Mark Cuban’s brainchild, HDNet Fights, will hold its second event in the promotion’s short existence on Saturday evening. It will also mark the first live telecast for the promotion. The event will feature a main event rematch between Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Tim Kennedy. Also on the card, Frank “Twinkletoes” Trigg will put his wrestling to the test against a streaking Edwin Dewees, The Ultimate Fighter Season 4 contestant. Other interesting bouts include Pete “Secret Weapon” Spratt vs. Tristan Yunker, Yves Edwards vs. Alonzo Martinez, Nissen Osterneck vs. Freddie Espiricueta, and Jason House taking on Liam McCarty. We’ll take a look at the fighters and make some bold predictions for the card.
Jason “Mayhem” Miller vs. Tim Kennedy
Jason “Mayhem” Miller (19-5) must be chomping at the bit for this fight. Mayhem hasn’t fought since May of this year during his short stint in the WEC in which he defeated Hiromitsu Miura. Before his move to the WEC, he was fairly successful in Icon Sport, racking up a 3-1 record while in the promotion with a big win over the heavy-handed Robbie Lawler. Mayhem also has some key wins over Falaniko Vitale, Egan Inoue, and Denis Kang.
The hype surrounding this battle is the rematch aspect. Tim Kennedy defeated Mayhem back in February of 2003 in a Extreme Challenge card. Kennedy won by decision, but Mayhem has stated in some recent interviews that he felt he was much stronger now. Although we haven’t seen promotion from HDNet on national television, for hardcore fans, this should be a matchup of interest due to the fact that Tim Kennedy is riding a huge win streak.
Kennedy (8-1) has had a very good career so far. He’s currently on a seven fight win streak and has been dominant in his performances in the IFL. Much like Mayhem, Kennedy has not fought since May of this year either. His last win was over the cardio machine in Ryan McGivern in the IFL.
Kennedy is a banger and has some knockout power. He has the ability to set up some great combinations and will use kicks to set up his gameplan from the get go. He has some wrestling abilities as well, but mainly will be looking for a ground and pound victory or a straight knockout. During his last battle with Ryan McGivern, he showed some great wrestling ability against another very able wrestler in McGivern. Kennedy may try to stay away from Mayhem’s ju-jitsu, or simply pound him while trying to avoid being submitted.
If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing Mayhem battle it out in the cage, he’s fairly well-rounded. He has some significant reach, decent striking, great knees in the clinch, and will also utilize leg kicks to set up his gameplan. His main “win” trait is his jiu-jitsu ground game. He has some decent takedown abilities, but if you take him down and get into his guard, his length is definitely an issue to deal with. Combine a plethora of submission game along with some fairly good standup, Mayhem is a handful for many fighters… ask Georges St. Pierre who was unable to finish Mayhem.
Leland’s Prediction: Jason “Mayhem” Miller via submission, Round 3
Mayhem tends to start slow, which may be an advantage in that Kennedy may tire later on in the bout. I look for Mayhem to either stand and trade or become a victim of a takedown. Either way, Mayhem should have the advantage unless Kennedy happens to catch him. I’ll take the wiley activeness of Mayhem over Kennedy in this one.
Frank Trigg vs. Edwin Dewees
Frank Trigg (15-6) is a veteran of PRIDE, UFC, and was once the champion of Icon Sport. He’s been around the MMA scene for quite some time, and is also the co-host of TAGG Radio. Trigg has an impressive skillset in that he’s a black belt in Judo as well as a seasoned wrestler who was a finalist in the 2000 Olympic Trials. Trigg has also demonstrated some heavy hands in many of his past fights as well. He has defeated notable fighters such as Kazuo Misaki, Jason Miller, Renato Verissimo, and Dennis Hallman while having losses to Georges St. Pierre, Matt Hughes, Hayato Sakurai, Carlos Condit, and his most recent loss to Robbie Lawler.
Although he had some fairly bad stints of running into the top fighters in the UFC, he has been making a fairly good run as of late. He defeated both Misaki and Miller toward the beginning of this year, and was involved in a war with Robbie Lawler that Trigg looked good in. He will be a very tough test for Edwin Dewees.
Dewees (34-10) has a significant amount of fights under his belt. His experience in the cage far exceeds Trigg’s experience, but Trigg has fought some of the world’s best fighters. Dewees, on the other hand, has fought a good amount of mid-tier fighters as well as fighters making their way up into the upper-echelon of his weight class. As of late, Dewees is coming off two losses, a knockout loss to Art Santore and a TKO loss to Jorge Rivera. His last fight was last November, and it looks like Dewees is refreshed and ready to continue his career.
Edwin is mainly a submission fighter, but has shown to have some power in his hands. His main skills revolve around wrestling on the ground, although he may be looking to keep it standing against an able wrestler in Trigg. Trigg has been known to be susceptible to having his back taken as was evident in his losses to St. Pierre and Matt Hughes. It’ll be interesting to see if Dewees tries to take it to the ground or stand with Trigg.
Leland’s Prediction: Frank Trigg via TKO, Round 2
Trigg has been working out at the Xtreme Couture gym in Las Vegas getting ready for this bout. I expect his wrestling to be very good, and he should be able to counter Dewees’ attempts if they come along. Although Trigg has had problems getting his back taken in the past, I imagine Trigg will try to work his fists a bit more on top to soften up Dewees. I’ll go out on a limb and take Trigg by devastating ground and pound or a stoppage due to strikes standing.
