WEC 52: Faber v. Mizugaki takes place at The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada on Thursday, November 11. The main card begins on Versus at 9:00 p.m. ET.
For all of the coverage from the entire SB Nation network, go to our WEC 52: Faber vs. Mizugaki coverage. And, of course, enjoy the fights.
Main Bouts (On Versus):
Urijah Faber vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Kid Nate: Faber is just too much for Mizugaki: faster, stronger and a better wrestler. Faber by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Faber is simply a better fighter than Mizugaki. While Takeya put on a good show against Miguel Torres, Torres is a guy who tends to get hit far too much. Faber isn’t that guy and that will benefit him well in taking a really lopsided decision. Urijah Faber by decision.
Mike Fagan: This was always an interesting bout for Faber with his drop down to 135, but it’s become a pretty big fight for him. A loss to Mizugaki completely derails his entrance into the UFC and the entirety of the promotional push that the WEC put behind him these last few years. There’s a reason this fight was put together though. Mizugaki’s made a small career from his exciting loss to Miguel Torres in April of ‘09. This is a bad style fight for him though. Urijah Faber by decision.
Chris Nelson: Terrible stylistic match-up for Mizugaki. Unless Faber had a bad cut or really fades late, I think he wins this handily. Faber via decision.
Leland Roling: We’ve seen a lot of fights in which Mizugaki was exploited by the exact skills that Faber possesses. I can’t imagine what Faber’s speed will look like at 135, but I’m going to believe it’s going to be unbelievable. Add onto that Faber’s solid takedown game and offensive abilities in the scramble, this is his fight to win. Faber via submission.
Jon Snowden: This is the biggest fight of Faber’s life. A win propels him into the UFC in a main or co-main event slot. A loss send him packing to the opening bout of the night. There’s thousands and thousands of dollars on the line. It’s easy to forget that Faber is a heck of a fighter – too good for Mizugaki I think. Faber by Decision.
Erik Koch vs. Francisco Rivera
Kid Nate: Koch seems to be getting the showcase here. Rivera has some promise but he’s outclassed tonight. Koch by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Leland is right on the money with not understanding why this fight is getting main card love. Oh well. Eric Koch by decision.
Mike Fagan: No knowledge of Rivera and Koch is 2-1 in the WEC. Erik Koch by decision.
Chris Nelson: Rivera’s a tempting underdog, but Koch is just better-rounded. Koch via submission, round one.
Leland Roling: I’m still not seeing why this fight makes the main card over Davis vs. Assuncao. Rivera is definitely tempting as Chris alluded to… his power and striking skills are underappreciated. Koch just has more tools. Erik Koch via decision.
Jon Snowden: I agree that this is inexplicable. There are some great fights on the undercard that deserve the love this one is getting. Koch by Decison.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Wagnney Fabiano
Kid Nate: Benavidez should have the wrestling to keep this one on the feet where he can outscore Fabiano in striking exchanges. Benavidez by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Benavidez should be able to pick and peck his way to a win here as long as he doesn’t allow Fabiano to grab hold of him and find a way to the floor on top. Joseph Benavidez by decision.
Mike Fagan: Awesome fight. Benavidez reminds me of a 135-pound Frank Edgar. Complete with the fact that I think he would be a monster at 125. I’m interested to see if Benavidez can use his speed to stick-and-move, but I think Fabiano’s size will be the difference maker. Wagnney Fabiano by decision.
Chris Nelson: I don’t see Benavidez finishing Fabiano before the BJJ black belt catches him with something. Fabiano via submission, round two.
Leland Roling: I’m actually looking forward to this a bit more than some of the other fights. Benavidez has great power and stays out of guard rather well, but Fabiano’s grappling ability will be tough for Benavidez to deal with. I gotta go with Benavidez here via wrestleboxing. Joseph Benavidez via decision.
Jon Snowden: One mistake by Benavides and this one is over. I like Fabiano by submission.
Chad Mendes vs. Javier Vazquez
Kid Nate: Mendes should snuff Vazquez’ resurgence like a heavy wool blanket that’s been soaking in ice water. Mendez by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Chad Mendes is a guy who will compete at the highest levels of the division while Javy is a guy who already had his time come and go. This is a WEC show so I really need to stop picking every fight to go to decision. Chad Mendes by decision.
Mike Fagan: I’m glad to see the renaissance of Javy’s career, but submitting the ghost of Jens Pulver and a Mackens Semerzier 6 fights into his career doesn’t speak well for his career prospects. Mendes is a beast at 8-0 and only 25 years of age, with wins over some tough guys. Chad Mendes by decision.
Chris Nelson: Despite Vazquez’s assertions to the contrary, I think Mendes grounds and grinds him out for three rounds. Mendes via decision.
Leland Roling: Another tough call. Vazquez is a beast when he’s motivated, but I think Mendes with muscle his way out of anything Vazquez can pull off while also beating on him until he tires. From there, it’s Mendes’ fight. Chad Mendes via decision.
Jon Snowden: People have been sleeping on Javier Vasquez for a decade. Not me. Vasquez by submission.
Damacio Page vs. Demetrious Johnson
Kid Nate: I anticipate a beat down. Page by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: Page is going to win and win pretty handilly. Damacio Page by TKO, round 2.
Mike Fagan: Page will win this, but anyone who tats their feet up in flames to represent his will to “walk through Hell” should have those feet removed with a very rusty instrument. Demetrious Johnson by knockout, round 2.
Chris Nelson: Johnson had a good win over a solid prospect in Nick Pace last time out, but Page is a scary monster. Page via TKO, round one.
Leland Roling: Page has had some history with aggressive wrestlers and came out unscathed, and Johnson’s size versus Page’s deceptive strength is going to be a wake-up call. Page via TKO.
