Urijah Faber (29-6, 7 KO's 16 Subs) vs. Michael McDonald (16-2, 9 KO's, 5 Subs)
Urijah Faber is like a man without a division. Or perhaps more accurately a man who cannot win a division. That's not a pejorative remark because Faber is supremely talented and one of the very best the sport has to offer. When Faber is on a fight card, Dana White can rest easy that there will be at least one entertaining match. Needless to say, I am a huge fan of the California Kid, who at 34 years of age is no longer a kid even though he still looks like one. That being said, both the interim UFC Bantamweight champ Renan Barao and reigning Bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz proved to be too much for Faber as was the featherweight king Jose Aldo. All three fighters are among the very best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and they all happen to be in Faber's neighborhood.
Michael "Yah mo be there" McDonald (apologies to everyone younger than 40 who doesn't get the reference) is a young gun in the bantamweight class who shares a loss to the uber talented Renan Barao with Faber. McDonald is an excellent grappler but is also loaded with a fistful of dynamite if the situation avails itself. McDonald is also a finisher. Of his 16 victories only two have come by decision. His latest conquest was over savvy veteran Brad Pickett whom he almost starched in the opening round but then locked in a triangle choke in the second for a dominating victory over a very tough guy.
Here's the deal. Faber is my sentimental choice here and a man who has a seemingly limitless capacity to endure. However, he hasn't knocked anyone out in over five years while McDonald is turning the lights out early and often. McDonald dropped former WEC Bantamweight champ Miguel Angel Torres in the very first-round of their match at UFC 145 which was his eighth consecutive win before he lost via arm-triangle choke to Barao back February of this year.
If Faber can weather an early storm from McDonald his chances increase greatly but by the later rounds the young McDonald may have wreaked so much damage the fight may already be decided.
Play McDonald at WilliamHill.com in your UFC odds.
Carlos Condit (29-7, 13 KO's, 14 Subs) vs. Matt Brown (18-11, 11 KO's, 5 Subs)
Now this fight is going to be delicious! In the interest of full disclosure I am unabashed Carlos Condit fan. The man is poetry in motion when he wheels those spinning head kicks and there are few who are as dangerous both standing up and on the mat as is the Natural Born Killer.
Matt Brown is ferocious as well. He has KO'ed opponent's in five of his last six fights and packs a wallop every time he launches. However, he is susceptible to submissions and that is the game changer in this fight. Nine of his 11 losses have come via subs and Carlos Condit is far more skilled on the mat than many of those who submitted Brown in the past.
If these two decide to stand and trade this will be a war. But my feeling is that Condit's camp will have him shooting for takedowns and ultimately submitting Brown, escaping with minimal damage. Condit is the number two ranked fighter in the welterweight division and is no doubt licking his chops to get another shot at avenging his title challenge defeat to GSP.
Play Condit at Bet365.com in your UFC picks.