2014 is winding down and there are only a handful of UFC events left, but the one I am the most excited for is UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic on Saturday, December 13th. Even though there are no titles up for grabs at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ, the card is stacked with great matchups; including a main card featuring three heavyweight bouts.

While the UFC heavyweight division is the weakest in the promotion, there is always something special about watching the big guys throw down. There is nothing quite like a heavyweight fight in combat sports; it may not be as fast paced or technical, but it always has you on the edge of your seat.

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Matt Mitrione

Getting things started on the main card is a bout between Gonzaga and Mitrione. Don’t expect to see this one go the distance as the two fighters have only heard the final bell four times combined.

Mitrione is the slight favorite heading into this bout, but I couldn’t tell you why. Every time Mitrione has taken on legitimate top 15 competition, he has come up short. He is a powerful and fluid athlete, but he just doesn’t have all of the tools to be a force in the division.

Even though Gonzaga’s championship window has closed, he remains one of the best heavyweight fighters in the world today. Gonzaga has great power to go along with one of the better ground games in the heavyweight division.

The Prediction: Gonzaga via second round submission

 

Alistair Overeem vs. Stefan Struve

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I remember when Overeem was considered to be the best heavyweight fighter in the world as he was dominating K-1 and lesser MMA promotions and he looked like an absolute beast when he stopped Brock Lesnar in the first round of his UFC debut. But things have not gone well since and Overeem is just 1-3 in his last four with all three losses coming by way of knockout.

Overeem is heading into his bout with Struve with his pride and his job both on the line. On paper, Overeem should come away with a dominant victory. But Overeem can’t sleep on Struve. Struve has been dealing with some serious health issues but he is a dangerous opponent and if he ever learned how to really use his height and length, he would be a serious threat to the title.

My head is telling me Overeem will come through and pick up the much needed victory, but I have a gut feeling that this will be the last time we see him in the Octagon again.

The Prediction: Struve via first round TKO

 

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Nate Diaz

The co-main event of the evening features a lightweight showdown between dos Anjos and Diaz and man, am I excited for this one. Love him or hate him, Diaz is one of the best lightweights in the world and he is coming into this bout with a major chip on his shoulder; he and the UFC haven’t exactly seen eye to eye. Dos Anjos on the other hand is coming off of the biggest, most impressive victory off his career and he knows that a win over Diaz puts him in the mix for a title shot.

I really think the outcome of this fight hinges on what dos Anjos’ game plan is. If he chooses to pick his shots and pressure Diaz against the cage, he will win. If he tries to stand in the pocket and trade with Diaz, he will lose.

While dos Anjos is the more explosive striker of the two, Diaz is one of the most technically sound boxers in MMA today and he will pick dos Anjos apart. Diaz may not have the one punch power to take dos Anjos out but with his accuracy and accumulation he can control the action.

The Prediction: Diaz via Unanimous Decision

 

Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic

Closing out the night is a tremendous heavyweight bout between top contenders dos Santos and Miocic. With champion Cain Velasquez out indefinitely with an injury and newly crowned interim champion Fabricio Werdum in need of an opponent, the winner of this bout will be in great position to get the call.

Dos Santos is a tremendous fighter, but he just doesn’t match up well with Velasquez, so this is his opportunity to regain UFC gold. But Miocic is a tough matchup for him because boxing and wrestling background. Miocic’s only loss came at the hands of Struve more than two years ago. Since then, he has looked better than ever racking up wins over Roy Nelson, Gonzaga and Fabio Maldonado.

Dos Santos is a heavy favorite heading into this bout, but Miocic is a live underdog. Given that dos Santos has been out of action for over a year while Miocic has remained active, I think cage rust will play a factor in this bout.

The Prediction: Stipe Miocic via Unanimous Decision