UFC Fight Night 17 Preview and Picks

UFC Fight Night 17 Preview and Picks

UFC Fight Night 17

Joe Lauzon (16-4) Vs. Jeremy Stephens (16-3)

Line: Lauzon -185 / Stephens +155

Joe Lauzon is an outstanding wrestler, who has developed a nice submission game and has ‘heavy hands’ to boot. Lauzon has been training with lightweight kingpin BJ Penn and has vastly improved his submission game, and has a motor that doesn’t stop. Jeremy Stephens is a stand up fighter with above average wrestling skills who likes to bang and is one of the hardest hitters in the division. Stephens took this fight on short notice, after Hermes Franca pulled out with an injury. Stephens had been working with Franca in his preparations for Lauzon, and should be in shape with a game plan in place. If these guys decide to stand up and just bang, this has all the makings for an exciting knockout finish. Look for Lauzon to try and take down Stephens and use” ground and pound” and his superior cardio advantage and try and wear down Stephens and then catch him in a submission. Stephens has been caught twice in submission losses in the past, and this is definitely a weak point in the “Lil” Heathen’s game.

Prediction: Lauzon 2nd Round submission


Cain Velasquez (4-0) Vs. Denis Stojnic (12-1)

Line: Velasquez -600 / Stojnic +400

Cain Velazquez is UFC’s “blue chip” prospect in the heavyweight division, and this is the co main event of the night. Velasquez is an outstanding wrestler with phenomenal power, and has been placed in this fight to shine. Stojnic will be making his UFC debut, having fought with smaller organizations and brings a kick boxing background into the Octagon. Look for Velasquez to take him down quick and “ground and pound” him into submission, don’t blink or this fight could be over fast. The UFC has big plans for Velasquez, and a quick KO finish is what they will be expecting out of the big phenom.

Prediction: Velasquez KO Round 1


Mac Danzig (19-5-1) Vs. Josh Neer (24-7-1)


Line: Danzig -140 / Neer +110

Danzig is a veteran MMA fighter who won his season of the Ultimate Fighter by simply out classing his fellow cast members. He is well rounded in all areas, possessing a nice wrestling, submission, and stand up background. He is coming off a marquee loss to Clay Guida and will want to prove he belongs in the UFC. Josh Neer is the carbon copy of Danzig, a well rounded tough veteran who has been in his fair share of wars as well. Neer had some legal issues coming into the fight and who knows where his head will be come fight night. Neer has the reach advantage, but I give Danzig the edge in stand up and there both even in other areas. Look for a “grind it out” 3 round fight with whoever once it more getting the victory.

Prediction: Danzig Unanimous Decision


Luigi Fioravanti (13-4) Vs. Anthony Johnson (6-2)

Line: Johnson -285 / Fioravanti +225

Anthony Johnson comes into this fight off a KO victory over Kevin Burns, and will be looking to make another statement as he moves up the class ladder. The 6’2 Johnson brings ‘heavy hands” and should have a significant size advantage over the 5’8 Fioravanti. The athletic Johnson has to cut 25-30 lbs to make the 170 lb welterweight limit, and could be weighing an upwards of 185-190 lbs by the time he steps into the Octagon. Fioravanti is a stand up fighter as well, and has an outstanding chin, and comes into the fight with a 4-4 UFC record. Johnson is the better stand up fighter and will use his superior size and strength to pound out a knock out victory.

Prediction: Johnson 1st Round KO


Kurt Pellegrino (18-4) Vs. Rob Emerson (10-6-1)

Line: Pelligrino -220 / Emerson +180

This lightweight battle will be the classic wrestler (Pellegrino) versus the puncher (Emerson), which could turn out to be a snooze fest if Emerson can’t defend Pellegrino’s take downs. Emerson has won 6 in a row in the UFC and is coming off a devastating 12 second KO victory over the always tough Manny Gamburyan. Emerson comes from a kickboxing background and has decent power, and is excellent at defending take downs. Pellegrino is an accomplished wrester and UFC veteran who boasts outstanding submission skills. If Pellegrino can keep the fight on the ground this should be an easy fight for him, but if he decides to stand with Emerson, it could end badly for “Batman”. Look for Pelligrino to fight smart and catch Emerson late with a submission.

Prediction: Pelligrino 3rd Round submission

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