UFC Fight Night 30 will showcase No. 5-ranked middleweight Mark Munoz against training partner and former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Munoz will try to continue his climb back up the ladder since his knockout loss to current middleweight champion Chris Weidman last year, while Machida will look to make a statement in his 185-pound debut and hope for a spot on the short list of contenders as he tries to become the third fighter in UFC history to win a title in two weight classes.

The co-main event pits UFC veterans Ross Pearson and Melvin Guillard in a lightweight showdown to determine who still has what it takes to compete with the upper echelon of the division and who should start looking for other career aspirations. Guillard was able to stop his downward spiral and prolong his career with an impressive second-round knockout over Mac Danzig at UFC on Fox 8. Pearson has strung together two TKO wins in his return to lightweight.

Also on the main card is a light heavyweight bout with “Knockout of the Night” written all over it. Jimi Manuwa has finished all 13 of his opponents, 12 of them by knockout or TKO, whereas Ryan Jimmo tied the record for fastest knockout in UFC history at UFC 149. Both fighters are at the same relative point in their UFC careers, and a big win here could propel either to the next level of stardom.

Another bout pairing up-and-comers is the lightweight contest between The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes winner Norman Parke and Jon Tuck. This will be Parke’s second bout since winning his season of TUF and Tuck’s sophomore appearance with the promotion. This fight does not have the most attention on it, but lightweight scraps with two hungry fighters always make for “Fight of the Night” candidates.

Also fighting in the middleweight division is Alessio Sakara, as he welcomes Nicholas Musoke to the UFC. Sakara is coming into this bout on a three-fight losing streak, with his last bout opposite Patrick Cote being declared a disqualification. A rematch was in the works, but Cote has since dropped to welterweight. Musoke is the training partner of Sakara’s original opponent, Magnus Cedenblad. It’s possible both fighters are on the chopping block going into this bout, so expect them to fight that way.

The televised card opens with a flyweight bout that pits unheralded Phil Harris against No. 5-ranked John Lineker. Harris will be fighting in front of a hometown crowd and looks to upset the Brazilian, as Lineker will seek to increase his winning streak to four and move further up the ladder towards a title shot.

UFC Fight Night 30 takes place at the Phones 4 U Arena in Manchester, England on Oct. 26. The night kicks off with the preliminary card on Facebook at 12:15 p.m. ET, with the main card airing on Fox Sports 2 (formerly Fuel TV) at 3 p.m. ET.

The MMA Corner’s Justin Fuller, Dan Kuhl and Trey Downey break down the entire card in this edition of the Round Table.

FlyW: Phil Harris (22-10) vs. John Lineker (22-6)

Kuhl: Kicking off the main card of the evening are two well-seasoned veterans of the game in Brazil’s John Lineker and England’s Phil Harris. What’s unusual about these guys is that they combine for 60 pro fights, but when you add their ages up, it’s only 53. They have more fights than the collective years they have been alive.

Lineker and Harris were supposed to meet up in August, but Harris had to pull out with a broken orbital bone. Lineker fought Jose Maria Tome instead and earned a TKO in the opening minute of the second round. Finally, the two are set to meet this weekend on Harris’s home turf.

Both of these guys have a lot of miles and have only lost once in the last few years, but, where Harris is more of a few-fight-a-year, 30-year-old journeyman-type fighter, Lineker is a young, 23-year-old wrecking machine. Flyweights are not really known for their knockout power, yet Lineker has 10 knockouts in his young career, two of which were inside the Octagon. Lately, most of Harris’s fights have been going to decision, and 13 of his opponents have been stopped by submission, setting this up for a classic striking versus grappling affair.

Lineker is young, hungry and has been in the ring 18 times in the last three and a half years, racking up 17 wins in that time. His sole loss was a technical submission doled out by the UFC’s Louis Gaudinot. In that same amount of time, Harris is 5-1 with his loss also coming by submission.

Lineker is a mean up-and-comer with his biggest drawback being his tendency to miss weight. Other than that, Harris will have his hands full and is lucky to be fighting on English soil. Regardless of location, Lineker should take this one handily by early TKO.

Downey: Flyweights kicking off the main card is always a great sign. Just look at this past weekend with John Dodson and Darrell Montague. I think these two guys will be able to start off this show just as well.

