UFC Fight Night 30

UFC Fight Night 30 Card: Bleacher Report Main Card Staff Predictions

Scott HarrisFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2013

UFC Fight Night 30 Card: Bleacher Report Main Card Staff Predictions

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    UFC middleweight Mark Munoz
    UFC middleweight Mark MunozJayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    UFC Fight Night 30 goes down this Saturday afternoon U.S. Eastern time from a little place called Manchester, England. 

    And I'm not going to lie to you: This card doesn't look interesting. Parts of it are intriguing, but when an event is airing in the middle of the afternoon and "Machida" appears on the marquee, it's not going to do a lot for the UFC's buy numbers.

    It's good, then, that this is on regular TV and not pay-per-view. Do you get Fox Sports 2 in your home? Well, you should, bro. Because all joking aside, every UFC card is a UFC worth watching.

    So why don't we now offer our predictions for all six main card fights? You know the team. Sean "Salmon" Smith. Riley "Kobra" Kontek. James "The Athlete" MacDonald. Craig "Cookie" Amos. And yours truly, Scott Harris.

    I don't know about you, but I watch every fight I can. And I'm ready to get it on. 

John Lineker vs. Phil Harris

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    John Lineker
    John Lineker

    Riley "Kobra" Kontek

    I love how the flyweights are getting main card love these days. Harris showed great potential after outlasting Ulysses Gomez, as the long-time vet is well-rounded and tough. However, Lineker has been on a tear lately, using hands of stone to bust through some chins. His three-fight winning streak is enough to gain my confidence, especially if he makes weight comfortably.  

    Lineker, TKO, Rd. 2

     

    Sean "Salmon" Smith

    Aside from John Dodson, Lineker might be the heaviest hitter in the flyweight division. He sacrifices technique at times to put everything behind his punches, but he only needs to land once to stop Harris, who has been knocked out four times over the course of his career. 

    Lineker, TKO, Rd. 1 

    Craig "Famous" Amos

    Lineker may not have John Dodson power, but as far as flyweights go, he hits like a hammer. The young Brazilian is quietly emerging as a fringe contender, and he could do his career a big favor by impressing against Harris. For his part, Harris will want to get the action to the mat and work his submission game. The problem? It just might not work out. And if it doesn't, Harris is in deep, deep trouble.

    Lineker, KO, Rd. 1


    James "The Athlete" MacDonald

    I’m a fan of Lineker. The Brazilian has the potential to do some damage in the division. Harris, in contrast, seems like the kind of the fighter who might do just enough to hang around in the UFC without ever developing into a contender. Therefore, I’m backing Lineker to continue his ascent.

    Lineker, KO, Rd. 2

     

    Scott Harris 

    I love Lineker’s hands, especially against a suspect chin like Harris’. But Harris can grind; he knows that, and Lineker knows that. At the end of the day, Lineker is bigger and stronger, but Harris will ensure he’s not “the deadliest catch” at UFC Fight Night 30, if you take my meaning.

    Lineker, Unanimous Decision

Alessio Sakara vs. Nicholas Musoke

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    Alessio Sakara
    Alessio Sakara

    Kontek

    Alessio Sakara seemingly could not hold an opponent down until Sweden's Nicholas Musoke took this fight on very short notice. Sakara is purely a boxer with knockout power in both hands. Musoke is a good prospect, but he is basically there to give the Italian a fight. Notch a victory for Sakara.

    Sakara, TKO, Rd. 1
     

    Smith

    Sakara has had a long UFC run, but he's suffered three straight losses and will be fighting for his roster spot on Saturday. He is highly dependent on his knockout power to wins fights, and he's facing a more well-rounded fighter in Musoke. Never knocked out in his 12 MMA bouts, Musoke is a bright prospect capable of pulling off the upset at UFC Fight Night 30.

    Musoke, Unanimous Decision

    Amos

    A little continental action here, as we have the Italian Sakara facing off with Musoke the Swede. It's never an easy call when the UFC pairs a newcomer with a journeyman, but I like Sakara. He enters the bout on a three-fight losing streak, but I expect him to break the trend and do so in style.

    Sakara, KO, Rd. 2
     

    MacDonald

    This isn’t the most interesting fight on the card. Truthfully, I don’t know an awful lot about Nicholas Musoke, so there’s a bit of extra guesswork going on here. I’m going to wager that the Swede has the tools to overcome the declining Alessio Sakara, though.

