Rick Story and Anthony Johnson were originally scheduled to headline this card. Johnson had to pull out with an injury, so the UFC replaced him with Nate Marquardt. Now earlier today Marquardt had to pull out because he was not medically cleared to fight. Finally in comes Charlie Brenneman who will hopefully be last name thrown in the mix.
Rick Story must have some set of balls on him. He begins training camp with plans to fight Johnson. Then he has to switch it up and train for Marquadt instead. Now here we are less than 36 hours away from the bout and Dana throws in Charlie Brenneman. Not only that, Story is bumped of the main event. He must be pretty desperate for a payday because training for three different fighters in one camp is no easy task. I hope for Story’s sake that it doesn’t come back to bite him in the ass.
John Howard vs. Matt Brown
This is another rescheduled matchup. It was originally intended to be Martin Kampmann’s first appearance back from his controversial decision loss to Diego Sanchez. Luckily for Howard, Kampmann was another scratch and replaced by Matt Brown. Much better matchup for “Doomsday,” but Brown is no pushover. I’ve followed him since Ultimate Fighter 7. He’s what I’d call a brawler, but slightly more technical than your run of the mill homerun swinger. Brown also has very underrated power. I’m thinking Howard can use a combination of strength and ground skills to win on points. If Howard gets into a slugging match with Brown it won’t end well for him. I’m predicting Howard fights smart, utilizes wrestling and BJJ to win a decision. Prediction: Howard via decision.
Rick Story vs. Charlie Brenneman
I’m quickly becoming a Rick Story fan. Not only did he fight literally a month ago, but he’s willing to fight whomever Dana White throws at him and on short notice. The prez must love this kid. I see this matchup as being completely controlled by Story. Brenneman will come out lively in round 1 only to be rudely interrupted by Story’s workhorse style. Keep in mind Story was training in hopes of neutralizing one of the most gifted strikers in Martin Kampann and another very good puncher in Marquadt. Facing Brenneman is going to be something like swinging a baseball bat without a donut. A one trick phony lacking much of the technicality someone like Kampmann is blessed with. If Brenneman makes it out of round 1 he won’t offer much resistance thereafter. Story is the type of animal that will wear you out quick. I can visualize him winning a lopsided decision but at the same time wouldn’t put a TKO stoppage past him. My pick: Story via stoppage.
Cheick Kongo vs. Patt Barry
Main event of the night and leg kick fest 2011 at the same time. Two of the most brutal heavyweight strikers. Pat Barry is probably the most most devastating kicker in the division with his conrete pillars for legs. Kongo however has sharper and swifter knees and probably holds the punching advantage as well. Barry tends to become gun shy in the course of frivolous standup battles and loses a lot of his steam if he’s not economical with his hand strikes. Kongo on the other hand loves to exchane and is slowly but surely gaining somewhat of a ground game to fall back on against fighters without one. In my opinion, Barry is tailor made for Kongo. As long as he minimizes the damage inflicted by Barry’s monster leg kicks he’ll cruise to decision. Kongo via decision.