As Dan said, this fight has taken a few months longer to come to fruition than originally expected. The home Octagon advantage has shifted in the favor of Harris now that the fight is taking place in England rather than Brazil. Lineker has indeed had trouble cutting weight in the past, and he missed weight in his last bout at UFC 163. There has been less time in between these two bouts, so Lineker has had less time to get out of shape. Still, Lineker is making the trek across the pond, something that has a history of making weight cuts rough.

These guys aren’t too far off from a title shot in this one. It is entirely conceivable that the winner could find himself in a No. 1 contender’s bout against Dodson after this one. Harris is 1-1 in the UFC, but with the flyweight division still building, he could find himself very close. He will have to try to take this one to the ground. Lineker is a killer on the feet and will look to finish the fight there.

Lineker’s biggest battle in this one might be making the weight. He has the advantage as far as skills go, but for the UFC to put faith in a fighter for a title shot, that fighter has to make the weight. I think Lineker has learned his lesson. He makes weight and earns a first-round TKO.

Fuller: The only thing wrong with this fight is that not enough people know who these guys are already. The flyweight division was judged harshly from the get-go, but so long as knockout specialists like Lineker keep delivering, the momentum will keep building. The placement of this fight on the card is a good example of the UFC’s long-term commitment to the division.

Harris is a game opponent who will have the hometown advantage. It will be interesting to see how Lineker copes with that, since he’s spent the majority of his professional and UFC career fighting in Brazil. But even with a big win and a U.K. following, Harris’s name won’t be realistically considered for a shot at the champ for quite a while. Of course, the only way to get there is to win big on Saturday night. A follow-up fight against the winner of Ian McCall and Scott Jorgensen would be a nice encore.

Dan and Trey have already hammered home the issues with Lineker’s inconsistency with weight, but no one can deny that if he adds to his current three-fight winning streak, especially if he does so with another impressive finish, then a title shot in just over the horizon.

MW: Nicholas Musoke (10-2-1) vs. Alessio Sakara (15-10)

Downey: This middleweight match-up features a man fighting for his promotional life and an Octagon newcomer.

This is Alessio Sakara’s last gasp in the UFC. He is coming off of three straight losses, and with the continuing comments from UFC President Dana White that the roster is too huge, Sakara must win to stay with the company.

Sakara must have had a hard time preparing for this fight. Musoke is the third opponent he has been scheduled to face, after Tom Watson and Magnus Cedenblad both bowed out due to injuries. Sakara’s last three bouts have all been against top-flight competition. That has been the story of Sakara’s career. He has been able to put together a few decent winning streaks, but has suffered setbacks once he reaches the top half of the division.

Musoke comes into his Octagon debut on short notice. The Swede is stepping in for his injured teammate, Cedenblad. Although Musoke wasn’t necessarily preparing for this fight, game-planning for Sakara had certainly been going on in the gym. Musoke hasn’t lost in over two years, and eight out of his 10 professional victories have come by the way of a finish.

An interesting thing to point out in this bout is that Musoke normally fights at welterweight and more than likely just accepted this middleweight bout to get his opportunity at the big time. Sakara is also a big 185-pounder, so he will have the size advantage in this one. However, Musoke will have the speed advantage and use that in a striking match-up where he gets a unanimous decision victory.

Fuller: What is it with Swedish fighters getting injured and having their training partners step in? I’m not saying conspiracy, but it does seem like a sneaky way to help expedite a friend into the UFC. Either way, any UFC fighter who has a booking against a Swedish fighter in Europe should be on the look out for last minute changeups.

It’s no secret Sakara is on his last leg, and while he may be an exciting and popular fighter, it’ll be hard to cry foul play if he gets cut after adding on to his losing streak. As has been pointed out already, he’s the bigger, more experienced fighter, so this is his fight to lose. He needs to win, and the more convincing, the better.

Musoke is in a bit of a win-win situation. He’s taking a fight on short notice, making his promotional debut and going up a weight class. In a way, he’s “taking one for the team.” So, as long as he doesn’t end up on the wrong end of a completely boring match-up, I doubt this will be the last time we see him compete inside the Octagon, win, lose or draw.

