UFC News: Hermes Franca vs. Joe Lauzon at UFC Fight Night 17

In an interview with Jeremy Stephens the other day he stated that Hermes Franca was going to fight in February.  It looks like Stephens was correct and it look like he will be fighting TUF 5 alum Joe Lauzon. This should be a very interesting fight.  Both guys are top tens in the UFC divison…or close to it.  Both guys are serious contenders.  Both guys are coming off of wins.  Lauzon comes fof a win over Kyle Bradley and Franca comes off of a win against Marcus Aurelio.  The winner of this fight will be considered an upper eshalon UFC lightweight. 

Lauzon is my earlier favorite to win this one, but it certainly can be a tough fight with a couple of tough fighters.

UFC Fight Night 17 will be held on February 7 and will feature bouts between TUF 6 winner Mac Danzig and Josh Neer as well as TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah taking on Nick Catone.  I look for all 3 of these fights to make the televised card with a event yet to be named to be tapped for the main event.


MMABlog’s Lightweight MMA Rankings




Next Fight


B.J. Penn


St. Pierre (#1 WW) 1/31


Takanori Gomi

World Victory Road

Golyaev (NR), 11/1


Shinya Aoki




Eddie Alvarez




Sean Sherk


T. Griffin (#15), 9/25


Mitsuhiro Ishida




Tatsuya Kawajiri




Kenny Florian


Stevenson (#10), 11/15


Josh Thomson


Edwards (NR), 11/21


Joe Stevenson


Florian (#8), 11/15


Gesias Calvancante




Joachim Hansen




Gilbert Melendez




Jamie Varner




Tyson Griffin


Sherk (#5), 9/25


Roger Huerta




Gray Maynard


Clementi (NR), 9/25


Frank Edgar


Wiman (NR), 12/10


Vitor Ribeiro




Nate Diaz




K.J. Noons




Joe Lauzon




Nick Diaz




Spencer Fisher


Gugerty (NR), 9/25


Caol Uno




Others Considered: Clay Guida, Hermes Franca, Marcus Aurelio, Jim Miller, Jorge Masvidal , Rich Clementi, Matt Wiman, and Mac Danzig.

UFC Fight Night 15 Salaries

  • Nate Diaz — $70,000 ($20,000 to show, $20,000 to win, $30,000 Fight of the Night Bonus)
  • Wilson Gouveia — $66,000 (Includes $30,000 Submission of the Night Bonus)
  • Alessio Sakara — $64,000 ($17,000 to show, $17,000 to win, $30,000 KO of the Night Bonus)
  • Josh Neer — $39,000 (Includes $30,000 Fight of the Night Bonus)
  • Clay Guida — $26,000
  • Alan Belcher — $26,000
  • Joe Lauzon — $20,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 to win)
  • Ed Herman — $16,000
  • Drew McFedries — $16,000
  • Mac Danzig — $15,000
  • Houston Alexander — $13,000
  • Eric Schafer — $12,000
  • Dan Miller — $10,000
  • Mike Massenzio — $6,000
  • Jason Brilz – $6,000
  • Rob Kimmons — $5,000
  • Ryan Jensen — $4,000
  • Kyle Bradley — $4,000
  • Brad Morris — $4,000
  • Joe Vedepo — $3,000

UFC Fight Night 15 Results and Thoughts

Nate Diaz Def. Josh Neer via Split Decision

Clay Guida Def. Mac Danzig via Unanimous Decision

Alan Belcher Def. Ed Herman by Split Decision

Eric Schafer def. Houston Alexander by Submission in Round 1

Joe Lauzon Def. Kyle Bradley By TKO in Round 2

Wilson Gouveia Def. Ryan Jensen by Submission in Round 2

Alessio Sakara Def. Joe Vedepo by KO in Round 2

Dan Miller Def. Rob Kimmons by Submission in Round 1

Mike Massenzio Def. Drew McFedries by Submission in Round 1

Jason Brilz def. Brad Morris by TKO in Round 2

Fight of the Night: Nate Diaz vs. Josh Neer

Knockout of the Night: Alessio Sakara

Submission of the Night: Wilson Gouveia

  • Nate Diaz looked really impressive in submission defense
  • I am shocked Neer fought so well and fought on the ground a lot of the time
  • Clay Guida was overwhelming
  • Ed Herman probably should have gotten the decision victory
  • It looks like the middleweight divison’s newcomers are a force to be reckoned with (Wilson Gouveia, Mike Massenzio, and Dan Miller)
  • It looks like Houston Alexander is out of the UFC.  He looked solid at first but his ground game stinks.

My UFC Fight Night 15 Predictions

Nate Diaz vs. Josh Neer

My Pick is Nate Diaz.  Josh Neer is a tough as nails dude, who will want to keep the fight standing.  Nate Diaz has looked very impressive on the ground and very unimpressive standing.  He needs to improve his striking.  Neer is the toughest opponent he has faced to date, but I still think Nate Diaz will win in round 2 by submission. 

