UFC 119 Breakdowns and Predictions Josh Davis May 23, 2011 Events, Previews UFC 119 was originally scheduled to be a rematch between two of the best submission specialists in the heavyweight division: Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. These two met at UFC 92 with Mir winning by TKO in the second round. Nogueira was forced to pull out of the this fight and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic stepped in immediately. This fight has the potential to be better then the originally scheduled rematch. In many respect this is a must win fight for Mir. He is coming off of a loss to Shane Carwin at UFC 111and cannot afford a second straight defeat. Once at the top of the mountain, he must defeat Cro Cop if he is ever going to get back there. Cro Cop, on the other hand, really has nothing to lose in this fight. He is coming off of a win against Pat Barry at UFC 115 in June and took this fight in August. That did not give him much time to heal from the war with Barry and very little time to train for Mir. He is also getting up there in years and is no longer the feared striker that he once was, so a win over Mir would put him back in the mix. A loss however does not really hurt him. On paper Mir should win this fight. Both fighters however will be looking to finish this fight as quickly as possible and start their respective runs towards a title shot. The rest of the pay per-view fight card will not disappoint fight fans. In the co-main event of the evening you have undefeated Ryan Bader vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in a fight that will have title implications in the light heavyweight division. Bader has dominated the competition since winning the ultimate fighter and hopes that a victory over Nogueria will put him in the title picture. Nogueria is coming off a split decision over Jason Brilz at UFC 114, a fight that many people felt he lost. He needs a victory over Bader if he wants to remain a top contender in the light heavyweight division. In a rematch of the Ultimate Fighter season four, Matt Serra takes on Chris Lytle. Serra is coming off a knock out victory over Frank Trigg at UFC 109 wants to continue his winning ways in hopes of earning one more title shot. Lytle is riding a three fight win streak and wants to avenge his previous loss to Serra. A fourth straight win for Lytle would put him in the title discussion. In a lightweight fight, Sean Sherk will try to get back to his wining ways as he takes on one of the fastest rising stars in the division, undefeated Evan Dunham. Sherk, who has only lost to champions, has not fought in over a year. He wants to once again prove to the world that he is the best lightweight fighter there is. Dunham has looked impressive in every fight and has run through his competition. A win over a very talented Sherk would certainly propel him to the top of the divison. In another lightweight fight, Melvin Guillard will take on Jeremy Stephens in a fight that will help shape the division. Guillard is 5-1 in his last six fights since suffering back to back losses. He has refocused himself and his training and is hopeful that another will put him the mix in the lightweight division. Stephens is a very tough opponent for anybody and he is currently on a two fight win streak. A win over a very tough Guillard will move him up in the division. Main Event Frank Mir vs Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic – This a must win fight for Mir and despite his comments to the media, I believe that he is taking Cro Cop very seriously. Cro Cop has made it known to the public that he is not 100% but will fight the best that he can. Prediction - Mir wins this fight by rear naked choke in the first round. Co Main-Event Ryan Bader vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira - This fight could be a great ground war between a wrestler a brazilian jiu jistu expert. Bader has the edge in size, strength and quickness and will be able to use this to his advantage. He will be able to take Nogueira to the mat and pound out a victory. Prediction - Bader wins a decision. Matt Serra vs Chris Lytle - This fight could be better then people think. Serra has excellent jiu jitsu and knock out power in his hands. Lytle is goood on his feet as well as on the ground, plus he has something to prove. Serra, though, has looked good in his recent fights and will be able to control Lytle on the ground. Prediction - Serra wins a decision. Sean Sherk vs Evan Dunham - Both fighters have excellent wrestling and good stand up and will match up very well against each other. The key to wining this fight is to impose your will. Whoever can impose their will is going to win this fight. Prediction - Dunham is going win a hard fought three round decision. Melvin Guillard vs Jeremy Stephens – Stephens is a very tough fighter that is always pressing the action. Guillard is also a very exciting fighter and is always looking for a knock out victory. If he can avoid Stephens’ take downs he might get that knockout. Prediction - Guillard wins by second round knockout. Every fight of the evening will play a significant role of the future in the respected divisions. Every fight has something to gain from these fights and will attempt to take advantage of the opportunities. Regardless of how these fights play it, there is no doubt that they will all be exciting.