UFC 139: Preview & Predictions

Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles: Special emphasis should be placed on this fight due to its status as a title eliminator bout. Both Faber and Bowles have had their shots at champ Dominick Cruz, but the talent pool at the top of the bantamweight division consists of guys who have either been beaten multiple times by Cruz or fighters who don’t quite have the name value to challenge for a title.

Bowles has venom in his hands, as shown by his knockout win over Miguel Torres when he captured the WEC title a few years ago. But I’m not sure his takedown defense is enough to smother the frantic Faber, who should consistently work for takedowns and submissions in this fight. Bowles is an excellent fighter and a guy who will constantly contend in the division, but Faber’s wrestling skills and frenetic pace will tell the story in this one.

Prediction: Urijah Faber by decision

Martin Kampmann vs. Rick Story: Both guys are looking to get their careers back on track. Kampmann is riding a two-fight losing streak, though going down by decision to Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez is nothing to get too depressed about. Story will try to get back on the horse after being forced out of title contention by Charlie Brenneman earlier this year in a fight he took on extremely short notice.

Story’s constant pressure will be too much for Kampmann, who likes to set his own pace and control the tempo of a fight. He’s never performed well against fighters who get in his face and make him work hard, and Story excels at that like few others in the division. Look for Story to attack and grind from the opening bell on the way to a decision win.

Prediction: Rick Story by decision

Stephan Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury: This fight is tailor-made for the opening bout of the night, and it’s also the early contender for Fight of the Night honors. Bonnar and Kingsbury seemingly cannot have anything but exciting fights, and both guys have promised to stand and bang with each other. These promises aren’t often kept, but with Bonnar and Kingsbury, it’s almost a certainty that you’re going to see a wild, bloody brawl.

Prediction: Stephan Bonnar by decision

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