Of course, a win for Musoke over an established veteran like Sakara, on the main card nonetheless, would not only guarantee him a multi-fight contract, but would also immediately put him on the same level of guys like Andrew Craig and Luke Barnatt, who have already been around the UFC for more than a minute.

I’m going to play it safe and say Sakara by decision, but Musoke does well enough to stick around and get a fight at welterweight against someone like Erick Silva.

Kuhl: Let’s be realistic here.

Sakara is a former boxer and black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Two of his last three losses are to Chris Weidman and Brian Stann, and his third was a DQ for pounding on the back of Patrick Cote’s head. He’s an exciting UFC vet with eight years in the Octagon and some top-level previous opponents.

Musoke is a promotional newcomer who has only fought against regional guys that nobody globally has ever heard of. His teammates, Papy Abedi and Reza Madadi, are great fighters, but nowhere near some of the guys Sakara has actually fought.

This one is a lopsided match-up, and “Legionarius” is going to knock the newcomer out by the end of the second round.

LW: Norman Parke (18-2) vs. Jon Tuck (7-0)

Fuller: Although attention towards the lightweight division may be focused on the co-main event, Norman Parke versus Jon Tuck is really the more significant fight. Both are starting to build their UFC careers, and by taking on a fellow prospect, they add to the intrigue of this match-up.

Usually fighters like these are pitted against newcomers or established veterans and may even try to avoid fighting another guy who’s just as dangerous and is also working his way up the ladder, at least until they’ve built a little bit of good will and tenure with the boss.

What’s more impressive is that these two were previously booked to fight each other at UFC on Fox 7, and after Tuck was forced to withdraw due to injury, the UFC still managed to make it happen.

In some ways, both fighters are at a similar point in their careers. In others, they differ greatly. Tuck is an undefeated prospect looking to make a big splash, whereas Parke is a veteran of the sport and an Ultimate Fighter winner, meaning he likely has the greater fan base and job security.

Tuck is the underdog in this one, and while an upset is possible, look for the more experienced Parke to outpoint him in what will likely be an impressive three-round decision victory.

Kuhl: Tuck is a very interesting fighter, and his MMA record doesn’t speak to his real experience. Yes, he’s undefeated, and yes, all of his stoppages, with the exception of Eduard Folayang, were against regional guys in smaller promotions, but there’s another level to this fighter.

During his two-year break from MMA between November 2009 and November 2011, he was competing in jiu-jitsu tournaments around the world, including claiming gold and silver medals in Abu Dhabi in 2010. After a stint like that, one would expect him to come out with tons of subs, but he came back with a first-round knockout in the Philippines and a decision win over Chinese submission artist Tiequan Zhang in his UFC debut nearly a year ago. He is making his long overdue second appearance against a strong wrestler in Parke, which should make for an interesting match-up.

Parke is a submission-heavy fighter, just like Zhang, but his wrestling could prove to be the game changer here. Tuck is a strong fighter and expert submission grappler, but he has yet to prove that he has a better wrestling game at this level of the sport.

I see Parke repeatedly stuffing takedown attempts by Tuck and keeping him out of his game. Tuck may have some solid striking, but Parke went three rounds with Colin Fletcher, who, despite his record, is a pretty crazy striker. Parke by hard-fought decision.

Downey: Justin and Dan are correcting in noting that this lightweight fight doesn’t necessarily feature the biggest names, but it is very important for the future of the division.

Parke’s status as an Ultimate Fighter winner, whether it is fair or not, comes along with a ton of hype. Recently, guys coming off the show have faced mild success at best, with the lone exception being Dodson. The UFC has very high hopes for Parke. He is an up-and-coming guy from Northern Ireland, and he has a very marketable look. If you don’t think the look matters to the UFC, just read Dana White’s comments after Anthony Pettis became champion. This will be Parke’s third fight inside the Octagon, and the strong submission fighter could be up for big things if he wins a third straight. The challenge in this one will be to keep out of danger against Tuck.

Tuck has become somewhat of a forgotten prospect at 155 pounds. He looked great in his UFC debut, but that was almost a year ago and we haven’t seen him since. It is very important for young fighters to stay active. Tuck only has seven professional fights and has had numerous long layoffs between those bouts. Granted, there’s all of the competition outside of the MMA realm, but that just isn’t the same as being inside the cage. Octagon rust is a real thing, especially when it comes to relative newcomers.

