Bae vs MacSwain
Macswain can definitely take punishment standing and fight off more technical submissions, as well as dish out pain ‘til the final seconds of the fight. This time though he’ll need to look beyond the old school MMA formula of BJJ + Muay Thai = Winner and focus on ways to deal with Bae’s well-timed takedowns during trades and relentless GNP. Bae has more experience on the ground, Macswain seems unknock-out’able! If Macswain can keep it on the feet I believe his chin will survive the brawling and that nice shinny belt may stay in New Zealand a while longer.
Jo vs Yao
This time, I think this one might take fight-of-the-night honours. More than any fighter I’ve ever seen Yao represents determination. In LFC 4 Yao took more damage than Coyote in the roadrunner cartoon and came back to take the decision. Jo will no doubt add-in his dance act taunts and work to punish Yao once he is taken down (cuz we all know Yao is getting those takedowns). Expect big slams and a ground battle in this one. Let’s see if I can pick fight-of-the-night like last time.
Wang vs Hamamura
This bout aims to be the slugfest of the night. Both fighters travel in one direction –straight forward, have a ton of KO potential, and both also have never-say-die spirit. In many of his fights we have seen Hamamura ignore pain and charge forward as he did against Professor X, eating countless knees and pushing forward ‘til the end. LFC fans saw the same balls-out determination in Wang in his fight-of-the-night performance vs Alex Niu- fighting to the bitter end and pissing blood after the fight. Hopefully for the health of both guys this fight won’t go the distance.
Sung vs Siu
Local fighter Siu will be hunting for the knock out and doing what he can to use his reach keeping Sung away from the clinch and the ground where Sung has the upper hand. Well trained in Karate, Siu will have an advantage striking. Sung will look to follow in Taiwanese-standout ‘ugly’ Justin Lee’s footsteps and ruin the hopes of the local fans. Just don’t do your job too well, Sam, you might not get invited back!
Niu vs Li
The battle of the bullet-proof chins! Both can dish out and take beatings. We saw that in Niu’s dismantling of Wang Sai in his last LFC appearance and also Li’s performance against Pat Crawley –where he ate consecutive bombs in the head from heavier, finisher, Crawley. Li has the upper-hand with submissions, but Niu is ever-more harder to take down. As in the past, these China vs China fights always look to be violence-laden blood baths- expect the same from this match.
Crawley vs Yang
’Hungry’ Yang will have been damn hungry these last few weeks dropping down to fight at 84 kilos. Crawley has the experience at this weight and is surprisingly fast and accurate. Yang may find fighting at 84 a relief from dodging the attacks of 100KG + fighters. On the ground Hungry has the wrestling, but Crawley has that explosive GNP we saw against Bhupesh that looked like a gorilla attack – not giving Bhupesh a second to breathe. Interested for sure on the out-come of this one!
Hill vs Nam
Funny, I feel Hill got robbed in his decision loss to Korean, Kwon, in his last LFC fight and Nam’s split-decision loss to Australian, Pang, could have gone either way. Now there back fighting one another with no secret of their dislike for the other. Hill has been fighting, and training with top level coaches since we saw him last and I expect him to surprise us with newly learnt tricks. Nam, we can expect, to come out guns-blazing. If Nam ever gets this weight-cutting thing right he’ll have better energy and focus to compliment his vicious attacks.
Tirta vs Wu
My believe is that Tirta has the potential to, not only win this match, but the entire light weight tournament. Those who don’t know Fransino will learn quickly that he is one of the top grapplers in Asian MMA with sick boxing to back it up. We have seen upsets though, and believe me Wu is just one of hundreds of tough Mainland Chinese fighters looking to introduce themselves to the international community in blood splattering fashion. A decision victory is not out of the question for Wu, but finishing Tirta is next to impossible. You’ll see what I mean.
Kawango vs Striegl
Kawango has an impressive KO rap sheet for any 66KG fighter. Whether by fists or flying knees he hunts for the finish and is damn good at getting it. These days Striegl will, no doubt, be training ways to ground Kawango, minimize the threat of unconscious, and apply his plethora of submissions to advance in the tournament and remain undefeated.
Once again, the card is stacked and set to be another blow-out event! This time the show will be in the beautiful City of Dreams Casino in Macau. Mike and I will do our best to avoid the craps table until after completing our commentary responsibilities. Remember to join us a Cubic for the after party with the fighters. See you there!