As we set the stage for Lion Fight 64 on UFC Fight Pass, it’s time for some expert prognosticating. Lion Fight ringside analyst Nathan “Carnage” Corbett, an 11-time world champion and Hall of Fame member, breaks down three of the bouts on the main card – the trio which make up the “1,500 lbs. of Muay Thai Mayhem” catchphrase for this event. These are not predictions, but rather some educated insight on how Nathan sees the fights potentially playing out. Up first, fittingly, is the first of two semifinal matchups in the first-ever Lion Fight North American Heavyweight Title Tournament – this one pitting “Bazooka” Joe Stripling against Terrance “El Jefe” Hodges. Take it away, Mr. Corbett. A very interesting and exciting match up! Hodges, a very talented natural fighter with super explosive combinations and aggression, has been waiting for this matchup for over a year now. If Hodges can break Stripling down in the early rounds of the fight, I feel that could be on his way to victory. Stripling is usually a slow starter that can take a few rounds to fire up and then break down his opponents with his high level Muay Thai skills and all-round toughness. Stripling, I feel, is the more experienced fighter and coming in as the heaviest of the four heavyweights, he can most definitely get this win by bringing his experience and dynamic ability to kick high and low with power and almost wear his opponents down over five rounds of action. Next, it’s the second semifinal in the Heavyweight Title Tournament with Cody “The Freight Train” East steaming in to take on Warren “Destroyer” Thompson. What say you, Mr. Corbett? East, being a big heavyweight in height and structure, he brings a lot of powerful punches. We saw that in his first Lion Fight matchup, a five-round war against Stripling. East’s road to victory, I feel, could be getting his aggressive punch combos off in the early rounds to inflict enough damage to potentially edge out a win. Thompson, a great striker of kicks, punches and elbows, has a big fight in front of him, but I believe he’s the more well-rounded of the two. With devastating elbows and powerful punches, Thompson could get a KO or do some damage via elbows and come home with the win. And finally, of course, it’s main event time. Steve “Put Em To Sleep Walker” holds both the World and North American Super Cruiserweight titles and he’ll put his NA belt on the line this time around as he faces veteran Brian “The Lion” Collette. Mr. Corbett, how do you see this fight going? As the current champion, Walker has a lot to be fighting for as he defends his North American title. With Lion Fight, Walker has been knocking off all the opponents that enter the ring with him by using his unique, unorthodox style of fighting. A long southpaw with explosive power and flying kicks, Walker definitely has the advantage in this fight when it comes to elbows due to the fact Collette comes more from a kickboxing background. His long southpaw attacks and aggressive tactics with elbows and knees could be the winning formula for Walker. But, of course, Collette brings his own dangers to the fight. Collette has had a lot of experience in fighting some big names and unlike some of Walkers other opponents, Collette is the same height and has the same reach. If Collette can use his range with great hand-kick combinations and not let the path of the fight get dictated by Walker early on, he could potentially come away with the win. It’s definitely a fight I’m excited to watch and call the action on UFC Fight Pass.
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