Parke is the pick here, but it will be close. If the fight ends early, Tuck will be on the winning end. However, Parke is a strong, well-rounded guy that can avoid trouble. Parke wears Tuck out and gets a third-round TKO.

LHW: Ryan Jimmo (18-2) vs. Jimi Manuwa (13-0)

Downey: This light heavyweight fight features two fighters who have the punching power to end the contest in a flash.

Ryan Jimmo holds one of the fastest knockouts in UFC history with his seven-second destruction of Anthony Perosh back at UFC 149. That knockout came in the Canadian’s promotional debut. It was a great start, but his results since then have been mixed. He lost a decision to James Te Huna back in February in what was a great fight. Jimmo had Te Huna in big trouble in the early going, but the Australian kept his composure and came back for the victory. Jimmo got back in the win column at UFC 161 with a decision victory over Igor Pokrajac. It was a win, but it was a rather boring fight. Jimmo admitted that he played it a bit safe and was just looking to get the “W.” We will have to see which game plan Jimmo goes with in this one. It is certainly possible that he goes conservative once again against the great striking of Jimi Manuwa.

Manuwa is a beast. The man is undefeated in 13 professional bouts and has never been out of the second round. This will be Manuwa’s third UFC bout. He already holds TKO victories over Kyle Kingsbury and Cyrille Diabate. Manuwa is powerful in every way and absolutely beat up both of those experienced veterans. It remains to be seen what he will be able to do against an equally strong guy in Jimmo. Manuwa is fighting in his home country once again, so he will certainly have the crowd advantage.

The x-factor in this fight will be if it goes into the later rounds. Jimmo holds his fair share of decision wins, but we don’t really know what kind of cardio Manuwa possesses. I don’t think we will have to worry about that though. Jimmo will attempt to strike with Manuwa for a bit too long, and it’ll cost him. Jimmo gets caught near the end of the first round, leading to a knockout win for Manuwa.

Kuhl: I agree with Trey that both of these guys have knockout power, but the level of this power is not even close.

Jimmo is a very game fighter. He was the MFC champ until entering the Octagon, but most of his fights go to decision, including the loss to Te Huna. Overall, Jimmo has fought tougher guys than Manuwa. He tangled with Zak Cummings, Ramsey Thierry Sokoudjou and Wilson Gouveia prior to joining the UFC.

However, Manuwa’s record and his history speak for themselves. He lived a messed-up life in his younger years, and this guy’s entire existence has been about wrecking people. Jimmo may hold that one quick knockout, but that is nothing compared to the damage that Manuwa hands out every single fight. Manuwa trains hard, fights hard and leaves destruction in his path.

In his first-ever pro fight, Jimmo lost his only TKO. This weekend, his career is about to come full circle. Manuwa by early TKO. He will bring way too much fury for Jimmo to handle.

Fuller: Yes, Jimmo had a very lengthy resume prior to his UFC debut. But many of those recognizable fighters were without a doubt on the decline in their careers. Manuwa, however, seems poised to take the division by storm and his stock is on the rise.

It is possible we have not seen the best Jimmo has to offer, but at 31 years old and with 20 professional fights, I’m not sure he has that many cards left up his sleeve. Manuwa, by comparison, is slightly older at 33, but he has absolute laid waste to every opponent who has stepped in front of him.

I may be on the Manuwa hype train, but there’s a reason guys like Jimmo always seem to come up short when it counts and greatness is expected from guys like Manuwa. I’m not saying Manuwa is the next Glover Teixeira, but he has everything it takes to become a superstar in the UFC.

LW: Melvin Guillard (31-12-2) vs. Ross Pearson (15-6)

Kuhl: The fireworks are sure to fly as former TUF contestant Melvin Guillard faces off against former TUF winner Ross Pearson. Both of these guys are hard-hitting, fast-paced fighters with backgrounds in striking, and both have trained with some of the highest-level camps in all of MMA.

The Englishman, Pearson, currently trains at Alliance MMA, home of UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz, and is definitely the more well-rounded of the two. With belts in both BJJ and judo, he has very solid grappling to compliment his knockout power. Guillard, while also being fairly well-rounded, is a very striking-oriented fighter. Both of them will definitely want to start standing, but should this hit the mat, the Brit will hold the upper hand. Guillard’s biggest advantage, meanwhile, is his speed.

