Here is my UFC Fight Night 25 Main Card Breakdown/Predictions
Jake Shields vs Jake Ellenberger
Great matchup between 2 men with very similar records. Shields is 26-5-1 and Ellenberger is 24-5. The difference is how they get it done. Shields utilizes his wrestling and submission game, while Ellenberger tries to knock you out. This is a battle of who can dictate where the fight takes place. If Shields gets this fight down, Ellenberger is in a world of trouble. If the fight stays on the feet, Shields striking game is good enough that this could be a really competitive fight.
The X factor in this fight will be Shields' mindset. The recent death of his father, who was his manager and biggest supporter has to be on Shields' mind. The second issue is he is coming in off his first loss in 6 years when he lost a tough fight against welterweight king, Georges St Pierre. How he responds to both losses will be crucial.
My prediction is that Shields will need this win for the memory of his father more than anything. I predict Shields gets this fight on the ground and dominates Ellenberger for all 3 rounds in a unanimous decision victory.
Court McGee vs Dongi Yang
In another battle of styles, Court McGee takes on Dongi Yang. McGee is a submission specialist and Yang loves to stand and bang. Yang who is 10-1 has finished every fight he's won with 9 wins by TKO/KO. McGee has over half of his 13 wins via submission.
In my opinion Yang has yet to fight a good wrestler/submission guy. In McGee he'll get just that. This fight will be decided based on where it takes place. If Yang has good takedown defense, he should be able to utilize his superior striking to get another TKO victory. If McGee gets this fight down, the likelihood that he sinks in a submission is high.
My prediction is McGee finds a way to get it down. McGee via 2nd round rear naked choke.
Jonathan Brookins vs Erik Koch
This will be Brookins first fight since winning the Ultimate Fighter title 10 months ago. In that win his stand up looked terrible but he weathered the storm and eventually got the fight to the ground and wore out Michael Johnson in route to a unanimous decision.
Koch is no slouch on the ground but possess the superior striking ability in this matchup. I expect Koch to try to keep this fight standing and exploit Brookins on the feet.
I think that ring-rust will be a factor, combined with Koch's superior striking I think this is a tough fight for Brookins to prevail in. My prediction is Koch by 2nd round TKO.
Alan Belcher vs Jason MacDonald
Alan Belcher will finally make his return to the octagon after a 16 month layoff after suffering a detached retina. Belcher known for exciting fights will be a shot in the arm for the middleweight division. Welcoming Belcher back journeyman warrior Jason MacDonald. MacDonald has fought a who's who list of fighters in his 39 fight career and will be coming in off a triangle choke victory over Ryan Jensen.
You've got to wonder how ring-rust will affect Belcher coming into this fight. This is the longest layoff of his career and he's coming in to fight a submission specialist in MacDonald. I've got to think that Belcher will try to keep this fight standing while MacDonald will do whatever it takes to bring Belcher into his world on the ground.
This is a tough fight for me to call due to Belcher's long layoff. But I'm going to make a bold prediction that Belcher finds a way to nullify MacDonald's takedowns and wins this fight by unanimous decision.