Pete Spratt vs. Tristan Yunker
Redemption was on Spratt’s plate in October when he defeated Anthony Waldburger after being beaten by him at King of Kombat in September. After a tough run of three straight losses by submission, two of those in the UFC, Spratt has come back to his winning ways and looks to start a streak. Early in his career, Spratt was mainly known as Muay Thai fighter with some fairly good knockout power. He’s gained a small ground presence as his career moved on, but nothing significant enough to garner him a danger. His power in his hands will be his main weapon when he faces Tristan Yunker.
Yunker (11-6) was on the road to stardom with 8 wins in his last 9 fights. Unfortunately, he ran into Rob Kimmons at the September IFO card. Kimmons was able to beat Yunker at his own game and sink a rear naked choke in at only 2:55 in the first round. It was certainly a wake up call. Now, HDNet Fights has come knocking at the door, and it looks to be a good fight for Yunker.
Yunker has ended 10 of his fights by submission and is primarily a wrestler/submission fighter. This looks to be a favorable matchup for Yunker considering Spratt is fairly susceptible to the submission. Yunker has defeated some fairly tough competition in the past in Clay Guida and John Halverson. He has also had a win over The Human Weapon host Jason Chambers. All of those wins over very good pace fighters and strong ground guys.
Leland’s Prediction: Tristan Yunker via submission, Round 2
History doesn’t lie. Spratt has a weak submission defense, but I believe he will be able to put up a fight until the second round. Yunker is on the verge of breaking out to begin fighting some of the better competition out there, and he has a significantly better ground game than Spratt. Look for this to end pretty quickly, or early in the second as I’m predicting.
Yves Edwards vs. Alonzo Martinez
This is a fairly intriguing matchup for a number of reasons. Edwards (30-13-1) hasn’t had the best of luck in his career as of late. After defeating big names such as Josh Thomson, Hermes Franca, and Naoyuki Kotani, he faded off and was defeated by Joe “Daddy” Stevenson, Mike Brown, and Jorge Masvidal. In his last fight, he defeated Nick Gonzalez in impressive first round fashion and will be looking to continue his good fortune. We’ll see if he can begin a ressurection of his career.
Although Edwards is a jiu-jitsu practitioner, he has a solid background in boxing and Muay Thai. He’s fairly strong and will be a force in his standup game, but has able ground tactics if he needs to use them. Look for him to try to end this standing though.
Martinez (20-8) is on a roll, running through 7 straight opponents with no problem. He looks to have a significant wrestling background, but also some power to ground and pound his opponents into submission. My only real concern with Martinez is his experience fighting veterans to the sport. He has been fighting a lot of talent that either has small experience or a lot of losses on their record.
Leland’s Prediction: Yves Edwards via TKO, Round 1
I think Martinez’s huge gap in experience as compared to Edwards is going to be a huge factor in this battle. Although Martinez looks to have some decent wrestling ability, he’s been using it against much lesser competition than what Edwards has been fighting for years. If Edwards can maintain a good sprawl, look for a big kick or punch to catch Martinez.
Nissen Osterneck (4-0) vs. Freddie Espiricueta (3-2)
Leland’s Prediction: Osterneck via submission, Round 2
Osterneck is an up-and-coming fighter that has been highly-touted by his trainer. Look for this guy to make a run for it down the line as he hinted in the MMAJunkie Fighter Profile article that he may be in line for a shot onto The Ultimate Fighter. There must be something special there for the UFC to regard you as being that good. He looks to have some fairly good wrestling technique, but is also working extensively on his striking and jiu-jitsu. Should be interesting to see him fight.
Jason House (7-4) vs. Liam McCarthy (6-4)
Leland’s Prediction: McCarthy via decision
I’m not overly impressed with either fighter, but I think House is definitely going to have a tougher time in this bout. House did not have a good outing against Espiricueta on the first HDNet card while McCarthy excelled. House has some power and ground game, but so does McCarthy. I think this may go the distance.
Krzysztof Soszynski (12-8-1) vs. Robert Villegas (7-1)
Leland’s Prediction: Soszynski via TKO, Round 2
Soszynski is normally a heavyweight while Villegas has fought at 205. I think Soszynski will have more power and be a bit more than Villegas can throw around. Villegas has a decent submission game however, so look for a possible upset here.
Chris Bowles (7-1) vs. Corey Mahon (7-0)
Leland’s Prediction: Bowles via submission, Round 2
Bowles has had some slightly stiffer competition than Mahon, but Mahon has fought a lot of lower level guys who were just starting out in the sport. Bowles has some significant submission skills, even actually pulling off a kneebar at a show in February of 2003. I look for Bowles to outmaneuver Mahon on the ground, but this fight will definitely be a grappling war.
Lee King (7-11-1) vs. Marcus Lanier (5-2)
Leland’s Prediction: King via decision
King has had some huge losses in his career, but Lanier’s record is padded with wins against fighters who were in their first professional bouts. King is currently on a two win streak, so I’m gonna go out on a limb and say he can extend it to three.
Jay White (1-5) vs. Patrick Castillo (3-1)
Leland’s Prediction: White via TKO, Round 2
I’m gonna take a chance on White. He’s lost to Monson twice, Wellisch once, a 10-0 Jake O’ Brien, and 7-2 Mark Burch. The one opponent he was able to actually match up well against as far as experience goes, he won. He looks to be fairly powerful and will probably try to knock out Castillo or ground and pound him. Upset please?