Saturday, April 4, 2015

UFC Fight Night: Mendes vs. Lamas Predictions

After giving featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo, the most competitive fight of his UFC career, number one contender Chad "Money" Mendes returns to action to face fellow top five contender Ricardo "The Bully" Lamas.

With Aldo set to tangle with Connor McGregor later this year at UFC 189, the winner of Saturday's bout may very well be the next in line for a title shot.

Here is my predictions of Saturday's main event.

UFC Fight Night 63
Fairfax, Virginia; Fox Sports 1 (11 a.m. ET/1 p.m. Pacific)

Chad Mendes (16-2) V. Ricardo Lamas (15-3)

I have a hard time not picking Mendes to win this match up. He has beaten every one he's faced in the division not named Jose Aldo. 

The Team Alpha Male product shows vast improvements in his striking every time he steps into the octagon, which has been accelerated by the coaching of Duane Ludwig.

Though Ludwig is no longer in Sacramento to hold pads for Mendes, Kampmann has been summoned to fill that role. This fight marks the first camp that the two have spent together.

Only time will tell if their partnership will result in a title, but there is no question as to what Kampmann can add to Mendes' striking arsenal.

That being said, I cannot imagine Lamas wanting to trade with Mendes. Money's ever improving footwork and combinations will most likely prove too much for him.

The only way I see Lamas winning this fight is if he could take Mendes to the ground, but with a guy like Mendes who has never been taken down in his UFC career, this is easier said than done.

However, if Lamas could take the fight to the cage and rely on dirty boxing to nullify Mendes' movement, he might have a chance.

But in a five round fight, and with Mendes' cardio, this just seems like too much of an uphill battle for Lamas.

Pick: Mendes by Unanimous Decision.

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