George Sotiropoulos and Ross Pearson coached opposite one another on “The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): The Smashes,” and neither man seemed particularly fond of the other. They’ll get to settle their differences inside the Octagon on Dec. 15, as they’ll headline the “UFC on FX 6” fight card at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Queensland, Australia. The TUF Smashes lightweight and welterweight winners will also be determined at the event.
The preliminary fight card will start at 3 p.m. EST on Dec. 14 for those in the U.S. Here are my predictions for the entire UFC on FX 6 fight card:
George Sotiropoulos vs. Ross Pearson
Ross was the lightweight winner of the ninth TUF season, and George was a favorite to win the sixth installment (he ended up getting knocked out by Tom Speer in the semi-finals). Both men are coming off knockout losses, and they’ll have a lot to prove when they collide inside the Octagon. Pearson should have the advantage in the striking department, but Sotiropoulos is no slouch either. George is also solid on the ground, and he’ll probably have the advantage if the fight hits the canvas. Very even matchup, but I’m a bit more impressed with the caliber of opponents Sotiropoulos has defeated in the past (Joe Lauzon, Kurt Pellegrino, and Joe Stevenson just to name a few). George will also get a morale boost fighting in his native Australia.
Prediction: Sotiropoulos wins via submission.
Robert Whittaker vs. Brad Scott (welterweight finals)
At only 21 years-old, Whittaker has put together a solid 9-2 professional MMA record, and it only took him 96 seconds to win his two fights on TUF Smashes, knocking his opponents out cold. Scott is also a promising young UFC prospect, but I was more awed with Whittaker’s performances and demeanor during the show. The Australian seems to have the mental maturity and skills needed to be successful in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and I expect him to start off his official UFC career (TUF fights aren’t counted as professional MMA bouts) with a win against Scott.
Prediction: Whittaker wins via knockout.
Norman Parke vs. Colin Fletcher (lightweight finals)
Definitely the most colorful and carefree personality on TUF Smashes, Fletcher is strictly business when he steps inside the Octagon. The 6-foot-2 lightweight is a well-rounded MMA fighter, and his 81-inch reach gives him a significant advantage in the striking department (Jon Jones’ reach is 84.5 inches).
Parke is also a gamer, and he’s a lot more experienced than Colin is. However, I’m not sure his skills and experience will be enough to make up for Colin’s physical advantages.
Prediction: Colin wins via TKO.
Hector Lombard vs. Rousimar Palhares
Lombard didn’t put on the show many MMA fans were expecting when he made his promotional debut against Tim Boetsch at UFC 149, and he ended up losing a questionable split-decision. I personally scored the bout in Hector’s favor.
Things didn’t go very well for Palhares either during his last outing against Alan Belcher at “UFC on Fox 3,” and the BJJ specialist ended up getting dominated on the ground (he lost via TKO). He’ll have his hands full against Lombard, who’ll be highly motivated to prove he belongs in the UFC when the two square up.
Lombard is a dangerous striker, and his takedown defense isn’t too shabby either. “Shango” doesn’t have to worry much about Palhares’ striking, so I expect him to be a lot more aggressive at UFC on FX 6 than he was against Boetsch.
Prediction: Lombard wins via KO.
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Ben Alloway defeats Manuel Rodriguez
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Nick Penner defeats Cody Donovan