UFC prelims are often a place to right the ship or make a new start.  That’s the story of the early bouts of “UFC Live 4.”

The event’s seven-fight preliminary card lineup features a number of fighters looking to recover from disappointing losses, such as TUF 12 finalist Michael Johnson, welterweight Daniel Roberts and lightweight Charles Oliveira, as well as a number of fighters looking to revive their careers through a change in weight class, including Rich Attonito, Joe Stevenson and Tyson Griffin.

When the UFC heads to Pittsburgh’s CONSOL Energy Center on Sunday night for “UFC Live 4,” all of these warriors and more will get their opportunities.  Griffin will shift to 145 pounds and lock horns with Manny Gamburyan, Javier Vazquez will welcome Joe “Daddy” Stevenson to the featherweight ranks, lightweights Joe Lauzon and Curt Warburton will clash, Rich Attonito shifts to welterweight for a battle with Daniel Roberts, lightweight Nik Lentz looks to keep his lengthy undefeated streak intact against Charles Oliveira, featherweight Matt Grice gets a second chance at a career inside the Octagon when he meets Ricardo Lamas and TUF 12 finalist Michael Johnson enters the cage against relative unknown Edward Faaloloto.

All of the action from the preliminary card will air for free via Facebook.  The broadcast begins at 6 p.m. ET, but the breakdown of the fights begins right now, as The MMA Corner’s Round Table panel of Corey Adams, Duncan Price and Rob Tatum make their picks for all seven prelim contests.

LW: Michael Johnson (8-5) vs. Edward Faaloloto (2-1)

Adams: In the opening fight of the UFC’s return to Pittsburgh, a “menace” is hungry to get his first win inside the Octagon, while a newcomer makes his debut on the big stage.

Michael “The Menace” Johnson is most known for his time on Georges St-Pierre’s team on The Ultimate Fighter 12. On the show, Johnson was able to battle his way to the finals, but came out on the losing end against teammate Jonathan Brookins. After the loss, Johnson moved from his training camp in Springfield, Mo., to Greg Jackson’s camp in Albuquerque, N.M. Johnson is primarily a wrestler and boxer, but the move to Jackson’s should improve his grappling game.

Faaloloto is someone that hardly anyone, myself included, knows about. He made his WEC debut in 2010 against Anthony Njokuani, a fight in which he lost by a brutal knockout in the second round. Another point to mention about Faaloloto is he trains out of Hawaii with UFC veteran Chris Leben. Being under someone with as much experience as Leben will benefit him in this fight against Johnson.

In this contest, I have to go with how much of each guy I have seen. I followed Johnson throughout his entire stint on the The Ultimate Fighter, but haven’t seen any of Faaloloto. With that said, I’m going to take “The Menace” in this one with a knockout early in the fight.

Price: Like Corey, I’m not overly familiar with Faaloloto and it would be harsh to judge him based on one fight. I will reserve full judgment until I personally get a look at him in action.

Johnson showed a lot of potential against Brookins in his official UFC debut. He actually had Brookins on the ropes early on, but his lack of takedown defense was his downfall, as Brookins easily dominated rounds two and three. I think if he can hit Faaloloto with the same barrage of strikes that he used against Brookins, he should be able to get the win.

The only way I can see there being any other result is if Faaloloto turns out to be a BJJ ace and submits Johnson, as four of Johnson’s five losses have come via tapout. Otherwise for me “The Menace” wins by TKO in the second.

Tatum: Faaloloto has the unfortunate luck of coming in on late notice and becoming part of Anthony Njokuani’s highlight reel in the WEC.  However, since he stepped up, Zuffa is giving him one more shot.  At only 2-1, it’s hard to break down Faaloloto’s game.

Johnson, on the other hand, is a hard-hitting wrestler that showed great promise during the twelfth season of The Ultimate Fighter.  Although he dropped a decision to Brookins at the finale, Johnson showed just how dangerous he can be in the fight’s opening round.  Unfortunately, the rest of the fight exhibited one of his weaknesses, cardio.  Since moving his training to Jackson’s MMA, I believe this should be remedied.

I look for Johnson to make short work of Faaloloto and send him packing back to Hawaii with a brutal KO.

FW: Ricardo Lamas (9-2) vs. Matt Grice (13-3)

Price: Lamas makes his UFC debut in this fight after grafting a 4-2 record in WEC prior to the merger. He has shown good wrestling ability and cardio in his previous outings, but it’s going to be tough to out-wrestle Grice in this match-up. Lamas holds a jiu-jitsu brown belt, and Grice has lost twice previously via submission, so this may be an area where he feels he holds an advantage.