This fight will not go the distance. Both of these guys are coming off knockout wins, but both could be fighting for their jobs within the promotion. In the last two years, Guillard is 2-4 and Pearson is 3-2, but neither of them tends to deliver a boring fight.

My instinct tells me this one could be a submission win for Pearson or a TKO for Guillard, even though Pearson hasn’t won on the mat in many years. Guillard has recently been moving around to different camps, and Mac Danzig is not exactly the opponent to judge whether or not his current camp is working for him. He was training at Grudge Training Center in Denver with one of the best striking coaches around, but that is not where he needed help.

I have Pearson wisely taking this one to the mat and finishing Guillard by first-round submission.

Fuller: Very rarely does a Brit hold the advantage on the ground, but that’s the case in this fight. Pearson has looked great in his return to lightweight, and although he hasn’t been around as long as Guillard, he has had more than his fair share of triumphs and failures.

It seems like Guillard has been on the hot seat for quite some time. Just when you think he’s done, he goes ahead and delivers another impressive knockout. However, I am of the belief that his best days are behind him. All he is doing is prolonging the inevitable, which either ends up with him being cut or fighting nobodies on the prelims, a la Chris Leben.

Pearson is having a career resurgence. His overall game will prove too much for Guillard, who is one of the more highly regarded opponents he will have fought. The momentum going into this fight, combined with Pearson’s superior wrestling and hometown advantage, mean all the ingredients are there for success. Pearson just has to put the recipe together.

Downey: This co-main event is full of intrigue. Both of these guys have shown the potential to become true lightweight contenders, but have suffered from inconsistency.

Pearson has looked outstanding in his last two bouts at lightweight and has constantly improved his wrestling. Both Justin and Dan pointed out that he has the advantage on the ground in this one, but the Brit also has some very slick boxing. Pearson used that boxing very well against George Sotiropoulos, but he won’t have that same advantage against a great striker in Guillard. Pearson will have to rely on an improving ground game if he wants to win this one. The Brit has trained over the years with Frankie Edgar and the Rutgers wrestling team to work on his faults and is one of the few guys who has really made an effort to improve his weaknesses. Pearson really will have to put it all together to get the victory over Guillard, arguably the most dangerous opponent he has faced.

Guillard is a tricky guy. One fight, he looks like he could be the next champion, but then he lays an egg his next time out. Guillard had one of his outstanding performance against Danzig. How good he looked in that fight really showed as he has quickly moved from a fight where he was fighting for his job to a co-main event slot. Guillard trained with Grudge for that fight after moving on from the Blackzilians, but he has once again changed camps for this fight. Grudge seemed like a great fit, but “The Young Assassin” wanted to stay closer to his family and picked American Top Team in south Florida for this camp. How that camp went will have a huge impact on the outcome of this fight.

We have all said Pearson will have the advantage if this fight gets to the ground. It has to get there first, though. I disagree with Justin and Dan on the pick in this one. Pearson’s wrestling is improving, but it isn’t outstanding. Guillard’s true weakness is in his submission defense. People forget that he actually is a pretty solid wrestler. I think he uses that wrestling to keep the fight standing and earns a late first-round knockout.

MW: Lyoto Machida (19-4) vs. Mark Munoz (13-3)

Fuller: The main event of the evening has two legitimate world-class fighters competing in a potential title eliminator. Mark Munoz wants revenge for his knockout loss to Chris Weidman last year, and Lyoto Machida wants to prove he still has what it takes to become a champion again. While this is not the first five-round fight for Munoz, it may be the first time he goes past the third round, given Machida’s track record.

Machida has a tendency to open up more in the third round, which has cost him close decisions on more than one occasion. Many, myself included, feel that if his close fights with the likes of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Dan Henderson or, most recently, Phil Davis had been five-round affairs, Machida would have been able to finish or more convincingly win the remaining rounds. Yes, he won against Henderson, but the indecisive performance cost him a title shot and rematch with Jon Jones, which led to his split decision loss to Phil Davis.

