UFC 164 will shortly be upon us on Aug. 31 from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. The event features the long-awaited rematch between Benson “Smooth” Henderson and Anthony “Showtime” Pettis.

The last fight between these two, which took place at the final WEC event with Henderson’s lightweight belt on the line, contained possibly the most recognizable moment in MMA history. The “Showtime kick” has been seen around the world and talked about ever since, as has the prospect of a rematch between the two.

With the WEC having merged into the Zuffa Empire, the stars have now finally aligned to make this fight a possibility. This time Henderson’s UFC strap is at stake, and Pettis wants it.

Also on the card are some stylistically interesting match-ups, whether it be the possible grappling exhibition provided by co-main event fighters Frank Mir and Josh Barnett or the high-octane featherweight bouts between Chad Mendes and Clay Guida or Erik Koch and Dustin Poirier, there is certainly something to cater to all fighting demographics.

The action starts on Facebook at 6:30 p.m. ET with the first three fights on the card before moving over to the newly launched Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET and rounding out the night on pay-per-view, starting at 10 p.m. ET.

The MMA Corner presents the UFC 164 Round Table, with thoughts provided by Greg Byron, Kyle Symes and Gregory Chase on the entire 12-fight lineup.

FW: Erik Koch (13-2) vs. Dustin Poirier (13-3)

Symes: Dustin Poirier and Erik Koch have had the chance to insert themselves into the upper echelon of featherweight title contenders, but both have come up short.

Poirier lost a back-and-forth affair with “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung and also lost to the surging Cub Swanson. Sandwiched between the two losses was a dominant performance over Jonathan Brookins. It’s clear Poirier is good enough to beat the middle-of-the-road fighter, and the same could be said of Koch. The Roufusport talent has dangerous knockout power, as evidenced by his KO of Raphael Assuncao at UFC 128. However, the once promising career of Koch has been derailed numerous times by injuries, and it seems that staying healthy has become the biggest battle for Koch.

Will Koch will be able to handle the pressure Poirier will put on him? Anyone who has seen Poirier fight knows he likes to strike first and strike often. For a guy who fights so seldom like Koch, I’m not sold on him be able to withstand Poirier’s attack. Poirier has never been knocked out, and I’m sure Koch will look to test Poirier’s chin when given the opportunity.

Given that Poirier has moved his camp to American Top Team, I suspect we might see him use some takedowns and ground-and-pound to negate Koch’s power advantage. I’ll take Poirier by unanimous decision.

Chase: This is a great match-up, and one that carries some significance for the division. As my fellow panelist mentioned, Poirier has the talent to beat the best of the division and will come at his opponents with pressure that some have a hard time dealing with.

I agree with Kyle’s outlook for this fight. Poirier will look to take control and dictate it with pressure on Koch early. Koch isn’t going to give him much problem on the feet, but the ground is where Koch will want to take the fight. Koch, being the submission favorite, could very well steal this fight from Poirier. However, that requires Koch to get Poirier to the ground in the first place.

This is where Koch’s game will start to unwind. We will see him possibly test his striking, but realize Poirier is coming at him hard and fast. Therefore, Koch will want to look for the takedown. Once he doesn’t succeed, the frustration will put him in a spot where Poirier can capitalize and end this by TKO.

Byron: This is a fight that Koch had previously asked for, and he is now getting his wish. In fact, this fight had been booked previously only for Koch to pull out of the scheduled bout at UFC 143 with an injury.

These two have gone their own way since, but both remain top contenders at 145 pounds, with Koch being placed at No. 10 in the UFC official rankings, whilst Poirier sits slightly higher at No. 6.

Koch is looking to rebound from a losing effort against Ricardo Lamas, who is No. 2 in the rankings behind Chad Mendes, whom Koch has also lost to previously. However, Koch enters this fight looking to make a step back up the ladder with hopes of placing himself in position for a rematch against either Lamas or Mendes at some point.

Poirier, meanwhile, is placed in a similar position to Koch, in that two of his three losses came to fighters currently placed above him in the UFC’s rankings (fourth-ranked Cub Swanson and fifth-ranked Chan Sung Jung), and so opportunities at redemption may be on the horizon with a win in Wisconsin.

