UFC 181 emanates Saturday, December 6, 2014, from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Last Word on Sports’ MMA Department brings to you their fight picks and analysis for the upcoming event.
Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks (c) vs. “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler
James Carlucci, JB Pilkington, Trent Dozier, Todd Parkinson: Hendricks
Daniel Richeson: Lawler
“I think this one won’t see the third round. Both men have given each other their best and just like Edgar/Maynard, one of them is going down. We saw Hendricks pull out a close decision in the last fight, but in all honesty I have to go with Lawler. Robbie has been a machine, seems unstoppable, and has beaten some great names. Lawler will TKO Hendricks and we’ll get a rubber match sometime in the future.” – Richeson
Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (c) vs. Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez
Carlucci, JB, Dozier, Parkinson, Richeson: Pettis
“As a native of the Bay Area, I feel foolish picking against Melendez. I thought he beat Benson Henderson when they fought; he should be the UFC Lightweight Champion right now. He’s one of the best in the game with solid boxing, a relentless gas tank, and unrelenting heart. But I think Pettis will be too dynamic athletically for Melendez to handle. Pettis is dynamite on the feet with a powerful, creative kickboxing game, and he’s no slouch on the ground either. His jiu-jitsu is top notch, and he can lock up a submission with lightning speed as evidenced by his title-clinching win over Henderson last August. This will be fun while it lasts, but in the end I think Pettis retains his belt by becoming the first man to submit Melendez.” – Dozier
Travis “Hapa” Browne vs. “Big Brown” Brendan Schaub
Carlucci, JB, Dozier, Richeson: Browne
“I’ve made the mistake of trusting Brendan Schaub’s chin before. Never again. If Schaub wins it will be via gas-tank or submission, and I don’t see that happening.” – JB
Todd Duffee vs. Anthony “Freight Train” Hamilton
Carlucci, JB, Dozier, Parkinson, Richeson: Duffee
“This fight features some big heavyweights with a lot of power. The difference will be Duffee’s speed. Duffee will land jab after jab and combination after combination. Hamilton will start to fall, eventually succumbing in the second round to give Duffee a TKO finish to move him up the rankings.” – Parkinson
Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson vs. Abel “Killa” Trujillo
Carlucci, JB, Parkinson: Ferguson
Dozier, Richeson: Trujillo
“Ferguson is 6-1 in the UFC and is slowly climbing the rankings. He could very well be a contender in a few fights. Opposite him is Abel Trujillo who is 3-1 (1) throughout his UFC tenure, with three great knockouts including a vicious victory over Jamie Varner back in February. Trujillo looks like he has the tools to go far in this division and I think we see another stoppage win for him. Trujillo via Ouch.” – Richeson
Carlucci, JB: Josh Samman vs. Eddie Gordon
Richeson: Segio Pettis vs. Matt Hobar
Dozier, Parkinson: Alex White vs. Clay Collard
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