Preliminary Card (FUEL TV)
Lightweight Bout: Jeremy Stephens (20-8) vs. Yves Edwards (41-18-1)
A single mistake could lead to a knockout for either man. Jeremy Stephens hits like truck and has a very solid chin to support him through stand up exchanges. Yves Edwards is a veteran who has been around the MMA scene since 1997 - the clock on his career is ticking. After losing two-straight fights, Stephens will be highly motivated and one of his crushing punches could send Edwards into retirement.
Prediction: Jeremy Stephens via Knockout – Round 2
Lightweight Bout: Michael Johnson (11-6) vs. Danny Castillo (14-4)
Michael Johnson and Danny Castillo come in to UFC on FX 5 on winning streaks with especially impressive wins in their last fight. Castillo is a serious grinder that can take down and control nearly any opponent. On a three-fight win streak, Castillo has never looked better but he faces a tough opponent as he tries to push his streak to four. Johnson is one of the most athletic 155-pound fighters in the UFC roster and is improving with every fight. This fight is as even as a coin toss, but Johnson should pull off the win if he can avoid being put on back repeatedly and for long durations of time.
Prediction: Michael Johnson via Unanimous Decision
Lightweight Bout: Dennis Hallman (51-14-2, 1 NC) vs. Thiago Tavares (17-4-1)
Extremely difficult fight to predict. In 95 combined professional fights, neither Dennis Hallman nor Thiago Tavares has been submitted. Both are highly, highly skilled grapplers but a submission win may not be in the cards for either of them. If that’s the case, the fight could take place primarily on the feet, in which case Tavares would have the advantage. Hallman’s size advantage helped him get the win in his last fight, but he is not going to have the same luxury against Tavares, as the Brazilian is a large lightweight as well. If Tavares can hurt Hallman with strikes on the feet, he may get a stoppage. However, I see the fight going all three rounds.
Prediction: Thiago Tavares via Unanimous Decision
Lightweight Bout: Jacob Volkmann (14-3) vs. Shane Roller (11-6)
This fight is a lot like the Aaron Simpson vs. Mike Pierce fight. Jacob Volkmann and Shane Roller are capable of putting on exciting fights, it just seems they prefer to ware their opponents down over 15 minutes. With both coming off losses, expect a cautious battle, as neither man wants to lose for the second time in a row. Similar to Simpson vs. Pierce, don’t be holding your breath for a finish.
Prediction: Jacob Volkmann via Unanimous Decision
Featherweight Bout: Bart Palaszewski (36-15) vs. Diego Nunes (17-3)
A fight between two of the most inconsistent featherweights currently in the UFC. Diego Nunes is way overdue for a breakthrough performance and it may or may not come on Friday night. The Brazilian was signed to ZUFFA partially because of his finishing ability, however he has gone to a decision in nine-straight fights in the UFC and WEC. Bart Palaszewski is likely the more powerful puncher, but that may be the only advantage he has in the fight. Nunes is a fairly technical striker and a threat on the ground as well. Palaszewski’s best chance of winning is to keep it on the feet and connect with power strikes. Unfortunately for “Bartimus”, Nunes will likely be looking to drag the fight to the mat.
Prediction: Diego Nunes via Unanimous Decision
Flyweight Bout: Darren Uyenoyama (7-3) vs. Phil Harris (21-9-1)
Darren Uyenoyama has been out of action since defeating “Kid” Yamamoto in his UFC debut in Nov. 2011. “BC” impressed in his victory over Yamamoto and unless he shows up the cage completely unprepared, he should take out UFC newcomer in Phil Harris.
Prediction: Darren Uyenoyama via Unanimous Decision
Preliminary Card (Facebook)
Lightweight Bout: Marcus LeVesseur (21-6) vs. Carlo Prater (30-11-1)
Carlo Prater has been nothing short of a disappointment in his UFC stint. Sure, he’s 1-1 in the Octagon, but everyone knows he was gifted a win over Erick Silva and should really be 0-2. Marcus LeVesseur, on the other hand, was guillotined in his UFC debut by Cody McKenzie and will be out for his first Octagon win. You have to seriously question the fight IQ of someone who can get guillotined by McKenzie at this point, which makes me hesitant to pick LeVesseur. Hopefully Prater shows up to fight and can earn his first clean UFC win.
Prediction: Carlo Prater via Submission – Round 2
Welterweight Bout: Aaron Simpson (12-3) vs. Mike Pierce (14-5)
There is a reason Aaron Simpson and Mike Pierce have the roll of curtain jerker on the card. Of a combined 16 UFC victories, Simpson and Pierce have won 12 bouts by decision. Yuck. Both fighters have made a reputation as grinders and the fight has three-round battle of attrition written all over. Expect a grueling 15 minutes with Pierce getting the better of the action. A stoppage in this fight would be pleasant to see, but don’t old your breath.
Prediction: Mike Pierce via Unanimous Decision