I expect this to be a close fight with a lot at stake for both fighters. It will be a fast-paced nip-and-tuck battle with Poirier coming out on top with a decision win, reaffirming why he is currently ranked higher than Koch.

HW: Ben Rothwell (32-9) vs. Brandon Vera (12-6)

Chase: This is an important fight for Ben Rothwell and Brandon Vera. Both are in need of a good comeback win after their previous fights. Stylistically, this should be an interesting striking display, but the main factor here that stands out is the cardio.

Rothwell can very well end this fight with one punch and has used his striking to make a robust career for himself. However, his stamina against Vera will not be impressive. Vera will keep his distance a little, tiring Rothwell out and looking for a submission. Vera may start slower, but as the time progresses, Vera will take the advantage.

I predict this fight will be messy, and it will end in a TKO. Whether it be an early power hit from Rothwell to Vera or Vera chipping away at a gassed Rothwell on the ground, this fight should end before ever reaching the second round. Vera by TKO.

Byron: This is a fight between two guys who have experienced all the ups and downs of being a professional mixed martial artist.

Brandon “The Truth” Vera debuted in the UFC heavyweight division in 2005, getting off to a great start with four consecutive wins, leading some to laud him as the future of the division. However, the potential that was seen in Vera at that time has never truly been realized, and losses to Tim Sylvia and Fabricio Werdum led to a move down to light heavyweight, where he has largely faltered, amassing a record of 4-4 with an additional no-contest in there also.

Whilst Vera has traversed between the UFC divisions, Rothwell has traversed the globe fighting in many different organizations before eventually finding his way to the UFC. Ever since leaving the now-defunct IFL organization in 2007, Rothwell has been unable to get back-to-back wins. His most recent performance was a submission loss to Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping.

If you were to look at the records of each fighter, you might get a skewed perspective on their careers. As impressive as Rothwell’s career looks on paper, he has not consistently fought the best guys in the world, whereas Vera has. Vera’s record contains some of the very best heavyweight and light heavyweight fighters of the last five years or so.

This fight will largely depend on what kind of mentality Vera shows up with. Did he move back up to heavyweight for performance reasons or simply because he didn’t not want to go through a weight cut to make 205 pounds?

Despite the loss to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Vera showed signs of a desire to win/compete that will see him through this fight. Assuming “The Truth” shows up like he did against Shogun, then I see him taking this fight via TKO in the second round.

Symes: As my fellow panelists said, Rothwell and Vera have experienced the highs and lows of an MMA career. Perhaps that is more the case with Vera, given that he was so close to becoming “the next big thing” prior to his contract dispute.

Rothwell is a journeyman fighter who has fought across a number of promotions. Everyone knows what he’s going to attempt to do—which is, attempt to knock his opponent’s head off—each time he steps in the cage. I don’t see that being an easy task given that he’ll be fighting a much faster, more athletic fighter in Vera.

Rothwell moves pretty well for a big guy and will of course have the size and strength advantage in this fight. Look for him to attempt to land bombs early and often with the hometown crowd behind him. The only problem with that method of thinking is that Rothwell’s conditioning is a big question mark. Yes, he’s looked great physically since the Brendan Schaub bout, but carrying around that much size is going to tire anyone not named Cain Velasquez.

That will be the difference in this fight as Rothwell will get sloppy looking for the one-punch KO, while Vera will likely look to utilize his Muay Thai skills with kicks. Rothwell can turn off the lights with a single punch, but Vera will be smart enough to avoid the heavy punches early on and wait until Rothwell tires to turn on the attack. Vera by TKO.

FW: Clay Guida (30-13) vs. Chad Mendes (14-1)

Byron: This is Clay Guida’s second appearance at featherweight, and he has been given a tough task against Chad Mendes. Guida’s first fight at 145 pounds was an interesting fight that showcased a lot of what MMA is about, including a potential judging controversy, given that one of the judges was actually friends with Guida on Facebook.

Guida has long been a high-profile name within the UFC. He competed at lightweight for many years and faced some of the best talents that division has had to offer. However, as is common these days, he decided to drop down a weight class after going on a two-fight skid.