Grice is primarily known as a wrestler, having been a four-time high school state champion. He made his first Octagon appearance at UFC 70 against Terry Etim, but went on to gain a 1-3 record in the organization, ultimately leading to his release. For Grice, this could be a make or break fight, as another loss could send him back to the regionals, and few people make it back into the UFC after being cut twice. If he can get the takedown and land some ground-and-pound, he may have a chance to get the win. A lot depends on how much or little he has improved from his last stint in the promotion.

This is a tough one to call, as it’s a battle between two solid wrestlers, but I just feel Lamas has more ways to score points and he’ll come away with the decision victory.

Tatum: I have to agree with Duncan’s assessment.  Grice is fortunate to have a second run in the promotion, but despite his wrestling skills, he’s never been a complete fighter.  This will likely spell trouble for him against someone like Lamas, who also has a wrestling pedigree, but has shown more versatility in his attack.

I don’t expect this fight to be pretty.  Look for some sloppy exchanges, frantic scrambles, and for Lamas to win the war of attrition by unanimous decision.

Adams: This one has the making to be a wrestling match as both Lamas and Grice are former All-American wrestlers in college.

Duncan and Rob laid it out perfectly. The smart pick is to go with the better attacker, Lamas. Grice has gone 4-0 outside of the UFC, but it is very difficult for someone to fight their way back into a big-name promotion. Not a very exciting match-up, but we may be wrong. I’m going to take Lamas by decision as well.

LW: Nik Lentz (21-3-2) vs. Charles Oliveira (14-1)

Tatum: This lightweight matchup is a tale of something-has-to-give.

Lentz, a veteran wrestler, enters the fight riding a fourteen-fight undefeated streak that dates back more than four years.  Since joining the UFC, he has been a decision machine, with all but one of his six bouts going the distance.  The one finish occurred in his most recent outing, against Waylon Lowe at UFN 24.  Lentz was getting dominated on the feet through two rounds, but showed his submission skills in locking in a fight-ending guillotine midway through the final round.

The Brazilian, Oliveira, started his career by reeling off thirteen straight wins.  This included submission victories over wrestling standouts Darren Elkins and Efrain Escudero, each earning him a Submission of the Night bonus.  In his third UFC bout, he faced a significant step up in competition as he took on Jim Miller.  The crafty Miller turned the tables on the 21-year-old phenom, forcing him to tap by kneebar.

Having witnessed both of these fighters in person, I believe that the young Brazilian is just too talented for Lentz.  Would I be shocked if the Minnesota native grinds out a decision?  Certainly not.  But I see Oliveira securing a rear-naked choke in the second round to hand Lentz his first UFC defeat.

Adams: Great points made by Rob. Many do not realize that, behind the controversy, Lentz is undefeated in the UFC. He has knocked out and submitted guys early in his young career, but since joining the UFC, he has limited his approach to grinding out his opponents to decision victories.

But against a guy like Oliveira, this is not a good match-up for the wrestler. The Brazilian has finished 13 out of 15 opponents, both standing and on the mat. His last fight against Miller was a big step up for him, but he should bounce back in this fight.

I’m going to take Oliveira also, with a slick submission midway through the fight.

Price: I am inclined to agree with both Rob and Corey here. There has been a trend of wrestlers such as Lentz grinding out fairly mundane victories recently in the UFC, but I think that it is incredibly dangerous to go to the mat with someone of Oliveira’s ability. I also think Oliveira holds an advantage on the feet, so it limits Lentz to almost one single path to victory, lay and pray.

I’m going to say Lentz makes it tough, but Oliveira gets the submission, slightly later, in the third round.

WW: Daniel Roberts (12-2) vs. Rich Attonito (9-4)

Adams: A welterweight battle will go down as “Ninja” Roberts takes on American Top Team’s Attonito.

Roberts is entering this fight with a record of 3-2 in the UFC, but is coming off a loss to Claude Patrick at UFC 129 in April. He currently fights out of the Cesar Gracie camp in San Francisco, home to many talented fighters including Gilbert Melendez and Nick Diaz. His style of fighting is summed up easily: take it to the ground. Nine of his 12 wins have come by way of submission and he has as many knockouts as I do: zero.

His opponent, Attonito, competed in the eleventh season of The Ultimate Fighter on Chuck Liddell’s squad. His time of the show was short-lived, however, when he could no longer compete due to a broken hand. Since then, he has gone 2-1 in the UFC, but was defeated in his last bout as well. This will be his first try at 170 pounds, which will give him a bit of a strength advantage against Roberts.

