TUF alumn Marcus Brimage, faces off against Russell Doane in this Bantamweight tilt that should pleasantly surprise casual fans despite taking Urijah Faber's spot on the main card for UFC 175.

Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane Bantamweight

This fight is opening the main card while Urijah Faber takes on Bruce Leeroy on the undercard? Did Faber steal Dana's blackjack money or something?

Well I don't think it's some sort of travesty. In the post-TUF world, producers want fights that can sell on television, so Faber vs. Caceres acts like a pseudo main event. And we've always liked the opening bouts to be action fights, which this fight promises to be. Really the only reason not to be excited is if you only go by names, and haven't seen these two in action.

Don't play that elitist card on me boy. Iv'e seen Brimage, and even his post-fight gymnastics don't impress me.

I almost forgot about that.

Yea that was embarrassing but it takes two to tango, and both men didn't feel like dancing until the judges awoke from their siestas.

The odds are even on this one. Is it because Conor McGregor took Brimage apart like a surgeon in his last outing?

Yea well, McGregor, despite the hype, is legitimate on the feet. That fight is a big reason why I suspect Conor has a bright future in the division. Brimage isn't a can, and he's another example of how TUF continues, despite all odds, to pick up capable fighters. Before that loss he was undefeated in the UFC, beating Stephan Bass, Maximo Blanco, and Jimy Hettes. Mock Blanco and his fall from grace all you want, but that's a very good list given Brimage's pedigree.

So who the hell is Russell Doane? I don't watch KOTC.

Really? You're missing out on the small violently executed pleasures in life.

Doane is a 27 year old native of Hawaii, nicknamed 'The Young Punisher' (I'm guessing both 'The Old Punisher' and 'The Middle Aged Punisher' are taken), has a decent training pedigree with Hawaii Elite MMA and former UFC veteran Falaniko Vatale: a fighter best known for his win over Matt Lindland, because Matt Lindland did this.

His UFC connection is Jared Papazian: a guy who turned out to be not quite UFC material, but who put on a show against Mike Easton in their wonderful clinch based punch in the face contest.

Doane will probably do what Diego Brandao tried to do to Brimage as training partners: chuck knuckles (skip the first 10 seconds of Akira Corassani referring to himself unironically as "daddy").

Doane is a pleasure to watch on the feet. He keeps his hands up high, and is well guarded. He's not swift of foot, but he tracks well, and when he unloads, he has a very fast right hand/left hook that land with authority. To use awful hyperbolic boxing analogies, I liken him to Antonio Margarito: his power is scientific or crisp, but the thudding nature of those blows incurs its own violence.

Unlike Margarito, Doane is quick. The problem with Doane's game, as I see it, is that he's so capable on the feet and yet he never truly develops a rhythm there. He's constantly striking his way into the clinch, and looking for takedowns. He's got a good number of submissions to his name (5 of his 13 wins in fact), but this is not where he'll be successful in the UFC. Especially in this matchup.

Brimage's last performance is a good example of what happens when you overreact to criticism. He was too conservative in his previous bouts (really the Blanco fight), and responded by being too liberal. I took a second look at his McGregor loss, and basically did all the work for Conor...moving way too much, throwing predictable one-twos, and ignoring how quickly Conor began picking and finding his shots.

Still, you see what makes Brimage a solid fighter in the division. He's got fast hands, and a particularly swift right hook from his southpaw stance. At 5'4, you can see where his deficiencies lie. He's at his most effective when he's feinting and going for takedowns.

I suspect this will be pretty hotly contested. Doane has the power to make Brimage fall into a defensive shell, but I think Brimage's quickness will mask his defensive woes. For all of Doane's abilities on the feet, he simply doesn't have the resume to prepare him for Marcus' talents. Again, a close fight, and one the judges may screw with, but I like Brimage to take over with his speed.

Marcus Brimage via Decision.

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