UFC 105 Preview: The Prelims

The Prelims

Nov 11, 2009
The time has come to build up a strong arsenal of excuses to cancel your weekend plans. All that matters come Saturday is UFC 105 “Couture vs. Vera,” which airs live on Spike TV from the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England.

While the usual chatter remains main card-centric, the prelims have a heady local flavor to them, with plenty of Brits to sate the local crowd and some quality matchmaking to back it up. Between UFC veterans like the always dynamic Paul Taylor and up-and-comers like Matt Riddle, the undercard serves as a hardcore fan’s dream and a casual fan’s chance to get squared up on his or her knowledge.

Paul Taylor vs. John Hathaway

The Breakdown: A battle of Brits anchors the prelim proceedings, as Hathaway puts his undefeated mark up against Taylor, a “Fight of the Night” regular. There will not be any of Taylor’s usual pyrotechnics if Hathaway has his way, though, as the Brighton boy would rather exploit his quarry’s mediocre mat game.

Nasty as Taylor may be on the feet, his guard remains as porous as the Mexican border, and Hathaway keeps a hectic pace that will put Taylor’s decision making to the test. One wrong move too many and Taylor will be wondering where his face starts and Hathaway’s fists end.

Jim Page/Sherdog.com

Hathaway (above) is
a quality prospect.
The X-Factor: Hathaway is hardly a wrestling virtuoso, and his so-called striking will get him nowhere but on the canvas against Taylor. That is not a good combination when your hopes hinge on shutting down your opponent. The opening frame will be key, as Hathaway needs to pick his spots carefully or Taylor will simply control range and pick him apart easier than the plot of a Dan Brown novel.

* * *

The Bottom Line: It may be hard not to like Taylor, even with that generic tribal tattoo of his, but Hathaway will make up for his flaws with sheer tenacity en route to a nip/tuck decision win. If Hathaway plans on rocking “The Hitman” moniker, he needs to start scoring some knockouts or incorporating the sharpshooter into his jiu-jitsu arsenal.
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