UFC 100 Analysis: The Prelims

By Tim Leidecker Jul 15, 2009
Some moving and shaking went on in the UFC 100 prelims on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. As a result, some fighters moved up the ladder. Others may soon receive their walking papers, and there might even be a famous case to suffer the UFC chopping block this time.

Sherdog.com has revisited the six preliminary bouts, gotten to the heart of the action and provided an outlook on the future of the 12 participants.

Shannon Gugerty def. Matt Grice -- Submission (Guillotine Choke) 2:36 R1

What happened: Gugerty, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt under Dean Lister brown belt and a protégé of Brandon Vera, picked up his second win in the UFC with a quick submission against Grice. Gugerty took down the more seasoned wrestler right off the bat and pushed him into the cage. Grice managed to escape, only to get stuck in his opponent’s guillotine.

The Southern California born and bred Gugerty did a nice job of adjusting from an arm-in to a full guillotine and rolled to mount to force the tapout midway through the first round.

Forecast for Gugerty: The 27-year-old San Diego native has proven he belongs in the UFC. After a long break, he improved significantly from his last bout -- a submission loss to Spencer Fisher in October. Gugerty could return to action this fall against an opponent like Jason Dent or one of the UFC’s UK products -- Paul Kelly, Ross Pearson or Andre Winner.

Forecast for Grice: After three losses, all of them finishes, in four fights, Grice’s time with the promotion appears to be over. He seems like a perfect candidate for one of the mid-major organizations like Victory Fighting Championship or Ring of Combat, where he might challenge champions down the line.

Tom Lawlor def. CB Dollaway -- Submission (Guillotine Choke) 0:55 R1

What happened: Dollaway, choked out in less than a minute, showed he has not learned anything from his submission defeats to Amir Sadollah on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7. One had already accepted the fact that wrestlers have trouble staying out of certain submissions, but the fact that the longtime learning-resistant Mark Coleman can pick up decent submission defense makes this loss even more disappointing for Dollaway.

Eliminated by eventual light heavyweight winner Ryan Bader on Season 8 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Lawlor has shown some solid improvement since his appearance on the reality series. Except for his match with Kyle Kingsbury at “The Ultimate Fighter 8” Finale, none of his fights have made it out of the first round.

Forecast for Lawlor: “The Filthy Mauler” can sit back, relax and wait for the next challenge. Another bout against a TUF-spawned fighter like Tim Credeur or Rob Kimmons might make sense for him at this stage of his career.

Forecast for Dollaway: With a .500 record in his four UFC fights, “The Doberman” has been backed into the kennel. At the mercy of UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, he might be best served by entering the Octagon with somebody of similar experience, like Jake Rosholt, if he wants to get his career off the ground.

Dong Hyun Kim def. T.J. Grant -- Unanimous Decision

What happened: Grant seemed unable to adjust his game plan, even though he and his corner must certainly have noticed that Kim did not look too comfortable standing up. Still, he initiated the takedowns, which were either stuffed or eventually reversed, and the Korean applied good pressure from top position.

Even though Grant, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt under Jorge Gurgel, moved well on the ground and stayed active from the guard, he could not get anything going submission-wise and received a cut on the forehead for his troubles. An illegal upkick in the second round saw a point taken away, which effectively sealed the deal and allowed Kim to walk away with the decision.

Stephen Martinez/Sherdog.com

Kim and Akiyama will continue
to get a big push from the UFC.
Forecast for Kim: One of the key pieces for an eventual UFC move into the Korean market -- he joins Yoshihiro Akiyama and Denis Kang -- Kim will continue to get exposure on the biggest cards the UFC promotes. His lack of killer instinct may prevent him from moving on to the main card anytime soon, however. Possible future opponents could include Brad Blackburn, Dustin Hazelett or even former World Extreme Cagefighting champion Carlos Condit.