Jon Snowden: Page is a future champion. Page by decision.
Undercard picks in the full entry/
Preliminary Bouts (Non-Televised):
Raphael Assuncao vs. LC Davis
Kid Nate: This should be on the main card! L.C. is just too much for Assuncao. Davis by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Davis is going to takedown, punch, takedown, punch until Assuncao ends up rocked and finished. L.C. Davis by TKO, round 3.
Mike Fagan: Wish this was televised. L.C. Davis by bulldog choke, round 3.
Chris Nelson: Davis bullies the Brazilian and likely hands Assuncao his walking papers. Davis via decision.
Leland Roling: Davis’ relentless wrestling will frustrate Assuncao, just like it did Nunes. L.C. Davis via decision.
Jon Snowden: This is the second most interesting fight on the card to me. I don’t understand why I’m not going to see it. Well, besides the hotel not having Versus. L.C. Davis by decision.
Anthony Njokuani vs. Edward Faaloloto
Kid Nate: Looks like they’re giving Anthony a come back fight. Njokuani by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: Njokuani highlight reel fights are always fun. Anthony Njokuani by TKO, round 1.
Mike Fagan: I wish I could look up my record when using the “established named vs. guy without a wikipedia” theory. This looks like a rebound fight. Anthony Njokuani by TKO, round 1.
Chris Nelson: Faaloloto is tough, but definitely not WEC- or UFC-ready. Njokuani via decision.
Leland Roling: I’m interested to see if Luke tries to sweep the picks by picking all military personnel. Former U.S. navy admiral bodyguard Faaloloto is an unknown out of Chris Leben’s camp in Hawaii, and this looks like a gimme for Njokuani. Anthony Njokuani via TKO, Round 1.
Jon Snowden: Leben told me that Faaloloto is the real thing. But I think this is a setup for Njokuani. The loser of this fight loses out on a shot at the UFC, so these guys have all the motivation they’ll ever need to win. Njokuani via TKO
Zack Micklewright vs. Dustin Poirier
Kid Nate: Micklewright by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: Micklewright will win with some serious quickness here. Zack Micklewright by TKO, round 2.
Mike Fagan: See above! Zack Micklewright by TKO, round 1.
Chris Nelson: Honestly not sure here, so I’ll take the guy with a quality win on his WEC ledger. Micklewright via decision.
Leland Roling: Flipping coin.. and it’s heads. Dustin Poirer will find Micklewright’s chin first. Dustin Poirer via TKO, Round 1.
Jon Snowden: This is the part of the card where the random guessing starts. Micklewright by TKO.
Clint Godfrey vs. Michael McDonald
Kid Nate: Lots of hype behind McDonald. I’ll jump on the bandwagon. McDonald by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: McDonald is a guy who should make real noise for some time. Michael McDonald by decision.
Mike Fagan: And yet another one. This will surely be the card where this theory falls flat. Clint Godfrey by submission, round 1.
Chris Nelson: McDonald has been a talked-about prospect since the jump, and his huge knockout of Cole Escovedo in their rematch was a real eye-opener. A win over Godfrey may not serve as proof, but this kid looks like the real deal. McDonald via TKO, round one.
Leland Roling: McDonald’s wins over Tapia and Escovedo should be enough proof that he can overcome the lower-echelon talent of the WEC’s bantamweight division. The 19-year-old phenom wins here via TKO. Michael McDonald via TKO.
Jon Snowden: Who can doubt the silky smooth sound of Michael McDonald? McDonald by TKO.
Yves Jabouin vs. Brandon Visher
Kid Nate: I would like to see this one live. I’m going with “the Tiger”. Jabouin by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: Hard fight to call but I’ve got to go with a guy who I think is just more dynamic in the stand-up game. Yves Jabouin by decision.
Mike Fagan: Both guys have coming off losses to tough competition. Jabouin’s probably going to get a lot of love coming off the Hominick fight, but I’ve got Brandon Visher by decision.
Chris Nelson: I like “The Viper” to weather a strong opening and bite “The Tiger” to get back on track after his first pro loss. Visher via TKO, round two.
Leland Roling: Maybe I’m wrong, but Jabouin as an underdog after solid showings against both Mark Hominick and Raphael Assuncao? That seems outrageous to me, but the featherweight division, especially at these low levels, is tough to predict. I have to go with what I know though, and Jabouin has the diversity on the feet to be a huge problem for Visher. Yves Jabouin via TKO.
Jon Snowden: Jabouin did well against Hominick, but that’s Mark Hominick. He’s a limited fighter and always will be. I don’t think that is the sign that Yves is going to be a future star. Visher by decision.
Mackens Semerzier vs. Cub Swanson
Kid Nate: I’m not convinced that Semerzier is for real. Swanson by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: This might be a good fight, unfortunately it’s still a fight between guys I just don’t care a whole lot about. Is that wrong? Cub Swanson by decision.
Mike Fagan: Swanson’s the only lone win on Jens Pulver’s record in his last nine fights. Semerzier picked up a couple of fights after shocking Wagnney Fabiano. I’ll go with experience here. Cub Swanson by decision.
Chris Nelson: Semerzier has failed to impress since his big upset over Fabiano, and I doubt that he’ll be able to hold Swanson down the way Mendes did. Swanson via submission, round one.
Leland Roling: This is a toss-up in my opinion. Semerzier has the grappling acumen to be a pest on the ground, but I think Swanson’s experience and grit will help him edge out Mackens via decision. Swanson via decision.
Jon Snowden: The word is Swanson has been killing it in the gym. I’ve always liked him and feel good about this one. Swanson by TKO.
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