Preliminary Card (Facebook)
Flyweight Bout: John Lineker (19-6) vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani (19-5-6)
Both John Lineker and Yasuhiro Urushitani looked pretty horrendous in their UFC debuts and it is hard to judge how they will perform in their second Octagon appearance.
Lineker is more of a finisher while Urushitani has won all but five of his fights by decision. Urushitani was highly praised coming into his UFC but the talk went away when Joseph Benavidez knocked him out. You can’t really factor that fight into this prediction because Benavidez is the second best flyweight in the world.
If Urushitani lives up to expectations, he should take out Lineker, who might be better suited for the bantamweight division as he missed weight in his last fight at UFC on FOX 3.
Prediction: Yasuhiro Urushitani via Unanimous Decision
Bantamweight Bout: Takeya Mizugaki (15-7-2) vs. Jeff Hougland (10-5)
Jeff Hougland is not a UFC caliber fighter in my opinion and I don’t see him having very much to offer against Takeya Mizugaki.
Hougland’s best chance of winning is capitalizing on a mistake by Mizugaki and locking in a submission. Easier said than done, though, as Mizugaki is one of the most difficult fighters in the sport to put away.
Look for this fight to go all three rounds with Mizugaki controlling the pace of the fight and the action for a decision.
Prediction: Takeya Mizugaki via Unanimous Decision
Middleweight Bout: Riki Fukuda (18-6) vs. Tom DeBlass (7-1)
Riki Fukuda and Tom DeBlass match up pretty well all the way around. It’s a tough fight to predict. Both men showed issues with cardio in their last fight, so I’m going to say the loser here is going to be the man who tired out first.
DeBlass has to go through the struggle of travelling from the USA to China, which is a significant shift to adapt to. Fukuda, on the other hand, will be proper acclimated and that could give him the advantage.
This should be the best bout on the preliminary card and while there is no obvious winner, I like Fukuda to pick up the win.
Prediction: Riki Fukuda via Unanimous Decision