Forecast for Grant: Unless he agrees to keep his feet still until next summer, when the UFC plans to return to Canada, it appears that chances to work could be few and far between for the Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, native. Stylistically, fighters like Kevin Burns or James Wilks seem like solid challengers for Grant.

Jon Jones def. Jake O’Brien -- Submission (Guillotine Choke) 2:43 R2

What happened: After throwing around Stephan Bonnar like a ragdoll at UFC 94, Jones returned with another dominating performance against O’Brien, a former heavyweight wrestler. The New York native showed amazing maturity for a 21-year-old and used his insane reach to keep O’Brien at bay.

The turning point came when Jones picked up the pace in the second round and caught O’Brien with a spinning elbow. The blow stunned the Integrated Fighting Academy product, as he instinctively shot in for a double-leg takedown and wound up locked in a guillotine choke by Jones’ endlessly long arms.

Forecast for Jones: “Bones” has dispatched the previously undefeated Andre Gusmao, Bonnar and O’Brien in his first three trips inside the Octagon. Youth aside, he may face a real test next time out. Bouts against Luis Arthur Cane, Krzysztof Soszynski or the winner of the Matt Hamill-Brandon Vera match at UFC 102 could be next for Jones.

Forecast for O’Brien: After starting his UFC career strong, O’Brien has not done well in the past 12 months, losing twice in three appearances. His only victory in that stretch came in a close decision over Christian Wellisch, who has since been released from the company. A fight against Bader or former WEC champion Steve Cantwell could decide his future with the promotion.

Jim Miller def. Mac Danzig -- Unanimous Decision

What happened: Even though Danzig’s training camp included work with Gray Maynard and Tyson Griffin, two of the top wrestlers in the lightweight division, he was thoroughly outwrestled throughout the bout and taken down at will by the physically bigger Miller. After the first round, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 6 winner resembled a vampire after dinner, as blood poured from a nasty cut on his forehead.

Danzig was unlucky when time ran out in the second round, as he had just slapped a tight guillotine choke on his aggressive opponent. Still, Miller dominated the majority of the fight with his takedown prowess and rebounded from his lone UFC loss, suffered at the hands of Maynard, Danzig’s Xtreme Couture teammate.

Forecast for Miller: Miller may replace Clay Guida as the official “The Ultimate Fighter” hunter. With his strong wrestling and physicality, the Whippany, N.J., native could provide a great challenge for Hermes Franca, Griffin or the aforementioned Guida.

Forecast for Danzig: With three consecutive losses, the future looks bleak for the likeable Californian. Even though he has stayed competitive in all three of those defeats, Danzig does not appear to be equipped with the skill set needed to win fights near the top of the UFC lightweight division. Could he become the first “The Ultimate Fighter” winner outside of Season 4 to be axed from the promotion?

Mark Coleman def. Stephan Bonnar -- Unanimous Decision

What happened: Criminally overlooked by the oddsmakers, Coleman -- the former UFC heavyweight champion and Pride open weight grand prix winner -- proved it may not be time to throw him on the scrap heap just yet. Even though he went from one troublesome position to the next in the first round, “The Hammer” grew stronger as the fight wore on.

In the second stanza, the 44-year-old wrestler homed in on Bonnar, as he opened up a nasty cut on his forehead and got the Las Vegas crowd going by dishing out some vintage ground-and-pound. Even though his shot may not be as explosive as it was 10 years ago, Coleman remains a problem for anybody once he gets on top.

Forecast for Coleman: It would be great to see Coleman lock horns with somebody from his own generation -- Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock or Randy Couture -- but it appears more likely he will be used as a stirrup holder for a new generation up-and-comer like Bader, Cantwell or Jones.

Forecast for Bonnar: Although the defeat certainly hurts, there is no shame in losing to Coleman, especially when one considers how hard he pushed former divisional kingpin Mauricio “Shogun” Rua just six months earlier. A perfect bout for Bonnar might be against a rejuvenated Vitor Belfort, provided the Brazilian returns to the UFC Octagon.
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