UFC Fight Night 15 Preview: Diaz & Neer Battle In The Octagon!

To usher in the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter reality series, the UFC presents UFC Fight Night 15. Find out who's on the card, predictions and more right here.

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UFC Fight Night 15 Diaz Vs Neer
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Omaha, Nebraska (September 17, 2008) - To usher in the eighth season of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series, the UFC presents UFC Fight Night 15. The fights will be live from the Omaha Civic Auditorium and live on SPIKE TV at 8 p.m.

The main event will feature the 'TUF' 5 winner, Nate Diaz as he looks to stay unbeaten within the UFC against Josh "The Dentist" Neer. The co-main event will feature fellow lightweights, Clay "The Carpenter" Guida and 'TUF' 6 winner Mac Danzig. In the middleweight action, Ed "Short Fuse" Herman will face off with Alan "The Talent" Belcher. Rounding out the night's main card will feature hometown hero, Houston "The Assassin" Alexander as he takes on Eric "Ravishing Red" Schafer.

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Nate Diaz
Height: 6' 0" (183 cm) Weight: 155 (70 kg)
Record: 9-2-0
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Josh "The Dentist" Neer
Height: 5' 11" (180 cm) Weight: 155 (70 kg)
Record: 24-6-1

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"The Triangle Choker" Nate Diaz has been on a tear since winning the fifth season of "The Ultimate Fighter." Once he steps into the octagon he puts on submission clinics, but he is also a gifted boxer. He uses his reach advantage not only for his punches and kicks, but for his submissions as well.

Diaz is in every essence a fighter, not for the money or fame, but to prove to himself that he is one of the toughest dudes around. With four consecutive submission wins within the octagon, and most recently over Kurt Pellegrino, the Cesar Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt will look to make it five in a row against Josh Neer.

A veteran of the first "Fight Night", Josh Neer is looking to make a name for himself within the tough lightweight division. "The Dentist" who recently came down from the welterweight division is a product of the Miletich fighting system.

Neer debuted in the UFC three years ago and was submitted quickly by Drew Fickett. He rallied back with two consecutive wins over Melvin Guillard and Joe Stevenson, but was later cut by the UFC due to back-to-back losses to Josh Burkman and Nate's older brother, Nick Diaz.

Since then he was able to rebound in lesser organizations and was welcomed back to the UFC earlier this year. His first test would be in a new weight division and he was successful against Din Thomas at UFN 13. A relative slow fighting year for the 25-year old Neer, with an average of seven fights a year, this fight marks only his second fight for 2008.

dot Prediction: Unanimous Decision Victory, Nate Diaz dot

    As with all Miletich fighters, Neer is well rounded and experienced. Of his six losses three have come by submission, which is Diaz's specialty. Neer would most likely look for the takedown to stay out of Diaz's reach, but Diaz has an active guard and is dangerous on his back. So it might be a lose-lose situation for Neer.

    I see this fight going the distance and Nate Diaz getting his arm raised with a unanimous decision victory, due to him out striking and his numerous submission attempts.

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Clay "The Carpenter" Guida
Height: 5' 7" (170 cm) Weight: 155 (70 kg)
Record: 23-6-0
Vs
Mac Danzig
Height: 5' 8" (173 cm) Weight: 155 (70 kg)
Record: 19-4-1

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My pick for "Fight of the Night" will have to go to this fight between the ultra entertaining Clay Guida and winner of "TUF"6 Mac Danzig. Both of these lightweights would like nothing more to earn a win here in Omaha.

A former carpenter, Guida is tough as nails, always pushes the pace and has a huge heart every time he enters the octagon. He has a strong wrestling background with stinging take downs and look out for his reckless right hands. His Achilles heel is that he is known for his inability to finish fights and has suffered some controversial decision losses due to it.

The finale for "TUF" 6 looked to be where Guida would come into the limelight against Roger Huerta. Winning the first two rounds, Guida looked to finally get a decision to go his way, but Huerta was able to pull off a rear-naked choke in the third round to steal a victory.

A missed opportunity slipped through the hands of Guida that night, but Mac Danzig was able seize the opportunity of a lifetime as he became the winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 6." The same move that ended the night for Guida, sealed the fate of Mac Danzig as he was able to punish Tommy Speer and end the finale with a rear-naked choke. Since then Danzig has been training with Xtreme Couture and was able to finish off Mark Bocek at UFC 83.