In Mendes, Guida is facing a fighter brimming with confidence again after rebounding from the sole loss of his career against Jose Aldo. Mendes followed the loss by winning three straight fights in impressive fashion. Training at Team Alpha Male, he is part of an elite group of fighters that are mostly located in the lower weight divisions. So Mendes certainly has some healthy competition in his own gym, which is pushing him towards a second chance at Aldo.

As for second chances, this is a bout a long time in the making, with the two previously slated to face off at UFC on Fox 7 before an injury forced Guida out and Elkins, who survived just over a minute against a rampaging Mendes, in.

The pressure is on for Guida to really put on a show following several lackluster fights that have attracted some negative attention from fans and the UFC brass alike. Look for Guida to push the pace from the early going to disrupt Mendes, who has been a notoriously quick starter in each of his last three fights. Whilst Guida has never been knocked out, I feel that will change here and Mendes will continue his vicious streak and knock Guida out in the first round just like he did Darren Elkins and others before that.

Symes: Guida has somehow managed to go from perennial fan favorite to being on everyone’s shit list in a short period of time. Guida erased a lifetime of goodwill from the fans with the Gray Maynard fight, and his recent featherweight debut did little to make fans care about watching “The Carpenter.”

Mendes has also changed his career fortunes around, but in a positive way. The knock on Mendes since his WEC days has been that he wasn’t a finisher. He’s always been an explosive wrestler, but he lacked the knockout power or submission prowess to finish fights when given the opportunity. That’s seemingly changed, because, as my colleague pointed out, Mendes has been on an absolute tear recently.

Part of that is the much-hyped coaching of Duane “Bang” Ludwig with Team Alpha Male. It’s probably not as big of a game-changer as everyone (I’m looking at you, Joe Rogan) is making it out to be, but it definitely helps having a guy like Ludwig work on the intricacies of one’s striking game.

What I believe will be the difference in this fight is Mendes’ wrestling ability. However, it will not be for offense, but rather for defense. I don’t believe Guida has the takedown ability to get Mendes down from shooting double/single legs, and if he tries to use the clinch game, Mendes’ explosive ability will negate Guida’s offense.

As with any Guida fight following the Maynard bout, it’s a question of which Guida is going to show up. Will it be the “smart fighter” we saw against Maynard or the old Guida who came forward and gave fans an exciting fight from the opening minute to the closing seconds? Unfortunately for him, I don’t think it will matter. Mendes is simply a better fighter than Guida in every area. Mendes takes it by unanimous decision.

Chase: This has all the makings to be a great fight and one that could change levels very often. Both men are wrestlers and have proven themselves in that regard, but both come to exchange strikes just as much. They stay active and have a tenacity to make this fight exciting.

The wrestling may cancel itself out between the two, but the edge goes to Mendes. He will be stronger in that department, but Guida is going to be quick. Greg is right in suggesting that we could see Mendes getting the better of a striking exchange that could end up with Guida on the ground, but I see it as more of a TKO chance. One thing you can bet on: Guida will most likely start bleeding early on in the first and the fight will just look exciting and messy from that point on.

HW: Josh Barnett (32-6) vs. Frank Mir (16-7)

Chase: Josh Barnett is making his return, and he is paired against veteran Frank Mir.

This fight has all the makings for something exciting to happen. Barnett has something to prove in his return fight to the UFC, and he certainly wants to make a statement to the heavyweights and about his ranking amongst them.

However, Mir is in desperation mode. He is coming off two losses and needs a victory at UFC 164. The issue I have with Mir and my confidence in his ability to achieve this lies in his inconsistency. He seems to be a “different” fighter each time he fights. One fight, he’s a jiu-jitsu master, and the next, he can’t move or breathe better than a brick. Then, the next fight, he is a phenom in striking and knocks people out. Mir’s chances against Barnett depend on what “rejuvenation” or version of Mir we see.

Both men are coming in hungry to prove something, but Barnett is going to look dominant. We can all look forward to a very long and WWE-style post-fight interview that we can all roll our eyes to.

Symes: Oh, come on, Chase, you know you love the WWE-style promos.

