Ryan Couture takes on Ross Pearson in the co-main event (Photo by Ryan O'Leary, Sherdog.com).
UFC On Fuel Main Event Breakdown
Written by Chris Cox (@CoxFight), Contributing Writer
While the main event for the UFC in Sweden has changed, the main card has five fights before it to possibly come in and steal the show. A couple of them are standing out to me, and I am looking very much forward to them. In one of them, we get to see a son of a UFC great attempt to step out of his father’s shadow, but that is not until much later on.
In the first fight of the night, we see featherweight Akira Corassani take on Robbie Peralta. Peralta is a very experienced fighter who has a good set of hands that have given him 12 knockouts in his 16 wins. Corassani is a very experienced and well round fighter as well, and this is only his second fight at this weight. This fight was originally supposed to be at UFC 156, but an illness sidelined Corassani and moved it to this card. I like Peralta’s hands in this fight. He can put Corassani on the mat, and then it’s lights out, I feel. In Peralta’s last fight, he came in and finished it in 23 seconds. This is a good fight to start off the night, and I think Peralta takes it by TKO. At latest, it ends in the second round.
Next up, we see The Ultimate Fighter 14 winner Diego Brando take on Pablo Garza. This is going to be a big step up in competition for Brando because Garza has been taking on some of the top competitors in the featherweight division and is coming off a big win of one time title contender Mark Hominick. Garza is a very well rounded fighter and can end this fight standing and on the ground. He has some great submission work to match up with his Black Belt in BJJ, but I like Brando for this fight. He has some great Muay Thai to keep this fight interesting. He is coming out of Team Jackson, so he is going to have a great camp coming into the fight and I see these two going all three rounds, with Brando taking this by unanimous decision.
The third fight of the night has potential to steal the show and be the Fight of the Night when Brad Pickett takes on Mike Easton in the bantamweight division. Pickett is an amazing fighter to watch, and he brings a show every time he steps into the cage. I also think these two match up well. Most of Easton’s fights have ended by decision, so as long as he doesn’t come in looking to grind this one out, we are going to have some fireworks. Pickett has several Fight of the Night awards to show off, and he will come in ready to brawl. Easton is a big bantamweight, and he has some power in those hands. I got Pickett taking this, though. Last time he was in Sweden, he put on a show and took Damacio Page out in the second round, and he is going to feed off this crowd and bring the war. If it goes to decision, I give it to Pickett, but I am looking for the TKO.
Right after that, we have one of my favorite heavyweights in Matt Mitrione taking on Phillip De Fries. This fight was supposed to place back at UFC 155, but Mitrione stepped up to take on Roy Nelson, a fight in which he was knocked out in an amazing fight. This is going to be an interesting fight. Mitrione brings wonderful fights and will go back and forth with you, staying in the pocket until you put him out. The problem is De Fries is a submission expert. Of his nine wins, eight of them are by submission. Six of those eight are all in the first round. You best believe that De Fries is looking to walk in and take this fight right to the ground and do some punishing, looking to lock in a choke. De Fries is coming off a loss to Todd Duffee via knockout, which is how both of his losses occurred, and both of those knockouts came in the first round. I don’t trust his chin, and I think Mitrione can find that spot. I also think Mitrione has been working on his take down defense and is looking to come off his loss to put De Fries out. I see him taking this fight by TKO in the second round.
In the co-main event, we see Ross Pearson take on Ryan Couture. That’s right, folks, the son of UFC legend Randy Couture will take his place in the Octagon at last. Does he have what his Father had? Ehhhh. I don’t think so. He is coming in age-wise about the same time as his Dad at 30. He of course has a strong wrestling pedigree and will be coming in and looking to get this fight to the ground to lay down some of the ground and pound his father used to dominate two divisions. Pearson is very well versed in the Octagon now. He is a winner of The Ultimate Fighter UK vs. USA and a winning coach on UK vs. AUS, and he is also a two-time Fight of the Night winner. This is a tough first fight in the UFC for Couture. Pearson has faced a lot of talent and has some big wins under his belt. Pearson can win this fight standing and could easily switch it up on the ground to pull out a submission. Pearson is going to take this fight. On paper, Couture just does not stack up to him, and this is a huge step up in competition. If it goes all three rounds, I see Pearson taking the better of him and dominating him in the stand-up.