    Musoke, KO, Rd. 2

    Harris

    I think “The Athlete” hit it on the head. This fight is not interesting. Sakara is not the fighter he once was, but his boxing can take care of this...wait…MacDonald predicted Musoke? As did The Salmon?

    I can’t get on board with that. I actually do like Mosuke, but there are so many better guys over in Europe (*cough* Cathal Pendred *cough*), who would have jumped at the chance to make this a much, erm, realer fight.

    Sakara, TKO, Rd. 2

Norman Parke vs. Jon Tuck

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    Norman Parke
    Norman Parke

    Kontek 

    This may be the fight that gives you time to regather your thoughts and senses. Norman Parke doesn't have the most aesthetically pleasing style. However, he takes on a tough grappler with good striking in Jon Tuck. Tuck will be tough to get down and hold down, but as Parke has shown in his short UFC tenure, he's up to the task. Not many Euros have the well-rounded wrestling/grappling attack of Parke, which makes him special. He will gain the judges' nod.

    Parke, Unanimous Decision

     
    Smith

    Fighting in the United Kingdom on Saturday, Northern Irishman Norman Parke appears to have a favorable matchup. His wrestling played a large role in his first two UFC wins, and he'll now meet an opponent, Tuck, who was taken down twice in his UFC debut against Tiequan Zhang. As a better wrestler than Tuck, Parke will take this one with top control.  

    Parke, Unanimous Decision

    Amos

    I'm not entirely sold on either of these guys, but I do like this matchup. I see it producing a competitive fight that lasts the full 15 minutes, which is why I like Parke to take home the W. Home-field advantage shouldn't exist in MMA, but it does.

    Parke, Unanimous Decision

    MacDonald

    Parke has more potential than many give him credit for. The Northern Irishman is well-rounded and could become a decent force at 155 pounds, given time. I reckon the TUF: Smashes winner sneaks by Jon Tuck via decision.

    Parke, Unanimous Decision

    Harris

    Call me Red Bull, because I’m about to wake these people up. Jon Tuck is a well-rounded fighter. He knows how to finish on the ground and, even more so, how to knock people out. He is a dangerous fighter who is being underestimated here. If he can stay out of Parke’s grasp, which seems possible, he can do this. You better sound those upset alarms.

    Tuck, TKO, Rd. 2

Jimi Manuwa vs Ryan Jimmo

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    Ryan Jimmo
    Ryan Jimmo

    Kontek

    It's sink-or-swim time for Jimi Manuwa. He has been given pure strikers up to this point, and now he takes on a guy in Ryan Jimmo who will likely try to grind him away. While Manuwa is fresh, Jimmo is going to have a hard time tying up Manuwa without risking a murderous strike. If Jimmo weathers the storm, this fight is his. However, Manuwa could have knocked the Berlin Wall down with one punch, and I think he will slay the Canadian.

    Manuwa, KO, Rd. 2

    Smith

    Few light heavyweights would opt to stand with Manuwa. Although he owns one of the fastest knockouts in UFC history, Jimmo belongs to that large group of fighters who is best served by forcing Manuwa to the ground. The Canadian has scored only one takedown in seven UFC rounds, though, which does not bode well for his chances against the lethal striking of Manuwa.  

    Manuwa, TKO, Rd. 1

    Amos 

    Manuwa debuted in the UFC by defeating a grinding wrestler in Kyle Kingsbury, so what's to say he won't repeat the success against Jimmo? Jimmo may have a more advanced skill set than Kingsbury, but the Canadian isn't on par with the Brit Manuwa. 

    Manuwa, KO, Rd. 2


    MacDonald 

    This could either be spectacular or spectacularly boring, depending on who is able to impose his will. If Jimmo gets his way, the Brit will spend 15 minutes on his back. If Manuwa has anything to say about it, the Canadian will be lying in a heap within a round. I’m putting my money on “The Poster Boy” getting his way.

    Manuwa, KO, Rd. 1

    Harris

    A classic striker vs. grinder matchup taken to polar extremes. It’s the lava of Kilauea versus the polar ice sheet. I’m a fan of the grinders; you can ask anyone. But even I can’t get behind Jimmo. He’s like a fighter who’s not sure he wants to fight. I pick Manuwa here strictly based on hope. And hope is a great thing. Maybe the best of things. 

