Only two weeks removed from UFC on FX3, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the Garden State for UFC on FX4: Maynard Vs Guida on June 22. In the main event, Clay “the Carpenter” Guida will look to carve out his spot in the 155-pound title picture by hammering his way through Gray “the Bully” Maynard. While Maynard is looking to bounce back from a deflating KO loss to former lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar, Clay Guida also looks to rebound from a defeat to current lightweight kingpin Benson Henderson. With the wrestling ability of Maynard and the frenetic pace of Guida this fight should provide viewers with loads of fireworks and an interesting stylistic match up.
The main card is also highlighted by a rubber-match betweenLondon,Ontario’s Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout and Spencer “the King” Fisher. While this author believes that Sam Stout will likely gain victory from the simple fact that he fights out of the Forest City – the location from which this author is writing from – the fact of the matter is that Spencer Fisher has all the tools to give the Londoner fits and could very well take the deciding trilogy bout. On the other hand, “Hands of Stone” has shown his increased punching power as of late, with a brutal KO of Yves Edwards, and could send the “the King” into exile from the UFC by handing Fisher his third loss in a row.
The main card on FX also features a welterweight clash between seasoned veteran Brian Ebersole and T.J Waldburger. Ebersole is on an absolute tear, racking up a 10-fight winning streak coming into this bout, with the last three coming in the UFC. While Ebersole will look to finally break into the elite ranks of the 170-pound division, Waldburger will be looking to extend his own winning streak to three and steal his opponent’s momentum. Rounding out the main card will be a high octane tussle between two exciting featherweights. Cub Swanson and Ross Pearson will both look to get back on a roll and win their second fight in a row.
The live preliminary card, which will air live on Fuel TV, is highlighted by a featherweight fight that may determine the next challenger to the 145-pound throne. Perennial contender and divisional wrecking ball Hatsu Hioki will try to position himself for a title shot with a win over Ricardo Lamas. While Hioki will be looking to improve upon his impressive drubbing of Bart Palaszewski, Lamas will look to win the biggest fight of his career and thrust himself into the elite ranks of the division.
In a perplexing move, the UFC has chosen to relegate a few higher profile fighters to the undercard. Probably the most shocking move is placing Dan Miller’s welterweight bout against Ken Stone on the unaired Facebook preliminaries! Nevertheless, fans watching on Fuel TV will still be treated to some familiar faces that pack some power. Highlighting the rest of the undercard crop will be two 170-pound clashes: the always exciting Matt “the Immortal” Brown will look to extend his two-fight win streak against Luis Ramos and former event headliner Rick “the Horror” Story will attempt to re-ignite his hype train with a victory over Brock Jardine. Other matches include: C.J. Keith vs. Ramsey Nijem (155 lbs), Joey Gambino vs. Steven Siler (145 lbs), Chris Camozzi vs. Nick Catone (185 lbs), Francisco Rivera vs. Ken Stone (135 lbs).
Will “the Carpenter” hammer his way to a masterful victory or will “the Bully” destroy his opponents dwindling divisional hopes. Stay tuned on June 22 and make sure you check out all of the predictions here at Kamikazeoverdrive.net.
Ken Stone 10-3-0 vs Dustin Pague 11-6-0
No fight is safe from the injury bug that is currently tearing through the UFC; from the main event all the way down to the opening fight of the card it seems that fighters are dropping at an alarming rate. Dustin Pague is attempting to turn a negative into a positive by stepping in for the injured Francisco Rivera only two weeks removed from his submission win over Jared Papazian. Ken Stone is also coming off a submission victory, tapping out Donny Walker in his last appearance back in September of 2011. Prior to his win over Walker, Stone had a rough ending to his WEC career getting knocked out via slam by former divisional champion Eddie Wineland and his UFC debut wasn’t much better getting KOed by Scott Jorgensen. Back to back knockout losses have brought Stone’s chin into question and these concerns are legitimate, the big question is can Pague capitalize? Pague has 3 wins by knockout including 2 in his last 4 victories. If he is able to keep this fight standing and use his reach he could add another crack to Stone’s chin, but that is a big if. Stone is a former Collegiate wrestler averaging 3.38 takedowns per fight, he completes 67% of his attempts and he has won the majority of his fights by submission (6). Pague has has issues in this area; he had no answer on the Ultimate Fighter when he was thoroughly dominated on the ground by TJ Dillashaw and John Albert finished him via TKO on the ground after dropping Pague early in their fight. Pague has actually suffered three knockout defeats of his own, which should make his ability to take a punch just a big of a concern as Stone’s. Pague has won the majority of his fights by submission (8), so he is far from a novice on the ground but if Stone is able to take him down and beat him up the submission possibilities will diminish quickly. If Stone chooses to keep the fight standing his striking is more then serviceble to hold his own, but I would anticipate that he will focus more on his wrestling. Pague is fighting on an incredibly short turn around which can be beneficial but he hasn’t had much time to prepare for his opponent while Stone has been inactive for 9 months and has had to deal with multiple opponent changes which can have its drawbacks too, but I like what Stone brings to this fight so my prediction is Ken Stone to defeat Dustin Pague by TKO.