As far as picking a winner, this is a tough call for me. Roberts will have the advantage on the ground, but Attonito will certainly have the upper hand on the feet. I’m going to take the stronger fighter in this one and go with Attonito. I just believe he can grind out the submission specialist to earn a decision victory.

Tatum: After watching UFC 129, I still haven’t been able to pinpoint whether Patrick is a more talented striker than I originally thought, or if Roberts is worse than I thought.  Stepping up on short notice to face Attonito is no easy task and my concern for “Ninja” is whether he has been able to tighten up any of his striking deficiencies over the past two months.

Attonito is dropping to welterweight following his first defeat in the UFC, against Dave Branch in the middleweight division.  I think this will be a beneficial move for the hard-nosed American Top Team product.  Had he not broken his hand during the eleventh season of The Ultimate Fighter, he may have won the show.

As Corey pointed out, Roberts’ path to victory is getting this fight to the ground.  Attonito’s gameplan has to focus on staying away from the mat.  Can he do it for a full three rounds?  I don’t think so.  I think Roberts will use his crafty submission game to lock in a choke late in the opening round to get back on track.

Price: This is a real tough one to call as one guy would appear to have an advantage on the ground and the other would appear to have an advantage on the feet and in the clinch. I just think that this fight will go to the mat and whomever ends up on top will have the upper hand throughout. Attonito is no slouch on the mat, but his submission game is inferior to that of Roberts. On the other hand, however, Roberts will want no part of a potential kickboxing bout with Attonito.

I actually think Attonito has enough BJJ skill to avoid being submitted, and he will win a judges’ decision by virtue of landing more strikes and gaining the top position on the ground.

LW: Joe Lauzon (19-6) vs. Curt Warburton (7-2)

Tatum: Another lightweight collision graces the undercard of this event, with 25-fight veteran Lauzon facing off against the Wolfslair’s Warburton.

On first glance, my initial thought is that the Boston native Lauzon will make short work of the Brit, likely by armbar.  But there are some enigma’s in both fighters’ pasts that leave me with a hint of doubt.

Lauzon has never been able to get himself into the top tier of the division, dropping fights to Kenny Florian, Sam Stout, and most recently George Sotiropoulos.  Entering his tenth bout in the Octagon, I still have my doubts about every aspect of his game aside from his submission skills.

Warburton has only competed in the UFC twice, dropping a decision to Spencer Fisher and defeating former WEC fighter Maciej Jewtuszko at UFC 127, also by decision.  Truthfully, if this fight stays standing, Warburton has the better striking skills, but I’m not confident that he has many ways to finish Lauzon.

Coming full circle, I’ll go with the logical choice of Lauzon by early submission.

Price: Much as I’d like to side with my fellow Brit, I just can’t see him winning this fight. Lauzon has more experience in and out of the UFC, and against more skilled opposition. I agree with Rob that he has never been able to break into the top tier, but I don’t personally feel that Warburton presents anywhere near the challenge of a Florian or Sotiropoulos.

Warburton will probably hold an edge on the feet, but I don’t think it will be enough to be able to knock out Lauzon, and that may ultimately be what he is required to do. I think this fight may almost be a step too far at this stage for Warburton, who I believe could be a real contender after another 8-10 fights.

I see Lauzon taking this to the ground early and getting a submission victory in the first round, although I’d love to be proved wrong from a patriotic point of view.

Adams: For Lauzon to make his way back to the top of the lightweight division, he must first take out the up-and-coming British prospect.

I have gotten the chance to watch some of Warburton’s fights, and believe he has a lot of potential. He showed his toughness in his fight with Spencer Fisher, but came out on the losing end. But when preparing for the Boston native, he must work on his submission defense.

“J-Lau” could definitely use a victory here. As Rob and Duncan mentioned, he hasn’t fared too well against top-level competition, but Warburton doesn’t have the same skill-set as Florian or Sotiropoulos. I think if Lauzon can get Warburton to the ground, the fight will be over quickly. I’m going to agree with my fellow writers and take Lauzon by early submission.

FW: Joe Stevenson (31-13) vs. Javier Vazquez (15-5)

Adams: In his first bout at featherweight, Joe “Daddy” Stevenson will look to get back on track, but in his way is Vazquez, making his UFC debut.

For Stevenson, a win is crucial in this one. The former lightweight title contender has completely lost his game, losing his last three fights. A loss to Vazquez could have him packing his bags to find work elsewhere.

Vazquez is a veteran of the WEC, compiling a 2-3 record. His most notable win came when he defeated former UFC lightweight

Joe Stevenson (Ken Pishna/MMA Weekly)

champion Jens Pulver back in 2010 at WEC 47. Vazquez has a Jiu-Jitsu background, coming out of the Gracie camp in California. Eleven of his 15 wins have come by way of submission, but he struggles in fights that go the distance, losing each of his fights by decision.