Munoz may be confident enough in his wrestling to take this fight to the ground, but Machida has been able to stuff or recover from takedowns delivered by the best of them in the light heavyweight division, where Munoz had mixed success before he made the drop to 185 pounds. It’ll be interesting to see how the weight cut affects Machida’s athleticism, and if Munoz institutes a more “lay and pray style” compared to his active top game in an effort to keep Machida on his back.

There is little doubt who has the advantage on the feet, but the threat of a takedown coupled with Munoz’s heavy hands could mean we see a very similar fight to Machida-Davis, with Munoz scoring points with simple combos and avoiding the counter. Of course, plan on Machida learning from those mistakes and expecting everything Munoz has to offer.

This fight could very easily be another split decision in the saga of Machida vs. Wrestler, but at 185 pounds Machida’s underrated wrestling and ground game are enough to frustrate Munoz into making a mistake and setting the stage for a world-class Machida highlight-reel knockout.

Downey: This is one of those times where the main event is by far the most intriguing fight on the card. I disagree with Justin in the sense that this could be a title eliminator. I feel like guys like Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Vitor Belfort are certainly closer to a title shot, but the winner of this one will certainly be on his way towards that shot.

Munoz certainly came back in a big way in his last fight against Tim Boetsch. Boetsch is a very tough and durable guy, and yet Munoz just dominated him. Munoz has looked great in general throughout his UFC career, with the biggest blemish being that loss to Weidman. Munoz fell into depression after that loss, but came back in a big way. That loss is a huge motivating factor for him, and he is the type of guy that can use something like that to get going and make one more run at a title shot. Munoz has trained with Machida in the past, so he won’t be fully confused by the style of “The Dragon,” as most are. If you look at Machida’s record, his losses are against power punchers who can wrestle. Munoz fits that description perfectly.

Machida is dropping to middleweight in the search of a rebirth. In all honesty, he really needs it. Machida was once thought to be the man who would take over the light heavyweight division and have a long title reign. That was not the case at all. Since Machida won the title, he has had a very pedestrian four wins and four losses, and that could very easily be three and five if the judges would have made the right call in his first fight with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Machida was impressive in his victories over Ryan Bader and Randy Couture, but let’s face it, Bader will never be a top-flight contender and Couture was in what would be the last fight of his career.

I truly don’t understand the mystique around Machida anymore. He will always be an interesting match-up because of his awkward style, but the blueprint to beat him is out there: don’t get too aggressive, pick your shots and close the distance at the right time. That might be easier said than done, but if fighters stay disciplined, then Machida is a very beatable fighter.

I know my opinion on Machida is certainly in the minority when it comes to most MMA media, but the proof is in the pudding. Machida sits at .500 over his last eight bouts, and I think that he drops below that after this one. Machida could certainly catch Munoz if he grows impatient and gets too aggressive, but I just don’t see that happening. Munoz will use his athleticism and knowledge from training with Machida to earn a rather dominant decision victory.

Kuhl: If Munoz takes a page out of Shogun’s playbook, he should handle Machida quite easily. Machida has shown that solid kickboxing to set up dominant wrestling is a recipe for his demise. Unfortunately for Munoz, the karate master is used to fighting much larger guys, and very few have been able to take him down.

Munoz is an amazing fighter, but sometimes it seems that he’s highly skilled in all aspects of the game, but lacking in the synergy of his skills. Two of Machida’s decision losses were, frankly, bad decisions, but it’s his style that turns judges off.

While I liked “The Dragon” at 205 pounds, I love him at 185. If you run down the list of contenders, he has a pretty lopsided chance to beat most of them, and I’m convinced that he would’ve beaten Weidman in that middleweight title match, had the belt been his. He doesn’t play games, like Anderson Silva, and his elusiveness will frustrate the heck out of this division, because 185 has very much been a stand-and-bang division for quite some time.

Munoz is a perfect match-up for most of the middleweights, but that’s not Machida’s home. I see Machida frustrating Munoz into doing something stupid that will probably get him knocked out. Machida by TKO.