Danzig is an all around great fighter with half his wins coming by submission. Guida has a weakness and it's his inability to escape submission attempts.

dot Prediction: Mac Danzig By Rear-Naked Choke In The Second Round. dot

    Both fighters are tough as hell, but Danzig comes from a better camp, and that will prove the difference in this fight. Training with Randy Couture and Forrest Griffin on a daily basis can only help don't ya think?

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Ed "Short Fuse" Herman
Height: 6' 2" (188 cm) Weight: 185 (84 kg)
Record: 16-5-0
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Alan "The Talent" Belcher
Height: 6' 2" (188 cm) Weight: 185 (84 kg)
Record: 11-4-0

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Ed Herman was the odds on favorite to win "The Ultimate Fighter 3," but came up short against Kendall Grove at the finale. The disappointed Team Quest fighter looked to rebound that loss against Jason MacDonald, but was submitted in the first round of that fight.

Facing three losses in a row and a potential "cut" from the UFC, Herman was able to win three in a row against some stiff competition. At UFC 83 he was unable to make it four in a row and the undefeated Demian Maia made short work of "Short Fuse."

Herman is a ground and pound specialist with a strong wrestling background. His stand up has been improving each time he fights and has the ability to submit his opponents. His weakness is his submission defense, and his chin has been questioned. Mediocrity in the middleweight division is not the boat Herman wants to be in. It's a must win situation come Wednesday.

Alan Belcher finds himself in the same boat as Herman. He has few wins in the UFC, but those wins are over fighters who no longer fight for the UFC, so that tells you something. With losses to Yushin Okami, Kendall Grove and most recently Jason Day a streak of wins is needed.

Belcher is most comfortable on his feet, he is an outstanding kickboxer with knockout power in his hands and feet. He's faced strong wrestlers in the past and proved that his takedown defense should be good enough to defend Herman.

dot Prediction: Ed Herman By Unanimous Decision. dot

    Herman is the stronger wrestler and seems to be the hungrier of the two. I think he'll push the pace and be the aggressor throughout the match. Earning points for his takedowns and his solid work from top position will earn him the win.

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Houston "The Assassin" Alexander
Height: 6' 0" (183 cm) Weight: 205 (93 kg)
Record: 8-3-1
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Eric "Ravishing Red" Schafer
Height: 6' 3" (191 cm) Weight: 205 (93 kg)
Record: 11-3-2

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A father of six, a part-time DJ in Omaha, and he's short one kidney due to donating it to his eldest daughter. Oh yeah, and Houston Alexander can fight too!

Alexander surprised everyone at UFC 71 with the devastating beatdown he gave Keith Jardine. He backed that up with a similar smackdown against Alessio Sakara at UFC 75. He was on the fast track to super stardom.

Since then we've found out that he has no ground game, most likely a BJJ white belt and his chin might be made of glass. Thiago Silva took him down with ease and mounted him at UFC 78 and James Irvin superman punched him into oblivion at UFN 13.

Some questions have been answered about Houston, but were those first two wins a fluke or the were the last two losses? We'll find out this Wednesday as he faces Eric Schafer.

Schafer is a solid fighter with a black belt in BJJ. His last two fights in the UFC ended in losses, but those were a year ago. As a BJJ black belt, Schafer is most comfortable on the ground exactly where Houston does not want to be. Schafer has the problem of getting on his back and pulling guard though. In the past the more powerful opponents take advantage and pound him out, ala Stephan Bonnar and Michael Bisping.

dot Prediction: Houston Alexander By KO First Round! "Knockout Of The Night" dot

    He's had four fights in the UFC and only spent six minutes within the Octagon. Houston comes to fight and will put on a quick show in front of his hometown crowd. If he can stay off the ground, he has this fight in the bag.

    Schafer has been overpowered by weaker opponents in the past and has been knocked out by them. We didn't get to see much improvement of the ground game of Alexander during his last bout, but it's been almost a year since his embarrassing showing against Thiago Silva.

    If Brock Lesnar can learn some BJJ so can Houston. Lets hope we see Houston "The Assassin" Alexander and not Houston "We Have a Problem" Alexander!

    Stay tuned for Season eight of "The Ultimate Fighter" Noguiera VS Mir.

dot Undercard: May Not Be Broadcast dot

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