Barnett is doing something very few fans considered possible by stepping foot in the Octagon once more. His issues with the UFC and the promotion’s president, Dana White, are well-documented, and many believed Barnett would be heading elsewhere when Strikeforce closed its doors. Despite being in the fight game since 1997, Barnett continues to fight at a high level. Where some of his colleagues have clearly slowed down, Barnett remains one of the best heavyweights in the world.

He’ll face another heavyweight MMA legend in Mir. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt is one of the best heavyweights in UFC history and possibly in the history of MMA as well. Everyone knows Mir’s greatest strength is his jiu-jitsu game, but he’s also developed a pretty decent striking game. He’s not going to win any technical contests, but Mir’s striking has grown tremendously throughout his career and complements his ground game very well.

As good as Mir’s ground game is, it will not be a factor in this fight. Barnett is excellent on the ground as well and won’t get caught in a submission while on top, which is where I expect Barnett to spend most of this fight. The issue with Mir’s BJJ skills is that he’s never had good enough takedowns to properly utilize it. Laying on your back with a 230- to 265-pound fighter on top of you isn’t fun.

Barnett has the better takedowns, and I suspect we’ll see that at UFC 164. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mir attempt to strike for the duration of the fight, but I don’t believe his takedown defense will be enough to stifle Barnett’s top-heavy game. Barnett via TKO.

Byron: Whilst fellow heavyweights Ben Rothwell and Brandon Vera will no doubt engage on their feet during their bout, it would be fair to say that when Barnett and Mir appear, everyone will be focusing on what would happen should the fight hit the floor.

These two are highly respected grapplers who promise to put on a real display of high-level grappling, which is not usually seen from the heavier guys in MMA. The fact that both have seen success primarily through grappling is not their only similarity. Both fighters won the UFC heavyweight championship previously, only for outside issues to end their reign without ever defending the belt (albeit very different outside issues).

Mir is a notoriously vicious submission specialist who wouldn’t have a second thought of tearing his opponent’s limb off, should it be required. Meanwhile, Barnett has been similarly emphatic with his own submission game.

Barnett is a complex character who has had an up-and-down career in mixed martial arts and especially in the UFC. He won the UFC title by beating Randy Couture, only to have his dream turn into a nightmare when he tested positive for steroids and was banished from the UFC. Despite this, Barnett continued to fight and also participated in pro wrestling in Japan. Now, after a long journey, he finds himself back in the UFC.

This fight promises much, and let’s hope it delivers on that promise. Stylistically, this is perhaps the most intriguing fight on the entire card. Mir is undoubtedly the most decorated heavyweight grappler to compete in the UFC, but in a catch wrestler like Barnett, he is facing someone with real prospects of defeating Mir at his own game.

Ultimately, I fear that this may be another example of two fighters’ canceling each other out, and it could end up being a battle of which grappler is the most well-rounded in other areas of mixed martial arts. Unlike my colleagues, I feel that this will give the edge to Mir, who has developed a respectable stand-up game and, under the tutelage of Greg Jackson, will be prepared to implement a game plan to stifle and frustrate Barnett. Mir by decision.

LW Championship: Benson Henderson (19-2) vs. Anthony Pettis (16-2)

Symes: Wow, this one is tough to call.

On one hand, lightweight champion Benson Henderson has looked incredible since coming to the UFC. In the WEC, he was a guy known for his slick submissions, but now Henderson is known for having one of the best all-around games in MMA today. He’s defeated a number of top guys, but hasn’t become a fan favorite due to his performances in his last few fights. The label of “point fighter” has been firmly placed on Henderson, and perhaps we’ll see the lightweight champ look for the finish here in order to silence the critics.

He shouldn’t need any extra motivation, however, as he faces the last man to beat him, Anthony Pettis. If you recall (and it should be pretty easy to remember), Pettis and Henderson engaged in a classic fight that was highlighted by the infamous “Showtime kick.” The highlight has haunted Henderson’s career since the first Pettis fight, and I’m sure he wants to erase that memory.

This fight comes down to how much Pettis has improved since their previous meeting. We’ve seen Henderson grow into one of the best lightweights in the world, but what about Pettis? He has improved, but has he done enough to beat Henderson again?

