Rob Kimmons (left): Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
While the UFC 122 “Marquardt vs. Okami” main card percolates on Saturday at the Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany, the dark matches lurk, with a cross-section of up-and-comers, veterans in crossroads bouts and all sorts of scores to be settled.
Here’s a closer look at the UFC 122 undercard, with a preview and picks.
Kyle Noke vs. Rob Kimmons
In 2005, yours truly was sitting next to the World Extreme Cagefighting cage in scenic Lemoore, Calif., when Joe Riggs materialized. I asked him what brought him there. “I’m fighting,” he replied. “Who?” I asked. “Some guy [who’s] unbeaten in three fights. Supposed to be the next big thing,” he answered.
Turns out was Kimmons, whom Riggs promptly dismantled and took out in less than a minute and a half.
Such things still happen in MMA, and it was encouraging to see Kimmons get back in the saddle, putting together a busy schedule of fights and some good wins to become a UFC regular. Whoever his manager was at the time reminded me of what Sonny Liston said when asked if Chuck Wepner -- whom Liston battered and bloodied en route to a knockout win -- was the bravest man he had ever met: “I don’t know, but his manager certainly is.”
With that said, this middleweight match pits Kimmons and Noke in a closely matched affair. Noke might be a little better standing but finds himself at a disadvantage in the wrestling department. He has decent hands and should look to keep it on the feet to belay the impression that he is being taken down and controlled. Kimmons, if he can plant Noke on the mat, should work the body and head and force the Australian to take more risks on the feet than he typically does to open up more takedown opportunities.
It should be a close match. Go with Kimmons by decision