Mackens Semerzier (bottom) has a dangerous ground game and decent strikes. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
With two new weight classes and competition galore, the jockeying for slots in the seven-division UFC sweepstakes has grown more crowded than ever.
UFC Fight Night 24 on Saturday at the Key Arena in Seattle brings with it several key preliminary bouts. The eight dark matches include three products of “The Ultimate Fighter,” three WEC imports, an NCAA wrestling champion and a Pride Fighting Championships veteran.
Let us take a closer look with a preview and picks.
Alex Caceres vs. Mackens Semerzier
The Matchup: Both men are flashy, capable strikers. Caceres, an alum of “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12, has his work cut out for him because Semerzier is one of the best 5-3 fighters in the game. Though he has lost three straight, he showed a nice blend of standup technique and toughness in his last bout -- a split decision loss to Cub Swanson at WEC 52.
Since Semerzier is going to be able to dictate where this fight goes -- he is probably the stronger of the two and Caceres cannot outwrestle him -- look for some good standup action in the first. Semerzier mixes his strikes up nicely, and has more experience on the big stage. Caceres is a talented prospect but fairly green at this point. Plus, injuries have kept him inactive since Feb. 2010.
The Pick: Semerzier should be too strong on the feet and too experienced in the clinches and exchanges. He wins via late stoppage.
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