Mac Danzig vs. Clay Guida

This is the co-main event, so I want to hear your opinions on this one

I picked Mac Danzig here.  I think Guida is exciting and has good striking, but sometimes he gets carried away.  I think Danzig is slightly better on his feet and far superior on the ground.  I would suspect Mac will have a good game plan for Guida and will pull out a victory here.  This could be a really good fight between two tough guys.  I think Mac moves on and moves up in competition.

Houston Alexander vs. Eric Schafer

Houston Alexander burst onto the scene with KO wins over Keith Jardine and Alessio Sakara.  He then dropped a few, most notablly a quick KO to James Irvin.  I think Alexander has great striking skills and can be very good. Schafer is a tough dude, who has great ground skills.  I think Alexander will look for a quick KO.  He better avoid the take down and knock out Schafer, so that is my prediction.  I think Houston wins by KO in round 1.

Alan Belcher vs. Ed Herman

Both these guys are coming off of losses in their last outings.  Alan Belcher has been tabbed as a sort of up and comer prior to his loss to Jason Day.  I think when it comes down to it, Ed Herman has better submission skills than Belcher and will be able to submit him, however, do not be surprised to see Belcher KO Herman.  This was my toughest pick on the card, and I stick with Ed Herman by submission.

Kyle Bradley vs. Joe Lauzon

Kyle Bradley got KO’s by Chris Lytle, then he dropped to 155.  His first test is Joe Lauzon.  I think it is a tough test.  Joe Lauzon may be the best of the TUF 5 guys.  I think he has great potential.  Training with B.J. Penn only helps him.  I think Joe Lauzon wins this one with a submission in round 1. 

Wilson Gouveia vs. Ryan Jensen

Wilson Gouveia dropped to middleweight and was to face Jeremy Horn here.  Horn was forced to pull out and will now face a tough wrestling fighter in Ryan Jensen.  I think Gouveia is the clear favorite here.  The question is going to be the weight cut.  I think it was a good move for Wilson, but many times guys struggle in their first fight after dropping a class, like Brandon Vera and Mike Swick did.  I think Gouveia can be a contender at middleweight, and look for him to win a unaimous decision against Ryan Jensen.

Drew McFedries vs Mike Massenzio 

This is a very tough fight to pick.  Massenzio is a former IFL fighter who holds wins over Dan Miller and Dante Rivera.  McFedries is a vicious striker who has had ups and downs.  He holds a win over Alessio Sakara and Marvin Eastman, but dropped fights in the UFC to Patrick Cote and Martin Kampmann.  I do not know if that means Drew is just not as good as the top level middleweights or what.  This is a good test for both guys.  If Massenzio can take McFedries down he can easily win this fight.  However, Drew looked very good his last time out and I pick him to win by TKO in round 2. Watch for the upset here though.

Jason Brilz vs. Brad Morris

Brad Morris is coming off of a loss to Cain Velasquez at heavyweight and drops to light heavyweight to take on newcomer Jason Brilz.  Brilz has been rumored to be on this season of TUF.  I do not know if it was justa  rumor or if he just barely missed the cut.  Brilz is a very good fighter and holds impressive wins over Jason MacDonald, Mike Patt, and Alex Shoenauer.  Also, he fought Justin Eilers to a draw.  Brilz is big.  He is a good wrestler.  I pick Brilz to win this fight by TKO following ground and pound in round 3. 

Rob Kimmons vs. Dan Miller

Dan Miller is the former IFL middlweight champ.  This is a big fight for him.  Kimmons is a solid fighter, but I suspect Miller to pull out a win here.  I think he wins by unaimous decision. 

Alessio Sakara vs. Joe Vedepo

I know nothing of Joe Vedepo.  So this pick is kind of a guess.  I do know that Sakara is a great striker who has shown skills against guys liek Chris Leben.  I think Sakara wins this fight by unanimous decision.

UFC’s Best Divison

I went to HDnet’s fighter rankings and based this on which UFC weight divisons had the most top 20 fighters.  I know there are other ways to judge the best, but this is interesting…

1. Light Heavyweights –  They are stacked in the UFC.  This is where the light heavyweight competition lies.  They have the top 11 (Jackson, Henderson, Griffin, Liddell, Jardine, Machida, Wanderlei, Evans, Thiago Silva, and Sokodjou) guys in the world and 20 of the top 25 guys.  This is a great divison, full of star power.

2. Welterweights – They have 10 of the top 20 (St. Pierre, Fitch, Hughes, Serra, Koscheck, Sanchez, Alves, Parisyan, Davis and Gono), but 8 of the world’s top ten.  They have a near top ten monopoly only missing out on Shields and Condit.  I feel that there are other UFC guys to mention in top 20 talk (Chris Wilson and Chris Lytle), but the divison is strong and has the top tier welterweights in the world.

