In addition to the main event, which features Jon Bones Jones defending his UFC Light Heavyweight title, lightweights Nate Diaz and the “Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi will square off, as will middleweights Nick Ring and Tim Boetsch.

Nate Diaz (13-7, 3 KO’s, 1 Sub) vs. Takanori Gomi (32-7 1 No Contest, 12 KO’s, 6 Subs)

Nate DiazNate Diaz will fight the same man his brother fought over 4 years ago in Takanori Gomi. Older brother Nick Diaz had his victory overturned when he failed a post fight drug test. The bout was ruled a No Contest and Nate Diaz would like to prove that he can beat him as well and without dirty urine.

Diaz has struggled recently in the welterweight category and has decided to drop back down to tangle with the lighter 155 pounders. Diaz is a very tough kid who has lost to some very talented fighters. He has only been submitted once in his career and never knocked out.

He lost a heartbreaking split decision to top lightweight contender Gray Maynard before deciding to step up to the welterweights. His first two fights were impressive as he TKO’ed Rory Markham in the first round and then submitted Marcus Davis. But in the UFC the more you win, the tougher the opposition.

His next two fights proved to bear that out. He lost by unanimous decision to Dong Hyun Kim and then to the young talented Canadian Rory McDonald. Now, he will test his mettle again and cut weight to meet Gomi at 155. 

At almost 33 years old and having lost 4 of his last 7 fights, Gomi may not be the fierce fighter he once was but one thing is for sure, he is always entertaining. The former PRIDE superstar and lightweight champion, Gomi is a southpaw that can strike from anywhere and uses his knees about as well as he uses his hands.

Though he lost his UFC debut to Kenny Florian he rebounded with an impressive knockout of Tyson Griffin in August of last year. His last appearance in the Octagon was a loss to top tier fighter Clay Guida by submission. 

If Gomi has one weakness it is his inability to defend against top submission artists. Of his 7 losses, 5 have come via submission. The bad news for Gomi is that Nate Diaz positively loves to employ submissions wherever and whenever he can. Of Diaz’s 13 wins, 9 have been by submission and almost all have been by a choke in one form or another.

UFC betting odds for this fight have not been released as of yet. Though Nate may not be quite the fighter his older brother is, I believe the fight will end in much the same way as Gomi/Diaz 1.

My Pick: Nate Diaz by submission. 

Nick Ring

Nick Ring (12-0, 2 KO’s, 6 Subs) vs. Tim Boetsch (13-4, 6 KO’s, 5 Subs) 

It’s hard not to like Nick Ring in this UFC 135 bout. After all, what has he done wrong? He is undefeated since launching his professional career at the Roadhouse Rumble (yeeeehaw) back in ’02. Usually a fighter with 12 fights under his belt is in his early to mid 20’s but Ring is already 32 years of age and has only fought twice in the UFC.

He defeated Riki Fukuda in a controversial decision that had everyone believing Fukuda won the fight except the judges. He then scored another UFC victory with a 3rd round submission over UFC newcomer James Head (just as I predicted). 

Tim Boetsch is no newcomer to the UFC. He holds a 2-2 record under the big tent of MMA and has won 5 of his last 6 bouts with the only loss coming to UFC Light Heavyweight contender Phil Davis. In his last fight, Boetsch decided to test the waters of the middleweight division and secured a unanimous decision victory over UFC journeyman Kendall Grove.

Though Ring has a 2 inch height advantage and his record looks better on paper, I like the stronger and more aggressive Boetsch to deliver Ring his first MMA loss.

My Pick: Boetsch by decision.