Pettis will need to have the best takedown defense of his life to fully utilize his striking skills.

I think this fight will go to a decision, and we’ll see another split verdict. It will go the way of the challenger, as I believe Pettis will land just enough significant strikes to sway the judges in his favor.

Byron: Just when we thought all hope of a “super fight” had been lost, we were gifted an opportunity to see not just a rematch of two great fighters, but a chance to re-live the now infamous “Showtime kick” that has been replayed time and again in every corner of the globe.

Henderson is an openly religious guy who believes in there being a plan pre-defined for all of us. When the news broke that Pettis was stepping in to replace T.J. Grant, his point seemed to have been made.

It seems like destiny that these two were to face off against each other at least one more time. Some conspiracy theorists claim Grant was paid off to fake an injury, whereas others believe it was just good timing. Regardless, this fight is on and it’s happening at UFC 164. It cannot fail to deliver excitement and intrigue from the opening bell.

Questions of how each fighter has progressed in the intervening period will be answered and it is likely we may see a very different fight than the last, given Henderson’s recent ability to dictate the fight in a GSP-esque style and strategy.

Since the last fight between these two, Henderson has positioned himself at the top of the lightweight division in the UFC due to a complete focus on his MMA career, and he is currently riding a seven-fight winning streak.

Since winning the WEC title against Henderson, Pettis has been one of the most unfortunate men in MMA in some respects. He has long been promised a title shot and now it finally materializes. He had even planned to drop down in weight to face Jose Aldo in an effort to ensure he got a title shot at long last. However, as has been the trend for Pettis, he did not take his place in the title fight after suffering an injury. It is this injury that is a concern leading up to the Henderson fight. Pettis was previously not expected to be fit to fight so soon, which therefore raises questions about Pettis’s fitness and whether he might fade in the later rounds due to a lack of preparation time.

Should Henderson get the job done against Pettis, it is a struggle to see who else might be a viable contender in the lightweight division. Henderson has defeated most of the top 10, and T.J. Grant is likely to need a tune-up fight once he is back from injury.

Overall, this promises to be a serious “Fight of the Year” candidate based on all that has gone before. I see this going into the championship rounds with both men going back and forth in the early going. My real concern is whether Pettis is truly recovered or just grabbing any title opportunity he can, whilst he can. With this in the front of my mind, I expect Henderson to pull away from Pettis in the later rounds to take a decision win and gain redemption.

Chase: I don’t think the kick was a fluke and wouldn’t take that away from Pettis, but I don’t think he will have the same performance as the first fight. That kick was a defining moment that made the decision for Pettis much clearer in the eyes of the judges, but I am not sold on the fact Pettis will run through Henderson here.

Henderson has proven over the years that he is a very tough guy to finish. Even when he is stunned or in a submission, you can’t count him out like you would other fighters in the same spot. His resiliency and durability, complemented by his own striking prowess and submission game, is what has led him to become champion.

Both men have a great arsenal of kicks and overall striking, and this has the making for “Fight of the Year,” as Greg suggested. I don’t think we will see a knockout, but maybe a TKO. However, I would bet more on a submission or a fantastic back-and-forth decision. I predict that Henderson will remain champ. It will be an exciting fight to watch, but the hype for Pettis to do something crazy again may end up disappointing us. However, maybe that expectation will fuel him to try some new things.

Preliminary Card
MW: Magnus Cedenblad (10-4) vs. Jared Hamman (13-5)

Byron: Going into this fight, it may be difficult to remember Magnus Cedenblad’s last fight in the UFC. It came in April 2012 in a losing effort to Francis Carmont and marked the Swede’s promotional debut. Hamman has also had his problems and is likely fighting for his future as well. Hamman’s last win was against C.B. Dollaway over two years ago. Expect this to be a stand-up fight. With both fighters being in danger of being cut, Hamman gets the win in this one via knockout.

Chase: Well put by my fellow panelist: This will be a stand-up fight, and one that both need desperately to win. Although both men have striking prowess, this will be the exodus for one of them, and even the victor will see his exodus in the next bout he takes. Hamman by a devastating knockout early in the fight.

