Fighters seeking to get back on track and young blood looking to make an impression on the UFC brass.

It’s the story of most UFC preliminary cards, and UFC Live 6 is no different.

While fighters such as Yves Edwards, Josh Neer and Keith Wisniewski sport lengthy resumes and desire at least one more run of success inside the Octagon, and others including Shane Roller, T.J. Grant and Rafaello Oliveira seek to climb up the contender’s ladder, a young batch of fighters including Walel Watson, Joseph Sandoval, Paul Sass, Mike Easton, Byron Bloodworth and Michael Johnson want to put their mark on the sport. All will get their opportunity this Saturday evening at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

The entire preliminary card is expect to stream live on the UFC Facebook page, though the promotion has not officially announced the stream or its start time.

The MMA Corner panel of Chase Buzzell, Duncan Price and Richard Wilcoxon breaks down all six prelim bouts in this edition of the Round Table.

BW: Walel Watson (8-2) vs. Joseph Sandoval (6-0)

Wilcoxon: This event kicks off with two newcomers to the UFC trying to make their mark. Watson is a veteran of a number of smaller promotions including Tachi Palace Fighting. He has won eight of his last nine fights while finishing seven of them via submission. He will also have a height and reach advantage, standing at 5-foot-11.

Sandoval has fought primarily for Shark Fights. He seems to win by either strikes or by decision.

For two guys I don’t know much about, I will lean towards the one with the size advantages. Watson by third-round choke.

Buzzell: Sandoval’s approaching debut reminds me of the early days of MMA fighting when a fighter with little experience and training would throw their hat in the ring and get an opportunity to win on the biggest stage. Sandoval only made his MMA debut in April of last year. With little more than a year of professional experience, Sandoval is getting his opportunity. The UFC must have a lot of confidence in him, given that there are a number of fighters out there with greater experience, or this is an indictment on a thin weight class (pun not intended).

Although a lot of hype usually surrounds an undefeated fighter such as Sandoval, there is a deeper storyline to this match-up. Watson’s record may have two blemishes on it, however he has fought stiffer competition and has finished all of his opponents, whereas Sandoval has gone to the cards three times in his six wins. Lastly, Watson also has an experience edge on Sandoval, fighting professionally for almost twice as long as Sandoval.

Watson by submission.

Price: Like Richard, I know little to nothing about these two combatants, so it’s very difficult to give an honest and informed opinion on the outcome of the fight.

Purely by looking at their records and apparent attributes, I will pick Watson to win by submission. He has more experience and seems to win his bouts more decisively.

WW: Josh Neer (31-10-1) vs. Keith Wisniewski (28-12-1)

Buzzell: Neer and Wisniewski have 83 professional fights between them, which adds up to a plethora of ring experience. Add in the quality of competition each respective fighter has faced and this match should provide excellent entertainment for both the novice or experienced MMA fan and everyone in between. With each fighter sporting relatively similar win-loss records, the fight should be close. However, a fight to the judges’ cards may be tempered by Neer’s ability to knock out his opponent. Wisniewski, on the other hand, has shown little power in his professional career, only knocking out five opponents on his way to 28 victories.

Josh Neer (Paul Hernandez/Sherdog)

Neer appeared in 19 professional fights before making his UFC debut back in 2006. However, after going 2-3 in the UFC, Neer was dropped. Now, Neer returns to the UFC with a four-fight contract in hand and the motivation to solidify his career and cement his tenure in the world’s largest MMA organization. His opponent Wisniewski has less experience in the Octagon, appearing once and losing once to the always game Nick Thompson, but has the motivation to make an impression on the big stage.

Look for Wisniewski to exert his excellent submission skills (the product of 15 professional wins). However, Neer is no slouch and can roll with the best of them on the mat, or stand up and bang if called upon. All in all, this looks like a good match on paper and fans should not be disappointed.

Price: As Chase says, Wisniewski does possess solid ground skills, but looking at his career victories I don’t see him being able to tap Neer. The highest profile fighter he’s ever submitted is Pete Spratt and I think that speaks for itself. Wisniewski is a veteran of over 40 bouts, but he’s never really converted that into anything meaningful, perhaps he can now.

Although Neer is not perhaps the force he was back in the day, he does have real Octagon experience against top-level competition. Neer actually went 2-3 again in the UFC upon rejoining the promotion in 2008, but he was by no means embarrassed by the losses, all of which came by decision. With good hands and decent ability on the mat, Neer holds a distinct advantage in this match-up.

Wisniewski is a game competitor, but Neer is a level above. Neer dominates the fight throughout, but will not be able to finish Wisniewski, on his way to a unanimous decision victory.

Wilcoxon: These two long-time veterans should put on an entertaining battle. As my colleagues have said, Wisniewski has a more ground-based attack. And while he has faced some big names, he has lost to most of them.

Neer, on the other hand, holds a more varied attack. He has shown both knockout power and submission skills. He has managed victories over some solid competition. It may look like his best days have passed him by, but he is still only 28.

This fight is Neer’s to lose. I look for a late-round stoppage or a convincing decision.