3. Lightweights – In most rankings the UFC gets cheated in the lightweight divison.  The system I used ranked 8 of their guys as top 20 in the world (Penn, Sherk, Huerta, Stevenson, Florian, Guida, Tyson Griffin, and Gray Maynard).  I know some of those other guys are good, but they are overrated.  Gomi can’t beat UFC guys.  Nick Diaz, B.J. Penn and Marcus Aurelo all beat him.  Aoki, Melendez, Calvancanti and bunch are unproven in my opinion against top guys.  Plus I feel some guys unfairly got left out of rankings.  Where is Marcu Aurelio?  FranK Edgar?  or Joe Lauzon?  or even Nate Diaz?  You mean to tell me Edgar is not a top 20?  This divison is stacked and has more contenders than any UFC divison.  DREAM does have some great lightweights.  I’d love to see a fight card of UFC’s top lightweights against DREAM’s top lightweights.  I think UFC would win easily.

4. Middleweights – They have 7 of the top 20 fighters in the world at this divison (Anderson Silva, Rich Franklin, Dan Hemderson, Marquardt, Okami, Bisping and Leites.  I put this above heavyweights first of all because I believe there are some guys that could be in the top 20 mix (Quarry, MacDonald, Leben, Cote, Kampmann and Almeida). It still is weak, not because it isn’t deep, but because they can’t find anyone to compete with Anderson Silva.  Anderson Silva is the second reason I put this divison above Heavyweights…enough said.

5. Heavyweights –  They also have 7 of the top 20 fighters in the world at Heavyweight  (Nogueira, Werdum, Gonzaga, Kongo, Vera, Mir and Herring).  Only 3 of those guys are top ten in the world.  All this assumed Arlovski signs with Affiction.  If that happens Affliction will have 6 of the top ten (Fedor, Sylvia, Barnett, Rothwell, Arlovski and Aleksander Emelianenko) plus Pedro Rizzo.  This is a weak divison for the UFC, but they do have some good prospects in Carwin, Lesnar and Velasquez.  This divison was once strong, but since has lost Couture, Cro Cop, Sylvia, Arlovski, and O’Brien.

My UFC Fight Night 12 predictions

Corey Hill vs. Joe Veres

Joe Veres lost to Gray Maynard in 9 second.  Now I do not think Corey Hill is as good as Maynard, but I think he will beat Veres.  I would assume after this fight Joe Veres will hate TUF 5.  I think Corey Hill has real potential in the UFC.  Unlike some of the other TUF 5 guys Corey must win this fight to stay in the UFC.

Matt Wiman vs. Justin Buchholtz

I believe Matt Wiman will give Buchholtz a nice welcome to the UFC and should ink another win in the octagon.

Gray Maynard vs. Dennis Siver

I think Gray is an underrated fighter who made a fantastic decision to train with Randy Couture.  His last fight didn’t last long.  I believe he will win another in the first round.

Cole Miller vs. Jeremy Stephens

To be honest this pick is pure guess work, but I believe the math up shows what the UFC thinks of the TUF 5 fighters.  Joe Lauzon although not the winner is going to be the best to come out of there and the most marketed from season 5, but I believe they think a lot of Manny, Gray Maynard and Cole Miller as they are fighting quality opponents. 

Thiago Tavares vs. Michihiro Omigawa

Tavares came near pulling out a win against Tyson Griffin.  I expect this one to go to Tavares who is a good fighter.

Kurt Pellegrino vs. Alberto Crane

Alberto Crane can submit anyone, but I think Pellegrino is too good.  He has fought some of the best and fought them well.  I predict Kurt Pellegrino will win via unanimous decision.

Nate Diaz vs. Alvin Robinson

Robinson posted a good win over Jorge Gurgel.  Nate Diaz is super talented, but I think will be inconsistent.  I still think Nate Diaz will win this fight.  I predict by submission.  Robinson has good submissions, but I doubt he will catch Nate Diaz in a submission. 

Patrick Cote vs. Drew McFedries

Both of these guys have serious knockout power.  A fight like this is tough to pick because one good shot can KO the other guy.  McFedries is far more explosive of a fighter.  Cote has some good wins in the octagon the last coming against the rapidly falling Kendall Grove.  I am going to pick McFedries via KO is round 1.  I expect Drew to come out swining, but he better watch out because Cote can knock you out. 

Mike Swick vs. Josh Burkman

Mike Swick struggled against top level competition in the middleweight divison.  In my opinion the only top quality fighters he fought he lost to (Leben and Okami).  The question is, how will Swick do at welterweight.  He will have a slight size advantage.  I have Swick in my top ten welterweights, but that is being generous.  A win here would make Swick very relevant in this divison.  Burkman is no push over.  His UFC losses are to Karo and Jon Fitch.  That seems to indicate he won’t hang with the top tier guys.  I pick Mike Swick to pull out a win via TKO in round 2.