    Manuwa, KO, Rd. 1

Melvin Guillard vs. Ross Pearson

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    Melvin Guillard
    Melvin Guillard

    Kontek

    The co-main event has Fight of the Night written all over it and could be a striker's delight. It also may not make it to the judges. Ross Pearson is technical and powerful, but Melvin Guillard is more powerful and proven. His inconsistencies may always bring him into question, but those inconsistencies came against the cream of the crop in the division. We will likely see a classic Guillard performance here.

    Guillard, TKO, Rd. 2

    Smith

    Guillard has had his share of setbacks inside the Octagon, but almost all of them have been due to his inability to defend submissions. Donald Cerrone is the only fighter to have knocked out Guillard, and "Cowboy" is more dynamic on his feet than Pearson. Though Pearson does own a number of submission wins, almost all came before his UFC career began. Expect Guillard to land the heavier shots in a wild boxing match with Pearson.

    Guillard, TKO, Rd. 2


    Amos

    Neither Pearson nor Guillard is the most consistent fighter, so it's difficult to get a handle on this pairing. But since it's impossible to know which version of them will turn up, we can assess the stylistic matchup, which favors Guillard. Though Pearson is a sound striker, he lacks the sheer power and remarkable quickness of Guillard, meaning this is "The Young Assassin's" bout to lose.

    Guillard, KO, Rd. 2

    MacDonald

    This is a tough fight to call. Both men excel on the feet, but neither has been able to show the kind of consistency that his talent deserves. Guillard is the superior athlete, but for my money Pearson is the more technical striker. Honestly, I might as well toss a coin to pick this one. Heads. I’ll take Pearson by decision.

    Pearson, Unanimous Decision

    Harris

    People say Guillard is unpredictable. I beg to differ. He is as the tides. 

    It’s only when he has a head of steam that he gets too hot and flames out. I like the heavy hands of Pearson, but he’ll be the next guy who's made to look bad by the version of Guillard that’s on the way up.

    Guillard, KO, Rd. 1 

Lyoto Machida vs. Mark Munoz

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    Lyoto Machida
    Lyoto Machida

    Kontek

    This main event will either feature a glorious knockout or a boring decision. Mark Munoz returned from a long injury in his last fight to out-wrestle Tim Boetsch. Lyoto Machida is in his natural weight class of middleweight and could storm all the way to a title shot, especially if Anderson Silva doesn't regain the gold. The Brazilian's takedown defense is too sturdy, and his counter-striking is too precise. He'll tags and finish Munoz midway through the fight.

    Machida, KO, Rd. 2

    Smith

    With his ability to keep distance against wrestlers, Machida should be able to stay upright in this matchup. Munoz is one of the most decorated amateur wrestlers that Machida has faced, but that high-level wrestling ability didn't help Dan Henderson or Randy Couture get in tight on the Brazilian with regularity. As those matchups showed, this fight could drag on for five rounds or end spectacularly. Either way, Machida will have his hand raised.

    Machida, TKO, Rd. 2

    Amos

    Munoz looked dangerous last time he fought, out-grinding the ultimate grinder in Tim Boetsch. But Machida is a different sort of beast—tactical, precise and accurate. There will be no grind for Munoz this time, just a lot of shadow chasing and frustration. "The Dragon" is simply too skilled to lose here. He'll build up a lead on the cards and then force Munoz to rush him, and that'll be that.

    Machida, KO, Rd. 3

    MacDonald

    Many incorrectly assume that Mark Munoz is a great MMA wrestler based on his amateur credentials, but he has yet to demonstrate elite-level MMA wrestling. If he is to get the better of Machida, he will have to make good on his wrestling potential. If he is unable to drag the Brazilian to the ground, he may be in for a long night. I’m taking Machida to end the fight late.

    Machida, KO, Rd. 3

    Harris 

    I don’t see the "buts" on this one. Yes, Machida is awesome. I love his whole karate-doing, damage-avoiding, artful-martial-arts-plying lifestyle. It’s so awesome, man. And yet, I don’t see how it saves him against Munoz, especially in Machida's debut at a lower weight class. I think Munoz is going to blast through him and powersand him down. And you thought Machida was on the hot seat before this fight.

    Munoz, Unanimous Decision

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