LW: Shane Roller (10-4) vs. TJ Grant (16-5)

Price: Former WEC fighter Shane Roller announced himself to the UFC audience with an impressive second-round knockout of tough veteran Thiago Tavares. Unfortunately, when Roller was given the opportunity to meet a true lightweight contender in his next appearance, he was knocked out by a rampant Melvin Guillard. Roller has seemed happy to trade strikes in his first two UFC outings, but he is an accomplished wrestler and holds several victories by submission.

T.J. Grant (Andy Cotterill/Sherdog)

Although not necessarily a household name, Canadian TJ Grant has actually fought six times in the UFC. Don’t get over-excited though: Grant’s record is just 3-3, and probably his most notable success was a split decision win over Ryo Chonan way back in 2009. It is fairly safe to say that if he doesn’t win here, he will more than likely be cut. Grant is a good wrestler and grappler who holds many victories via submission. However, he has yet to tap anyone in the UFC, which makes me question the pedigree of his previous opponents.

Roller is the more well-rounded guy and I don’t think Grant has an advantage in any area, whether it be on the feet or on the ground. Roller takes this one by TKO due to punches in the second round.

Wilcoxon: As Duncan said, Grant may not be a household name, but he is a UFC veteran many times over. Grant’s bread and butter has been his wrestling and submission skills. He will have another advantage in this fight. Grant has been a welterweight in the past and is making the cut down to lightweight. I expect him to have a size advantage come fight time.

Shane Roller (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

However, styles make fights and the styles do not favor Grant. Grant will want to get this fight to the mat where he can execute a submission. The problem is Roller is a former Big-12 champion and collegiate All-American. He should be the better wrestler and be able to dictate where this fight happens.

Grant’s size advantage does give him hope to be able to wear down Roller, but I think Roller keeps the fight standing and agree with Duncan on the second-round TKO victory.

Buzzell: My colleagues have done an impressive job of laying out the dynamic between Roller and Grant, and I mostly agree with their assessment.

I concur that Grant will not be able to take this fight to the mat given Roller’s accomplished wrestling background. Even if Grant does execute a takedown, it will be hard to keep Roller down and Grant does not have a submission win in the UFC. Moreover, Grant’s size advantage may actually play as a disadvantage. Time and time again, fighters attempt to make a cut to a lower weight class and the cut proves to be too much of a depletion of strength and energy. If Grant has to work hard to take Roller down, by the time Grant gets Roller to the mat he may already be spent, making his questionable jiu-jitsu less effective.

Look for Roller to keep it standing, or if it does go to the mat look for Roller to be on top. Roller via unanimous decision.

BW: Mike Easton (10-1) vs. Byron Bloodworth (6-1)

Buzzell: One would not think that a bantamweight would bear the name “The Hulk,” however Easton lives up to his billing as an impressive athletic specimen, but looking the part does not transpire into a quality fighter. Easton can silence the critics with a successful UFC debut. Prior to the forthcoming match against Bloodworth, Easton has fought questionable competition and his one landmark win against Chase Beebe was very controversial, even winning an award for its hometown judging.

Little it known about Bloodworth other than he has fought far below average competition on the local MMA circuit. The fact that Bloodworth is taking this fight on short notice is quite the disadvantage, but also allows him to have a go-for-broke mentality. Easton, on the other hand, has the advantage of training and preparing for a fight, but let’s remember he was training for Jeff Hougland and not Bloodworth. This can also serve to be a disadvantage, walking into a fight having to revamp a fight strategy to fight a guy that little is know about.

Mike Easton (Fred Haas/Sherdog)

Nevertheless, given the poor quality of fighters that Bloodworth has faced and the presumed excellent conditioning of Easton, a physical specimen, Easton should take this fight early. Easton by first-round referee stoppage.

Wilcoxon: Let me be clear, Easton did not beat Beebe. He was out-grappled and spent most of two rounds with Beebe on his back. It was one of the worse cases of hometown judging I have ever witnessed in MMA.

With that out of the way, Easton is a big guy for the weight class who is a good striker and a better brawler. He should have the striking advantage over most guys he will face, but he doesn’t have knockout power. He also has not fought in two years.

Bloodworth is not someone I know much about. However, coming in on less than a week’s notice is not the best way to introduce yourself to the world. A quick glance at his record also shows he has faced questionable competition.

Talk about a change of fortunes. I would have predicted Hougland for an easy victory in the original match-up, but this late substitution is a blessing for Easton. I am still not overly impressed by what I have seen from him and ring rust and UFC jitters are still concerns, but Bloodworth had no time to train and will be facing the same jitters. Easton will take this by a late TKO or a decision.

Price: It’s incredibly tough to come into a fight on such short notice and win, and I can’t see Bloodworth doing so here.

I can’t say that I know a lot about each competitor, but it seems to me that Easton has the greater experience and the better training partners of the two.

As well as having decent striking ability, Easton is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and he will make that count with a submission victory over the rookie Bloodworth in the third round.

LW: Michael Johnson (9-5) vs. Paul Sass (11-0)

Wilcoxon: Johnson is the former TUF fighter who made it to the finals using his athletic ability and strong wrestling. He is 1-1 in the UFC. If he can use his speed and athleticism to mix his striking and takedown attempts, he can be a dangerous fighter.