Preliminary Card
MW: Michael Kuiper (12-2) vs. Brad Scott (8-2)

Kuhl: If there is going to be one sleeper fight that is sure to dazzle, this is it. Michael Kuiper and Brad Scott combined for only one loss in 20 fights prior to joining the UFC, with only three total fights going to decision. Since entering the promotion, however, their combined record is 1-3. That makes this a job-saving bout. This one is a tough call, but I’ll give it to Scott, the TUF Smashes finalist who has home-field advantage and is badly in need of a redemption win after losing in the season finale.

Downey: The loser of this fight could be headed to a trip to the regional scene. Kuiper’s two Octagon defeats are at the hands of solid guys in Tom Lawlor and Rafael Natal. The difference in this one will be Scott’s killer instinct. His last fight was the first of his career to head to the judges’ scorecards. Scott finishes Kuiper in the third.

Fuller: Good, but not good enough. That’s what we’ll say about the loser. The winner will get at least one more chance to prove he belongs amongst the 1 percent, whereas the loser gets to go back to beating up guys who we’ll never hear about. Ultimate Fighter contestants are always hit and miss, and Scott is no exception. I’m going to go against the current and give this one to Kuiper. He may be 1-2, but he’s 1-2 against established UFC fighters, not TUF fighters. And when it comes to experience, that could be all it takes to win this one.

FW: Jimy Hettes (10-1) vs. Robert Whiteford (10-1)

Downey: Robert Whiteford is the first Scottish fighter in the UFC and is stepping in on less than one week’s notice in his Zuffa debut. Whiteford is on a 10-fight winning streak with his only loss coming in his professional debut. Whiteford seems to be a legit prospect, but he is facing a buzzsaw in Jimy Hettes. Hettes suffered his only career loss in his last bout more than one year ago. Hettes is just too good of a fighter for the newcomer and gets back on track with his 10th submission victory.

Fuller: Unless something crazy happens, and it very well could, Hettes should be able to control this fight from start to finish, and maybe even end it by submission. With Whiteford stepping in on short notice and being the first Scottish fighter, he’s probably golden in the eyes of the brass, but until I see more of him, I’m going to go out on a limb and say he won’t be able to stop Hettes’ ground game.

Kuhl: Striker versus grappler, and the grappler has a huge advantage. If Royce Gracie’s early career is any indication of how this fight will go, Hettes should win quite handily. That being said, Whiteford is bringing a lot of pride and a solid striking style into the cage, so he does have a puncher’s chance of coming out victorious. Hettes better keep his head down, quite literally, and get this one to the mat. As long as he does, he will tap out the Scot.

FW: Cole Miller (19-8) vs. Andy Ogle (9-2)

Fuller: Here’s a great example of a young prospect being tested against a promotional veteran. With more trimming to be done to the roster, Cole Miller is more at risk of getting cut with a loss than Andy Ogle. Miller is not going to be breaking into the top 10 anytime soon, and his price tag is probably a bit more than that of his English counterpart. If Miller has anything left to prove, then it’s going to be tough to do it against Ogle. Ogle by one-sided decision.

Kuhl: Six-year veteran of the Octagon, Miller, versus Ogle, who has been to decision twice and is so emotional that he cries no matter what the outcome. Frankly, Ogle still has a lot of growing up to do, and a decision win over Josh Grispi is nothing to write home about. Ogle is in his own head, whereas Miller is cool, calm and collected. Both men haven’t been stopped in four years, but the opponents are not apples-to-apples. If Miller doesn’t submit Ogle, which I predict he will, he stands the chance of losing by decision, which I suspect he won’t.

Downey: This is by far the toughest fight of Ogle’s career. He is fighting in his home country and will be extremely motivated. Ogle’s emotions, as Dan suggested, could cause huge problems against a guy like Miller. If Ogle stays composed, he could get a decision win. I just don’t know if he will. Ogle makes a mistake at some point, and Miller capitalizes to earn a submission victory.

Women’s BW: Jessica Andrade (9-3) vs. Rosi Sexton (13-3)

Downey: This is one of the first women’s bouts since the UFC’s women’s division started where both fighters are coming off losses. Jessica Andrade fell to Liz Carmouche in her UFC debut in Seattle, and Sexton dropped a unanimous decision to Alexis Davis in Winnipeg. Sexton certainly has the experience advantage, especially when it comes to facing high-level competition. That, to go along with her submission skills and home-cage advantage, makes her the pick.

