vs. Robert Peralta (15-3)
Jason Young is going to try and grind this one out but he faces a difficult challenge in Robert Peralta. After a accidental headbutt led to an early ending of Peralta’s last fight, the guy has skills. He will be looking for the finish at all times and should be able to overwhelm Young while attempting to pick up a knockout or submission. Young is a tough fighter who is difficult to put away and I think he will survive a few scares and make it to the end of the 15-minutes. Unfortunately, he won’t win the decision.
Prediction: Robert Peralta via Unanimous Decision
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