Symes: Both guys have been on the shelf for a very long time. There will be a lengthy feeling-out process initially, but ultimately I’m going to make it a clean sweep by picking Hamman for the win. He’s faced better competition and has fought more recently, even if it is only by a few months.

LW: Ryan Couture (6-2) vs. Al Iaquinta (5-2-1)

Symes: People get too hung up on Ryan Couture’s last name and expect big things from him, despite the fact that he has only had eight fights. The popular pick will be to choose Couture based off name recognition and the fact that Iaquinta is coming back from a lengthy layoff. Normally I go with the more active fighter, but I see Iaquinta finishing the young Couture via TKO.

Chase: Tough to say, but I am leaning toward Couture on this one. Iaquinta has had a long time away from the Octagon, and Couture, even though he is coming off a loss, will have the skill set to take control of this fight early on. Expect to see Ryan “Randy” his way to a decision win with some wrestling and use of the cage to stop Iaquinta’s game. In winning, Couture will somewhat lackluster-ly advance his way back up the ladder of the division.

Byron: Fresh off the back of a UFC debut defeat, Couture is looking to establish himself as a UFC-caliber fighter much like his father before him. Couture was expected to face Quinn Mulhern until an injury led to Iaquinta stepping in with only around a month’s notice. Additionally, Iaquinta is coming off a long layoff due to injury, and as such, I expect Couture to utilize a grinding style to outwork the TUF veteran and gain his first win in the UFC, albeit by a decision.

HW: Nikita Krylov (15-1) vs. Soa Palelei (18-3)

Chase: Soa Palelei is going to come in and win this fight against Nikita Krylov in very decisive fashion. Palelei’s striking is fast and effective, and he is coming into the UFC with huge momentum behind him, riding an eight-fight winning streak. His return to the Octagon will be much better than his last, and he will walk out with a knockout victory.

Byron: “The Hulk” returns to the UFC having last tasted defeat against Daniel Cormier in November 2010 before rebounding with those eight wins. Despite this impressive run, he has not fought outside Australia since December 2007 when he lost to UFC vet Eddie Sanchez. In fact, he has lost every time he has fought away from Australia. Although Krylov is largely outmatched in terms of fighting experience, the inability of Palelei to get the job done outside his homeland is a real worry. The problem I have with Krylov in this one is that he is a complete unknown quantity. It is difficult to say how he will fare on the big stage against much more experienced competition. With this in mind, Palelei is the most likely winner by way of capitalizing on his opponent’s infamous Octagon jitters. The Australian will live up to his nickname and smash his opponent, winning by KO in the first round.

Symes: An international game of toss-up in this one. On one hand, there’s Krylov, a highly regarded prospect from Russia who remains a relative unknown to many. On the other is Palelei, who will be making his UFC return since losing to Sanchez. I’ll pick the more known fighter of the two, as Krylov will undoubtedly have some adjusting to do for not only fighting in the UFC but also traveling overseas. Palelei via TKO.

BW: Chico Camus (12-4) vs Kyung Ho Kang (11-6)

Byron: Chico Camus and Kyung Ho Kang walk into this fight coming off losses—Camus to Dustin Kimura via submission and Kang via a controversial decision to Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres before the fight was declared a no-contest due to Caceres failing the post-fight drug test. Camus will no doubt be in top condition after having gone through his training camp alongside title challenger Anthony Pettis at Roufusport. I expect this top-quality training to pay off. Camus will keep the fight standing and earn a TKO victory against the South Korean.

Symes: I’m always wary of picking fighters from places like South Korea, Japan, China, etc., because so few have had success when coming to the UFC. Camus had an incredibly bad game plan for his fight with Kimura, so hopefully he’ll be better prepared this time around. With the hometown crowd backing him, Camus will win via decision.

Chase: I have to go with my fellow panelists on this one, as much as I like rooting for Korean fighters. Camus is going to come in prepared and hungry to get back that loss he just suffered and will make a statement against Kang. I will also predict a TKO victory for Camus.

