UFC Fight Night 18 airs tomorrow night on Spike, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The fight card boasts a solid main event of former (before division dissolved) WEC welterweight champ Carlos Condit against UFC contender Martin Kampmann.
We’ll be providing you with LIVE fight results tomorrow night, as well as predictions leading up to the event. Now also remember, TUF 9 premiers right afterward, so stay tuned for that on Spike. We’ll likely post a wrap-up after seeing how “U.S. vs. U.K.” gets started.
Without further ado, here’s how I break down Fight Night 18’s main card…
Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann: Condit had a great reign in the WEC as welterweight champ but now is the time he’ll begin to possibly prove himself against some of the very top 170 lbs. fighters in the world. Kampmann made a successful move to WW after a loss at middleweight to Nate Marquardt back at UFC 88, and is looking very sharp in both his striking and ground game. For those concerned with Martin going up against Carlos’s BJJ, I recommend you note his previous submission wins. This is a great match-up and I see it having the potential for a great three round battle.
Gleison Tibau vs. Jeremy Stephens: Gleison was not the originally scheduled opponent, as TUF 8 winner Efrain Escudero was set to face Stephens. Now with Escudero out with a rib injury, Jeremy gets an even harder test. Stephens’ past fight was a hard-fought loss to ground specialist Joe Lauzon, and he’ll likely wind up grappling once again with Tibau, unless he has improved his takedown defense.
Ryan Bader vs. Carmelo Marrero: Tomorrow night can be the time the world wakes up to Bader’s true wrestling prowess as Marrero will likely want to take this fight to the ground. Don’t be surprised though, if Ryan is able to keep things standing and pick apart Carmelo as he did against Vinny in the TUF 8 finale. Marrero’s a tough opponent, but Bader is the definition of power and he’ll have to rely on that at times to overcome Carmelo’s experience advantage.
Junie Browning vs. Cole Miller: Haha, talk about a war of words. These two have shot back and forth at one another via interviews and the like, for months. Browning is coming out of the Xtreme Couture camp, and Cole is battle-tested so there’s little doubt as to either guy’s power and training. What this fight will come down to is mental preparedness and ability to maintain composure when the heat gets turned up.
Tyson Griffin vs. Rafael dos Anjos: Both men are looking for a win, coming off losses. Griffin has shown time and time again he is able to well control the pace of his matches, but he’ll have a stern test in the aggressive dos Anjos. Rafael has great BJJ, but Griffin’s wrestling is top flight. It’s possible the two will negate ground advantage and keep the majority of the rounds standing.