Kuhl: Sexton and Andrade are submission artists, but Sexton is by far the more decorated martial artist, and, as Trey pointed out, has the experience of a 36-year-old. That’s meaningful when going into battle with a 22-year-old. However, Andrade is not to be counted out. She may be young, but in the battle with Carmouche, she showed that she can bang with world-class talent. While it would be easy to side with Sexton, especially on her home soil, the current TUF season has shown us that not all of the veteran women fighters are delivering solid performances. It’s the up-and-comers that are making the biggest splash, and Andrade is no exception. After shaking out the Octagon jitters in her last fight, I see Andrade coming in and submitting Sexton in this one.

Fuller: If Sheila Gaff is any kind of example, then the loser could very well get their walking papers. The UFC knows that you need more than fighters to build a division, you need fighters who win. And I’m glad Dan brought up TUF, because it is teaching everyone a lesson about female fighters, which is the same lesson we learned with male fighters over a decade ago. Just because you pave the way does not mean you get to walk on the road, and these younger, talented fighters will continue to improve while the “old guard” of female fighters who’ve carried the torch for so long will eventually all be defeated (and forgotten by most because they never fought, or won, on “the big stage”). That’s why I’m calling it for Andrade via second-round submission.

MW: Luke Barnatt (6-0) vs. Andrew Craig (9-1)

Kuhl: In my eyes, Luke Barnatt was slightly overrated on the last TUF season, and, if it wasn’t for his 6-foot-6 frame, he probably wouldn’t be undefeated right now. Both he and Andrew Craig are fairly new to the cage and combine for only 16 pro fights, but Craig has by far faced the tougher opponents, with the likes of Kyle Noke, Chris Leben and Rafael Natal on his resume. If Craig was a finisher, I would give him the easy nod, but that’s not the case. Either way, I see Craig using his experience to outclass the Brit and bring home the decision victory.

Fuller: I think this match-up is a perfect test to see just how good Barnatt is. Craig failed to impress me when he fought Ronny Markes, and what should have been a breaking-out victory of sorts over Leben was overshadowed by Leben’s lackluster performance in Craig’s split decision win. Barnatt will have plenty of chances to let his hands loose, and Craig lacks sufficient wrestling to take the fight to the ground and grind out a win. Barnatt by third-round TKO.

Downey: I’m right in the middle of Justin and Dan when it comes to Barnatt. I think he was slightly overrated as the No. 1 pick of Team Sonnen, but he is certainly talented enough to have a decent career on the UFC roster. Like Justin, I also wasn’t impressed with Craig’s performance against an over-the-hill Leben. I just see Barnatt as the guy with the brighter future here. He doesn’t finish, but earns a clear decision on the judges’ scorecards.

LW: Piotr Hallmann (14-1) vs. Al Iaquinta (6-2-1)

Fuller: I like this match-up because both fighters are young and hungry. Al Iaquinta may have come up short in his bid to become The Ultimate Fighter, but he did have a heavy hand in ousting second-generation UFC fighter Ryan Couture from the promotion. Piotr Hallmann is without a doubt coming in with greater momentum, and I’m anticipating him to continue his winning streak during his second UFC appearance. Both guys can finish, but it could be lights out for the TUF runner-up. However, I’m hoping for a three-round war.

Downey: This is the featured fight on the prelims for a reason. Both of these men are legitimate prospects at lightweight and both are pretty exciting fighters. Hallmann has his fair share of finish victories, with a number of wins coming by rear-naked choke. I don’t see the Renzo Gracie-trained Iaquinta getting caught by one of those, however. Iaquinta has a bit more power in his punches. He will use that to keep Hallmann on his heels and win a unanimous decision.

Kuhl: Iaquinta is one of those guys with a great pedigree and a ton of heart, but Hallmann may surprise some folks here. Hallman is the smallest guy on his pro team, with most of the guys pushing two bills plus. His wrestling showcases this more than anything else. Hallmann moves like a 155-pound fighter who trains with guys twice his size. Iaquinta might be used to rolling with BJJ experts, but the Polish fighter is a tough wrestler with very effective submission skills. Remember, Hallmann is fighting Iaquinta, not his coaches. I see Hallmann muscling Iaquinta to the mat and maneuvering for a submission victory.

Photo: Lyoto Machida (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)