WW: Pascal Krauss (11-1) vs. Hyun Gyu Lim (11-3-1)

Chase: This is a classic striker vs. grappler affair, and I have to go with the striker this time. “The Ace,” Hyun Gyu Lim, is a finisher and is well-rounded enough to get the job done wherever the fight goes. His losses have come by submission, but I think his striking will get the better of Pascal Krauss.

Symes: Lim is a big fighter, but all that size requires a lot of fuel. In the end, Krauss’ ground game will wear down Lim enough to allow Krauss to grab a submission victory.

Byron: This is a battle of rising stars in the welterweight division. Lim has not lost in the last four years and is undefeated in the UFC so far. Krauss has only lost once in his professional career, to British standout John Hathaway. Lim is quite possibly the biggest welterweight in the division, with a reach to match almost anyone in the entire UFC, let alone the 170-pound division. Although Lim is also well-known for having tapped commentator Joe Rogan during a training session, I expect him to utilize the reach advantage in this one and out-strike Krauss on the feet, keeping the German on the outside en route to a decision win.

FlyW: Tim Elliott (9-3-1) vs. Louis Gaudinot (6-2)

Symes: Man, the UFC really doesn’t care about the flyweights, do they? Considering Louis Gaudinot could be in line for a title shot or No. 1 contender’s bout with a win, it’s pretty shocking to see this fight so low on the card. Tim Elliott’s biggest win is against an over-the-hill Jens Pulver. Meanwhile, Gaudinot holds a victory over fellow contender John Lineker. Advantage, Gaudinot.

Byron: Gaudinot is definitely a prospect in the flyweight division and rebounded from a disappointing loss to Johnny Bedford by beating Lineker via submission. Meanwhile, Elliott has faced some stars of the future and the past in recent fights. His KO win over Pulver brought him an invitation to the UFC, though for his first fight he was placed opposite John Dodson, who got the victory on his way to a title shot. Gaudinot is no stranger to an entertaining fight, earning “Fight of the Night” rewards for his victory over Lineker. Likewise, Elliott is not afraid of getting involved in a back-and-forth battle, as evidenced by his victory over Jared Papazian during which a lot of blood was spilled. I think this fight has real promise to be a fast-paced battle of attrition. Gaudinot with another submission victory.

Chase: This is a tough one to call, but I will have to go with Gaudinot. He has the better momentum going into this and is a much better finisher when it comes to higher-caliber opponents. Elliott has had some great finishes in his earlier career, but that was outside of the UFC and in much lower promotions. Once he got to the UFC, his fights have become decision-based affairs, and that approach will not work as well against Gaudinot. Gaudinot takes this one by submission.

LW: Gleison Tibau (27-9) vs. Jamie Varner (21-7-1)

Byron: Jamie Varner is looking to continue his resurgence with a victory over one of the biggest lightweights in the entire division. After a five-year absence, Varner returned to the UFC to upset highly touted prospect Edson Barboza. Meanwhile, Tibau has had mixed success in the last couple of years, going 2-2 during that period despite being on a three-fight winning streak prior to that. Whilst Tibau’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu does offer problems for a wrestler such as Varner, the former WEC champion will continue his impressive form of late by beating Tibau via decision.

Chase: I’m excited for this fight! Both guys are tough and have the energy to really work for their wins. They have had some ups and downs over the past few years, but even though their outcomes vary, their fighting remains consistent. This is a style match-up, and Tibau has the advantage on the ground, which will prove to be the winning hand in this fight.

Symes: For any fight involving Tibau, there’s a mandatory, “Wow, how does this guy make 155 pounds?!” remark. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, Tibau’s size will play into this fight. Wrestling a man who will weigh far more than 155 pounds on fight night will be taxing for Varner. Given that he’ll be more aggressive, Varner will get the finish and continue his career resurgence.

Photo: Benson Henderson (James Law/Heavy MMA)

About The Author

Greg Byron
Staff Writer

Greg Byron started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu after his brother introduced him to a local MMA fighter/coach when he was just 16 years old. Greg has trained for nearly a decade in both BJJ and MMA, competing in several grappling events within the UK. In addition to MMA, Greg possesses a law degree and works for a firm in northern part of England.