In this fight, I believe Stevenson will be more like his old self. His trainer, Greg Jackson, should have him as focused as ever. I’m going with Joe “Daddy” to get a much-needed decision victory.

Price: Stevenson is another UFC veteran that could do with a win on this card. He was previously heralded as one of the top lightweights in the sport, but recently he has suffered a few slightly surprising losses to the likes of Sotiropoulos, Mac Danzig and Danny Castillo. Stevenson has always been an excellent wrestler with good stamina, but unfortunately, he has not really evolved from there into a more complete all-around mixed martial artist. Recently his opponents have all too easily nullified his wresting, and often now even out-work him.

Vazquez is an excellent Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Don’t be surprised if Vasquez pulls guard or looks to pick the ankle, as he knows where his strengths lie and will certainly play to them. With his slick ground game, Vazquez can never truly be counted out of a fight.

I believe that in this instance, Stevenson will be able to outwork Vazquez and that will be a key to winning the fight. I’m going to go for Stevenson to win by judges’ decision, but I wouldn’t be at all shocked to see Vazquez win by submission.

Tatum: It is hard to pick against Stevenson, but as Duncan pointed out, he has failed to evolve as a fighter over the past few years.  After his ill-fated (and thoroughly bloody) title tilt with BJ Penn, he hasn’t been the same fighter.  Perhaps the drop in weight will help him utilize his wrestling more effectively, but you have to believe that this is his last chance to redeem himself inside the promotion.

Vazquez possess a slick submission game that has earned him the majority of his wins.  However, those skills won’t help him much against a veteran like Stevenson.  Both fighters are legitimate black belts and I can’t see either of them finishing one another.

This fight is a true coin flip for me.  My gut reaction was to pick Vazquez, but knowing that he has struggled against wrestlers, I believe Stevenson has the better skill set to win this fight.  “Daddy” survives to fight another day with a decision victory.

FW: Tyson Griffin (14-5) vs. Manny Gamburyan (11-5)

Price: Griffin will make his UFC featherweight debut in this wrestler versus judoka match-up. Griffin found it tough to stay in the lightweight division after three successive losses and decided to drop down to his more natural weight of 145 pounds. Primarily a wrestler, Griffin has also found some success on the feet by staying busy, landing his jab, and avoiding any heavy damage. He will be looking to establish himself as a title contender in this intriguing bout.

Gamburyan is a former UFC and WEC fighter who has found himself back in the UFC following the merger of the two promotions. He is the older cousin of UFC notable Karo Parisyan and both men are known for their excellent judo skills. Gamburyan holds several wins via submission, but I don’t believe his ground game is strong enough to submit Griffin or control him on the mat.

I see Griffin winning this one, as he has youth and experience on his side. I believe he will take Gamburyan down at will and look to ground-and-pound out a decision win.

Manny Gamburyan (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Tatum: As Duncan pointed out, this will be Griffin’s debut at featherweight, and it will be interesting to see if he has made adjustments to his attack following the three straight defeats.  Once considered a contender, Griffin moved away from his wrestling base, choosing to stand and trade with his opponents.  He paid dearly for this strategy against Takanori Gomi and was finished for the first time in his career with an embarrassing knockout.

Like Griffin, Gamburyan made the drop to 145 after an unsuccessful run at lightweight in the UFC.  A rejuvenated Gamburyan ran through his first three opponents in his more natural weight class before running into divisional kingpin Jose Aldo in September.  Following the failed title shot and the WEC-UFC merger, Gamburyan now makes his return to the UFC looking to rebound from the loss.

I also see this fight going the way of Griffin, so long as he returns to his wrestling roots.  Employing a strategy of striking alone against the heavy-handed Armenian may spell doom again, but I think Griffin will mix in plenty of takedowns en route to a clear-cut decision win.

Adams: I’m going to have to agree with my fellow panelists. In my opinion, this is a must win for Griffin. This will not be an easy fight for him by no means, however.

“The Anvil” Gamburyan made a statement in the WEC by knocking out former 145-pound champion Mike Brown, but was unsuccessful in his title shot against Aldo. He should be hungry to get back on track with a win over a tough fighter in Griffin.

Even with that said, I’m going to go with Griffin in this one. I think his training camp at Xtreme Couture will have him better prepared for this crucial bout. I’ll say he gets the win by decision.

Top Photo: Tyson Griffin (Tracy Lee/Combat Lifestyle)