Sass is a long and lanky fighter in the lightweight division. The British fighter has finished 10 of his 11 victories via submission.

Johnson has lost three fights via submission. Add to it that Sass specializes in the triangle, meaning he works well off his back, and I have to go with the upset. I will take Sass by a second-round submission.

Price: This is in fact Sass’ second bout in the UFC, as he defeated Canadian Mark Holst at UFC 120 in London. Even though he is infamous for winning by triangle, Holst was unable to stay out of the submission and Sass tapped him in the very first round.

I like Sass a lot, he is certainly one of the best prospects in British MMA. If he can raise his all-round game to match his impressive grappling skills, he will go far in the lightweight division.

Johnson is an explosive guy in both his striking and his wrestling. I don’t see him wanting to go to the ground with Sass, so he will more than likely be looking for a knockout. Looking back at Johnson’s career record, nothing really stands out. He seems to be in limbo between the established fighters and the also-rans.

I just don’t see Johnson improving his record here. Sass is solid, if unspectacular, on the feet, but I do think he can submit Johnson on the mat. That decisive advantage should allow the Brit to defeat Johnson by triangle choke in the second round.

Buzzell: It is unusual to be talking about a Brit who is known for his submission skills, but Sass bucks the trend of British fighters who rely heavily on their sharp, crisp hands while attempting to avoid a fight going to the mat.

Johnson is no doubt an explosive fighter. However, such attributes only will take a fighter to a certain level. Johnson will dance with the skills that brought him to the UFC party, but when up against competition that is on another level when compared to the local MMA events, the skills Johnson possesses are tempered.

Look for Sass to take the fight to the mat one way or another. If Sass can control Johnson’s explosive nature and avoid most ground-and-pound punishment, he will catch Johnson in a submission and end the fight.

LW: Yves Edwards (40-17-1) vs. Rafaello Oliveira (14-4)

Price: Yves Edwards has been a mainstay in the MMA community for years. With 58 fights, he’s experienced to say the least. He got off to a good start in his most recent UFC stint with two straight victories, but came up short in his most recent bout against Sam Stout when he was viciously knocked out in just the first round.

Edwards is a well-rounded combatant and he actually holds almost as many wins by knockout as he does by submission. In the early days, he was known as an innovative striker and agile grappler, but time has not been kind and many other fighters have long since overtaken or at least matched him in terms of ability. Whilst Edwards can still compete to a high standard, a run at the title is beyond his means at this stage in his career.

Rafaello Oliveira is cashing in on some goodwill he earned with the UFC when he faced Gleison Tibau at UFC 130 on just a week’s notice. Typically, if a fighter agrees to step in as a late replacement the promotion will reward them with at least one more fight, this time with adequate time to train. He was ultimately unsuccessful against Tibau and actually suffered his first-ever submission defeat, a tough pill to swallow for the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Oliveira has been cut by the UFC before, in early 2010, and if he is unsuccessful against Edwards, I see him heading out the through same door.

Against a man whose primary area of ability is on the ground, Edwards is surely going to want to use his grappling and ground skills in reverse to try and score a knockout. It’s going to be an uphill battle for Oliveira, as I can’t foresee a definitive game plan that will win him the fight. If this plays out the way it does in my head, Edwards picks Oliveira apart on the feet and scores a TKO victory in the first round.

Buzzell: Very few professional fighters are as well-traveled as Yves Edwards. Edwards has fought in UFC, PRIDE, WEC, Strikeforce, Bellator and EliteXC to name a few organizations. He had four year lay-off from the UFC, but since his return has put together two impressive wins.

Unfortunately, Edwards lost his last fight to Stout, thus Edwards looks to get back on track with a win over the dangerous Oliveira. Oliveira has also been in and out of the UFC and unfortunately has dealt with fighting on short-notice and as a replacement fighter more than once. He is probably looking forward to the stability of having his second fight in a row in the UFC and knowing who his opponent is.

However, knowing who Edwards is may also strike some fear into Oliveira, as Edwards is equally dangerous on his feet or on the ground. Given Oliveira’s youth and explosiveness, look for Olivera to push the pace, similar to his bout against Nik Lentz, but don’t expect Oliveira to gas. A victory against a well-known fighter such as Edwards will catapult Oliveira’s career.

Wilcoxon: Once upon a time, Edwards was one of the best lightweights in the world. His version of jiu-jitsu he called “Thugjitsu” and knockout power made him a risk on both his feet and the ground. Edwards is now 34 and coming closer to the end of an amazing career, but he is still dangerous.

Oliveira is also a well-rounded fighter, but he clearly prefers the ground.

Neither man is a dynamic wrestler and there lies the path to victory for both. Edwards will need to show takedown defense, something he has rarely displayed in his illustrious career. While Oliveira can stand for awhile, he will eventually need to get this fight to the ground. In a true toss-up, I am going to lean towards Oliveira eking out a decision.

Top Photo: Yves Edwards (Esther Lin/Combat Lifestyle)